Canon EOS C70 First Impressions: Oh Yes!!
Updated: Aug 20, 2021
The Canon EOS C70 is a great camera for newcomers to the cinema world despite its flaws. This means a lot coming from someone who has never shot with a cinema camera from Canon before.
The EOS C70’s design is reminiscent of the EOS-1D X’s style which we loved when we reviewed the EOS-1D X Mark II and Mark III. Only this time, the EOS-1D X’s style was given a modernised look for the EOS C70.
Its build quality is also excellent. Canon was able to improve on their EOS R5 and R6’s build quality and took those improvements to the EOS C70. We found the EOS C70 to be portable and durable while the camera’s texture and the grip feel textured and fantastic.
Users will love what Canon did to the EOS C70’s texture; nothing on the camera feels smooth. The camera has this rough front in the grip while its top and bottom parts have a finer feel to it, like light-grain sandpaper. a similar texture can also be found on the camera’s top handle.
Some reviewers complain about the EOS C70’s texture. However, its texture will ensure that it won’t slip from sweaty hands for us living in the world’s tropics.
Nothing feels inexpensive or lacking in quality with the EOS C70’s buttons and dials. Newcomers to the cinema world will likewise appreciate Canon allowing them to customise the buttons based on the features or the inputs they want to have.
Canon clearly put some effort on the EOS C70’s compactness. While it isn’t as compact as the EOS R5 and R6, it’s enough to be easy to carry and look professional while on the set.
The EOS C70’s display is beautiful and can be flipped and rotated. However, the display isn’t a full touch screen display. Only a few portions of the display can be interacted with through touch and you’ll be using the camera’s dials and joystick to navigate the menu.
The EOS C70’s display is also not as bright as we had hoped. We found that an external monitor is necessary if you want a bright display. On the other hand, the display’s brightness is enough when you’re indoors and have controlled lighting.
The EOS C70 uses a BP-A30 battery that can provide up to three hours of video recording. Of course, that depends on how you’re shooting with the camera. Canon also provided users with a larger capacity battery upon purchase to get an even longer run time with the camera.
What we really like with the EOS C70 is its built-in ND filters up to 10 stops. Buying new ND filters of various quality can be costly. Having a built-in ND filter allows users to save the money they usually spend on ND filters in the long run.
The EOS C70 camera is on the heavy side at 1,430g and if you’re using RF lenses, it does add to the weight. The strap that came with the camera’s grip offers extra insurance that you won’t drop the camera. However, using both hands to hold the EOS C70 is required if you don’t have strong forearms.
The EOS C70 has a digital Image Stabilisation (IS) inside that works really well despite the slight crop while shooting using it. The EOS C70’s digital IS also works with the IS inside the lenses, depending on which one you have on the camera. We were able to get really stable shots with the camera that doesn’t look electronic or weird when editing.
The EOS C70’s joystick and buttons feel like they were well placed, but other users could accidentally hit a small dial on the rightmost side of the camera.
The camera’s Dual Pixel autofocus is capable of regular tracking and face tracking. However, users who are familiar with the EOS R5 and R6 would find the EOS C70’s autofocus to be slower and less responsive than the cameras mentioned before. Canon stated that the Dual Pixel autofocus is technically the same as the EOS R5 and R6. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the case.
The autofocus isn’t as good when you’re shooting a video in 4K 120FPS compared to 24FPS at 60FPS. We’ve also observed that the autofocus will behave almost like a contrast-based system; it will sometimes hunt and search during shoots especially when shooting in C-log2 or C-log3 due to its very flat profile.
Our advice is to use Rec. 709 instead of C-log2 or C-log3 if you’re struggling with footage that has low contrast. Cameras shot this way will get as much brightness and colour information into the recording as possible.
Hopefully, Canon will address the issue with the autofocus in a future update. But it’s not a bad thing for normal or daily recording.
The EOS C70 has two UHS-II SD card slots which users can customise to be set as a relay. When set as such, the camera will automatically switch to the next SD card when the first is full. The EOS C70 can also be set to record videos in different formats and store them into their designated SD cards simultaneously.
This feature is a welcome one, especially if you want redundancy in case one card fails to record, at least the footage is saved in the other. The only downside to the camera when it comes to storage is the lack of a CFexpress card slot.
Videos recorded with the EOS C70 will have beautiful image quality and it’s small enough to fit onto a gimbal. Vloggers will also appreciate the EOS C70’s ability to shoot in portrait mode.
All in all, the Canon EOS C70 is an excellent camera. It might have some issues with its autofocusing, the screen might not fully support touch controls, but the compact size image quality and built-in SD filters make it a great camera to use.
Content by Bobby Tonelli, written by John Paul Joaquin