Canon 1D X Mark III vs C500 Mark II Side-by-Side Comparison

Can a DSLR (even the best DSLR Canon makes) compare to a true cinema camera? It’s an interesting question, and apparently a viable one in today’s world. The Canon EOS-1D X Mark III offers video specs that make cinema cameras of just five years ago jealous. So, how does it compare to Canon’s impressive C500 Mark II?

Filmmaker Griffin Conway worked with his friend, another trustworthy YouTube presence, Armando Ferreira, to find out whether the 1D X Mark III can compete against the C500 Mark II. The video also points out strengths and weaknesses of both systems.

There are four main areas addressed in the video:

  1. Raw image quality
  2. Slow motion
  3. User experience
  4. Is a C500 Mark II worth the extra cost over a 1D X Mark III?

For image quality, in the real world tests Conway showed off, it was a very close contest. You have to consider this is after exporting and YouTube compression, but that is amazing to see.

The 1D is still a DSLR and it has 5.5K raw video recording. That is extremely close to the C500’s 5.9K recording.

In terms of differences, the interesting point Conway raised is that image quality differences may be connected to the ND filters used. The C500 has integrated filters of the highest quality sitting behind the lens mount.

The 1D needs third-party filters, which can potentially add a color cast or affect the overall contrast.

Moving on to slow motion, the 1D X Mark III is objectively better in nearly every way. For Full HD 120 fps shooting the full-frame look of the 1D beats the Super 16mm crop of the C500.

Also, you have autofocus on the 1D, which makes a huge difference when you are shooting video. Without the crop the image on the 1D also tends to look cleaner.

User experience is perhaps the least surprising answer. The C500 Mark II is better in nearly every way for professional video shoots. The cinema camera has true XLR ports, a full-size HDMI, SDI, a positionable screen, plenty of buttons that can be customized any which way, and the list goes on and on.

DSLRs are still built mainly for stills shooting and they lack a lot of video-specific monitoring tools, such as waveforms and false color. The 1D is super durable and weather sealed though, making it great for travel.

The final question is whether the C500 Mark II is worth the extra 10K over the 1D X Mark III. Well, it depends. For professional filmmakers who need the best and any edge they can get? The C500 is absolutely worth the cost.

The time saved via shortcuts and making sure that the proper settings are used adds up over time, especially if you are doing paid jobs. It also looks professional, which shouldn’t matter, but does if you are working with clients. If you are an independent creator who needs something for a variety of purposes or everyday shooting the 1D X might just do the trick.

There is a ton more information in the video and I highly recommend watching it. Do you think the 1D X Mark III can be a competitor to true cinema cameras?

[source: Griffin Conway]

Order Links:

  • Canon EOS-1D X Mark III DSLR Camera (B&H, Amazon)
  • Canon EOS C500 Mark II Cinema Camera (B&H)

Claim your copy of DAVINCI RESOLVE 16 - SIMPLIFIED COURSE with 50% off! Get Instant Access!