In an ideal world, all professional filmmakers would have a main camera and an identical B-cam on every shoot – both set up the same, with the same lenses and codecs, for seamless integration. In reality, it is sometimes not possible to film on two top-tier Canon cinema cameras, so when a single camera just isn't enough, what are the alternatives? Opting for a different B-cam within the Canon range not only makes it possible to maintain a consistent look, but also offers distinct benefits, such as being able to take advantage of a smaller form-factor, different frame rates and enhanced low-light capabilities.
Brett Danton is a commercial filmmaker who has shot commercials for luxury car manufacturers, including Jaguar's F-PACE ad. He films on a Canon EOS C500 Mark II and uses a Canon EOS-1D X Mark III as his B-cam. The EOS-1D X Mark III has also proved to be a versatile B-cam for documentary filmmaker Alex Wykes, who pairs it with a Canon EOS C300 Mark II cinema camera on shoots that have taken him from the mountains of Russia to the Kalahari Desert. And documentary cameraman Dan Lightening – who has shot music videos for the Gallagher brothers, Nile Rodgers and Jamiroquai, as well as ads for leading brands – films on a Canon EOS C200, which works seamlessly alongside his Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.
Here, the three filmmakers discuss their favoured Canon A/B-cam combinations and the benefits of pairing models with compatible lenses and codecs on their demanding shoots.