The Canon Eos C70 is the newest addition to Canon’s lauded Cinema EOS system. Announced in September 2020, this compact cinema camera packs an impressive array of features into a smaller form factor that is perfect for handheld, on-the-go video production.
In this in-depth post, we’ll closely examine the specs, capabilities, and real-world performance of the Canon EOS C70 cinema camera. Whether you’re an indie filmmaker, broadcast professional, or content creator looking to take your video quality to the next level, the C70 warrants a serious look.
Overview of the Canon EOS C70
The Canon C70 sits in an intriguing middle ground between traditional cinema cameras and mirrorless hybrid models. It combines cinema-quality specs and features with the compact, lightweight body of a mirrorless or DSLR.
Intended Uses and Target Audience
Canon designed the EOS C70 with the following users in mind:
- Documentary filmmakers
- Independent/guerrilla film crews
- Broadcast news and film/TV production
- Single operators and small crews
- Content creators producing high-quality video
The lightweight body and RF Mount make the Canon EOS C70 ideal for handheld, on-the-go shooting. It hits a sweet spot for video professionals and dedicated content creators looking for cinematic image quality and advanced controls/connections in a highly portable form factor.
Key Features and Specifications
Here’s a quick rundown of some of the Canon EOS C70’s core features and specs:
- New 4K Super 35mm Dual Gain Output (DGO) sensor
- In-camera Dual Pixel CMOS AF with face detection
- Records 4K 120p, 2K 180p, 10-bit 4:2:2
- Canon Log gamma, HDR PQ, and Canon Raw Light supported
- Integrated ND filters (up to 10 stops)
- Compatible with both EF and RF mount lenses
The combination of high-resolution 4K video, cinema features like RAW recording and SDI output, robust audio controls, and the compact Super 35mm sensor RF mount body make the C70 a versatile production tool ready to meet the demands of today’s filmmakers and content creators.
Detailed Camera Specs and Technology
Under the hood, the Canon EOS C70 is packed with cutting-edge features and technology optimized for high quality cinematic video production. Let’s take a deeper look at some of the core components and capabilities.
Sensor and Processing
- Super 35mm DGO Sensor: At the heart of the C70 is a new 4K Super 35mm Dual Gain Output (DGO) CMOS sensor. It offers a wide dynamic range of up to 16+ stops for incredible detail retention in highlights and shadows.
- Dual Gain Output: Canon’s unique DGO sensor technology utilizes separate analog and digital readout circuits to optimize dynamic range. This allows clean low noise video even at high ISOs.
- DIGIC DV 7 Processor: The powerful DIGIC DV 7 engine efficiently processes the wealth of data from the DGO sensor for pristine 4K video at high frame rates. It enables advanced features like Raw Light recording.
Video Recording Capabilities
- 4K 120fps: The Canon EOS C70 can capture smooth, sharp 4K video at up to 120fps in 4:2:2 10-bit quality for excellent color depth. A high frame rate of 4K enables beautiful slow motion when needed.
- 2K 180fps: At 2K resolution, the camera can shoot HD video at up to 180fps. Combined with the DGO sensor, this allows for tremendous creative freedom with super slow motion capture.
- Raw and H.265 Support: The C70 is Canon’s first Super 35mm camera to support recording Raw Light data internally. This preserves the most flexibility in post-production. H.265 long GOP files save space while retaining quality.
- 10-bit 4:2:2: Video is recorded at a full 10-bit 4:2:2 color depth and C-Log encoding for maximal dynamic range and post flexibility when color grading.
- Dual SD Card Slots: Footage is recorded to versatile and inexpensive SD cards. With two slots, the Canon EOS C70 enables simultaneous backup, relay recording, or splitting of different formats between cards.
Design and Ergonomics
Canon put a lot of thought into optimizing the C70 for portable, handheld video production. Let’s look at some of the physical features and design elements that enhance the camera’s ergonomics and handling.
Lightweight, Compact Body
- Weighs just 2.6 lbs for the camera body
- Compact size with integrated grip and audio interface
- Made from strong polycarbonate and magnesium alloy
- Multiple 1/4″-20, 3/8″-16 mounting points
The C70’s small form factor belies its robust construction. It’s built to withstand the rigors of field production while remaining highly portable.
Integrated Grip and Accessory Mount
- Fixed grip provides stable handheld operation
- Houses XLR inputs and audio controls
- Standard cold shoe and 3/8″-16 mounting
- Optional Director’s Viewfinder attaches seamlessly
With the grip housing audio controls and mounting points, the Canon EOS C70 is optimized for “run-and-gun” style one-person operation.
RF Lens Mount
- Short flange focal distance of 20mm
- Allows wide angle RF lenses to be mounted closer to the sensor
- Compatible with a full range of EF lenses via adapter
- Electronic contacts for lens data and power zoom
The RF mount offers new creative lens options in a short, stable mount perfect for large cinema setups or compact vlogging rigs.
Exceptional Handling for Handheld Shooting
- Lightweight with access to controls in the grip
- Durable construction and excellent ergonomics
- Variety of 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 attachment points
- Sits nicely on the shoulder when needed
Between the grip, size, weight, and control layout, the C70 delivers outstanding handling and comfort for extended handheld shooting compared to larger cinema cameras.
Image Quality and Performance
With its advanced sensor and image processing, the Canon EOS C70 delivers pristine video quality and low light performance for cinema production. Let’s examine some of the benchmarks of its imaging capabilities.
Resolution and Detail
- Captures over 8.8 megapixels per frame in 4K
- High resolution 4K combined with advanced processing preserves detail
- Oversampling provides very sharp, clean HD downsampled from 4K
- 10-bit 4:2:2 color depth retains smooth gradations
The C70’s 4K footage excels in reproducing fine details like textures and colors true to life. Slow motion HD video is incredibly crisp and clean thanks to advanced processing.
Low Light Capabilities
- Dual Gain Output sensor enables ISO 100-102,400 range
- Clean high ISO video with low noise due to DGO sensor
- Canon Log gamma preserves the detail in shadows during capture
- Excellent signal reading even in minimal illumination
The C70’s DGO sensor and signal readout offer tremendous high ISO noise control. Cinematographers can capture usable footage even in very low light scenes.
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF with Face Detection and Tracking
- AF features like Touch Focus and Focus Guide
- Customizable AF controls and speed settings
- Smooth, fast autofocus aided by the RF mount
Canon’s accurate Dual Pixel AF brings cinema-quality auto focus to the C70. Touch controls and custom speeds allow precision focus pulls and rack focusing techniques.
Lens Mount and Compatibility
A major advantage of the Canon EOS C70 is its flexible RF lens mount compatible with a broad range of both modern RF and legacy EF lenses.
RF Lens Mount
- Native short flange focal distance RF mount
- 20mm between the mount and sensor plane
- Enables wide angle RF lenses to be mounted closer to the sensor
- Electronic contacts pass lens data and enable control of optics
- Mountlock provides a stable, vibration resistant lens connection
Canon’s new RF mount offers unique lens design and adapter capability advantages. The short 20mm flange distance allows for compact, high quality wide angle lenses.
EF Lens Compatibility
- Fully compatible with all EF mount lenses via adapter
- Canon offers a control ring, drop-in ND, and variable ND adapters
- EF lenses retain electronic control of aperture, image stabilization, focus
- Huge existing selection of high performance EF lenses
With an EF-EOS R mount adapter, the full range of Canon’s existing EF lenses become compatible with the C70. This offers tremendous creative lens options.
Super 35mm Sensor Coverage
- S35mm sensor combined with RF mount can use EF-S lenses
- Sensor size and mount enable full coverage from EF-S lenses
- Additional options for wide angle event videography lenses
- The compact size of EF-S lenses pairs well with the C70 body.
The Super 35mm sensor is optimized to cover image circles from both RF and EF-S lenses, expanding creative lens possibilities on the Canon EOS C70.
First Party and Third Party Options
- Canon’s own rapidly expanding RF lens lineup
- Third party lenses from Sigma, Tamron, Samyang/Rokinon
- Canon EF lens ecosystem supported by major lens manufacturers
- Lots of cinema-quality lens options from Canon and others
Both first party RF lenses from Canon and third party EF/RF lens manufacturers offer high performance cinema options to pair with the C70.
Handling, Controls, and Customization
Despite its compact size, the Canon EOS C70 provides extensive physical controls as well as customization options to tailor the camera to your specific shooting needs.
Ergonomics and Body Layout
- Lightweight but durable magnesium and polycarbonate body
- Integrated top grip with recorder start/stop, aperture control
- Multiple 1/4″-20, 3/8″-16 mounting points for accessories
- A variety of programmable buttons and dials
- Overall excellent handling balance for shoulder or handheld
The C70 body integrates core controls in an ergonomic layout accessible during handheld operation. The compact footprint balances nicely for shoulder-mounted shots as well.
Inputs and Outputs
- XLR inputs with phantom power support in the grip
- 3G-SDI out, 12G SDI out, HDMI, Ethernet, USB-C
- Genlock and Timecode I/O
- 3.5mm mic input and headphone jack
With robust professional connections, the Canon EOS C70 can integrate into complex cinema productions and broadcast workflows.
Extensive Custom Controls
- 13 assignable buttons, 4 control dials
- Touch screen interface and movable focus guide
- Custom picture settings, display options
- Auto focus speed, tracking sensitivity, FACE+TRACKING
- Radial selection menu for functions
Between buttons, dials, and an intuitive touch screen, the Canon EOS C70 enables customizable control tailored to individual preferences. Commonly used functions can be accessed quickly.
Remote Camera Capabilities
- Built-in WiFi and Ethernet connectivity
- Compatible with the Canon Camera Control app
- Remote start/stop, exposure control, file browsing
- Supports browser interface and Camera Connect SDK
The Canon EOS C70 can be controlled and monitored remotely via web browser, mobile app, or custom integration using Canon’s SDK.
Ideal Use Cases and Production Workflows
The Canon EOS C70 lends itself well to a variety of production scenarios thanks to its portable size and extensive capabilities. Here are some of the ideal use cases and workflows.
Documentary and Event Production
- Compact, lightweight design perfect for traveling
- Excellent handheld ergonomics for extended use
- Great low light capabilities for uncontrolled situations
- Dual Pixel AF is ideal for interviews and events
- Integrated ND filters assist outdoor/bright shooting
With its size, handling, and versatility, the Canon EOS C70 is built for documentary and event videography, where quick mobility is key.
Independent Films and Broadcast Television
- Cinematic video quality and extensive controls
- Interfaces easily with cinema accessories and rigs
- RAW output is ideal for coloring in post-production
- Durable construction for rental houses
- Seamless integration into multi-cam productions
The image quality, customization, and professional connections make the C70 at home on independent film sets and broadcast studios.
Live Streaming and Web Content
- USB-C streaming output for webcasts, church services
- Fast accurate autofocus for vlogging
- Compact size pairs well with gimbals and stabilizers
- Excellent USB webcam utility for computer streaming
- High quality cinematic footage ideal for YouTube, Vimeo
For today’s content creators, the Canon EOS C70 brings cinema-level quality and performance to live streams and online videos.
Single Operator Shoots
- Integrated grip and audio controls facilitate one-person use
- Lightweight and great handheld ergonomics
- Dual Pixel AF allows focus pulling while filming solo
- Remote control over WiFi or Ethernet
- Compact size good for gimbals, drones, and tight spaces
The extensive integration and compact footprint make the Canon EOS C70 perfect for solo videographers and single operator productions.
Throughout this extensive look at the new Canon EOS C70 cinema camera, it becomes clear why this model has generated so much enthusiasm. It hits a compelling intersection between compact size, everyday portability, and true cinematic video quality.
Early reviews from cinema camera experts and video content creators have been glowing:
- Praise dynamic range, low light capabilities, and sharp 4K 120fps footage
- Highlight excellent Dual Pixel autofocus performance
- Note outstanding handling for run-and-gun documentary work
- Consider the C70 a lightweight cinema camera perfect for single shooters
- Impressed by the modular design and numerous pro connections
- View the C70 as a gateway into high-end cinematic production
Pros vs Cons
- Super 35mm 4K DGO sensor
- Cinematic dynamic range and image quality
- Robust Dual Pixel autofocus capabilities
- RAW Light and H.265 recording options
- Excellent low light performance
- RF lens mount provides creative flexibility
- Compact and lightweight but durable
- Extensive inputs, outputs, and controls
- No built-in ND filter variable rotation
- Only electronic ND filter controls
- No internal RAW recording above 30fps
- High price point around $5500
The Canon EOS C70 opens up true cinema camera capabilities in a remarkably compact form factor. For documentarians, solo shooters, and streaming creators seeking to maximize image quality and portability, the C70 represents an outstanding option. It sets a new standard for bringing cinema production values to independent films, broadcast, and online content creation workflows.
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