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Why we switched to the Canon C200

Why we switched to the Canon C200

CanonC200.JPG

A while back we posted an article about how we thought the Sony FS5 was the best camera on the market. And while we still think that’s an amazing camera, we switched it up and bought a Canon C200. For those of you who aren’t gear heads, this won’t be the most fun thing you see today.

It’s all about the color

We used to shoot on a Canon C100 Mark II and that camera always delivered exactly what I thought it would. And a big part of that is Canon’s color science. Things looked how I wanted them to, it was a better connection between my brain. That’s not to say people don’t shoot amazing stuff on the FS5. We shot some stuff we were really proud of, but this was the right move for us.

No more adapters / monitors / recorders

This is another big one for me. I’m the kind of person who needs a backup or two. So shooting Canon EF Glass on a Sony E-Mount meant Metabones adapters. But then I needed a backup for that adapter. Then there was the thing I loved about the FS5, the ability to put a monitor/recorder on and get ProRes and RAW. But at the same time it restricted me. The setup was large. 7” monitors are huge and the FS5 LCD is garbage. With the C200 I get internal RAW with a comparable (to the Sony) internal non RAW Codec.

One other thing that’s important to note and helpful for us is that our office is 20 minutes from a Canon repair facility. With our still cameras, we get them cleaned and checked and back in our hands by the next day. That’s a huge bonus for a piece of gear like this.

But what about the C300 Mark II

This was my biggest debate. I knew I was going back to Canon but I didn’t love the non RAW codec on the C200. After looking at footage and testing some stuff I’ve come to realize that the codec issue isn’t really one. But I had looked at the C300 Mark II, only down side? To get the 10 bit 4:2:2 codec you need to spend $1k more than a C200 on a camera with way more hours.

It’s about where we’re going

Sure, we do corporate work and will always do that. But the RAW on the C200 and the cinema camera feels more in line with where we want our company to go.

Why the Sony FS5 is the best camera for the money right now.

Why the Sony FS5 is the best camera for the money right now.

This is a technical post for those folks who are making videos.  So if that's not you, come back next week for some less technical info.  With that said... The Sony FS5 is the best camera for the money right now.

The Competitors

Whenever you talk about the best in a category you have to look at the competition.  The Sony FS5 has been out for a while so there's a lot to compare it to.  The closest comparison is the Sony FS7.  It's a GREAT camera, we used one for a long time.  But it's very big, it's more expensive and adding RAW costs a ton.  What you get with that is a better codec but you can match it with the RAW > ProRes upgrade on the FS5 (more on that below).  The Canon C200 is another option.  But the non RAW codec for that is not usable for professional applications (in our opinion), plus it shoots CFast and those are expensive.  Blackmagic makes some great cameras if you only need RAW but it doesn't have the flexibility.

So then you're looking at stills cameras that double as video (GH5, Sony A series, Canon 5d Mark IV, etc).  When we first started we went that route.  You can get some great results, but in my professional opinion a hybrid isn't a great option as your A camera.  There are too many variables with audio connections, etc etc that can go wrong on set.  And they don't save you that much over the FS5.

Why It's Great

So then why is the FS5 so great.  Well, in my opinion it's the flexibility.  There are tons of sub $4,000 used FS5 on the market.  So already you're in about $3,000 less than the FS7.  Throw a $500 RAW upgrade on it, add in a recorder (like $1200 new) and you've got all your bases covered.  For events, quick turnarounds, small file storage, you've got the internal codec recording to cheap SD cards.  For something where you need broadcast quality 10bit 4:2:2, you send the RAW out to a recorder and go to ProRes.  For spots and high end work where you need RAW, you record that same RAW output as Cinema DNG and you're covered there.  You have flexibility and that's the key.  Throw a lens converter on it and you can use Canon, Nikon, or Sony lenses.  You can scale as the project needs it.

If you're looking for a video camera right now you'll be able to cover any project needs, save some cash, and have a camera body you can sell off and keep the peripherals when you want to upgrade.  To us, it's a no brainer.