The Canon C300 has been one of our hottest rentals over the past year. No matter how many we have, they are almost always all off the shelf. Canon really did something right with this camera, and in the same “C” line they have now released the C100.
Now that we rent both, a lot of people have been asking which is right for them. Of course it depends a lot on the project, but we wanted to give everyone a quick overview on the main differences between the two cams.
The biggest difference between the two cameras is that the C300 can record at 50 Mbps 4:2:2 XF codec, whereas the C100’s highest recording capability is 24 Mbps at 4:2:0 AVCHD codec. Obviously the C300 is going to record more image information with less compression, but you can cut the cameras together without much of a problem. Because of this, a lot of people are using the C100 as a “B” cam with their C300. You can also use an external recorder with the C100 such as the Atmos Ninja or KiPro and record a clean 4:2:2 image via the HDMI port, making it pretty close to the image quality of the 300.
Another difference is the placement of the LCD screen. On the C300 the LCD is located on top of the handle, and on the C100 it flips out from right about where the battery is located on the back. I wouldn’t say one is necessarily an advantage over the other, mostly just shooter preference. The body of the C100 is also about 15% smaller than the C100.
As far as audio goes, both cameras have two XLR inputs. The C300’s XLRs are located on the LCD, and the C100’s are integrated in to the top handle. You can control levels on both. Here’s where the C100 actually has an on-board mic, you probably don’t want to use it for dialogue, but it is always nice to have a scratch mic when editing.
One thing the C100 doesn’t have that many shooter might want is a good option for slowmotion. It can only shoot 60fps at 60i, so if you’re going to be doing slow-motion this camera is probably not the best option.
Surprisingly, the C100 actually does have a couple of things the C300 doesn’t have that can come in handy. It has both one shot auto focus button and a push auto iris. While most shooters will generally want to use the camera full manual, in some documentary situations it can come in handy, or if a producer/shooter is filming.