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