Thursday, August 09, 2012

The Canon C300 or the Sony FS700?

If you were buying a camera at the moment, which one of those two would you pick? That is a question that seems to keep coming up the last couple of weeks, and I ended up discussing it again last night with someone trying to make that decision. No conclusions were reached; I think part of the problem is that the head says "The Sony NEX-FS700 [$7,999] is half the price of the Canon C300 [$15,999], it doesn't make sense to get the C300" but the heart says "Yeah, but get theC300!"

As I see it, the pros and cons of the cameras (compared to one another, not to other cameras) are:

Sony FS700
  • Price (half the price)
  • High Speed (Super-slow mo)
  • Supports wide range of lenses
  • 4K maybe[1]
  • No idea what the 4K costs
  • Support for Canon EF lenses limited by the lens adapter capabilities
  • LCD panel positioning is limited
  • AVCHD compression[2]

[1] Still no info on when, what cost, and what cost for the hardware.
[2] Some people think AVCHD isn't professional, while others say it's fine. The camera also outputs through 3G-SDI, but the image quality difference between that and the AVCHD image doesn't appear to be noticeable.

Canon C300
  • Great low light sensitivity and organic looking "noise"
  • Better support for EF lenses
  • Better and more flexible LCD placement
  • C-Log [3]
  • Dual Compact Flash recording

  • Price
  • Lens choice more limited [4]
  • 8-bit, older compression format [5]
  • Price
[3] The FS700 has improved picture styles, but no Log support.
[4] You have to choose either the EF or PL mount camera.
[5] Many people think the 8-bit image is still excellent.


Julie said...

Great reviews on these gadgets. I would choose Canon C300 over Sony FS700, definitely regardless of its price.

Perth Video Production

Tom Frisch said...

I'm struggling with this very question. I have a C300 now, but the grass is greener. Actually the grass looks cooler in slow-mo. Plus I'd be saving money selling my C300 even with the added cost of a zacuto EVF, Metabones lens adapter, and some SD cards.

My ultimate questions are:
1) how important is the slow-mo?
2) how important is the 50mbit 4:2:2 C-log mpeg-2 that the Canon shoots?
3) how valuable are the alternative lens compatibility that the FS700 allows?
4) would I miss the 1/8 stop f-stop settings on the EF lenses that the C300 allows?
5) is the C300 better in low light?

AnticipateMedia said...

Wow. I had the FS100 and is noticeably inferior in image quality, codec, and general ease of use. The FS700 looked no bette to me. If money or super slow motion (which doesn't look that sharp) is key to you get the FS700. If you want a camera that moves fast, looks significantly sharper, handles highlights much more naturally, and has a broadcast ready, easy to edit high bitrate codec, go C300. I'd never go back to the FS cameras. F3 yes, C300 yes, FS no way.

Tom, unless you need the money you're just taking a huge step backward.

Anonymous said...

If you mostly shot 24p cinema stuff and don't need the 240fps then I would get the C300. I've used both and own a FS700 the images from a C300 are more filmic whereas the FS700 is more video-ie, especially in the highlights. We use the FS700 as a stunt/gag camera in small portions to cut in with Alexas. In my situation the return on investment vs what production wil pay ijn rental made the 700 a better deal

Unknown said...

Hey Guys,
I've read what all of you guys have had to say... and I agree with all of valid points made.
For me the only two options at this point is either to buy an FS700 or Not! As thats all i can afford right now.
However would you guys say its a better option to a Canon 5d Mark 3 or a 1D with its 4K for that matter.
I am really confused weather FS 700 is worth investing all my savings into?