8 Ways to Get the Best Footage from your CANON C100 MARK II

I've already logged a lot of hours with this new camera since I bought it last December. Here are some tips I picked up along the way:

1. KEEP YOUR ISO AT 850

ISO 850 is the base ISO of the C100 Mark II. You can drop your ISO lower or much higher, but for the cleanest image possible, ISO 850 is the sweet spot.

Ordinarily this could be problematic if you want to shoot with your lens wide open.  Let's say you're shooting an interview, indoor, with natural light. You want to shoot at f2.8, the lowest stop on your lens, but with your ISO at 850 and your shutter at 1/48, your image is overexposed. Your instinct may be to lower the ISO on the camera. Luckily, the C100 Mark II has built-in ND's which will allow you to stay at ISO 850 and still shoot wide open.

Your minimum ISO is 320 but that will introduce noise into your image and lose your highlights.

Your minimum ISO is 320 but that will introduce noise into your image and lose your highlights.

*If you do change your ISO, you'll need to remove your lens and do an Auto Black Balance which you can set up in your custom menu.

2. DOWNLOAD PROFILES AT ABELCINE AND HURLBUT VISUALS

Your C100 Mark II has different shooting profiles you can use depending on your shooting situation and post workflow. If you have time to color grade, you'll probably want to shoot in C-LOG (CP-locked), but if you need to bust out a quick edit, than Wide-DR may be better. The folks at AbelCine have a bunch of different (free) custom profiles you can load onto your camera that are made with different uses in mind ie. low light shooting, high saturation, matching your picture with a 5D Mark II. (http://blog.abelcine.com/2015/10/08/canon-c100-mark-ii-scene-files-from-abelcine/)

Shane Hurlbut has also put together some profiles for the C100 Mark II that you can pickup for $8 at https://www.hurlbutvisuals.com/blog/product/canon-c100-mk-ii-custom-picture-profiles/?tm=ic

3. SHOOT IN C-LOG 

If you want to get the most robust image out of your camera than I highly recommend you learn to expose in C-LOG. Not only do you get the most dynamic range from your camera when shooting C-LOG, you get a flat image that gives you an opportunity to color grade to your client's liking. 

You can turn on View Assist in your Mark II's menu options to load a LOG to Rec.709 LUT directly onto your viewfinder - another nice feature.

I recommend watching Shane Hurlbut's "Exposing Your Canon Cinema EOS" - it's a 27 minute video which is more than useful if you want to expose C-Log properly.

4. USE THE WIFI TO CONTROL YOUR CAMERA

The built-in WiFi on the C100 Mark II has two very important uses. The first allows you to control your C100 Mark II from a device like your smartphone or tablet. This can be useful in situations when you need to mount your camera to a gimbal like the DJI Ronin. The Mark II generates its own wifi signal that you can connect to, allowing you to control your camera's exposure and focus (depending on your lens). I used this feature recently on a long tracking shot that opened a music video. My Ronin op walked through the scene and I was able to finesse the camera's image with the included controller while viewing off an iPad.

Getting the Ronin ready for some remote control action - Photo by Jules Cortez

Getting the Ronin ready for some remote control action - Photo by Jules Cortez

The WiFi will also allow you to set-up an FTP so you can have your clips or proxies backed up to your computer or in Google Drive.

5. USE YOUR ND TO SHOOT WIDE OPEN

Having ND behind your glass is fantastic and always the best option. The C100 Mark II has three levels of ND to help you always shoot wide open, even when outside at mid-day.

When I'm shooting interviews I usually keep stay between f2.8 and f4. For landscapes and business exteriors I'll shoot between f8 and f11. For most other situations though, I'm always trying to shot wide open for a creamy, dreamy depth of field.

6. TONS OF SHOOTING OPTIONS 

The Mark II is a perfect weight and compact size to give you a bunch of shooting options. With heavier cameras like a RED, ALEXA, SONY FS7, BlackMagic Ursa Mini, your options start to become limited to shoulder mount and tripod.

I use the Mark II in 6 different configurations including on a tripod (mostly for interviews), on a Benro monopod, on my Rhino slider (either tripod mounted or light stand mounted), handheld (because it's light it's easy to go handheld with this camera), on a gimbal, and shoulder mounted. Whatever the shooting situation calls for the C100 Mark II seems to have the answer.

I go handheld for this music video shoot - Photo by Jules C

I go handheld for this music video shoot - Photo by Jules C

7. SET YOUR CAMERA TO CONTINUOUS RECORD

The Mark II has two SD card slots and the menu system allows you to configure them in a bunch of different ways. If you're shooting in an event or situation where you can't control the action and don't want to miss anything, you can set your camera to record continuously. The recording will not stop until you access the menu and writes to both card slots so you have a copy.

8. CUSTOMIZE YOUR MENU AND BUTTONS

Your Mark II menu system has a section called "My Menu". You can take any menu command and place it the "My Menu" menu, for fast access. I keep my auto black balance, SD Card formatting option, CP Locked (C-log), and Movie Format (which allows me to change from AVCHD which I use for regular shooting and MP4 for slow motion) for starters.

You also can assign and reassign button on the camera to your liking which I highly recommend. 

CONCLUSION

Have any useful tips? Share them in the comments.