March 14, 2016

Canon C500 Price Has Dropped to $10,000. Is An 8K Mark II Camera Coming?

Canon C500 with Odyssey 7Q
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:

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?

Canon Cinema EOS 8K Camera 2

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.      

Your Comment

27 Comments

Man, I would love a C500, but that price still puts it in rental territory for a lot of people.

March 14, 2016 at 3:44PM

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Alex Everingham
Video Editor
657

I have a question about C500 and external recorder. I have tried to use an Atomos Shogun to record 4K RAW from C500, but the shogun only convert the RAW to ProRes. Have you a solution to record RAW on the Shogun ?

March 14, 2016 at 3:58PM, Edited March 14, 3:58PM

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Daniel Mendes
DoP, Reviewer for a video/photo blog
106

Atomos are working on a Canon C500 RAW to CinemaDNG recording solution that is supposed to be ready Q1 2016. ( no idea if this is a free or paid upgrade )

March 14, 2016 at 4:18PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
31448

Thanks !

March 14, 2016 at 4:44PM, Edited March 14, 4:44PM

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Daniel Mendes
DoP, Reviewer for a video/photo blog
106

Don't hold your breath for this feature.
The release date for this update has been pushed back quarter after quarter for a year or more.

March 15, 2016 at 8:24AM

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Ezi Seel
622

I'm trying to find the right camera for my next movie, so I have been doing research on this camera these past weeks, just because I find canon color science to be extremely beautiful (in raw of course). I also looked into the canon 1DC, as the 4k footage looks very similar to the 5dm3 MLV raw, I look I fell in love with. I still haven't taken a decision but this helps.

March 14, 2016 at 4:43PM

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Edgar More
All
1312

This is a complete steal. Such a great camera.

March 14, 2016 at 7:29PM

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Filmmaker Dude
Film stuff
161

Hopefully they release a 8k camera and fix their motion cadence. Canon's, Sony's, and Red's motion cadence are disgusting many times.

March 14, 2016 at 8:01PM

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IMO, this is the thing holding digital back from truly matching film. Rolling shutter, no matter how pronounced or subtle...affects every frame at every shutter speed.

Arri has it right and I think that is one of the more underrated reasons people prefer the image.

March 14, 2016 at 8:13PM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2438

It's funny because Sony's camera have either mechanical or electronic global shutter and it looks more video like than the alexa (but beautiful). Definitely something with motion cadence, dynamic range, highlight falloff, global shutter, and color response.

March 16, 2016 at 8:50PM, Edited March 16, 8:50PM

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I'm going to go out on a limb here, and state that there really is no such thing as "motion cadence" built into the camera - if a camera shoots 24 actual frames (no long GOP codecs), and they are exposed with a 180° shutter, the motion will always "feel" the same. I mean, what else is there to the motion? The choice of lens has a massive influence on how motion is portrayed, but that has nothing to do with camera's, and everything to do with the knowledge of the filmmakers.

In fact, cheaper camera's are used more by less apt filmmakers, making a lot of the footage in circulation -appear- technically deficient (think faster shutter to lower exposure instead of using ND, 30p or 60p footage because it's default, shaky or badly planned camera work, etc.). I think that's largely where this "motion cadence" talk stems from.

The one major caveat to this is rolling shutter - definitely affects motion in numerous types of shots. However all of the manufacturer's you mentioned have cinema camera's with a very fast sensor read-out, negating this concern for the most part.

March 14, 2016 at 8:34PM

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You said it though. The "cadence" is the rolling shutter. No matter how fast the readout...it is there. Fast readout and correct shutter just mask it. That doesn't mean it vanishes.

March 15, 2016 at 12:59AM, Edited March 15, 12:59AM

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Luke Neumann
Cinematographer/Composer/Editor
2438

Yup, because even this C500 footage doesn't look cinematic to me. It's still missing something ALEXA and EPIC have.

March 15, 2016 at 10:04AM

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Mike Tesh
Pro Video / Indie Filmmaker
779

Most Arri Alexa models have rolling shutters. The "cinematic" images you are referring to at this point deal mostly with color science, not motion. As camera technology becomes more advanced the playing field is narrowed among camera manufacturers. The one area that begins to really shine through is how each company interpolates the data from their sensors. Arri (at this moment) still has the best color science in my opinion. They have the best highlight rolloff and they render the best skin tones. But their camera technology is starting to age, as they have been running off the same sensor for years now. It still holds up and it's still amazing technology, but their eventually going to have to face the fact that they're not going to be able to charge as much as they used to as time goes on. The gap is now narrower then it has ever been before, and sometime between 2015-2025 we might see the big players finally dethroned, after 100 years of market domination. And honestly, I can't wait for that moment. Exciting times are ahead!

March 15, 2016 at 1:01PM, Edited March 15, 1:02PM

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Derek Doublin
Director, Cinematographer, Large Scale Artist
676

You mean Sony is going to take over? Because I don't see Red's infrastructure taking over at all. Not sure if you know how chaotic and immature their business plan and strategy is.

March 16, 2016 at 8:52PM, Edited March 16, 8:52PM

7
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Perhaps black magic, in a few years to come of course.

March 17, 2016 at 9:07AM

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Alex James
Editor
178

We need this (and global shutter) way more than we need more Ks, but bigger numbers are easier to market than something that we really need.

March 14, 2016 at 8:35PM

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Jacob Floyd
Writer / Videographer
1288

Shame that clients would rather hire someone who'll shoot 6k ok than someone who'll shoot 1080p perfectly.

March 15, 2016 at 4:18PM

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Sebastian Kammonen
Filmmaker
356

Whatever Canon does I sure hope they DO NOT use that Ridiculous Audio/Monitor gadget they have been making. I also HOPE they finally make a REAL monitor not this 2nd rate horrible shit they have been putting in the c300,c500 for the last several years - cause its a JOKE! Come on Canon step it up, make a REAL cinema camera not some strange interpretation of what you think a cinema camera is.

I would love to see a Canon c500 for 20-30k that can do 4k @ 120 internally to cfast cards, a professional monitor and audio location AWAY from the monitor.

March 15, 2016 at 5:32PM

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Camera Wars
Camera Specialist - Keeping it REAL
147

Later this month from Canon, "Join ​the ​professionals ​of ​the ​Canon ​Hollywood ​Professional ​Technology ​and ​Support ​Center ​for ​an ​exciting ​look ​at ​the ​new ​tools ​joining ​the ​Cinema ​EOS ​Product ​Line!"

March 17, 2016 at 10:16AM

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Matthew Emmanuel
Camera Operator
488

8K? This is Canon we're talking about here.

March 18, 2016 at 12:41AM

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Gene Nemetz
live streaming
1686

Canon cameras have the worst depreciation value of any camera and it's all CANONs fault.

This price drop by the thousands might be helping canon clear their warehouse of c500s and c300s but it's screwing the people who paid full price not too long ago. This kills the resale market, for people who want to upgrade.

Just image you buy a car for $30k and in two /three years it's worth 10k!

But this is the game and reality of cameras now.

The only future proof camera now (5-10 years of usage) is the RED weapons - they are so far ahead not just in resolution, features, size, weight but their cameras have a beautiful nature look to them. Just saying..

PS - it's a joke that canon made this c500 - might be the worst attempt at a pro level camera yet. I feel sorry for the people that bought this.

Hopefully NAB this year will reveal the perfect new c600? Oops did I say that...

CAMERAWARS

March 18, 2016 at 1:39PM, Edited March 18, 1:42PM

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Camera Wars
Camera Specialist - Keeping it REAL
147

Kinda beg to differ on the Canon gear. I've shot with everything from
Later 80's era Betacam SP's to Sony Cinealta 900/950's to Canon C100
Mark 2, C300/C500 to Canon 5D/1Dc, Black Magics, Red, Alexa (many models)
and some otere much more ridiculous cameras such as Phantom Vision, Dalsa
Genesis, Viper, etc.

Out of all those cameras, I actually like the C100 Mark 2 for it's cinestyle
capabilities (i.e. ease of use) and the 1Dc for it's image quality (if you use
GOOD lighting!) I know a lot of people will ask what about the 4:2:2 colour
sampling on the 1Dc --- again the key is lighting --- LIGHT THE NIGHT !!!

In terms of absolute quality, yes it's NICE to a have a 4k 4:4:4 14 bit sensor
BUT I can make do with the C100 Mark2 just fine with a decent 50mm and
85mm Sigma Art 1.4 Lenses (only $900!) --- That's all you need!

The New C500 Mark 2 coming out I've heard from the grapevine won't
actually OUTPUT 8k but will sub-sample 8k worth of Bayer-pattern
pixel sensors downto 4k so that final 4K image quality WILL BE SUPERB
AND it will ALSO be 14 bits per colour channel at 4:4:4 RAW at a full
60 fps Global Shutter (NO jello-cam!)

If it does those specs I would NOT CARE about the ergonomics
you have mentioned as the current ones are just fine for me and
many shooters.

4:4:4 14-bits/channel RAW 8k-to-4k at 60 fps Global Shutter!

THOSE ARE THE KEY SPECS! if the price range stays around
$25,000 or below it will be a WINNER!

March 18, 2016 at 6:13PM

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Henry A. Eckstein
Director, Research and Development
282

Still ridiculously overpriced. Canon is clueless.

An 8K camera? Canon has yet to field a 4K camera.

It's like they can't learn. They were pushing interlaced junk for YEARS after the industry had thankfully moved on. Now they're still requiring outboard recorders to get modern material? Canon made really great docking VHS recorders in the '80s; the ones you'd carry around with a camera connected to it. But it's 30 years later.

And they continue to push out cameras that record low-bitrate, interframe-compressed junk. Again, when you can buy a 4K camera for $3000 that shoots uncompressed raw (not to mention ProRes) with an EF mount and Super-35 sensor... you can't sell the outdated overpriced crap Canon is peddling.

April 9, 2016 at 7:16AM, Edited April 9, 7:16AM

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David Gurney
DP
2175

It's a bargain. I am thinking to upgrade my blogging experience now.
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February 11, 2018 at 1:57PM, Edited February 11, 1:57PM

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nulan singh
Mr.
88

ok sir

May 17, 2019 at 9:27PM

0
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Yes. a C500 mark ii is right around the corner ;)

August 28, 2019 at 12:08AM

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s
171