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Our Most Popular Digital Cinema Camera

Canon C300 – Reliably Delivers Great Results Use with Zeiss EF CP2 Lenses

Our clients in Dubai and abroad are increasingly requesting Digital Cine camcorders for their broadcast and corporate projects. Hardly a surprise given the superb results some of these cameras can offer – and the most popular model in our stock is the Canon C300.

Prior to the wave of Digi-Cine cameras, our experience was primarily with Sony high-end high definition cameras. These take B4-mount lenses with great zoom ranges and are easily

put on the shoulder for handheld shooting. The C300 with EF mounts (we also have one with a PL mount) are typically used with Canon Red Line Series zoom lenses. These are effectively stills camera lenses that were not built to have the zoom used while recording – only to change focal lengths. When you’re used to working with lenses that produce great results when you zoom while shooting not having this feature can be a drawback. However the quality of the images and the shallow depth of field the Canon lenses offer make up for this disadvantage. (More on another lens option, Zeiss CP2s, below).

The C300 has been on the market for some time and we took delivery of our first one back in 2012. Due to demand, we’ve increased our stock since then – and we’ve learned along the way what’s needed to make the camera convenient to work with. The two key extras you need are a good support rig/shoulder mount and a good external viewfinder.

We currently use two different support rigs. Both are good but could be improved and we are currently looking at a third option (details when we decide). One we use includes a Movie Tube shoulder mount. The advantage of this is it has an upside down U to fit nicely on your shoulder. The disadvantage is there always seems to be a slight bit of play where it is secured to the camera. Not a serious issue but a bit irritating. The other mount we use is a Red Rock. This can be tightly secured to the camera with no play but doesn’t have the indent where it rests on your shoulder. Both mounts have adjustable handles on the front to help keep the camera steady when it’s being used handheld.

Once on the shoulder, the native viewfinder is of no use and if you’re outside nor is the native LCD viewfinder. We use an Alphatron with mini magic arms secured to 15mm bars to address this issue.

Zeiss CP2 Super Speed Lenses

As mentioned above, many clients use the C300 with Canon Red Line EF Mount lenses. These are good – bearing in mind the zoom control is only suited for changing focal lengths and not really to be used as part of a shot. For even better results, we recommend considering Zeiss CP2 prime lenses. There are three Super Speed models in this range – 35mm, 50mm and 85mm with T1.5. These lenses are very well made, have superb optics and produce fantastic images. We also carry a 25mm/T2.1 CP2 lens.

The bottom line: the C300 produces great images with a cinematic look for a very reasonable hire rate. The C300 is also an ideal camera to use with the MOVI M10 Firefly to get rock steady handheld shots with little training – as the previous blog covered.

For a very brief look at the C300, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jP7NL0kav7w and for the C300 rig/Aphatron see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-jEFKuGDO4E

And for the Zeiss CP2 lenses, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=knAmjIyQA6o