The Canon EOS C300 Mark III is a beautiful cinema camera. It has all the essential things that you want and need from a cinema camera, but that doesn’t mean a few extra pieces of kit won’t make it that much better. One area where you can get huge improvements to operability are in handheld use for documentary shoots since the camera will need a relatively compact kit.
Monkeypixels does a lot of this type of shooting and has built up what he believes to be a near-perfect handheld documentary rig. If this is something that interests you then you should go check it out.
Damien is a professional documentary filmmaker. He has shot a ton of award-winning docs and most of the recent work was done using the C300 III and his handheld rig. This is actually an evolution of a rig from a year ago that sorted some of the small issues he had before. The current rig he considers to be perfect.
At the core is the C300 with the original side grip attached. There is also a Manfrotto baseplate on the bottom. For power he has a V-mount battery plate from Full Frame Camera Co. It’s a great standard power solution that will help you also get your accessories running thanks to a D-tap output.
The next piece is the top plate. This is actually one made for the C200 by SmallRig, but it fits well on the C300, too. On top of the plate is a NATO rail for attaching the top handle. There is also a cable clip for cable management.
Getting back to power Damien talks about how he uses bebob batteries. For traveling you can’t go above 100 Wh, so the V98 Micro batteries are the best pick. If you don’t need to fly you can go with the 150 Wh versions.
For the top handle we are again going with SmallRig. Their NATO Top Handle works well and has plenty of attachment points for things like the monitor mount and other accessories. The NATO mount makes it quick to attach and remove.
Next up is the monitor situation. He would prefer to have a monitor mount with ARRI locating pin, but that will get in the way of the mic later. So instead he uses a standard cold shoe monitor mount. The monitor selected is the SWIT CM-S75F, which is a 7” ultra-bright 3000-nit display. Being so bright makes it great for shooting outside in sunlight.
Audio was an earlier issue which now seems to be solved. Using the Deity S-Mic 2S shotgun mic, he mounts it using the stock mic holder attached to the side of the cheesplate. This positioning allows you to fully tilt the monitor and use ultra-wide lenses without worrying about the mic getting in the way.
Lenses are going to be a personal choice, but Damien does have a few of his favorites. He sticks with cine lenses, with his go-tos being the Tokina 11-20mm and a rehoused Sigma 18-35mm. In front of the lenses is usually the Tilta Mirage Matte Box.
It can hold a variable ND filter and a mist filter as well The benefit of an extra variable ND on a camera with built-in filters is that the variable ND is smooth while the built-in NDs are a hard transition.
When working with a director or client on set and you want them to have their own view you can use a wireless video transmitter like the Hollyland Mars 400S PRO.
They are good HDMI/SDI transmitters and can be attached to the rear of the handle. It can be powered easily with a USB cable as well.
Finally, the last piece to add is a timecode generator. This will help sync multiple cameras or external audio systems.
That’s the whole rig. What do you think? Anything missing? Does anything, in particular, stand out to you?
- Canon EOS C300 Mark III Cinema Camera (B&H)
- Full Frame Camera Co. V-Mount Plate for C300 (Full Frame Camera Co.)
- SmallRig 2056 Top Plate for Canon C200 (B&H, Amazon)
- SmallRig NATO Rail (B&H, Amazon)
- bebob V98MICRO Battery (B&H)
- SmallRig 1955 NATO Top Handle (B&H, Amazon)
- SmallRig 2174 Monitor Mount (B&H, Amazon)
- SWIT CM-S75F 7” Monitor (B&H, Amazon)
- Deity Microphones S-Mic 2S Shotgun Microphone (B&H, Amazon)
- Tilta Mirage Matte Box (B&H, Amazon)
- Hollyland Mars 400S PRO Wireless Video System (B&H, Amazon)