First look: Canon’s 4K EOS C500 and EOS-1D C cameras

Just a few months after Canon astounded us with their C300 cinema camera, they’re at it again with another round of incredible 4K additions to the Cinema EOS range. Introducing… the Canon EOS C500 camcorder, EOS-1D C high-res 4K DSLR, and four new 4K-friendly lenses.

Now, anyone looking for affordable 4K cinema options have a few very enticing avenues to consider, and it’ll be interesting to see how Canon’s latest stack up against our current 4K darling, the JVC GY-HMQ10. Here are the details:

Canon EOS C500

The 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 output in Canon’s new EOS C500 is impressive, and will give so much latitude in post when working with these files. I’m looking forward to seeing whether the dynamic range is expanded from the C300 or whether it is still 12 stops, but I’d be excited and not surprised to see more dynamic range (especially as the brochure says “Canon’s Super 35mm equivalent, large-sized CMOS sensor with approx. 8.85 megapixels allows you to shoot in lower light conditions than ever. It offers a wide range of ISO settings from 320 to 20,000.” Nice!)

Like the C300, the PL and EF mounting is a smart move. There are some gorgeous EF mount lenses but I would expect to see a lot more PL mount lenses being used with the C500 over the C300 given that the C500 really is starting to rub shoulders with ARRI ALEXA cameras.

There is so much scalability now with this camera in terms of output you can really craft this for your workflow and as the body is the same design as the C300 and probably a similar weight, this could be used in tiny tight spaces on set which is a real benefit to location shooting. Definitely one to watch and I personally can’t wait to have a look at it, based on these specs…

  • Sensor size: Super 35mm equivalent
  • Effective pixels: 8.85 megapixels (approx)
  • ND filter system: Three sets, four filters (clear, two stops, four stops, six stops)
  • Focus/Aperture: Manual
  • Main input/output terminals: 3G-SDI 1/3G-SDI 2, MON. 1/MON. 2, HD SD SDI, HDMI OUT, Sync OUT (switchable HD Sync / HD Y / Black Burst / Composite), Headphone Input/Output: TIME CODE terminal Input: GenLock, XLR×2, Microphone (3.5 mm)

Canon EOS-1D C

As soon as the 5D Mk III was released, we could tell that Canon where committed to furthering the needs of the DSLR film maker and, rather than trying to migrate them into a different form factor, give them what they want at the best possible quality. The 1DC looks to be an incredible 4K shooter for the DSLR film maker wanting to upgrade their workflow. You only need to look at the specs below to see this is a serious video camera – integration of a native proxy workflow for post over HDMI to an external recorder, 8-bit 4K motion jpegs on a CF card and everything down to 720p all shot using the C-Log Gamma.

– Internal 4K (4,096 x 2,160) recording with 4:2:2 colour sampling – direct to CF cards

– 8-bit Motion JPEG compression

– ISO sensitivity up to 25,600

– Clean HDMI out (Full HD, 4:2:2)

– Canon Log Gamma

– 24p support during 4K shooting

– 24, 25, 30, 50 and 60p frame rate support in Full HD (1920x1080p) resolution

– Full-frame sensor with crop support (APS-H, Super 35mm)

The Canon EOS-1D C moves DSLR film makers closer to Cinema than they have ever been before and looks set to change the industry again. I for one can’t wait to get hold of it and look forward to seeing how the industry receives it. As for the rumoured C100? We’ll have to wait and see…

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