With the tumult of Canon’s EOS C700 already dying down somewhat, what we’re left with is a Canon cinema line that looks in quite a state of disarray.
While the Canon EOS C700 marks a huge step forward, we can’t forget what cameras it leap frogged. The biggest victim left in the dust is the Canon EOS C500, which just dropped in price to $6,999.
The C500 never reached it’s full potential on the market. People sprung for the C300 as it had the same 1080p resolution, and also was quite substantially cheaper. With that said, the Canon C500 quietly left a small footprint in broadcast and television.
It was one of Hollywood’s most frequently used utility cameras. The “car chase” camera or the handheld rig — Its most recent champion has been John Gulesarian, who filmed all of “The Overnight” with the body. Also, Cinematography Oscar Nominated film, “Mr. Turner” made use of the Canon C500 body.
What’s so sad is not necessarily what was, but what could have been. The C500 was limited by its use in the tiered cinema line, and was never updated to record internal 4k.
This very quickly made the camera obsolete at the price point. You have to wonder if the C500 was ever actually worth the $30,000 price that it started at. And now, four years later, is it worth $6,999?
Today, the story of the Canon C500 still resonates, and perhaps more than ever. With near constant innovation in resolution and bitrate, what makes a camera worth buying? And for manufacturers, it’s a clear indicator of how not to price and market a camera.
If you already own an external recording option like the Odyssey 7Q, the C500 may actually be a phenomenal steal at this price. The color rendition and processing of the camera are well worth the $6,999 price tag, but without the ability to record 4k (internally), it looks lackluster. If you’re willing to take that chance, and you’re already equipped, the C500 could be a dark horse A-Cam in 2016.
Canon EOS C500 4K Cinema Camera (EF Lens Mount)
- 4K RAW (4096 x 2160) Output
- EF Lens Mount for Broad Compatibility
- 8.8 Mp Super 35mm-Size CMOS Sensor
- Also Puts Out 2K, Quad HD & Full HD
- 2x 3G-SDI Outputs
- 50 Mb/s Proxy HD Recording to CF Card
- 10-Bit 4K RAW at Up to 60p
- 10-Bit 4K Half RAW at Up to 120p
- 12-Bit 2K 4:4:4 Signal at Up to 60p
- Canon Log Gamma
The Canon EOS C500 4K Cinema Camera (EF Lens Mount) represents Canon's first foray into the world of 4K digital cinema production. Sharing a sensor with the earlier EOS C300 camera, the EOS C500 fulfills the potential of the large (Super 35mm-size), high-resolution (8.8 Mp effective) CMOS imager by offering full 4K RAW output via 3G-SDI.
Order the Canon EOS C500 at B&H.
(cover photo credit: snap from B&H)