Welcome back to our C500 MKII series. This is the first of our videos in the series, where we run the camera through some tests, and today we're looking at the high ISO performance. Now, before we go any further, it's important to take into consideration that the camera we used, was a pre-production model, and Canon are constantly tweaking the firmware, so there may be some differences from the final units once they start shipping.
Of course, the best way to see these tests is from the video above, but I'll give you a quick rundown here too.
In our first test, we shot the same scene with the same lighting and moved up through the ISO's and adjusted the shutter speed to maintain constant exposure. We tested from ISO 400 to 25600 in both Canon Cinema RAW Lite and XF-AVC. Now the RAW is noisier than the XF-AVC, and that's to be expected, as RAW doesn't do any of the internal noise reduction that XF-AVC does. One very nice thing to see is just how consistent the colours are, not only throughout the ISO range but also how well the XF-AVC and RAW match, which means you can easily swap between the two formats without having to worry about matching the colours up down the line in post.
Now, we were curious just how much we could clean the RAW up with noise reduction in Davinci Resolve, so we did toy around with the NR at various ISO's and did find that is cleaned up very nicely. But what we found the most impressive, is that we managed to get the RAW at ISO 12800 to look just about as clean is XF-AVC at ISO 1600 after some NR is Resolve, which I think shows just how powerful noise reduction is post is, but also just how well the C500 MKII holds up at those higher ISO's despite not having a dual native ISO.
The final test we ran is a very common one that we see online, where you take the same dimly lit scene, and ramp up through the ISO's without changing any lighting or other camera settings. Now, this doesn't really tell us much in terms of noise levels, unlike our other tests. But what it does do is give us a good visual representation of how a scene where we don't have total control over the lighting, will look if we have to bump the ISO up.
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