The topic of getting a new video camera for the shop has been on our minds at Journeyman Film Company for a long time now. For the past couple years, it’s safe to say the majority of our shoots have been shot on DLSRs (typically the Canon 5D). Although we are generally very happy with the image we can get on the 5D, we often run into limitations associated with commercial film production using DSLRs. Having a maximum clip length of 12 minutes can often interfere with longer, more intimate interview scenarios. Not being able to reliably run audio into the camera (especially via XLR cables) can be annoying, not to mention the syncing issues often associated with dual system sound.
Our previous camera was the Sony Ex-1. Although the EX-1 was a great workhorse in its day and a reliable tool for documentary-style shoots, it is no longer a viable alternative to the highly cinematic images captured on contemporary video cameras. What we really needed was something with the best of both worlds – a reliable camera that you can pick up, hit record, run with (with sound person nearby with a direct feed!) AND obtain a stellar image…
The Canon C300 arose from the popularity of the DSLR being used as a video camera. It has many of the practical improvements over DSLRs that we were looking for: XLR inputs, a solid camera body with top and side grips, a nice LCD monitor, built-in ND filters, and a video codec that allows for continuous recording onto CF cards… not to mention significant improvements to moire and rolling shutter! The C300 has the ability to capture 12 stops of dynamic range (2 stops more than the 5D!) giving a much richer, more cinematic image. It also has outstanding low-light capabilities which is useful as we often find ourselves shooting in difficult locations on tight schedules – using only available light is often a challenging reality.
Overall, we’ve been loving our new camera!
Check out some of our recent productions shot using the Canon C300: