Canon C300 for a 'No budget' feature in 2020? (5 replies and 6 comments)
I'm shooting my first feature film next year, it's a 'No budget' film but I'll be using all my own equipment (I have a good set of Samyang Cinema Lenses and a lot of different lights etc).
I'm trying to decide on what camera I want to shoot the project with and to be honest, I keep coming back to the Canon C300. It's a cheap rental, it has all the bells and whistles, and has a great looking 1080p image.
The only thing holding me back on confirming this is Producers are looking at 4k, and the Blackmagic Pocket 4k, and although that's a really nice camera, I honestly think the C300 has more 'pleasing' image for this type of movie. This is just all my opinion.
They're worried about not getting on streaming services etc with the lack of 4k.
What're your thoughts? Do you think the C300 still holds up in 2019/2020?
I assume you have the lenses with EF mounts - don't use them at very low aperture (below 2.5) as the images fall apart (mushy, ghosting, etc.) so the following cameras are suitable and probably a better bet than the C300 MkI -
Canon C300 MkII
Panasonic Eva-1 (6k sensor, knocked back to 5.7k)
BMD Pocket Super 35mm (6k sensor)
I would go for one of the last two, of which the BMD is the cheapest. The 6K sensor really does make a difference, as long as you keep the aperture as small as possible. There are A/B comparisons on YouTube. The Eva is an underrated camera but is not esp. user-friendly, but is loaded with tech. features.
P.S. You will need a decent additional monitor with the Eva as the viewfinder-monitor-touchscreen thing is truely pants!
My advice would be to watch ‘Blue Ruin’ as soon as you can. Shot on a c300 and a fantastic film that also looks great. All shot on canon L lenses. I would forget about questioning the resolution of cameras at this point. Personally I would ignore the advice about what f stop to shoot at. Everything is a tool and all that counts is communicating the story you are telling as well as you can. There are no rules. The most important thing I would focus on is strong visual storytelling, through lighting, camera movement and lens choice.
I completely agree. I think I'm going to go with the C300. We've got 14 days to shoot (3 days, 3 Days, 5 days, and 3 days). I think that camera is going to help me shoot fast, and give me an amazing image that suits the story. I might even get a Ninja Blade recorder just to get that little extra out of the images for post.
If you want inspiration, check out Frances Ha (2012) Dir. Noah Baumbach and Monsters (2010) Dir. Gareth Edwards. The former was shot on a Canon 5D Mk II and the latter was shot on a Sony camcorder. Both films are fantastic stories that put more budget into what is in front of the lens than the cameras themselves. Both are shot at HD and both had heavy post-production work on the images. Frances Ha had a heavy color grade and Monsters had a lot of visual effects added in.
Although it is said far too often, story matters above all else. Go with the camera that facilitates the filmmaking process: If a cheaper camera gives you more budget to work with, go with that. If a better camera means that you can film in the way that you want, go with that.
More inspiration: look at The Office, captured on 15-year old HD cameras and lenses full of CA, streaming rights just sold for $100 million. Story story story!
*$100 million PER YEAR
Yes, I've seen Monsters. Has some nice Cinematography, I think Edwards has a great visual eye. We've deicded on the C300, but I'm actually thinking of getting a 5d Mark ii (I know, old), to go on a small gimbal for gimbal shots.
We've shot 'no-budget' shorts on the c300. Still a great camera. If you decide to go with a 5d for a gimbal, I'd suggest exploring using Magic Lantern on a 5d Mark iii with firmware 1.1.3 (firmware 1.2.3 is OK too). Then shoot 1080 Raw (MLV files). Transcode the MLVs to Prores 4444 into the Log curve of your choice.
I sold my Mark iii a while ago and I still miss the Raw from Magic Lantern. Just my two cents if it proves useful.
Of course, the story must remain paramount - but I am a businessman first and foremost and one thing I have learned over the years is, if the customer asks for X, give them X. Don't offer them Y together with a pile of excuses. If the producers ask for 4K RAW (or whatever) give them precisely and exactly that and not something else.
Something else will just send them to somebody else!
Ursa Mini 4.6k Pro or non Pro delivers 4.6k RAW. 15+ Stops of range. Pro has built in ND's and its cheaper than the Eva if you get it second hand. I've shot with both and prefer the Ursa image and you get resolve for free. You can pick up a Ursa Mini 4.6k Pro for around $4000 AUD so close to $3000 bucks if you search for it.
One thing I like about the Blackmagic Pocket 4K is a Super16 mode that shoots something like 2.6K and gives me a lot of lens options. It may be worth testing against the Canon.