The better late than never Canon C100 review PLUS video review of the Canon XA25!

Ethics Statement:_ I have never been paid by a manufacturer to review a camera and never will. The problem with doing reviews properly is the amount of time they take, either from your work time (which means no paid gigs) and your free time, so without sponsorship for them it’s hard to do. UK dealer CVP approached me to do a review of this camera and the XA25. A balanced pros and cons review is always needed, and they have never had a problem before otherwise it’s a pointless sales pitch!_

Zacuto are featured in the video. They are a site sponsor but they also make, for my money, the best C100 solution out there. I am sure there are others that I haven’t come across, so do some research first.

For more on my ethics please read my statement here.




Camera reviews…impossible to keep up. It is a full time job, especially as I refuse to do anything less than 100% in terms of quality and content. I don’t want to do overviews or wishy-washy half arsed ones. I have also been criticised in the past for being biased, even though I clearly try my best to show all the pros and cons I have found, and every one of my reviews from the past 3 years have been very matter of fact. If a camera manufacturer had paid me for any of my reviews (which I won’t accept for ethical reasons), they would probably be put out by my frankness, and I am frank with my opinions. The other criticisms I get is when I say that I can’t do them all, as they take so much time and I simply cannot afford to do them without sponsorship. These people seem to be living in a world where time is not money, and the fact that my reviews generally take around 5-10 days to make, during which time I cannot work and earn money, doesn’t seem to register. Bewildering.

The reviews I do are normally cameras I have an interest in. I was just asked to do a review on the Canon XA25 by CVP (who sponsored me for this one) and initially I was like “Er…not really interested in it to be honest” but on reading the specs, I actually found myself wanting to see it. That review is almost done and will be up soon.

I have enormous interest in the Canon C100 as my C300 and 1DC are my favourite cameras, and this budget version was very interesting, despite the very underwhelming specs which basically lost a lot of what made the C300 great. Back in December, I started a review of one when I borrowed one from Mickey Jones, but a loss of a dear friend of mine meant I was unable to carry on, and I had only shot a brief part of it. I did have an intention of revisiting it and trying again, but with no access to a camera and no real free time by that point, as I was trying to find a way to balance my life, meant it didn’t happen. In fact when CVP asked me to do this I thought it was too late. I took to twitter and facebook and there was huge interest still so I agreed to do it.




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The review is quite long as usual. Around 20 minutes, and I still don’t go into enough depth really, as I don’t cover external recording for example. There is no written review, just the video review below, so sorry if you need to speed read to understand if it’s for you. For me, a picture speaks a thousand words, so that means as it’s shot 25p and it’s 20 minutes long, the written review actually would have been around 1 billion words…that’s quite long. Definately best to do a video review. ALTHOUGH there is a list of pros and cons after the video below/

I cannot tell you which camera to buy. This cameras is far from perfect, but it is almost perfect for many people. That could be you. Always weigh up the pros and cons of a camera before purchasing. Do your research and PLEASE never listen to just one reviewer. Especially me!! 🙂

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Size: A very small camera indeed but still manages not to clutter the body yet have has all the right buttons

Weight: Weighs so little! Wonderful. Like a 5D!

Same sensor as C300 and C500 which means stunning performance. Image look amzing.

Low light performance is pretty much as good as it gets right now

Terrific audio handling, good quality pre-amps, phantom power proper XLRS

Ergonomically great. All the buttons are in the right place and very easy to access key features with a twiddle here and a press there. Very intuitive

Terrific dynamic range with excellent gamma curves and the wondrous C-LOG

LCD is excellent

Built in NDs…ESSENTIAL with a sensor as sensitive as this (rated at 850 ISO)

Clean 8 bit 422 uncompressed out from HDMI


Viewfinder is not great compared to some other cameras but still usable…just.

No slow motion. Post workarounds are OK but not the real deal

No interval recording, although only the EX1/ 3 and F3 have had really good interval recording. The C300 one is not great about as average as the FS100/FS700…use a DSLR. Much better for timelapse and doesn’t tie up your camera.

Records in an interlaced container. Not true progressive recording. Looks the same as true progressive recording, just harder to handle in post.

AVCHD is a weak codec. Too low for any substantial grading. Nail exposure or pay the price in post especially with “fake slow motion”

A bit more expensive than the FS100 now. Still a good price

EF mount only so limited to lenses with a flange distance bigger than the EF mount. The Sony E-mount system is super flexible especially with things like the speed booster now.

There we go. Am sure there are more…enough to get you started!

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Video review of the Canon XA25

Why? I did a review of the XA10 and found it an excellent camera. I was curious to see how they had improved it with this camera and the XA10 plus I had one available to me at the same time as the C100 so I did them both at the same time!


Canon XA25 Review from Philip Bloom Reviews & Tutorials on Vimeo.


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  1. Thanks so much for all the reviews you do, Philip! I’ve been a long-time visitor to your site but have just now actually registered (better late than never haha). This camera may be the one to finally get me to take the dive and buy a proper large chip camera. Thanks again and I look forward to future content!

  2. Philip…

    Thanks for this. I’ve just sold my FS100 and leapt over to this little puppy. I’ll miss the slo-mo and time lapse. but otherwise, I’ve finally found a camera that delivers world-class images and is a total pleasure to use.

    A couple of points to add on that pleasurability factor:

    Since entering the HD field I’ve had a constant struggle with focus and exposure. So many shots missed because of this. No more with the C100 — and it’s due to a couple of things that the C100 manual and literature do not emphasize. This might be why you missed them in your review.

    Ahh, the viewfinder. Yes, it sucks. But if you can make it more comfortable to use, and block the light leakage, you can do a fine job dealing with focus and exposure when bright sunlight prevents you from using the LCD. Then, you can shoot away. A simple Z-finder eyecup will fit over the viewfinder — and it ain’t so bad, if you don’t want to deal with or pay for the C100 Z-finder. And I find it’s great to have the LCD free of any extra gizmos, as I can compose better that way.

    So how can that wimpy viewfinder help you with focus and exposure?

    First of all, use it only when absolutely needed. But —

    What is NOT obvious when you first start using the C100 is that if you close the LCD, you get the SAME FEATURES IN THE VF AS THE LCD: WAVEFORM, EDGE MONITOR, AND MAGNIFICATION. The temptation is to have the LCD open so you can move back and forth from VF to LCD. If that’s the case, the VF won’t work with these features.

    So, wether you use the LCD or VF, you can call up the Waveform. Or you can use the exposure guide. It takes about a day of shooting to get to know the simple exposure guide, and between that and what my eyes tell me, I’m using the Waveform less and less in run and gun.

    For great focus every time, I use the magnification button, which is right on the grip. The C100 can be set to go to black and white with edge monitor or peaking when the mag button pressed, This gets the focus spot on, even with the VF. And again, this feature won’t work in the viewfinder unless you have the LCD shut.

    Canon is not very clear about all of this, but without these features, using the C100 would be much less of a pleasure; and except for having to use a ninja for broadcast, it can give the 300 a bit more of a run for it’s money (not that I’d turn one down 😉 )

    Thanks for doing this. I’m due in London late August. Beer?

    1. I’m really interested in what you said:

      “The C100 can be set to go to black and white with edge monitor or peaking when the mag button pressed”

      I’ve gone through all the settings I can find on my camera and can’t seem to find how to do this. Could you let me know what settings you used to enable this function?


  3. Thanks Philip great fair review, we where expecting it for a long time!

    As for the ND filters didn’t you notice that they are to weak for the (huge) sensibility of the camera? I often find my self using variable ND’s to keep the lens wide open…

    Apart from that best camera for all sort of productions.


      1. Well yes, there is no way I can keep the lens at 2.8 (or less) even if i lower the ISO below 850
        and set ND3 in a bright sun lighy. Also the shutter at 50. I don’t think there is something I’m doing wrong, for me is a bit of a ripoff this thing. try it yourself!

        1. Hi Enrico,

          I am sorry but i have to say you must be doing something very wrong or you don’t understand the concept of built in ND.

          ISO 320 (the lowest which is 2 and a half stops (ish) darker than the native of 850), ND3 (which is 6 stops) at F2.8 or lower and you are struggling? Yep. You must be in a dazzlingly bright country, come to England…we don’t need ND here! Please don’t say silly things like the ND is a rip off and tell me to try it myself. I know my NDs. They work exactly as they should. If you don’t think they do please do the mathematics as to how many stops they give you of light control…2, 4 and 6 stops. So how is that a rip off? If 6 stops is not enough of built ND not quite sure what you want then? That’s pretty standard 1/64 ND is the most you find on built in filter wheels on broadcast cameras.

          I hope the figures help you understand. There is no rip off!


          1. Philip I am my self an ENG cameraman and have been working with Digibeta and HDCAM fot the last 9 years,
            I’ve been using the C100 since january and shot loads of footage for a documentary.
            Unless I’m doing something really stupid, I’m sure of what I’m saying there is no way I can keep the lens at 2.8 or 1.4 with buit in ND filters. I repeat unless i’m doing something really stupid, but as you said in the review the camera is pretty straightforward. I’m using a 17-55mm 2.8 all the time and the country burned by the sun is Italy.
            I thik that 6 stops is not enough with brigh sunlight…

            1. exactly. You Digitbeta had 1/64 (6 stops) but it’s sensitivity was probably about 4 stops less that the C300 (just a guess) but is the 2,4 and 6 stops a rip off? No…it’s enough for the vast majority of situations. If you need more just stick a fixed ND on the lens to drop it by another 2 to 4 stops or use your variable ND. F2.8 in bright sunshine at 1/50th of a second? That’s pretty damn good for my money!

              1. Ok ripoff maybe was not the best word to describe the ND situation.
                I’ve been using the variable ND on top of the internal one.
                I just think that as that this camera is so sensible to light they should have adjusted the Nd filters
                4/6/8 or even more, especially because “lately” there is a tendency in shooting low depth of field.
                Anyway thanks for the review, I still think that I got the best bang for the buck with this camera
                the images are stunning. I’m almost about to finish a feature length documentary on it, that had a lot of observational , work and the ergonomics helped me a lot.

                1. Had to comment here as I’ve had this conversation before. ND filters are there to aid you with correct exposure. This is their job. In that respect, the ND’s on a C100 perform perfectly!

                  Personally, if I’m outside shooting a doc, I’d NEVER (very rarely) want to be wide open on a lens! It’s one of the first things I learned as a cameraman. I’m wide open, it gets brighter mid interview, where do I go? Unless the backdrop is hideous, I’m not sure why I’d want to throw the whole thing out of focus anyway.

                  I’m not aware of any ‘tendency to shoot wide open’ – in 99% of camera setups. If I buy an f1.2, it’s probably cause I want to do some night shoots, not use it in bright sun. Only time I’ve really seen this done is on wedding videos where an operator believes that having most of the shot completely out of focus (to the point of distraction) is somehow cinematic.

                  1. At last, somebody who’s not obsessed with shallow DOP – shallow depth of field is a creative feature/option that should only be used when absolutely needed.

                  2. As you say it’s your shooting style. We all shoot differently. I personally like low depth of field with “wide” lenses.
                    In the case of sudden change of light there is not much you can do with these post-slr cameras, because, unless you are using a declicked lens, you can’t use the iris or it will show the click. What I’ve learned to do is using the variable ND as an iris and adjust slightly if there is a need.

                    1. It’s not my shooting style. I’ve shot wide open outside before. I was just saying that I disagreed with you that the ND filters on a C100 weren’t enough. As you’ve said, you stick a variable on the front anyway, so you’ve got 3 ND’s in camera and a variable on the front. That’s a lot of ND!

                      All I meant was ‘most’ people would find the C100 ND’s more than enough. Sorry if it sounded a bit like I was saying don’t shoot wide open in the day! I just meant that this falls under a stylistic way of shooting, maybe not the most practical.

    1. Enrico, I have the same issue with the C100 and previously when renting the C300. But i just happily stop the iris down to F4. Not worth losing DR lowering ISO or wasting time with screw on filters. I feel your annoyance though when you really need it to be shallow.

      1. Honestly the loss of dynamic range from stopping down from 850 to 320 is barely noticeable. In fact I can’t notice it. Have you actually seem this yourself?

        Look, you have up to 6 stops of ND built into your camera. That’s a lot. Yes the camera is sensitive at 850 but as I said dropping the 320 stops you down a bit more plus if you are hoping to get f1.4 in bright sunshine of course the 6 stops won’t be enough…it’s the sun! The variable ND may well be what you still need if you are lucky enough to have sunshine and need to be that wide open. It all makes total sense…if I take one of my film cameras out and put in 800 asa film on holiday, like it did, well that was dumb of me, at least with stills I can so fast shutter but my cameras don’t go fast enough so I shave to stop down to f8…nd filters, even 6 stops isn’t always going to be enough

    1. yes of course but that is not out of the box and that is what you are reviewing not what you can do if you then spend X, Y, Z. The Z-finder for me is the only MUST have…yes a recorder makes things so much better. I dont feel you need an EVF when you have that screen plus z finder

  4. Hey Philip. Do you think the C100 deals with highlights better than the FS100? Do you think the C100 has less noise than the FS100 in low light at similar ISOs? It might just be me, but I feel like Sony cameras have more trouble in bright situations.

  5. I know this is about the C100 but I couldn’t help but notice in the video when you cut to the guy filming you, it appeared to be the Canon XA25. I have a Canon XA10 so am intrigued how much better it is, and I notice the XA25 had an external box suggesting it was making use of the XA25’s HD output rather than recording directly to the camcorder?

    A big question for me was how much of that outdoor footage for the review (in the park area) was filmed on the XA25? Some of it looked pretty sharp, far better than my XA10, so much so I assumed your camera operator went straight back to filming with the C300 after you filmed him. 😉

    In short, great review Philip and looking forward to the XA-25 write up… as you say, not a camera I expected you to be reviewing as you seem little interested in the XA10 last time out so it must be pretty special. 🙂

    1. hi there

      it is the xa25 and as mentioned in the review i had one to do a review on it (its almost done) the external box? I am assuming you are referring to the radio mic receiver!

      all the stuff in brighton of me was the XA25 all the stuff in my edit suite is the C300.

      I thought I liked the XA10 in my review of it?

      1. Ha, I was reading too much into that box! Thought it was something to do with the HD-SDI out. But if all the Brighton footage was shot and recorded on the XA25 internally then I’m sold already.

        Yes, you did like the XA10 (in fact your review convinced me to buy one). 🙂

        I like my DSLR rig but I love my XA10 as I always know I’ll get the shot. I use it in aircraft where it’s compact size and the handle is a real bonus, but I hear the new XA20/25 has even better stabilisation which can only improve matters.

        take care.

          1. Great review Philip as always. I had to actually re-watch the video review a second time to look a little closer at the shots filmed on the XA25. I’m in the same boat as Fanjules but still on the fence between the Canon XA20/25 and a Sony HXR NX30. I know such camcorders are below your level of expertise and professional needs but your input on such “Prosumer” Camcorders is greatly appreciated for us budding film makers on a tight budget. (Or in my case working for a company on a tight budget.) Very much looking forward to your Canon XA25 review. Please upload it today. 

            Going off a bit topic here but I love coming to your site to watch and read your reviews on camcorders and your various articles. I can’t remember where you said it, but I remember you saying you were surprised to discover that people visited your site on a regular basis, even daily despite there not being new content on a regular basis due to your busy schedule. Have you ever considered having guest reviewers to fill the gaps and add extra content to the site when you’re too busy or when you want to free up your time?

            1. thanks Johnny

              Yes I do have guest posts but not guest reviewers. James occasionally does reviews but not much. My site isn’t a review site so I try not to clutter it with them. At least there is a lot of content still relevant in there for people to discover. My aim was to do one post every 5 days but as my posts now seem to all be epic its hard to do plus it’s hard to find a regular contributor

  6. Amazing job as always on this review! I have been looking forward to watching it for a while now.

    Little off subject of the c100 but I love the look of the few review pictures you posted! I love your work with these film camera’s they are always a favorite of mine. Have you ever tried using VSCO filters?

    Thanks for all your hard work on this review!
    Nathaniel K

  7. Phillip,
    Thanks for an outstanding review, and a terrific blog from a fellow ex-news shooter. Your work is inspirational. I’ve been shooting for the past couple of years on an AF100 with nikon glass for local commercial and industrial documentary work. Is a C100 a significantly better camera, and a worthy upgrade for me? A C300 is out of my budget. In what areas is the C100 significantly better?
    Thanks, Tom

  8. Great review. It’s convinced me to buy the Z-finder as I was struggling to get a practical hands-on review on that.

    I recently made the jump from 650d to C100 and so far so good. It is without a doubt a great camera and, for me, a great option for those on a tight budget who want a serious step up from the DLSRs.

    One of the massive things for me (great picture aside) isn’t one single feature but the combination of all the built in features (waveform, NDs, view assist, zebras, peaking etc) and ergonomics that collectively just make shooting on it so much easier and convenient than a DSLR.

    My only grumbles are I am struggling to find a good guide on the c-log workflow and how to properly expose it when shooting. I’m getting some unpredictable results. Also, the inability to be able to move around in magnification mode has to be a future firmware upgrade. How often is the key focus point int he middle of the frame?

    Thanks for spending the time to make this review. They are invaluable!

    1. I got a C300 not long – I assume the C-Log is pretty similar (if not the same).

      I also found the C-Log a little tricky to get spot on exposure with.

      I tend to expose so that it looks a little under on the LCD but that’s a generalisation. You can use the VF assist to add in a little LUT but I find the WFM is the best way to go. If I’m in a controlled environment then I’m looking at the waveform and most of it is under midpoint (50%), with maybe a few highlights peaking up. But I’m not underexposing! As that can lead to some nasty noise in the shadows!

      Did a commercial shoot last week which was lit by a very experienced DoP. He wanted me to shoot at F4, but at 1600 ISO, it looked under to me. The waveform was showing a lot bottoming (going into absolute black) – but it looked lush on the monitor.

      When I got the shots home, I popped them into Premiere and they were spot on! The blacks were nicely above the 0.3 (this is 0% on Premiere for some reason!) line and the highlights were peaking at 0.8 (80%).

      This made me realise that I might not know exactly where 0 and 100% are on the C300 WFM! So I’m actually about to do a few tests today to figure that out 🙂

      Maybe Philip can answer this better!

      This Canon video also explains it pretty well – but annoyingly, he doesn’t say where 0 and 100 are!

      Regarding workflow, when I’m shooting on C-Log, the most essential thing I usually have to do in post is stick in some contrast. I usually use the Luma Corrector or Curve in Pr to do this. But if I’m using a Magic Bullet Look or similar, I might not do this as a lot of those have gamma curves in the look.

      1. Just did a quick and dirty test. Assuming the middle line on the WFM is 50%, I was thinking that the lines were 10% increments. So one line up from the bottom is 0% and one line down from the top is 100%.

        The line that’s one from the top is definitely 100% – I think 🙂 But the line one up from the bottom on the C300 doesn’t appear to be 0%. When I stick a cap on the end of the lens, it all bottoms out at the 2nd line from the bottom (Which is ACTUALLY 10%!)

        Aggggghhhhh – I just took off Cinema lock and now 0% IS the line one up from the bottom!

        So basically, in Cinema Lock mode, you can’t really see what absolute black is – because the flat profile makes the blacks a bit grey!

        I’ve learned something in the past 10 minutes. Hopefully you have to! 🙂

        1. Thanks for the info.
          I also noticed in Cinema locked mode the black doesn’t level off at the bottom of the WFM but then presumably you still use the waveform monitor in the same way as if it were? So in other words you are still aiming for middle grey or (very crudely) the average of the overall waveform around the middle grey line?
          (3rd grey line from bottom & top)

    2. I used the C100 recently at a wedding and shot everything in the “Wide DR” picture profile. I was pretty impressed with the flexibility of the footage in post considering the codec. I did not “reinvent the wheel” with the images but I did overexpose and underexpose several shots that were easy to correct with minimal to no quality loss. The camera was pretty amazing with highlights at this setting as well. I thought I would want the C-log setting for everything but after my experience I care less about it now. Unless you really need it I would not worry about it using it as you get good results with Wide DR. It would be fun to experiment with however; I would not want to do that on a paid job though, just for fun on my own time. If you find a good resource for using C-log with the C100 please let us know!

  9. Hey Philip, excellent review as usual! We really appreciate you putting in the time and effort for these reviews especially if you’re not getting paid.

    Quick question, do you think I should pre-order the Black Magic 4K camera, or buy this one. There are advantages and dis advantages of both, but since they’re close in price, what’s you’re perception on it?

    Take care

  10. What a nice camera, so … so much for your money! I remember being intrigued day one when this camera was announced.
    Being an FS100 shooter (Now full frame with the old speedbooster) I’d still probably rent the C100 on my next gig to give it a go. The image looked stunning!
    Think I would definitely hook up my Alphatron EVF though (Nothing else otherwise it kind of eliminates the idea of having a smaller camera).
    Thanks for your views Philip great stuff!

  11. Philip: Thanks for putting the time and effort into creating this review! Your work is incredibly helpful and instructive.

    Quick question: I realize that the C100 is the “low-end” of Canon’s cameras, thus leading to the comparisons to Fuji’s “low-end” in the FS100. But doesn’t the pricing lend itself more to being compared with the FS700?

    I’m evaluating my first major DV camera purchase and debating between a C100, C300, and an FS700. Would be great to know what you think of the C100 vs. the FS700. Thanks!

    1. not really…i have also answered this on another comment. This is Canons entry level. The FS100 is Sonys entry level. That is the first thing you look at then you see the C100 is £800 more than an FS100 and £1900 less than an FS700. So why should I compare it to the FS700? First and foremost. It’s entry level and that is why I feel it is the correct camera to compare it to. 🙂

  12. Hey Philip,

    Great review as always man. I have this camera and am really enjoying it for the price/ease of use.

    I wanted to ask what lens you have or would recommend as a wide angle for it or any Canon EF S35 sensor.

    I currently use a 16-35mm but that doesn’t quite go as wide as I need and I’d like to stay away from fisheye and keep images renticular. The Canon 14mm at $2k seems like not much more for a lot more money.

    I have been checking out reviews and am thinking of getting the Sigma 8-16mm. Just wanted to get your thoughts.

    Thanks again and I appreciate any info!

  13. Really looking forward to your review of the XA25 (probably XA20 for me). I’m using a 5DIII, but would love an all-in-one simple and light solution for fast work. I am really curious about the Image and sound quality. Also, how well it would mix with footage from a 5DIII.
    Thanks for all your hard work!

  14. Thanks for the review of the XA25.
    I have the XA20 mainly because if I ever have to record 4:2:2 I can get exactly the same quality out of the XA20’s HDMI port.
    The camera lets you cycle through three display options on the screen: full shooting info, grid and nothing. Cycling is achieved by pressing a button that is hidden when the screen is closed against the camera body. If you use the EVF you can’t cycle through these options. None of the custom buttons can be set to do this. I find this really inconvenient because you need to re-open the screen each time.
    A spare BP-828 battery and charger will set you back nearly 300 €. Batteries I bought for a G25 just months ago aren’t compatible, despite fitting perfectly. Thanks Canon!
    You need to be very careful what mic you use. Even the short Audio Technica I have comes (slightly) into the frame when the lens is at its widest and I’m using a deadcat.

  15. Hi Phil,

    Thanks for another great review and taking your precious time. I always respect what you have to say. I have to say though, I feel that the C100 should be compared more to the FS700 than the FS100 since there’s only about a $1000 price difference between the C100 and FS700; and the C100 is a much newer camera than the FS100

    The FS700 is HUGE improvement over the FS100 in terms of color, way better highlight handling and general image feel with the Cinegammas and now S-Log 2, which has incredible highlight and shadow detail. The dynamic range is hugely improved with S-Log 2. It’s easily at 13+ useable stops now (and works decently even with the internal codec). Plus, with the upcoming CD Odyssey 7Q, the FS700 will have HD 4:2:2 10-bit output, 2K RAW, 4K at 4:2:2 10 bit, there’s even mention of an HD 4:4:4 10-bit compressed codec.

    I like the Canon image, but I feel really restricted and frustrated artistically by their cameras since I shoot a lot of music videos and artistic pieces. The lack of slow motion really limits one’s creativity IMO. Some people hate slow motion as say it’s a crutch, but to me it’s just another tool / option which is sorely lacking in Canon cameras.

    Take this piece that I am currently working on / in progress – just dailies put to music, no color correction, cinegamma 1 and 4 out of the camera. It’s still semi-rough, but you get the point. This video is actually based on a lot of knowledge I’ve learned from watching your videos over the last few years. Thanks for all the valuable lessons BTW.

    My point is, you cannot even come close to creating this type of feeling / sexiness on any Canon camera and it’s such a shame because I have a lot of Canon glass. I wish Canon would just stop tiring their cameras so badly because I would buy one in a second if they did.

    1. Hi Gene

      The thing is the camera is clearly being targeted as entry level and therefore direct competitor with the FS100. On CVP in the UK the FS100 is £800 cheaper than the C100 and FS700 is £2000 more than the C100. So which one is closer? Also if we go on price alone should I not also talk about the Blackmagic? For me this is a camera to take on the low end of the Super 35mm crowd and Sony’s is the FS100. Don’t forget I bought an FS700 so not biased. I just don’t see them in the same sentence.

      The FS700 and S-Log now? When did that happen and how do I get it? It’s still a bloody horrible camera to use though! Un-ergonimic hell! 🙂 Love the features though. Also what on earth is the CD Odyssey CQ?!?

      I disagree that you can’t create sexiness on any Canon camera. After all 95% of my work in the past 6 years has been on Canons…that means none of my work is sexy Gene!!!


      1. Hey Phil,

        Your work is Sexy as hell. I’ve spend tons of time just watching your videos and I know I learned more about photography from your videos than anyone else. I still remember being completely blown away when I saw your Salton Sea video. Thanks for the huge amounts of inspiration over the years.

        All I was saying is that sometimes for me personally, at times I just need slow motion and when that comes up I would get super frustrated that I don’t have that option, especially since slow motion is a big part of my aesthetic. I guess it would be like you wanting to shooting something with a Shallow DOF, but am stuck using a 2/3″ sensor; which would frustrate me too hell. Slow motion, if used right, can be sexy as all hell.

        I just wish Canon didn’t limit their cameras so much as I love the image.

        As for S-Log on the FS700, you have to do the paid firmware / hardware upgrade. The Odyessey 7Q is the new recorder made by Convergent Design (makers of the Nano Flash). They’re really, really into the FS700 and figured out how to take the RAW stream and convert it into a 4:2:2 10-bit output (up to 60fps), also 2k RAW as well as a 10 bit 4:2:2 4K image. As far as a recorder goes (i hate recorders but this one might be worth the extra space), it’s fairly light at 1.2 lbs. with a 7″ OLED screen. Next generation recorder for sure.

  16. Hi, Philip. Curious about your use of the profiles in the C100. I generally use Wide DR when shooting in AVCHD, and C log when going out to ProRes on a Ninja. I’ve read in a couple of places that this seems to be a good approach , and it seems to bear out for me for most grading applications. Wondering about your views on this, thanks!

  17. Thanks for the review on the XA25! Some good information for those thinking of upgrading from the XA10. If it’s like the XA10 there is manual control over the ND filters, but only in fully manual mode when you’ve set the aperture to it’s highest setting, so of limited use!

    I’ve no idea about using external recorders but the user DCP above suggests you can get 4:2:2 colourspace by using the HDMI port (or HD-SDI out)?

    1. Yes, you can get exactly the same output via HDMI with the XA20. I had this confirmed by a Canon technician. He also told me that in both cases (XA20 HDMI and XA25 SDI) the output is only 8 bits, even when recorded as 4:2:2. What I don’t know is whether the only advantage of recording externally as 4:2:2 is having better compression. I suspect the color sampling doesn’t change vs AVCHD or MP4 but my technical competence is limited here. I also believe that the increase in bit in bit rate when shooting in mp4 is only down to it being a less efficient codec than AVCHD (repeat my rider about technical competence).

  18. I hope this doesn’t sound daft. I (sadly) only manage to use a C300 if the Agency I’m working for hires one in. I haven’t had the pleasure of using a C100 as yet, but from my own personal collection of cameras which includes high end Canon DSLR’s, my favourite and main work camera is the Canon XF305s which I’ve often used as a ‘B’ cam if the job I’m on has a C300 or most of the time my ‘A’ cam.
    It has the very same operating system as the C300 and 95% of the tools too!
    Out of the box the XF305 isn’t ideal, but once you start getting into CP’s (pre-sets and programming your own) and manual control, this camera becomes outstanding. The glass is outstanding too – it really surprises, and the codec is the very same as the C300.
    The only thing it lacks is extreme depth of field.
    I’ll be honest – I learnt how to use my XF305s to its best after a crash course hands on with the C300 – even the batteries are the same – ideal on long shoots.
    The LCD is the best I’ve seen, and overall features for the money, well I can’t think of better in that respect.
    I will own my own C300 soon and my XF305s will be my ‘B’ camera. In edit the two work superbly well together, and apart from seriously shallow DOF, the image quality is on par.
    The reviews I’ve seen of the XF105 bare no comparisons and all to the XF305, and XF305 demo’s I’ve seen so far are basic out-of-the-box examples (poor)
    I’ve noted the XF305s has had little publicity – the ‘s’ version is a tweaked example – the team that created the C300 also created the XF305 and they have (as far as I know) tweaked the firmware over the original – online updates are available.
    There are also some lovely custom profiles – many designed by professionals with a passion for this camera. The daft bit … the XF305 is cheaper than a C100 … if you’re not shallow DOF crazy, wouldn’t the XF305s be a good choice too?

    1. Hi Chris

      What does the c300 have over them305?

      Insane low light performance. Interchangeable 35mm optics. Small compact body. Controllable depth of field via the optics and sensor.

      It’s in a different league. There is a place for the 305 and a place for the c300



      1. Oh I know the C300 is a better camera, Phil – so it should be for the price. And as mentioned I will own one, as up until now I’ve only used C300’s on the odd agency shoot.
        People seem to write the XF305 off simply because it doesn’t have a large sensor, its dynamics and low light performance are pretty good too – many C300 users have XF305’s as ‘B’ cams.
        Below is an online image test for a short drama being created – the tests are mainly rehearsals in this example.
        Its a private viewing for you on Vimeo – the agency wanted to see what the overall look & feel was like before the main shoot kicks in.

      2. Hi Philip

        charming review. Although the camera still looks a little bit too big when it´s ready to shoot. But by the way: what is that funny little thing at your table on your right side with the “M” written on the nice chrome body. Have you ever tested this one for video?


          1. … the funny thing is that I had to abuse my M for video because my C300 was not working. It was a funny experience since you must not go higher than ISO 200 or you loose all the details. But since that day I press the dreadful M button quite often for my personal stuff and am extremely pleased with the results (especially because when I saw the first M240 videos in the internet I had that “don´t touch that dial”- feeling). So maybe it is worth to have a closer look at that dreadfully common video button.

  19. Philip,

    Great review and video. My cat doesn’t edit, but he does like to leave bits of litter on my desk. Nasty.

    Quick question. If you had the C100 as your main camera, and could have either the 24-105mm IS or the 17-55mm IS, which would it be?


  20. Thanks for reviewing the XA25 Phillip. We are looking at replacing our XA-10, so good timing!
    It looks like you were using a Sony UWP-V1 wireless set? Did you guys have any issues with the audio over-modulating when connected through the XLR jack on the handle? I ask because when shooting with the XA-10, and when connecting the Sony wireless set through either XLR input on the handle, we get random (as in – sometimes it do, sometimes it don’t) clipped audio, even though the levels on the camera show correct (audio is clean when monitoring through the receiver itself, and the level on the handle is also not set too high). This does not happen when connected through the stereo mini on the camera though. For fear of botching the audio, we’ve been connecting this way which misses out on the second channel option on the external input. A local video shop tried their identical Sony kit on it and we got the same result, which left us both scratching our heads. Anybody else run into this with the Canon XA-10 or now the XA-20 & 25?

  21. Phillip, appreciate you time on this review, but find your lack of passion for the camera a but puzzling.

    the elephant in the room is the C300. that camera has been your camera of choice for sometime, so surely a camera that is very comparable for less than half the price – should be get your juices flowing a bit more… rather than mearly being ok compared to a 2 year old camera from Sony? Sorry but I feel it needs to be said.

    I have waited for your review more than any other because I wanted your genuine opinion with how it compared to a C300 in terms of image quality. AVCHD is much maligned and in practice, pretty good. and for the price of a Z finder and a ninja you are up and running with a nearly C300 – but for a lot less money.

    1. No elephants in my room…if they are in yours then make sure it doesn’t sit on your lap…even if it’s a lap elephant. It will hurt!!

      I thought I did compare it? I talked about the differences. I said it’s a great B-Camera for the C300. What more do you want? You buy a C300 if you need the broadcast codec. I am pretty sure I said that is the main difference (plus the slow motion and SDI connection)

      Why would I hold a C100 in one hand and a C300 in the other hand and say which should you buy? These are aimed at different users whereas the C100 and FS100 are aimed at the same user. So you don’t want me to compare the C100 to the 2 year old cheaper FS100 but do want me to compare it to the 18 month old more than twice the price C300. My head is spinning with strange logic!! 🙂

      The AVCHD falls apart very quickly compared to the C300 codec and having a Ninja as your way of getting better quality is not the same. You are adding bulk, becoming ungainly needing a separate power source and having risk of it screwing up…handheld would be pain in the arse. A c100 with a ninja is not a c300…it’s a c100 with a ninja!



    2. P.S. I bought one. My lack of passion? What you want me to jump up and down and say it’s the best thing since sliced bread? IT’S NOT! The lack of decent EVF, the average codec and no slow motion. C’mon. You want me to be honest or want me to say what you want to hear?

      1. Hi Phillip. Thanks for your reply. My strange logic is the C500, C300 and C100 are all based off the same sensor. Based on that pedigree the C100 looks like a very good value way of accessing this technology. Bar the lack of slow mo and codec everything seems present and correct so I was surprised you weren’t a bit more excited about recommending it.

  22. Hi Philip,

    Great review as always Philip, thank you for taking the time to do this review, myself and others have been hanging out for this. These things can be black holes of time consumption.

    Nice pick up of the sudo slow-mo with the C100, not ideal but I nice bonus for sure!

    The C100 is a real joy to use the first moment you turn it on.

    I would have liked Canon to recess the HDMI port further in like the FS100. I’m not sure if Sony thought about it however its the best implementation I have seen so far.

    Just a quick question about time lapse. Do you normally capture via still photography and create image sequences or is interval video recording your preferred method?

    Thanks Phil, I love your style of review – there’s enough to take away and you have a good laugh at the same time.



      1. Mate, I can not wait to see your review of the Blade! (Also for the feedback side of things) But more to the point I’m excited when everyone can experience it for the first time. C300 + Blade or C100 + Connect + Blade has been solid for me.

        Thanks Philip for the reply, this is almost a full time gig for you, much appreciated! (Time to to a mini-Phillip!)


  23. Very sexy, this camera, for a dslr shooter! Small, functional, she has what she needs in order to be what she is. I look forward to using it with my 1DX. Thank you for this review, as usual very useful for a first opinion.

  24. C100 handle 1/4″ mounting plate: Be Careful!!

    The 1/4″ hole at the top rear of the handle (#8 on page 20 of the manual). Use it gently. Mine failed (actually broke, not stripped). I’ve only used it to hold a SmallHD DP4 monitor, about a pound. Sent it into Canon for repair and was told by the rep that several of these are failing, especially rental houses sending them in. But they will not fix it under warranty, they wanted to replace my entire handle to the tune of about $600. The part looks like it’s only held in by 4 easily replaceable phillips screws but I was told that’s just a cover plate and the actual mount needs to be extracted from the handle by disassembling it, which apparently they didn’t want to do, so the only option is to buy the new handle. I went up the ladder of supervisors at Canon and still got no joy. I got the impression this is an engineering screwup Canon will just remain tight lipped and stodgy about. It’s too bad, using a small monitor in that spot is pretty sweet, I’ll have to figure something else out.

    1. Hi Deanoism..
      i have exactly the same problem..I used a Ninja on the top of the handle and now the 1/4″ hole is damaged.
      Do you have an exchange-solution for the broken hole?
      Thanks a lot

  25. Philip

    If like me you hate figure marks on touch screen try using a capacitance pen . The ones that are used on iPhones etc.. Works fine on the Canon touch screens, and no figure marks

  26. Hi Philip,

    One possibly important point. I understand Canon have dropped the waveform monitor from Canon G25, also G20 and HF-G30, when the previous generation had them. Do you have any views on this ? Many thanks.

  27. Hey Phil, thanks for the great review of the C100! Since you haven’t mentioned anything about the auto focus… I was curious to know what you thought of that. Thanks again.

  28. Phil

    Apart from all the great info and eye candy the most that stands out to me is your your health, you are looking amazinlgy fit and young,compared to a year back, we all gain some weight as you did, but you seem to have lost it extreamley fast and are back to your old or should I say new young self again, what was the trick?

    I need to head back to the gym 🙁

    Best wishes and cheers to your health!


  29. Phillip,

    Glad you reviewed the c100! Knowing that you found it worth your time to review just adds some legitimacy to it for myself heh heh.

    I luckily swooped it for $5,000 out here in SF (some guy bought it, returned it, and then bought the c300) and my only wish at the moment is that Canon would let us reprogram the playback controls to mimic the joystick on the handgrip. It really should not be that hard to add Left, right, up, down and select to the options for custom buttons. Then I could actually go Ninja mode while being able to change iso, shutterspeed, etc!


  30. Hi Philip !! Long time viewer, first time poster. I just pulled the trigger on ordering the “consumer” version of the XA25, the G30, which I believe will suit my needs well (additional camera for a multi cam live music setup). My question has to do with frame rates and bit rates. Looking a little deeper into the manual, it looks like default frame rate for the highest quality (35Mbps) is 59.94p. And 23.97p is only achievable with lower bit rates in either MP4 or AVCHD. I typically shoot 23.97p on my Canon 5D Mark 3’s to get slower shutter speeds, and therefore more light/quality in my videos. My goals with my G30 will be to maximize quality and also have it mix/edit well with my Mark 3’s in multi cam shoots. Do you think shooting 23.97p with the lower bitrate is the best option, or do I shoot native 59.94p at the highest bitrate? There is also the over/under cranking option, whereby I lose audio but I’m not sure how that affects image quality. Your insight would be greatly appreciated, and thanks so much !!

  31. Quick Question for you Philip. I’ve purchased the Kwik Release Plate from Kessler and the short camera plate. I can’t seem to get it to fit under the C100/C300 without the camera rotating, nor can I get the two screws to fit with the distance of the C100/C300 screw hole distance. How did you accomplish this? Do you use the two screws Kessler supplied or do you use aftermarket screws? I feel pretty dumb not being able to do it knowing how many threaded holes Kessler has provided. I even called Kessler and the person who answered was trying to figure it out as well. I’ll hopefully hear back from them soon. Ask Eric maybe? Thanks !!


  32. What a wonderful review of the C100, Mr. Bloom. The reason I love your camera reviews is that you don’t just review but also tell a story which you do so with so much style and flair. I’m mainly a stills photographer who already owns a 1DX as my workhorse but I am about to go into making short films for my clients. The thing is, 1DX is not exactly a proper video camera so I’m with two options, rig it up, (less pricy and I prefer an all in one solution) or go for the ergonomic and proper C100 (more pricy). Since you are one of the few folks who have actual extensive experience with both cameras…may I ask your opinion on how does the C100 footage compare to the 1dx? Especially in post when colour correcting and grading? I’m assuming the C100 will be easier to grade then the 1dx but I have seen your work and you certainly did a exemplary work with the 1dX footage. May I know your thoughts? TIA

      1. Does the ALL-I advantage give more grading latitude compared to IPB on the 5DIII ?

        I’ve read people saying that ALL-I doesn’t make much difference in the 5DIII, but if it’s better for color grading then I’ll start using it.

        Thanks, Steve

          1. Thanks Philip!

            I had been using IPB, but I recently switched to ALL-I after reading your comment above. Now I will use ALL-I all the time.
            Keep up the great work, you are a great resource to all of us struggling independent filmmakers,


  33. Hi Philip,

    Love the review – as I love all your reviews (and tips, tutorials, finished productions, etc., etc.), but my head is completely wrecked now and so can I possibly just ask you one simple question: is the Sony FS700 worth the near £1900 over the Canon C100?

    Now I already have an Atomos Samurai (used when needed with my EX1), so with an Atomos Connect, I can get the full benefit of the 422 output from the C100 if needed. As for the FS700, though I’d love it for it’s slo-mo, I really, really don’t use it that often – nothing more than what a bit of Twixtor hasn’t sorted me out in the past, so being on a tight budget – it’s the quality of the image per buck that matters most, hence the question.

    Budget allows for a C100, but I ‘COULD’ try turnover a few sofas and possibly find the extra for the FS700, if I could honestly justify that extra £1900. So it does basically come down to simple economics: FS100 is a no go (I NEED ND!), C300 is also a no go, as I just do not have sofa’s that big. I love the look of the C100 and would place my order with CVP tomorrow if happy – but…….. that nagging thought is in my head that if I could just find that extra money, the FS700 would be worth the investment (as at my level, that extra £1900 is a LOT of extra money!) :0/

    Many thanks for all your work so far – it really is an inspiration.



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