Filmmaking with Canon- A review of the EOS C300/C500 Camera

A documentary film requires documenting the facts as they happen, how they happen. There can’t
be any scope of an error. Constant and fast changing technology is making it difficult for independent
filmmakers to buy equipments and to recover money from their films, which used to be much easier few
years back. Choosing the right equipment and making a wise purchase decision has become vital.

Currently we have been working on a wildlife documentary on some of the rare amphibians species of
India and we were fortunate that Canon India provided us with their new cine camera EOS C300, for a
hands-on experience. Please find below our review for this camera.

Wildlife Filmmaking with Canon

Shooting natural history documentaries, especially wildlife, is really challenging and one needs to be
very quick and flexible with their equipments. The C300 scores a thumbs-up there because it is very
compact, flexible and one can move around in the forest very easily.


This camera is very small and so it can easily fit in your backpack and you can carry it along on your
expeditions. You might trek for long hours and since in the wild anything can happen at any moment,
you need to be really quick to grab whatever comes on your way. You can easily take the camera out
and start shooting. That’s the beauty of this camera.

EF Mount

Both of us brothers, while working on location like to film and shoot still photographs simultaneously.
This camera gives us the flexibility of shooting stills and doing video at the same time. This camera
comes with an EF lens mount. You don’t have to invest extra money buying a lens that gives option of
various focal lengths. The EF lens mount is very important for us since we have a wide range of DSLR
lenses. It gave us diversity for filming video- from macro to extreme wide shots. Luckily, the cameras
C300/C500 come in both EF mount as well as PL mount. Canon has also launched high quality Cinema
lens for their PL mount.


A bigger sensor means larger amount of light reaches, which means we need to use much less external
lights than what we normally use. This brings our production costs down. We feel this is the biggest
strength of this camera and scores high here. The big sensor not only produces sharp picture but also
can shoot in really low light. We have read the same thing in many other websites but it was pure luxury
to use this feature and see the result.

Amphibians are very sensitive to light and so it was essential to use minimum lights so that we don’t
disturb the animal, crucial for ethical wildlife film-making. Most of the time we were just using red light
from our headlamps to look for them. The low light conditions made things very difficult for us but still
we could capture some interesting behaviour with the help of this camera. If you watch the clip below
it would be evident, but just to add, we have used upto 20,000 ISO/30 dB (Gain) and we could still use
the footage. You will definitely have noise in the shot but it is fine and you can broadcast the footage if
necessary, unlike any other conventional camera.

Broadcast Quality

It records at 50 Mbps 8 bit 4:2:2 codec thats accepted by most of the TV channels. The files of this
camera are pretty detailed and much above the quality of DSLR cameras which normally record at 25-35
Mbps. Of course, the 4K of the C500 holds a lot more details. However, the C500 is a part of the Cinema
camera range. Other than that, none of the DSLRs come close to the C300.

Sound Quality

Wildlife locations require the capturing of numerous different sounds simultaneously. This camera has a
dual XSLR in-built audio input. We found it really easy to record the on-location sounds in the wilderness
and the camera captured even the smallest sound with complete detail.


When traveling to remote locations you have very limited resources and if the battery goes down, you
need to change the battery pack immediately. For such situations, we usually carry quite few batteries,
which could be additional excess baggage and doesn’t come cheap. While using C300, we used just
two batteries in the field for entire day’s shoot and it worked perfectly well. This camera uses very less
power as compared to other video cameras.

We have compiled a short video review using Canon C300, talking about the functions and behind-the-
scenes of our current film that we captured some rare and hardly see behavior of Indian frogs in the wild,
along with emininent scientist and researcher Dr S D BIju from University of Delhi who is involved with
discovering 50 lost amphibians of India. Also with Dr. K.V. Gururaja and entire team of lost amphibians!

Review Canon EOS C300

Over the past few months, we have used the Canon C300 / C500 camera and have found it
extremely good for shooting even in low light conditions and with broadcast quality video.
Due to its small size and easy portability, the C300 / C500 is a promising camera for all
filmmakers out there who do not want to be restricted in any aspect while shooting their

ETHICS STATEMENT: Canon India supplied us with a camera for testing and evaluation purposes. We
have not been paid for this and will never be paid by any manufacturer to review a product. This was
all done in our own time and for the people visiting our website. If you do decide after watching this
to purchase the camera, doing so through our affiliates makes these reviews possible (Canon India
and for everywhere else links are below!)

More technical details for Canon EOS cameras C300 & C500,
click below