Canon EOS C100

Canon’s 4th medium-format style Cinema EOS product, the new Canon EOS C100, will be shown at IBC. It is smaller, lighter and more affordable than the C300. The C100 weighs 2.2 lb and comes in Canon EF mount only. The camera portion is pretty much identical to the C300 and 500, using the same 8.3 Megapixel sensor. Image creation is the same.

C100 records HD only. Its AVCHD codec uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 compression with a maximum recording bit rate of 24 Mbps in full HD 1920 x 1080 and 4:2:0 color. It records to dual SDHC or SDXC cards (class 6 and faster), not CF cards like the C300 and C500. At 24 Mbps, that’s about 3 hours of recording onto a 32 GB SD card.

The C100 should be ready in time for your favorite DP’s holiday shopping list this season, and at $7,999 (almost ½ the C300) the entry level prices of 35mm cine cameras continue to drop. To get the cost down, Canon took out some of the C300’s advanced features. There is no HD-SDI output—the C100 has HDMI connections. No genlock, no timecode in/out. Audio comes in via two XLR receptacles in the handle. There is also a stereo mike in the handle.

The EOS C100 digital video camera is approximately 85% of the size of the C300—the body is shorter and lower in profile. Good news: screw holes are in the same place on the bottom.

The C300 has a push auto iris, one-shot auto focus (or full manual focus and exposure control), 3.5″ LCD control panel, built-in ND filters. The LCD monitor is slightly smaller, at 3.5″ with about a million dots. The .24″ EVF is also slightly smaller than the C300, with about 1.5 million dots.

The C100 has two things which its older siblings do not have: 1-shot autofocus and push auto-iris. With 1-shot autofocus, you see a square in the center of the image. When you push the autofocus button, a frame at the center of the image will glow green when it is in focus. When you pan or tilt, hit the 1-shot autofocus again if you don’t have a camera assistant at your side to pull focus. The Push Auto Iris adjusts exposure when you press its button.

These innovations make the C100  suited for solo, run-n-gun style shooting. This is a mobile, high performance cine camera intended for low budget TV, documentaries, indies, corporate, wedding, event, film schools, museums, medical, journalists, law enforcement, government, and freelancers. That’s a large swath of the population, and a sizeable segment of the 80-million EF lens owners in the cosmos.

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