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Canon EOS C500 Review

As Canon’s initial venture into the field of 4K digital cinema production, the Canon EOS C500 4K Cinema Camera (EF Lens Mount) is equipped with an EF lens mount. The EOS C500 fulfills the potential of the large (Super 35mm-size), high-resolution (8.8 Mp effective) CMOS imager by delivering full 4K RAW output via 3G-SDI. This sensor is shared with the older EOS C300 camera.

Additionally, the C500 and the C300 share the same body style in common. The EOS C500 has been created specifically with the art of digital cinematography in mind, as evidenced by its large, easily accessible buttons that are separated by ridges.

Its signal output is similarly suitable: The 10-bit 4K RAW data stream output can be recorded to an approved external device (available separately) at full resolution at recording rates up to 60 frames per second. This recording can be done at any frame rate.

By utilizing both of the C500’s 3G-SDI outputs, you are able to capture up to 120 frames per second onto an external recorder. This is made possible by a format known as 4K half RAW, which reduces the horizontal resolution by half.

The Canon EOS C500 can integrate with tried-and-true workflows used in the production of feature films. You can record proxy files at a rate of 50 Mb/s to the camera’s internal CF card while the camera is also recording 4K RAW data outside. This will allow you to begin editing a rough cut or dailies as soon as a scene is over.

The camera is equipped with Canon’s Log gamma mode, which produces outstanding tone reproduction in both the highlight and lowlight parts of an image and a significantly extended dynamic range. This allows for the largest possible freedom for making color adjustments during post-production.

The EOS C500 comes equipped with an EF mount, making it compatible not only with Canon’s extensive collection of DSLR lenses but also with the company’s rapidly expanding lineup of EF Cinema Zoom and Prime lenses.

This camera has a CMOS sensor that is of a 3-perf Super 35mm size, and these lenses are meant to be a perfect match for that sensor. In the same way that the camcorder was designed specifically for digital cinema, these lenses (which are sold separately) were also developed specifically for digital cinema. They feature engraved markings on angled surfaces in meters and feet as well as uniform front diameters that allow for easy lens switching without the need to reconfigure a matte box or follow focus gearing.

CMOS Sensor for Canon Super 35mm Camera

The Canon CMOS sensor has an effective resolution of 4096 by 2160 and was modeled after the standard for motion picture film measuring Super 35mm with 3 perforations. The image sensor makes use of a cutting-edge readout method that eliminates the requirement for any de-Bayering techniques in order to provide full-bandwidth representations of the individual RGB video components.

RAW 4K Output

The C500 has the capability to generate a full 4K RAW data stream (4096 x 2160 pixels) in 10-bit color space, with full Bayer encoding, and frame rates of up to 60 frames per second when using a single 3G-SDI output. If all of the camera’s 3G-SDI outputs are used, the frame rate can increase to as high as 120 frames per second; however, the horizontal resolution will need to be cut in half and then interpolated back in.

Canon Log Gamma

When shooting in Canon Log mode, cinematographers are able to set the exposure value of the camera using the procedures that they are accustomed to employing with their light meters. This nonlinear transfer function was developed with the express purpose of easing the post-production process for digital images captured with Cinema EOS cameras in a manner that is analogous to the post-production process for digital images that have been digitally transferred from motion picture film (the contemporary DI process).

Canon Log enables superb tonal reproduction over an entirely digital image by carefully controlling the distribution of quantization bits. This applies to both the high- and low-light areas of the image.

Canon EOS C500 Digital SLR Camera with EF Mount

The EOS C500 with a Canon EF lens mount is completely compatible with all of Canon’s EF lenses, including compact primes, super telephotos, specialty tilt-shift, macro, and fisheye lenses – a total of over 60 in total – so that it can easily integrate into the working style and equipment array of film crews and production houses. This allows the EOS C500 to be easily incorporated into these environments.

Canon EF Cinema Lenses

The precise needs of working professionals were taken into consideration during the design and development of Canon EF Cinema lenses, which are available for purchase individually. Every single Canon EF Cinema lens is built to meet the modern production standards for 4K, exceeding the performance requirements of any HD imaging system. Zoom lenses typically have large aspherical lens elements, which allow for the creation of images that are sharp and consistent regardless of the shooting environment.

The use of geared inner focusing helps to reduce the amount of focus-induced shifts in the angle of view, which effectively eliminates focus breathing. The revolutionary glass design counteracts barrel expansion and contraction to minimize temperature-induced marking anomalies, and the 11-blade aperture diaphragms ensure smooth out-of-focus areas and gorgeous bokeh.

It is simple to read the focus and aperture settings on EF Cinema lenses because they include markings on angled surfaces on both sides of the barrel. This makes it possible to view the settings from behind or on either side of the camera. Standard labeling can be changed to metric labeling on focus markers if desired.

Control rings are constructed so that they can keep the appropriate level of resistance while also allowing for a consistent amount of operating torque. EF Cinema lenses have uniform gear positions, diameters, and rotation angles, in addition to front lens diameters. This allows the film crew to quickly switch to another Canon zoom or prime lens or compatible third-party accessories such as matte boxes and rods without having to make any adjustments.

Developed with the Interest of Filmmakers in Mind

The Canon EOS C500 is fully equipped to produce, meeting the requirements of a cinematographer in every respect. The intuitive organization of the controls, including the buttons and dials, makes operation very easy. All of the controls, with the exception of the record button and the function buttons, are disabled by a lock switch. The buttons themselves have tiny ridges in between them to help avoid accidental activation of functions. When there is little available light, it is helpful to have a display screen that is backlit. When viewed from the side or from behind the camera, a tally lamp can be seen very clearly.

Comfortable Ergonomic Controls

When you first pick up the EOS C500, you’ll get an immediate sense of comfort and familiarity. Access is both simple and unobtrusive because of the camera’s design, which features a total of 15 programmable buttons in addition to the separate start/stop button.

Making Provisions for Production Based on Files

The Cinema EOS system generates full HD proxy files in the Material eXchange Format (MXF), which is an international standard. These files include video and audio data with metadata in a single file, which ensures that vital information can be accessed at all times during the production process.

Canon EOS C500 Specifications

Sensor
Effective Pixels4096 x 2160 pixels, approx. 8.85 megapixels
Total Pixels4206 x 2340 pixels, approx. 9.84 megapixels
Sensor TypeCMOS
Scanning SystemProgressive
FilterRGB Primary Color Filter (Bayer Array)
ProcessorDigic DV III
Minimum Illumination59.94 Hz Mode: 0.3 Lux (f/1.2, 24 dB, 29.97p, 1/30 sec.)
50.00 Hz Mode: 0.25 Lux (f/1.2, 24 dB, 25p, 1/25 sec.)
Sensitivity59.94 Hz Mode: F9 (1920 x 1080/59.94i, ISO 640 (0 dB), 2000 lux, 89.9% Reflection)
50.00 Hz Mode: F10 (1920 x 1080/50i, ISO 640 (0 dB), 2000 lux, 89.9% Reflection)
S/N Ratio59.94 Hz Mode: 54 dB (1920×1080/29.97p, Canon Log, ISO 850, Dynamic Range 800%)
50.00 Hz Mode: 54 dB (1920×1080/25p, Canon Log, ISO 850, Dynamic Range 800%)
Dynamic RangeDuring Normal Shooting: 300%
With Canon Log Gamma: 800% (ISO 850 or above, gain 2.5dB or above)
Lens System
Mount TypeEF
ND FilterMechanical ND filter system with option of clear, 2, 4, and 6 stops
Iris DialIris Dial located on camera body for use with EOS EF Lenses with electronic Iris control
Peripheral Illumination CorrectionYes
Exposure Control
GainNormal Setting: -6 ~ 30 dB
Fine Setting: 0 ~ 24 dB in 0.5 dB increments
ISO320 ~ 80,000
Shutter ModesOFF; Speed; Angle; Slow Shutter; Clear Scan
Speed Mode is selected in 1/3 or ¼ stop increments
Shutter Speed Range59.94i/59.94p: 1/60 ~ 1/2000 in 1/4 or 1/3 stops
SLS: 1/4, 1/8, 1/15, 1/30; CS: 59.94 Hz – 250.27 Hz
29.97p: 1/30 ~ 1/2000 in 1/4 or 1/3 stops
SLS: 1/4, 1/8, 1/15; CS: 29.97 Hz – 250.27 Hz
23.98p/24p: 1/24 ~ 1/2000 in 1/4or 1/3 stops
SLS: 1/3, 1/6, 1/12; CS: 23.97 Hz – 250.27 Hz
50i/50p: 1/50 ~ 1/2000 in 1/4 or 1/3 stops
SLS: 1/3, 1/6, 1/12 1/25; CS: 50.00 Hz – 250.78 Hz
25p: 1/25 ~ 1/2000 in 1/4 or 1/3 stops
SLS: 1/3, 1/6, 1/12; CS: 25.00 Hz – 250.78 Hz
Shutter Angle Settings59.94i/59.94p: 360, 240, 216, 180, 120, 90, 60, 45, 30, 22.5, 15, 11.25
29.97p: 360, 240, 216, 180, 120, 108, 90, 60, 45, 30, 22.5, 15, 11.25
23.98p/24p: 360, 345.6, 288, 240, 180, 172.8, 144, 120, 90, 86.4, 72, 60, 45, 30, 22.5, 15, 11.25
50i/50p: 360, 300, 240, 180, 150, 120, 90, 60, 45, 30, 22.50, 15, 11.25
25p: 360, 300, 240, 180, 150, 120, 90, 75, 60, 45, 30, 22.50, 15, 11.25
Iris ControlWith compatible EF lenses: 1/2, 1/3 stop, or fine setting
White BalanceKelvin Setting: 2,000K ~ 15,000K in 100K increments
Presets: Daylight (5,400K); Tungsten (3,200K); Kelvin
White balance shift is available within Presets (-9 to +9)
Auto Black BalanceYes
Recording
External Recording Output4K RAW 10bit 4096×2160 or 3840×2160 at 59.94p/29.97p/23.98p/50p/25p/24p
4K RAW 10bit 4096×1080 or 3840×1080 at 62p up to 119.88p in 2 frame steps
2K RGB 444 12bit 2048×1080 or 1920×1080 at 59.94p/29.98p/23.98p/50p/25p/24p)
2K RGB 444 10bit 2048×1080 or 1920×1080 at 59.94p/29.98p/23.98p/50p/25p/24p)
2K YCC 422 10bit 2048×1080 or 1920×1080 62p up to 119.88p in 2 frame steps
CompressionVideo: 8 Bit MPEG-2 Long GOP
Audio: Linear PCM; 2-Channel; 16-Bit; 48 kHz
Maximum Bit Rate50Mbps (CBR)
Recording Options50 Mbps (CBR) 4:2:2 422P@HL
1920×1080 at 59.94i/29.98p/23.98p/50i/25p/24.00p
1280×720 at 59.94/29.98p/23.98p/50p/25p/24.00p
35 Mbps (VBR) 4:2:0 MP@HL
1920×1080 at 59.94i/29.98p/23.98p/50i/25p
1280×720 at 59.94/29.98p/23.98p/50p/25p
25 Mbps (CBR) 4:2:0 MP@H14
1440×1080 at 59.94i/29.98p/23.98p/50i/25p
Recording Time2GB: 5 min (at 50 Mbps), 5 min (at 35 Mbps), 10 min (at 25 Mbps)
4GB: 10 min (at 50 Mbps), 10 min (at 35 Mbps), 20 min (at 25 Mbps)
8GB: 20 min (at 50 Mbps), 25 min (at 35 Mbps), 40 min (at 25 Mbps)
16GB: 40 min (at 50 Mbps), 55 min (at 35 Mbps), 80 min (at 25 Mbps)
32GB: 80 min (at 50 Mbps), 110 min (at 35 Mbps), 155 min (at 25 Mbps)
64GB: 160 min (at 50 Mbps), 225 min(at 35 Mbps), 310 min (at 25 Mbps)
Recording MediaCF Card (Type 1 Only); 2 Slots (Movie Files); UDMA supported
SD/SDHC/SDXC cards (JPEG), Custom Picture Data*, Clip Metadata, and menu settings
*Custom Picture Data and settings are not compatible with data from others Canon models
File FormatMXF (OP-1a)
Maximum Clip Number999 (per media)
Audio FeaturesRecording Channel Selection: CH1/CH2, CH1/CH1, CH2/CH2, ALL CH/ALL CH
XLR Mic Trimming: -12dB, -6 dB, 0dB or +12 dB
Limiter: available
Recording Level Adjustment Range: – Infinity to +18dB
Phantom Power: +48V
Headphone Adjustment: 16 Settings (volume is muted at lowest setting)
1 KHz Tone: -12, -18, or -20 dB
Slow and Fast Motion RecordingThis feature records at a different frame rate then the playback rate, allowing for fast and slow motion effects. Slow and Fast Motion Recording is available in 4K and 2K modes to external recording devices.
4K RAW (4096×2160/3840×2160)
1-60 fps (60Hz/24:00); 1-50 (50Hz)
4K HRAW (4096×1080/3840×1080)
1-60, 62-120 in 2 frame increments (60Hz/24:00); 1-50, 52-100 in 2 frame increments (50Hz)
2K RGB 4:4:4 (2048×1080/1920×1080)
1-60. 62-120 in 2 frame increments (60Hz/24:00); 1-50, 52-100 in 2 frame increments (50Hz)
2K YCC 4:2:2 (2048×1080/1920×1080)
1-60, 62-120 in 2 frame increments (60Hz/24:00); 1-50, 52-100 in 2 frame increments (50Hz)
50 Mbps 1920×1080
1-30 (29.97p/23.98p/24.00p); 1-25 (50i/25p)
50 Mbps 1280×720
1-60 (59.94p/29.97p/23.98p/24.00p); 1-50 (50p/25p)
35 Mbps 1920×1080
1-30 (29.97p/23.98p/24.00p); 1-25 (50i/25p)
35 Mbps 1280×720
1-60 (59.94p/29.97p/23.98p/24.00p); 1-50 (50p/25p)
25 Mbps 1440×1080
1-30 (29.97p/23.98p)
Time CodeDrop Frame (not available in 24P)
Non-Drop Frame
Time Code ModesRegeneration, Record Run, Free Run and External Source
Special Recording FunctionsRelay Recording, Double-Slot Recording, Copying between Media, Photo Recording Mode, Waveform Monitor (Standard and RGB Component modes), Vectorscope, Peaking (2 types), Zebra Pattern, Magnify, Edge Monitor Focus Assist, Black and White Mode, Interval Record, Frame Record Pre-Record (3 seconds cache), Scan Reverse
Display
Electronic View FinderViewing Angle Adjustment: viewing Angle can be adjusted up and down 60°
Diopter Adjustment Range: +2.0 to -5.5
Adjustments: brightness, contrast, color, and backlight
MonitorType: LCD
Display Adjustments: brightness, contrast, color, sharpness, and backlight
Input/Output
HD/SD-SDIHD 8-bit 4:2:2 (YPbPr) 1920×1080: 59.94i/50i/23.98/24.00, 1280×720: 59.94p/50p/23.98/24.00
SD 8-bit 4:2:2 (YPbPr) 480: 59.94i, 576: 50i BNC Connector, output only
NTSC 480i/PAL 576i: Compliant with SMTPE 259M
Embedded Audio: Compliant with SMTPE 272M
Time Code Standard: (VITC/LTC) SMTPE 12M
HD-SDI: (Compliant with SMTPE 292M)
1080i/720p: Compliant with SMTPE 292M
Embedded Audio: Compliant with SMTPE 299M
3G-SDIConnector: 2x BNC
Output Modes: RAW (10-bit); RGB 4:4:4 (10-bit/12-bit); YCC 4:2:2 (10-bit)
Frame Rates: 23.98p/24.00p/25.00p/29.97p/59.94p/50p
Audio Inputs2x XLR inputs (auto and manual level settings)
1x External microphone terminal (3.5 mm diameter)
Video OutputConnector: 2x BNC
Resolution: 2048×1080 / 1920×1080
Frame Rates: 23.98p/24.00p/25.00p/29.97p/30p/59.94p/50p/60p
Color Space: YPbPr 10-bit
Time Code I/OConnector: BNC (Input and Output)
GenlockConnector: BNC (Input Only)
Adjustment range: -1023 ~ 1023
Synch OutConnector: BNC
(1) HD tri-level signal (HD Sync) 1920×1080: 59.94i/50i/23.98/24.00, 1280×720: 59.94p/50p/23.98, 24.00; The HD standard analog component Y signal with the black muted is output. (2) HD-Y signals (HD-Y) 1920×1080: 60i, 59.94i/50i, 1280×720: 60p/59.94p/50p; Only the HD standard analog component Y signal is output. (3) Black burst signal 480: 59.94i, 576: 50i; The SD standard analog composite signal with the black muted is output. (4) Composite 480: 59.94i, 576: 50i; The SD standard analog composite signals are output.
HDMIConnector: HDMI (Type A)
HD 8-bit 4:2:2 (YPbPr) 1920×1080: 60i/59.94i/50i, 1280×720: 60p/59.94p/50p
SD 8-bit 4:2:2 (YPbPr) 480: 59.94i, 576: 50i
Headphone Jack1x 3.5mm stereo mini-jack
Remote TerminalsFully LANC Compatible
Remote control through WFT-E6A accessory is also possible
Power TerminalDC in on camera (no need for “Dummy Battery”)
General
Other FeaturesPlayback: Clip Display, 3×4 Index Display, Original, “OK Mark,” “Check Mark,” “Shot Mark,” Expand, Photo (SD Card), Clip Metadata
Clip Playback: Forward Search (x5, x15, x60), Reverse Search (x5, x15, x60), Forward frame Advance, Reverse Frame Advance, Record Review, Skip to next clip, skip to previous clip Clip information Display: Clip Metadata display, custom picture settings Playback Functions: Inter-media Copy (Single Clip, All Clips, Last Clip); Clip Delete (Single Clip, All Clips, Last Clip)
Still Image Playback: index, single playback, erasure, protect
Custom Picture Settings: 23 Custom Picture settings
Custom Functions: 9 total functions
Custom Display: LCD panel and EVF information display can be customized
On Screen Markers
Assignable Buttons: 15 buttons, 37 functions
Color Bars: compliant with SMPTE, EBU, or ARIB standards
Language SupportEnglish, Japanese, Chinese, German, Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Russian
Time and DateAutomatic Calendar range January 1st, 2010 through December 31, 2031 selectable in American, Japanese and European Date formats.
World ClockWorld Clock support – UTC time setting: Setting range from +14:00 to – 12:00
PowerSupply: DC 7.4 V (Battery Pack) / DC 8.4 V (DC In)
Battery: BP-9 Series (Excluding BP-925)
Compact Power Adapter: CA-940N
Operating ConditionsPerformance requirements: (0° ~ 40° C) 85% (relative humidity)
Operating requirements: (-5° ~ 45° C) 60% (relative humidity)
DimensionsBody only: 6.3 x 7.0 x 6.7 in (160 x 179 x 171 mm)
With monitor: 7.3 x 9.8 x 7.4 in (185 x 249 x187 mm)
With handle and monitor: 7.3 x 11.2 x 11.9 in (185 x 284 x 301 mm)
WeightBody only: 4 lb (1820 g)
Monitor Unit: 1.4 lb (645 g)
Handle Unit: 6.3 oz (180 g)
With monitor, BP-955, and 2 CF cards: 6.0 lb (2705 g)
With monitor, handle, BP-955, and 2 CF cards: 6.4 lb. (2885 g)

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