On-set potential of the EOS C500 MarkII – On location with the CINEMA EOS –


Interview:Kiyoto KUROSAWA(Clink Inc.)


On location, Canon’s CINEMA EOS SYSTEM is constantly broadening the scope of world documentary filmmaking. The latest model EOS C500 MarkII launched towards the end of 2019, a product made in response to user feedback with the latest features. Clink Co., Ltd. an early adopter for TV shows, drone shoots, network streaming, etc. We spoke with Kiyoto KUROSAWA, among the first to use the EOS C500 MarkII on set, about his impressions. What was your first impression of the EOS C500 Mark Ⅱ That it was the true successor of the C300 MarkII. What was lacking from the C300 was its RAW recording capability, the need for an external recorder, and you could only record at 4K/29.97fps. For us, we had many cases where we needed 4K/59.94fps, so it made things difficult. And for users, people wanted more than it was capable of. At first they’d use Canon Log on the C300 MarkII, but when they tried out color grading they felt like it should be capable of more, and this raised expectations. Like how good RAW recording would be. When they realized that with dynamic range they could express the sky and the subject, they saw that RAW would improve things. We have the C200, which allows you to record Cinema RAW light, but the problem was that with only one CFast 2.0 card, this limited how long you could record an interview. So when the EOS C500 MarkII launched, it had internal RAW recording capability and though the card changed to CFexpress you could use 2 cards, which made it an ideal camera for our purposes. It was the only one for us. We went from the EOS C300 MarkII to the C500 MarkII, which we use with the EOS C200.

The allure of the EOS C500 MarkII

It’s got to be the 5.9K full-size sensor. The shallow depth recording capability makes it fun and interesting. It’s useful for artist expression, too. I have used the EOS 5D MarkII in the past and I prefer the shallow depth, so I used to stay locked in at F2.8, but after switching to the EOS C500 MarkII, I use F4 or F5.6, trying out different variations. When I started doing 4K work, the main reason why I chose the EOS C300 MarkII was the precision of its autofocus. For our productions, where we don’t have a lot of manpower, we can’t monitor everyone and we can’t take a lot of equipment on location. On a documentary shoot, for example, the people you’re shooting aren’t actors so you can’t tell them to move a certain way. You have to consider how to best capture the subject moving around freely. With 4K, watching a scene recorded with a hand-held camera for too long is disconcerting and at times can cause nausea, so we try to use a tripod to stabilize the shot. This means using a telephoto, which makes focusing tricky. In those cases, the best camera we can depend on for reliability is the CINEMA EOS.


One of the best things about the CINEMA EOS is that you can start shooting right away. On a documentary, a lot of times an opportunity can arise suddenly and since other cameras take time to fire up, you can lose the moment or be forced to give up. It’s always a race against time on location, which is stressful for the cinematographer. The compact EOS C500 MarkII allows you to record 5.9K resolution, plus it turns on with one switch, which makes it ideal for our situation. We also use the battery and V-mount, and on overseas shoots, taking a battery on board a flight is becoming an issue, so it’s a relief to have an extra compact battery to hand.

Rich resolution changes perception

We produce racecar drifting event shows, and in the past these were minor events. But the promoters wanted to erase that image and brought over “Formula Drift” race events directly from America. We wanted to make it look cool, so last year we used the EOS C700 to shoot slow-motion in high resolution, a gimbal for action shots, and a slider for impressive scenes. The participants and the racecar drivers who saw those cool, hi-res images were so impressed and people’s attitudes changed. The design of the cars, the race wear, and the team uniforms all changed, too. Last year’s C700 images even captured the movement of the air so beautifully, and the engineers who developed it could see the tangible results in the images: “Amazing!” This is what impressed them the most (laughs). This year we want to impress everyone with what we can do using the EOS C500 MarkII. The CINEMA EOS will create rich, high resolution images, so the attitudes of everyone involved in drifting will change. It’s great seeing how interest in the sport is increasing.
EF Cinema Lock Mount What impressed me most this time round was the EF Cinema Lock Mount. What was tricky about using EF lenses, particularly the telephoto extender, was the vibration, but with the EF Cinema Lock Mount on the EOS C500 MarkII, the issue disappeared. In the past, when I shot with the 300mm, I held my breath once I focused because otherwise there would be vibration, but with the EF Cinema Lock Mount, as expected there was no more vibration. It had been a problem whenever I had to focus manually, and when using a full-size sensor and the size increased, it became more obvious. You can remedy this in post-processing with stabilization correction effects, but rendering takes longer, and I wanted to process things on set with minimal stress. This EF Cinema Lock Mount is great.

Photo:Daisuke YAHAGI(Canon Marketing Japan)