Canon has announced firmware update for the EOS C70 Cinema Camera, the sixth firmware update since the camera was launched in 2020. The new update offers a host of new features including expanded autofocus support, Canon’s custom 709 HDR color scheme, and even an updated audio display that shows all four recorded audio tracks.

C70_16Credit: Canon

The last firmware update for the C70 wasn’t all that long ago. It was only last September that Canon addressed issues in the camera platform that could cause the camera to become inoperable, and before that, last March, the company added support for 12-bit RAW at up to 60 frames per second. 

“Honestly, it’s impressive what’s been added,” said Jake Ratcliffe of CVP on YouTube. “People who adopted the C70 early have really gotten their money’s worth over those two years. Canon has added and tweaked so much with loads of little changes and also larger updates. It really is an incredibly well-rounded package now.”

More Custom Color and Contrast

For version, the third update this year, Canon has added a new Canon CMT 709 Custom Picture Profile that has the same dynamic range as the current Wide DR profile setting but with an optimized contrast that improves the overall image, especially at the extreme upper limit of the image.

One chief gripe about Wide DR is that the image could “clip” in bright ambient light, and Canon 709 color profile was designed to address that issue. 

C70-canon709Credit: CVP

Canon 709’s gamma curve is paired with a neutral color matrix. But C709 avoids using the ultra-wide, which is the major cause of clipping in Wide DR. Therefore, the pull-down of the highlights provides more contrast in the mid-tones and more saturation. 

C70c709-comparedCredit: CVP

However, that comes at the cost of a little murkier detail in the highlights, which is why Canon kept the Wide DR color profile for those who want that extra pop of highlights that can then be dialed down in post. 

C709midtonesCredit: CVP

Canon has also added CMT 709 Viewing Assistance, which enables the viewing of video files natively using a REC 709-supported monitor when recording in C709, as well as Canon Log 3 and Canon Log 2. A helpful feature when color grading.

Additional Interval Formats

Canon has also expanded the intra-frame formats with an added XF-AVC at up to 60 frames per second and a bit rate of up to 600 Mbps. This offers users a more lightweight, high-performing codec that minimizes storage space and transfer speeds. The new file format also enables recording to an SD card. 

Canonc70eyeafCredit: Canon USA

Expanded AutoFocus

Canon has also expanded autofocus support with Eye Detection Autofocus, Face Detection AF, and Subject Tracking AF during both slow and fast recording from a range of 24-120 frames per second. The Eye Detection options enable the user to switch from eye to eye, and the camera quickly re-acquires the eye lock when the eyes re-emerge in the frame.

A Little Housekeeping

Canon has also done a little housekeeping by saving camera settings when switching between normal, slow, and fast recording modes, and the view display now shows all four channels of audio in the level meter.

While the C70 is already almost three years old, and a slew of new cameras have slowly overshadowed it, the Super 35-sized Canon still holds its ground. If this kind of firmware support continues, it'll still be a solid workhorse for creatives years from now.

Canon EOS C70

  • Super35 Dual Gain Output Sensor
  • DCI 4K 60p
  • Hi-Speed UHD 4K 120p/2K 180p
  • Canon Log 2, 3, PQ & HLG HDR
  • RF Lens Mount/EF Mount w/ Adapter
  • DIG!C DV7 Image Processor, XC Protocol
  • 16+ Stops of Total Dynamic Range
  • Built-In ND Filters / Auto ISO & Gain
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF & EOS iTR AF X
  • 1 BNC Timecode
  • 2 Mini-XLR Audio Inputs
  • Dual SD Card Slots
  • LUT/Long GOP Support
Body Only

All told, firmware version is a modest yet very important update that once again showcases Canon’s ongoing commitment to making the C70 one of the best entry-level and affordable 4K cinema cameras on the market. It makes one wonder what else can be packed in this compact cinema camera platform. 

The updated firmware version will be available as a free download on Dec. 8, 2022, from the Canon C70 Support website.

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