Even though 4K is a hot topic right now in the industry, many filmmakers still prefer to shoot in Full HD and this shouldn't be surprising because most projects don't require such high resolutions and also the workflow is a bit simpler, so you can work faster. This is also probably why Mark Benjamin relied on EOS C300 cameras while shooting a challenging dramatic documentary series called "Chicagoland". It is an eight-part unscripted CNN series examining public safety and education and Mark wanted to achieve a cinematic look, but what was also important was to work on hardware offering high mobility and light weight. The documentary series explores how politics and policy meet in the lives of real people to generate change and innovation in social policy, education and public safety on the local level, as well as to meet national and local challenges. Executive producer Mark Benjamin said that they wanted to shoot with the C300 because it gave them a small form factor and user-friendliness, he also revealed that the goal was to go with a "one-man-band" concept of filmmaking.
"The idea of making minimally invasive, observational documentaries makes it hard to use a crew, which can get in the way. That’s why we work under a framework of ‘no lights, no sticks, no crew.’ The grapefruit size and the curved edges of the Canon EOS C300 camera make it the perfect tool for a one-man-band. We shot more than 300 days – over 1,500 hours – to make eight one-hour episodes. We needed a camera that felt good in our hands for 12-hour shooting days, and the Canon EOS C300 was it."
“You can’t be using a big camera when you’re jumping in and out of police cars at a moment’s notice or running around a high school,” noted first DP Daniel B. Levin. “You also need to be as inconspicuous as possible when you’re at Cook County Jail or filming important politicians at city hall. The Canon EOS C300 camera was able to adapt to any situation. Obviously, when you’re doing cinema vérité people know you’re there, but a camera that enables you to move freely throughout a room without disturbing what’s going on – and ease into a trusting relationship with the people there – is a major asset.”