Expanding your creative options with the Canon EOS C70

The latest firmware updates for the RF-mount Cinema EOS camera give filmmakers even more flexibility with the addition of a range of features including Cinema RAW Light, XF-AVC proxy recording and two more Custom Picture profiles.
A Canon EOS C70 camera on a wooden desk taken from above.

The Canon EOS C70 is one of the smallest and lightest cameras in Canon’s Cinema EOS range, but while it’s compact in size, it's big on features – and that versatility has been extended further with the latest firmware update.

Designed with solo operators in mind, the Canon EOS C70 combines the professional features found in Canon's Cinema EOS range with the portability and versatility of the mirrorless Canon EOS R line-up.

Now the creative options possible with the RF-mount camera have been expanded even further, thanks to the EOS C70's latest firmware updates.

Support for a raft of Canon's EF photo and EF Cine Prime lenses has been added to the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x. The camera also now benefits from a new RAW video format that can be captured internally. XF-AVC Proxy recording, two additional Custom Picture profiles and both Frame recording and Interval recording are also now available.

Here, Paul Atkinson, Product Specialist at Canon Europe, explains the benefits these additional features bring to filmmakers.

A ballet dancer in a flowing yellow dress and shawl poses atop a mountain overlooking a valley, with half the frame showing the Canon Log version, and the other, the graded one.

The Canon EOS C70 firmware updates, which include the addition of 4K Cinema RAW Light (CRL) recording, are free to download and install from the product support section of the Canon website.

Cinema RAW Light recording

One of the key benefits of the latest firmware update is the introduction of 4K Cinema RAW Light (CRL) recording to the Canon EOS C70, enabling videographers to explore the superb sensor’s full potential.

"Although the XF-AVC files, or non-RAW files, are very robust and allow you to do a lot in post, RAW video gives you that bit extra,” explains Paul. "The 4K Dual Gain Output (DGO) sensor in the EOS C70, for instance, gives you more dynamic range, in excess of 16-stops, and you can really exploit that by shooting RAW video.

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"A RAW file is essentially the image as captured, with no processing carried out in camera," he continues. "This creates a larger file which is able to undergo extensive post-production. Depending on the software used, you can adjust the exposure and change the appearance of colours, contrast, white balance and even the effective ISO without damaging the original file.

"It's slightly different to the Cinema RAW Light format that we first introduced in the Canon EOS C200 and then in the EOS C500 Mark II and the EOS C300 Mark III," Paul adds. " It’s much less resource-hungry, but it still gives you the freedom that you get with a RAW file."

While they are still large files, using the Cinema RAW Light format means that the footage can be saved to an SD card in the EOS C70 rather than to an external recorder – helping to minimise the size and weight of your kit.

A close-up of a Canon EOS C70 camera showing a SanDisk card being inserted in one of two card slots.

The Canon EOS C70 has two SD-type card slots and different file formats, resolutions and bitrates can be recorded to both cards at the same time. V90 UHS-II cards are required for the highest quality 4K and RAW video recording.

XF-AVC proxy recording

Alongside 4K Cinema RAW Light recording, the latest firmware update introduces the ability to simultaneously record an XF-AVC proxy file to the second memory card, with each file type sharing the same timecode. "The EOS C70 could already record different file types to different cards in the two slots, but this update adds the ability to record an XF-AVC to one card, while the CRL footage is recorded to the other," Paul explains.

"The XF-AVC proxy files allow you to do an offline edit in any editing system while the RAW files are being processed and graded. You can then bring them together at the end of the process to make the final product. It streamlines your workflow, requiring less storage and processing power."

Frame recording and Interval recording

The new Frame recording feature is useful for creative filmmaking and applications such as stop-frame or stop-motion animation as it allows the user to select whether 1, 3, 6 or 9 frames are recorded each time the record button is pressed.

Interval recording, meanwhile, adds the ability to specify the frequency of recording after pressing the record button when setting the number of frames to record. Following the firmware upgrade, the EOS C70 can be set to record every 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15 or 30 seconds, or every 1, 2, 3, 5 or 10 minutes with 1, 3, 6 or 9 frames being captured each time. It's ideally suited for creating time-lapse videos, condensing long-duration action, such as a colourful Aurora Borealis display, the changing light throughout the day or some form of natural history, into a short but powerful movie.

The Canon Cinema EOS range.

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A selection of Canon's cinema lenses.

Support for seven Cine Prime lenses has been added to the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x, taking the total number of EF and Cine lenses compatible with the EOS C70 to 23.

A close-up of someone's hands fixing the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x to a Canon EOS C70 camera.

The EF to RF Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x employs an optical conversion to capture the full angle of view of a full-frame EF lens when it's used with a Super 35mm sensor. It also increases the light transmission by approximately 1-stop for brighter images.

Large increase in lens support

The EOS C70 features Canon's RF mount, so it's compatible with all Canon RF lenses. In December 2020, support for the Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8L III USM, EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS II USM was added to the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x, and in June 2021, a further seven EF lenses were included on the compatibility list. The latest firmware update adds an additional 13 EF and Cine Prime lenses with full optical correction, view/metadata and AE/AF (for supported lenses).

You would normally need to take the focal length difference into consideration when using full-frame glass on a crop sensor, such as the EOS C70's Super 35mm, but mounting via the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x means you can benefit from the same full-frame field of view. "That means the Canon CN-E20mm T1.5 L F actually shows the field of view of a 20mm lens," explains Paul. "In addition, you gain an effective one-stop increase in the maximum aperture. For example, a lens with a maximum aperture of f/4 effectively becomes one with a maximum aperture of f/2.8, which results in a one-stop brighter image.

"Canon’s Cine Prime lenses are fully manual, so you don’t get auto exposure or autofocus capabilities, but you can use the Dual Pixel Focus Guide, which tells you which way you need to rotate the focus ring. The standard EF lenses are fully compatible with full autofocus and you also get aperture control."

A close-up of the LCD screen of a Canon EOS C70 showing two women talking under a large blue umbrella, as well as numerous camera settings.

The latest firmware update for the EOS C70 adds EOS Standard and EOS Neutral to the Custom Picture preset menu, bringing the total number of presets to eight. Existing presets include Canon Log 3 (shown here) and PQ.

EOS Standard and EOS Neutral Custom Picture profiles

The EOS C70 firmware update adds EOS Standard and EOS Neutral to the list of Custom Picture profiles, which already included C1: BT.709 Wide DR, C2: Canon Log 2, C3: Canon Log 3, C4: PQ, C5: HLG and C6: BT.709 Standard. In addition, C9 to C20 can be set to a user's preference.

"The Custom Picture profiles enable you to better match the look created by different cameras," explains Paul. "If you were shooting with the EOS C300 Mark III and the EOS C70, for example, you might want to shoot in Log 2 or Log 3. If you didn't want to do much grading or were shooting with the EOS C70 and a DSLR or mirrorless camera, setting them both to the Standard or Neutral profile would give you a closer match."

Írta: Angela Nicholson

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