New Canon C300 a breakthrough in features and pricing for filmmakers
By David HAGUE
Over the last couple of years, professional camcorders have become smaller and smaller, belying the idea that for a camera to be serious, it has to be big and shoulder mounted. I have mentioned the new models from Canon and Sony in particular over recent columns (and reviewed them in Auscam magazine and online) and Panasonic are now also playing the game.
Late last week however, in a world first, Canon did a simultaneous worldwide announcement of the new EOS C300 / C300P camcorder that is aimed squarely at filmmakers. Also announced was a range of complementary lenses.
Priced at a modest (for this type of camcorder) $17999 – body only – the C300 is a breakthrough in that it combines all of the best of a top of the range dSLR complete with a 35mm sensor, and the best camcorder you can possibly imagine.
As well as the lenses announced, the EF version of the C300 can accept the full range of Canon EF lenses giving a huge boost the versatility of the beast. And of course, the PL version has a standard PL mount.
The file format Canon has chosen to use is MXF (which oddly is not supported by Apple’s Final Cut Pro X) and sprints along at 50Mbps. Twin CF cards are used for storage and HDSD-SDI, gunlock, timecode and XLR are all built in.
There is even an iPad app supporting remote operation.
There were no models at the announcement to play with, but we did get to see some actual footage shot by world famous producer/director/cinematographers who assisted Canon in the design process. Those results are stunning. An example by Laforet called “Mobius”, a 10 minute short story (in 720P) can be seen at the Auscam Online website.
The C300 should be available in Australia starting late January.
It will be interesting now to see if Sony and Panasonic follow suit.
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