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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 Gabriel Mann
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Gabriel Mann

This camera could be as big as the original C300

Barry Goyette
Guest

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.

Chris
Guest
Chris

Thanks for sharing!

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