A lot of people seems to be getting quite excited and Tweeting with nervous energy - the Canon C300 DSLR-in-a-video-body is about to be delivered to those who are happy to stump up around £10,0000 or $15,000 for a camera body. Of course for that money it won't work. You need to spend another few thousand on handy things like lens adaptors, storage media, cheese boards (don't ask) and so on.
Apparantly this camera will produce footage that looks as good or slightly better than the Canon 5D MKII but with proper video stuff like mic inputs and decent metering. But is the C300 five times as good as the 5D MKII that has been used to shoot prime-time drama (House MD) and now an Oscar nominated documentary (Hell and Back Again)? Well we won't know until the side by side reviews are complete and Philip Bloom gives his highly important verdict.
But if you can't wait, umm...wait. Don't buy a C300 yet because even more exciting is the overdue announcement of the Canon 5D MKIII (yes Mark 3). Canon may have delayed the launch of this so it doesn't effect the initial sales of the C300, because even if the new 5D only improves a bit it is going to be a very worthy video camera (that happens to also take superb stills by the way). And everyone will already own all the peripherals needed to shoot great video with a stills camera.So how do Canon pitch the new 5D MKIII? Well I would double the price of the body up from around £1,600 for the current model to £3,200. It would still be almost £7,000 cheaper than a C300 (and cheaper than Canon's top of the range still cameras) and be within the reach of semi-pro operators, but it would make it look like a premium upgrade. Buyers wouldn't have to spend any extra on batteries, lenses or cheese boards.
Would I buy one at that price to shoot video? Probably not. I would get a Panasonic GH2 with a Driftwood hack for less than £1000 because it gives fantastic results and at that price I can employ a sound-man, an assistant and someone to make the tea.