Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Canon C300 - Shooting in Canon Log

I must admit I was daunted when it was recommended by some people in the know that we should shoot with the C300 in Canon's high dynamic range, flat image quality, Canon Log Mode, if we truly wanted to get the best out of the camera.

In Canon's Log game mode it allows you to retain more image information for colour correction and post processing.

Jem Schofield on the Canon USA website has written an excellent and illuminating article on the subject.

It is well worth reading even if you do not intend to buy a C300 as it will give you a good understanding of the subject.(check out the section on 'View assist' where you can set the LCD to give you a predicted display of how the Canon Log will look after post production, sounds a bit bonkers but in practice this works VERY well)

I have to admit I have read it a couple of times.

But why was I daunted?

I was fearful of getting bogged down in post but actually I was surprised how easy basic post processing and colour correction was in FCP X.

When I take delivery of my C300 one of my first tasks will be to have a stab at adjusting the Gamma curve on my Canon XF305 to get somewhere in the same ball park so it will cut in OK.

It may seem an unusual combination to some, as they are very different camera's.

Crucially they both shoot the MXF format at 50mbs

But picture this, a talking head interview much like the one Lan Bui and I did of Dr Heather Whitney

Imagine we had only one operator you could use the C300 as the 'A' camera with the XF305 as a 'B' camera set on a tripod with no operator but with the very smart IAF (Intelligent AF) tracking the subjects face as they move in the frame.

Not ideal, but a solution to a situation that many of us face on a regular basis.

I'm really looking forward to getting my C300 as there are a couple of jobs it will prove very useful for in the very near future.

Stay tuned for avery special video which Lan and I will be posting tomorrow where Rodney Charters give an insight as to how he see's the C300 changing the game in Hollywood.


Box of Frogs said...

Hi Drew, thanks for the link. Interesting article. Curious about this line...

'with a high dynamic range, flat image quality, low contrast and subdued sharpness. This allows more image information to be retained for color correction and visual effects.'

Is that as relevant for still cameras for post work as it is for this C300?

Drew Gardner said...

Hey Box of Frogs,

Thanks for the comment.

Indeed it is.

RAW for stills IS very important.

Very accessible as all still camera's shoot it.



ripvanmarlowe said...

Hi Drew, I'm also about to receive some footage for a comedy sketch show that will be shot entirely on the C300. To keep our post streamlined (tight turnaround) we'd like to skip the grading process and just do an online. Does this mean we should be asking for the footage as EOS Std. as opposed to Cinema? From the manual it looks like this will give us a more "5Dish" look out of the box, as it were, without the flat Log look? Does this sound right to you? Looking for some other opinions on this. Cheers,

Drew Gardner said...

Hi Ripvanmarlowe,

Thanks for your message.

OK, here is my take on it for what its worth.

Fast turnaround so perhaps give the excellent Canon Log a miss.

I'm not quite so sure if shooting in the EOS Standard though, it is my least favourite of all settings on the C300.

It is almost like taking great camera and getting it to look like a DSLR which is not always the best...codec etc.

Yesterday I shot a commercial shoot with my C300 and I used the Gamma 3 setting and the footage looks great straight out of the camera.

When time is short tis will be my preferred setting I think.



ripvanmarlowe said...

Thanks for that Drew, it's good to get the opinion of someone who's actually used the camera. Cheers! Andi

boudumoon said...

Hi Drew. Interesting article. I've been trying out the Canon Log setting on my C300 and the results are awesome. I was shooting in a London street last week with a building in the foreground in shadow and a skyscraper in the distance in bright sunlight. Once I'd done a simple grade in Avid it looked great with an amazing exposure range. I'm a little confused about how I should be exposing shots though. With the view assist on you get an indication of what the final shot could look like but it's a bit hit and miss. I've been using the built in scope to set peaks and this seems to work ok. What's your experience and how do you maximise the exposure range?