The Canon C500 is one of those cameras that hasn't been readily adopted by the film industry, at least not to the extent of ARRI and RED products. Sure, it played a very small role in the production of Scorsese's The Wolf of Wall Street, and Shane Hurlbut chose it as his A-Cam on Need For Speed, but for the most part, it doesn't get much love in the narrative filmmaking world. However, world-class cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto ASC, AMC, (The Wolf of Wall Street, Argo) recently lensed a short film called Human Voice on the high-end Canon camera, and offered his take on why it was the right choice for this project, and how specifically it was set up for this film.
Before watching this video, it should be noted that it is technically a piece of advertising for Canon. However, it contains not only some stunning cinematography, but some extremely logical and practical insight from one of the most well-respected cinematographers in the industry.
Here's a nifty graphic which details exactly how Prieto and his 1st AC decided to build the C500 specifically for shooting Human Voice:
And here are a few fun production stills from Jon Fauer, which can be seen in their entirety in this slideshow on Film & Digital Times:
Perhaps the most fascinating aspect of this production, at least for me, is that more and more, cinematographers are stepping up and saying that resolution is the least of their concerns when it comes to digital cinema technology (sorry, Jim). Instead they're focused on the color depth of these cameras and treating the individual sensors as they would a traditional film stock, an analogy and ideology that Shane Hurlbut has been espousing for years. For this short, Prieto chose to shoot 2K RAW with the C500, despite the fact that it's 4K RAW capable, due to the fact that his testing revealed that the color depth and latitude were slightly higher in 2K.
That's certainly not to say that 4K doesn't have its place, because the digital effects industry is fairly reliant on resolution in order to do its thing. However, it seems safe to say that resolution isn't as powerful of a storytelling tool as color is, and cinematographers, whose job it is to tell stories visually, are choosing the tools that allow them to be the most expressive with color, which often aren't the tools with the highest resolution. It's an interesting debate, and I'm sure that we'll here quite a bit more about it in the coming years.
Be sure to head on over to Canon's Cinema EOS site to see more about Prieto's C500 rig for this short, and for more fascinating behind-the-scenes photos from this stunning short film, head on over to this post at Jon Fauer's Film & Digital Times.
What do you guys think about Prieto's C500 rig and the fact that he chose to shoot 2K for better color rendition? Is color a more powerful storytelling tool than resolution, and should we choose our cameras based on that assumption? Let's hear those thoughts down in the comments!