Proving that good things do indeed come in small packages, Canon has introduced the EOS C500 Mark II, a compact, full-frame 5.9K digital cine camera featuring a modular design and user-swappable PL and locking EF lens mounts. Designed for maximum creativity, the C500 Mark II is equally at home sporting PL-mount cine primes on an indie feature, using an ENG lens and the EU-V1 expansion unit to capture a live event, or in its base form and paired with a user’s own still lenses for a wildlife doc. The C500 Mark II is built around the same 20.8MP CMOS sensor as the C700 FF, Canon’s other full-frame cine camera, but has half the weight and eliminates the necessity of an external recorder with the ability to record internally up to 5.9K60 in Cinema RAW Light. And to satisfy RAW storage needs, Canon has forged ahead with the use of super-fast CFexpress cards with dual slots built into the C500 Mark II.
The Dynamic Duo: CMOS Sensor and DIGIC DV7 Processor
To handle your high-res capture, the C500 Mark II incorporates the newly developed DiG!C DV 7 image processor, which also enables Dual-Pixel Auto Focus, wide PQ and HLG High Dynamic Range output, Canon Log 2 and Log 3 support, and a new 5-axis electronic image stabilization feature. The CMOS sensor also support Super 35mm and Super 16mm modes and boasts 15 stops of dynamic range and a color gamut exceeding ITU-R BT.2020, offering a wide latitude when color grading and producing pleasing skin tones.
Versatile Capture Choices
Designed to provide filmmakers with versatility, in addition to recording for a 5.9K finish, the C500 Mark II’s oversampled 5.9K capture options including a 4K crop, up to 120 fps in 2K crop mode, and simultaneous 2K XF-AVC proxy recording to an SD card. Choose 23.98/24/25p for a film-style look, 29.97p for standard video capture, or 50/59.94p/i for smoother motion when shooting sports or other quick-paced action. To provide quick access to your chosen slo-mo or fast speeds, S&F (slow and fast motion) and S&F FPS (slow and fast fps) buttons have been added to the C500 Mark II’s controls.
User-Interchangeable Lens Mounts
The C500 mark II comes with a Canon EF lens mount installed. However, in a bid to enable users to get precisely the look they want, the Canon C500 Mark II lets users avail themselves of not just the spectacular array of Canon EF lenses available, but also has optional PL mount and locking EF mount kits to accommodate cine-style glass, as well. For broadcast-style shooters, an optional B4 lens adapter provides 2/3" lens compatibility. In addition to an immersive look and sharp focus fall-off, the full-frame size sensor lends the C500 Mk II support for the unique look of anamorphic lenses.
Dual-Pixel Autofocus (DAF)
As befits a camera geared toward a range of shooting styles, the C500 Mark II offers a number of focusing methods, all of which will be familiar to C200/300/700 users. I find the One-Shot AF useful when working without an assistant; this mode lets you stay in manual focus with the option to autofocus with the press of a button. AF-Boosted mode finishes your manual focus with the added benefit of not “hunting” if it can’t lock down the focus. Compatible only with AF lenses, the other AF modes include Continuous AF and Face Detection AF.
5-Axis Electronic Image Stabilization
Familiar to mirrorless or DSLR video shooters making the jump to a cine-style camera, the C500 Mark II is the first of Canon’s EOS Cinema line to offer in-body electronic image stabilization (EIS). Compatible with almost any lens, the 5-axis EIS can help to smooth out handheld footage but should be used judiciously when mounted on a tripod to prevent the camera from attempting to adjust its own subtle stabilizing motions and in effect creating jitter.
On-Camera and Reference Monitor Viewing
For your on-camera viewing, the C500 Mark II includes the touchscreen LM-V2 LCD monitor with camera setting control and you have the option of adding the tilting EVF-V50 OLED viewfinder for single-operator use.
Canon has also introduced its top-of-the-line DP-V3120 31" 4K reference monitor with HDR, perfect for on-set, near-set, or post-production use. The DP-V3120 more than exceeds Dolby Vision requirements and, with a luminance ranging from a minimum 0.001 cd/m2 to a peak of 2000 cd/m2, it complies with the ITU-R BT.2100-0 HDR standard. It is optimized to work with the C500 Mark II and features built-in Canon Log 2/3 gamma support, this monitor integrates with ARRI and Panasonic camera systems. Monitor features include 12G-SDI support for up to 8K work flows, dual screen and quad views, an 178˚ viewing angle, and Wi-Fi/LAN remote control.
Versatile Expansion Units
If multicam is your thing, the EU-V1 expansion unit adds Ethernet ports to support live streaming, RS244 remote camera control, and genlock/sync out. To transform the compact C500 Mark II into a more studio/broadcast-style system, Canon offers the versatile EU-V2 expander with 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. Camera audio options include two XLR inputs, a mini-jack mic input, an internal mic, and a headphone jack.
Additional Canon C500 Mark II features to help create your own cinematic thumbprint include internal ND filters, image display tools like focus peaking, zebra, and waveform, a key lock to prevent unintended setting changes, internal fan control, pre-recording, and relay recording.
Pair the camera with a separately available transmitter or stream to your computer via Wi-Fi or Ethernet with the choice of several encryption settings. Now your audience or even an off-set producer can view your capture using the C500 Mark II to stream at rates up to 1080p XF-AVC at 9 or 4 Mb/s.
Blazing CFexpress Cards
Boasting top read and write speeds of 1700 MB/s and 1400 MB/s respectively in the 512GB version, the CFexpress cards used by the C500 Mark II are about three times faster than their CFast 2.0 predecessors. One 512GB CFexpress card is included with the C500 Mark II and additional 512 or 256, 128, and 64GB cards, as well as a dedicated CFexpress card reader are available.
Explore the C500 Mark II and the entire Canon Cinema EOS line online at the B&H Photo website and swing by the B&H SuperStore when you’re in town. Let us know below if the C500 Mark II provides the modularity and versatility you’ve been looking for in a 4K+ camera cine camera.