Saturday, November 12, 2011

Canon C300 vs RED Scarlett.. and FCPX goes in the recycle bin.

It's been very tempting to blog on the recent releases from Canon and RED...but everyone's at it and i'm sure i don't need to be clouding the landscape with my views. I've sat back, read a lot, listened to other film makers and slowly come up with some clarity...i think.

From where i'm standing, the C300 is a bit of a disappointment.  It's features are close to what we all wanted from a 'Pro' Video DSLR...but not quite there. The form factor is ok... things like that don't matter too much these days as most drama film makers need to mount it on a rail system small is good. But, the price....Jesus!! If Canon had made it compete with the FS100 and AF100, they would have cleaned up... a whole new generation of film makers would have flocked to it. But at around £10k without a lens... ouch. That's put it firmly in the Pro market....and probably the bottom end of the Pro market... which is never a good place to be in my opinion. And anyway... how does it cost that much? I don't see where all that extra over the price of a 5D Mk2 is going... £5k i could have understood...but £10k? No thanks.

The Canon C300.

The new RED Scarlett specs are kind of what we were all expecting. They've dumped the 2/3 sensor in favour of a 35mm one and they've gone with an interchangeable lens system in either Canon or PL flavours.  Lots of bloggers are kicking up saying that the Scarlett isn't usable without spending an extra £5k on storage and batteries etc...and with a new RRP of $9750...which will probably still be around the same in £s once it's shipped here...its looking like an expensive option. Other issues include RED's slightly unstable operating system which has caused people like Phil Bloom issues with his RED Epic and also the sheer size of the data the RED generates. You'll need a DiT and shit-load of HD space to work with it.

RED's latest incarnation of the Scarlett. Will it finally see the light of day without any more spec changes???

At this stage, my money's on Canon to win this little game... the Scarlett has been coming in one form or another for about 3 years.... i'm bored of waiting. It really needs to be stunning to make the wait worth while.... and i think it's going to a pain in the arse to all but the most professional users who are prepared for it's quirks and lengthy workflow. The C300 on the other hand, although far from perfect is ready to shoot out of the box and will be far easier to deal with in post. Early reports suggest that the pictures this thing generates are amazing and contradict what the hardware and codec might imply would be's apparently a very cinematic image. Canon know their i'm hopeful these rumours are true.

I'm sticking with my Sony FS100.... it's turned out to be the best choice for my kind of budget and after having started on the edit of my latest feature i shot on it...i can confirm it is truly a stunning image.

One more thing...

A few months ago i was singing FCPX's praises. I must confess that i have gone back to using FCP7 this week. FCPX crashed on me after a 5 hour editing session and lost all my work...gone...without trace. I was really not happy with that. I was also really missing some of my plug-ins that are FCP7 only still... so for now, i'm using the old trusty 7 to edit my film. Apple need to sort FCPX out... losing work in a professional situation is not an option. Rant over...

Until next time...


  1. you need to drop fcp and shift to premiere pro

  2. I actually started on Premiere on the PC, then moved to Premiere on the Mac...but then moved to FCP. I've tried the latest version but it's just not for me. It seems very behind in lots of ways and everything seems to take longer... probably because i'm not used to it. I'll stick with FCP7 until FCPX is fixed and up to the job.