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Nino Film Blog | July 24, 2024

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Rodney Charters’ BTS on a C300 test shoot: “camera of the decade”

Rodney Charters’ BTS on a C300 test shoot: “camera of the decade”
Nino Leitner

Rodney Charters says the Canon C300 is the "camera of the decade"

I witnessed the live stream yesterday and thought this was worth sharing:

If you ever wanted to hear what a well-established Hollywood DP thinks about the upcoming C300, look no further: Rodney Charters, director of photography best known for his incredible work on the TV series “24” (here’s his IMDB profile), had a go with the C300 together with Lan Bui and Drew Gardner, both highly talented filmmakers in their own rights.

I met Lan and his brother at NAB last year – they are really talented, kind and down-to-earth guys, knocking out great stuff – check out their work. Lan knew that I shot “13:59” on the C300 with Mario Feil directing, and asked me a few things about the camera. He seems very happy with it too, and so does Rodney – in fact, he tweeted it’s “the camera of the decade”.

Lan Bui with the C300 and Rodney Charters shooting stills with his Fuji X100

On January 1st, they had another go with the camera and Rodney did a live stream for more than 30 minutes while they share their thoughts on the camera in a very casual fashion (in fact, Drew is sporting a bath robe most of the time, and his little son Sam cries for attention in the background 🙂 ).

That’s them shooting a few days earlier at the Billingsgate Fish Market in London:

Jokes aside, they love the camera for the exact same reasons I fell in love with it: Its images are lovely, the way of working with it is very natural, and especially the portability of the C300 is incredible. I find it interesting that especially Rodney seems to be very keen on making the footprint of the camera as small as possible, to be as inconspicuous as possible – that’s quite interesting considering he is mostly working with big, heavy cameras, currently mostly the Alexa (shooting Shameless) … sporting a battery that weighs 40 (!) pounds (18 kilograms).

He wants Canon to offer the C300 without the XLR/monitor add-on which goes on top (read my full review here) to get below the magical price point of $10,000. I find the idea compelling as in professional narrative filmmaking, sound is recorded separately anyway in most cases. It would definitely make sense for some people and other manufacturers could possibly create an XLR add-on that comes without the screen (which is great, by the way, very high resolution and it worked like a treat for my 1st AC on “13:59”).

They tried it with the Zacuto EVF and seem to really like the setup. Rodney and Drew are amazed by the lightness of the shoulder setup (which isn’t perfect yet as Zacuto is currently working on the production model of a rig for this camera). I can’t wait to use my Zacuto EVF with my C300 once I get it, hopefully later this month. (Check out my review of the quite awesome Zacuto EVF right here – it goes with me on almost any shoot these days.)

Unfortunately, Lan, Drew and Rodney didn’t manage to shoot something big with the C300 in London, because they had it over the holidays and everything was closed down – Lan though has posted a little something on their Bui Brothers blog, take a look.

Anyway, please share your thoughts after you saw the recording of this live stream.

And in case you are interested in the C300, drop me an email, I know a reseller who is taking preorders and offers a significant discount with a discount code (extended until January 15, 2012) – I only can’t share it publicly.


  1. That tweet’s gonna make canon sell (even) more C300!

  2. Calling it ‘camera of the decade’ is perhaps a tad premature though 2012 should be a watershed year for Canon in terms of serving the film community.

    • I agree it’s of course premature, but it illustrates how seriously this camera should be taken – a caliber like Rodney doesn’t say that easily.

      And, by the way, I think having a potential candidate for “camera of the decade” earlier in the decade increases the chance that it actually could become the most used camera of it indeed 🙂

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