One of the Canon execs said that the development period for the C300 was extremely short, something like 2 years. I suspect that the lack of time is why the C300 uses the XF300/305/100/105 codec and is, therefore, limited in its data output rate and its frame rate. Like others have said, maybe Canon will get it right the next generation.
I don't doubt that Canon will. If the 2 years is right, that means that the decision to go ahead with the C300 was made in the months after the 5D3 firmware release that provided manual control over aperture, shutter speed and ISO for movie mode. Canon quite clearly kicked off the development of the C-DSLR at the same time but how many other cameras? I'd wager at least one more - similar to the C300 - but without the time constraints.
Saying that maybe Canon will get it right in the next generation
implies that they got it wrong with this one. I'd disagree with that or rather, given the time constraints, they got as much right
as one could reasonably expect them to.
If Canon were more in touch with their users, and the marketplace, they would have priced this camera at $4,995 and been an internet sensation. People would have been falling over themselves to order it. But starting at $20K and dropping the price just makes people wonder what's wrong with it.
I don't think that Canon were aiming for the C300 to be an "internet sensation". Look at the announcement - set in Hollywood, aimed at the film studios, etc.
For me, the fact that it only captures 50Mbps at 1080p (not even 2K, much less 4K), that it's own auto-focus lenses won't auto-focus on it (but will on the Scarlet) - that in many ways it delivers what people were expecting from the upcoming 5D MK3, a sub-$3000 camera.... What can I say? I hope the 5D MK3 at least delivers what I have come to expect from my two GH2s - a true 1080p camera with no moire or aliasing and records non-stop for hours if need be.
I believe that Canon believe that the kind of person that would use the GH2 for a professional video shoot is not the same as would use the C300. As a 3rd party, without their own lens lineup (and as an outsider trying to enter the market), Scarlet needed to have new
features to attract others - hence autofocus. But how often is that used vs focus pullers?
I think that there are a lot of people who want the C300 to be something other than what it is.
As for the price, my recollection of the C300 announcement is that Canon was not firm on what the price would be when released, so perhaps Canon is not yet 100% sure on where to price it to be competitive, etc. The "change" from 20k to 16k thus seems fair.