The Canon C100 In Myanmar/Burma – Why It Suits Well For (Investigative) Journalism

Canon C100

Jonah Kessel went to Myanmar/Burma with an EOS C100 for the following purpose:

I went to Burma with a simple task: to investigate challenges to Myanmar’s nascent model of democracy using the mining industry as a device to talk about bigger issues. Wait, that wasn’t simple at all. In fact, that was very complicated. However, my second goal of the trip was simple: to field test the Canon C100 in a large variety of environments in a real world context.

He divides his review in four main points: 1) price, 2) functionality, 3) image and 4) complaints. The Canon C100 is on sale with a $1000 discount at both Adorama and B&H. The body only option is yours for $5499 (B&H | Adorama), the kit with the EF 24-105mm f/4L IS lens is sold for $6,099 (B&H | Adorama).

About functionality:

Simply put, there’s just less things that can go wrong using the C100 than with a DSLR setup. Having a single unit feels much more solid than a camera with lots of different devices attached to it. In the event I have to run or move quickly, this is a very desirable. In trying to keep a low profile, a C100 is simply less intimidating than a loaded 5D (to both police and subjects).

About image quality:

There’s something about the image from Canon’s C series cameras that simply looks “less digital.” Perhaps its the fact that they let you perform better, easily maintaining a 180 degree shutter rule in difficult environments. Or perhaps its the wider dynamic range the sensor lets you achieve — but the image does looks different.

[…] Beyond its ability to hold image quality with poor light, the areas where I find the picture to be much better than a DSLR come in noise and sharpness. Images come out of the C100 strikingly sharper than that of a 5D Mark III or D800.

The complaints:

The EVF is small. You might call it very small.

[…] Another item of contention is the output format. The C100 outputs AVCHD, which is a bit clunky and, quite simply, not that great. While you can get an external recorder and output ProRes 4:2:2

The conclusion:

I won’t be the first to say it but, at this price point, the C100 certainly makes me question the future of DSLRs for people whose primary use is video. It does have things that aren’t perfect about it but, for me, the benefits far outweigh the negatives by an enormous margin. While the C300 is without doubt a better camera, I’m not convinced its the best camera for people like me. For people who shoot for the web, for people who deal with real world shooting environments or for people who are trying to keep their profile low and gear size down — this camera is not only priced right, but it functions right

The review comes with a lot of videos made in beautiful Myanmar/Burma (a country I visited last year, see here for my pics).

Myanmar Emerges: Poisoned Hope from GlobalPost on Vimeo.

EOS C100 core specs:

  • Super 35mm 8.3MP CMOS Sensor
  • EF Lens Mount with EF Contacts
  • HDMI Outputs a Non-Compression Signal
  • Dual SDHC/SDXC Memory Card Slots
  • ISO 320 and up to ISO 20000
  • Wide DR and Canon Log Gamma
  • Reduced Rolling Shutter Skews
  • Built-in ND Filters with Manual Controls
  • Two XLR Audio Connectors
  • Peripheral Illumination Correction

Myanmar Emerges: Dreams to Dust from GlobalPost on Vimeo.

Myanmar Emerges: We Never Agree from GlobalPost on Vimeo.