Canon C500 - Angle ViewNow they go way past 11. Canon is not only matching the Sony 64,000 ISO upgrade to the FS700, they are surpassing it. In a brand new firmware upgrade the company is working on for the C100, C300, and C500, they've managed to increase the top ISO from 20,000 another two stops to 80,000 ISO. How clean that will be is another question, but there must be some processing under the hood to get it looking even remotely usable at such crazy-high ISOs. That's not all they're doing, so read on for some of the other upgrades.

[Update]: Canon has removed the download link for the C300 firmware because of an issue with color balance:

We have suspended download services for Firmware Version that was posted Tuesday November 12, 2013 at 8PM EST, because it has been determined that discrepancies in color balance can occur with footage captured by the EOS C300 and EOS C300PL running Firmware Version 

We are currently preparing new firmware with a fix for this issue and will release it as soon as it is available.

We are very sorry for the inconvenience, but we ask for your patience during this time.

We are preparing new firmware with a fix for this issue. If you have updated your EOS C300 or EOS C300PL firmware to version, please contact the Canon Customer Support Center. Contact information is provided below. The Canon Customer Support Center will provide you with further details and will 
restore the camera’s firmware version to for any EOS C300 or EOS C300PL camera running firmware version

Thanks to News Shooter for the tip, here are some of the changes courtesy of Canon Europe:

  • ISO with C100/C300/C500 will now be adjustable in one or 1/3 stop increments from 320 ISO to 80,000 ISO
  • C500 will get new DCI-P3+ and Cinema Gamut options, and BT.709, Wide DR, or DCI-P3 LUT can be output from the MON.1/2 terminals. It will also be possible to output a 2K signal from MON 2 with support for ACESProxy10 gamma and the ACES color space
  • New 4096 x 1080 cropped RAW mode for the C500 with frame rates above 60 (this is in addition to the half vertical res 4K2K mode)
  • C300 getting the C100's Wide DR mode, and full autofocus support for the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens

The C500 is also getting a new fan setting option (apparently this was also made available as an additional upgrade in firmware released earlier in 2013):

To counter heat generated when filming for long periods of time, especially in 4K or 2K, the EOS C500 has an effective fan-based cooling system. To reduce the possibility of intrusive fan noise during shoots, the Automatic cooling mode has been updated so that the system will stop running during recording. It will automatically start to regulate the camera temperature whenever recording stops, providing more sustained, continuous cooling to reduce the chance of fan activation during a take. Automatic activation during recording may still occur if required to prevent a camera dangerously over-heating (*1).

More on features all of the cameras will get:

Canon will also improve the operability of the EOS C500, EOS C300 and EOS C100 in a variety of ways. For example, the Magnify function, designed to aid manual focussing, will be enhanced to enable magnified viewing of 25 different segments of the image in view, rather than just the centre portion. A new option will allow users to lock all camera functions, including the REC button, when the Power switch is in LOCK mode, and it will be possible to assign either ISO or IRIS control to the main body and hand grip control dials on the EOS C500 and EOS C300.

These are some serious upgrades for the Canon Cinema series cameras, and it also probably means that Canon is going to stick with these cameras for a bit longer. The C500 is still the flagship and remains the most flexible, but there are some other obvious changes like one to the Magnify setting that will make users of any C-series camera very happy. Since these cameras have seen a ton of usage in documentary and reality TV, having the option for 80,000 ISO is going to come in handy for tight situations where you're operating practically in the dark, or with slower zooms mounted on the camera.

It looks like Canon is aiming to release the firmware to all of the cameras sometime later in 2013 (and will probably be free, but they haven't said anything on that yet). The 1D C is also getting a minor update, which you can read about over on the Canon site.

What do you guys think about the upgrades?

Link: New feature upgrades coming for Cinema EOS cameras -- Canon Europe

[via News Shooter]