The Canon C500 Just Got Its 3rd Price Drop: An Updated Version Must Be Coming, Right?
Last New Year's day, Canon drastically reduced the price of their C500 cinema camera, leading many to believe that a major overhaul was imminent. Although that upgrade didn't come, Canon has dropped the price once again (alongside a nice firmware update), so we're going to do some more speculating!
First and foremost, the Canon C500, which was knocked down to a street price of $17,000 with last year's price cuts, is now $1,000 cheaper at resellers like B&H. Although it's not a tremendous price cut by any stretch of the imagination, the $16,000 price point is sure to make the C500 even more competitive with the Sony F5, which at this point is the only other cinema camera with 4K RAW recording in that $15,000 - 20,000 price bracket. But what does this mean for the future of the C500 as we know it today?
If there's anything that may provide a glimpse at what's in store for the Canon C500, it's likely the way the company has handled the upgrade of the C100. The fact that Canon opted to release a C100 Mark II, which turned out to be a fairly significant upgrade due to a few key usability and hardware upgrades like a much better EVF for critical focus and a tiltable LCD screen, leads me to believe that they're quite happy with their hierarchical pricing structure with the C100/C300/C500, and that they're going to keep it in place for years to come while releasing appropriate hardware updates to each of these cameras in the form of paid Mark II and Mark III upgrades.
Based on all of that, it seems safe to assume that Canon will not be rolling out an exciting new high-end cinema camera (a C700, maybe?) at any point in the near future, but instead will release a C500 Mark II with improved usability hardware and perhaps a boost in what the camera is capable of recording internally.
Canon also released a fairly significant firmware update for the C500 today, which contains a few nice new features (listed below):
- Canon Proprietary Cinema Gamut
- Support for DCI-P3+ Color Gamut (Cinema RAW Development)
- ISO up to 80,000
- 4096x1080 RAW Resolution
- Cooling Fan Control
- ACESproxy Output from Monitor Terminal
- Canon Log LUT Available over HD-SDI Monitor Port
- Ability to Shift the Magnification Location in the Viewfinder
- Ability to Assign ISO and Iris Operation to the Control Dial
- Record Button Lock
- Multi-person Login for the Canon Wi-Fi® Remote Application
- Support for New Remote Controller (Scheduled to be available June 2014)
Cinema & EF Lens Support
- Peripheral Lens Correction Available on Select Cinema & EF Lenses
Perhaps the biggest feature in this update is Canon's new proprietary cinema color gamut, which should make the C500 an even more versatile camera in terms of accurately capturing the nuances of color. The new gamut is described thusly on Canon's firmware update page, where you can learn more about all of the new features.
The widest color space currently available for the EOS C500 camera, Cinema Gamut covers the majority of the eye's visible color spectrum, providing a far more accurate portrayal of a captured scene, with an enhanced look that offers increased realism and image detail. Thanks to theEOS C500's ability to more accurately capture variations within highly saturated color than previously available in Canon cinema models, Cinema Gamut offers a range of unique creative options to DPs and videographers that want to bring nuances of color to movie audiences.
What do you guys think Canon's future plans are for the C500? If they release a Mark II version, what upgrades would you like to see implemented?