Well, for starter, both cameras are abundant on the used market and at great prices. Second, older doesn’t mean it can’t keep up. And 3rd, some people may be looking at many different options and this could sway them toward a decision.
So we decided to pin both cameras against each other, doing all the basic tests, and see if the FS5 is light years ahead or if the C100 still hold in today’s standards.
All of our tests were made with both cameras at the same settings and with the same lens.
Let’s get to it!
Dynamic Range: C-log VS S-log
In the dynamic range comparison, the difference can be seen right away. The Sony FS5 really shines here capturing both shadows and highlights in the image while the Canon C100 struggles to get all that information.
Here the Sony FS5 is the clear winner with its 14-stops of dynamic range
For the rolling shutter, it is a different story, Sony cameras are notorious for rolling shutter and the FS5 is no different. In our test, our subject (the windows) are slightly slanted to the right, but with the motion, it completely skews them to the left, when for the C100, it still skews them a little but not enough to reverse the orientation of the windows.
Rolling Shutter wise, the Canon C100 handles it better.
During this test, Marc and James though the C100 would have moire since it produced some on the monitor but when the footage was imported at full resolution in the computer no moire was apparent. With the Sony FS5, no moire is produced in the footage.
In this round, it’s a draw, both cameras handle moire like champs.
Low Light Performance
As for low light, the Canon C100 is surprisingly (for a 5 years old camera at the time of this article) good all the way to its max ISO with a clear image and a minimum of noise. The Canon C100 produces useable footage even without denoiser at high ISO. The Sony FS5, on the other hand, doesn’t shine here, which is surprising for a camera with a high native ISO. For a camera that the ISO can be cranked higher than the C100, the FS5 falls apart really quickly, the image becomes muddy and lose tons of detail in low light (same observations were made in our a6300 vs FS5 article). In the FS5’s defense, the noise becomes a lot less apparent when color corrected but the muddiness stays the same.
For the low light, the C100 is the winner.
This one is a tough one. Both cameras are identical to our eyes, if we adjust the picture a little bit to match on both cameras, it becomes really hard to differentiate which is which. In this case, no camera seems to be ahead of the other one, both have a good respectable image quality with plenty of details.
Image quality… it’s a draw!
In conclusion, the C100 Mk1 is still a really good camera to this day, if you are a videographer that is starting or looking to get a package that is a little bit more professional than a DSLR, the C100 Mk1 is a good contender. There is a lot of talk of “future proofing” and whatnot but the fact of the matter is, that most of us create short-lived content like commercials that will be only relevant for the next 6 months or YouTube content that will be forgotten in 2 years. For this, in our opinion, 4K is not a mandatory at the moment. The hurdles it creates such as storage management and expensive workstations required to edit it is not worth it.
For all those reasons, the C100 MK1 is still a really powerful camera in the hands of a videographer that knows the basic.
But this is not a pro-C100 review, the FS5 is James’ favorite out of this battle, but we have to be honest and face the facts, you need to get the tool that is best suited for you. So, if you film everything in 60fps+ and hyper stylize your image, then the FS5 is for you, but if you would never use those features, do yourself a favor, and save money at the same time and grab a C100!
We, hope you like the camera shootout and we would love to hear from you. Leave us a comment below and follow us on social media.