A New York Times photojournalist turned Hollywood director, Vincent Laforet has become synonymous with DSLR video, after his short film Reverie helped catapult Canon's 5D Mark II into the world of digital filmmaking. And after playing such a significant role in launching that camera, we certainly weren't surprised to see Laforet make an appearance at today's Canon Cinema event, with his short film Mobius getting some time on the big screen. The film follows a photojournalist who stumbles upon a Cartel execution, but it also tells the story of Canon's tightly-veiled C300 cinema camera, which the company launched just moments ago. Laforet used a pre-production C300 (note the green tape button labels) to shoot Mobius in the Mojave Desert under a variety of harsh conditions, including powerful sunlight and near-darkness, in both extremely hot and chilly temperatures -- the camera appears to have performed extremely well, given both the remote shooting environment and tight production schedule.

Canon has yet to reveal the C300's price tag, which we expect to far undercut the $120,000 Arri Alexa kit, but its sheer portability makes it a more appealing option for filmmakers -- especially those with limited time and other resources. Laforet was able to shoot his film with a very small crew, since the C300 can be operated by just one photographer. The director used the camera mounted on a tripod, tethered to a variety of helicopters, sitting on the road and even hand-held, like a camcorder or DSLR. Laforet shot with Canon's new FK30-300 telephoto cine zoom PL-mount lens, along with a variety of EOS mount lenses, and notes that the camera's form factor makes it even easier to shoot with than a DSLR like the 5D Mark II. Its cost -- somewhere in the range of $20,000 -- should also put it within reach of not only Hollywood cinematographers, but also television directors and even documentary filmmakers and news photojournalists. We won't see the C300 hit the market until late January 2012, so jump past the break for a sneak peak at Mobius to see Canon's new cinema flagship, along with a rather comprehensive behind-the-scenes video.
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Canon C300 shoot with Vincent Laforet