Canon makes showcase at Baylor

By Matt Hellman

Film and digital media students had a hands-on experience with the newly released C300 video camera from Canon Inc. Thursday.

“We announced the Canon C300 to the world November the 4th at Paramount Studios,” Bill Dambrova, Canon account executive, said. “It is a different camera completely, designed for cinema. The 1D, 5D Mark II and its relatives — they were originally designed for still cameras, but they did a great job in video.”

Baylor students were able to operate the C300 camera, along with other Canon lenses and models, while also being presented with example videos and information about the C300.

“A camera of this caliber a few years ago would’ve been $100,000, and now you’re looking cameras in the $10,000-$20,000 range that are doing more than what would’ve been capable in the past,” Dr. Corey Carbonara, film and digital media professor, said.

Along with units of the Canon Rebel series, the 5D Mark II DSLR camera released in 2008 offered consumers the ability to record high-quality video, as well as the ability to take still pictures using single lens reflex (SLR) technology. The C300 is a product of Canon’s video and camera divisions merging together to produce an overall audibly and visually superior piece of equipment, Dambrova said.

Carbonara said he was impressed by the technology behind the camera.

“The science in the C300 allows you to manipulate the image in ways film couldn’t do. This is where visual storytelling is headed,” Carbonara said. “We are seeing a true breakthrough in digital sound and video that adds to the ability to tell a story with greater detail.”

Still, others hope to see the camera improve further.

“I think the C300 is a first piece, a base to improve on,” Highlands senior Kyle Beam said. “With all technology, the first is not always the best. The second and third ones will get better and better as they go down the line.”

Dambrova said the C300 is built strictly for video production, allowing minimal use in taking still shots for storyboarding pictures, but ideal for cinematic production.

Carbonara said he was impressed by the camera’s cinematic capabilities, and was pleased that Canon brought it to campus.

“The C300 is the most impressive camera I’ve seen for cinematic use. The fact that it can be utilized for [movie] features was remarkable,” Carbonara said. “When you see tools like this come on campus, and you have people from industry paying attention to Baylor, they recognize the future and what we are trying to do to provide knowledge for students to have the edge they need to become the artist they want to become.”

One of the main points highlighted during the camera presentation was the C300’s ability for low-light imaging, allowing for it to be adjusted to 20,000 ISO. At that point, a dim cell phone light was used to light the subject in a pitch-black room, producing a visually acceptable quality image feed.

With experience using the video capabilities of other Canon products, Beam said he prefers the 5D Mark II, believing the new model is too expensive and video aspects didn’t offer up much of a difference besides the low-light capabilities.

Other students in Carbonara’s class who tested the camera expressed excitement for the features it offered, along with the variety of lens options to use with it.

“The enthusiasm people are showing, their expressions and reactions — those are the key motivations we have,” Dambrova said. “We will come back every chance we get. Canon is an imaging company and a university is designed to educate, and the devices we brought we want to showcase for students to experience and enjoy.”