I had the chance to use a Canon C100 in a real production environment when shooting this piece for Al Jazeera some days ago.
For the fact that i have the direct comparison to the 5D Mark III, i want to bring to you the problems and surprised that i encountered when doing the temporary switch. What i liked and not liked on the C100 and if i think its worth to do the step from a Video DSLR.
The first thing that strikes you is that the C100 is actually really made for video. It feels like a hybrid of a DSLR and a traditional video camera with more elements of the later. The controls are very well laid out and the handgrip is just very very comfortable.
Controls can be accessed fast and it also has a top handle which make tracking shots easier ( although i think the top handle actually lacks a "wheel" to control the aperture ).
The definitely most useful thing is the built in ND filters. I use a polarizing ND filter on my 5D and i love that you can change the amount of light without "levels" but it adds to the lens and is also a piece of equipment that can get scratched broken etc.
So the built in filters are great and they give you a wide range ( for my taste ).
The backscreen is not as good as the DSLR ones i find. Its just a little bit dark ( even on the hightest brightness level ) and the "focus peak" function is just not sharp ( enough ) for my taste.
Sound-Control etc, is just like any other camcorder. Its actively air cooled, so the camera is much less likely to overheat ( though the 5D MIII is doing much better in this field then the 7D ).
Autofocus is actually much better as on a 5D Mark III. So i actually used it occasionally, when i wasn't sure if i got the sweet spot. In general the focusing is more like on the 7D ( sensor close in size ). The sweet spot is not so "fiddly" as in the 5D but then it also doesn't have the same extreme depth of field that you sometimes want to create a more atmospheric frame.
The true strength is the dynamic range and the colors. Absolutely amazing. In low light it doesnt perform as well as the 5D, based on its smaller chip, but you can truly see that they tuned this camera to the point where it is just a joy to use.
If you have 6000 USD plus some change for lenses and you are pretty much sure you are not shooting stills, you are set for a great piece of equipment. Its a very compact package that makes working on the road very pleasant and the switch from a DSLR to this camera is actually pretty straight forward.
|at work... picture by malcolm webb|