Providing the very latest in digital cinema cameras and lenses is essential for success in the motion-picture production equipment rental business. Offering clients a diverse portfolio of equipment helps them maintain their craft and stay abreast of the latest technology developments. For Koerner Camera Systems this means offering a range of Canon Cinema EOS equipment including EOS C300 digital cinema cameras and multiple Cinema zoom lenses and Cinema prime lenses from Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions.
To help boost its product offerings and reach additional filmmakers and production professionals, Koerner Camera Systems recently added eight Canon EOS C300 digital cinema cameras, one Canon CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L SP wide-angle cinema zoom lens, two Canon CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L SP telephoto cinema zoom lenses, and two Canon CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L compact telephoto cinema zoom lenses to its rental inventory. Three of the Canon EOS C300 digital cinema cameras take PL-mount lenses, while the remaining four utilize EF-mount lenses, including Koerner’s Canon CN-E24mm T1.5 L F, CN-E50mm T1.3 L F, and CN-E85mm T1.3 L F cinema prime lenses and its large inventory of Canon EF-series photographic lenses. This diverse equipment catalog, including Canon digital SLR cameras such as the EOS-1D C hybrid 4K DSLR cinema camera and the 5D Mark III camera, is well-suited to the broad range of customers Koerner Camera Systems serves from its facilities in Portland and Seattle according to company owner Michael Koerner.
“The Canon EOS C300 digital cinema camera is an awesome camera,” Koerner stated. “The EOS C300 digital cinema camera is compact and extremely lightweight. Its low-light capabilities are very impressive, its ergonomics are nice, and users like its intuitive menu system. The camera also produces an exceptional image. At the end of the day it’s all about picture quality, which is why our rental clients keep coming back for it.”
The price and performance of the Cinema EOS System allow Koerner to offer rental packages at an attractive pricepoint, while the compatibility and familiarity with Canon DSLR cameras help encourage new clientele to “step-up” their next shoot to a EOS C300 digital cinema camera. Compatibility with PL or EF lenses allow step-up filmmakers to use the same great EF lenses they own and love, while also taking advantage of some of Canon’s new EF Cinema lenses for additional optical diversity and mechanical performance.
“Even though we have eight Canon EOS C300 digital cinema cameras in our inventory, their popularity requires us to occasionally sub-rent more of them,” Koerner continued. “The price of the EOS C300 digital camera is just right, so it attracts clients from both ends of the rental spectrum. A lot of the jobs the EOS C300 digital cinema camera is rented for would normally have gone to more expensive cameras. There are also digital SLR users who have jumped up to the EOS C300 digital cinema camera. But unlike a digital SLR, the EOS C300 digital cinema camera is designed to do long takes, which has made it popular for episodic series shoots.”
Koerner noted that in addition to commercials, indie films, corporate videos, and a popular local sketch-comedy episodic television series, the Canon EOS C300 digital cinema camera’s compact size also makes it a favorite of documentary producers.
“The low profile of the EOS C300 digital cinema camera makes it look like a still camera,” he said. “This is advantageous for documentary shooters because people tend to clam-up and get nervous around big cameras. The EOS C300 digital camera lets you be less obtrusive and shoot things that might require a permit if you were using a bigger camera, which needs a larger crew.”
Diverse Lens Choices
Of particular importance to his Canon EOS C300 digital cinema camera rental clients is their ability to choose between the PL- and EF-mount versions of the camera, Koerner explained, depending on their own particular needs and creative priorities. The EOS C300 digital cinema camera is equipped with an EF lens mount for use with Canon’s line of more than 60 interchangeable EF and EF-S lenses designed for Canon EOS digital SLR cameras, as well as Canon’s line of EF Cinema lenses. The EOS C300 PL digital cinema camera is designed for use with the wide array of industry-standard PL-mount lenses, including several new high-performance Canon cinema lenses.
“Lens versatility is very important,” he noted. “We can provide Canon PL-mount or Canon EF-mount lenses, depending on what clients ask for. Many cinematographers already own Canon EF-mount lenses for their digital SLR cameras. A lot of times we’ll just rent out the EOS C300 digital cinema camera body to those users, and then they will use their own Canon EF-mount lenses, which run the gamut from extremely wide to very long. These Canon lenses are also lightweight, which makes them easy for documentary shooters to travel with and to pass through customs without attracting attention.”
Canon also makes five EF-mount cinema prime lenses and four cinema zoom lenses available in both EF and PL versions. These Canon cinema zoom lenses include two competitively priced top-end zoom models with over 4K resolution and two compact lightweight hand-held zoom models with 4K resolution. Koerner Camera purchased three of the top-end Canon zoom lenses: one CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L SP wide-angle cinema zoom lens and two CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L SP telephoto cinema zoom lenses. Koerner also purchased two CN-E30-105mm T2.8 L compact telephoto cinema zoom lenses and three Canon EF-mount cinema prime lenses. Koerner’s three Canon prime lenses – the CN-E24mm T1.5 L F, CN-E50mm T1.3 L F, and CN-E85mm T1.3 L F – provide high optical performance levels and a choice of versatile focal lengths for a wide range of creative shooting choices for large-format single-sensor cameras employing Super 35mm or full frame 35mm imagers.
“Our clients really like these lenses,” Koerner informed. “The Canon 30-300mm cinema zoom lens has great resolution, a nice size, and it’s long. It’s also refreshing that Canon is up-front about the specifications of the 30-300mm cinema zoom lens. Buying two of them was a big commitment, but we’ve had to sub-rent a third more than a few times this past summer. Putting it on the EOS C300 digital cinema camera really helps with the package price for a high-end imaging system.”
Koerner added that his company also rents the Canon EOS-1D C hybrid 4K DSLR cinema camera, and the Canon 5D Mark III, 5D Mark II, and 7D digital SLR cameras with such Canon EF lenses as the 16-35mm ultra-wide zoom, 24-70mm and 24-105mm standard zooms, and the 70-200mm telephoto zoom. “These cameras are being used by budget-conscious commercial and corporate shooters who may be seeking a lower profile and the look of the larger imager in the 5D Mark II digital SLR cameras,” he added.
A Positive Experience
In addition to providing Koerner with high-performance equipment Canon goes one step further to help Koerner keep their equipment running at top performance and operability. Koerner has special praise for the support Canon provides after the sale.
“It’s inevitable in the rentals business that equipment gets broken, things go down, and they need to be worked on,” Koerner noted. “We have been dealing with major manufacturers since I started Koerner Camera Systems 16 years ago, and the response from Canon is incredible. It’s pretty much unrivaled for a major manufacturer. They’re a pleasure to deal with.”
Canon realizes that no equipment downtime means more profits for businesses that rely on Cinema EOS products. Minimizing equipment downtime and providing service that is fast, high quality and flexible is central to Canon’s service philosophy. Services provided by Canon on professional products include priority repair processing, product cleaning and maintenance, training that allows businesses to maintain their own equipment, and much more.
“Canon also makes it really easy for processing your payment,” Koerner added. “If you ship them something, chances are you’ll get an estimate the day they receive it, or the next day for sure. You’ll get a breakdown on the condition of your camera or lens, and the replacement cost. It’s usually just a couple days to get it back. A lot of the major manufacturers’ cinematography parts are quite expensive, but Canon repairs are much more affordable.”
“We have had an extremely positive experience with Canon and it’s always exciting to see them come out with new products,” Koerner concluded. “Hopefully they can keep one-upping themselves.”