ProGear gives shooters hands-on with Canon C300

Canon C300 camera is checked out by shooter at workshop

Eager to learn about Canon’s new cinema cameras, more than 100 professional motion and still shooters attended ProGear’s informative presentation of the highly touted new Canon C300 on Thursday.

Held at ProGear’s West Loop motion/still equipment rental house, the event centered on giving attendees an opportunity to get their hands on the C300 and Canon’s EOS family of 5DMII, 7D and the new 5DMIII cameras, says associate Doug Sperling.

Sperling is one of ProGear’s three owners, with principal owner Peter Biasotti and other co-owner Steve LaMonica, who formed the company four years ago.  The trio had worked together at a large local equipment company before leaving to start their own business.

Principal owner/general manager Peter Biasotti, associates Steve LaMonica and Doug Sperling In explaining the new Canon C300, Sperling notes that it is not a video camera and not a still camera, but rather “a truly professional cine camera where there are no automatic features, except for maybe a preset white balance, which gives you complete control of your shoot.” 

Sperling introduced the C300 at the workshop and gave an overview of its capabilities.  Canon rep Ed Meyers followed, speaking about the camera’s final format and its special features, such as dual slot recording on standard CF cards and the modular design making it a very comfortable camera to use in any situation.  

Questions about bit rate, lenses, resolution, color and comparisons with other cameras were tossed at Meyers.  “This was a very informed audience, who knew what they wanted to get out of the demonstrations,” Sperling says.

Shooter Brian SchillingFor the presentation, ProGear asked friend and customer still/ motion capture director/DP Brian Schilling of Schilling Film, “to put the camera through its paces and give us an honest, no holds barred opinion about the camera,” says Sperling.  And Shilling gave a very positive report.

“There was obviously a lot of input in the design of this camera.  Canon was listening by how customizable it is,” Schilling says.It now has time code and shot metadata. 

“Canon has taken the best qualities of their DSLR lines and their Camcorder lines and made something that is quickly familiar, comfortable to use, and creates great images right out of the box.”

ProGear has two rental Canon C300s

ProGear purchased two Canon C300s for its rental inventory, alongside the EOS family of cameras, with six Mark IIIs arriving in April, and what Sperling calls “a wonderful mix of high-end still cameras and the latest and greatest of lighting gear.”

“The still/video/motion market is growing in leaps and bounds and that’s where we want to be,” says Sperling about the company’s aim to keep up with ever-evolving industry trends and markets. “When something new comes out, we definitely investigate it to see how it fits with our clients’ needs.”

ProGear, occupying 6,000-sq. ft. of space, also offers for rent a 24×35-ft. still stage with a cyc, which had been constructed before video and DSLR..

“The studio is constantly rented to still photographers, many of them who come to Chicago from Los Angeles and New York and overseas.  Hospitality is an important part of a rental house.  We can accommodate everything,” he says.

ProGear is planning to hold a C300 workflow seminar in mid-to-late April in response to customers’ feedback.