It’s only been a couple of weeks since Sony served up a concept camera in the shape of the a7C (a full-frame mirrorless the size of a crop-sensor camera), but it’s now Canon’s turn to throw creatives a curveball with the announcement of the C70, which looks fairly like a DSLR, but is in fact Canon’s newest, smallest and lightest take on a cinema camera.
Built around the RF mount that you’ll find on Canon’s impressive full-frame mirrorless cameras, you can think of the C70 as a bridge between the R5 and Canon’s pricey Cinema cameras like the C300 MkII. In short, it’s got all the pro inputs and features you’d find on the pro-line cinema gear, but is smaller and more affordable, too.
If you’re a stills shooter who has been thinking of stepping up and taking video more seriously for a while, here’s why the C70 could be the perfect tool to get going down the road of film-making. For a start, the C70 can capture ultra high-quality 4K footage up to 120 fps in 4:2:2 10-bit in XF-AVC (All-I or Long-GOP), and MP4 in HEVC (H.265) or H.264. What this means is you’ll not only get great-looking footage, but you can also shoot slow motion sequences in large resolution – in fact, the C70 can even capture up 180fps when shifted down to 2k.
The C70 is built around Canon’s 4K Super 35mm DGO sensor which offer 16-stops of dynamic range and the body of this compact and portable cinema camera features no less than 13 assignable buttons, a multi-functional hand grip for ease of operability, professional input/output terminals including HDMI and 2x mini XLR terminals for audio, as well as an independent ventilation system to keep everything cool. What’s more, the C70 features a built in ND filter system, which gives up to 10-stops of ND filtration, which will enable users to capture shallow depths of field via large apertures, even in bright sunlight.
Image stabilisation is taken care of thanks to the pairing of optical IS from RF lenses and electronic IS from the C70’s body and if you’re thinking you need to trade in your EF lenses then don’t worry as Canon has also announced the EF-EOS R 0.71x mount adapter, which enables the C70 to use EF lenses at their full-frame equivalent angle of view. Autofocus is taken care of via Canon’s Dual Pixel Autofocus (DPAF) technology, and the C70 is the first Cinema EOS System camera to feature the EOS iTR AF X (Intelligent Tracking and Recognition) system seen in the newly-launched EOS R5. Canon says the system; ‘uses a face and head detection algorithm developed using deep learning technology. Working in conjunction with Face Detection AF, this feature greatly improves the reliability of focusing on, and tracking the subject.’
A lot of powerful cinema cameras need CFExpress or XQD cards, but the C70 records footage to dual SD cards, which should save photographers a bundle of money and, in a sign that Canon has moved with the times, the C70 is also the first Cinema EOS System camera with a dedicated vertical shooting mode, designed to support the capture of content for social media.