One of the biggest camera releases of 2020 so far was the launch of the Canon C500 Mark II. It’s got a full-frame sensor, killer autofocus, 5.9K raw, and it’s just is a solid next-gen cinema camera. There’s a lot of stuff going on with it and with all the new features it might help to have a little guidance before you start rolling.
Brought to us by Crimson Engine, here are five things you should know before you get started with the C500 Mark II.
1. False Color
Something surprising to me is that the C500 Mark II was the first Canon cinema camera to offer false color. This is an immensely useful feature for checking exposure, but the thing to know is that it doesn’t work with LUTs.
If you don’t, the false color displayed won’t correspond to the actual chart on the camera, meaning it’s giving you misleading information. Setting up some button shortcuts is recommended for quick switching.
2. LUTs and Proxies
Raw video is heavy, both on storage and your computer. Fortunately, the C500 Mark II has the ability to record lower-res 1080 proxy files that will be helpful for smooth editing. Keep in mind that if you are looking at your footage with a LUT on it when you record the proxy footage won’t have that burned in.
It will actually match up with your raw footage. If you do want a look burned in you will need to activate a specific camera profile in camera – such as BT.709. However, this means you won’t be able to monitor with proper scopes if your end goal is to work in Canon Log.
3. Zoom in on Waveforms
Waveforms and vectorscopes are great. To get even more out of them you can customize how it looks and where it starts and stops. The options presented here include using the spot and line settings.
This lets you highlight specific parts of your scene and see that represented clearly on the waveform. you can also change the range so you are only seeing a smaller range, which provides greater detail as to what you are looking at.
One thing I hope is familiar to filmmakers is the timecode input on the C500 Mark II. However, it didn’t seem like the timecode internally was perfect as it drifted over time.
It is recommended that you use a system that allows you to have your timecode box hooked up to the camera for extended shoots over multiple days.
5. Play Last Clip
If you want to quickly review your last shot you can actually set one of your customizable buttons to do exactly that. By having this setting readily available it makes it that much easier and faster to double check your footage before either moving on or getting a second take.
Those are the top five things to check out on the C500 Mark II. Do you have any others to share?
[source: Crimson Engine]
- Canon EOS C500 Mark II Cinema Camera (B&H)
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