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.
- 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
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.
- 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
- 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.
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 29.97/25p
- 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
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 toward—shooters looking to step out of the mirrorless or DSLR market and into a dedicated cinema camera—those gamma options should provide plenty of flexibility for most projects.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
- Canon EOS C70 - $5,499
- Blackmagic Pocket 6K - $1,995
- Blackmagic Pocket 4K - $1,295
- Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 4.6K G2 - $5,995
- Kinefinity MAVO - $4,999
- Sony FS5M2 - $4,800
- Z CAM E2-S6 - $2,499
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.
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.