First Look: Canon EOS C100

The Canon EOS C100 is the entry-level camera in the expanded Cinema EOS range. It produces Super 35mm digital cinema footage from a body that is 15% smaller and 410g lighter than the EOS C300. The C100 has been designed with smooth and highly efficient workflow in mind and shares many features found in the EOS C300.

The EOS C100 offers independent videographers a small, lightweight camera that is capable of speeding up workflow and maximising efficiency, yet still retains many of the key qualities and benefits of the larger Cinema EOS System cameras. Our resident video expert Arrius recently took the C100 out for a spin with an Audi R8 to take a first look at what it can do.


  • Super 35mm-equivalent 8.3 Megapixel Canon CMOS sensor with Bayer pattern filter.
  • EF lens mount; over 70 EF lenses available for the EOS C100.
  • One–Shot Auto Focus/Push Auto Iris/Auto White Balance features; optimised for single operator use.
  • Compact, modular design; 15% smaller than EOS C300.
  • 24Mbps (Max) MPEG-4 AVCHD/H.264 recording, 4:2:0 colour sampling.
  • ISO range of 320-20,000 with wide dynamic range (12 stops achievable when shooting Canon Log Gamma or Wide DR Gamma).
  • Stereo microphones built in to detachable handle, Pro XLR connectors included on the handle.
  • New Wide Dynamic Range (Wide DR) Gamma setting.
  • Two SD memory card slots with relay record or simultaneous record options. SDHC/SDXC supported.
  • Three built-in, manually controlled glass ND filters; 2, 4 and 6 stops.
  • Long life from supplied BP-955 battery.
  • DIGIC DV III image processor.
  • Comprehensive NLE support; Data Import Utility software included.

The ‘imaging heart’ of the EOS C100 is the same large, 8.3 Megapixel Super 35mm Canon CMOS sensor that was first seen in the EOS C300 and C300 PL cameras. Allowing near motion-picture quality, this sensor has a pixel size that is larger than that seen in conventional professional camcorders.

The much greater light-gathering capability of the new Cinema EOS System dramatically reduces noise in low light situations, delivering clean, high-resolution images in natural light setups where filmmakers would need extra lighting when shooting with a conventional camcorder. The enhanced sensitivity of the CMOS sensor used in the Cinema EOS range allows the C100 to capture images with lower noise levels, evident at high ISO settings, up to a maximum ISO of 20,000.

The CMOS sensor reads 1920x1080 Full HD video signals for each of the three RGB primary colours to deliver signal processing that is equivalent to the processing of 3-chip RGB systems. CMOS sensors cannot distinguish colours, so light must pass through a colour filter for separation into the three primary colours of red, green, and blue. The most common filter array used for this purpose is the Bayer array; within the Bayer array filtering, each pixel has data for only one colour.

The DIGIC DV III processor is the latest generation in the DIGIC DV family. Greater processing power provides enhanced colour gradation, wide dynamic range and beautiful reproduction of skin tones, in addition to supporting features such as extensive image customisation.

The combination of the large CMOS sensor with Canon’s high-performance DIGIC DV III image processor facilitates high-precision gamma processing and smooth gradation expression.

The EOS C100 extends the appeal of the Cinema EOS family and is perfect for a single operator thanks to its compact body design consisting of a solid magnesium alloy outer frame that is 15% smaller and 410g lighter than the EOS C300. The body accepts all the optics from Canon’s comprehensive EF range of lenses and comes with a removable handle unit which houses a stereo microphone plus connectors for two channels of XLR audio input.

The enhanced auto functions of the EOS C100 – One-Shot Auto Focus, Push Auto Iris and Auto White Balance – bring further speed and convenience to single operator shooting. Pushing the One-Shot AF button before recording starts ensures that the camera focuses on the subject at the centre of the screen. Push Auto Iris automatically adjusts the aperture to assist in obtaining the correct exposure for the scene. The Auto White Balance feature evaluates the scene and automatically sets the appropriate colour temperature setting.

The EOS C100 uses the MPEG-4, 4:2:0, 24Mbps codec, recording in the AVCHD format. The format uses 4:2:0 colour sampling, and Canon has implemented the top 24Mbits/sec data rate which is used in standard, as well as native Full HD resolution. The AVCHD format has been widely adopted and is supported by most editing software. Canon's implementation of AVCHD maximises quality, whilst keeping storage requirements to a minimum.

Providing a highly stable working platform, a simplified heat-dissipating structure has been incorporated into the EOS C100’s body. The heat produced by the main circuit board – a major heat source – is discharged from an exhaust duct located separately from the heat of the sensor circuit board. Ducting with a tunnel structure along with the use of a large slow rotation fan produces low noise but retains maximum cooling efficiency.

Three manually selectable ND filters are built-in to the EOS C100, the same as in the EOS C300. The system consists of three densities – 0.6 (2-stop), 1.2 (4-stop) and 1.8 (6-stop) – with ND0 being clear and are made from glass to prevent damage from sunlight and allow for shooting with shallow depth-of-field, even with the iris open in daytime scenes. The ND filters can be switched by rotating the ND selector dial on the front left hand side of the camera.

Buy the C100 Now!

Text courtesy of Canon, USA

C100Canon cinema lensCine lensesDecember 2012Eos c100