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The Canon Cinema EOS C300 Mark II is the top choice for documentary filmmakers at Sundance 2021

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The Sundance Film Festival wrapped this past week, the largest independent film festival in the United States. Beyond the films, I also find it interesting which cameras are used to make the films in the festival. The choice cameras tend to differ a lot between documentary filmmakers and narrative filmmakers.

This year, the Canon Cinema EOS C300 Mark II was the runaway choice for documentary filmmakers, it was used in 8 of the 18 documentaries shown at Sundance.

sundance2021 728x364 - The Canon Cinema EOS C300 Mark II is the top choice for documentary filmmakers at Sundance 2021

YM Cinema dug deeper into each film to come up with the above charts showing all of the primary cameras used for each film at Sundance.

The Cinema EOS C300 Mark II was the king of documentaries, as its affordable price, ease of use, compact and just as reliable as any professional Canon camera. It’s the ideal camera for single shooter productions.

On the Narrative side of things, ARRI remains king with the ARRI ALEXA Mini far and away the most popular camera for productions.

Outside of that, you can a hodgepodge of all sorts of cameras from RED, Sony and Blackmagic and even the Canon EOS 5D Mark III and EOS 5D Mark IV make the list.

 

privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
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This is the perfect example of knowing your equiptment is more important than what equipment you have.
I don't think it illustrates that, I think it illustrates the point that 'videographer' is a massively wide field that encompasses all kinds of very different budgets and equipment capability requirements.

What has made the Canon king in the documentary arena? AF. Where is AF not a critical requirement? Narratives.
 

privatebydesign

I post too Much on Here!!
CR Pro
Jan 29, 2011
10,286
5,416
Is it a camera approved by Netflix, Prime Video, HBO Max and other streaming services?
It turns out that doesn't actually mean anything. Well not according to several content creators I have heard talk about camera specs.
 

jvillain

EOS RP
Sep 29, 2018
264
209
It turns out that doesn't actually mean anything. Well not according to several content creators I have heard talk about camera specs.
Yah, it really doesn't. If you are hired directly by Netlix to produce a Netflix Original for them then you need some thing from their list. Otherwise no. Their list is also not that great of a yard stick to measure any thing. There are a number of really fantastic cameras that aren't on the list. It's a fun talking point like sports rankings but that is about it. It's not like Netflix produces that many originals. If they do hire you they will provide enough budget to rent if you need to.
 

landon

EOS 90D
Jul 26, 2020
144
183
Off topic.
This week we find out that the emperor has no clothes at all. In fact there is NO emperor.
a1= Ugly looking R5, with crap ergonomics for pros, no top LCD screen, worsen Ibis. It is just an overpriced a9iii. But Sony has no pro body ready and so just named it a1, to make it look like they have a pro body to compete with Canikon.
Sony has killed two birds with one stone here. Their own birds. The overpriced a1 is DOA, and it's dragging the aura of the a7Siii down with it, with 'influenzers' telling peeps that the a1 is (a7rv, a7siii, a9ii) combined and therefore warrant the exorbitant price, so stop whinging, and it's just on par with the R5. Making the R5 looks better than even the fantastic a7siii for video.
 

Bernard

EOS 90D
Mar 18, 2015
139
2
Netflix approves cameras based on a list of must-have features that make their job much easier. Famously, their list doesn't include most Arri cameras because they aren't technically 4K. Other than that, it's a good way to tell what cameras have all the features that bigger productions need, like timecode. Every current Canon cinema camera is on their list, except for the C200.

The C300 isn't just popular because of AF. It's tough as nails, has great colour, has a huge lens lineup, and generally works well in documentary situations. In other words, it's the 5D of cinema cameras: something you can lean-on for years, and that won't let you down. It's also the go-to for most reality TV gigs, and you can find owner-operators almost everywhere.
 
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PerKr

EOS 90D
Jul 11, 2018
125
132
Sverige
Off topic.
This week we find out that the emperor has no clothes at all. In fact there is NO emperor.
a1= Ugly looking R5, with crap ergonomics for pros, no top LCD screen, worsen Ibis. It is just an overpriced a9iii. But Sony has no pro body ready and so just named it a1, to make it look like they have a pro body to compete with Canikon.
Sony has killed two birds with one stone here. Their own birds. The overpriced a1 is DOA, and it's dragging the aura of the a7Siii down with it, with 'influenzers' telling peeps that the a1 is (a7rv, a7siii, a9ii) combined and therefore warrant the exorbitant price, so stop whinging, and it's just on par with the R5. Making the R5 looks better than even the fantastic a7siii for video.

I would argue that Sony's A9 series, and by extension the A1, is just as much a pro body as what Canon, Nikon, Olympus (which is no longer Olympus) have on offer. They don't have the integrated battery/vertical grip but then neither did Canon before the 1D or Nikon before the F5 and nobody ever said the EOS-1/n/v or the Nikon F1/F2/F3/F4 weren't pro bodies. And as far as pro bodies go, the A1 is still not as expensive as the latest 1Dx or Nikon D6 even if it is a noticable amount more expensive than the A9 and not really enough of an improvement to justify it.

Returning on topic, it is interesting that the C300mkII is so popular for documentaries. Apparently, 4K 60p, FF sensors and tiny bodies aren't as important as some internet warriors would have you believe.
 
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PowerMike G5

I'm New Here
Sep 11, 2018
12
8
Yeah, reliability, flexibility, and IQ are the most important aspects. Not always on edge bleeding specs. When you're in the throes of production, all those things internet warriors lust about just fade into the horizon.

Having owned the C300 Mark II for years, it really is a great Swiss army knife of a camera. Really adaptable to most types of productions, from run and gun to full crew narratives. The C300 Mark III really fixes most of the omissions of the Mark II, so it should last for many years to come. Regarding Netflix, I believe the Mark III was approved within the month of release.
 

EOS 4 Life

EOS R
Sep 20, 2020
857
692
Am I the only one surprised by RED being more popular in documentary than narrative?
Other than maybe Gemini RED cameras tend to need serious lighting.
 

EOS 4 Life

EOS R
Sep 20, 2020
857
692
The C300 Mark III really fixes most of the omissions of the Mark II, so it should last for many years to come. Regarding Netflix, I believe the Mark III was approved within the month of release.
So was C70 which is more capable than C300 Mark II is a lot of ways.
 

PowerMike G5

I'm New Here
Sep 11, 2018
12
8
So was C70 which is more capable than C300 Mark II is a lot of ways.

Yes, they both share that DGO sensor, which is really amazing. If anything, these 2 cameras make a delineation of user base now. The C70 being very friendly to single operator productions/run and gun and the C300 Mark III being better suited to larger productions that need the outputs/raw internal video/larger frame for better camera rigging, etc.

The ergonomics, usability and better image quality capabilities of the Mark III are what differentiate it here.
 

EOS 4 Life

EOS R
Sep 20, 2020
857
692
Yes. C300 MKii is Netflix approved, so I’m sure it’s approved for other services.
Prime Video used to host just about any independent video but it is a lot harder now.
The difficult part was getting a theatrical run.
I think the easiest one now is YouTube movies.
 
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