Sekonic Prodigi Color C-500 Color Meter

Sekonic Prodigi Color C-500 Color Meter

Sekonic Prodigi Color C-500 Color Meter

B&H # SEC500 MFR # 401-500
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Product Highlights

  • Digital and Film Compatible Meter

Sekonic Prodigi Color C-500 overview

  • 1Description

Once again Sekonic has answered the call when a more efficient and accurate meter is required. This one, the Prodigi Color C-500 Color Meter was designed to meet the needs of today's digital market.

This is the first meter to read the spectral sensitivity of color film, CDCD (CCD) and CMOS sensors used in current digital still and DV cine cameras.

The C-500 and C-500R color meters are not exposure meters. Their main function is "pre-production" light source color control.  With all the emphasis on Color Management and Workflow done electronically and in the camera or in post production, today's digital photographers seem to have overlooked the first step and foundation of the whole process, namely the light that makes image creation possible.

Custom white balance can do a good job of correcting color for a single light source. Add another, and there will be an unbalance that will cause color problems that will have to be dealt with later at a cost of time and money. In mixed light sources, blending flash with ambient (sun or indoor whatever) can be "cleaning up the color by adding some flash" which is the norm today. Or, with the C-500 and C-500R and a little light source filtration, it can be the seamless blending of illumination to make the photographer-added light virtually undetectable as it was done by photographers who "knew how" in the good old days of film.

This unique and groundbreaking meter measures and displays color temperature and compensation values in LB/CC index or filter numbers. The digital readings are based on human visual response while traditional film readings are determined by the individual characteristics of each film. Now, photographers and videographers have greater control over their exposures than ever before.

All of the advances in digital imaging have really solved a lot of problems and enabled taking shots that were impossible before. However, what goes on in front of the camera has not changed and should be dealt with if one is really serious about quality color management and actually controlled work flow.

Properly measuring red intensity was a major hurdle. Sekonic designers solved the problem by incorporating four color sensors: a Red sensor for visual/digital response (Rd); a Red sensor for photographic film response (Rf); a Green sensor (G); and a Blue sensor (B). They then developed a new "Simulated Spectrum" software solution (patent pending) that emulates the blue and green channel color response for both digital and film.

Illuminance Measurement
The brightness of continuous light sources is displayed in LUX (lx) or Foot-Candle (FC). Illuminance measurement is especially useful for cinematography, videography, theatrical and other applications that require precise control light source brightness.

Color Values Displayed in Three Ways
1) Color Temperature Display (in Kelvin) The color temperature is displayed for human visual response in Digital Mode or the spectral response for photographic color film in Film Mode.

2) LB /CC Index Display  Light Balancing in MK-1 (Per Mega Kelvin) and Color Compensation Index correspond to light source filtration systems. The correction values can be directly entered into the color adjustment mode of some professional DSLR cameras.

3) LB/CC Filter Number Display Light Balancing and Color Compensation filtration for lens or light-source filtration is displayed in direct filter values. The display can be adjusted to read out in Kodak Wratten, Lee or Fujifilm filter systems

Note: The C-500R Model differs from the C-500 in that it also includes a wireless triggering module

Flash and Ambient light measurements
Simultaneous readings of flash and ambient light are available in non-cord, cord and wireless modes at shutter speeds from 1 to 1/500 second. Two intensity ranges, (H) high (f16 to f90.9) or (L) low (F2.8 to F22) allow measuring all types of flash units
Preset white balance/color compensation function
Nineteen presets enable adjusting display values to compensate for differences in film types, light sources, digital sensors, or personal preference. An eight-character readout on the display allows creating custom naming for easy identification of the compensation value.
Color/Brightness Difference Display (Memory/Function)
Electro-luminescent data display
Ambient measurement from EV3 to EV16.3 and Flash light measurement with reading - sensitivity from f/2.8 to f/90.9
Six Custom Settings that enable displaying shutter speeds in 1/3, 1/2 or full stops
Displays the selected color temperature in 100K or 10MK-1; LB Index display in 1MK-1 or 1daMK-1; LB filter display in Kodak/LEE or Fujifilm standards; Illuminance in foot candles or lux, both or no display; and auto power off in 5, 10 or 20 minutes
In the Box
Sekonic Prodigi Color C-500 Color Meter
  • Soft Case
  • Strap
  • Synchro Terminal Cap
  • Operating Manual
  • Quick Guide
  • 3-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    Sekonic Prodigi Color C-500 specs

    Measuring System Three-color photographic color meter with four sensors to determine visual (digital) or photographic (film) color temperature of light sources and filtration required
    Measuring Modes
  • Ambient: Yes
  • Flash Cordless/Cord-in: Yes
  • Radio triggering: Yes (Model C-500R ONLY)
  • Receptor Head Rotating (90° to the right/180°to left) receptor head containing four filtered photo diodes under flat incident light receptor
    Aperture/Shutter Priority Not Applicable
    Display Readout
  • Dot matrix display : 8 adjustable characters
  • Digital: Ambient/Flash light - Visual Color temperature + CC index
  • LB filter number + CC filter number: Fuji's LBA/LBB
  • Kodak Wratten/LEE filter number; LB index + CC index
    Display Ranges:
  • CC index: 80G to 80M
  • CC filter number: 200G to 200M
  • illuminance: 2.5lx to 610,000lx 0.23FC to 56,500FC
  • Film Ambient/Flash light: Photographic Color temperature; LB filter number + CC filter number (Fuji's LBA/LBB, Kodak Wratten/LEE filter number); LB index + CC filter number
  • lluminance: Ambient light only; Lux(lx); Foot-candle(ft-cd)
    Measured color temperature:
  • 2,300K to 20,000K
  • Selected color temperature: 2,500K to 10,000K
  • LB index:  -500 to +500 (in MK-1)
    LB filter number
  • Fuji's:  LBA/LBB LBB20 to LBA20
  • Kodak Wratten/Lee: 80A+80D to 85B+81EF
  • ISO Range Measuring Ranges
  • Color Temperature: 2,300K to 20,000K
  • (At ISO 100 equivalent) Ambient light: EV3 to 16.3 (20lx to 200,000lx)
  • Flash light: Range Low F/2.8 to 22 (20lx/s to 1,300lx/s) Range High F/16 to 90.9 (640lx/s to 38,000lx/s)
  • f/Stop Display Range Flash light:
  • Range Low: F/2.8 to 22 (20lx/s to 1,300lx/s)
  • Range High: F/16 to 90.9 (640lx/s to 38,000lx/s)
  • Shutter Speed - Ambient 1 to 1/500sec
    Shutter Speed - Flash Flash light: 1s to 1/500s (in 1, 1/2 or 1/3 steps) plus 1/75, 1/80, 1/90, 1/100, 1/200, 1/400
    EV Range (ISO-100) Not Specified by Manufacturer
    Cine Speeds Not Applicable
    Exposure Memory Not Applicable
    Shadow/Highlight Calculation Not Applicable
    Brightness Difference Yes
    Flash to Ambient Ratio Not Applicable
    Multiple Flash Not Applicable
    Exposure Calibration Color calibration is done in the factory and MAC service center. The photographer can make Pre-Set corrections to reflect the differences in his system, which will be appreciated by film photographers
    Power Source
  • Two "AA" 1.5V batteries (Alkaline, Manganese, lithium, Nickel, NiCd and NiH)
  • Operating temperature range: -10 to +50° centigrade
  • Dimensions 2.4 x 6.2 x 1.1" (62 x 158.6 x 28mm) (WHD)
    Weight 8.1 oz (230g) (with batteries)
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 1.5 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 10.1 x 6.5 x 3.7"

    Sekonic Prodigi Color C-500 reviews

    Prodigi Color C-500 Color Meter is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 17.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Another great by sekonic I am a lighting designer for Live music/television and runway fashion events so i am mainly using this meter to balance my key/backlight tempatures to where i like them. Previously using a minolta 3F was the standard UNTIL my first shoot with this bad boy. Having the extra RED sensor really makes this meter a MUST HAVE for anyone shooting with digital video/HD or digital still camera. It can accurately take a reading more so than any other color meter i have owned. My images are more true to the camera's needs. Less filtering = more natural light. I would recommend this product to any DP or LD involved in the new digital world of shooting.
    Date published: 2008-06-27
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Sekonic Color Temperature meter I have been dreaming of a color temperature meter for years and now I have the Sekonic C-500 I don't know how I got by without it. This product is very easy and quick to use. The moment it was out of the box I had it testing the huge range of moving lights and followspots in our studio. Now there will be no more arguments over lamp consistency. This coupled with the ability to measure lux or ft candles means most of the time I only need to carry around one meter instead of two. Overall a great product, no complaints but a short hand strap and slightly better carry pouch would make this a 5 star rating.
    Date published: 2013-01-03
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from A comment about the 2,300K-20,000K range I have been waiting for an instrument like this - I do think it is a bit expensive priced at $1K but it may be worth it for some. Regarding one of the previous reviews - I think it is important to realize if you are in digital photography the 2,300K-10,000 K range is not really that restrictive as most pro cameras (Mark III, D3X and Sony's A900) do not go outside that range - they only support 2,500 10,000K. Still I do agree with the poster it would be nice if the display was more informative if the readout was more friendly when outside the range.
    Date published: 2008-12-22
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from It worked right out of the box The Prodigi Color C-500 is used to match the color temperature of lights used in HD Video shoots. The unit works great and is very accurate. We need to match lighting conditions from one location to another as well as the amount of light. This unit has kept us out of color correction expenses. I would recommend this unit to anyone who needs to know the color value as well as the amount of light in any fast moving situation. Great buy but not cheap!
    Date published: 2010-02-10
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent Color Meter I bought this color meter after I had some color variation between 2 Profoto lights. I was on a job and I could just see on my computer screen one light was a little yellower than the other. I have some lights by Profoto, some by Bowens, some by AlienBees, so I thought I would accurately balance them with colored gels for jobs. This is my first color meter so it is hard to compare. It is pretty easy to use and after about 15-30 minutes, I was balancing the lights. The only negative is that I am not sure if the meter is sensitive enough for some types of light. I tried to get a reading off my household 3 bulb lamp and I think the color temperature was not in the range. The energy saver bulbs were pretty bright, so I think it was just out of the range. But it does seem to pick up modeling lights well. Studio flash seems to work great.
    Date published: 2008-10-19
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from the best and only one available This color meter can do so much that I recommend to keep the manual at reach. This is a compliment that carries his own criticism. Shooting in 35mm as well as HD, I value that the meter can be set for each of these medias. The only down side to it, at this stage is how fearful I am to drop this amazing instrument. It is a lot of money if I ever have to replace it....
    Date published: 2011-11-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wish I bought this years ago. We use this for matching color temps on location. Works great and is much more accurate than the in camera meter. Checked the actual color temp of many of our location lights and was shocked on how far off they were from the marked lamp temp. Color balance is now perfect. Wish we would have bought this unit years ago. Skin tones are now perfect!
    Date published: 2013-01-16
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from A good enough job to be essential I am a lighting director and gaffer and use this meter daily. It had no hiccups with HMI LED tungsten kino Street lights or Stadium lights. My Minolta color meters often had issues with Stadium lights as they can be a very narrow spectrum. It is an ideal tool for matching follow spots as it combined fc and color temp.
    Date published: 2013-10-29
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