happy new year to you lot.
As 2018 is starting to ramp up, its time for some spring cleaning and readjustments. As the CES is just around the corner, there will be again a massive lineup of new cameras over the coming year. Each model better then the one before, all battling for our scarce money to give you the edge as a camera operator.
I have had my share of the camera race over the last few years where I learned quite a bit. I enjoyed my purchases and I can’t really say anything bad about my FS7, FS5, A7S, Gh5, PMW300 etc. but I noticed that I have a knack of downscaling over time.
I don’t enjoy, big heavy cameras. If I would weigh 20 more pounds, be another head taller and having a team traveling with me I would for sure own a bigger setup. But as I moved through the cameras, I noticed two things.
- I’m a lousy business man and I don’t earn enough to keep in the race of the “big guns”.
- Most of my clients are happy with quite a moderate standard of image quality.
Though I like to be able to squeeze some extra quality out of my footage in post ( or be able to repair some shots that I messed up during some daring run-n-gun scenario ) bottom line is, that except of my own ego, my work doesn’t demand state of the art gear.
After losing my FS5, I switched to a Gh5. Although I really enjoy the features of the camera, it really gives you a lot of bang for your buck, I got quite annoyed with being back at the DSLR level operation-style. I don’t mind DSLR’s ( or mirror less in that case ) but when you have been working with likes as the FS7, C300, FS5 etc. its just getting tiresome. I love the smaller and more modular form factor but I also enjoy the luxury of built in ND filter, all-in-one packaging and ergonomic design.
As the market went on over the last year I was pondering getting back a “real” video camera. But I had lost quite some money over the times of buying and re-selling gear that I was shying away from a brand new purchase. I was looking at the EVA1 from Panasonic and also the C200 from Canon. I had worked in the past with the C100 Mark I a few times and I generally loved the camera. When I move to Super 35mm the C100 was already outmatched by the competition so I skipped it. The C200 was just a little bit out of my price range at the current state, so I shelved that idea too.
But as I was browsing EBay just out of curiosity, I came across a very well kept C100 Mark II for around 1800 U$. On a wimp I decided to throw in my last cash and purchase it.
A 2013 camera in 2017 !? Yeah, it’s not the most obvious move. I would have surely not bought it as a new cam. But despite 4k being all over the show, a lot of my clients still operate in Full HD. I would love to have 10bit instead of the pesky 8 and I got really used to a nice 4:2:2 for post but I guess you can’t have it all.
By playing around with it, I realised though what a good camera the C100 Mark II is. The internal 4k ( scaled to Full HD on output ) really delivers great results and the color of the skin is amazing compared to the Sony color I got used to over the past years. If it only had a 4k output via HDMI then this camera could actually hold on for another few more years. The Canon Autofocus (AF) is really a treat. Usually I would never us AF, as most of my former cameras lacked seriously in that department ( I’m just saying “gh5” ), but Canon really nailed it with its Dual Pixel AF. The body is a little bit big compared to the FS5 or other who have more features and run on newer tech, but its still comfortable enough for me.
The camera might not survive the next 2 years but as a workhorse and the price tag, I’m convinced I can make my money back for the time being. Also, if the camera is going down the drain and is damaged, its not the end of the world.
And for potential 4k jobs I can still facilitate my Gh5.
Well so long…2018 is about to be happening.