Tags accessory-guide, C500, cameraarticle, camerafeaturedarticle, canonfeaturedarticle, cinemaEOSlens, cineroidevf, cp2, kiproquad, odyssey7Q, sdpix240
The Canon C500 has been built on the foundation of Canon’s popular EOS C300 camera. Sharing the same impressive sensor as the C300, the C500 adds outputs for 10 or 12-bit HD and 2K (2048×1080) video, as well as 4K (both DCI and Quad-HD) RAW output. Available in PL and EOS (EF) mounts, the modular nature and size of the C500 means the camera can live in many configurations – from the fully decked out studio camera to a lightweight run-&-gun setup.
In this article, we present the many different lenses and accessories that can be used with the camera.
Canon EF to Nikon F Adaptor
There are two Canon EF to Nikon F mount adaptors available from Novoflex. We recommend the EOS/NIK NT, because it includes a built-in aperture control ring for any Nikon “G” series lenses (these lenses do not have a built-in adjustment ring). While all Nikon F lenses will fit on these adaptors, APS-C sized “DX” lenses are designed for a slightly smaller sensor than S35, so you may have slight vignetting when using DX lenses. Therefore, it is advised to test every lens you plan on using to ensure proper coverage.
Canon EF Cinema Prime Lenses
Available as a 14mm T1.3, 24mm T1.5, 50mm T1.3, 85mm T1.3 and 135mm T2.2, these newly designed cine-style primes will provide coverage for a full frame 4K sensor with an 11-blade aperture design and a 114mm front diameter for consistency. The new EF Cinema Prime lenses are also compatible with all Canon EOS HDSLRs.
Canon EOS Lenses
The ever expanding line of Canon EOS lenses are all supported on the EF version of the C500. From specialty lenses like the various tilt-shift options to fast f/1.2 primes, there are over 60 Canon EF lenses to choose from. For versatility, our perennial favorites include the 16-35mm f/2.8, 24-70m f/2.8, and the 70-200mm f/2.8. Of course, as the C500 body only weighs 4 pounds, the 17-40mm f/4, 24-105mm f/4, and 70-200 f/4 lenses are great lightweight options for the run-&-gun shooter.
If you are looking for a low cost, fast, high quality prime HDSLR lens, the Rokinon line of of lenses might be your best bet. The Rokinon 14mm T3.1, 24mm T1.5, 35mm T1.5, and 85mm T1.5 are a few of our favorites.
Available in Nikon F or Canon EF mount, the popular Tokina 11-16 f/2.8 is one of the widest and fastest zoom lenses available on the market. 12-24mm f/4.0, 17-35mm f/4.0 , 10-17mm f/3.5-4.0, and 100mm f/2.8 focal lengths are also available from Tokina.
Introduced at NAB 2012, the Zeiss Compact Zoom family is designed to complement the CP.2 range. The original lens in the series is the 70-200 T2.9, which features an 18-blade aperture. More recently, Zeiss unveiled the 28-80 T2.9. Similar to the CP.2 family, both lenses feature interchangeable mounts (including PL) and will cover full frame cameras (24mm x 36mm). This makes them versatile options for those shooting with multiple cameras, including full frame HDSLRs.
Zeiss ZE or ZF.2 Lenses
Zeiss designed these high quality lenses for the still photography world, but they also work very well for video and are available in Nikon F (ZF.2) or Canon EF (ZE) mount. If using the Nikon mount ZF.2 lenses, you’ll need to use the Novoflex EF to Nikon adapter. The ZF.2 lenses have manual aperture rings and both the ZF.2 and ZE lenses have focus rings with hard stops, which makes pulling focus much easier. The aperture on ZE lenses is fully controllable from the C500 body, without the need of any adaptors. There are many different lenses to choose from, including 18mm, 21mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, 50mm macro, 85mm and 100mm. Zeiss ZE lenses are available in 18mm, 21mm, 28mm, 35mm, 50mm, 85mm, 50mm macro, and 100mm macro. The lenses vary in size and speed, but they all match in terms of color and contrast.
Canon PL Compact Cinema Zoom Lenses
Built as the lightweight companion lenses to the 14.5-60mm T2.6 and 30-300mm T2.95-3.7, Canon’s Compact Cinema Zooms offer excellent performance in a lightweight 4.85 pound package. The 15.5- 47mm T2.8 and 30-105mm T2.8 have been very popular with narrative and doc shooters alike. Mitch and I recently ran these lenses through a variety of situations, and we documented our findings here. Canon has also recently announced the availability of the compact cine zooms in EF mount, including the necessary electronics for lens metadata and the ability to switch between EF and PL mounts via Canon service.
Zeiss Compact Primes (CP.2)
The Zeiss CP.2s are lightweight lenses that are affordable and versatile. Built for cinema applications, each features a 14-blade iris and a long focal range. They are also unique in that the lens mount can be changed between PL, Nikon, Canon EF and other mounts. It should be noted that iris adjustments on the EF version of the CP.2 are still controlled manually, like the PL and Nikon equivalents. The size and weight of these lenses would fit very nicely with the C500.
Arri Ultra Primes
The Arri Ultra Primes from Zeiss are universally known for their quality, color, contrast and speed. A set of these lenses would be a beautiful addition to the C500 PL camera.
Schneider Cine Xenars III
The Schneider Cine-Xenar lenses are available in PL and EF mounts. These lenses cover the Super 35mm image area of the Cine EOS family, as well as the 5K area of the Red Epic. Optically they have virtually no breathing and a nice gradual roll off in focus.
Zeiss Light Weight Zoom 2
The Zeiss Light Weight Zoom 2 (LWZ.2) is an incredibly high quality 15.5-45mm T 2.6 zoom lens. Like the Compact Primes, it comes in PL, Nikon, Canon and other mounts, and is lightweight at only 4.4 lbs.
Angenieux Optimo DP Rouge Zoom Lenses
Angenieux designed the DP Rouge Zoom Lenses specifically for digital cinema cameras. There are two lenses in this series, a 16-42mm T2.8 and a 30-80mm T2.8. Angenieux lenses are known for their quality, and these two lenses are no exception.
AbelCine Canon C300 / C500 Shoulder Rig
A streamlined solution that’s been a favorite in our showroom is a combination of the Zacuto C300 Studio baseplate with the Shape C300 handle relocator and Vocas shoulder pad. After much trial and error, this rig was first assembled by DP Andrew Wonder. The AbelCine Canon C300 Shoulder Rig fits well with the low-profile nature of the C500 while providing ergonomic support for prolonged shoots.
If you’re looking for a solution with the ability to go to a 19mm or 15mm studio setup, Arri’s C300 / C500 LWS kit can be integrated in to the BP-12 (19mm) or BP-13 (15mm studio) bridgeplates. The C300 / C500 LWS baseplate is low profile solution that can be paired up with the C300 / C500 handgrip kit or the Handgrip Adapter, which allows you to use the optional Canon handgrip in various positions for optimal control. The rossette adaptor adds standard Arri rossettes to the LWS baseplate, which would also allow you to use other handgrip kits such as the Shape Double Quick Handle or Ronford Baker “Moose bar” handles.
Similar to their other camera baseplates, the Chrosziel LWS and LWS HD baseplates are camera-specific lightweight systems compatible with all rod based accessories. The “HD” (Heavy Duty) version of the baseplate features rear rod mounts for additional stability when using larger lenses or accessories. Both the LWS (AC-401-94A) and LWS HD (AC-401-94AHD) baseplates are available by themselves, or in kits (LWS: AC-450R2-C300Kit / LWS HD: AC-450R2-C300HDKit) that includes the baseplate, a 450-R2 mattebox, filter holders, top flag, and a flexi-ring insert, which is perfect for those photo lenses without internal focus.
We find the Top Plate with Side Supports, Man Handle and EVF solutions from Element Technica to be a good fit for the C300 / C500 as well as their Micron Bridgeplate, Dovetail and Shoulder Pad. Element Technica makes many widgets and rigging options that work for the C300 / C500, as well as other camera lines, such as their cold shoes, speedy clamps, lens support and more.
Designed by cinematographer Shane Hurlbut, the Letus Master Cinema Series kits are built around a camera specific cage that both protects the C500 and provides additional mounting points for accessories. The MCS ShoulderCam bundle is a versatile shoulder rig that was designed to mimic the feel of a film camera. The majority of the camera weight is placed on your shoulders, and combined with a comfortable shoulder pad, the ShoulderCam bundle can help reduce fatigue.
The popular Camera Handle kit from Movcam replaces the stock Canon handle with a rigid system that mounts to the camera via multiple points for additional stability. This modular system includes top iris rods, two cold shoe mounts (one moveable), and an EVF mount that makes setting up your C500 for handheld operation a breeze.
One of the newest C500 accessories from Wooden Camera is the clever Quick Base, which provides front rods and a low profile 15mm solution that, as the name suggests, has a quick release plate allowing you to move from rod based setup to handheld configurations in seconds. You can attach the Quick Base to any Arri style bridgeplate, but you can also mount the camera plate half directly to a dovetail. The system also allows you to slide the camera back on the receiver plate a few millimeters for quick lens / mattebox changes. The Wooden Camera top plate will mount directly to the existing hot shoe and provides a flat surface to mount handles, safety NATO rails, and other accessories.
Zacuto offers various solutions for the C300 / C500 that have been very popular with our clients. The lightweight Gorilla style baseplate has rod holes in the front to mount a follow focus, mattebox, or other accessories in front of the camera. Similar to the HDSLR Gorilla baseplate, the C300 / C500 Gorilla baseplate also has rod holes on the side for EVFs and other side mounted accessories. For larger or more complex builds, the studio style baseplate actually has rod holes on all four sides, allowing for a myriad of mounting options. If you’re looking for an entire rigging solution, Zacuto has the C300 / C500 Target Shooter, Striker, Recoil V2, and Stinger kits based on the two baseplates.
If you’re using a shoulder rig, Zacuto has various handgrip relocators that allow you to attach the optional Canon handgrip to various positions for more comfortable operation. These relocators can be mounted to 15mm rods, to existing Z-Grips, or to threaded rods. Since the handgrip would be attached to the body via the control cable, this would put most camera controls right at your fingertips.
The internal recording on the C500 is a MPEG-2 based 50Mbps 4:2:2 codec that is shared with the C300. While the internal recording is perfect for offline or proxy files, to maximize the potential of the C500, you’ll need to use an external recorder.
Similar in size to the AJA Ki Pro Mini, the Ki Pro Quad can take the 10-bit or 12-bit 4:4:4 HD or 2K signal and record it as ProRes files, but the really unique feature of the Quad is its ability to take the 4K raw signal and debayer it to ProRes 4K video files. If you need the 4K resolution but do not require Canon raw, this is the simplest and quickest way to achieve this. Of course, the Quad can also take the 4K raw signal and pass it through to your computer via Thunderbolt, so you can retain the raw files if you need them.
The Sound Devices PIX240i is a compact Apple ProRes & Avid DNxHD recorder that feature a 5″ screen and multiple up/down/cross conversion capabilities. The PIX240i is HD resolution only, but can take full advantage and record the 12-bit output from the C500.
Announced prior to NAB 2013, the Odyssey 7Q introduces some unique features to a high resolution 7.7″ OLED display. Avid DNxHD recording is included as standard, but the Odyssey 7Q allows you to add various recording options as you need them. Alongside Canon raw, ARRIRAW and 2K raw from the Sony FS700 will be supported, as well as 4:4:4 video. Since each recording option is ala carte, you only need to pay for the codecs you require.
The C500’s modular monitor unit allows you to position the 4″ LCD in almost any position you need, but there are times when a viewfinder is more practical or desirable.
If you’re using the C500 on a shoulder rig, a nice alternative to the built-in LCD screen is the Cineroid EVF Metal. Built upon the original Cineroid EVF, the EVF Metal is available in three variants – SDI In/Out, HDMI In/Out, or HDMI In/SDI Out.
The first C300 / C500 specific optical viewfinder, the Mira attaches to the C500 LCD screen with a clip-on frame and provides a 3x magnification through some nice optics. When used on a shoulder rig, the viewfinder can be positioned in an optimal “run-and-gun” set up.
The LCDVFe is a well built lower-cost viewfinder option that runs on AA batteries. It works well with HDMI output of the C500 and has a unique mounting solution that works well with the Movcam top handle.
With a high resolution 1280×800 screen and built-in HDMI to HD/SDI converter, the TVLogic VFM-056WP 5.6″ monitor is a great tool for any C500 user. Other features include a waveform monitor, vectorscope, and focus assist.
TVLogic / Alphatron EVF035W-3G
The popular EVF035W-3G electronic viewfinder will be a nice addition to any C500 kit. With the highest PPI of any viewfinder on the market, judging focus will be easier than ever. Alphatron recently updated the firmware to include a waveform monitor, which is a unique function not found in most viewfinders.
Zacuto’s popular Z-Finder EVF Pro is also a great option, especially for those coming from an HDSLR. This electronic viewfinder has a high resolution screen, HDMI input and a loop through for additional monitoring, and many of the same features found on high-end viewfinders.
Like the C300, the C500 has two XLR inputs on the modular monitor unit. If you decide to use the camera without the monitor unit, you will no longer be able to use the XLR inputs. Fortunately, there is still a stereo 3.5mm mini jack mic input on the body. If you’re looking for a shotgun microphone, the Rode VideoMic Pro is a high quality, compact super cardioid mic that will mount directly to the cold shoe on the camera. For better stereo separation, the Rode SVM (stereo video mic) is a great option if you do not need the traditional cardioid or super cardioid pattern.
While the C500 ships with a single battery charger, if you need to charge multiple batteries at once, Dolgin’s popular dual and quad Turbo Chargers will fully recharge multiple batteries simultaneously in less than 3 hours.
Included with every C500 is a BP-955 battery, which will fit perfectly within the battery compartment and provide up to 205 minutes of run time. If you’re looking for a longer life solution, the BP-975 will power the camera up to 310 minutes.
Anton Bauer has released a Gold Mount plate specifically for the C300 / C500. The QRC CA940 has a regulated output for the camera and three additional P-Tap outputs for various accessories.
If you already own a Gold Mount or V-Lock style battery plate, you can use the Switronix XP-DV-C300/20 (20″) or XP-DV-C300/48 (48″) P-Tap to Canon cable that includes a built-in voltage regulator.
If you’re looking for a straightforward follow focus, the Genus Superior and Zacuto Z-Focus follow focus units have been very popular. If you’d like to have some additional controls, the Arri MFF-2 is certainly worth considering. As an evolution to the MFF-1, the MFF-2 has inherited all the features but adds a few new ones as well. The MFF-2 is still reversible for use on lenses that may rotate “backwards”, but it now gives you the ability to switch between three different focus knobs.
If you’re using Canon “L” series lenses and want additional light control, having a lightweight mattebox like the Genus Wide Angle mattebox can be invaluable. With two 4×4 trays (single stage rotating), the Genus can be used on rods or clipped on with the various threaded adapter rings. Arri’s popular MMB-2 is available as a 4×4 and 4×4/4×5.65 or as a slightly heavier double 4×5.65 system and can accommodate 114mm lenses directly.
Designed by our very own Mitch Gross, the Calzone / AbelCine Universal Camera Case is a compact hard shipping case that will accommodate the C300 / C500, Sony F3, Red Epic, and Panasonic AF100. If you’re looking for a more run-&-gun appropriate bag, the CineBags CB-25 backpack is flight ready and will hold up to a 17″ laptop.