Loren Simons
Loren Simons

Loren Simons started his adventures into the depths of the technical world while as a middle school student in Southern California. Today, he is a Canon Hollywood Professional Technology and Support Center Senior Product and Sales Trainer.

EOS C100 Mark II & the new frontier at Sundance 2015

January 28, 2015

Now, I’m the first to admit I’m a self-proclaimed camera geek. The specs ‘n tech are a huge part of what I do as a Product Trainer based out of the Canon Hollywood Professional Technology and Support Center. You can wind me up on a simple question and you’ll leave knowing way more than you asked or possibly even wanted.

During the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, Canon USA has been a proud sponsor for the last five years and this year, Canon opened the doors of the Canon Creative Studio yet again. At the annual film festival, devoted not only to independent films but to the entire production process of the independent filmmakers, the Studio was a cozy getaway for filmmakers to escape the cold, sip on drinks, and talk shop. It drew crowds of people from all different backgrounds – from seasoned cinematographers like Stephen Goldblat, ASC, BSC, to writers showing for the first time at Sundance, the Canon Creative Studio was a melting pot of filmmakers joining the technical with the creative.

Photo by Loren Simons

 

Throughout the three days the Canon Creative Studio to the public, I taught three sessions on the new EOS C100 Mark II in a class appropriately named, “Another Tool in the Belt.” In the sessions, we covered everything from form to function on the newest camera body to grace the Cinema EOS product line. I’d like to take a moment here to nerd out on paper, officially wearing my geek badge with honor, for the entire Internet community to see.

Photo by Robert Schall

 

The EOS C100 Mark II has some pretty big updates, both in terms of ergonomics and functionality. We’ve updated the display and optics in the new on-board viewfinder, making a viewfinder that I am truly comfortable judging focus from. In addition, we’ve attached a beautiful OLED screen that is not only sharp and bright, but also very accurate in terms of color rendition. However, what good is a sharp and bright viewfinder if you can’t see it? We’ve also integrated a new hinge design that allows the monitor to be seen from any side of the camera, so no matter how you operate, you will always be able to see your picture.

From talking to filmmakers at Sundance, that is where a lot of people think the upgrades ended. A few filmmakers were aware of the fact that the camera can now shoot 60P at full 1080, but that was really the extent of what they thought.

Truly, the most exciting part of the EOS C100 Mark II is the new DIGIC DV 4 image processor. While the actual imaging sensor in the camera remains the same as the one found in the original EOS C100, C300, and C500, the new image processor handles the data from the sensor in an entirely new way. I will restrain myself in this short posting from going into exactly how it works, but the end result is a higher quality image, with less moiré, sharper edges, and much cleaner images at very high ISOs. Now that is the good stuff – the stuff that makes this camera a worthy upgrade for anyone looking to upgrade their image quality and get a truly remarkable HD image in an incredibly small and ergonomic package.

So what else did I see at the show? Surely I didn’t just stand by our awesome lowlight demonstration using a film-changing tent and an iPhone? And I must have done more than just run around with a DJI Ronin and demonstrate the beautiful pairing of Gimbal Stabilizers with the integrated Dual Pixel CMOS AF and Face AF of the EOS C100 Mark II? Well, for the most part, that’s exactly what I did. But at the same time I was able to talk to some amazing filmmakers and I’d like to tell you just briefly about one.

Dan Mirvish, a director and producer, brought me something I had really never seen. Essentially, he found what appeared to be old rebranded Vivitar 135mm lens with a Minolta Mount that he picked up for $8. Not a slave to traditional high-cost adapters, Dan took a body cap from his Canon EF body, drilled a hole through the center and then collimated the lens by eye and voilà! He built a vintage EF 135mm lens that he plans on using for his next production’s flashback sequence. New cameras and beautiful films aside, this was arguably one of the most interesting moments for me at Sundance because it really brought the entire event in full circle.

Photo by Loren Simons

 

For as much as I am about the techs n’ specs, filmmaking is about emotions, not numbers. It is emotional people making emotional films to convey emotions to their audiences. Filmmakers really put their all into their work in unique and creative ways and the great ones can convey emotions with a body cap, some electrical tape, and an $8 lens.

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