It was exciting times back in 2008 with the release of Canon’s 5D Mk II. It was the first DLSR to shoot video at 1080p… and do it very well. Together with the small form factor, the cinematic depth of field, and the ability to have interchangeable lenses this camera changed our industry. From then on we kitted ourselves with two 5D Mk II’s, and a 7D and they became our work horses for all our productions… till now.
In 2013, Canon made another statement to the industry with the release of their EOS C Series cameras that comprised of the C100, C300, and C500. These are not DSLRs but are professional video cameras with a Super 35mm sensor capable of the same cinematic look from the DLSRs that our clients love. But there are critical differences between the 5D Mk II and the C Series. First off, the C Series cameras are video cameras. We were shooting with a photographic camera that just happened to have video recording capability. Everyone loved the look so much that we lived with all the short-comings of poor battery life, no proper viewfinder, only able to record 12 minute clips, no neutral density filters, no focus assist, no exposure assist, no audio monitoring, etc. Mind you we didn’t live without these things but rather had to find workarounds or spend thousands on third party accessories to make do. But like I said… the C Series are video cameras with all those missing goodies rolled into the package. So naturally we jumped ship.
Vistek is promoting a leasing program with the C100 and C300 that has amazingly affordable monthly costs. It became a no brainer to replace our now aging DSLRs with a couple C Series cameras. We not only preserve that precious depth of field control and can use our current line up of lenses but we also don’t have to worry if we’ll have enough batteries to power a day’s shoot or cut an interviewee in mid-thought because we are approaching that dreaded 12 minute mark before the clip needs to end. Now we can shoot a day on one battery and roll footage with impunity. Plus everything looks better too. The footage is cleaner and sharper and with greater latitude. Skies don’t have to lose all their nuances and details… it’s all preserved with the technology in these new cameras. We also don’t have to run audio into a separate audio recorder as the cameras can accept our microphones with industry standard XLR connectors while recording great sound. They are slightly larger than a DSLR but they still have a small form factor and are a joy to hold which is great considering the majority of our shooting is documentary, run and gun.
Five years ago we started the journey with the 5D Mk II and it has supported and even enhanced our ability to tell stories. Now I see these new cameras as a natural evolution to the journey.