Canon has announced a new entry-level HD large-sensor camera to compliment its existing C300 and the upcoming 4k-capable C500. The C100 records about half the data rate of the C300, but then it will cost about half the price….
The EOS C100 digital video camera is aimed at budget filmmaking. It records 1920x1080 HD video in the AVCHD codec (24Mbps, 4:2:0) to dual SD cards, for up to 12 hours recording on two 64GB cards.
Atomos Ninja 2 (via the C100’s uncompressed HDMI port – no HD-SDI, but the HDMI is lockable).
It has three seconds of cache recording, so you can capture what happened before you pressed the record button.
By replacing the C300’s Compact Flash recording, the C100 shrinks to about 85% of the size, and weighs 1020g (410g less than the C300).
It also has a rotatable 3.5-inch LCD control panel, which is built-in rather than an add-on (as it is on the C300), plus a high-resolution electronic viewfinder (EVF). Thankfully, there are built-in ND filters (2, 4 and 6 stops), which gives it a key advantage over Sony’s NEX-FS100 and all DSLRs).
It captures 8.4 megapixels, with individual Red, Green, and Blue channels for each full HD 1920x1080 frame, and provides an ISO range of from 320 to 20,000 for work in low light with “minimal picture noise”. It also uses Canon’s DIGIC DV III image processor for better colour rendition.
There are multiple recording modes, resolutions, and frame rates (60i, 50i, PF30, 25p, PF24 and 24p), plus enhanced gamma modes (including Wide Dynamic Range Gamma and Canon Log Gamma) for a peak dynamic range of 800% and wide exposure latitude for creative post-production image processing, colour correction, and contrast manipulation (although if you are recording AVCHD with 4:2:0 colour space, you lose a lot of that).
The C100 has a similar modular design to the C300, so you can add accessories to suit your shooting style. A removable side-mounted rotating grip with start/stop button and miniature "joystick" menu control provides almost SLR-like operation.
It can record to both SD cards simultaneously or relay-record from one card to the other, but also outputs uncompressed 4:2:2 HD via HDMI, including superimposed time code and 2:3 pull-down marker information. The HDMI is lockable, and if you’re using external recorders you really need this. Additional outputs include a USB connector and stereo headphone jack.
The C100 can be fitted with EF-mount lenses (of which Canon makes more than 70 zoom and prime lenses in its EF, EF-S and EF Cinema lens line ups, with other lenses available from third-party manufacturers).
There are now seven EF Cinema lens models, which are more suited to video use than stills lenses.
Price and availability
The EOS C100 should be available in November, with a list price of $7,999 – our local dealers are pricing it at about £4,160 + VAT (just under £5,000 inclusive) – about €5,250 or $6,500 – so it’s a little more expensive than an FS100, probably its nearest rival (but considering what it offers, probably better value).
By David Fox