What to expect when moving from a DSLR to a Canon C100 (or other current hybrid cameras) – lenses, equipment, and other ish

by alex on October 13, 2014 in General Advice with One Comment

I bought a Canon C100 a little while ago for the things I’ve heard from it online, watching vimeo samples, and mostly because I liked the way the Canon picture looked¬†out of a DSLR (even though people moan about it all the time) so I wanted to stick with them.

Around this time, October of 2014, these things are going for about $4000 for just the body used on ebay. I found someone who was selling a kit with a Canon 24-105mm f/4 and a rode mic, so I paid $4600 for it, which i’m very happy with.

First things first – This thing is freaking big. If you’re going from a DSLR to this camera, get ready for that because I always heard it was “small”… Yeah, maybe compared to a 90’s Videotape camera, but seriously it’s a brick. It’s heavy, solid metal, and sounds like a airplane when it turns on (but only for a few seconds)

Second, there are so many buttons, and once you learn where all of them are you will be tearing up when you realize you will never have to go dig through 8 menus to find “zebra” again. Everything is where it should be on this camera, that’s why I picked it over a Sony fs100. It has like 8 record buttons (okay, like 3) and the “magnify to get focus better and then pull back out” button is right next to your thumb ALL the time.

Also, there is a nipple thing that controls the whole menu, its really fun to use.

canon c100 with 24-105mm lens is beautiful

This is how big the camera actually is on a table (instead of those pure white background photos you always see)

I’m using this for corporate video production in Phoenix and Scottsdale, AZ. I do live events and seminars, things like that. It is honestly weird being able to press record and not touch it for a 3 hour live show. Seriously. I’m so used to worrying about waiting 12 minutes and then starting again, making sure my Zoom H4n is still recording audio, trying not to touch the delicate little DSLR so that the picture won’t shake, and a billion other things. It’s just easy with this camera.

I will say that I’m much less prone to getting rad shots though. Because the camera is heavy, I don’t feel like crouching down and pointing it upwards from knee height while people are dancing at a wedding because its difficult to do since it’s bigger. I will definitely use my t3i again and again because 1.) it’s WAY more discreet, 2.) it’s so much lighter and easier to put in difficult, tiring, hazardous conditions since it’s cheap and light, and 3.) I still like taking photos ūüėÄ

What are the absolute necessities with the camera?

Well, a fluid head tripod for one – one with a sturdy shoe because the camera is actually heavy. I don’t think the cheapo amazon.com fluid head will hold it well, which I used to use. You’ll probably need a manfrotto 502 (what I have). I’m using the 24-105 Canon lens on it and I’m absolutely in love with the lens. I don’t care about it going lower than f/4 because I never want to have¬†depth of field¬†that shallow¬†anyways. Super tiny depth of field looks very amateurish now thanks to a billion kids with t2i’s and nifty 50’s (50mm 1.8 lens) and the ISO on this thing goes up to like 20,000 and it’s usable up to 12,800 – seriously. The onboard mic sounds pretty hollow, but that’s to be expected. The Rode ntg2 that I got with it is MAGNIFICENT and i’ll be leaning on it heavily forever, you will need one (or at least a shotgun mic for it)

ONE MORE THING THAT NEEDS TO BE NOTED THAT I COULDN’T FIND ANYWHERE ONLINE:

I had a Sigma 24-70 f2.8 lens before I got this new 24-105. I thought it wouldn’t be ccompatiblewith the C100’s auto-focus or something…

YES, SIGMA EX LENSES ARE COMPATIBLE WITH THE CANON C100 and C300 cameras

As long as it is an EX lens made for a full frame sensor, yes you will be fine. It will even take the Canon 18-55mm Kit lens, because there is an EF-S mode you can choose in the menu. I don’t know about sigma DC or other aps-c crop sensor lenses, because I don’t have on to try. I can’t believe I couldn’t figure this out before, nobody said anything online. I tried “can my sigma lens work on canon c100” and a billion other variants and not a word. From anybody.

The 24-70mm sigma 2.8 works perfectly on the canon c100. Autofocus is fine and the camera speaks to the lens without a problem

The 24-70mm sigma 2.8 works perfectly on the canon c100. Autofocus is fine and the camera speaks to the lens without a problem

Moving forward – if you are upgrading from a DSLR… Jesus you will lose your mind – not when you first get it, but when you actually use it. Seriously, a life changer.

Me and bae

photo 2



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