IBC 2013 – Video: Canon C series high ISO firmware update

September 15th, 2013
IBC 2013 - Video: Canon C series high ISO firmware update

Canon recently announced that they would release a major firmware upgrade for the popular C series line of their cameras ( Canon C100 / C300 / C500) which would (among other things – read our detailed article here -) would unlock higher ISO values of up to ISO 80,000. So far, the camera topped out at a whopping ISO 20000.

IBC 2013 – Canon C series High ISO from cinema5D on Vimeo.

I have snuck a CF card into a Canon C500 on Canon’s IBC 2013 booth, where they have set up a dark room to demonstrate the high ISO’s. Of course they are hard to judge on the small screen and with Vimeo compression, so please head over to the Vimeo page and download the original ProRes footage via the Vimeo download link.

Personally, I think this can be useful in extreme circumstances for documentary purposes, but of course these high ISO’s come at a price of highly noisy images – although it has to be said that the noise pattern is surprisingly even compared to the noise pattern we have gotten used to from older DSLR models. And that also means that it can be de-noised more easily (to a degree). In the end, it comes down to either getting a shot or not getting it at all.

In the 2012 short film “Homophobia”, I have shot one scene at ISO 12,500 and even 20,000 on the Canon C300 simply because the daylight was disappearing quickly and there was no way we could reshoot the winter scene in the snow on another day, let alone light it to make it look like tusk. The scene shot at ISO 20,000 is around 09:00 in the short film – check it out, it’s come out remarkably clean after minor de-noising, and it really doesn’t stick out. With the bare eye it was almost impossible to see where you were walking, the camera already saw more with ISO 20,000. So it will be interesting to see where people will successfully use the ISO 80,000 …

Canon_C_high_ISO

Here’s another test by SilvaStreet showing the ISO performance of the C100:

https://vimeo.com/

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Ingmar RiegerHubert HotteAndrea CecchiniAlexandre Tissot Recent comment authors
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Alexandre Tissot
Alexandre Tissot
GuestSeptember 15th, 2013

haha..So noisy…it’s useless!!!
Change sensor that’s all!!!

Hubert Hotte
Hubert Hotte
GuestSeptember 15th, 2013

Are you seriously complaining about noise at 80K ISO.
Retards. Retards everywhere.

Andrea Cecchini
Andrea Cecchini
GuestSeptember 15th, 2013

ISO 25600 for what??…only for number lovers!! Consumer camera…Ahahahaha

Ingmar Rieger
Ingmar Rieger
GuestSeptember 15th, 2013

It’s noisy but in the environment this was shot there was really nearly no light. Even if the only lights where some status LEDs and Monitors not pointing to the charts and test scene the cameras saw so much. No one would want to shoot a movie at ISO 80000 (currently) but as Nino said if you can take a shot or loose a shot you may use higher ISOs than you would usually do.

So this is really incredible. Nice to see how much the current sensors can capture!

Ingmar Rieger
Ingmar Rieger
GuestSeptember 15th, 2013

One addition: They had some Dedos which could be switched on and off. I wasn’t there when Nino shot this so I don’t know if and how much light he had.

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