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Canon C500 II - Hands On

Today, Canon have announced the C500 II. A full frame, 5.9K, compact cinema camera that could possibly their most exciting new release in years. We were lucky enough to get some hands on time with a working unit before they were shipped off to IBC for their big worldwide premiere showing, so used this opportunity to share with you all a run through of the features that make the C500 II just so exciting.

View the Canon C500 II here


Canon C500 II ProAV

We will of course cover this in much more detail after IBC when we can spend more time with the camera and do a full review. But for now, here are the headline features:

5.9K Full Frame CMOS Sensor

The C500 II shares the same sensor with the C700 FF, its a 38.1 x 20.1 Full Frame CMOS sensor with 15+ stops of Dynamic Range and 5.9K resolution. This sensor can be easily cropped in to a 4K Super 35mm mode for use with your existing Super 35mm lenses, or a super16mm 2K mode for 120p slow motion. You get the choice of 12 bit Cinema Raw Light or 10 bit XF-AVC files. When in XF-AVC mode the C500 II will downsample the 5.9K sensor to get 4K or 2K files using the full width of the sensor.

New Faster Media

Existing media like Cfast 2.0 is just not capable of the data rates needed for 5.9K Cinema Raw Light files, so Canon have adopted the new CFExpress cards like these ones from Sandisk. CFExpress can handle data read speeds of up to 1700MB/s and write speeds up to 1400MB/s for blazing fast performance. This is shaping up to be the next generation of media for high resolution video capture and so should be picked up for much wider use than just here with the C500 II.

Compact Modular Design

Although it has the image quality and nearly the feature set of the larger C700 FF, the C500 II is only slightly heavier than the C200 with a very similar sized body. It has a modular design as well, with a removable viewfinder unit, and several back modules to expand the cameras capabilities.

EVF-V50 Viewfinder module
EU-V2 Extension unit

View the Canon C500 II here

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This video was filmed using:

Main Camera - Canon C300 MKII 
B-Roll Cameras - Canon EOS R
Lens - Sigma 18-35 f1.8
Audio Sennheiser AVX-ME2 Set

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