Canon EOS C500 Mark II Review

The Canon C500 Mark II employs the same 5.9K full-frame sensor as the Cinema EOS C700FF flagship camera, which sells for around twice as much

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The Canon C500 Mark II employs the same 5.9K full-frame sensor as the Cinema EOS C700FF flagship camera, which sells for around twice as much as the Canon C500 Mark II. Thus, some people may consider it a good deal for the amount it’s being asked.

Because of this, it is the first full-frame cinema camera affordable to independent filmmakers capable of recording cinema Raw.

On the other hand, you might consider it a costly camera because it does not even support 8K recording, unlike Canon’s flagship mirrorless EOS R5 camera, which costs approximately one-quarter as much as this one.

Key Specs:

  • Sensor: 20.8-megapixel full-frame CMOS
  • Dual Digic DV7 is the name of the image processor.
  • Video formats include Cinema Raw Light 4:2:2 12-bit 2.1Gbps and MP4 XF-AVC 4:2:2 10-bit 810Mbps; 5952 x 3149 6K, 3840 x 2160 4K, 2048 x 1080 2K, and 1920 x 1080 Full High-Definition.
  • Frame Rates: 59.94/50/ 29.97/ 25/24/23.98p
  • Fast frame rates: 60fps Cine Raw Light and XF-AVC full-frame recording at 120 frames per second at 2K resolution
  • ISO range: 160-25,600, extendable 100-102,400
  • The dynamic range is greater than 15 stops in C-Log2.
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF autofocus, one shot, continuous, face priority shooting mode
  • Lens Mount: Canon EF (User changeable to PL)
  • Stabilization along all five axes
  • Screen: 109mm/4.3in LCD touchscreen, 2.76 million dots
  • Viewfinder: Add-on LM-V2
  • Peaking, color bars, waveform, zebras, and focus aid are some of the controls.
  • Speeds of the Shutter: 1 Second to 1/2000 Second
  • Filters: built-in ND with up to ten stops of adjustment
  • Slots for SD and SDHC memory cards in addition to two CF Express Type B slots
  • LCD with a fully articulating touchscreen LED measuring 3 inches and 1440K dots
  • Connectivity options include Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HDMI, and 12G-SDI in addition to a Mini-B USB port.
  • Size: 167.6×152.4×147.3mm
  • Weight: 1.7kg (body only)

In contrast, a compact mirrorless camera will never be able to compete with the Canon Cinema EOS C500 Mark II regarding the overall usefulness of the camera in the context of shooting video in the real world. So, for example, there are no issues with the device overheating.

The Canon EOS C500 Mark II brings together the best features of high-end cinema cameras and mirrorless technology in a modular body that can be stripped down for use with drones or gimbals, dressed up for movies with external monitors and other such accessories, or fitted with accessory backs to allow for full TV broadcasting.

You do not have to permanently attach the essential components, such as ND filters, big battery packs, or an external recording monitor, to achieve the best possible quality. It’s all a part of the package.

The C500 Mark II records to a pair of CFExpress cards in the 12-bit Canon Raw Light format. However, if you wish to register in the full-fledged 16-bit Raw format, you can purchase a digital recorder as an accessory. The camera utilizes the 4K 4:2:2 10bit XF-AVC recording codec, both broadcast, and edit-ready. This allows for a speedier workflow without the need to convert Raw files.

All of this is in a camera that features sophisticated phase-detection autofocus that uses many focus points, a bright touchscreen, and recording at 120 frames per second for languid motion.

It only takes a few seconds to detach the four bolts holding the conventional EF lens mount. Then, either out, which supports the Cooke/I system to transfer lens data to the camera, or an EF Cinema Lock mount, suited for Canon cine primes with a follow-focus rig attached, can be mounted to the camera using a follow-focus rig.

You can use whichever lenses you like, be they old glass, anamorphic lenses from another era, or prime lenses in the traditional form. There is also an adapter for TV-style lenses that uses the B4 mount.

The Canon EOS C500 Mark II is an entirely versatile cinema camera since it offers a selection of different body types, lens mounts, and codecs.

Construction and maneuverability

The C500 Mark II was the first of the new Canon Cinema EOS cameras to employ a modular body, which it now shares with the more recent EOS C300 Mark III. This body design was introduced in the C500 Mark II. In addition, this camera employs a sensor with a smaller Super35mm format, which is analogous to the APS-C structure.

Although the built-in ND filters on the full-frame model have a maximum exposure range of 10 stops, they are of the traditional, stepped form rather than the electronically changeable type utilized by Sony’s most recent cameras, such as the FX9.

These include controls for professional audio as well as a long-lasting battery. Unfortunately, the BP-A60 comes bare with a battery with a runtime of around 90 minutes. However, larger batteries are also available.

The ergonomic grip may be changed, and several configurable buttons are located all over the camera that can be assigned to different functions. In addition, a user-friendly redesigned on-screen display that provides menu access is now being utilized.

The vast thumbwheel on the left side of the camera body or the joystick on the monitor can be used to adjust the settings. In addition, zebras, waveforms, and false color warnings can assist you in achieving the perfect focus and exposure. Finally, there is complete support for LUTs; you can also load your own.

On the back of the camera are a button designated explicitly for the LUT and two buttons allowing access to high frame rate recording. The first activates high frame rates, while the second enables you to adjust the frame rate.

After attaching the grip, top handle, and screen bracket, you will have a fully functional camcorder for working in fast-paced environments such as weddings, events, or documentaries.

A connector on the back of the camera allows you to plug in one of the accessories, such as a tiltable OLED viewfinder with 1.77 million dots that is sturdy and brilliant and has an adjustable dioptre wheel.

You can mount two completely different devices in their place. The EU-V1 Extension Unit 1 includes ethernet, making it simple to perform live streaming; a remote control socket; and Genlock/Sync out options, making it suitable for use in situations involving several cameras.

A V-mount plate that can accommodate larger batteries is included on the larger EU-V2 Extension Unit. It consists of a 12-pin lens terminal, two XLR terminals, a 24V DC output socket, and the additional connection that the EU-V1 provides. It transforms the camera into a production unit ready for broadcasting and streaming.

In addition, if you are familiar with the ergonomics of Canon’s Cinema EOS family of cameras, you won’t have any trouble learning how to use the camera right away.

Performance

The Canon EOS C500 Mark III is regarded as one of the best 4K cameras that money can buy, despite its features of a 5.9K sensor. Because the data from the 5.9K sensors is over-sampled into 4K, moire and noise are significantly reduced, resulting in exceptionally excellent image quality. This is made possible by oversampling. It is possible to record in 5.9K, which provides much leeway in cropping options after the fact.

All of these files are pretty data-intensive, and as a result, they will cause a slowdown on all computers other than the newest and most expensive ones. However, proxy recording can also co-occur, which is a blessing. In addition to recording Cinema Raw Light or XF-AVC internally into CFexpress cards, this is also conceivable.

For the final output, you can replace these low-resolution proxy files with the high-resolution Raw or XF-AVC video. This allows you to edit the low-resolution proxy files without the full-size film slowing down your editing process.

Naturally, your video editing software can produce low-resolution proxies during the import step if you want it to; however, doing so will significantly lengthen the time before you can begin editing the footage. Instead, having them ready to go saves time as soon as they come out of the camera.

Regarding speed, the Canon EOS C500 Mark II features a 12G-SDI interface, which offers transmission speeds that are four times faster than those of 3G-SDI. This provides 4K 50/60p output with a single SDI connection, which is suitable for broadcast equipment or recorders outside the broadcast facility. Recording in 4K at 50/60 frames per second is also possible with HDMI output.

It is said that the sensor has a dynamic range greater than 15 stops and is perfect for shooting in High Dynamic Range, recording in PQ/HLG for HDR work, and using Canon Log 2 and 3.

To achieve the highest possible quality, you should use Cinema Raw Light because it maximizes the data from the sensor, allowing you to extract more highlight and shadow detail, then increase sharpness, manage noise, modify the white balance, and significantly tweak the colors during the grading process.

Canon was the first company to provide Raw video files that could be used, and the C500 Mark II makes obtaining extraordinarily detailed and crisp footage simple. In addition, the film, whether in Raw or XF-AVC format, is immaculate and noise-free, just as one would anticipate from a big sensor.

A 50/60p option is available at 5.9K resolution when using the Cinema RAW Light codec; however, reducing the answer to 2K or HD can achieve up to 120 frames per second. There is a crop, but it can go up to 120 frames per second in XF-AVC.

Canon has never been a manufacturer that has gone crazy for high frame rates, and the camera’s maximum frame rate of 120 fps is the one feature that is even slightly disappointing, given that competitors offer up to 120 fps in 10-bit 4:2:2 4K or 240 fps in Full High Definition.

Canon excels in its autofocus functionality, which performs exceptionally well and can be easily customized to accommodate a wide range of applications. Additionally, Canon’s 5-axis Image Stabilization, compatible with anamorphic lenses, is a significant competitive edge over other manufacturers’ offerings. Although it cannot replace a gimbal, it is undeniably beneficial for handheld work.

Canon EOS C500 Mark II Specifications

Imaging

Lens MountCanon EF
Lens CommunicationYes, with Autofocus Support
Sensor ResolutionActual: 20.8 Megapixel (6062 x 3432)
Effective: 18.69 Megapixel (5952 x 3140)
Sensor TypeFull-Frame CMOS
Built-In ND FilterMechanical Filter Wheel with 2 Stop (1/4), 4 Stop (1/16), 6 Stop (1/64), 8 Stop (1/256), 10 Stop (1/1024) ND Filters
Internal Filter HolderNo
Capture TypeStills & Video

Exposure Control

Shutter TypeElectronic Rolling Shutter
ISO Sensitivity160 to 25,600 (Extended: 100 to 102,400)
Advertised Dynamic Range15 Stops
Internal Recording ModesCinema RAW Light 12-Bit
5952 x 3140 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
4096 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
3840 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
Cinema RAW Light 10-Bit
5952 x 3140 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
4096 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
3840 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps
XF-AVC 4:2:2 10-Bit
4096 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [160 to 810 Mb/s]
3840 x 2160 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [160 to 810 Mb/s]
2048 x 1080 up to 119.88 fps [160 to 810 Mb/s]
1920 x 1080p at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [160 to 810 Mb/s]
XF-AVC 4:2:0 8-Bit
2048 x 1080 at 23.98/24.00/25/29.97/50/59.94 fps [24 to 35 Mb/s]
Sensor Crop ModesSuper35 / APS-C

Super16
Sensor Crop While Recording5K (5952 x 3140) in 17:9 When Recording in Raw
4K (4096 x 2160) in 17:9 When Recording in Raw
2K (2048 x 1080) in 17:9 When Recording in Raw
Variable Frame RatesUp to 119.88 fps
Gamma CurveCanon Log 2, Canon Log 3, HDR-HLG, HDR-PQ, Normal 1, Wide DR
Recording LimitUp to 401 Minutes
Built-In Microphone TypeMono
Audio Recording4-Channel 24-Bit 48 kHz LPCM Audio
IP StreamingYes

Still Image Capture

Aspect Ratio16:9

Interface

Media/Memory Card SlotDual Slot: CFexpress Type B
Single Slot: SD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-II)
Video I/O1 x BNC (12G-SDI) Output
1 x BNC (3G-SDI) Output
1 x HDMI Output
Audio I/O1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Microphone Input
2 x XLR 3-Pin Mic/Line Input
1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Microphone Input
1 x 1/8″ / 3.5 mm TRS Stereo Headphone Output
Power I/O1 x XLR 4-Pin (11.5 to 20 VDC) Input
Other I/O1 x BNC (Timecode) Input/Output
WirelessNone

Monitor

Size4.3″
Resolution2,760,000 Dot
Display TypeIncluded External Touchscreen LCD

Viewfinder

TypeOptional, Not Included

Focus

Focus TypeAuto and Manual Focus
Focus ModeAutomatic, Manual Focus, Continuous-Servo AF

General

Battery TypeCanon BP-A Series
Netflix ApprovedYes
Dimensions (W x H x D)6.6 x 6 x 5.8″ / 16.8 x 15.2 x 14.7 cm
Weight3.9 lb / 1.77 kg

Packaging Info

Package Weight14.445 lb
Box Dimensions (LxWxH)18.4 x 14.5 x 12.7″

Final Verdict

Creative filmmakers have long yearned for the incredibly shallow depth of field and low-light performance that can only be obtained with a full-frame sensor, stunning autofocus that works, in-body image stabilization, and manageable Raw files that you can record internally, as well as 10-bit 4:2:2 broadcast-ready codecs. Full-frame sensors, stunning autofocus that works, in-body image stabilization, and manageable Raw files that you can record internally are some features that full-frame sensors offer.

Everything is included within the body of a high-end motion picture camera. In an ideal world, a body that can be utilized for any imaginable project, from high-quality drama productions on Netflix to documentaries, weddings and advertisements, live streaming, and event coverage.

And even TV broadcasts, all within a reasonably priced camera, as opposed to constantly needing separate cameras for different jobs. These features are included in the Canon EOS C500 Mark II package.

Canon EOS C500 Mark II Price

Canon EOS C500 Mark II FAQs

Is C500 Mark II worth it?

Yes, the Canon C500 Mark II is a cinema camera that should be considered by working filmmakers looking for a high-quality camera with various sophisticated features.

Is Canon C500 Mark II Netflix approved?

The Canon C500 Mark II has been given the green light by Netflix and satisfies all of their requirements for recording their original material.

When was the Canon C500 Mark II released?

2019 saw the debut of the Canon C500 Mark II camera system.

What is the frame rate of Canon C500 Mark II?

The Canon C500 Mark II can take photographs at several different frame rates, including up to 60 frames per second in 5.9K and up to 120 frames per second in 2K split mode.

How much does a Canon C500 Mark II cost?

The Canon C500 Mark II can range anywhere from $15,000 to $20,000 depending on the configuration you select and the retailer from which you make your purchase; however, the average price is $15,000.

Is the C500 Mark II full frame?

As this model’s name suggests, the Canon C500 Mark II does not have a full-frame camera. Instead, it utilizes a CMOS camera that is Super 35mm.

What is the size of C500 Mark II?

The Canon C500 Mark II is compact and modular, with measurements of approximately 6.5 x 4.5 x 4.7 inches (165 x 117 x 119mm) without accessories. These dimensions are comparable to those of a standard DSLR camera.

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