January 1, 2014

If You Want a Canon C100 or C500, They've Never Been Cheaper

There have been rumors that Canon could be announcing some new cinema cameras in 2014, and recent price drops on the C100 and C500 seem to confirm that. While the C500 launched at over $20K, reductions from Canon have now brought it to $17,000 -- at least until January 4th -- and the C100 is now at an all-time low price, coming in at just $5,000. We've also got new firmware 1.0.4.1.00 for the C500 which brings 80,000 ISO and a few other changes to the camera (to bring it in line with the C100 and C300). Click through for more.

Canon Price Drops

The new price drop makes the C100 quite a value, even with its poor EVF, because at $5,000, there isn't really anything else in this price range with great low-light sensitivity and ND filters built-in. The C500 is now a much better value compared to competing products (only $3,000 more expensive than the C300), and it's much closer in line with something like Sony's F5, which can do 4K RAW with some add-ons just like the C500 (in fact they're very similar in price now if you purchase everything to do 4K RAW on both).

We'll have to wait and see what happens at NAB 2014, but I have a feeling we're going to see something new from Canon, as it's now been a little over 2 years since the C300 was first introduced. A new flagship could be coming, and it's also possible we will see something slot in between the C100 and C300, possibly as a C300 replacement with better internal recording.

Canon C500 Firmware 1.0.4.1.00

And here's a little bit on the new firmware for the C500:

EOS C500 Cinema EOS Camera & EOS C500PL Cinema EOS Camera

  1. When using the Magnify focus assist function, the ability to move the magnified viewing area around the LCD has been added.
  2. Maximum ISO setting has been increased to ISO 80,000.
  3. Cinema Gamut mode and DCI-P3+ mode have been added to provide expanded color gamut options in RAW capture.
  4. 4096×1080-pixel RAW format resolution has been added.
  5. A Key Lock menu setting has been added which now makes it possible to lock all operations, including the START/STOP button.
  6. Using the optional Canon WFT-E6 Wireless File Transmitter, the camera’s remote-control application allows up to two users to access the same unit via a Wi-Fi link providing simultaneous and independent control of camera operation and metadata input.
  7. Canon Log LUT support has been made possible for HD/SD SDI terminal output.
  8. ACESproxy output from monitor terminal has been added.
  9. [ND]/[ND-] have been added as functions that can be allocated to any assignable button.

EOS C500 Digital Cinema Camera only

  1. Ability to assign the two control dials (body and grip) to operate either Iris or ISO sensitivity independently has been added.
  2. Peripheral Illumination Correction Data has been added for seven (7) Canon Cinema lenses (EF mount) and eleven (11) Canon EF Lenses.

You can find links to firmware for both the C500 and C500 PL below, as well as links to purchase either the C100 or C500.

Links:

Your Comment

56 Comments

The C100 is still a working documentarian/videographer's best friend. No other camera at (now) $5k has the breadth of functionality the camera offers. Excited to see what Canon has cooked up next in the cinema line!

January 1, 2014 at 3:51PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I want the c100 uber bad, but I just can't commit to a camera without at least 720/60p. Until then price doesn't make a different.

January 1, 2014 at 4:36PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I was the same, then I found this thing called a gopro. That seems to suit me just fine.

January 1, 2014 at 4:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Gopro and a C100 looks absolutely nothing alike image-wise A Gopro for slow-motion is not useful when you need to make an aesthetically cohesive project... like music videos, commercials, ect... that require over-cranking with regular speed footage. The GH3 and Blackmagic camera are the closet I've found for a matching useable pair.

January 1, 2014 at 6:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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bwhitz

LOL@ GoPro ...Absolutely not even close to the same ballpark, or a reasonable substitute.

January 1, 2014 at 7:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Alex

good enough for peter jackson in the hobbit

January 2, 2014 at 7:09AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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luke

arghh..ignorant..must-resist...

January 2, 2014 at 9:40AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Michael

Shane Hurlbut used GoPros in Need For Speed and some
shots are like 5 or 6 seconds long.

January 2, 2014 at 1:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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sammy

gopro hero 3+ black edition cineform raw protune is simply imcredible.

January 6, 2014 at 7:33PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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robb

Feel exactly the same.

January 1, 2014 at 6:04PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Edry

@Jeremy Earl Mayhew, an FS100 with the Metabones Speedbooster should do the trick – 60fps at 1080, low light beast, all the canon glass you could want, rendered full frame.

January 2, 2014 at 3:14AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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apk

Maybe you mean the Canon EF to NEX, but do you know if the Canon FD to NEX was ever released - no one seems to have it ?

January 2, 2014 at 8:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Saied

Why would you ever want a Canon FD to Sony A mount? That just sounds awful. If anything, just get the metabones adapter for your EF to NEX, and put an FD adapter on the metabones (FD to EF, EF to NEX). Also, I honestly would be surprised if anyone is really asking to shoot FD lenses on NEX cameras. If you're going to fork out $4K for an FS100, or $7K for an FS700, then you should really consider saving up and buying some better glass as well. I love vintage glass, don't get me wrong. Yet FD is not the way to reasonably go.

January 3, 2014 at 6:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Nate

Much appreciate the advice, Nate, but does it really sound that awful? I've heard some of that glass can really hold it's own with modern kit, so I figured if the price was right I would try some tests. Also, there's a fantastic guy in the UK who can restore to like new, not cheap but the economics can still work (as a possible stepping stone to the glass you mention).

January 4, 2014 at 11:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Saied

Nate, please try not to misinform people. NEVER use an FD to EF adapter. EVER. The corrective glass destroys IQ, amongst other issues.
Claiming that an FD to EF adapter for an EF to NEX speedbooster is a BETTER way to go is ludicrous. FD to NEX or FD to M4/3 speedboosters are beautiful, I know, I own one (FD-M4/3). FD lenses are actually quite nice for the right project. Super low contrast, very good IQ, nice selection of lenses. Speedboosters use high quality glass elements, unlike FD to EF adapters, which use cheap crap. Using one of those adapter in front of a speedbooster would totally negate the efforts and destroy the image. Not to mention it would tele-extend and reduce light transmission. Next time, please just don't say anything unless you actually know what you're talking about. People read this site and might actually believe you. UGH.

January 4, 2014 at 1:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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JuMo

yeah not touching a canon cinema camera unless it has 1080 60fps. 720p just doesn't cut it.

January 2, 2014 at 3:50AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I'm in no way excusing Canon for not including 1080/60, but I do have to admit that upping C300 720/60 footage into 1080 does work a lot better than you would expect it to.

The C300 is fucking criminally sharp and detailed (to a fault even, if you're using really good lenses) even at 720. On the other way around, upping 1080 to 4k projects really goddamn well too.

Again, as a C300 owner, make no mistake about the fact that I'm salty about no 1080/60 - but we do get a hell of a workaround.

January 2, 2014 at 3:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Carlos D

+1

It's just ridiculous theses camera's lack 60fps when even a GH3 for $1k over-cranks at 50mbps. The only cameras that come close getting a pass, IMO, are the Blackmagic's. If the C100 was shooting RAW or a 200mbps codec internally, it might get a pass as well...

January 2, 2014 at 3:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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bwhitz

At this point it's probably worth waiting till NAB. I wouldn't be surprised if we see a whole bunch of new 4k cameras announced, no reason to rush in and commit to a camera till you know what else is coming this year.

January 1, 2014 at 5:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Peter

I understand Sony are also going big on 4K in 2014. I can't help feeling their schedules were accelerated by the Blackmagic 4K which challenges perceptions and otherwise might have had a certain market all to itself.

January 1, 2014 at 5:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Saied

I'm really not sold on 4k for the work I am doing but i would snatch up a c100 so fast if it could just do 60fps. but i might snatch it up fast anyway paired with an external recorder (or note) it is an incredible camera.

January 1, 2014 at 6:27PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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There are ways to get an effective 720p slow mo out of the c100 from the 50/60i mode. http://www.pixol.co/canon-c100-50i-slow-motion-test/

January 2, 2014 at 7:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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John

When C500 was announced at the NAB'12, it was $30K. 1D C was $15K. C500 was sold at $23K over the last half a year or so, 1D C at $12K. This is a sure sign that new models will be out shortly. Maybe they'll be announced at CES that starts next week in Vegas, maybe at CP+ that takes place in Yokohama February, 13-16.

January 1, 2014 at 7:12PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

$30k to $17k in less than a couple of years is a huge drop!

January 1, 2014 at 11:39PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I believe it was designed to be priced somewhere near the Red Scarlet, once the full working kit was accounted for. The problem since then, of course, has been an introduction of several other 4K cameras - namely from Sony - that have pushed down the 4K prices in general. Moreover, Sony's can record in 10-12-14-bits or even Raw in the $20K-$30K range while C500 only offered an 8-bit for $23K. (but a gorgeous 8-bit at that) These days the 4K floodgates are wide open. There's even a Chinese smartphone that records 4K in 60 fps and two year old cameras can look as obsolete as two year old computers - still functional but hardly worth the original asking price.

January 2, 2014 at 3:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

By the way, many other models are being either discounted or closed down at the moment - GH3, 70D, 5D MK III, D4, etc. Even A7R was offered with a free (detachable lens camera) QX10 last week. And that's a $250 value on its own.

January 1, 2014 at 8:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

5D 3 discounted? I bought it new for $2800 1.5 years ago(june 2012)..how much can I get it for, now -new-? $2600? right...the GH3 on the other hand, from $1300 to 700 in half a year, lol...

January 2, 2014 at 9:45AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Michael

5D III has benefited greatly from the 2013 developments, mainly the ML Raw, so it makes all the sense in the world to ride this unit as a cash cow for the time being. The P&S part of the market is being destroyed by the smartphones and Sony has been very successful with its compacts such as the NEX and Alpha lines. Mid to high end photo is still dominated by Canon and Nikon, however.

January 2, 2014 at 11:24AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

The Mk III retailed for $3499 when it was released and plenty of people paid that amount for the first few months.

January 3, 2014 at 1:32PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Swissted

5D III is available for $2,600 on eBay over the weekend. Also a huge price drop from the original.

January 4, 2014 at 9:27AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

As an owner of the C100, I do love this camera, but it really should've been 5,000 dollars to begin with.

However, there really was no other camera in the market that had the same low light performance and small form factor, which is why they were able to get away with the steep asking price.

I'm happy the price has gone down to where it's actually a bit more affordable, so that people don't have to sell their liver to upgrade from a DSLR.

January 2, 2014 at 1:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ian B

Camera should of been $4000 given the time it came out.

January 2, 2014 at 2:08AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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VinceGortho

So...an incredibly successful camera that seemingly has been selling very well should have been cheaper?

January 2, 2014 at 3:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Swissted

Think of it this way. Gas prices in Germany are the equivalent of $9.00 per gallon.
Currently, there's no other competing gas prices in the European Union, so the gas sells really well.
Should Russia charge the EU cheaper for their oil? Well, sure they should. But since it's selling well, they don't have to.

Same situation with Canon. They made a DSLR documentary hybrid camera that currently had no competition, (a DSLR style camera with good sound inputs and low light sensor) so they charged a hell of a lot for it.
Blackmagic could have done the same with their original cinema camera. (Easily got away with charging $6,000 dollars, because there was no current competition for a lower priced cinema camera) but instead they charged $3,000. And they even lowered the price to $2,000 later on.

See my point?

Canon is a company that charges as much as the market will bear.

January 3, 2014 at 12:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ian B

And Blackmagic struggled to deliver a product with many well-documented functional and ergonomic limitations for many, many months after it was allegedly "released".

There's no way they could have charged $6k and not had legions of incredibly pissed off consumers. But for $3k, all was forgivable.

January 3, 2014 at 7:03PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Swissted

True the customers would have been pissed off (And I believe it was less about the money, and more about the fact that the camera wasn't in their hands. If the camera costed $500 bucks, they still would've been pissed, because of the wait)

At 6 grand, the camera would have still been a steal (at that current time of course) and would have flew off the shelves.

Case in point: Early arrivals of the BMCC's were selling on ebay and amazon for 5 to 6 grand. And.....they sold within hours of posting.
The market would have, (and did) bear a much higher price tag than 3,000 dollars for the BMCC. In fact, double.
Could Blackmagic have sold the camera for 6,000 dollars? The above is proof of that.

Canon charges as much as the market will bear. Blackmagic charges less.
These are both business decisions.

It is my opinion (feel free to disagree) that the original $7,999 (yes that was the original MSRP) for the C100 was a hell of a price tag.

People buying the cameras didn't and doesn't change my opinion. I bought one myself (at 5,500 dollars).

I'm sure in your lifetime you've also payed for something that you wanted (or needed to make a living) and felt the price tag was too high?

That's how I feel about the C100. Love the camera. I'm happy with it. I'm even happier to see the price settle to something more sober, so more people can actually upgrade from a DSLR and start using this camera.

January 4, 2014 at 12:45PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ian B

how big is it IRL? It looks bulky but everyone is saying it's small.

January 2, 2014 at 11:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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It is small without the top handle/phantom power inputs attached.

A little bigger than a DSLR.
Whenever I'm not using phantom power I attach a Sennheiser MKE 400 mic to the hot shoe and it's very unobtrusive.

January 2, 2014 at 2:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ian B

if we could have a BMCC in a C100 shape.....would be the fucking perfect camera.....

January 2, 2014 at 6:00AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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jesuan

Agree. C100 has a better shape. It's easier to handle.

Though, my main problems with the BMCC aren't it's shape, but:

1. The ultra reflective screen that makes it very impossible to see in the daylight (I use a black t-shirt to cover the touch screen whenever I use that camera during the day.

2. The horrible pre-amp/microphone problem.
There is no way to get good sound directly into this camera, no matter what microphone you use. Hopefully they fix this with a firmware update, because with the Pocket Camera, it's not an issue.

3. The sun-spot.
Pointing the camera toward a bright light causes a black spot to appear where the light would normally be.
They fixed this issue with the Pocket Camera as well, and the BMCC is long overdue for a firmware update.

January 2, 2014 at 2:52PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ian B

Oh, just admit you like the "shape" of the C100, because you think it's more "pro looking". Just put the camera on a glide-cam or shoulder rig. The audience doesn't care what the camera "looks like".

January 2, 2014 at 3:50PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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bwhitz

Did a C100 sleep with your girlfriend, jeesh you got some bias against.

January 3, 2014 at 2:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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ryan

He's talking purely ergonomics. Not coolness factor.

January 4, 2014 at 1:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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JuMo

I hope canon finally makes a cinema cam with higher frame rates and get on the module train with sony and red. How long do we have to make do with only 24/30 fps at 1080p?

January 2, 2014 at 3:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Gary

Until Canon develops a new processor.

January 2, 2014 at 7:37PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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They can double up on processors but then it can become a heat control issue. Newer Snapdragons are supposed to be far more power efficient and, if engineers can stuff 4K video processing into a smartphone, you'd think they'd be able to do that with something like Canon Cinema series too.

January 2, 2014 at 8:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

I don't appreciate the new trashy ads.

January 2, 2014 at 4:13PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Concerned Femal...

I shoot with the C100 about 99% of the time. Love this camera. I hope the next one comes out with a better viewfinder. Other then that it works great.

January 2, 2014 at 9:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Wally

Anybody tried C100 vs the Sony PXW Z100? They are about the same price.
Except Z100 is 4k but with 1/2.3 sensor.

January 2, 2014 at 11:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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V. Anand

Z 100 needs a lot of light due to its small sensor.

January 4, 2014 at 3:46AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

24 mb/s ? AVCHD ? 4.2.0 ? How cant anyone be excited bout this ? The canon 5D outperforms this camera on every key point.

January 3, 2014 at 3:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jean Mathis

Except ergonomics, audio options, flexibility (meaning things like built in ND filters), etc. There's much more to a camera than codec. Give me a C100 over a Mark III (almost) any day.

January 3, 2014 at 9:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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You forgot APS-C sensor instead of full frame (better and easier focus).

January 3, 2014 at 11:25AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Shenan

The only person who would think the 5D is a better choice than the C100 for shooting is someone who hasn't used the C100.

Also - the C100 does uncompressed out via HDMI, making the bitrate/codec issue moot anyway.

January 3, 2014 at 1:34PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Swissted

Haha.. obvious troll.

The C100 has way better dynamic range (12 stops), better sensor, better low light performance, better audio connections, different picture profiles, and so many other features that the 5D3 does not. (Including the pre-record feature, which records 3 seconds prior to actually hitting the record button. A documentary filmmaker's dream)

January 4, 2014 at 1:22PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Ian B

Been shooting with a C100 since Canon did the $500 price drop at NAB last year when it was $5500. Truly a great camera to shoot with for many of the reasons mentioned above. The image when combined with a Ninja 2 is fantastic, especially for grading.

Very curious to see if Canon fills in their Cinema line with the C200 and C400 at NAB this year, and what feature set these cameras might have that would differentiate them enough from the C100 and C300 to make them enticing. Would be a shame if they came out with a C200 that does the higher frame rate and leaves the C100 out of this, but would be nice to see a C200 with a better EVF and maybe higher bit rate codec.

January 5, 2014 at 1:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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EJ