By technical editor Matt Allard:
The Canon C500 is now available for $15999 on sites such as B&H. The C500 was released by Canon in August 2012 as their flagship Cinema EOS camera. At launch the C500 retailed for $30,000. Since that time it has had two major price drops and its current price puts it more in line with competitors cameras such as the Sony F5.
On top of the price drop Canon have also released new firmware which ads a lot of new functionality to the camera.
Canon Proprietary Cinema Gamut
Support for DCI-P3+ Color Gamut (Cinema RAW Development)
ISO up to 80,000
4096×1080 RAW Resolution
Cooling Fan Control
ACESproxy Output from Monitor Terminal
Canon Log LUT Available over HD-SDI Monitor Port
Ability to Shift the Magnification Location in the Viewfinder
Ability to Assign ISO and Iris Operation to the Control Dial
Record Button Lock
Multi-person Login for the Canon Wi-Fi® Remote Application
Support for New Remote Controller (Scheduled to be available June 2014)
Cinema & EF Lens Support
Peripheral Lens Correction Available on Select Cinema & EF Lenses
The biggest news from this firmware release looks to be Canons new proprietary Cinema Gamut. According to Canon it is “The widest color space currently available for the EOS C500 camera, Cinema Gamut covers the majority of the eye’s visible color spectrum, providing a far more accurate portrayal of a captured scene, with an enhanced look that offers increased realism and image detail. Thanks to the EOS C500’s ability to more accurately capture variations within highly saturated color than previously available in Canon cinema models, Cinema Gamut offers a range of unique creative options to DPs and videographers that want to bring nuances of color to movie audiences. (As TV material is broadcast in ITU-R BT.709 (Rec. 709) color space, Cinema Gamut is not applicable to such productions.)”
This new Cinema Gamut is probably an indication of what to expect as one of the new features in the next Cinema EOS series of cameras. The price drop and new firmware for the C500 comes at an interesting time. Will there be a new model of the C500 released, or is the new firmware and price drop aimed to extend the life of the camera? Most industry observers expect a new Cinema EOS camera or cameras to be released sometime this year. The C300 that was announced on November 3rd 2011 is now more than 3 years old. While other manufacturers have released new models of cameras on an almost yearly basis Canon seems to have an altogether different strategy.
You can download the new C500 firmware here.
The full press release about the new C500 firmware release can also be found here.