The Canon C500 price has been steadily inching downward, but today we got a huge price drop.
The flagship cinema camera from Canon has been cut to $10,000 for both EF and PL mount versions (thanks to Erik Naso for the heads-up). It may still seem like a lot, but back in January of last year the price was around $16,000, so this is a pretty big reduction. It's worth noting that the $7,000 C300 and C500 are essentially the same camera, and both record to 1080p 50Mbps internally, but the C500 can shoot 4K RAW if you have an external recorder like the Odyssey7Q, pictured above.
Speaking of the Odyssey, there are bundles with that recorder now that go for just $12,000, which include the C500 RAW license.
Here's a look at all of the C500 models and bundles available:
- $10,000 — Canon EOS C500 4K Cinema Camera (EF Lens Mount)
- $12,000 — Canon EOS C500 Camera (EF Mount) & Odyssey 7Q Kit
- $10,000 — Canon EOS C500 4K Cinema Camera (PL Lens Mount)
- $12,000 — Canon EOS C500 Camera (PL Mount) & Odyssey 7Q Kit
Check out one of the original films shot in 4K by DP Jeff Cronenweth on the C500:
The Odyssey 7" monitor/recorder that comes with some of the bundles above is not the newest version from the company. Their newest is actually the Odyssey7Q+, which is capable of recording 4K into its HDMI port, something the Odyssey7Q cannot do. If you have a number of cameras and want more flexibility, it may actually be beneficial not to get the 7Q bundle above, but instead purchasing a 7Q+, and then buying the necessary RAW license bundle from Convergent Design (which costs $1,000). That would be at least $2,800 vs. $2,000 (for the 7Q in the bundle above), but you would get more options in terms of recording RAW for Sony and Canon cameras, and also the ability to record 4K from cameras that are HDMI-only, like the GH4 or a7S.
8K C500 Mark II on the Horizon?
It would not be surprising if Canon released a new flagship camera sometime in the next 6-12 months — especially as the current one is a few years old, and is now priced even lower than the C300 Mark II, which is the only model in this series capable of recording 10-bit 4K internally. We're not sure what this new camera will look like yet, but it's very possible that Canon will do what it did last time: build off the middle-tier camera, which in this case is the C300 Mark II. Canon would have to do more to differentiate the models this time, but it would be nice having a higher-end cinema camera from Canon capable of recording 4K RAW internally (instead of externally, like the C300 Mark II). This would let the flagship model compete a lot better with cameras from RED, Panasonic, and Sony.
Then again, we could see even more than a 4K camera from the company. Canon has said they are working on an 8K Super 35mm camera that can shoot 8K 60fps with 13 stops of dynamic range, but who knows if this will be the C500 Mark II flagship they ultimately release, or if it will be a new camera entirely. There have been multiple rumors of an 8K camera being announced at NAB 2016 (instead of just the development of prototypes), and if that does happen, Canon would be shaking things up quite a bit.
I'm not sure how likely this is for the upcoming NAB, but an 8K C500 Mark II would put a lot of distance between the C300 and C500 models, something they lacked in the previous generation — and it would probably hurt them. Either way, we should point out that if a C500 Mark II is announced, don't expect it to be under $16,000, and expect the actual release date to be a minimum of 3-6 months or more from announcement.