Posts Tagged ‘ Canon C300

Using the Canon EOS C300 for a Harley-Davidson event

The post production for the event I shot for Harley-Davidson in St Tropez is now completed so I thought I’d share my thoughts on using the Canon EOS C300 on an event shoot for the first time. Previous to this event I’ve been using a Sony EX1 and Canon 5D mkII combination which have produced some nice results. The EX1 has been my main camera for event work over the last few years and even though I’ve felt the results from the 5D2 have been better at times the functionality and ease of use that the EX1 provided meant that it was just a better all around camera for my needs.

My shooting days at these events involve a lot of walking, I’m generally out shooting from 10am until the early hours of the morning for three or four days in a row so it can be very hard on the feet and becomes tiring after a few days. Because of this I tend to try and avoid carrying too much kit around with me and certainly didn’t like carrying both the EX1 and the 5D at the same time with all the batteries and lenses that go with them. My preferred method was to head out for a few hours with the 5D and my Glidetrack grabbing some more stylised material and then head back and swap over to the EX1. This worked well most of the time but invariably there would be times with the 5D that I missed the EX1’s over cranking feature and shooting aids, likewise when using the EX1 I’d really miss the ability to shoot really wide and have more control over the depth of field of my shots.

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Shooting in St Tropez with the C300

I’m currently shooting another event for Harley-Davidson in the French riviera. I’ve shot this event a few times before but this is the first time Ive used the C300 for a rally so it’s proving to be a new challenge for me and the camera. I’m about to head out for another days shooting but I just wanted to post a quick update as to my progress and how the C300 was coping with the role of event coverage.

In terms of usability the camera’s working really well, I’ve been using the 17-55 IS most of the time just because I find I need the wide end a lot for these events. I have used the Tokina 11-16 a little too but I find it restrictive being stuck that wide when walking around shooting. I don’t like swapping lenses outside if I can help it at all so I’ve tended to pop back to my apartment in order to swap lenses so as to keep the dust inside the camera to a minimum.

When I popped back to swap lenses yesterday however I did notice that there were three spots of white debris behind the IR glass inside the C300’s body. I thought this area was sealed as it contains the ND filters and the sensor itself so I was a little shocked to see that stuff inside. There’s no way for me to clean it either so the camera will have to go back to canon when I get home next week.

Anyway, I have to run as it’s time for another day’s shooting but I’ll leave you with a few screen grabs, these are all unedited VLC grabs from the footage straight from the camera. It’s taken me a while and a lot of experimenting with various custom picture settings but I think I’ve finally made one which is ideal for providing a nice natural look with faithful colours and contrast straight from the camera.

Canon EFS 17-55 causing vignetting on the C300

I picked up the Canon EFs 17-55 f/2.8 IS recently because I wanted a wide zoom that would compliment my 24-105 IS and 70-200 IS lenses. I’ve been shooting with the 17-55 for around a week now and started noticing light falloff on the left and right edges of my shots when shooting at 17mm as well as darkened corners from 17-28mm. When the image stabiliser is active on the lens the vignetting becomes a lot more noticeable as the stabiliser function causes the vignetting to move around in the shot.

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C300, the good the bad and the ugly!

I was out shooting some pickup shots with the C300 today. I needed some wide opening shots of Norwich city along with some general lifestyle type material. After finding a good location for the wide shot of the city I set about trying a few different lenses on the camera an then headed in to the city and on to the UEA Campus.

The following examples are screen grabs from the ungraded MXF files which were all shot using Canon Log (CP8 profile). As a result they will all look a little washed out in their ungraded state.

Open the images in a new window or right click them and save them to see them at full size. If you just click them they will open in this window and will be scaled so will not represent the full image quality.

Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 @ f/5.6 – 4 stops ND – CP8

Canon 35mm f1.4 L @ f/6.3 – 4 stops ND – CP8

Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS L @ f/ 5 – 6 Stops ND – CP8 – 200mm

Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 @ f/ 5.6 – 4 stops ND – CP8 – 720p

Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS L @ f/ 2.8 – 6 stops ND – CP8

Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS L @ f/ 3.5 – 6 stops ND – CP8

Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 @ f/ 4.5 – 6 stops ND – CP8

Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 @ f/ 5 – 6 stops ND – CP8

 

The Good

The resolution and image quality that the C300 produces is simply stunning! There’s no two ways about it, compared to my DSLR shots the images from the C300 are in another league, just amazing!

One of the things that struck me was how little Moire there is in those opening shots of the city. There’s layer after layer of brick patterns and roof textures yet the image isn’t displaying any noticeable moire. These shots would have been a DSLR’s worst nightmare!

Because I was shooting in Cinema mode using C-Log Gamma the images looked quite lacklustre from the camera but they take on colour grading so well, it’s a real pleasure to apply a grade to these clips in Premiere Pro. Plus they are very easy to handle in Premiere too, there’s no lagginess or pauses during playback or scrubbing at full res using the source MXF files.

I also want to add what a pleasure the C300 is to use handheld, even though it’s bigger than a 5D and closer in weight to my EX1 it’s easier to handle than both, I enjoyed removing the monitor unit and walking around with just the top handle attached using the tillable EVF. There is however one down side to this approach which I’ll move on to next.

The Bad

Saying it’s bad may not really be fair, it’s more of an annoyance really but not being able to view the waveform monitor or a histogram in the EVF makes it really difficult to judge latitude and exposure with the monitor removed. This camera really needs the waveform monitor to be displayed in the EVF.

Yes there’s zebras, but these only allow you to highlight things in the IRE range from 70 – 100 so they don’t do the same job as a waveform monitor or a histogram which also show whats happening with the darker parts of the shot. Even though Zebras do help with seeing whats clipping at and above 100IRE it’s still very difficult to see them on small highlights which takes me on to the ugly!

The Ugly

When I got to the last shot shown above though I was disappointed to again see some aliased colour fringing on specular highlights. It doesn’t look too bad in the still but if you look at the hand rail in the distance you’ll see the artefact, this looks worse in the video clip because the effect appears to move down the rail and draws your attention away from the subject.

Here’s a closeup of it.

As you can see the issue appears as alternating green and red pixels. I’ve done a lot of testing with this issue now and it happens with any lens, at any aperture and with or without ND engaged. It happens regardless of any picture profiles or gammas too. The only way to reduce it is to under expose the image and stop the highlights from clipping. That’s quite tricky with no waveform in the EVF!

Update 15-2-2013

I’m updating this post almost a year after reporting this as a problem and Canon have finally made available a fix for the issue in the form of a publicly available 1.0.8.1.00 firmware for the Canon C300. It took them a while but they acknowledged and fixed it in the end!

 

It’s still awesome though!

Regardless of some teething problems the C300 footage I captured today is in a different league to anything I’ve shot on the Sony EX cameras or DSLR’s in the past, at least in terms of resolution and overall image quality. I can’t wait to get out with it again!

 

Product Links
If you plan on buying any of these products then please consider using the links below, it doesn’t cost you any more but I get a small commission which helps me to keep the blog going. Many thanks.

Canon EOS C300  –  B&H (US) |  Wex (EU)
Canon 35mm f1.4 L  –  B&H (US) | Wex (EU)
Canon 70 – 200mm f2.8 IS L  –  B&H (US) | Wex (EU)
Tokina 11-16 f2.8  –  B&H (US) |  Wex (EU)

 

 

Lovebugs – C300 Macro tests

The sun was out for the first time since I’ve had the C300 yesterday so I decided to continue my experiments with the camera by donning the Canon 100mm L lens and grabbing some macro shots. I have to say that I’m really impressed with the images the camera produces, the detail is amazing and many of these shots would have been troubled by aliasing and moire on my 5D.

I decided to throw something together just for the fun of it rather than sharing another ‘test’ video, which it is really but maybe just slightly weirder than your average test video!

 

Product Links
If you plan on buying any of these products then please consider using the links below, it doesn’t cost you any more but I get a small commission which helps me to keep the blog going. Many thanks.

Canon EOS C300  –  B&H (US) |  Wex (EU)
Canon 100mm f2.8 Macro IS L  –  B&H (US) | Wex (EU)