Key Features: Super 35mm CMOS with 9.84Mpixels; Canon EF lens mount; Balanced XLR audio connections; Discrete controls for manual settings; AVCHD recording at up to 24Mbits/sec; HDMI port for recording uncompressed video

Manufacturer: Canon

Quick Glance
Weight 1020
Lens Features
Optical Zoom NA
Digital Zoom NA
Video Recording
Recording Media SD card
Video Capture Format AVCHD
Max Video Res 1920 x 1080
Minimum Lux Rating NA
Image Stabilisation Depends on lens
General Features
LCD Screen Size 3.5
On-board Storage 0
On-board Microphone Stereo
A/V ports
USB 2.0 Yes
Audio / Video Out Yes
Audio / Video In Yes
External Microphone 2 x XLR
Physical Specifications
Weight 1020
Image Processor
Image Sensor Super 35mm with 9.84Mpixels
Image Sensor Quantity 1


May 21, 2013, 9:18 pm

Ridiculously overpriced for a 1080p camcorder. For just over two and a half grand, you could get the Black Magic Design Production Camera. 4K instead of HD, built in SSD drive, no rolling shutter and 12 stops of dynamic range. Someone really needs to start eating into Canon's market share to make them realise their prices are insulting.


May 21, 2013, 11:11 pm

The BMCC/PC do have fairly different target markets to the C100 though. They're not nearly as sensitive in low light and lack the ergonomics and practicalities of the Canon cinema cameras without a load of extra gear. There's no swappable battery, the FOV crop on the BMCC is 2.4 though the BMPC has a larger S35 sensor so is good for EF mount. Damn nice footage (so much latitude) but much less forgiving if you've not got proper support so they're meant for different applications really.

Other issues which again point out the difference in application between the Black Magic cameras and Canon are simply in the codec used. RAW lossless is great and so is 4K but those files are going to be really huge. The BM cameras cater to the cinematographer superbly but leave out those with less time to grade, those without enormous data servers to store all the footage and aren't as versatile or ameniable for use in ENG, documentary or corporate/events and weddings settings. Future implementations of HEVC H.265 will again offer much greater practicality in onboard file compression and hopefully higher chroma subsampling will be the norm.

But who wouldn't want 4K, built in SSD recording/lossless compressed, 5" screen, 12 stops DR, global shutter, 6G-SDI and Thunderbolt for a lot less money? Hopefully, when BM finally start shipping these cameras (July 2013 maybe?) and people are no longer going to the likes of Canon, all the big players in the videocamera market will start to take notice. But, despite the BM cameras being superb value for money in every respect, this still doesn't detract from the important consideration that the C100 is stil a superior field camera for those looking to run and gun than the current Blackmagic Design offerings.


May 22, 2013, 12:40 am

I think if you've got over four thousand pounds to spend on a camera, you're a serious cinematographer, and wouldn't really be in the 'run and gun' mode. If you were, you'd probably go for the Black Magic Pocket Camera at around six hundred pounds! ;) Good points all, though.

Dr James Morris

May 23, 2013, 1:45 pm

Logi_N beat me to it. I did a shoot with this C100 on location at Wimbledon last week, which would not have been possible with the Black Magic Design Production Camera, for the reasons already mentioned. The true benefit was being able to capture really cinematic shots around the ground, and then head down into a darkened bunker and do impromptu interviews with little lighting opportunity. Both shots looked great. It's a really flexible tool. But I agree, and as I said in the review, it could be cheaper, and would be if there was any serious competition that can do all it can.


May 23, 2013, 10:21 pm

The main thrust of my argument is simple: there is no reason for Canon to charge these prices, other than greed. Their 'hacked' 2.5K/4K cameras at just over a quarter of the cost can do everything their higher-priced products can in terms of aesthetics. So if it is technically possible for a dramatically cheaper DSLR camera to achieve the same results, why do they lock these features? Overheating/too much strain on the components? Pfft. To encourage people to buy these 'professional' items at ridiculously over-inflated prices, that's why. (Upstream Color was shot on a hacked Panasonic GH2 - it looks gorgeous and clearly withstood the demands of shooting a feature film.) I sincerely hope a greater number of digital filmmakers look elsewhere and force these big brands to rethink their strategies.

Dr James Morris

May 24, 2013, 9:20 am

Take your point, but that's shooting a feature film, not documentary-style stuff where you have far less control over conditions. Could you capture a 50-minute continuous presentation on a DSLR? I think not. Yes, the C100 should be £1,000 cheaper, at least. But until there is serious competition it won't be. That's just simple market economics.


May 24, 2013, 3:40 pm

I don't know the details of the hack well enough to respond properly, but I would imagine it totally opens up the camera in every respect. The limit on file size is something I couldn't really lay the blame at the manufacturer, though - it's an EU stipulation isn't it? To qualify as a camera rather than a camcorder for tax purposes they have to artificially limit the maximum length of video clip you can shoot. Which seems totally barmy to me, but there you go. I do hope you didn't take any of my comments personally; I appreciate the trouble you guys go to with your in-depth reviews and value them greatly. Otherwise, I wouldn't visit the site so often! The attitude of the big camera makers, deliberately limiting the shooting options available to those on a tighter budget when it would not be prohibitively more expensive for them to implement these features is deeply frustrating, though. But that's life. The success of smaller companies may have an impact in the long run, fingers crossed.

Dr James Morris

May 24, 2013, 3:53 pm

Certainly did not take your comments personally! I'm enjoying the debate, and glad you like the detailed reviews here. Generally, I think just the price is wrong with this camera, and I did toy with the idea of giving it a lower score for value as a result. However, I just can't think of anything that shoots video this good, takes mainstream lenses, and has all the regular camcorder features I need without fiddly extra bits and bobs. I've actually just bought one for my video production business because of this. So I have put a lot of my own company's money behind my conviction! ;^>

Sam James

May 26, 2013, 2:32 am

If they gave you all the options, you would just want more. These cameras are incredible and compared to the average cost of an ENG camera ($25-50,000) these are in a great price bracket for independent professionals.


May 27, 2013, 1:25 am

No, I wouldn't want more, I'd be very happy with all those features for the price of a DSLR, actually.


May 31, 2013, 2:14 pm

Hmm. Personally I think the price for this Canon Digicam is justified. You see, I use it for pro documentary and video and so far, the lightning and color are great. Although maybe it's quite heavy but tripod can always rescue.

Claire McHardy

June 2, 2013, 12:34 am

There is a Professional DSLR called the 1D X that is priced more than the C100. You know if the price of the gear goes down. Eventually your price will go down. Every Tom, dick, larry and Garry will be walking around with professional gear and you will be out of a job. The price is fair, but the camera is a year late. That being said, I have never seen a black magic camera and know only one pro who has bought one. I would love for everything to be cheap but then I would hate to imagine the sacrifices that have been made in creating and manufacturing such a product. The work condition for the employes, the payment of the staff, the time taken to research everything, the parts and materials used. I think people are just scared to pay any money these days because we are in such a technology limbo with 4K emerging. Like I said. The camera is a year or 2 years late. Great camera.


June 2, 2013, 2:52 pm

Good for you. I think you've been seriously over-charged, and that as its newer rivals continue to grow and provide more for less, Canon will have to rethink their strategy if they wish to remain competitive beyond the brand-loyal consumer-base. But as long as you are happy with your purchase then that's all that matters.

EDIT: Given the downvote, tone may be difficult to judge, but I was actually being sincere; I was saying it's your money and if you feel it was a worthwhile purchase someone else's opinion (mine) is irrelevant.


June 3, 2013, 2:02 pm

I thought it was clear based on the earlier back-and-forth discussion what I meant. But I guess I should have specified in my tongue-in-cheek response to that earlier comment from some stranger who professed to be able to read my mind that I was referring to a consumer/sub-£1500 DSLR. (Hacked/custom-firmware consumer cameras already being capable of professional results as it is.) As for a professional 'being out of work' when the best technology is liberated and access to it is democratised, well, I disagree. Cream will rise to the top; if you have talent and skill you needn't be afraid of competition. I look forward to a future when no-one's imagination is constrained by their resources.

Claire McHardy

June 3, 2013, 3:04 pm

The liberation of technology.

Technological piracy is already common in Software and Hardware. Without the software side of things my creativity would have been constrained by my resources, so I am certainly not one to want any constraint. Hardware " piracy " is now available from ebay and I have purchased many of these knock off products when I felt they were good enough quality. I believe that when i started in the industry I had always dreamed of high quality items becoming cheap enough for me to afford and now, in comparison, the grass is becoming less green on the more expensive side of the fence.

Midian, I agree that the Cream will rise, but I dont want the cream to get paid any less than it is for good honest work. I find clients trying to squeeze more every day and many of them do not understand that it is " not the gear but how you use it ". But, I am in the business of providing my clients with the best looking product possible and if that comes with a 2000 dollar price tag or a 6500 dollar tag, I will go there like everyone else. I have built a castle of supporting equipment around my Canon 5d Mk2 because of the video it produced. Was very lucky that it was a cheap multi purpose camera. :D

These big camera companies should not be rewarded for keeping the high end technology a price bracket away from the small business owner if it does not compete at the highest level. Canon has messed up the price of these cameras as they are 1 to 2 years out of date considering this years innovations from Black magic, Sony * F5 and FS700 with new 4K upgrade * Ect ect. I think that Canon's video division is still in shock over the success of the 5D mk2 all those years ago and cannot bring themselves to allow cameras that would have been sold for $8000 dollars without complaint to be lowered to 4000 or 3000 to face the competition. It cannot be easy to stomach and I am sure it would require a serious company wide restructure. Hardware development is moving into peoples garages again, to kickstarter, and to china. The future is going to be full of liberation :) and I hope companies are financially rewarded for their innovations. The 5D mk2 was a complete accident that was ahead of its time, and Canon didn't care much about it, that is why the camera was so cheap to buy. If they had seen into the future they would never have allowed it to leave the factory. Oh how different the world would be.

I cannot complain about the price of this camera btw because my favorite camera to work with is the ARRI Alexa. It is so far out of my price range that I don't even contemplate having to spend money on it :D. Rental only. The fact that the C100 is in range of many of us, makes us feel that we deserve more from it because it is in DSLR territory. We are children of the DSLR age and lets hope that some of that spirit of accidental innovation and rebellion comes back into Canon before it is overtaken by others making cameras that Canon inspired to create.


June 3, 2013, 3:13 pm

No need to explain. It's okay. I bought that lesser than the mall price even if it was brand new because of connections so I can say it was justified. And so far, I'm contented with what it can do for me so the price is not a big deal for me. Hihi :))


June 4, 2013, 1:11 pm

I enjoyed reading your thoughtful, well-reasoned post and I'm very happy that we could find common ground.

Steve Ferneyhough

September 11, 2013, 2:52 pm

You may as well buy a Canon EOS 5D mark 3 if you already have EF lenses, for just over £2000.


October 29, 2013, 10:05 am

I shoot with DSLRs, the Sony EX cameras (EX1/3 & PMW200), the FS100 and FS700, and the C100 and C300. I sold my FS100 and bought the C100 because of the better image quality and ergonomics. DSLRs, the Black Magic range and the C100 all have their place. The C100's image, use of C-Log, dual-card recording, Electronic Shutter Control and superior audio, demonstrate that it's a camera for professionals. By stripping down the feature set of the C300 to a bare minimum, you get an image far better than the Canon 5dMk3, with ergonomics that enable it to work where the Black Magic cameras cannot, with a wide range of quality glass.

It's not perfect. No way. I really miss timelapse with accumulation shutter, lens changes require powering down the camera, and the lack of 'duration' display, and the inability to replay the last clip with audio is shocking in real life situations.

Is it over-priced? Depends on whether you're going to earn money from its output. If so, no it isn't. It's a bargain compared to the FS700, and provides more value than the 5Dmk3 if you need a sharper, clearer image in a run-and-gun package. Ideally, one would own both. But My C100 gets more work than the other cameras I own.

Run and Gun

February 25, 2014, 4:53 pm

I think its a reasonable trade off if the camera will be used everyday especially if you are capturing sound. I'm not insulted as I know pulling a rig with sound ready to go out of the bag I was it need for my job.

If you are shooting dramas and music promos then the BMD may be a great choice but no camera can fit all situations.


March 13, 2014, 7:23 pm

How can I judge how tight the 24-105mm lens can go? When I first got into digital stills, I remember the mm of those lenses were equivalent to something like double that of a 35mm camera. Is that still the case here, or no longer? In per words, when zoomed all the way in, would 105mm yield a field of view similar to that of a 200mm lens on a 35mm camera, or not? Thanks.

comments powered by Disqus