Canon EOS C500 Review

As Canon’s initial venture into the 4K digital cinema production field, 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. For example, 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, producing outstanding tone reproduction in both an image’s highlight and lowlight parts and a significantly extended dynamic range. This allows for the most significant possible freedom for making color adjustments during post-production.

The EOS C500 comes equipped with an EF mount, making it compatible with Canon’s extensive collection of DSLR lenses and 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 the camcorder was explicitly designed for digital cinema, these lenses (sold separately) were also developed specifically for digital cinema. They feature engraved markings on angled surfaces in meters and feet and uniform front diameters that allow for easy lens switching without needing 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 three perforations. The image sensor uses a cutting-edge readout method that eliminates the requirement for any de-Bayering techniques to provide full-bandwidth representations of the individual RGB video components.

RAW 4K Output

The C500 can generate a full 4K RAW data stream (4096 x 2160 pixels) in 10-bit color space, with complete 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 creations 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 can set the camera’s exposure valuehe procedures they are accustomed to employing with their light meters. This nonlinear transfer function was developed to ease the post-production process for digital images captured with Cinema EOS cameras in a manner 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 picture.

Canon EOS C500 Digital SLR Camera with EF Mount

The EOS C500 with a Canon EF lens mount is entirely 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 considered 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 sizeable aspherical lens elements, which allow for creating sharp and consistent images regardless of the shooting environment.

The use of geared inner focusing helps reduce the amount of focus-induced shifts in the angle of view, effectively eliminating focus breathing. In addition, 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.

Reading the focus and aperture settings on EF Cinema lenses is simple because they include markings on angled surfaces on both sides of the barrel. This makes viewing the scenes from behind or on either side of the camera possible. In addition, standard labeling can be changed to metric labeling on focus markers if desired.

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

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 rules, except the record and function buttons, are disabled by a lock switch. The buttons have tiny ridges between them to help avoid accidental activation of functions. When there is little available light, having a backlit display screen is helpful. A tally lamp can be seen very clearly from the side or behind the camera.

Comfortable Ergonomic Controls

When you first pick up the EOS C500, you’ll immediately feel comfortable and familiar. Access is simple and discreet because the camera’s design features 15 programmable buttons and a separate start/stop button.

Making Provisions for Production Based on Files

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

Canon EOS C500 Specifications

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 the option of clear, 2, 4, and 6 stops
Iris DialIris Dial is located on the camera body for 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
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 other 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 than the playback rate, allowing for fast and slow-motion effects. Slow and Fast Motion Recording is available to external recording devices in 4K and 2K modes.
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
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
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 the WFT-E6A accessory is also possible
Power TerminalDC in on camera (no need for “Dummy Battery”)
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 following 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 from January 1st, 2010, through December 31, 2031, and is selectable in American, Japanese, and European Date formats.
World ClockWorld Clock support – UTC 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 a monitor, BP-955, and 2 CF cards: 6.0 lb (2705 g)
With a monitor, handle, BP-955, and 2 CF cards: 6.4 lb. (2885 g)

Canon EOS C500 FAQs

Is Canon C500 Netflix approved?

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

Does C500 have autofocus?

Unfortunately, the Canon C500 does not support autofocus in any capacity.

Is the C500 full-frame?

The Canon C500 has a Super 35mm CMOS sensor, smaller than a full-frame sensor but more significant than the APS-C sensor found in many DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. A full-frame sensor measures 36 x 24 mm, while the Super 35mm CMOS sensor measures 35 x 24 mm.

How much does a Canon C500 cost?

The Canon C500 can be purchased between $10,000 and $15,000, with prices ranging from either end of that spectrum contingent on the configuration and retailer chosen.

When did the EOS C500 released?

The Canon EOS C500 was made available to consumers in the year 2012.

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Joseph is a talented photographer and videographer based in the USA, with a thriving career as a freelance creative. Over the past several years, he has had the privilege of working with renowned brands, capturing captivating images and videos. His portfolio encompasses a diverse range of subjects, specializing in fashion, portrait, and lifestyle content creation. From editorial shoots to engaging social media videos, Joseph's versatile skills ensure exceptional visual storytelling in every project. Beyond his professional endeavors, he nurtures a personal passion for travel and nature photography, channeling his deep appreciation for the environment into a commitment to sustainability and environmental causes.