Canon Expands Their Cinema EOS System With The 4K Capable C500


With the original release of the Canon C300 last November, Canon tagged on a quick mention of a newEOS Movies’ DSLR, and not much was said afterwards. But now we have lots more info thanks to Canon’s big press release this morning: the announcement of the new C500 and C500 PL.
The flagship quality of the new C500s are that they’re “…capable of originating 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) resolution digital motion imagery with uncompressed RAW output for external recording…”, making them ideal for shooting motion pictures. This is Canon’s exact idea of course, as they seek “To further serve the needs of Hollywood’s premier filmmakers…” and citing the 4K format as the “…imaging format is emerging as the new standard for advanced effects and post-production in Hollywood…”. Some however are not so thrilled, citing the 4K focus as a waste of tech space. CNET’s Lori Grunin mentions some specs that seemed to be less than stellar, but does make note that the camera’s 4K aspect allows for much higher resolutions, which greatly improves the editing process.
As for a concentrated list of specs, these below came from Cinema 5D:
The EOS-1D C is a high resolution, 4K DSLR camera optimized for video recording.
– Internal 4K (4,096 x 2,160) recording with 4:2:2 colour_sampling (direct to CF cards)
– 8-bit Motion JPEG compression
– high ISO sensitivity up to 25,600
– Clean HDMI out (Full HD, 4:2:2)
– Canon Log Gamma
– 24p support during 4K shooting
– 24, 25, 30, 50 and 60p frame rate support in Full HD_(1920x1080p) resolution
– Full-frame sensor with crop support (APS-H, Super 35mm)
The Canon EOS-1D C will cost $15,000 US, putting it above the RED Scarlet-X. It will be available in 2012.
So with all that being said, you can see the prototype for yourself at NAB next week at booth C4325 from April 16 to 19. In the meantime feel free to debate: is the 4K aspect enough to compensate for the other specs? Are the other specs even that bad?
Be sure to check out Canon’s official page for the C500 at, and find their press release below.
You can also see more on what some other sites had to say:
Lori Grunin, CNET:
Sebastian Wober, Cinema 5D:
Michael Zhang, PetaPixel:
LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., April 12, 2012 – Canon Inc. is developing two digital cinematography cameras as part of its acclaimed new Cinema EOS System of professional cinematography products. Designated as the Cinema EOS C500* for use with EF-mount lenses, and the Cinema EOS C500 PL* for use with PL-mount lenses, the cameras will be capable of originating 4K (4096 x 2160-pixel) resolution digital motion imagery with uncompressed RAW output for external recording, in response to growing expectations for higher levels of imaging performance in premium Hollywood films and other production markets requiring the utmost in picture quality.
“With the unveiling of our Cinema EOS System last November to great acclaim, Canon marked our full-fledged entry into the motion-picture production market,” stated Yuichi Ishizuka, executive vice president and general manager, Imaging Technologies & Communications Group, Canon U.S.A. “To further serve the needs of Hollywood’s premier filmmakers, Canon is developing the Cinema EOS C500 and Cinema EOS C500 PL digital cinematography cameras, which deliver the added benefit of full 4K motion-image capture to the Cinema EOS System.”
The 4K imaging format is emerging as the new standard for advanced effects and post-production in Hollywood, and it is particularly important for big-budget motion pictures that include scenes compositing live-action cinematography with high-resolution computer-generated imagery. The Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography cameras will not only support 4K-resolution video but also outputs this as a 10-bit uncompressed RAW data stream with no de-Bayering. The cameras offer the additional versatility of being able to output quad full-HD (3840 x 2160), 2K (2048 x 1080), full HD (1920 x 1080), and other imaging options. All of these digital image source formats fully conform to established SMPTE production standards. All 4K formats can be selected to operate from one to 60 frames per second. The cameras employ a 12-bit RGB 4:4:4 signal format during 2K output, which can be selected to operate from one to 60 frames-per-second (fps) as well. If switched to a 10-bit YCrCb 4:2:2 mode, the camera can operate up to 120 fps.
The Cinema EOS C500 simultaneously records in-camera a 50 Mbps HD proxy video to a CF card that is immediately available to support offline editing. Equipped with a newly developed Super 35mm-equivalent approximately 8.85-megapixel CMOS sensor, the cameras will be compatible with Canon’s wide range of interchangeable EF Cinema and PL-mount lenses and EF lenses for Canon SLR cameras. Highly mobile and compact for filmmaking versatility, the Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography cameras – like Canon’s Cinema EOS C300/C300 PL cinematography cameras – provide all of the same ergonomic features, except for the rotating hand grip.
Further details regarding the Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography cameras – including specifications and pricing – have yet to be decided. Plans call for these new products to be launched later this year. In addition to targeting a swift launch of these cameras, Canon will continue to enhance other components of its Cinema EOS System product lineup, which is designed to contribute to the continued advancement of tools for visual expression and the development of cinematic culture.
Canon will display a prototype of the Cinema EOS C500/C500 PL digital cinematography camera at the 2012 NAB Show in booth C4325 at the Las Vegas Convention Center from April 16 to 19.

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.

Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. With approximately $45.6 billion in global revenue, its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), ranks third overall in U.S. patents registered in 2011† and is one of Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies in 2012. Canon U.S.A. is committed to the highest levels of customer satisfaction and loyalty, providing 100 percent U.S.-based consumer service and support for all of the products it distributes. Canon U.S.A. is dedicated to its Kyosei philosophy of social and environmental responsibility. To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting


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Written by Jake Fruia

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