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Canon C300 demo – Dublin

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Published: January 31, 2012 | By Andy

Posted in: Blog, Reviews

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Canon UK and Ireland were kind enough to invite me down to their video demo day in Dublin. They had a 5d mkii and an XF305 there, but the product that I was interested in was the C300 EOS Digital Cinema Camera. I had already been very interested in purchasing a C300 but really needed to see the camera in the flesh before taking the leap.

Overall the C300 feels great to handle. The removable hand grip attachment feels just like that on a DSLR camera, with buttons in similar places. It is heavier than a DSLR so you would probably want a dedicated rig (Redrock are one of the companies that have already announced one) for hand-held work. Without a rig the top grip feels quite comfortable to use too.

I was worried about how easy the camera would be to use so was please to find that quite a few of the buttons on the body are reassignable to various functions, allowing for a good range of configuration/customisation options.

The low light performance of the C300 is amazing too. I shot some footage at  f19, 20,000 ISO in the poorly lit hotel function room and when I got the chance to play it back it still looked on the edge of useable.

In terms of post workflow, I brought the footage into post professionals ‘Streetmonkey’ in Belfast to see what they thought.  Everything was easy to deal with, with import settings already built into Adobe Premier – no transcoding! We also used Colorista II in After Effects with 32bit floating point colour (cheers Cahal/Dermot) to see how far we could push the grade. The format held together better than expected. The guys at Canon also said that this was a pre-production model and the final version will have improvements.

It’s something I’m pretty excited about, being an editor as well, having such a hassle free workflow and strong codec. Recent shoots with Red cameras have brought about great results, but even with top of the line Mac Pro’s the workflow can be a pain. I can’t stress how easy the C300 files are to work with, plus the fact that it uses CF cards which I’m sure many potential owners will already have from their DSLR cameras.

At time of writing it looks like the C300 is already reaching peoples hands in the States, with deliveries to Europe expected soon.  Hopefully I can get my hands on one soon!

 

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