September 5, 2019

The Canon C500 Mark II Is Here With A Modular Design Tailoring It To Your Needs

The new Canon C500 Mk. II
Canon's flagship cinema camera is full-frame, and expandable with optional extension modules.

Ahead of IBC 2019, Canon has officially announced the long-awaited second-generation C500 Mark II cinema camera. At its heart is the same full-frame image sensor as that of the larger C700 only a lot lighter, weighing in at just 3.8 lbs. So, that will make it just a tad longer and wider than the C200. But it will also have optional extension modules to add even more performance, especially with live streaming to the internet. Is this the next great all-purpose cinema cam?

“The EOS C500 Mark II encompasses the latest Canon technologies and, when teamed with the recently announced Sumire Prime Cinema Lenses and DP-V3120 4K Reference Display, forms an incredible input-to-output solution.” - Kazuto Ogawa, President and COO, Canon U.S.A., Inc

The Modular Canon C500 Mk. II
Credit: Canon

Capable of over 15 stops of dynamic range and data rates approaching 810MB/ps, the new C500 Mark II makes for a kind of all-around cinema camera for not only documentarians but also for even higher-end YouTubers. This is thanks to the modular design that will take extension modules to expand its capabilities. But before we get to that, let's look at the basic specs:

Key Features

  • 4K and 2K 4:2:2 10-bit XF-AVC recording and 5.9k oversampling for 4K
  • 2 CFexpress media card slots
  • Compatibility with EF and PL lenses as well as anamorphic and spherical lenses
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF with the ability for Touch and Face detection AF
  • First Canon cinema camera with 5-axis electronic image stabilization, which can be utilized even without the use of lens with IS functionally 
  • Support for Canon Log 2 and 3 Gamma
  • 4 channel recording that supports 4 XLR inputs with the use of the EU-V2 expansion unit
  • User LUT allowing users to upload and apply custom LUTs

The full-frame 5.9K DIGIC DV7 image sensor is designed to provide full 4K performance by oversampling the image at 5.9K in high dynamic range. The camera will use Canon Cinema RAW Light, first introduced for the C200, to cut data size to about 1/5 a RAW image file size without suffering image degradation during color grading. It provides up to 15 stops of dynamic range and can shoot at 60p, 120p at 2K. 

The Modular Canon C500 Mk. II fully dressed out.
Credit: Canon

The C500 Mark II is capable of shooting in the following data rates:

  • RAW 5.9: 2.1GBps 4K 1GBps. 2K 250 MBps
  • XFAVC - 4K/UHD 810MBps at 60fps
  • 410 MBps 30 fps and below.
  • 2K 60fps and above 310MBps 
  • 160MBps 30fps and below.

Proxies can be recorded to SD, but only for RAW image data. And relay and dual recording are also supported.

Expandable Unit for streaming with the C500 Mk. II
Credit: Canon

The C500 Mark II will have a hybrid five-axis on-sensor image stabilization, two of which are controlled by your IS grade lens, and three controlled by the sensor itself. Working in concert, these two IS schemes will promise a more stable image. And if your lens isn't IS capable, like some of those old school anamorphic lenses from the 70s, shooters can have the sensor adjusted to stabilize all five axes. 

And for the first time in Canon cinema history, users will now be able to change their own lens mounts, from EF to PL, and even to an EF Cinema Locking Mount, without having to take the camera to an authorized service center to do it. This will save a ton of time while out in the field, giving shooters the ability to move between lens mounts to suit their creative vision. The mounting swap takes removal of just four simple screws and all mounting kits come with shims to adjust as needed.

The camera's new modular design also provides for building a custom rig to the shooter's preference, with over 13 different accessories, as well as three new camera modules to add performance. Accessories that can be added include a 4.3" LCD monitor, the GR-V1 grip, and the SU-15 shoulder support. As for expansion units, Canon has built out a gen-lock EU-V1 unit which also offers sync out, remote control via RS422 connectors, and a high-speed ethernet connection for IP streaming. The EU-V2 provides for use of a V-mount battery, as well as two XLR audio ports and a 24 v DC out. The final expansion unit will give users an OLED EVF V70 viewfinder with 1.77 million dots. Very similar to the module used in the C200 Mark II.

The Modular Canon C500 Mk. II reverse angle
Credit: Canon

The C500 Mark II will be available this December for an MSRP of $15,999. But you can preorder it now. The extension modules will list as follows: EU1 streaming module with gen-lock support $600, EU2 with VMount 24v power output $1600, and the optional OLED Viewfinder for $700.

Does this mean the C300 Mark II is on the way out? Nobody knows, but it definitely shows where Canon is going with a new generation of cinema imaging. 

Your Comment

31 Comments

It's a dream boat. You can shoot everything with it, features, docs, music videos. Perfect color science. I want it. The price is right, too.

September 5, 2019 at 10:27AM

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Jan Becker
DP, Director, Producer
460

The C500ii is amazing!! I never thought would develop IBIS, especially not in their cinema line of cameras. 15 stops of dynamic range sounds incredible! I can’t wait to see footage from this camera.
The viewfinder is really only $700?? Canon’s previous viewfinder costs $4000.
I love the expandable system, so you can make it lighter, put it in a gimbal or drone, or add all modules for a full-featured cinema camera.
I actually can’t believe is offering all this for only $17k; it’s unlike to offer so many great features for such a low price. I hope they continue this trend with their smaller cinema line and update the C100 to 4k without a giant price tag.

September 5, 2019 at 10:56AM

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gs ford
cinematographer
23

Update: Are you sure Image Stabilization is real? There’s no other information that supports this, even from Canon.
The ~$600viewfinder is the removable viewfinder, not the $4000 Canon viewfinder found on the C700 series.
The accessories for C500ii are very expensive.

September 5, 2019 at 1:27PM

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gs ford
cinematographer
23

September 5, 2019 at 2:03PM

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Joshua Gohlke
Director / Editor / Colorist
89

That is not actual IBIS, that can qualify as software rendering of image stabilization due to the size of the sensors.

Which that technology has been available quite some time and really would not bring much to the table as in actual value since there are better options in post.

September 9, 2019 at 10:08AM

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Kyle Dockum
Videographer and Editor
885

I am still happy with my C300 Mark II. The price on this 500 mk2 is good though... I remember when the gen 1 was released... it was priced much higher.

September 5, 2019 at 11:42AM, Edited September 5, 11:42AM

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Walter Wallace
YouTuber
1232

It was $25K when released but you needed an external recorder & expensive media for 4K.

September 5, 2019 at 1:38PM

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Chris Santucci
Cinematographer
288

I remember... And people purchased it at that price which was crazy

September 5, 2019 at 2:31PM

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Walter Wallace
YouTuber
1232

Canon STILL can't manage to squeeze 120fps at 4K out of one of their overpriced cameras.

September 5, 2019 at 1:37PM

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Chris Santucci
Cinematographer
288

Umm I think they're reasonably priced.....

Also there's no camera that can do this so I don't get where you're getting this expectation that Canon will randomly pull this out thin air. It offers 120 at 2k which is more than any other camera can offer.

September 5, 2019 at 1:42PM

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Alex Alva
1369

The Ursa Mini Pro G2 offers 120fps in 4k. But this camera does look wonderful and in a few years I may sell my Ursa and pick this up when it’s price goes down. I love the ergonomics of this series.

September 5, 2019 at 2:51PM

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John Haas
Cinematographer
986

The ARRI cameras do 200 FPS at 2k

September 5, 2019 at 5:26PM, Edited September 5, 5:26PM

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My Red Raven shoots 120fps in 4k and 4.5k, and it cost almost half as much as this camera (when you add in the v-mount module). Having said that, it still looks pretty awesome

September 5, 2019 at 8:37PM

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My new $2500 BMPCC 6K can do 120fps at 2.8K . . .

September 11, 2019 at 1:23AM

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Christopher Kou
Production Manager
230

This camera is a joke lol. $16k and can't even pull 120fps @ 4K. Canon consistently years behind the competition both in price and tech. Why would anyone buy this when they can buy a 6K BM for a couple thousand or the new Panasonic coming out. Pretty tuff to justify this price when you can get a new 5K Dragon body or a used RED Dragon kit for less.

September 6, 2019 at 5:31AM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
1216

‘Why would anyone buy this when they can buy a 6K BM for a couple thousand?’

Because they’re vastly different cameras, with entirely different users and situations in mind?

I don’t mean to sound confrontational, but the web is full of comparisons based on reading about price, resolution and FPS. I love what BMD are doing, but how do you run the Pocket range for 5 hours up a mountain? How do you monitor from tricky angles? How do you send power out to other gear? How do you adjust ND in a hurry with any lens? How do you track focus on a face if manual focus won’t do? How do you adjust a dozen parameters with gloves on in the dark?

The answers, as for all smaller post-DSLR cameras, is by adding a ton of other gear and plumbing it together like Inspector Gadget’s hat. Give me a BORING camera, with no question about reliability, maturity of the tech, loan replacement camera if it fails, etc. Price? Let my clients pay for it.

The small camera/online democratic shift is fabulous, but there are still reasons for these cameras. People buy them and quietly get on with it.

September 6, 2019 at 8:49AM

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To add on to what Ben said, but this camera is ready to go right out of the box and you can run and go shoot for hours. With RED or the pocket cam, you have to either build or rig it out to have the capabilities this has without setup.

September 6, 2019 at 12:56PM, Edited September 6, 12:56PM

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Alex Alva
1369

Professionals don't use Black Magic cameras. Beyond that, this Canon is far, far superior to anything RED or BM offers due to the feature set it offers beyond the sensor.

Talk about totally missing the point.

September 6, 2019 at 3:51PM

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BD
841

Did you really just say this camera is far superior than "anything" RED offers? Get outta here lol.

September 10, 2019 at 4:24AM

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Kaster Troy
Director, DP, Editor
1216

No mention of recording media - I assume it's Cfast recording the RAW? My math says about 263 MB/s based on the reported 2.1Gbps for the over sampled 5.9 senor information. Therefore cheaper Cfast cards with lower sustained rates may work but buyer beware.

September 5, 2019 at 1:51PM

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Richard Metzker
Operations Manager
17

Recording media is CFexpress

September 5, 2019 at 4:25PM

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Dan Maher
147

Way, way too expensive. In a world where the BMPCC6K is 2500$, you simply can't justify shelling 6 TIMES as much on this. Twice as much? Sure. Three times as much? Okay, fair enough. Four times? I dunno... MAYBE?! But 6 (SIX) times as much? No. Just no.

September 5, 2019 at 6:59PM, Edited September 5, 6:59PM

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Cosmin Gurau
Director
419

The "full frame" red is $50,000 and the "full frame" Alexa LF is about the same. As far as "full frame" cinema cameras go, it's downright reasonable. As great as the BMPCC6K is, it's not in the same league, nor is it directed at the same customer

September 5, 2019 at 9:00PM

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And let's not forget that ibis and good autofocus are quite unique features for a cinema camera.

I wished I could afford it, tbh, but I will certainly try it with a rental.

September 6, 2019 at 8:11AM

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Álex Montoya
Writer/Director
449

It's out of my league, but I feel the price is quite reasonable.

September 6, 2019 at 8:08AM

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Álex Montoya
Writer/Director
449

I wonder if you have to black shade like with the C200. I thought I had left the world of black shading behind me when I sold my Red Dragon. I bet the C500 requires black shading, too.

September 5, 2019 at 7:09PM

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Derek Doublin
Director, Cinematographer, Large Scale Artist
683

Am I dreaming?! So hopeful of what I'll see when some footage is posted!
Okay - it's worth a shot... Dear Santa... I can explain...

September 5, 2019 at 9:10PM

2
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DON HENDRICKS
Storyteller, Pro Video, Indie Filmmaker
86

This camera is basically a RED with a larger feature set and without the crazy price tag. Hard to believe I am excited about Canon cameras again!

September 6, 2019 at 11:13AM

3
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BD
841

How will 2x Anamorphic glass work on this? Can it capture in a 4/3 image area on the sensor?

September 9, 2019 at 1:22PM

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Josh
8

.

September 11, 2019 at 4:51PM, Edited September 11, 4:52PM

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Alex Alva
1369

Canon is the best choice if you are looking for a Camera with best options and economic price.

September 11, 2019 at 7:54PM, Edited September 11, 7:54PM

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Sara George
Manager
98