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Pro Video Tips is designed for busy videographers like you. This series brings you a new tip every week, on everything from controlling reflections to hiding mics. Host Anthony Q. Artis covers shooting techniques for particular video challenges like portraits, tools to help you control light and judge exposure, and advice for the traveling videographer, such as putting together a great lens kit or packing a truck. Come back every Tuesday for a new round of tips.
Probably the number one question people email me or ask me about is what camera should they buy, what camera do I own, what camera do I like. Well, today, for the first time on camera, I'm going to answer that question. And that is currently the Cannon C100. Now, I've been shooting video and film for 20 some year now and this is actually the first camera that I've actually ever bought. I've always had access to cameras, and I'll talk about how you can do that in other places, but I've never actually owned a camera until this C100 right now, and I'm very happy with this purchase.
This is a really, popular camera right now, it's essentially a cross between a pro video camera and a DSLR. So, if a full-sized video camera and a DSLR got together and had a baby, it would be the Canon C100. What is the price point of this camera? It's at about $6,000 or so which is very reasonable for the features that it has. Compared to its big brother, which is the C300, which has a price point of about $14,000. The cameras look almost identical.
Have a very similar form factor. But two big things that you don't get with this camera that you might expect at that price point, but want to make sure you know you don't get them. And that is, there's no slow motion or time lapse with the C100. So, that is definitely a trade-off. They're not going to give you everything for that $6,000. Something else to point out about this camera is the media that it shoots on. So, the Canon C100 shoots on these little SD cards. Very popular right now. This is really a marvel of technology, the fact that we can get 1080p HD video onto these little tiny SD cards.
They're cheap and accessible, but there's a tradeoffs for that. There's going to be a lot of compression. It shoots in the AVCHD format natively. That can be problematic for you when it comes to editing. A lot of people have problems with grading. It's just not going to hold up for color correction, special effects, things like that, you might want to do in post production. What is the plus side of working with these SD cards? Well, I'm going to turn the camera around right here on the back. And we lift up the view finder and you can see that it has dual slots right here. So, if I lift up that little door.
It takes two SD cards at the same time. And it offers dual slot recording. So, that means that I can either record to both cards at the same exact time, which is what I like to do. So, you can get a safety recording. We've got two identical recordings going on at the same time or I can do relay recording where when one card fills up, it crosses over to the other. So, whichever one is practical for you. I just like that you have an option and you do want to remember with this camera that you want to power it down before you change SD cards.
Your SD cards may not be very happy at all if you don't do that. Getting back to the camera sensor, I didn't mention the sensor yet. The sensor in this camera is a super 35 mm sensor. Now, a lot of people think that its full frame. It's not full frame. It's the super 35mm sensor. So, it has about a 1.4 crop factor. Will take the same lenses that you used on your Cannon 7D, by the way. 1080p records in a 420 color space, at 24 mb per second.
And that's okay. The big brother to this camera, the C300, records in a 422 color space. So this is 420, that's 422. But guess what. Here's one of the reasons this camera is so popular. Because using the HDMI port on the side here, I can come out and bypass all that compression and AVCHD nonsense. I can get around all of that and go directly into here, the recorder at the full sensor quality. So, essentially, for about another $1,000 or so, if you include the price of the recorder, as well as the solid state SSD drives that go in here.
I can get C300 quality out of my Canon C100. This records in very edit friendly .mov Quicktime files. So, very easy to edit with this. Incredible power house combination and again, that recorder records in pro res 422 120 megabits per second. So, this normally does 24 megabits per second coupled with the ninja recorder, I've got a much higher data rate, much higher quality of video. Also, another thing that I like about this camera is that you can record in that flat Cannon log.
So you can get this flat look, it's very good for color grading Couple the two together again and you've got some very professional features. Speaking of professional features, I love the fact that this has peaking, magnification, wave form monitors, zebra stripes, all the things that pros like to use are in this camera. So, if you know your way around a video camera, you'll be able to find your way around this video camera pretty quickly. Now, let's look at the ergonomics of the camera, this is one thing that a lot of people site that I love, as well.
It just feels right when you hold it. It's not too heavy the camera and the lens is really what's making it heavier. If I had a, you know, a smaller prime lens on this thing, it would be really nice and light. And even as it is right now, it's got a great form factor, really light. And then also, on the side here. Another thing is that it has all of your buttons, so, regular buttons, things that I need to access all the time are right here on the side, so I've got my wave forms, I've got my ISO, I've got my shutter speed. Everything that I might want to turn on or off in a normal course of shooting is located right on the side.
So, it's not like a Blackmagic where I might have to go into a menu and scroll through and touch the screen or anything like that. I don't have to do anything like that, so all-in-all ergonomics is great on this camera. Let's take a look right here at this little handle. This is cool because it can be customized, so this is another thing I think a lot of pros respond to with this camera is that you can very easily customize this handle right here so you can unscrew this, and you can twist it and rotate it. Everybody's got a little different style of shooting. We've got three different shooters here in the room.
And we each use this camera or the C300, which has the same ergonomics, in a slightly different way. The buttons that are located on here. Your record button, of course, is there, but your magnification button is right here at the push of the thumb. So, I'll turn that around so you guys can see that. You've got your magnification button. You've also got your little joystick to control the menu. I'm not a fan of the joystick. I'm a much bigger fan of Sony's click wheel which is the easiest, fastest way I've ever found to navigate any menu, but you're not going to get, you know, everything you like in every camera. So, joystick is there.
It works fine. It's okay. So, that is the handle there. Let's go ahead and take a look at what happens when we put on this. So, over here, we have the audio handle. So, if you want to get XLR audio, and that really is entry level for me. I wouldn't even consider buying any camera, and don't recommend that you buy any camera for professional video use unless it has XLR audio inputs. DSRLs obviously being the exceptions. So, that is the minimum to get into the game for me. And what's great, you know, with this camera, is that it has all of the features that you would find in a full size video camera.
But it has a lot of the same things that you would find from a DSLR. So, it really is a perfect marriage of the two. And when I say that I mean terminology even, can port over, so you can go with ISO or gain, if you're used to gain you can change it in the menu so that it only operates on gain, and the same thing when it comes to some of your other values in the camera. So, once you put the handle on, you just plug in this little port right here. Obviously you don't want to damage that, but I've had no problem with it, you know, getting much wear and tear on it. And it might not seem like it, but this is actually pretty solid and sturdy arm that it's not a problem.
Now, if you're not shooting audio, you can totally take this handle off and go MOS. Not something I do a lot. I like to have a dirty track, regardless of whether I'm, you know, plan on using it or not. But one option you do have is to go with a smaller DSLR microphone like this. So, if I wanted to go even lower profile than I get with this handle, I could always take the handle off, put this on. This is fine for just recording a little bit of B roll on the side. This'll pick up everything the same as if you had a DSLR. So, you do have a 3.5 millimeter stereo jack located on the side as well, so you can go either or if you'd like.
lenses. This camera takes Canon EF or EFS lenses, can use either or. If you use an adapter of course, you can use any type of lens, just like the Zeiss that I have right here. So, you can put on, you know, your Nikon lenses if you have the right adapter. You do have to beware that those lenses will be manual, however, so your camera's not going to give you the same lens readout it gives you when I have a lens on here. Which, speaking of which, this is a great starter lens if you don't have any lenses yet or any EF lenses. This is like the one that almost everybody rolls with.
It is a 24 to 105 zoom. Covers a wide range from wide to telephoto. Has autofocus and it also has optical image stabilization on the side. So, just a great starter lens. This is, like, the one and only lens you'll need until you can move up in budget level and buy a couple of primes. This is definitely what I would start off with. Taking a look back here, at the LCD screen, we can see those wave form monitors on there again. Great, nice, professional feature, not found on a lot of cameras, so I was very happy to see a wave form monitor on here.
This is probably the biggest weak point on this camera for me and that is that it only folds up and down. If you want to fold it sideways it doesn't go this way. You're going to break it if you try to turn it that way. It will only go this way, so from the side, you know, maybe I could look at that. You know, I do a lot of interviews sometimes solo where I'm sitting on the side of the camera. This isn't really going to cut it. I can't look at my, you know, view finder at a 45 degree angle, so you're pretty much limited to having it down flat like this. Possibly, if you're doing a overhead shot, you know, something like this might work out for you, but, it's not very versatile when it comes to the LCD screen, so.
That is a weak point, but the bigger weak point for me isn't the versatility of the LCD screen. It's the low res. The resolution on this camera is way higher than the resolution on this LCD screen, so if you're trying to judge your focus by eye you're going to get burned left and right. I did that when I first got this camera and right away I discovered that I had to go out and get what everybody says you should get for this camera and they're correct. And that is this Zacuto viewfinder. So, you're definitely going to want the Zacuto viewfinder if you own this camera. It's just going to help you judge the focus, and speaking of focus, I almost forgot to tell you guys about one of the biggest features on this camera, and that is the one push auto focus located here in the front so it does have auto focus with one push of a button.
But it's got a brand new firmware feature that you actually can have this upgrade. Has upgrade that you can send into Cannon right now. It's $500. It's just about to come out as we're recording this. It will be out by the time you guys see it. And that is continuous autofocus. So, for $500 more to the price of the camera, you can get continuous autofocus. Only works with certain lenses. But this is an incredible feature if you're doing documentary and journalism work that's going to allow to you track a subject as they move and still get good, clean autofocus. If you do sports work, documentary, definitely a feature you'll want to consider.
But all in all, I think this is a camera that gives you a lot of bang for your buck, and I think it's well worth taking a look at if you're just getting into camera or if you're moving up from the DSLR market.
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