With the constant changes in the industry, I’ve been in the market for a new cinema camera. My Sony A7sii camera has been incredible in low light. Still, with the color space and compatibility problems with Davinci Resolve, it’s been time to find a solution for indie film sets where we need a quick workflow.
While at NAB 2023, I had the chance to check out and test the Canon C70. While excelling as a compact cinema camera, the Canon C70 boasts exceptional image quality, an advanced autofocus system, and a range of connectivity options. Let’s dive into this Canon C70 review and see if this camera suits your needs.
What is the Canon C70?
Released in 2020, the Canon C70 has been a revolutionary camera in the film and video space. Combining a cinema camera’s functionalities and capabilities with a compact camera’s portability, the Canon C70 is also on the list of Netflix-approved cameras.
Design and Build Quality
The Canon C70 features a sleek design that makes operation and handling a breeze. Built with a durable and lightweight magnesium alloy body, the camera body weighs 2.58 lb / 1.17 kg and 2.95 lb / 1.34 kg with the battery, making the Canon C70 one of the lightest cinema cameras. Designed to be versatile, the camera excels in handheld, tripod, or gimbal builds. With a built-in ND filter wheel with up to 10 stops of exposure, you’ll be able to film in bright outdoor conditions.
As I film mostly handheld, I’ve been really interested in the rig builds available for the Canon C70. Kondor Blue’s C70 rig caught my eye and will likely be the rig I choose to use.
Sensor and Image Quality
The Canon C70 features a Super 35mm Dual Gain Output (DGO) sensor that delivers exceptional image quality. The sensor can capture 4K video at up to 120 frames per second and 2K at up to 180 frames per second. The Canon C70 also features Canon’s legendary color science, which produces natural and vibrant colors, even in low-light conditions. For filmmakers looking to play with bright highlights and dark shadows, you must play with Canon Log.
With an accurate and responsive Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, it’s easier than ever to achieve precise focus, even when shooting at high frame rates or unpredictable, challenging lighting conditions. The Canon C70 is the first cinema camera to offer a 5-axis electronic image stabilization system to help to stabilize handheld footage.
For more about the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, check out this video by Griffin Conway.
Recording Formats and Media
The Canon C70 supports various recording formats and media, including 4K in XF-AVC and MP4. With external recorders, you can also record in RAW format, giving you more flexibility in post-production.
With dual SD card slots, you’re able to record simultaneously. The USB-C port also allows external recordings to SSD or other comparable media devices. I highly recommend using SanDisk Extreme Pro SD cards.
Connectivity and Workflow
The Canon C70 features a range of connectivity options that make it easy to integrate into workflows. The camera features Direct Touch Control on the 3.5-inch monitor and an HDMI output, allowing for external monitoring and recording. The camera also features two XLR inputs for audio recording and a 3.5mm microphone input.
The built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity allows for remote control and monitoring using the Canon Camera Connect app. You can also control the Canon C70 remotely by using the Canon RC-IP100 Remote Controller.
For more about the internal menus and how to use the Canon C70, watch this video from LensProToGo.
Strengths of the Canon C70
The Canon C70 has so many great features, but its compact and robust build is perfect for filmmakers who love run and gun filming. Next, the C70’s Super 35mm DGO sensor delivers exceptional image quality, with natural and vibrant colors characteristic of Canon’s color science. Third, the camera’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF system boasts ease in helping filmmakers gain precise focus, even in challenging lighting situations that are less than ideal for most camera sensors. Finally, with numerous options for connectivity, filmmakers will find it easy to adapt the Canon C70 to their workflow.
Weaknesses of the Canon C70
As with any camera, the Canon C70 has a few limitations. First, the limited use of SD cards affects the camera’s recording time, which maxes out at 512 GB. For longer shoots, this may not be ideal for some videographers. Second, while the price point is competitive with their C Series, the price tag may be a deal breaker for some filmmakers. Finally, some filmmakers have experience frustration over the RF mount, creating many compatibility issues with EF lenses.
Commonly Asked Questions
What is the price of the Canon C70?
The price of the Canon C70 varies depending on where you purchase it, but it typically ranges from around $4,000 to $5,000 for the body only.
What recording formats does the Canon C70 support?
The Canon C70 records in Canon’s proprietary XF-AVC format and MP4 format. It can also record video in RAW format with an external recorder.
What media does the Canon C70 use for recording?
The Canon C70 uses dual SD card slots for simultaneous, relay, or backup recording. It also features a USB-C port for external recording to an SSD or other compatible media devices.
What is the autofocus system like on the Canon C70?
The Canon C70 features a Dual Pixel CMOS AF system that is highly accurate and responsive. This makes it easier to achieve precise focus, even when shooting at high frame rates or difficult lighting conditions.
What are the dimensions and weight of the Canon C70?
The Canon C70 measures 5.1 x 6.3 x 4.6” / 130.2 x 160 x 115.9 mm, and the camera body weighs 2.58 lb / 1.17 kg or 2.95 lb / 1.34 kg with the battery.
What are the connectivity options on the Canon C70?
The Canon C70 features HDMI output, allowing external monitoring and recording. It also features two XLR inputs for professional audio recording and a 3.5mm microphone input. It also features built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity, allowing for remote control and monitoring using the Canon Camera Connect app.
What is the maximum frame rate for 4K video on the Canon C70?
The Canon C70 can capture 4K video up to 120 frames per second.
Pros And Cons
- Compact and robust build is perfect for run-and-gun filming
- Super 35mm DGO sensor delivers exceptional image quality with natural and vibrant colors
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF system makes it easy to achieve precise focus, even in challenging lighting situations
- Numerous options for connectivity make it easy to adapt the camera to professional workflows
- Limited recording time due to the use of SD cards with a maximum capacity of 512 GB
- The price point may be a barrier for some filmmakers
- RF mount can create compatibility issues with EF lenses, which can be frustrating for some users
Remember that some things work great for filmmakers, but finding what works best for you is important. When considering new gear, note your specific needs and preferences, especially your budget.
RF Mount – EF Lens Compatibility w/EF-EOS R 0.71x Adapter – 16+ Stops Dynamic Range – ND Filters – RAW Internal Recording
The Canon C70 is a groundbreaking camera that blends the functionality of a cinema camera with the portability of a compact camera. With the Super 35mm DGO sensor, the C70 provides filmmakers with remarkable imagery and rich colors that Canon is known for. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF system makes achieving precise focus easier than ever, even in challenging lighting scenarios. Despite a few limitations, including limited recording time, EF lens adaptability, and price point, The Canon C70 is a revolutionary camera in the established Canon C Series.
With many of my early films shot on the Canon 7D & Canon 5DMiii, I’m excited to try the Canon C70 out on several upcoming Miss Ash Productions films. Before I film anything with the Canon C70, I’ll check out this video from Damien Cooper about what settings to change. Let me know if you’ve tried the Canon C70 on your films and any tips and tricks you recommend. I hope you enjoyed my Canon C70 review and happy filmmaking!
The Canon C70 boasts exceptional image quality, an advanced autofocus system, and a range of connectivity options.
Product Brand: Canon