Canon C500 Mark II with Full-Frame Sensor Coming at IBC 2019?

Well, it’s this time of the year again… Weeks before a major trade show the rumour mill gets really going. IBC 2019 happens in about five weeks and change in Amsterdam and given the fact that it’s the 2nd largest industry exhibition overall and the primo industry event in Europe, major manufacturers will be sure to be unveiling their latest technology.

If you’ve been at NAB in Vegas, IBC is sort of our version – you can expect major players and new market entrants to debut new image acquisition products, broadcast voodoo, post-production wizardry, and cloud-based-everything

Canon may be a stubborn behemoth when it comes to their Cinema EOS division products, but they’ve been around for long enough to know that when you fall behind you gotta come back swinging or risk permanent demotion to the proverbial lower divisions.

Original C500 / Image by Cinoflex

Canon’s new product announcement pattern before a major exhibition such as NAB or IBC can easily be tracked – they usually announce new cameras and lenses a week before the event happens, which in the case of IBC 2019 happens to be in the first week of September – or about four weeks away.

Rumour is (according to that we may very well see a successor to the now discontinued and sadly somewhat forgotten Canon C500.

Canon’s first Cinema EOS camera to shoot 4K raw, was unfortunately for Canon, an awkward design/user experience/workflow for the end user and despite being capable of some lovely imagery, fell short of achieving major market adoption, except for a handful or rental companies, production companies and early adopter owner ops.

The original C500 was for the most part a niche camera that despite a few high-profile projects, failed to win the hearts and wallets of filmmakers.

Canon C700 FF 5.9K Codex

Canon C700 FF / Image by Canon

It appears and also makes sense for Canon to attempt to revive their top-end Cinema EOS line with a new Canon C500 Mark II replacing the now discontinued Canon C500.

Rumour is the new Canon C500 Mark II may be borrowing the full-frame sensor from the Canon C700 FF, which in its own right has not been the success Canon were hoping for, but that’s a story for another time.

It appears that the rumoured Canon C500 Mark II may be able to record 5.9K, as well as 4K/60p Raw internally in addition to 2K up to 120fps, which at least on paper (and in the world of Canon EOS Cinema) sounds pretty good and dare I say “competitive” in the mid-tier camera range for 2019/2020? I don’t know, you be the judge.

The more interesting prediction/rumour is that the upcoming Canon C500 Mark II camera may have some form of modular design with XLR and EVF, genlock, 12G-SDI modules.

CFexpress is also rumoured to be the preferred recording media Canon may be going with on the C500 Mark II, which is encouraging and in-line with future-proofing the camera for the next 3-4 years at least.

CFexpress is gearing up to be the next generation preferred media for lots of new cameras, and if you have not already, be sure to check out my other article and predictions on the upcoming Sony A7s III and how it may very well (or not) be using CFexpress here.

Here a summary of the rumoured Canon C500 Mark II Specs:

  • Full-Frame sensor from Canon C700 FF
  • EF and PL mounts (interchangeable)
  • 5.9K and 4K/60p internal Raw recording
  • Optional 4K XF-AVC internal 10bit 4:2:2 recording codec
  • EVF, Genlock, 12G-SDI module
  • 4x XLR module
  • CFexpress recording media
  • Powered by BP-A batteries (same as C200, C300 II)
  • Price: $20,000
  • Announcement: First week of September 2019/pre-IBC 2019

Want to get an idea of what kind of images the Canon C700 FF sensor can produce? Check out this Canon promo BTS below.

It is not quite clear if the camera will actually be a C500 Mark II or more like a Canon C300 Mark III, but whatever Canon end up calling their new high-end Cinema EOS camera, this time around they have to catch up to the competition.

With a rumoured price tag of around $20K and the features set herein, this appears to be doable, but of course this all depends on what Sony bring out as an FS7/FS7 II replacement, which is also rumoured… but more on this in an upcoming future post.

Keep your eyes peeled for that post, and in the meantime, do comment below what you want to see in the new Canon C500 Mark II. And please don’t say 8K, no one needs that.

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