Canon C500 Mark II Low-Light Test & 6K Raw Clip to Download

December 9th, 2019
Canon C500 Mark II Low-Light Test & 6K Raw Clip to Download

Our friend Ollie Kenchington used to be a regular cinema5D writer until recently, but since his day job at his production company KORRO is keeping him extremely busy, he is now an irregular contributor to the site. In this post, he tells us about his first experiences with the new Canon C500 Mark II in low light. Full disclosure: Ollie is not a Canon Ambassador, though he does occasionally do paid work for them as a trainer/speaker.

Back in September, at IBC, I had the opportunity to have a play with some 6K raw footage captured with the C500 Mark II. It occurred to me then that it would be great if more people could have the same opportunity to experiment with this powerful codec. I therefore proposed to Canon that they send me a unit prior to release, with the intention of capturing content that could be made freely available for interested users to download and play with at home. I finally got the chance to do just that last week.

6K Raw Demo

You can see the short sequence I cut together from the 6K raw footage here:

I only intended to capture the sunrise and the tree, so the rest was just me killing time between the sun coming up, and when it eventually hit the tree.
You can download the raw shot of the tree (pictured below) from here. FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES ONLY. © KORRO LIMITED 2019

This is the camera original file. Please note, all cameras apply noise reduction internally when not shooting raw. If you haven’t seen raw footage before, you may be surprised with the amount of noise you see in low light areas. This is normal and a consequence of capturing a completely unadulterated image. Noise reduction can (and should) be applied in post when processing raw footage.
Filmed at Shearwater Lake, Longleat Estate, Wiltshire, England Dec. 2019 with a pre-production* model Canon EOS C500 Mark II.

Technical Details:
Codec – Canon Cinema Raw Light (CRM) Frame Rate – 25fps
Resolution – 5952 x 3140
Bit Depth – 12bit
Chroma Subsampling – 4:4:4
White Balance – 5600k Daylight Preset Colour Matrix – Neutral
Gamma – Canon C-Log2
Gamut – Canon Cinema Gamut
ISO – 800
Lens used – Canon 16mm-35mm f2.8L

Low-Light Demo

You can see the short sequence I cut together from the low-light footage here:

This was completely unplanned; just me wandering around the Christmas market for around 40 minutes. There were some shots I assumed would be unusable when I got back to my computer, like the shot of Pulteney Weir, at the start, and the wide shot of the city at the very end. Both of these were captured at ISO 12,800! The point isn’t that they are noise free, they are obviously noisy, the point is that the amount of noise is similar to what I get on my C200 at much lower ISOs. Understanding the limits of a camera is crucial, and now I know that, with the C500 Mark II, I can shoot in very low light situations without having to worry if a shot will be salvageable or not.

You can download the ungraded sequence from here.
FOR EVALUATION PURPOSES ONLY. © KORRO LIMITED 2019

Filmed in Bath, Somerset, England Dec. 2019 with a pre-production* model Canon EOS C500 Mark II.

Technical Details:

Codec – Canon XFAVC (MXF) Frame Rate – 50fps Resolution – 4096 x 2160
Bit Depth – 10bit

Chroma Subsampling – 4:2:2
White Balance – 5600k Daylight Preset Colour Matrix – Neutral
Gamma – Canon C-Log3
Gamut – Canon Cinema Gamut

Lenses used – Canon 24mm-70mm f2.8L & Canon 85mm f1.4L IS

One of the unexpected pleasures during this test, was the new in-camera digital stabilisation. All shots were handheld, with the camera stripped right

back to the bare essentials. The vast majority of it was shot on the Canon 24mm-70mm f2.8L which isn’t even an I.S. lens! There are shots that, if I hadn’t captured them myself, I’d have sworn must have been acquired using a tripod. The close up shot of the briefcase on the floor, with the CDs for sale, looks like it was shot with a gimbal. As someone who loves to shoot handheld, I was blown away by this aspect of the camera.

Make sure you download these demo files using the links above, then let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

*Hardware and/or firmware may be different to shipping models. Purchase decisions for camera equipment should never be made based on demo footage alone. Canon did of course not pay me or cinema5D to shoot this content, or have any input in the writing of this article.

How do you feel about the Canon C500 Mark II? Has Canon finally gotten it right again? Let us know in the comments below!

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 Fernando Pereira
Fernando Pereira
Member
February 28th, 2020

Boa noite, estou a espera da 1dx mark 3 para usar em fotografia
Já experimentou?
Obrigado

 Dan Hyman
Dan Hyman
Member
February 5th, 2020

We just picked up a pair of the C500 II’s and I am encountering a very strange issue. When using the LCD screen, you cannot also output via HDMI. It seems impossible this would be the case. Has anyone else encountered this? How in the world are we supposed to record to an External Monitor, or have a client reference monitor? Once of the biggest selling points of this camera for us was the AutoFocus, and being able to touch a person’s face on the Canon LCD to select it. Please confirm I’m dead wrong with this. Thanks

 Shouvik Bandyopadhyay
Shouvik Bandyopadhyay
Member
December 23rd, 2019

Hi Ollie I shoot weddings I’m upgrading to Full frame from apsc I was looking for the options which can meet my needs and recently found that Nikon released 12bit prores raw in nikon z lineup do you think it can match canon 12bit raw? I’m a run and gun shooter and Nikon z6 can also be used for photography so I can use a single system for both the jobs photography and videography.

Member
December 10th, 2019

This camera is King! Still keen to play with high ISO CRL footage through

Olly
Olly
Guest
December 11th, 2019

Forgive me but I’m not sure that that is correct. Increasing the iso of a digital camera amplifies the signal gain thus rendering a brighter image (and more pronounced noise). So it’s a different image that is being recorded with different luma and chroma values, noise, dynamic range and overall fidelity. It’s not just metadata. Although you can – of course – “rate” footage at higher iso values than it was originally recorded at in post but that’s just pushing it artificially. I’m no technician but I think(!) I’m correct – No?

Barry Goyette
Guest
December 11th, 2019

Canon doesn’t talk about it enough, but they apply analogue gain prior to raw encoding for all the iso that are multiples of the base iso.. this is a much more sophisticated approach than the “dual iso” scheme that is so trendy right now, and I think probably limits the “only metadata” Statement to in-between iso Like 1250,2500 etc.

Colin
Colin
Guest
December 21st, 2019

Check your raw files again Ollie. Canon raw does not allow you to adjust the iso in post.

Colin
Colin
Guest
January 2nd, 2020

Hmm… let’s agree to disagree I guess Ollie. I’m assuming the ‘Brightness’ slider is the one you are referring to as ISO adjustment in post? I do not think this is the same thing exactly, as I’m pretty sure Canon applies analogue sensor-level adjustment based on your ISO setting in camera when you shoot.

 Dan Brockett
Member
December 10th, 2019

Camera looks very good Ollie, I’m looking forward to getting a hold of one.

 Egill Bjarki Jonsson
Egill Bjarki Jonsson
Member
December 10th, 2019

This is a strong play by Canon, if it delivers, the form factor is a great edge over the competition. The FX9 is larger and needs to be built to match the C500 II.

 Paul Hildebrandt
Paul Hildebrandt
Member
December 10th, 2019

I swore there were Vimeo links here, in fact I watched one of them with the ducks. Then I came back and they were gone. Am I losing my mind or did you take them down?

Davíð
Davíð
Guest
December 10th, 2019

Still no links I see, before and after refreshing.

Admin
December 10th, 2019
Reply to  Davíð

Sorry about this, the iframe WordPress bug keeps “eating” the Vimeo embeds in this post after each post update. Please try and refresh again, should be here now.

 Abe Halpert
Abe Halpert
Member
December 10th, 2019

I’m really turned off by the sensationalist rhetoric of this piece. The clear-eyed seriousness of NewsShooter.com is why it continues to be the gold standard of trade blogs for me and my most trusted source.

 Abe Halpert
Abe Halpert
Member
December 10th, 2019

Sorry to be so negative. I appreciated reading your article, it was just a lot of exclamation points for me, if you know what I mean. Researching new gear, I’m mostly concerned about its cons, drawbacks, limitations…

Bob
Bob
Guest
December 10th, 2019

Can you upload these sequences to Vimeo or Youtube so we can watch them without having to download these massive raw files? I know the h.264 compression will skew the results, but you can always add a disclaimer and still offer the raw files for downloading.

Chris
Chris
Guest
December 10th, 2019

Thanks for sharing!

Barry Goyette
Guest
December 10th, 2019

Hi Ollie, Nice looking shots, and thanks for posting them here for us to play with. I did a quick grade of the low-light material, and I would say there’s a lot more color and detail lurking in the shadows than one might think (based on your grade), and it’s certainly possible to get a brighter, more colorful, and still natural look out of it. Feels like canon footage through and through, with a tad less noise than what I’m used to. Impressive the stabilization, and that you were able to get a decent exposure in dark situations at 50p. I’m curious as to the ISO throughout…all of it 12,800…or were you shooting at a variety of settings? Again, thanks.

Barry Goyette
Guest
December 10th, 2019

Sure…on some deadlines this morning, but I’ll be happy to post it later in the day. Really digging the CRM file you posted as well. That’s a tough shot, but it’s holding the clouds and the shadows really nicely. I am seeing some moire in the tree, not horrible, but perhaps something that gets filtered out in the FF 4k. Noticed a little bit of aliasing on the light pole on the second to the last shot of the Low Light edit ( I’ve seen this in 60p footage on my c300mkII, curious if it’s related to the HFR, or in the normal speed stuff as well).

Member
December 10th, 2019

Hey Ollie. Here’s my stab at coloring your piece.This grade tries to preserve a little more shadow detail and also the bluer tones of some of the holiday lighting to balance out the dominant orange tones of the municipal lighting. (in some cases the xmas lights are coming up a bit more purple than I’d like, but with the tools I have and the time I wanted to spend on it :-) its the best I could do), Generally it’s just a little more colorful (as always, this is something that’s more of a personal taste than anything). At the end I included a second, lighter, even more “open” grade of the trumpeter sequence, as there’s really a lot in the shadows if you want it. My grade is all straight coloring and NR in FCPX, there are no masks or power windows. Thanks again for providing the footage. https://vimeo.com/378606757

 Gabriel Mann
Gabriel Mann
Member
December 9th, 2019

This camera could be as big as the original C300

Alin Andreescu
Alin Andreescu
Guest
December 9th, 2019

The footage seems to be more LDR than HDR. Not any details in black, unfortunately.

Chris Cella
Guest
December 9th, 2019
Reply to  Alin Andreescu

This is not raw footage. It’s a contrasty picture profile straight out of camera. I think the footage looks great with that consideration. I imagine the raw clips will have a lot more detail to explore.

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