Would you rent the Canon C300?

Would you rent the Canon C300?
The Canon C300

The Canon C300

As many of you know, Canon has introduced the C300; its first camera in the new Cinema EOS line of products. Since its introduction, the Canon C300 has garnered a lot of criticism, especially when viewed in light of the RED Scarlet, which was announced in its final form that same day.

The $20,000 price tag on the C300 gave a lot of photographers pause, especially when you compared it to the Scarlet’s $14,000 production-ready package (or just under $10,000 for the body alone). There were other considerations, too; the Scarlet shot 24fps at 4K resolution to the C300’s 1080p. The Scarlet can autofocus Canon lenses; the C300 is manual-focus only. The Scarlet shoots in REDCode, which is kind of like shooting 24 RAW images per second at 14 megapixels each.

Clearly, the RED is the superior camera.

Or is it?

Consider what filmmaker Philip Bloom says.

“For a camera I had little interest in when it was announced it’s amazing how much I actually want it now.”

“Things I love about the C300: Size, the amazing image, EVF pretty good, the little lip at the front of the camera, light sensitivity, the onboard codec, the way it works with the Canon lenses, great quality LCD and waveform, actually works great in my hands ergonomically especially with IS lenses. Works out of the box without a rig surprisingly although a rig would be recommended for longer handheld filming. Excellent build quality yet still nice and light. The price at just under $10k for a camera of this spec is amazing. Remember this is not a DSLR but a high powered S35 camera. ”

Philip also goes on to do a shootout between the C300, the F3, the FS100 and a hacked GH2.

The folks over at Cinema5D have a similar response to this whole thing in their low-light image comparison between the C300 and the RED Scarlet.

4K sounds vastly superior – it’s 4 times the resolution of 1080p. But apart from the computing-heavy post production, there is one other downside to it: light sensitivity. If the pixels sit densely on a chip, they absorb more light, less resolution leaves more light for the individual pixel. The other part of the reason is the fact that the Mysterium-X sensor inside the Scarlet is now around 3-year-old technology. It’s not the most recent tech anymore and light sensitivity is an area where sensor technology seems to improve exponentially in recent years.

The bottom-line is this: fans of the each platform will decry the other from here to kingdom come and both sides have legitimate arguments to make.

Here at BorrowLenses.com, we definitely believe in the value of carrying RED cameras; we already have an EPIC M package in our inventory as well as a PL-mount Scarlet. Now comes the $13,000 question: should we carry the C300 as well? More importantly, would you folks rent a C300?

To find the answer, we’ve set up a poll on the right-hand-side of our site. Please take a moment to answer this poll and let us know!

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Sohail Mamdani is a writer and photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Follow him on Twitter. You can find his blog at anymedium.com and his work on 500px.


  1. Hell and yes. I don’t want to own a C300 as much as I want to be able to obtain it for specific shoots. Extreme low light stuff, sensitive handheld for hire, I could think of a good chunk of projects I could budget a C300 rental for.

  2. Just like Carlos… HELL YEAH I’d rent one.

  3. Please tell me that you’ll be offering up the C300 for rental ASAP!

    • No upDates yet on this, but we’ll post one as soon as we we do!

  4. I’d absolutely rent the C300… it’s obviously a far superior camera to most every other HD camera on the market without having to stress about the workflow of RED stuff… and again… its lowlight capabilities are insane.

    • Sorry, we can’t ship to South Africa at this time.


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