Update! If C500 MarkII bundled CFexpress has issues

Some SanDisk CFexpress card readers bundled with C500 MarkII kits have been experiencing issues properly seating cards, making transferring data impossible. Canon and SanDisk are aware of this problem and are working towards a solution.

Read this notice for more information from Canon

Read this notice for more information from SanDisk

If you are experiencing issues with your own card reader contact SanDisk customer support

Wrapping rubber bands around the reader to hold the card in the reader has been found to work in a pinch.

Canon C500 Mark II captures Jaguar Luxury

Recently Canon Europe interviewed filmmaker Brett Danton after he used Canon’s new C500 Mark II to shoot a commercial for Jaguar to promote their new luxury SUV. 

Here are some of the advantages he found while using the camera.

Brett was a convert to the Full-Frame shooting capabilities of the Canon C700 FF. The large sensor mated to fast prime lenses at wide apertures – aided by built-in ND filters for exposure control, provided a unique look that Brett trusts for prestige brands. 

 The new Canon C500 Mark II shares the same 5.9K sensor as the C700 FF, with the added benefit of being able to record Cinema RAW Light internally to dual CFexpress cards and recording Canon XF-AVC with 2K 4:2:0 8-bit simultaneously to an SD card to use as a proxy. 

Brett relies on the flexibility of the Cinema RAW Light codec to be able to dial in a precise look in post to satisfy discerning clients. “Jaguar has a very specific list of cameras it will allow its commercials to be shot on, and it doesn’t want silver cars to look grey. I had to get everything right first time.” said Brett. 

The small form factor and modular nature of the C500 Mark II provided other advantages over its larger counterpart the C700 FF. The C500 Mark II could be rigged up with monitors, follow focus rigs, the whole shabang to make it a decked out cinema camera, or stripped back to make it as light and compact as possible for use on a drone or gimbal.  

For the Jaguar shoot the C500 Mark II was attached to a Russian Arm mounted to the top of a separate Jagaur  F-PACE to get chase shots of the ‘hero’ car. The camera was also used in a Ronin 2 gimbal and flown up in a drone to get more dynamic images as the F-PACE zoomed through the Spanish mountains. 

Another distinct advantage of the C500 Mark II is its user swap-able lens mount. For the Jaguar commercial Brett used Canon Sumire Prime lenses. “The Sumire Primes bring a filmic feel and give nice flares. Using a Sumire to shoot the car coming towards you at dusk with its headlights on softens the image. The highlights on the metalwork gleam and there are flares from the headlights – just what I wanted.” Brett explained. 

Brett did not have a full kit of Sumire Primes on set so for the drone shots he had to use a Canon CN-E14mm T3.1. The CN-E14mm had an EF mount instead of the PL mount of the Sumires. In a matter of minutes the crew was able to swap the cameras mount from PL to EF and keep on trucking. 

The benefits of this system became even more apparent when Brett swapped onto some of Canon’s super-telephoto prime lenses, the Canon EF 300mm f/2.8 IS II USM and the EF 600mm f/4L IS II USM. The advantage of this interchangeability is that you are able to use canon stills glass on the C500 Mark II while maintaining auto-focus functionality. 

Here’s a video that goes into more detail about the swap-able lens mounts:

 “It was amazing,” Brett says. “We were tracking the cars charging up mountains and the autofocus just kept everything sharp. I don’t care how good a focus puller you are, if you’re using a 300mm or 600mm lens wide open, it’s a hard thing to get right – especially on a full-frame sensor.”

The C500 Mark II also supports face detect AF. Brett noted that  “The C500 Mark II doesn’t suddenly stop focusing when the shot is sharp; the focus has a roll-off which gives it a more traditional look, like a focus puller feel. You can really notice it – it just makes it look right.”

With a quick turnaround on the commercial Brett was able to wow the clients with just a quick color grade and LUT. The footage he was able to pull out of the camera exceeded all of his expectations. 

“I shot everything in 5.9K as I wanted to see it on a big screen, and taking it down to 4K cleans it all up. The dynamic range is crazy, over 15 stops for sure. Filming in Cinema RAW Light, I shot at the base of ISO800 the entire time and in the edit added no noise reduction, yet I can’t see any noise at all. The camera performed and made my life easy.”

Brett came away from the shoot thoroughly impressed with the C500 Mark II’s capabilities and versatility.  

“The C500 Mark II has the same sensor as the C700 FF, so there’s consistent quality,” he says. “You can build the camera to the shape you need to make it work for that particular environment. I’d use the C500 Mark II for 90% of my work now and go to the C700 FF with its RAW recorder for SFX work when I need to pull out every last bit of data if the post house requests it, or if I need more choices on SDI output to send more signals out on set.

“The C500 Mark II is a camera I would now happily use for everything, either on its own or with the C700 FF – everything matches up beautifully.”

The New Canon C500 Mark II Camera

Its no secret that 2019 has been the year of the camera. It feels like a new camera has been either announced or released almost every month this year, and Canon looks like it is going to cap it all off this December by releasing the new C500 Mark II.

With the bevy of new DSLM cameras that have blurred the line between pro-sumer stills camera and professional video camera Canon’s Cinema EOS line has been given an increasingly intense run for its money.  Canon looks to be re-asserting it’s status as King of the Heap by releasing the C500 Mark II. The new camera offers some truly impressive specs and a high degree of modularity at a very competitive price point (compared to other similarly capable and similarly modular camera systems).

Limited Offer: Free SanDisk CFexpress 512gb Memory Card and Card Reader. A $649 Value!

Here is a list of official features that Canon has announced for the camera:

  • 5.9K Full Frame CMOS Sensor, with support for Super 35mm and Super 16mm crop modes
  • User Changeable Lens Mounts which gives users freedom to use the lenses they desire
  • Newly developed DIGIC DV 7 Image Processor, which powerfully processes high-resolution image data
  • Canon RAW Light and XF-AVC Recording
  • Proxy Recording
  • Compatibility with EF and PL* Lenses
  • Anamorphic Lens Support
  • Electronic Image Stabilization
  • Modular Design with three available Expansion Units allows a high level of connectivity and interoperability
  • 3” LCD Touch screen Monitor LM-V2
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with support for Touch AF and Face Detection AF
  • Canon Log 2 and 3 Support
  • 4 Channel Audio Recording
  • Support for Custom User LUTs
  • 15 stops dynamic range
  • Cinema RAW light internal
  • Drone and gimbal size and weight

Let’s break down what some of these features mean.

  • 5.9K Full Frame CMOS Sensor, with support for Super 35mm and Super 16mm crop modes
  • User Changeable Lens Mounts which gives users freedom to use the lenses they desire
  • Compatibility with EF and PL* Lenses
  • Anamorphic Lens Support
 
These features taken together point to Canon’s effort to make this camera just as comfortable shooting high budget narrative films as it is shooting run and gun docs and commercial work. The drone/gimbal sizing means that you with the right drone you can send this 100ft in the air while still maintaining all the advantages of the full frame sensor and advanced video codecs. The crop modes, user swap-able lens mounts, anamorphic lens support and EIS (Electronic Image Stabilization) make this camera truly lens agnostic.  As Canon’s own literature states, this camera can take anything from old servo zoom B4 lenses to vintage stills glass to PL cinema glass (especially their own Sumire Prime Cinema lenses, because y’know, synergy).
 
With Canon’s excellent Dual Pixel AF, EIS system, and support for custom user LUTs the C500 Mark II is a big boy cinema camera that still provides exceptional user assistance. The camera supports Continuous, Face Detect, and One-shot AF modes when using appropriate lenses. The EIS system is basically just Canon’s way of saying this camera has 5 axis IBIS, so you can use any non-OIS lens with impunity. 
  • Newly developed DIGIC DV 7 Image Processor, which powerfully processes high-resolution image data
  • Canon RAW Light and XF-AVC Recording
  • Proxy Recording
  • Canon Log 2 and 3 Support
  • 15 stops dynamic range
  • Cinema RAW light internal
 
The C500 Mark II is a lean, mean, media recording machine. The new DIGIC DV 7 Image processor allows you to record in a variety of frame rates, resolutions, bitrates, and codecs depending how much color flexibility you need in post or how much space you have on your hard drive. The ability to record 2K 8bit proxies to standard SD cards lets you streamline your transition into post-production and make your editor’s life just a little bit easier. With 15 stops of dynamic range and Cinema RAW light internal this camera is capable of producing footage that will make the hardest part of color grading be deciding what ‘film look’ best fits your quirky indie dramady about deconstructing the manic pixie dream-girl trope.
  • Modular Design with three available Expansion Units allows a high level of connectivity and interoperability
  • 3” LCD Touch screen Monitor LM-V2
  • 4 Channel Audio Recording
 
This one goes out to all you multi-cam users out there. The C500 Mark II system features a variety of expansion units that enable features to make the C500 Mark II a capable broadcast camera. The stand-outs in this section are the EU-V1 expansion unit and the EU-V2 expander. The studio-centric EU-V1 adds Ethernet ports for live-streaming, RS244 remote camera control, and genlock/sync-out. If the EU-V1 is the nerdy indoor kid little brother, the EU-V2 is the beefy, out on the football field big brother expansion unit. The EU-V2 adds a V-Mount battery plate, two additional XLR audio inputs for 4-channel recording, a lens control port, 24V and D-tap power outputs, Genlock, an additional RS422 port and an Ethernet port. 

Oh! and also this camera supports IP streaming. You can pair the camera with a separately available transmitter or stream to your computer via Wi-Fi or Ethernet to allow an off-set producer or a nosy client to view your capture at rates of up to 1080p XF-AVC at 9 or 4 Mb/s.

Getting down to the nitty gritty, the Canon Cinema C500 Mark II is scheduled to be available in December 2019 for an estimated retail price of $15,999.00. 

If you are are in the market for a camera system that can do everything from low budget docs to real cinema work and have a spare $16k burning a hole in your pocket the new Canon Cinema C500 Mark II is a pretty solid value proposition. 

 For more information, including accessory prices and availability, call or email us today!