The Canon EOS C500 4K Cinema Camera (PL Lens Mount) represents Canon's first foray into the world of 4K digital cinema production. Sharing a sensor with the earlier EOS C300 PL camera, the EOS C500 PL 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.
The C500 PL also has a body type in common with the C300 PL. Featuring large, accessible buttons with ridges dividing them, the EOS C500 PL has been designed expressly for the craft of digital cinema. Its signal output is similarly appropriate: At rates up to 60 frames per second, the 10-bit 4K RAW data stream output can be recorded to an approved external device (sold separately) at full resolution. Using a format called 4K half RAW, which halves the horizontal resolution, you can capture up to 120 fps to the external recorder by using both of the C500 PL's 3G-SDI outputs.
The Canon EOS C500 PL integrates with time-tested feature film production workflows. As 4K RAW data is being recorded externally, you can record proxy files at 50 Mb/s to the camera's internal CF card so rough-cut or dailies editing can begin immediately after a scene is complete. For the widest latitude for color correction in post-production, the camera offers Canon's Log gamma mode, which results in excellent tonal reproduction in the highlight and lowlight regions of an image, and a greatly expanded dynamic range.
As its name suggests, the EOS C500 PL features a PL mount for compatibility not only with a broad range of compatible cine lenses from manufacturers like Angenieux and Zeiss, but also with Canon's burgeoning line of Cinema EOS lenses for PL mount. These lenses are designed to match up perfectly with the 3-perf Super 35mm-size CMOS sensor of this camera. Like the camcorder, these lenses (sold separately) were developed specifically for digital cinema, with engraved markings on angled surfaces in meters and feet and uniform front diameters for easy lens switching without having to reconfigure a matte box or follow focus gearing.
Canon Super 35mm CMOS Sensor
Modeled on the Super 35mm 3-perf motion picture film standard, the Canon CMOS sensor has an effective resolution of 4096 x 2160. The image sensor employs an innovative readout technique that delivers full-bandwidth individual RGB video components without the need for any de-Bayering algorithms
RAW 4K Output
Using a single 3G-SDI output, the C500 PL is able to output a full 4K RAW (4096 x 2160-pixel) data stream in 10-bit color space, with full Bayer encoding and frame rates up to 60 fps. Using both of the camera's 3G-SDI outputs, the frame rate can jump as high as 120 fps, but with the horizontal resolution reduced by half and then interpolated back in
Canon Log Gamma
Shooting in Canon Log mode, cinematographers can set the camera exposure value using their customary light meter practices. This nonlinear transfer function is specifically designed to facilitate the post-production of digital images originating in Cinema EOS in a manner similar to the post-production of images digitally transferred from motion picture film (the contemporary DI process). By managing the disposition of quantization bits, Canon Log ensures excellent tonal reproduction within both highlight and low-light regions of a given digital image
Canon EOS C500 with PL Lens Mount
Designed to integrate into existing production setups, the EOS C500 PL is fully compatible with a wide variety of industry-standard PL-mount lenses, ensuring it will work seamlessly with trusted optics already in the filmmaker's possession. Compatibility with Canon's existing PL mount lenses means filmmakers can take advantage of the new optical designs Canon has developed for the cinema market
Canon Cinema EOS Lenses, Available in PL Mount
Some Canon Cinema EOS lenses (sold separately) are available in both PL and EF configurations. They're designed and engineered to meet or exceed the exacting standards of working professionals. Every Canon Cinema EOS lens is designed to fulfill contemporary 4K production standards, surpassing the performance requirements of any HD imaging system. Zoom lenses feature large aspherical lens elements to achieve sharp, consistent images in every shooting situation. Geared inner focusing minimizes focus-induced changes in the angle of view, rendering focus breathing virtually zero. The 11-blade aperture diaphragms ensure smooth out-of-focus areas and beautiful bokeh – and innovative glass construction counteracts barrel expansion and contraction to avoid temperature-induced marking discrepancies. Cinema EOS lenses provide markings on angled surfaces on both sides of the barrel, making it easy to read focus and aperture settings from behind or either side of the camera. Focus markings can be switched from standard labeling to metric. Control rings are designed to maintain the proper amount of resistance with consistent operating torque. Cinema EOS lenses share uniform gear position, diameter and rotation angle as well as front lens diameters, enabling the film crew to quickly change to another Canon zoom or prime lens or compatible third-party accessories like matte boxes and rods without adjustments
Designed with Filmmakers in Mind
With everything a cinematographer needs, the EOS C500 PL comes ready to produce. A logical layout of buttons and dials make operation simple. A lock switch turns off all controls except the recording button and function buttons. Small ridges between the buttons help prevent activating functions by mistake. A backlit display panel is great for low-light viewing. A tally lamp is clearly visible from the side or behind the camera
Comfortable Ergonomic Controls
The moment you pick up the EOS C500 PL, you'll feel right at home. Four separate start/stop buttons and 15 other customizable buttons distributed over the camera body mean quiet and intuitive access
Accommodating File-Based Production
The Cinema EOS system creates full HD proxy files in the internationally standardized Material eXchange Format (MXF), wrapping video and audio with metadata in a single file that maintains access to critical information throughout the production process
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