As any videographer will tell you, with the rate of technological advancement a new camera can become outdated within a year or two of its initial release, but good glass is a lifetime investment. One other long-term investment that gets its due much less frequently are batteries.
A career’s worth of batteries can represent thousands of dollars. Thousands of dollars that can become valueless if you decide to switch to a different camera system. Because of this, many shooters turn to V-mount or Gold Mount batteries for a truly brand agnostic power solution. However powering off these batteries can sometimes entail kludge-y rigs with wires hanging every which way and nothing but Velcro and hope holding 3lbs battery bricks in place.
Our story begins with the founder of UK based Full Frame Camera Corporation: Alex Stone. Upon receiving his Canon C500 Mark II and realizing that the OEM solution to power the camera from V-Mounts, the EU-V2 Expansion Unit, was on back order he simply decided to make his own instead of waiting around.
The V-mount plate is manufactured in small batches and is compatible with Canon C500 Mark II and C300 Mark III cameras. A Gold-mount option has been introduced as well, if that’s more your flavor.
The Compact V-Mount plate is machined from aluminium (Ah-loo-mini-um if wish to pronounce it in the manufacture’s native tongue), attaches to the camera via two captive M4 bolts and powers the camera via a low profile right angle xlr connector.
The plate features one D-tap port for supplying 10A to any other accessories on your rig. The port is located on the side of the plate at an angle so that all the rear buttons and SDI outputs are still accessible.
An additional feature of the plate is that in its default mounting position the Canon A60 battery slot is unobstructed, which allows you to hot swap batteries.
The plate is compatible with any V-mount battery and can be mounted in a lower position for a more streamlined setup (if you are using taller V-mount batteries). One drawback of this though is that in this position, the plate blocks the A60 slot making the aforementioned hot swapping impossible.
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.”
MELVILLE, N.Y., October 28, 2016 – Canon U.S.A. Inc., a leader in digital imaging solutions, is proud to announce that Academy Awardâ winners Leonardo DiCaprio and Fisher Stevens chose Canon EOS Digital Cinema cameras and lenses, including the Cinema EOS C300 Mark II camera, for their new documentary Before the Flood. Directed by Stevens and produced by DiCaprio, the film presents a riveting account of the dramatic changes now occurring around the world due to climate change, as well as the actions individuals and society can take to help prevent catastrophic disruption on our planet. Before the Flood premieres on National Geographic Channel this Sunday, October 30th at 9 pm ET/8 pm CT in 171 countries and 45 languages. Coinciding with the television premiere, Before the Flood will also be released commercial free on a number of digital and streaming platforms around the world, including NatGeoTV.com and Nat Geo TV Apps.
The two filmmakers, known for their environmentally themed documentaries, joined forces for Before the Flood’s two-year production, which follows U.N. Messenger of Peace DiCaprio as he travels to five continents and the Arctic speaking to scientists, world leaders, activists and local residents to gain a deeper understanding of the complex issue of climate change and investigates concrete solutions to the most pressing environmental challenge of our time.
“Canon is honored to have been selected as the camera and lenses of choice in the creation of this documentary,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, president and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc. “Viewers will see on Sunday, with the clarity of the imagery produced with Cinema EOS products, a compelling picture of the current environmental conditions around the world.”
To capture the stunning visuals of the documentary, cinematographer Antonio Rossi relied on a mix of Canon EOS Digital Cinema cameras. He began production with the EOS C500 and EOS-1D C Digital Cinema Cameras, the latter often rigged to a handheld camera stabilizer. They shot portions of the documentary in RAW 4K using the EOS C500 camera in conjunction with an external recorder.
When the EOS C300 Mark II camera was introduced, the production adopted it as their new “A” camera. “The switch to the C300 Mark II camera was seamless and easy, and we were happy to have on-board 4K recording as well as extended color gamut options,” Rossi said. “Overall, we found that Canon Cinema EOS cameras were the perfect tools for this project, as they enabled us to shoot in a variety of configurations while maintaining a consistently beautiful look and image quality.”
Before the Flood mixes interviews with some of the most influential world leaders, with chilling but beautiful footage from locations impacted by our changing global climate. Rossi and his team traveled north of the Arctic Circle to Greenland and to Canada’s Baffin Island to show the rapid ice melts, as well as to Sumatra to capture some palm oil farmers burning rain forest habitat, among other shooting locations.
Rossi primarily outfitted his cameras with the Canon CN-E 30-105mm T2.8 compact zoom lens and the CN-E 17-120mm T2.95-3.9 CINE-SERVO lens.
“Before the Flood is vital viewing for anyone who has any doubts about humanity’s role in global climate change,” Rossi said. “Working with Fisher Stevens and Leonardo DiCaprio on the film was a magical and elucidating journey.”
For more information about Canon Cinema EOS cameras and lenses, please visit the Canon U.S.A. website at cinemaeos.usa.canon.com
About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions to the United States and to Latin America and the Caribbean (excluding Mexico) markets. With approximately $31 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents granted in 2015† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2016. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest level of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. In 2014, the Canon Americas Headquarters secured LEED® Gold certification, a recognition for the design, construction, operations and maintenance of high-performance green buildings. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting www.usa.canon.com/rss and follow us on Twitter @CanonUSA. For media inquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Internal Recording Options for the Canon C300 Mark II
External Recording Options for the Canon C300 Mark II
This video in the tutorial series shows how to set the EOS C300 Mark II menu up for external recording. He goes over the menu options found in the Recording/Media Setup, Picture/Terminals Setup menus as well as relevant menus in the Odyssey 7Q+ that he is using.