While we’re still compiling the results from our camera survey from the filmmakers of SXSW 2024, it wouldn’t be too surprising to see the Canon C500 Mark II (among other Canon cinema cameras) leading the pack — at the very least with the documentary shorts and features.

Announced today though, a new firmware update is set to come to the EOS C500 Mark II that will bring a major enhancement to the camera’s Cinema RAW Light capabilities. Let’s explore how Canon will be adding three new Cinema RAW Light formats that will provide 12-bit recording at all frame rates for the C500 Mark II, and what it could mean for the camera’s useability.

Canon C500 Mark II Latest Firmware Update

Up until now, the C500 Mark II has been able to shoot 12-bit RAW video at up to 30 frames per second, and 10-bit video at frame rates beyond that. However, with this new and upcoming firmware update, three new Cinema RAW Light formats will provide 12-bit recording at all frame rates.

Here are the new Cinema RAW Light formats set to be updated:

  • Cinema RAW Light LT (light recording)
  • Cinema RAW Light ST (standard recording)
  • Cinema RAW Light HQ (high quality)

With this new update, the C500 Mark II will now have four different RAW recording options, which will be a first for a camera in Canon’s Cinema EOS lineup. The 12-bit RAW at high frame rates will also provide a major boost to Canon’s signature color science, plus a significant reduction in file size without sacrificing the overall image quality.

Firmware Update Details

This new firmware update will be available on all four current Cinema EOS models, and the Cinema RAW Light format will allow filmmakers of all types to realize the widest dynamic range of their camera’s sensor in a file that should be about a third to a fifth the size of a standard Cinema RAW file.

This firmware update for the Canon EOS C500 Mark II is scheduled for March 21, 2024, and will be available here.

Canon EOS C500 Mark II 5.9K Full-Frame Camera Body

The Canon EOS C500 Mark II 5.9K Full-Frame Camera Body is part of the Cinema EOS lineup of cameras, and it features a full-frame CMOS sensor with an effective 18.69MP resolution. This allows it to feature a 5.9K output in full frame, and crop (window) the sensor for Super 35 and Super 16 frame sizes while maintaining a high resolution.