Canon C300 Digital Video Camera + Red Scarlet X


Developing story about Canon's latest Video Camera over at the Engadget live blog here: From the internet they approx $16,000 $20,000 dollars and available starting January 2012.

And even before the conference is over, Zacuto is already showing it on a basic shooter.


Red also announced their Scarlet which throws out some awesome specs in a sub $10K camera. There's pricing on a kit around $13K-$14K. Scarlet-X has a 2/3 an S35 sensor capable of 5k stills and 4K video at 25fps. Lower resolution to 3K enabled 48fps, 2K @ 60fps, and at 1K 120fps. The Red Scarlet is said to begin shipping in just a few weeks. Sounds fairly inexpensive for such a camera, but don't forget the SSD media you'll need to shoot with. Those alone can quickly bring the price of shooting up several thousands of dollars. One good point about Canon's C300 is that the dual CF card slots can be used to have a real time backup of your footage on uber cheap media. How much is that worth to some people?

While RED has made it's very impressive announcement, Canon still has another 4K concept DSLR body waiting to be unveiled. A mystery DSLR that is sporting the Cinema badge. Engadget writes - promised to be "ideally suited for cinematographic and other digital high-resolution production applications". Should be shooting at full 4K resolution @ 24p. The current 1DX is already sporting dual CF slots also, so i'm thinking the latest Cxxx DSLR will have the same. Seeing how they announced the 1Dx at about $7K and the new C300 at about $20K, my guess this mystery DSLR will fall somewhere around the $10K mark.



71 thoughts on “Canon C300 Digital Video Camera + Red Scarlet X

  1. Here's my 1c.
    These two cameras are clearly jockeying for position in the pricing scale. Canon coming in way cheaper than the Alexa, and Scarlet coming in cheaper than the C300. RED does not have Canon's --or even more Sony's-- industrial base and financial resources. For RED, every new product is betting the farm on that product and if they launched the wrong product, it could break them. Sony, ehhh, they launch five variations of the same camera per year, if they're not a hit, they'll launch five more the next six months, no sweat.

    With the C300 Canon is clearly trying to capitalize on the unbelievable success of the 5DMKII by going all in into a market that previously didn't exist (and certainly did not exist for Canon), a few years ago. The fact that they have a 4k sensor in the C300 clearly shows the direction they will be going in the near future, depending on the market's reaction. But I guess they figured that 1080p is enough for now, since after all, Alexa is a hit and it costs a lot more. I guess people are under the impression that 4k (let alone 4k raw) is more problematic to handle in terms of file size and computer processor speeds at the moment. (I don't know, I've never worked with RED footage).

    I've followed the possible specs for Scarlet since its initial announcement. The $3,000 3k camera was a nice dream, but obviously it did not make sense for them financially, and then they said 6 or 7k. But you can obviously tell RED agonized over what specs to go with until the last moment. Up until a few months ago, the official specs were of a 3k, 2/3 fixed lens camera, which, in my opinion, would have been catastrophic, because if the DSLR revolution accomplished one thing, was to get low-end, event, indie shooters to migrate to the removable lens camera bodies.

    So clearly RED thought that they had to come in below the C300, while giving the consumer more value for their money, if they were going to go against Canon's brand name. Scarlet ended up being a removable lens, S35, 4k RAW camera, essentially an Epic with less processing power. On paper it represents substantial value over Canon (and Canon's brand name). If the image quality, especially in terms of dynamic range and low light is there, it will be a big hit. Especially if you can use generic SSDs for storage :)

  2. Paul

    The two announcements, (well 4 really if you count Canon's earlier announcement and the much earlier launch of the Sony FS100) point to some clear divisions of who has gravitated to cheesycam and the DSLR community in general . With the advent of comparatively cheap Canon DSLRs there has been a flood of people that now call themselves "filmakers" without any real sense of what has gone on before and what ultimately is the reality of technology and the ever present existence of something always better. Technology is not democratic and the cheapness and amazing quality that DSLRs give have given people that idea that everything should cost no more then a 7D and it should get better and better. It can only be truly democratic if all cameras cost the same as a piece of paper. They don't and technology and development cost money that results in cameras that are out of reach of the DSLR masses. The upper hand will always be in the hands of those with more money and that target keeps moving. These new cameras are actually cheap in the world of big money pro broadcast and film making. They also have different specs for different audiences. The frame of reference for the future of making TV or films might just not be the form factor of a DSLR. This could just be a very interesting side trip that we are taking. (Which I am loving), But anybody that has shot seriously with the alternatives knows exactly the weakness of the DSLR format- I have shot everything from 35mm to pixal2000 to flip to produce work and at the end of the day sometimes you just wish you had a video camera instead of a still camera with a lot of stuff hanging off it. The opinions expressed about these cameras also point out the the differences in what people are asking of their equipment. If you are a student that makes films to post on Vimeo and shoot cool stuff with your friends you can work from any hacked rig you want or work around limitations. If you are a filmaker that knows the work is going to a screen blown up huge you have different real quality issues. If you are a commercial producer as I am that has clients that demand you work from a story board that has been approved by an agency or an industrial or business client they don't have the time for work arounds and images structured around limitations- they want results fast and sometimes they want to see the big boy camera they are paying for. There is no one size for all. Sometimes I get better work done with my 60D. It just depends. There also seems to be this obsession with specs here that doesn't match up with the needs of most people that hope to or do make money from all this. If you live by technology you die by it- there will ALWAYS be something better. Instead the currency of your work is your ideas. You don't need 4k to shoot a video that only exists online, you need a great idea and execution. Don't be "a guy with a camera" be a "cameraman"
    Not just here but all over the place there is this idea that one camera is "right" and the others are "wrong"- It could not be further from the truth. I mentioned earlier that I agree with emm that in spite of the obvious limitations of the FS 100 I am going to make that a purchase and go with RED or whatever when the budget or project demands. That might not work for some at all but I think that there is a reason to go with Scarlet or Canon or whatever that can be as valid for me as a totally different choice for someone else. All these cameras make EXCELLENT images compared to just a few years ago and whatever your choice I hope you make amazing work and earn enough money using these TOOLS, because that is all they are.

  3. @ Jason.

    Yeah I guess I'm just delusional...
    It seems no one is talking yam yam about the sensor size and the resolution at 4K and how the scarlet shoots raw and what not... Yeah just me.

    Oh but come to think about it... you were the first person to post:

    November 3rd, 2011 at 4:36 pm

    "1,000 of tv reslotion.

    This thing is going to be more sharper than ex1! That’s very nice!

    Also the 4k sensor/1080p record is a great start if you ask me."

    If that is not talks of resolution then I dont know what it is, Case Closed.
    This post is too old to keep coming back to see if you had something smart else to say, tootles!


    Not at one time have I thrown out any resolution specs out there, all I have been saying in the 2 to 4 comments I have made is we can make beautiful images with whatever we have at hand as we have been doing so without any of these cameras that none of us have yet to touch.


  4. Emm

    Post author

    @Apostolos - When video quality is a top priority, there's plenty of cameras that outperform the FS100. Unfortunately, there's much more to doing video as a business than just the 'video quality' out of a camera. I need to have many of the other features and options the FS100 provides all in one box. The GH1 might be excellent in perfect lighting conditions, but I don't think it will perform as well in lower lighting compared to the FS100. The FS100 might not be suitable for every situation, for most of the stuff i'm doing I think it's the best fit.

  5. Hey Emm:

    You're saying you might consider an FS100 for some types of project. Vitaly, or St. Vitaly as I call him, had published a point-by-point comparison of the hacked GH1 to the AF100 to prove that the GH1 is at least as good if not better image-wise, and of course price-wise, it's $500-550 vs 5k. Even if you add the Zoom or Tascam, mic, etc, from a cost stand point, there is no comparison. A friend of mine owns an AF 100 and that slow-ass $900 14-140 Panasonic is bundling with it, and after he saw the footage we were getting with hacked GH1s and fast Canon FD lenses he was kicking himself. But he made an excellent point. That he can't really show up on a job with his main camera being a GH1, even fully configured on a rig, because employers who are not following the developments in the field, will get nervous. So, my question is, is the FS100 really worth the money over a GH1 or more accurately a GH2 with Vitaly's new super-duper 147 Mbits hack, or a lot of its value is the perception of having a "pro video" camera to get jobs with?

  6. Jason

    Is it just me or serge just talking to talk? I dont see anyone going on and on about resolution as much as you are?

  7. LaGrudge

    To write an entire article like this and not mention the main difference between cameras, sheesh.

    Scarlet is recording 4k RAW
    C300 is recording 1080P MPEG2

    Game over.

    It'd be like comparing RAW and JPEG in the stills world.

  8. I just have to keep coming to this post, people keep blasting how much more pixels and resolution a camera has will make your final product that much better! For gods sake we are currently watching House footage shot on a canon 5D Mark 2 every week.

    We are seeing footage mixed from Iron man 2 shot with Canon 5D mark 2 and even some footage that has made it into the new Avengers movie shot on an IPHONE 4s!

    But thanks for the entertainment technophobes!

    The Avengers trailer:

    The Avengers cinematographer Seamus McGarvey was quoted saying...

    “The beauty of photography or cinema is that you make every choice based on the content at hand. On The Avengers, I did a couple of shots on the iPhone and they are in the movie. In fact, they are in the trailer! I understand that sometimes there is no choice and you have to go for the cheapest option, but if you are limited for choice, you can still make poignant decisions that will effect the look of the film.”

  9. Paul

    Oh yeah- the final decision maker- Sony NXCAM®
    SUPER 35MM CAMCORDER AND 128GB FLASH MEMORY UNIT COMBINATION REBATE- Buy a FS100, (without lens), and the flash memory ($670 bucks normally) and Sony will give you $500 back. That brings the cost of that pricey flash drive down to under $200 bucks and gives you 11hrs of video as well as plug and play download. This offer good till Dec 15th and you can get it through B&H. Sold and Done.

  10. OK... the sensor is very good BUT.... 8bit Mpeg-2 Long GOP 422 50Mbs MXF???? that is an old codec from Sony HDCAM, is a 5 years old codec... and if you have a full HD sensor for each color, why you degraded to 8bit?? and long GOP is not bad, but even AVCHD at 24Mbs is better... and no HD-SDI or HDMI 444 output or RGB Uncompresed for US$20.000??? are you out of your maind... is like a fantastic camera 4 years latter; some one said that is for rental market for CINEMA, ohhh please, maybe RED Epic, but now we have SONY F65 with a 8K senser recording in 4K real; so if you need to rent a camera for a CINEMA production you'll go for an HD or an 8K or a 4K real???, for cinema you need I-Frame only system, 444 if posible and at last 10bit; so please be realistic, this camera is in the middle of the way to everyway...

  11. @Emm, You might want to go change that 2/3 sensor typo or people wont leave you alone with the "scarlet has a S35 sensor not a 2/3 inch"


  12. Paul

    I was waiting for both announcements to make a choice regarding the Sony FS100 and I am in complete agreement with Emm. For what pays the bills the Sony is going to be my choice. Would I want to shoot a feature with it? Maybe, but the Canon and the Red are better choice for that. Before DSLRS if you got a big project you rented the best and with Canon in the $20k range and Red out there FINALLY with the Scarlet,I will do what I did in the past for those big projects-RENT- in the mean time my meat and potato work is great with Sony and there is enough left over to show a profit (that is besides buying all the cool stuff emm continues to find...)

  13. The SSD media is horribly expensive. It's like Sony's strategy to get more money out of the buyer by using those proprietary super expensive SxS media. My question is, you can't use CF cards with the Scarlet? They do have a CF module (i.e. connector) for the Red One, this does not work with Scarlet? Still the base price for it is around 14k.

  14. Mark

    Emm, the scarlet has a S35 sensor not a 2/3 inch, I was present at the unveiling and they explicitly say that it uses the exact same sensor as the EPIC.

  15. @Emm, with you on that one. The Micro43 mount allows for an array of quality manual lenses, making the FS100 a good choice for the budget minded. And it's also an easy transition rig-wise, since most of your old DSLR gear will fit with its modular design.

  16. Emm

    Post author

    @Steve M - I'm confused by the question. I think if anyone had a necessity for a camera, then I guess it would make sense to find a way to buy it or just rent it. Me personally, i've already mentioned earlier that i'm looking more towards the Sony FS100 now that Canon has announced these options. I'd like a camera that has better low light than an average DSLR, and still have interchangeable lenses. I was hoping Canon would deliver something that would fit my budget and projects. The Sony FS100 seems to be the right choice for me personally (right now). If I need something better, I can always rent.

  17. Steve M,

    This may sound like a stupid question, but I'm curious, if you had the money, would you buy the C300? And if so, why would you buy it? Would it be out of necessity or would it be you just have to have it, or possibly none of the above?

  18. Emm

    Post author

    @Everyone - I think it was just the last two camera announcements that caught everyone by surprise. It was the Canon 5D Mark II, T2i, 7D, and 60D that really drove Canon's video market and they moved away from that to announce two very high end expensive cameras. Almost like they forgot where their HD DSLR roots started. I'm glad Canon is playing in Hollywood and making these new cameras, but it's been 3 years and they still haven't provided much improvements over the original Canon 5D Mark II for a sub $2500 dollar camera. The big reason is because they don't want to make a camera that could jeopardize their video camera line, so they keep some key features limited like clean HDMI out (they said so in a recent interview).

    I think we're just more impatient than anything. While we're big Canon fans and await the next best Canon, Sony and Panasonic are making cheaper cameras with awesome qualities. I'm seriously considering the FS100 after seeing these last releases. It might not be as good, but it will fit into my work flow and only run about $5K.

  19. Steve M,

    This camera is a direct result of heavy influence from some very heavy hitters. Canon went to the bats and asked them what type of lumber it would take to enter the high end user market, the result, C300. Does It all make sense? I really can't say, but what I do know is Canon definitely changed the entire video production profession forever with the 5DMarkII.

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