Canon's C70 is a Fresh Take on a 4K Cinema Camera

Canon announces a new digital cinema camera, the EOS C70.

The Super 35 4K EOS C70 is part of Canon's Cinema EOS lineup that includes the likes of the C300 Mark III, C500 Mark II, and C700 FF. Though it's a dedicated cine camera, it is influenced by the company's full-frame mirrorless series. But don't worry, it doesn't overheat

Features

  • Super 35 Dual Gain Output (DGO) Sensor
  • 16+ Stops of Total Dynamic Range
  • DIGIC DV 7 Image Processor
  • Canon Log 2, 3, PQ, HLG Recording
  • RF Mount
  • EF Lens Versatility with Mount Adapter
  • 2x Built-in Mini-XLRs
  • Time Code Terminal
  • Built-in ND Filter
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF, EOS iTR AF X, Dual Pixel Focus Guide
  • Electronic Image Stabilization with Combination IS
  • Dual SD Card Slots with Various Recording Options
  • High Frame Rate; 4K 120p and 2K CROP 180p
  • Look File for Recording (User LUT)
  • Long GOP Supported in 4K/2K

 
Credit: Canon
Sensor

The camera uses the same Super 35 Dual Gain Output (DGO) CMOS sensor found on the C300 Mark III, so if you're already familiar with the image quality of the C300 Mark III, then you're one step ahead of everyone else. 

Total Pixels:

  • 9.6 Megapixels (4206 x 2280)

Number of Effective Pixels:

  • 8.85 Megapixels (4096 x 2160): 4K/2K DCI recording
  • 8.29 Megapixels (3840 x 2160): UHD/FHD recording

Super 35

  • 4K: 26.2 x 13.8 (29.6mm diagonal)
  • 4K UHD: 24.6 x 13.8 (28.2mm diagonal)

To be clear, DGO is not to be confused with dual native ISO sensors found on cameras like the Panasonic EVA1. It's a completely different technology and more in line with what you would find on the ARRI ALEV sensor. To put it simply, the sensor uses two photodiodes for each photosite. Each photodiode captures a single frame of the exact same image but at different gain levels. One image is low gain, low noise. The second image is at a higher gain and adds saturation. The two images are then combined, producing a better-resolved image. You can read a full explanation of DGO here

The sensor is paired with a DIGIC DV 7 image processor, and Canon suggests it can achieve 16 stops of dynamic range. The ISO is 160–25600 but can be expanded to 100–102400 and is adjustable in 1 stop or 1/3 increments. 

Credit: Canon

Recording Formats

The C70 can record 4K DCI, 4K UHD, 2K DCI as well as HD with frame rates of up to 180p. There's also a Super 16 crop mode. It supports XF-AVC in both Intra and Long GOP with an MXF file format. The Long GOP format will compress the data at a higher rate, creating a smaller file size, while intra will compress the data after analyzing each frame separately. Canon has also added Long GOP 10-bit 4:2:2 H.265 and 8-bit 4:2:0 H.264 in an MP4 wrapper, which is a first in the Cinema EOS line.

XF-AVC H.264 Intra

  • 4:2:2 10-bit 410Mbps 4096 x 2160 up to 29.97/25p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 410Mbps 3840 x 2160 up to 59.94/50p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 310Mbps 2048 x 1080 up to 59.94/50p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 160Mbps 1920 x 1080 up to 59.94/50p

XF-AVC H.264 Long GOP

  • 4:2:2 10-bit 260Mbps 4096 x 2160 up to 59.94/50p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 160Mbps 3840 x 2160 up to 59.94/50p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 50Mbps 2048 x 1080 up to 59.94/50p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 50Mbps 1920 x 1080 up to 59.94/50p

XF-AVC HFR (Special Rec.) Long GOP

  • 4:2:2 10-bit 4096 x 2160 up to 119.88p/120p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 3840 x 2160 up to 119.88p/120p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 2048 x 1080 up to 119.88p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 1920 x 1080 up to 179.82/180p

XF-AVC Proxy Long G0P

  • 4:2:0 8-bit 35Mbps 2048 x 1080 up to 59.94/50p
  • 4:2:0 8-bit 24Mbps 1920 x 1080 up to 59.94/50p

MP4 H.265 Long GOP

  • 4:2:2 10-bit 225Mbps 4096 x 2160 up to 59.94/50p
  • 4:2:2 10-bit 225Mbps 3840 x 2160 up to 59.94/50p

MP4 H.264 Long GOP

  • 4:2:0 8-bit 150Mbps 4096 x 2160 up to 59.94/50p
  • 4:2:0 8-bit 150Mbps 3840 x 2160 up to 59.94/50p

Credit: Canon
Simultaneous Recording 

One feature filmmakers have grown accustom to is recordings multiple formats at once. The C70 has two dual card slots that support SD V90 cards. While the C70 does offer a proxy format, you can also record different format combinations, as well. For example, you can have Slot A record XF-AVC and Slot B record MP4. Or Slot A record 4K and Slot B record 2K. Or Slot A record All-I and Slot B record L-GoP. This is a nice feature if you want to rush off dailies to an editor. 

Color Space and Gamma

The C70 offers working color spaces in Cinema Gamut, Rec.709, and Rec.2020. As for gamma, Canon has added a number of options including Rec.709, Wide DR, Canon Log 2, Canon Log 3, PQ, and HLG. You might notice the absence of Canon RAW Light or another from of propriety RAW option, and you'd be correct.

The C70 doesn't currently offer a version of RAW, and when No Film School asked them about implementing it in a future update, Canon declined to comment. So by the looks of it (for now), if you want a RAW workflow, this isn't the Canon camera for you. However, C-Log2 and C-Log3 are both very robust options in terms of color grading. For who this camera is targeted towardshooters looking to step out of the mirrorless or DSLR market and into a dedicated cinema camerathose gamma options should provide plenty of flexibility for most projects. 

Credit: Canon

Autofocus 

Canon has included Dual Pixel Autofocus on the C70. It's the same system used on the C300 Mark III but with the inclusion of iTR AFx, which is part of Canon's deep learning database that improves facial and head recognition. Options for Continuous AF, Detection AF, and Tracking AF by touch focus are all options on the C70. In terms of sensor coverage, the autofocus covers 80% of the horizontal and 80% of the vertical, so you're getting good sensor coverage right out of the gate. 

Image Stabilization 

The C70 has similar image stabilization as the C300 Mark III and C500 Mark II. When combined with the optical image stabilization of RF lenses Canon says there's now a "coordinated image stabilization" in which the stabilization data from the lens drives the electronic stabilization with greater precision.

Credit: Canon

Body

The C70 molds its shape from Canon's mirrorless and cinema cameras. It's 160mm wide, 130mm tall, and 116mm deep which sits between the EOS R and C200. It has an RF mount, a first for Canon in its cinema line. More than likely not the last. 

Canon also added a flip-out display and 1/4-20" mounts on the bottom and on the side. Why the side? Because the C70 can be used for vertical shooting. When mounted for vertical shooting, the touchscreen will change orientation. 

As for inputs, there are two 3-pin mini XLRs, a separate 3.5mm microphone input, a headphone jack, a USB Type connector, a remote terminal, and a full HDM port for external recording. Additionally, there's timecode and a motorized 10-stop ND filter. On top of that, there are 13 customizable buttons that are programmable with 80 functions. 

Best yet, it only weighs 2.6 lbs., making it an option for gimbals and drones. The C70 uses an active cooling system with a fan, so users should expect the same heat performance as previous Cinema EOS cameras.

Credit: Canon

Direct Touch Control 

Canon has also introduced a new way to navigate the interface with Direct Touch Control. The idea behind it is to offer quicker access to settings you use most. Directly via the touchscreen, you can now record/stop, view record setting, or set ISO and color temperature settings right from the touch screen. This somewhat eliminates the "Q" menu we've gotten used to on the mirrorless cameras. If it's faster all depends on the user. 

Credit: Canon

Who is it for?

Anyone looking to step into owning a dedicated cinema camera. The reason why DSLR and now mirrorless cameras are so popular among creators is because of their form factor and price point. When manufacturers create hybrid cameras, there is going to be some form of compromise. Either the still side is great and the video side suffers or vice versa. It's rare both are exceptional. And when it comes to timecode, professional audio inputs, and what's needed to rig that type of camera for production, it can be downright cumbersome.

The C70 is an interesting offering from Canon. It's a great out of the box solution for a lot of projects, but it leaves you wondering where it can grow via firmware. When you invest $5K or more into a camera, you don't want it to be obsolete within a year unless you've already made your money back. 

If a 4K workflow is all you will ever need as a final deliverable, then the C70 is worth considering. But if you don't need features like timecode, ND filters, or better audio inputs, then it's possible you can stick with a mirrorless camera, especially if you take photos, are a vlogger, or have a controlled studio where you can use a separate audio setup. But that's only our opinion. 

Competition among other Super 35 sensors

Credit: Canon
EF-EOS R Mount Adapter

Along with the C70, Canon has released an EF-EOS R 0.71x optical adapter that allows you to use full-frame EF lenses with the Super 35 camera. This isn't your normal adapter that adapts one mount to the next. The adapter is twofold. It keeps a similar full-frame image onto the Super 35 image sensor while elevating the lens camera sensitivity by one stop. The mount also preserves all the electronic communication between the lens and the camera, including lens corrections and metadata with compatible lenses. 

Availability

The Canon EOS C70 is scheduled ship this November with a retail price of $5499. The Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x will be released in December for around $599. 

So what do you think of the C70? Let us know in the comments below.      

Your Comment

33 Comments

So it’s a Sony A7s3 but bigger and more expensive? Oh but not full frame? Got it!

September 24, 2020 at 7:48AM

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The A7S3 doesn't have built in ND filters or XLRs. It also doesn't use big long lasting camcorder batteries.

September 24, 2020 at 10:33AM, Edited September 24, 10:34AM

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Mike Tesh
Pro Video / Indie Filmmaker
858

Those are my thoughts. This is basically a C100 Mark III in disguise, and I think that's an attractive option.

September 24, 2020 at 4:11PM

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Yeah if I need those I’ll use real full-size camera

September 24, 2020 at 11:26AM

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Why the aggressiveness?

September 24, 2020 at 12:35PM

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Álex Montoya
Writer/Director
691

You don´t really now anything about Canon color science, canon glases, codecs and ergonomity? ND filter is a must in any profesional video camera, the ability to shoot vertical, the many many codecs and REAL C-logs... That´s camera in not close in any aspect to a Sony foto camera. Maybe FS7 could compete, i don´t think so.

September 24, 2020 at 1:33PM, Edited September 24, 1:33PM

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Juan Sebastián Platero
Director / editor
16

Alexa, RED, and Panavision don't have built in ND. Be careful how you use the term ANY professional video camera. I find the only people who complain about this are documentary filmmakers and amateurs.

September 25, 2020 at 10:44AM

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McSaint
Director, Cinematographer, Editor and Colorist
33

Alexa Mini, Mini LF, and Sony Venice all have internal variable filters. They are also the top cameras being used today over RED and the DXL. Having internal NDs is not needed, but it's highly desirable.

September 27, 2020 at 3:25AM, Edited September 27, 3:25AM

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Only in specific models.

September 27, 2020 at 4:07PM

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McSaint
Director, Cinematographer, Editor and Colorist
33

With those cameras it's a given that you will have a crew who can swap out NDs in your mattebox, I think that is less the case for the world that the C70 - A7Siii - fs7 occupies.

September 28, 2020 at 2:23AM

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Guess you don't really care for dual gain sensors

September 27, 2020 at 3:26AM

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true)))))))))

September 28, 2020 at 8:30AM

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KateBright
developer
74

So it's bigger, heavier, more expensive than a7s3 and this "cinema" camera shoots video so much worse than Sony's photo-camera? What the hell canon is doing? Suicide?

September 24, 2020 at 9:49PM

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I for one find it a very attractive offering, it ticks most boxes for me. The only thing that would make it better for my usage would be SDI out, that is something also missing from all hybrid cameras.

September 28, 2020 at 2:25AM

3
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Is this a Joke? All GOP recording?

September 25, 2020 at 2:39AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1642

You can select an intra-frame codec

September 25, 2020 at 4:29AM, Edited September 25, 4:31AM

3
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Exactly. You said it all.

September 25, 2020 at 10:10AM

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Martin Brewer
Director, DOP
574

10-bit 4:2:2 H.265 and 8-bit 4:2:0 H.264 for a quasi 6Kusd camera ?
You must be mad in your head canon.
At 6Kusd we're talking about RAW format at 6K resolution !
It's basically an A7SIII at DOUBLE PRICE !
Again, well done canon! Brilliant oudated product!

September 25, 2020 at 10:12AM, Edited September 25, 10:13AM

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Martin Brewer
Director, DOP
574

I agree. While generally I would not mind at all to use this camera, the fact that it is so outlandishly priced compared to what it's competitors are offering is beyond me.

I think Canon still thinks they own the indie digital cinema market that they accidentally created back in 2008. They don't look at what the competition is doing, and when they have to they take the smallest step forward as possible.

The BMPCC6k offers almost the exact same features ergonomically and costs 1/3 of the price. If Canon looked at what could be done at that price point, looked into correcting the issues of the competitor's products and offered it at a comparable and competitive price they would be dominating right now.

They have stuck their heads in the sand too often and now they have to play catch up, but they are still trying to stick their head in the sand while running. I guess that's what you call sticking your head up your bum.

>End Rant

September 25, 2020 at 10:50AM, Edited September 25, 10:51AM

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McSaint
Director, Cinematographer, Editor and Colorist
33

Thinking the same. Own the R, looking at BMPCC6k, Then the R5 announced, then all the issues...

Not sure how many they expect to sell but I'm sure there's a niche to fill.

September 26, 2020 at 5:29AM

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James Schindler
Aspiring Film maker
148

They are offering the C300mkiii sensor with DGO for half the price, without hobbled codecs (a la C100), with easy adaptability to anything. That is actually unlike canon in the past. I love the images that the pockets give, but there are pretty big tradeoffs involved in using them. I think a lot of people will find the usability bonuses from the NDs, proper audio, proper power, and a working AF are worth the money over the BMPCC6K. The form factor seems more gimbal-friendly too, though I will have to get my hands on one and try for myself.

edit: about the price: If you make money with your kit, the 2-3000$ price difference (that isn't really, once you kit out your hybrid with a rig, power solution, NDs and all the bells and whistles) will pay for itself real soon. Not to mention renting it out, I think this just may be the next FS7 in terms of kit rental.

September 28, 2020 at 2:32AM, Edited September 28, 2:43AM

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Couple a Sony a7sIII with an atomos ninja and got full frame at more than half the price

September 26, 2020 at 1:02AM

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Javier Diez
Director/Writer
400

"Buy more accessories and you can turn your camera into a C70"

Or just get the C70?

No atomos will give you XLR or ND Filters.

September 28, 2020 at 4:13PM

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Nick Straub
Wedding Photographer/Videographer
427

Three inevitabilities in life... death, taxes and spec sheet watchers moaning about Canon video cameras.

It's solid, mature tech, with built-in NDs, long battery life, a compact 422/10 bit codec to dual SD cards, it powers mics, it won't over-heat, you can access lots of custom buttons without looking and wearing gloves, you can position the monitor, it will focus for you if you want... and lots of people who are paid to film things will buy it and use it for years. It will pay for itself many times over in the first year (now somewhat depending on COVID, perhaps).

I hate to sound snobbish, but complaining about sensor size, RAW and the price (when compared to *entirely* different cameras) is just misunderstanding a huge area of professional work and the needs of those involved.

September 26, 2020 at 5:49AM, Edited September 26, 5:50AM

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You nailed it Ben, these guys in the comment section are already complaining about the camera and they haven’t seen a single frame it’s produced. No one is mentioning the DGO, which will undoubtedly make for better dynamic range. And if you use Canon’s Speedbooster on this camera, it’s practically a full frame camera. I think the images out of this camera will be beautiful and I’m looking forward to seeing them.

September 27, 2020 at 12:21AM

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K W
832

+10

I don't know about all these commenters and I'm not trying to judge, but I earn 100% of my income through filmmaking in various forms, even if it's not all glamorous stuff (though some of it is). I know from doing it for 9 years that there is nothing worse than 5 tiny batteries dying, fiddling around with ND's, IR cut filters and step up rings, weedy cables from amazon attached to power banks or flimsy 3.5mm jacks, being handed an XLR feed and having nothing to plug it into, being given a tentacle sync from a soundie and having nothing to plug it into, or a client expecting decent audio from your camera mounted shotgun mic to catch something in a pinch, but there's an external recorder next to it with the fan going.

It's incredible that the C70 has a more comprehensive spec and frame rate selection than the C300 mark ii (if you charitably ignore a few missing bits of I/O), which has shot Oscar winning docs like Free Solo, or the C300 mki which is still one of the cameras of choice for broadcast here in the UK, and shot the incredible Palm D'Or winning narrative film Blue is the Warmest colour in HD 8bit 422 (god forbid, my eyes!)

The mirrorless spec wars seem to be mainly the preoccupation of those shooting 'travel videos', vlogs, reviews (of the cameras they're supposed to be using), and maybe one short film a year. I don't want to be a snob either, but a camera like the C70 is really geared towards people who are charging a full day rate, and need to avoid as many potential pitfalls as possible, just like the rest of the C-Series cameras, the Sony FS7, FX9 and other similar cameras. I applaud what Canon have done here, and am completely ignoring the shit they are pulling with the R5.

September 27, 2020 at 2:48AM

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Liam Martin
DP, editor, part time director
1277

If AF is important to you due to the nature of the videos you shoot, go ahead and get the C70. If you're shooting narratives, where every shot is pre-set and calculated, then save yourself money by getting a BMPCC 4k. With speedbooster, NDs and additional rigging, it's still 1/2 the price to that of the C70. Canon is basically asking for a premium on AF.

September 26, 2020 at 7:50PM

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Eugenia Loli
Filmmaker, illustrator, collage artist
660

Cửa hàng xe đạp điện cũ Đà Nẵng chuyên mua bán xe đạp điện cũ, xe máy điện cũ. Sửa chữa xe đạp điện tại nhà và thay ắc quy xe đạp điện giá rẻ nhất tại Đà Nẵng

September 27, 2020 at 5:43AM

0
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Xe Đạp Điện Cũ Đà Nẵng
Chuyên mua bán xe đạp điện cũ | Sửa xe điện tại nhà Đà Nẵng
92

"but the price"

I guess when a camera is this good people still have to find something to complain about or compare it to.

Most of those people want to pay Honda prices and get a Ferrari out of it, or they could just buy the Ferrari. No matter what you stick on that Honda, it's still a Honda.

The bottom line, if you cannot afford it then you probably don't need it.

September 28, 2020 at 4:52PM

0
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Nick Straub
Wedding Photographer/Videographer
427

Is everyone going to ignore the scam that this camera is?
RF mount = full frame lenses
S35 sensor = waste of money using RF glass on it
EF adapter (if you want the full frame look) = for EF glass, costs $600 more, only usable on this model camera

September 29, 2020 at 4:59AM

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Zarf
57

Anyone else wondering how this stacks up against the Z-Cam E2-S6? I mean this camera will certainly out-spec it, but the Z-Cam with an E-ND is still a lot cheaper

October 2, 2020 at 7:44AM

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Rylan McCoy
Cinematographer
14

I work as a corporate video producer. I think the C70 is more targeted toward people in my situation. Most jobs I’ve worked at I had to be a one man band or it was me and one other person for the whole crew. We are also in a unique position because departments heads have bigger equipment budgets than the average freelancer but not the understanding of what equipment in our industry costs. A lot of teams I’ve worked on can’t afford to buy a cinema camera but have been shooting on a 5Dmk3 or 5Dmk4 for a while now. A lot of times they’re the team that shoots photos for products, presentations, and social media. This camera would allow video departments to upgrade their equipment, continue to use the DSLR for stills, and continue to use the lenses they’ve collected as well as new releases in the future. I do wish it was more competitively priced to the Pocket 6k, maybe somewhere around $3,000 to $3,500 with the adapter. But this is a camera I would keep in mind for next years budget for sure.

October 4, 2020 at 11:50PM

0
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Justin Mangrich
Producer/Director/DP
105

Perfect for schools who have a heap of Canon gear

October 15, 2020 at 8:23PM

0
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Glen Careedy
Wannabe Documentary Maker
1