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.”

Canon C300 Mark II Touch Focus Kit!

Canon has announced the new Canon EOS C300 Mark II Touch Auto Focus Kit!.

The Canon C300 Mark II Touch Focus Kit is priced at only $9,999!  That’s the same price as the traditional C300 Mark II.

C300 Mark II Touch Auto Focus Kit

The new Canon C300 Mark II Touch Focus Kit enables touchscreen auto focus using the 4″ Touchscreen LCD Monitor (LM-V1) that has been shipping with the C200. Also included is the MA-400 XLR accessory, which is a separate XLR unit. Canon spent a lot of time rethinking how the C300 Mark II could be rigged using the LM-V1 Touch Screen LCD and the MA-400 XLR accessory. Using these two accessories instead of the traditional “clamshell” Monitor/XLR unit allows for a more flexible and arguable more streamlined set-up. Additionally, if a user doesn’t need XLR, they can now rig the C300 Mark II with the LCD only for an incredibly small set-up. This also allows easier rigging with Gimbal Stabilizers. And the Top Handle is still included! The LCD and XLR accessory can be configured in many ways with or without the top handle.

New items included in the Canon C300 Mark II Touch Focus Kit 0635C032 includes:

C300 Mark II Touch Auto Focus Kit

In the box:  EOS C300 MK II Body (EF Mount), Grip, Camera Cover, Handle Unit, Handle Bracket, Battery Pack BP-A30, Battery Charger CG-A10, Compact Power Adapter CA-A10, Eye Cup, Hexagon Socket, Allen key, Viewfinder Cap, Thumb rest, Tripod base TB-1, WFT Attachment, Measuring Hook, AC Cable x2, DC Cable(for CA-940), Shoulder Strap SS-1200, LM-V1, MA-400, Mount To Shoe Adapter, 492LCD Micro Ball Head, Instruction Manual

Order the Canon C300 Mark II Touch Focus kit here.

Lease to own financing is available for the Canon C300 Mark II Touch Focus Kit. Apply here or click below. 

Online Lease Application

Have questions? Give us a call at 512-440-1400 to speak with a sales rep today. 

“Let People See” Founder Chris Brank talks cameras and lenses

At Texas Media Systems our goal is to help you get the equipment you need, when you need it. Chris Brank is the founder and CEO of Let People See, a video production agency based in South Carolina.  His business has utilized the leasing options we have to get the gear he needs or to simply add another tool to his kit. Let People See just won a Gold American Advertising Federation award for a mini-doc that was shot in the Congo that you can watch here. We took the time to chat with Chris about how he got started, his business and more.

Photo courtesy of Chris Brank/Let People See

What’s your earliest memory of filmmaking or the moment you knew you wanted to pursue this as a career?

Chris: It might not be the earliest moment, but back in 2012 I was planning a trip to Lima, Peru. I had been shooting fun little promos and corporate work, some of them profitable, but I decided it was time to shoot for the moon. Canon announced the Canon C100 and one of the first stores in the U.S. to get one was this place called Texas Media Systems. I struck up a conversation with Leroy and we worked for weeks to get one of the very first Canon C100’s shipped to me before my Peru trip. The giant box was delivered the night before the flight, and the whole week in Lima I only brought it out of the case twice! I said I was terrified to get it dirty, but secretly I didn’t even know how to use the thing. Three Canon C100’s later (along with two Canon 5D Mark IV’s, a Canon 1DX Mark II, two Canon C300 Mark II’s, and four Canon C200’s), I still don’t know how to use them to their full potential. But along the way, I’ve found team members who are way better than I am.

Your company Chris Brank Films started in 2011 and you recently transitioned to a new banner, “Let People See.” Can you talk about some of the projects you started working on and what’s the story behind “Let People See.”

Chris: I never liked working alone! And so even as “Chris Brank Films” it would always be “Hi, I’m Chris, and this is Taylor, David, John, Lauren….” And because of the team approach, nothing was ever just a “Chris Brank” film. I was thrilled to change the name! After many nights on godaddy.com, we finally found something that resonated with what we do. We “let people see” the awesome things our clients are doing! And Let People See was born. Or…registered.

Photo courtesy of Chris Brank/Let People See

As an independent filmmaker with a small team, expenses must be very important. You’ve leased quite a bit of equipment with us, can you talk about how that’s been a benefit to your company and being able to grow?

Chris: Absolutely! Payroll is tough – cash flow is of utmost importance. We’ve often got 2-4 shoots happening at the same time. And as we’ve continued to grow, I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve sent to Leroy along the lines of: “We’ve got 20 shoots over the next 3 months and we need another camera and another set of lenses. Can you get it here by next Tuesday?” The leasing options are fantastic because we usually don’t have the money until after shoots are wrapped, but we need the gear to accomplish the shoots. Leasing gives us no hesitation to grab gear at 0% or incredibly low interest rates. We know we can get the gear and get the job done!

What would you tell people who may be hesitant about the lease to own program?

Chris: Cash flow is what can make or break a business. There’s so many 0% options or incredibly low interest rate options through Texas Media Systems (we’ve found the 36 month with 1.9% interest to be a sweet spot), it’s a no-brainer for us to split up the cost of equipment. “Spend it all now” or “split it up over time”… seriously, it’s a no-brainer when interest rates are ridiculously low.

What’s in your arsenal right now? Do you have any must-have lenses or cameras you can’t live without now? Any favorites to shoot with or your team’s favorites?

Chris: Right now, each of our kits has two Canon C200’s, a Canon 5D Mark IV on a DJI Ronin-M, and a full set of Canon L primes and zooms (24mm 1.4L, 35mm 1.4L, 50mm 1.2L, 85mm 1.4IS, 100mm L Macro, 24-105mm 4.0L II, 70-200mm 4.0L IS, 16-35mm 4.0L IS, 100-400mm II). We’ve got two of those kits, and also two C300 Mark II’s. For stills, we’ve got a 1DX Mark II and we’re working on building another Canon L lens set. We’re also traveling with Quasar Science bulbs that we bought through Texas Media Systems…those have been game-changers!

Quasar Lights in action | Photo courtesy of Chris Brank/Let People See

Can you talk about the approach to a project “Let People See” takes and how having the varied equipment helps you make the best product for a customer.

Chris: We really serve as a video factory for agencies and brands. They tell us what they want, we make it happen. We’re incredibly involved on the execution side, so takes plenty of crew and plenty of gear. With equipment like DSLRS, Canon C200’s, and Canon C300 Mark II’s, we’re able to work on a wide range of production levels. The Canon C200’s are used on 95% of the work (with the .mp4 codec on beautifully inexpensive SD cards), but they have the ability to step up to RAW if the project calls for it.

What are you working on now that you can share with us?

Chris: At any given time we’ve got 10-20 projects in the works, the juggle is half the fun! Some of the most exciting projects right now are an upcoming conference in Minneapolis, some tourism work in the mountains of North Carolina, and a trip to Toronto for an awesome scrap metal company.

Why do you keep coming back to Texas Media Systems?

Chris: The customer service is exceptional. We’ve been able to get everything we need exactly when we need it for seven years straight. The access to a real person on the phone in under 30 seconds is getting harder and harder to find! There are plenty of suppliers closer to us in South Carolina, but when you find someone you trust, it doesn’t matter where they are. I trust Texas Media Systems, and they go above and beyond to retain that trust. That’s what matters!

Take a look at Let People See’s demo reel that was shot on Canon. 

Let People See Hype Reel from Let People See on Vimeo.

You can see more of Let People See’s work by visiting their website www.letpeoplesee.com.  If you’re looking for equipment for your company, give us a call at 512-440-1400 to speak with a sales rep today!