Thread: Canon C500 Mark II

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  1. #61 C500 or Gemini. Hmmmmm. 
    I'm pretty torn right now. My next camera will either be the C500 II or the Red Gemini. I've previously owned a C300 I, Red Dragon and a C200. Of those 3 cameras, I liked the image of the Red Dragon most of all, which is why I'm considering the Gemini.

    That being said, the usability/durability of Canon cameras is undeniable. My original C300 I is still going. It's been all over the continent. It's been dropped, banged, soaked, etc. It's been through 110 degree deserts in Arizona and through -30 degree blizzards in Alaska and northern Minnesota. It's still going. It's been working for 8 years straight now and every button still works. No issues with it at all. It looks like shit at this point, but it's NEVER been serviced. Not once.

    The C500 II ticks off so many boxes. It's got endless power on a tiny battery. It's got touch screen autofocus. It's got full frame. It's got built in XLR with a built in scratch mic. It's got a 10 stop ND. It's got dual card slots and an extra SD for backups/proxy. It's got physical buttons. And it's usable out of the box. Aside from the lack of higher frame rates, it has everything you could ever want.

    The Gemini has RedRaw and ProRes. It has higher frame rates. And it has the Red image (which is a big one).

    I shoot all kinds of stuff. I am sometimes thrust into editorial and doc scenarios where I have to shoot by myself on-location with minimal equipment. Other times I am shooting commercials for major brands with decent crew sizes and medium sized budgets. I can't help but think the C500 II is a better fit for the variety of shooting scenarios I work in. That being said, I really do love everything I shot with the Dragon. It just looked so filmic and beautiful out of the box (at lower iSOs). I wouldn't even be considering the Gemini right now if it weren't for my experience with the Dragon. Every time I looked at the monitor on the Dragon, I would smile. It just looked so cinematic to me.

    That all being said, I think the Dragon's image looked cinematic to me due to a combination of traits (and even flaws) that I'm not so sure are present in the Gemini today. As we move closer and closer to cameras that can universally capture perfectly clean, high resolution, raw images with high bitrates and high dynamic range, the camera sensor becomes less of a factor in the equation as the playing field is leveled. I would argue that the skills and tools of the person doing the post work/color grade is becoming more important than the camera sensor. And the usability features of the camera begin to trump its image acquisition capabilities. When all the cameras out there can capture more data than our eye can visibly see, it's all in how you bend, push and work that infinite data. In which, case shouldn't you just pick the most user friendly camera out there?

    Does anyone out there own a C200 and a Gemini?
    And if so, how do you feel the images from those two cameras compare to each other?
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  2. #62  
    Senior Member Satsuki Murashige's Avatar
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    I don’t think there is one perfect camera for every scenario. I feel like in the extreme shooting scenarios such as you’ve described, you really need a camera like the Canon C Series with its built-in NDs, long battery life, weather sealing, light weight, and compact form factor. It’s also on those jobs where you typically don’t have as much crew to help (if any), you’re in and out of vehicles all day, packing, charging batteries, dumping cards constantly, dealing with TSA and airline baggage. And you need to own the camera package because of the extended project schedules and often short notice. So unless you’re planning on transitioning away from such work, the C500Mk2 makes a lot of sense to me.

    However, on commercial jobs there’s a lot more camera support crew (often to the point where you don’t need to touch the camera at all until the shot needs to be operated), and none of the attributes mentioned above are strictly necessary. So in that case, going for maximum image quality makes a lot more sense. Also, the commercial DP rates are usually a lot higher, so getting the camera rental fee is not as much of a concern, at least to me. It makes a lot more sense to me to just have production rent the camera package you really want in this case, unless you have the funds to own both types of cameras.

    Re: Gemini.

    I don’t own one, but have shot several projects with it. I enjoyed the images from it, but honestly prefer shooting with Alexa and 35mm film more. Have not used the C200, but if I had to compare with the C300Mk2, the Gemini is much cleaner, sharper, and has a richer image. The noise that is there feels like film grain, which makes it more acceptable to me. The only things I don’t like are how the highlights clip when you go below 800 ISO, very harsh and digital looking to me even with ‘very soft’ highlight roll-off applied. And I don’t think it handles mixed lighting that well, it seems to emphasize that green spike in fluorescents, whereas other cameras don’t as much. That could be a negative or positive, depending on your point of view.
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  3. #63  
    Thanks for your response. And yeah, I agree. I think you're right, it's probably best to go with the C500 II. Currently I rent an Amira or a Mini when I do my commercial work. But I've been wanting to carry over the cinematic image quality I get from my commercial productions over to my doc/editorial stuff. The Mini is too much to rent for those extended gigs and it's too expensive for me to want to buy one. The Gemini sits relatively close to the price of the C500 II, so I've been contemplating going that route to add some more polish to my smaller gigs, even if it makes those solo productions a bigger pain in the ass. Though, when I go into the Gemini thread and read some of the posts about people's technical issues with the Gemini, it brings me back to the multiple quirks I experienced with the Dragon. And that doesn't sound fun.

    It's interesting you mentioned the noise of the Gemini being more like film grain. That's good to know. Looking back at my Dragon footage, I can't say the grain at 800 ISO was necessarily indicative of film, but I can say that it added a pleasing texture to the image that I really liked. I think the new Canon sensors are lovely, but it's possible they might be too clean and shiny, which is what is making them a bit less cinematic? If I go with a C500 II, perhaps I should look into Film Convert to dirty up the image a bit.
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  4. #64  
    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Doublin View Post
    That all being said, I think the Dragon's image looked cinematic to me due to a combination of traits (and even flaws) that I'm not so sure are present in the Gemini today.

    They are.

    It is even more "cinematic".


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Doublin View Post
    Does anyone out there own a C200 and a Gemini?
    And if so, how do you feel the images from those two cameras compare to each other?
    Both can shoot beautiful cinematic imagery.
    C200 holds reds better. Gemini is superior in DR, lattitude, sensitivity and tonal depth.

    C500mk2 should have superior image to C200 in all aspects.


    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Doublin View Post
    It's interesting you mentioned the noise of the Gemini being more like film grain. That's good to know. Looking back at my Dragon footage, I can't say the grain at 800 ISO was necessarily indicative of film, but I can say that it added a pleasing texture to the image that I really liked. I think the new Canon sensors are lovely, but it's possible they might be too clean and shiny, which is what is making them a bit less cinematic?
    In the case of C200, it is more noisy than Gemini and noise is more electronic looking.

    Red also has a special debayer/processing aesthetic for very organic texture, which is where Gemini shines.
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  5. #65  
    Senior Member Satsuki Murashige's Avatar
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    Alternately, you could go with the Gemini and keep using the C200 for the brutal run-and-gun doc work. Sometimes you might not want to put a $20K-ish camera into those situations.

    Not sure why the Gemini’s noise character feels sharper, compared to Dragon. Maybe better pixels and less compression?

    I do like Filmconvert (the old one, haven’t upgraded to the new one), but I find it a bit limited. I only use 2x stocks and the grain tool. But it’s a nice option to have if you do your own post. I have been using Resolve to make my own in-camera LUTs for my projects over the past two years, and some of them are based on a Filmconvert profile. I find it helps to make the in-camera image exactly as you want it, as opposed to what the manufacturer thinks is a good Rec.709 look.
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  6. #66  
    Quote Originally Posted by Hrvoje Simic View Post

    C500mk2 should have superior image to C200 in all aspects.

    In the case of C200, it is more noisy than Gemini and noise is more electronic looking.

    Red also has a special debayer/processing aesthetic for very organic texture, which is where Gemini shines.
    Yes, I do find C200's noise to be really ugly, even compared to the original C300's. That was quite a shock to me. It's also not as good in lowlight as I thought it would be.

    You mentioned the C500 II should be have a superior image to the C200, but they're literally using the same sensor. I guess since it's full frame, it should be better in lowlight? And maybe because it's shooting 5.9k which will be scaled to 4k in editing?
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  7. #67  
    Quote Originally Posted by Satsuki Murashige View Post
    Alternately, you could go with the Gemini and keep using the C200 for the brutal run-and-gun doc work.
    Hmmmmm. That's not a bad idea at all.

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  8. #68  
    Senior Member Jaime Vallés's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Doublin View Post
    You mentioned the C500 II should be have a superior image to the C200, but they're literally using the same sensor.
    It's not the same sensor as the C200. It's using the same sensor as the C700 FF.
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  9. #69  
    Quote Originally Posted by Jaime Vallés View Post
    It's not the same sensor as the C200. It's using the same sensor as the C700 FF.
    The C200 is the same sensor as the standard C700. I thought the C700FF is essentially just the same sensor as the original C700, just larger. Which would make the C200, C700, C500 II and C700FF all have a similar tonal quality. The full frame cameras should theoretically be a bit sharper, better in low light and have less noise. But the dynamic range, rolloff, color science, and tonal characteristics should be almost identical. But please correct me if I'm wrong. I've been under the assumption that there are not any huge differences between the sensors inside the latest round of Cinema EOS cameras.
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  10. #70  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Derek Doublin View Post
    The C200 is the same sensor as the standard C700. I thought the C700FF is essentially just the same sensor as the original C700, just larger. Which would make the C200, C700, C500 II and C700FF all have a similar tonal quality. The full frame cameras should theoretically be a bit sharper, better in low light and have less noise. But the dynamic range, rolloff, color science, and tonal characteristics should be almost identical. But please correct me if I'm wrong. I've been under the assumption that there are not any huge differences between the sensors inside the latest round of Cinema EOS cameras.
    Not the same sensor and not the same camera. The thing they do share is the Canon name.
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