C500 Mark II gets new Cinema RAW Light modes from Canon

Canon recently introduced a fresh firmware update for the EOS C500 Mark II camera, focusing on improving Cinema RAW Light formats for the top cinematic camera model.

Working with high-resolution RAW video formats can be challenging due to the large file sizes, placing demands on the camera, storage media, and editing software. Canon developed Cinema RAW Light to address this, offering smaller file sizes and more streamlined video workflows.

The Cinema RAW Light format, initially found in cameras like the R5C and C200, has now been integrated into the C500 Mark II from 2019. This full-frame 5.9K/60p cinema camera is still widely used by filmmakers, impacting a significant portion of Canon’s user base positively.

Previously, the C500 Mark II could shoot 12-bit RAW video up to 30 frames per second and 10-bit RAW at higher frame rates. With the addition of three new formats – Cinema RAW Light LT, ST, and HQ – users can now capture 12-bit RAW footage across all frame rates, including 60p.

This update expands the options for RAW video recording on the camera to four, marking a new milestone for Canon’s Cinema EOS range.

Canon assures that Cinema RAW Light offers a drastic reduction in file size while maintaining image quality and providing ample room for grading and compositing. This format boasts the widest dynamic range from the camera’s sensor in a file that’s only a fraction in size compared to a standard Cinema RAW file.

Filmmaker Brett Danton emphasizes that handling RAW footage, particularly Cinema RAW Light, is not as daunting as it may seem, highlighting its benefits for colorists due to the vast amount of data it contains yet being easy to work with thanks to its low CPU load.

Award-winning filmmaker and color grading expert, Ollie Kenchington, praises the non-chroma subsampled image that Cinema RAW Light offers, providing full RGB 4:4:4 color information crucial for specific projects.

The updated firmware for the Canon EOS C500 Mark II will be accessible starting March 21.

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