Canon C100 Mark II Review
Deciding which camera to invest in can be a troublesome experience. ‘Prosumer’ cameras, in the upper echelons at least, can reach a lofty five-figure price tag. Knowing whether a camera can perform the tasks you need it to, or perform in certain conditions can be difficult.
Lists of the C100 Mark II specifications are readily available, but sometimes specifications are difficult to translate into real world application. Having used the first C100 several times we decided to buy our own MKII kit. Here are some of the pros and cons.
If you are filming outside and it is a particularly bright day (lucky you), you may find the OLED monitor not quite up to the task. The C100 Mark II’s viewfinder has an eyecup attachment to block out external light. This provides a clearer image of what you are recording.
We would all love a sound engineer with high-quality equipment recording everything that our HD camera captures, but just in case this is unfeasible, the C100 Mark II has a built in microphone that will record basic quality audio. Of course the effectiveness of the microphone diminishes rapidly in heavy winds, or loud spaces.
Built in ND Filters
Small filters that are adjusted with the mere flick of a button (actual sequence may be longer) that allow you to maintain an appropriate aperture range in bright surroundings. Another feature that assists for those sunny external recordings alongside the viewfinder.
The C100 Mark II’s impressive sensor allows the shooting of scenes under particularly low light. This is handy for certain situations, for instance when moving the camera from place to place without much time to set up. Being able to record quality footage quickly on the spot is a great advantage.
The menu set up along with the re-configurable buttons located externally on the C100 Mark II has been carefully crafted. Interchanging between aperture, ISO, shutter speed, and focus is fluid, and that means it is fast. As with all cameras it can take a moment to get accustomed to where everything is, but we do find it to be one of the easiest cameras to set up, with our resident DOP ready to record within 2 minutes.
Although official specification lists will state a whopping 420-minute battery life, this is not recording specific. In native PAL (50hZ) at a PF25 frame rate recording time will be up to 280-minutes. Still, this is with the stock battery (BP-955) you receive with the C100 Mark II and purchasing a BP-975 Battery Pack increases recording time to the aforementioned 420-minutes. The battery packs are also compatible with Intelligent System. This means you can check the remaining battery life simply by pushing the appropriate button on the pack.
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We’re not particularly fond of gimmicks here at Elstree Film Design, but we are partial to a bit of beautifully executed time-lapse recording. The C100 Mark II does not have this function. We’re by no means saying this is a deal-breaker, but simply that we’re disappointed that the stunning imagery captured by the camera cannot be accentuated by such a feature.
Along with these pros, and singular con, there are the basic requirements that we needed the camera to have. Multiple XLR ports, a hot shoe plate attached to the handle for external equipment, dual SD memory card slots, and the ability to dis-assemble all the attachments. Reducing the camera to its basic body means the ability to utilise the camera within steadicam equipment such as ‘easy-rig’ (parts sold separately).
If this is a step too far up the ladder then check out our Canon 650D DSLR review here.