The flame war between RED Scarlet Fans and C300 groupies has been heating up quite a bit as of late. Recently, visual grand master and former New York Times photojournalist turned filmmaker, Vincent Laforet (maker of the 5D MKII short, REVERIE) brought his formidable skills to bear on another short film project: MOBIUS. This time he shot entirely on Canon's C300 system and if you're still not a believer in the power of Canon... well... prepare to have your brain blown up with dynamite.
This camera is a beast, not because of what it can do but rather what it can do for the price. Pricing in around the $20,000 mark, the Canon C300 severely undercuts the $120,000 Arri Alexa and competes directly with the formidable RED Scarlet. In terms of shear portability and functionality, it would appear that the C300 can do anything the bigger boys can do - cheaper, faster and in many cases, better.
While there is no such thing as a perfect camera, there is a sweet spot of price, size and capability that, when hit, creates a truly game-changing product. The 5D MKII was one such game-changer and Canon has had the good sense to double down on that obvious success. I think this signifies a complete shift in Canon's long-term market strategy with regard to the entertainment industry. Rather than rest on its laurels, Canon's top brass have certainly been dazzled by the bright lights of Hollywood and the move towards fully developed cinema camera gear is already well underway. I can't wait to see what the future holds for Canon in this arena.
In the future cameras will trend towards bigger sensors, smaller bodies and higher dynamic range. Moore's law is in full effect here. We can expect to see prices continue to drop as tens of thousands of DP's and filmmakers clamor to get their hands on the C300 and it's competitors. All that having been said, it is still creativity, originality and the ability to tell a compelling story that makes a film worth watching. Photographers who have recently been turned on to video and filmmaking would be wise to remember that.