The Canon EOS C70 Cinema Camera, with Canon’s recently developed RF lens mount, is designed with a comprehensive feature set suitable for virtually all types of projects and venues, notably the online education market.
Its features include Dual Gain Output (DGO), auto ISO and auto gain, unlimited recording, vertical recording for social media, Dual Pixel Autofocus, advanced face/head tracking, built-in ND filters, in-body stabilization, and a compact body with numerous controls, ports, and custom function buttons, all valuable for online education productions. For example, Auto ISO and auto gain allow you to shift easily between locations without having to spend time adjusting to the differences in lighting. Dual Pixel AF and face/head tracking ensure that the subject will always be in focus, helpful especially in livestreaming situations where you may not have the time to make the necessary adjustments. DGO lets you achieve 16+ stops of dynamic range. Plus, the camera records up to 4K120, allows dual recording to two SD cards, and permits proxy recording.
The EOS C70 is especially useful for beginners, because it provides a lot of room for upward growth, since it can be used on up to the biggest productions. Moreover, because its broad and advanced feature set gives it a lot of versatility, the camera can be used to transition to other spaces.
With that in mind, let’s start with the camera’s physical design because, for many productions, this will be a key factor.
Although a full-on cinema camera, the EOS C70 has a compact body that’s a hybrid of a video and DSLR camera. You can set it up quickly and efficiently, as well as operate it efficiently—an advantage for many projects, especially in tight locations.
Many controls are right at your fingertips, and the touchscreen LCD menu is intuitive. It displays accurate colors, and the menu offers features such as anamorphic preview and de-squeeze. Physical controls are available for tools such as waveform, plus there are 13 custom function buttons, a focus magnification button, audio level controls, tally lights, and much more.
Connections include an HDMI output, two mini XLR ports with phantom power, LANC control, a 3.5mm mic and headphone ports, a BNC timecode I/O connector, a USB Type-C port, and a remote input. An optional external EVF can also be connected to the HDMI port. There’s even a built-in 4-stage ND filter.
Topping all this off, the camera is gorgeous and looks powerful and professional.
Dual Gain Output
One of the biggest features of the EOS C70 is DGO. The camera has a 9.6MP 4K Super 35 DGO sensor, the same sensor found in the Canon EOS C300 Mk III, which is a very widely used cinema camera for mid-level and better productions. The sensor has very good low-light performance, which, of course, is highly valuable for all types of productions.
DGO allows the EOS C70 to produce 16+ stops of dynamic range. The CMOS readout system reads the sensor out at two different gain levels. The exposures of the two gain levels are combined so that what you get is the lower noise levels of the lower gain and high saturation levels of the higher gain. In other words, the DGO system emphasizes saturation in the bright areas of your image and lowers the noise in darker areas. The result is a high dynamic range image, one of the things cinema cameras are valued for.
Auto ISO and Gain Control
While DGO is a part of the EOS C300, the EOS C70 introduces something to the EOS line that isn’t available in any other EOS camera at the time of this writing. The EOS C70 can automatically adjust both ISO and gain control using DGO, enabling you to achieve smoother gain adjustments between different ISOs. What’s important about this capability is that you can move between different locations and get right to framing your shot, as the camera will automatically adjust to the different lighting conditions.
The EOS C70 features dual SD cards and allows you to record simultaneously in different formats, including 4K/HD and XF-AVC/MP4. It also lets you record 10-bit 4:2:2 internally to XDSC cards with no record limit, which can be ideal for many livestreaming and other online education projects.
Overall, the recording options include 4K 4:2:2 10-bit at 60 fps in H.264 Long GOP (Interframe mode) or 30 fps in Intraframe. In high frame rate recording mode, you can capture up to 4K120 4:2:2 10-bit. You can also simultaneously record low bit rate HEVC and H.264 proxy files for post-production.
Color options include the standard Rec. 709 profile plus C-Log2, C-Log3, and both HLG and PQ HDR profiles, with the latter ideal for HDR workflows.
The EOS C70 is designed to support the growing demand for vertical video, for social media distribution. The camera can be tripod mounted on its side—via an additional 1/4"-20 thread provided on the side—to capture vertical video. When it’s set up on its side and vertical mode is selected, the camera records a vertical image, and the LCD flips out into a vertical position and displays the image vertically. This capability is a major advantage for livestreaming.
Dual Pixel AF
Using Canon’s exclusive Dual Pixel AF technology, the EOS C70 provides fast and consistent autofocus by getting focus detection and image information from each pixel of the camera’s sensor. Dual Pixel AF covers 80% of the image area vertically and horizontally. The touchscreen LCD also allows manual touch to focus.
Additionally—and in another first for the Canon EOS cinema camera line—the EOS C70 features the EOS iTR AF X autofocus function with a head-detection algorithm. The algorithm helps improve distance measuring and tracking reliability for face detection, even when your subject turns their head. This feature highly improves face recognition through deep learning technology.
For manual focus pulls, there’s also an advanced dual pixel focus guide, which provides front- and back-focus information to let you know where to best set focus.
The EOS C70 features Canon’s recently developed RF lens mount, and an EF adapter is expected to be released by Canon soon. When working with RF lenses, the EOS C70’s Enhanced Image Stabilization feature provides advanced coordination with the lenses to smooth out handheld shots by optimized hand-shake correction. Handheld is often the way to go, and this advanced stabilization is a big help. Although this feature doesn’t work as well with adapted EF lenses, optical image stabilization will still be applied to EF lenses.
The expected EF adapter is a focal reducing adapter that will shrink the full frame EF lens image down to the Super 35 sensor size of the EOS C70.
The EOS C70’s controls are easily within reach and numerous. The many inputs and outputs provide for a comprehensive video, audio, and post-production workflow. The camera is compact and efficient to use and looks impressive. It offers dual SD cards and has extensive recording options, including unlimited recording. Features like DGO, auto ISO and auto gain control, advanced autofocus and head tracking, in-body stabilization, and many others, allow you to efficiently capture very high-quality images. This camera is on the affordable end of the cinema camera spectrum, allowing beginners to take advantage of and grow with it. Its feature set is highly suitable to online education as well as virtually any type of project, including films and commercials. It’s like an all-in-one cinema camera that is relatively compact and affordable.
What types of video productions are you working on, and how do you see the Canon EOS C70 fitting into your workflow? Tell us about it in the Comments section, below, and let us know if you have any questions.