C100 Vs. FS700

So as the DSLR age comes to a ... well not a close maybe a middle. Two big juggernauts of the camera industry face off and lob mortars... very expensive mortars.

Sony has the FS700 a great low-end cinema style camera. Canon has the C100 in a similar range in terms of price and performance.

At this point they are neck and neck on price. So it will really come down to features on this one. This is not an extensive review of these cameras, just a first impression.

An interesting note. The Sony calls the FS700 a cinema style camera, whereas Canon has clearly called the C100 a "video" camera. So they are marking out territory here that is slightly different. I'm guessing this is to protect the cinema territory of the C100's bigger brother the C300.

Sensor. The sensor in both of these is super35 size. The FS700 has a very high pixel count. The specs are a little fuzzy so far. The FS700 says that it uses 8.3MP effectively but the chip is somewhere around 11.somethingMP. This is weird, don't know yet what that's about. The FS700, consequently is a 4K camera. Mark this down. Same price, but the FS700 is 4K capable. You will have to use an external recorder but it's there. So for resolution the FS700 is a winner... I wouldn't count the C100 out yet though, the large the pixel space on a sensor the greater the dynamic range. So we will have to wait and see what the dynamic range comparison will be. Higher pixel count can also mean higher image noise in low-light situations. Some test results have shown that it's only negligibly higher than the FS100 which is really good.

Slow Motion. The FS700 has some VERY impressive slow motion options. Up to 960fps. At 960 the resolution is crap, but you will be able to do up to 240fps in Full HD on the FS700. As of right now Canon has not released any info on the C100 having any slow motion options. This may just be an omission. (If anyone sees any updates on this let me know.)

Lenses. At this point using the most common lenses (Canon and Nikon) is a little frustrating with the FS700. You have to have an adapter. There are adapters now that you can get lens control but for the most part it's frustrating. There's no simple one solution that is identified by sony, you have to do the research and find which one you need. So, even using Sony A-mount  lenses you still need a separate adapter. Although with the sony adapter you get all the lens operation. FS700 has an E-mount. They had their reasons for doing this which were good, but it makes it a little wonky. So if you have canon lenses the C100 will be a simple plug and shoot for you. I think Sony could really do better in this area. They have been notoriously shy in terms of proprietary equipment. There are a number of e-mount lenses hitting the market so in a few years, the e-mount may not be an issue at all.

NDs. The FS100's biggest complaint was that it had no ND filters. The FS700's biggest improvement (in my opinion) is the the ND filters. The C100 also has ND filters so about even on that.

LCDs. I am disappointed with the location of the LCDs on the FS700. I think the obvious winner in this realm is the C100. The FS700 has the LCD on top, which is a pretty bad place for it to sit. The C100 has it on the back like a DSLR. The good thing is, unlike most DSLRs the screen articulates to a host of different angles. I think the C300 has a better screen location for low slug shooting but the C100 definitely beats the FS700 in this regard.

EVF. The canon has one the FS700 does not... well ok wait. The FS700 has one but it is really just the LCD with a tube and eye piece on it. The C100 wins this simply because it has a separate eye piece. I like this option. With the FS700 you are putting a fair amount of pressure on the LCD when you use it as an eye piece. It holds up but just seems like a strange way to do it. So C100 wins this.

Build. The FS700 is a little plasticy. The C100 is a little more solid feeling.

Video Format. C100 has AVCHD 4:2:0 at 24mbs. The Sony FS700 has AVCHD 4:2:0 at 28mbs. So the Sony wins this one by a hair. The FS700 has an HDSDI to get a higher bit rate on an external recorder. The C100 does not have a HD SDI but claims the ability to record uncompressed to an external, so they may be equal in that regard. 

These are two amazing cameras. any questions? Pleas ask.