I have been using Canon CINEMA EOS cameras since the debut of the EOS C100. I bought it on the first day it went on sale, and I also got a used EOS C300. These past two years I’ve been using other equipment, but with the launch of the EOS C200 in 2017, its in-camera 4K/RAW recording capability, compact size, and low cost all served to renew my interest in the CINEMA EOS.
Compact body with image quality that rivals top-ranked cameras
The Cine Gear Expo 2017 took place in Los Angeles in June 2017. I was able to try out the equipment and view sample projects on the big screen in the Paramount Theater. The feeling of: “A compact camera can do this much??” is still fresh in my mind.
The allure of the EOS C200 is the Cinema RAW Light, 4K RAW recording capability housed in a compact body. Until now, when shooting RAW I used the SONY PMW-F55 with a RAW recorder mounted on it, but the sample images that I saw on-screen came close (actually they exceeded) that quality. With the EOS C200, the system size becomes even more compact. Until recently, RAW recording workflow required the adoption of a team structure that had a TVCM budget, but now we can use it for business VPs and smaller projects. You could say that it is a one-man project, but I figured we could use it proactively and so we implemented it in 2018.
A worldwide standard CINEMA EOS look
I’d been interested in the C200 since the announcement, but I’d been keeping an eye on it for a while after it went on sale. The reason was part of the work flow – that is, issues surrounding the editing process. At the time of sale, there wasn’t an editing program that could handle Raw Light natively. I figured if I waited long enough, something would come along, and first there was EDIUS, followed by Davinci Resolve, and then the editing programs caught up. After this announcement is when I decided to get it.
The CINEMA EOS series has a particular look; its major feature is that it creates an original world view. Depending on the situation, you think, “I want to shoot this production using CINEMA EOS color.” That’s the kind of allure this camera series has, but personally at times I preferred to shoot with the wide DR Gamma. In 2017, when it seemed better to go with the full HD 8bit recording, we adopted the EOS C300 to create the business VPs.
Again, for example, we have clients who are international foreign-affiliated businesses, and it was often the case that for their projects and foreign productions, we used the CINEMA EOS. At times using CINEMA EOS color for business VPs made more sense for global integration. Even when we used SONY cameras for the work we did for those clients, to some extent, we moved our worldview closer to CINEMA EOS’ color, customizing the picture profile to re-create everything. You might ask, “Why don’t you just shoot with the EOS C300, so then you don’t have to do such time-consuming work?” It’s not the trend with product shoots to go with 4K as the standard, and because you can attach various accessories to the EF lens with the mount adaptor, we have been proactively choosing to go with the SONY PXW-FS5 camera. The EOS C300 Mark II is also a contender, but it looks pretty bulky, so I decided not to go that route.
The largest neck on the PXW-FS5 is the codec. This is where the EOS C200 comes in; it can handle 4K shooting in addition to Cinema RAW Light recording, so I couldn’t help but be intrigued. I’ve only started using it for a few months, but I want to incorporate Cinema RAW Light recording for business VPs in 2018.
A compact body is an advantage
For our clients’ business VPs and smaller projects, we now tend to use documentary-style techniques when shooting. There are many days for shooting now, and there are more materials that need to be shot. Things come up unexpectedly and more often than not, it’s when I’m on a one-man shoot. When that happened in the past, I thought, “I can do it on my own with the PMW-F55!” but it was torture every time. You need a team when you’re using a camera like the F55, and what I wanted most was a camera that would allow me to shoot proactively on my own.
The EOS C200’s user interface is in accordance with the C300, and anyone who is familiar with the Cinema EOS system will be able to use it easily. Personally, I often use the SONY PXW-FS5 for smaller projects, but in terms of the body size, this is a little bigger than the FS5, so it’s easy to use. A huge benefit is that you can do RAW Light recording in-camera with something this size, and it’s good because of the 8bit 4:2:0 MP4 resolution and bit-rate at 150Mbps.
My personal preference would be if the MP4 recording were 10bit 4:2:2! But in terms of work, recently I’ve begun thinking that logically you’ll have 2 choices: go with 8bit 4:2:0 MP4 or you’ll need RAW Light to deal with color. If you’re going to have to adjust the color, you should shoot with RAW Light.
When you’re recording with RAW Light, the issue is that with 128GB you can only record for 15 minutes, but now you have the larger capacity CFast 2.0. We’ve only just started using RAW Light, so in 2018 we want to be able to solidify our production environment framework.
The EOS C200 expands shooting application possibilities
Another major feature of the Cinema EOS is its AF. With the C200, you have a larger touch screen monitor, and thanks to the dual pixel CMOS AF, the accuracy and speed of the AF is now extremely practical. Questions of how or whether or not you use the AF depend on your methodology or aesthetics, but personally my approach is if it’s there, you use it.
What interests me most about using AF is trying out the C200 on a motorized gimbal. I’m hoping the dual pixel CMOS AF will perform at its best in that situation. With that application, the EVF resolution C200B body would be interesting.
I currently own two motorized gimbals: MoVI M10 and M5, but in terms of size and weight, the M10 can easily handle the C200. It’s currently being tested out, so if all goes well after using it several times on set, I’m planning to add the C200B to my arsenal.
Great pricing for the package! The camera that heralds a new era
The EOS C200 camera is not just pleasing to the eye, you can feel the difference when you hold it in your hand. The body is strong and tough, and you won’t feel the need to use a rig.
The center of gravity and weight of the body are well-balanced, and it’s sturdy, which provides added assurance during shooting. You’ll get it when you hold it in your hands, so I definitely recommend trying it out yourself.
My personal opinion is that the hinge unit (the placket to attach the 4-inch LCD unit) ought to be upgraded. It’s big and weighty but awkward, so I’m planning to use a third-party friction arm instead.
The price is astounding. With a rigid body, the price increases accordingly, but the EOS C200 is reasonably priced. Considering the performance of this camera, it’s affordable. I was amazed at the picture quality of this camera after seeing the images on the big screen at Paramount Studios, and felt we’re heading into a new age of technology.
The Canon EOS C200 camera offers a great package for users now, and this camera is perfect for those creators who are aiming high with limited resources. I think it’s important to recognize those efforts from here on in.