On August 29th, 2012 Canon released a camera.
-A hybrid between the upcoming DSLRs and the more expensive inter changeable lens cameras.
-Built in neutral density filters up the 6 stops
-ISO ranging a from a native 850 to 10,000, allowing you to shoot in the brightest of days as well as the darkest of nights.
-Support for a super 35 4K sensor (same as C300 mki) down scaled to 1080p in camera
-Along with a colour profile called c-Log which canon claims to provide12 stops of dynamic range.
To say the least, this was going to be a game changer for independent filmmakers -especially the documentary shooters: The C100 mkl.
With all of these features, it is clear that this camera was engineered to obtain a professional and cinematic look. Not to mention that, along with these specs, the camera also offers dual SD card slots which allows users to record simultaneously on both cards or independently. On top of this, it also sports 2 XLR inputs, making it a full-on cinema professional video camera. Finally, one last positive I’d like to note before moving forward, is the battery life. I am able to consistently get at least 2 hours per batterie offering me a full days shoot on only 3 batteries - most DSLRs don't get anywhere near that!
Although I have more good things to say about this camera than bad, after 3 years of consistent use, I do have some personal gripes with this camera. These include the screen, the fact that you cannot function the settings with the side handle off and that it offers terrible slow motion. Specifically, the screen is not terrible but the rotation is flawed, only allowing for a few viewing angles. The handle grip should be removable in order to properly balance the camera on a gimbal or glide cam. And as for slow motion, the c100 only offers 50i - which is not useable. When I shoot slow motion I need at least 60P and 120fps for solid slow motion.
Short film shot on the EOS Canon C100 "Remember The River" - Directed by Mitchell Bouchard
Now - 5 Years Later
So the question is, how does this almost 5 year old camera stack up against the similar priced cameras of today? After its recent price drop on bandhphoto.com last year, the c100 is currently priced at $2,500 (for the body only).
The Sony A7s II and the Panasonic Gh5 are the closest competition in this price range. Compared to these cameras, the canon c100 has both positives and negatives in terms of image quality and functionality. Cameras like the Gh5 and the A7s II offer better camera resolution at 4K, better slow motion capture, a higher Mbps and better colours pace with 10bit 422 (on the Gh5).
That being said, the canon c100 is still kicking butt when it comes to overall performance. Unlike its competitors, the c100 looks, feels and functions like a proper cinema camera. With features like built-in filters, proper audio inputs and it’s heavy weight that helps to support the cameras sensor, the c100 has all the features that are fundamental filmmaking - both for amateurs and professionals alike.