The Diamond Magic: Mini doc shot on C300 “bare bones” style

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I am writing this at London’s Gatwick airport waiting to board a flight to Vegas and NAB. Just 48 hours after getting home from Australia! UGH. Travelling sucks. Trust me…it’s not glamorous. It’s exhausting. But I am looking forward to catching up with all my friends and meeting lots of great new people.

Canon are about to announce exciting new cameras. They have been very busy recently with the C300 two months ago and the 5Dmk3 last month. What is coming out? Well that is another blog post, but for now here is a little short doc I shot whilst in Adelaide about a month ago as part of my Rode Microphones workshop tour.

When teaching there is no time to be creative, and as much as I enjoy the teaching aspect of my job, I do miss the shooting A LOT! So, on the first day off I had I set off with my C300 to film something, anything. Well I wanted to find a person to shoot and do a portrait of them. I went off to Rundle Mall where there were street performers to see what I could get. I did film a lovely American fella called Colin Campbell who rode a unicycle whilst juggling and playing bagpipes. I may cut something with him later on, but it was when I came a cross Arwen and Calin Diamond who are just 6 and 9 years old, doing magic in the street under the watchful eye of their former magician mother.

I watched and laughed and knew these kids would be the focus of my filming…as long as I was allowed! I asked their mum, explained what it was for and then filmed them.

The C300 is a wonderful camera. Broadcast accepted HD recording in an ergonomically friendly package. A first with a camera that doesn’t go on your shoulder. I had no rig, just the camera with a 17-55 F2.8 Canon IS lens and the Tokina 11-16mm F2.8 lens. Sound wise, I had a RODE NTG-3 on top, topped off with a bag over my shoulder with spare media and batteries. Nice and minimal! Really freeing. Not much bigger than a DSLR but with far superior image quality and proper audio monitoring (although the then-unreleased 5D mk3 now has that!).

The majority of it was shot on the 17-55 lens. Not a nice lens mechanically but great optically, and the IS makes it perfect for handheld shooting and with a nice range equivalent to a full frame 24-70mm…ish.

I filmed the kids once, then the rain came bucketing down and I interviewed then under shelter. Not the prettiest shot but we kept dry…both them and my camera! The 12 stop dynamic range of C-Log helped me a lot here! Then I caught up with them an hour later to film their performance again, which made up the bulk of the piece.

This mini doc is not flashy, it’s all handheld. The star is not the camera or my cinematography but the kids! They are the piece! Although the camera was an absolute joy to use.

With the new 4k DSLR and C500 coming out and of course the recently announced Sony FS700, where does the C300 sit? Well for me it is the perfect camera. It shoots normal speed video BEAUTIFULLY and its ergonomics as mentioned are absolutely great. Last week I shot a documentary in the north-west part of Australia and despite a power charging issue with the boat I was on, it performed brilliantly. I am cutting the doco now and below are some frame grabs which look sweet as! This camera without any external recorders or rigs works brilliantly. Best camera I have ever owned, and I have owned most of them! Although I do have an FS700 on order for that slow motion!

Are these new cameras going to make the C300 obsolete? Nope. Full HD is all I need for now and the best looking full HD broadcast approved in-camera is what I want. I have a lot of broadcast doc work lined up for this camera. It’s perfect for it! The doc I shot below was a mixture of handheld and tripod, and the camera excels at both. It’s also very small. For me it is still the best camera. There may be better ones coming out, but newer cameras coming out don’t make your current camera no good, just remember that. The market is moving insanely quickly and that isn’t ideal for investments, as resale value of them plummets. But as long as YOU use them and make money from them then they are still great cameras.

C300 frame grab

C300 frame grab

Mike Fletcher with his mk3. C300 frame grab

C300 frame grab

C300 frame grab

So here is “The Diamond Magic”. Edited native on Premiere CS6 and colour graded with Colorista II (discount code at top of post). A few shots I tried the warp stabilize on within Premiere and it worked a treat! Below that is a timelapse from the above documentary with a C300 shot at the end so stay tuned. It looks wonderful!


The Diamond Magic from Philip Bloom on Vimeo.

Mini doc of two kids I came across whilst walking around Adelaide the day before my penultimate RODE workshop down under. I had been travelling for two weeks and not shot a sausage, so I needed to shoot something. My creative juices were drying up…

I was in real minimal mode for my C300, no tripod, no rig. Handheld with the 17-55 F2.8 Canon IS lens. First camera like this I have been able to shoot handheld stuff without a rig!!

Sound was recorded in camera with the RODE NTG-3.

Starring Calin and Arwen diamond. Thanks to them for being so lovely and their mum for letting me film them.

Music: Mark Mothersbaugh

You can see more of them here:

True North: King George Falls Timelapse from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.

Just a little taster of my shoot from last week.

I spent a week on the True North ship filming a documentary in the Kimberly region of Australia. It’s a film mixing real people’s stories with amazing scenery.

Hopefully get the full doco cut soon.

This is a timelpase of the front of the ship on the 1dmk4 with one C300 shot of the ship’s chopper leaving Eagle’s Falls.

Music is by the amazing Cinematic Orchestra “arrival of the birds”

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  1. Justin says:

    Philip, can you please explain what camera specs make a camera approved for HD broadcast by the BBC & other broadcasters? Cheers. J

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      well 422 colour space and 50 mb/s minimum generally but there is more to it than that. they put it against charts and test the codec.

  2. Komeil says:

    Great, fun to watch.

    Thx Philip 🙂

  3. Joe Wentrup says:

    Great those kids & nice work! I hope the itself c300 or its features soon tickle down to the 5000k area ($,€, Pounds – you name it) so more people can enjoy that way of easy quality shooting.

    1. Joe Wentrup says:

      Please edit: I meant: Great those kids & nice work! I hope the c300 itself or its features soon tickle down to the 5000k area ($,€, Pounds – you name it) so more people can enjoy that way of easy quality shooting.

  4. I’m downloading it in the original 1080P resolution to watch it full screen. Looking forward to it.

  5. Jerome Olivier says:

    Your portrait works are really outstanding, Philip. Congratulations. Looking forward to seeing more.

  6. Travis says:

    I just love how much passion you have as a film maker. Sometimes I feel the same way where I “have” to get out and shoot something, anything (of course sometimes I feel like I don’t want to touch a camera ever again, but those times are few and far between:).

    Thanks for being such an inspiration. Your opinion and integrity mean a whole lot to me and a much larger community.


    1. Philip Bloom says:

      thanks so much for the comment travis!

  7. Errr, Sorry for the double post.

    Anyway, watched it and loved it !
    It is very pleasing, amusing and those kids are talented and fun to watch. I thinkit is also a nice edit work.
    Skin details are maybe a tiny little bit too low for my tastes but it’s really the only bad thing I found.

    The full HD version seems to have compression issues very common with Adobe Media Encoder (so I suppose you did it with Adobe CS 5/5.5). I took a screenshot of the issue I’m having :

    Don’t know what is causing this issue (have the same on some of my videos encoded with Adobe’s encoder but don’t have them with Apple Compressor or Sorenson Squeeze so I think the problem is coming from Adobe).

    Anyway, really great piece of work. (and C300 produces quite lovely images too !)

  8. markfriesen says:

    C100? Did I miss something today? Or did you mean the EOS-1D C? I’m hoping for a serious leak of insider information… 🙂

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      c100 coming soon…maybe!

  9. HDWarrior says:

    What a find, the kids are enchanting, they will go big time, nice doc. Looking to get a 4K C500 ?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      too much money for me!

  10. Ufomaster says:

    Very nice short, great rhythm in edit too, thanks for this.



    1. Ufomaster says:

      Agh, no preview button, oh well, here’s the smiley 🙂

    2. Philip Bloom says:

      thanks! appreciate comments on my editing as it’s not my main thing but love it

  11. Paul says:

    Philip, Great piece mate, I’m sitting here in London feeling very homesick of my wonderful hometown of Adelaide! I miss going out into the City there with my camera. My first ever shoot was in rundle mall, as a film student, we did a timel-lapse of a guy “floating” down rundle mall. Took us 3 days shooting on super 8 film! Haha

    Anyways good to see that you enjoyed your time in Adelaide

  12. emil says:

    Hi Philip!
    Don’t you have this problem, where the noise from the IS goes directly into the Rode NTG, creating an annoying buzzing sound?
    I also have the 17-55 2.8, but find it difficult to use with a shotgun mic mounted on top of the camera. Maybe its just my lens that is faulty?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      absolutely not. the shotgun is way past the lens…

  13. Todd says:

    A brilliant little film – amazing kids, really nice, modest and intimate camera work. I wasn’t a fan of the boxing film but this one really ticked all the boxes for me. Great job!

  14. EbrahimSaadawi says:

    That’s just wonderful, Mr Bloom!
    I am an Egyptian sixteen year-old DSLR filmmaker and you truly are an inspiration to all of us. Great job again.

  15. bobkrist says:

    Another lovely piece, Philip. I love the way you work with people (of all ages) on the street! BTW, the boxing piece was super too…very inspirational for me, an old pro stills shooter starting to dabble in video. Thanks, Bob

  16. grego says:

    A work of genius was fun to watch and enjoy
    Keep it up I’ve been watching you for a long time and it just gets better.
    Thank you

  17. francisShephard says:

    Philip what’s the reason to include the mentally deranged child murderer shot, at 4 minutes 50 seconds? This guy looks like he’s imagining killing the children. Did you include that to present a dark undertone to this piece? or didn’t you see this? Adelaide’s got plenty of nut-cases with bad thoughts in their heads. They don’t need a stage do they.

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      your interpretation of it. it was a snapshot of a performance there. take it how you will…

  18. Ivan says:

    I love it, Philip. From personal experience, I know that keeping the kids in focus is not easy. What is it that helps you most keeping things focused?

  19. Ivan says:

    Oh, one more thing, I just bought a monopod. Do you like/use those?

    1. Philip Bloom says:

      i don’t use them much myself…

  20. Nicely done. Great job in picking some good subjects. They were excellent on camera.

  21. Marvelous piece. All three kids in that top picture look like they’re very happy and having a great time.

  22. Taylor says:

    Beautiful. I’m going to watch this one a few times.