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EOS C500

Cinema EOS

Tech Explained: Learn The Science Behind 4K Optics.

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4K/2K Workflow

The EOS C500 fully supports both 4K and 2K image resolutions; as such, it is the ideal choice for demanding video productions across a wide gamut that ranges from high-quality commercials and TV dramas to motion-picture releases. A 4K workflow offers four times the resolution of standard high-definition acquisition, resulting in life-like theatrical presentations, a familiar, film-style workflow, full versatility during post-production, and added flexibility for visual effects.

Canon design engineers have developed a 4K/2K acquisition platform and matching workflow for the video and motion-picture industries. With 4K rapidly moving to become the de facto standard for theatrical projection, the need for high-resolution acquisition is a production reality. The EOS C500 is designed to fit seamlessly with projects shot entirely in 4K, or for mixed 4K/2K productions. Coupled to external data recorders, the EOS C500 is a true “4K powerhouse,” while still retaining the flexibility to handle standard HD workflows.

Simplified Workflow Chart

For detailed specifications and workflow, please go to each recording device manufacturer's website.

Cinema RAW Development Software

  • Playback RAW clips and preview on a PC monitor

  • Output preview image from SDI to the master monitor

    • Supports AJA KONA 3G only

    • 4K output will be supported using four 3G-SDI cables

  • Output industrial standard files

    • DPX, MOV (Mac only)

    • Proxy (HD and SD size) output is supported

The software will be available through download from the EOS C500's Drivers & Software section.

System Requirements (As of July 2012)

OS Windows 7, SP1, 64-bit version MAC OS X v10.7 or 10.8
CPU Intel Core i7, 3.06 GHz
Intel Xeon, 2.8 GHz Quad
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX680 NVIDIA Quadro 4000
Storage Any with read/write speed of 600 MB/s *1
SDI expansion card *2 AJA KONA 3G with driver v10.3.0 *3 AJA KONA 3G with driver v10.3.1 *3
Available End of October 2012 Mid-December 2012

*1 Keeping RAW clips on a separate drive from the save destination of developed clips is recommended.
*2 Required only when checking SDI output on an external monitor.
*3 As of September 2012.

4K, 2K Multiple Output Formats

Mode Resolution Frame Rate
4K RAW 10-bit 4096 × 2160 /
3840 × 2160
59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p /
50.00p / 25.00p / 24.00p
4K HRAW 10-bit 4096 × 1080 /
3840 × 1080
59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p /
50.00p / 25.00p / 24.00p
2K RGB 444 12-bit 2048 × 1080 /
1920 × 1080
59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p /
50.00p / 25.00p / 24.00p
2K RGB 444 10-bit 2048 × 1080 /
1920 × 1080
59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p /
50.00p / 25.00p / 24.00p
2K YCC 422 10-bit 2048 × 1080 /
1920 × 1080
59.94p / 29.97p / 23.98p /
50.00p / 25.00p / 24.00p

For enhanced creativity, and to accommodate a variety of workflows, the EOS C500 offers a range of 10- and 12-bit imaging modes. These comprise: 4K Output Priority Mode in resolutions up to 4096x2160 pixels; 2K Output Priority Mode in resolutions up to 2048x1080 pixels; and internal MXF File format recording up to 50 Mbps, utilizing MPEG-2 data compression at a variety of user-selectable frame rates and image resolutions.

Because the discrete needs of cinema and television production can vary from project to project, the EOS C500 offers two forms of 4K origination. Users can dynamically select either the DCI source-image format – SMPTE 2048-1:2011 standard – or the alternative, TV-centric Quad-HD source-image format – SMPTE 2036-1:2009 and ITU-R BT.1769 standards.

For added flexibility, the EOS C500 lets users select uncompressed Canon RAW output for use in both 4K and 2K productions. Instead of utilizing the built-in Compact Flash/CF storage media, Canon RAW-format output is delivered to external recording systems via built-in dual 3G-SDI ports. Dual uncompressed HD-SDI outputs support external monitoring. To provide proxy video sources for offline non-linear video editing systems, HD content can also be written simultaneously to dual, onboard CF cards.

2K/Full HD images can be output as either RGB 4:4:4 12-bit/10-bit or YCC 4:2:2 10-bit data for both 59.94Hz and 50Hz projects at up to 50 Mbps rates; because of data-bandwidth restrictions, recording onto the EOS C500's built-in Compact Flash/CF card drive are made at Full HD resolutions. As well as serving as a primary source for video capture, HD images streamed onto the CF card can be used as proxies for off-line editorial.

Cinema RAW Capture

The EOS C500 lets you capture images in a choice of 4K Cinema RAW and 4K Half Cinema RAW modes at frame rates up to, respectively, 60 fps and 120 fps, with 10-bit resolution. For enhanced flexibility, these two Bayer RAW modes are offered in a choice of Digital Cinema Initiatives/DCI 1.895:1 or Quad Full High Definition/QFHD 16:9 aspect ratios.

4K RAW data output from the EOS C500 image sensor can be recorded using about one-third of the space required for 4K RGB data, and Cinema RAW-based recording systems offer an enhanced degree of creative freedom during post-processing.

Primary applications for Cinema RAW include video production for high-end commercials and major motion-picture releases, in addition to footage for high-quality visual effects. 4K Cinema RAW data output can be processed using the Cinema RAW Development software application, which is available through the Canon website.

For trouble-free exchange of video and audio material, the EOS C500 uses the industry-standard Material Exchange Format (MXF) for its internal recording file structure. With MXF, video and audio are interwrapped into a single file, together with important metadata about the project. In addition to providing the highest level of compatibility with non-linear editing/NLE systems, use of MXF-format files offers integration with high-end, networked DAM (Digital Asset Management) and MAM (Media Asset Management) systems used by many TV networks and production studios.

When HD is required – either as the acquisition format, or as a proxy file system for 4K output – the EOS C500 supports the highest image quality, with Full HD 1920x1080 resolution, 50 Mbps bit rate and 4:2:2 color sampling. The system delivers outstanding results via its powerful built-in MPEG-2 XF codec and recording to Compact Flash/CF card installed within the camera body. MPEG-2 compression is fully compatible with existing industry infrastructures and non-linear editing platforms.

Canon 4K Super 35mm 16:9 CMOS Sensor

The EOS C500 features a Canon-designed Super 35mm, 16:9 CMOS sensor with full 4K resolution capable of delivering pristine-quality, 8.85-megapixel images needed for commercial applications with minimal moiré and other artifacts. Based on the same technology as the well-received EOS C300, the EOS C500's High-Sensitivity CMOS image sensor has the additional ability to directly output full 4K, 10-bit RAW Bayered data through two dedicated 3G-SDI connectors. The sensor's large, Super 35mm size lets you capture cinematic shallow depth-of-field imagery, yet maintain the enhanced image characteristics demanded by professional cinematographers.

During data transfer, the uncompressed information from the EOS C500's 4096x2160 Bayer-type CMOS image sensor is read out and transferred as RAW data to the 3G-SDI output. Prior to editing and/or image processing, this pristine RAW data is recomposed using a process known as de-Bayering to extract the highest amount of detail information from the camera's sensor, and capable of delivering truly breathtaking results for both film and TV projects.

By maintaining a wide pixel pitch, the sensor maximizes the amount of light that falls on each photo site, thereby enhancing the EOS C500's sensitivity and reducing image noise. By using a single CMOS sensor to capture individual Red, Green and Blue channels for each Full HD 1920x1080 frame, the EOS C500 produces color performance that is comparable with conventional three-chip designs. Of course, during 4K recording, the EOS C500 uses a debayering algorithm to process and output a full-resolution 4096x2160 image.

Canon Log Gamma

The EOS C500 features a log gamma setting that sets the camera to maximize dynamic range and provide wide exposure latitude. The files produced using log format are ideal for post-production processes where corrections, color matching and grading are applied. It provides users with a high level of creative freedom in post-production without substantially degrading the image quality. When using Canon Log, the EOS C500 can provide a dynamic range up to 800%. Canon Log Gamma can be applied in any EOS C500 recording or output mode.

Fully Compatible with New & Existing EF-mount Lenses

Canon EOS C500 with EF-Lens Mount

To integrate easily into the working style and equipment array of film crews and production houses, the EOS C500 with a Canon EF-lens mount is completely compatible with all of Canon's EF lenses, including compact primes, super telephotos, specialty Tilt-Shift, Macro and Fisheye lenses - over 60 in all.

EF and L-Series Lenses

A unique combination of the world's most advanced optical, microelectronic, and precision manufacturing technologies, the Canon's EF lenses, compatible with the EOS C500, are perfected in Canon's laboratories and proven in the field. Whatever the application, whatever the budget, there are Canon EF lenses perfect for nearly every scenario. Their compatibility not only affords the Cinema EOS access to some of the finest optics on the market, it opens up myriad possibilities with Canon's superlative specialty lenses, including a range of Tilt-Shift lenses, Close-up lenses and even Canon's amazing EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye Zoom.

Canon EF Cinema Lenses

Canon EF Cinema lenses are designed and engineered to meet or exceed the exacting standards of working professionals. Every Canon EF Cinema 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. EF Cinema 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. EF Cinema 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.

Canon EF Cinema Zoom Lenses

Canon's Cinema EF Zoom lenses offer unrivaled optical performance for demanding high-end productions, available in both EF and PL mount configurations. With fluorite, aspherical lens elements and advanced optical design, these unequalled Cinema EF Zoom lenses are capable of 4K-image reproduction. The wide-angle CN-E14.5-60mm T2.6 L S/SP provides industry-leading breadth of range; the telephoto CN-E30-300mm T2.95-3.7 L S/SP rivals best-in-class zoom magnification and telephoto focal length. Together these lenses cover the range most commonly used in cinema shooting.

Canon EF Cinema Prime Lenses

The brilliant series of Cinema EF Prime lenses offers spectacular 4K-image quality in lightweight, compact designs. Three models for EF mount cameras - CN-E24mm T1.5 L F, CN-E50mm T1.3 L F, and CN-E85mm T1.3 L F - offer consistent form factors and marking optimized for motion picture production. Whether you shoot with a Canon EOS C500 or EOS DSLR, the compact and consistent lens design makes for excellent handling. Audiences will also love the results from the 11-blade aperture diaphragms, fast t-stops and proven Canon lens elements.

Additional lenses are already under development, reflecting Canon's commitment to offer the broadest range of professional cinema lenses to meet filmmaker's needs, now and in the future.

Terminal Connectors

The EOS C500 comes complete with essential I/O interfaces via professional-grade BNC and multi-pin connectors.

  • Two 3G-SDI connectors output the Canon Log Gamma and audio signals at resolution and frame rates established within the EOS C500's 4K/2K priority modes.

  • Two Monitor connectors can be used to feed a video signal to an external monitor in 4K/2K priority mode, with a choice of either Rec709 or Wide DR color-adjustment, look-up tables (LUTs). (Marker, zebra and peaking signals can be set to output to only one of the monitor ports.) Signal format is YCC 4:2:2, 10-bit.

  • A Sync Out connection carries a choice of HD Sync/HD-Y or SD black burst/composite signals.

  • A Genlock Input can be used for synchronizing the camera with an external video device.

  • A Timecode In/Out connector enables the EOS C500 to either lock to external timecode or feed its internally generated timecode to external systems.

  • An HD/SD SDI connector serves as a standard interface for commercial HD equipment, with multiplexed audio and video signals in a digital format.

  • Two XLR Audio connectors are provided on the modular monitor control unit. The audio inputs provide 2-channel audio recording with the ability to switch between line-level, mic-level and mic-level with phantom power supply.

Versatility, Reliability and Durability

Designed from the ground up to maximize shooting comfort and usability, the EOS C500's modular design enables different components to be added or removed as required to meet the needs of a particular shooting scenario, and also to increase the comfort of a camera operator. In addition to the core camera body, the EOS C500 features a low-angle, camera-handle extension plus a removable LCD Monitor and control panel with XLR audio inputs. (However, to accommodate the EOS C500's 3G SDI outputs, the handgrip is fixed in a single position and not removable.)

The EOS C500 features an Ultra-High Resolution 1.55 Megapixel EVF with approximately 100% field-of-view coverage for comfortable viewing and accurate image composition, focus and color adjustment. The viewfinder's angle is adjustable for additional user comfort. The Camera Control Unit features a 4-inch, 1.23 Megapixel rotating LCD screen that offers approximately 100% field-of-view coverage. Mounted onto the camera control pad, the display panel can be freely rotated to provide the operator with flexible viewing angles and convenient access to the control panel. For added flexibility, the panel can also be mounted in different positions to accommodate different viewing positions required by the operator, director or producer. Such flexibility and ease of movement makes the display easier to use than a rigid design that can be easily bumped during a shoot.

Full Manual Control

The EOS C500 incorporates a number of built-in features that camera cinematographers and camera operators need to ensure accurate exposure and color levels during production.

  • A versatile waveform monitor provides detailed analyses of both overall image brightness and RGB Components.

  • To check color balance and view the effects of white-balance adjustments, an on-board vectorscope displays real-time image hue and saturation analysis.

The EOS 500 offers full manual control of all functions, including iris, shutter speed, gain, zoom, focus and audio levels, thereby allowing the camera operators to adapt to both technical and artistic challenges during the shooting. For maximum customization, you have access to Custom Picture Settings, Custom Functions and Custom Display Options to tailor the EOS C500 precisely to your specific needs.

For situations in which conditions require critical focusing, the EOS C500 offers several focus aids. A pair of Peaking Modes and a Magnify Focus Assist are available in both standby and record mode, making it extremely easy to check and confirm critical focus settings. An Edge Monitor Focus Assist system, which was first introduced with the Canon XF Series camcorders, shows overall focus of the image plus focus status of focus-check boxes.

Expanded EF Lens Communication

With the November 5th, 2015 firmware update, EF Lens communication has been expanded to allow servo lens control from the from the RC-V100 remote control. An external battery/power source is necessary to drive the lens, as power cannot be supplied by the camera.

Slow and Fast Motion

During internal CF recording mode, the EOS C500 provides a Slow and Fast Motion Mode that can be used to record at a different frame rate than the playback frame rate, thereby resulting in either a fast or slow motion effect. Because the EOS C500 is recording real frames, and simply modifying the data playback rate, there is no overall quality loss due to interpolation; maximum image quality is maintained. In HD 1080 mode, fast motion is supported at up to 30-times normal rate and as slow as 1/1.25 sec.; in HD 720 mode, fast motion is supported up to 60-times the normal rate, and as slow as 1/2.5 seconds. In 4K/2K output modes the camera provides variable frame rate control that can be output to external recorders.

The EOS C500 incorporates an interval recording function. With this feature set, users can program the camera to record a specified number of frames at specified intervals for time-lapse capture.

WFT-E6 Wi-Fi® unit with Remote Capabilities

The EOS C500 can be used with the optional WFT-E6A Wi-Fi transmitter to provide unique capabilities not found in competitive units. Using any web-enabled devices such as a laptop PC, smartphone or tablet, you can control and adjust a number of the EOS C500's operational functions, including camera start and stop plus shooting parameters, in addition to monitoring a remote video feed and inputting session metadata. A built-in Bluetooth sensor will communicate automatically with external GPS units to secure location data that can be embedded with your video footage.

Click here to view the new features available with this firmware update.


EOS C500

EOS C500 EOS C500 Body (with Camera Cover) Monitor Unit (with Microphone Holder Unit and Screws for MHU) Handle unit Thumb Rest WFT Adapter Tripod Adapter Base Eye Cup EVF CAP SS-1200 Shoulder Strap BP-955 Battery Pack (with Terminal Cover) CG-940 Battery Charger CA-940 Compact Power Adapter DC Cable for CA-940 AC Cable XF Utilities Disc Ver.31 Instruction Manual

Compatible Supplies & Accessories

Canon offers a wide range of compatible supplies and accessories that can enhance your user experience with you EOS C500 that you can purchase direct. Scroll down to easily select items to add to your shopping cart for a faster, easier checkout. Visit the Canon Online Store



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EOS C500 (Body Only) PACKAGE with Odyssey7Q 4K Recorder
Item Code: 6345B012

This package includes the EOS C500 with the Odyssey7Q 4K Recorder.

This is to make Misc appear on the page when needed.

This is to make Misc appear on the page when needed.

† Prices and specifications subject to change without notice. Actual prices are determined by individual dealers and may vary.

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