With its compact size, RF lens mount, enhanced image stabilisation and intelligent autofocus, the Canon EOS C70 is a distinctly different Cinema EOS camera introducing a new concept in camera design. And just as the EOS C70 breaks new ground for Cinema EOS, so too does the Canon EOS R5 for hybrid camera performance, with its full-frame high resolution sensor.
Both cameras are small but incredibly powerful tools for filmmakers. But how do their video specifications compare, and which is right for your production needs?
Here, we examine some of the shared technology and key differences between the Canon EOS C70 and the Canon EOS R5, with expert insight from Mike Burnhill, Product Specialist at Canon Europe, and Aron Randhawa, Cinema EOS Product Specialist at Canon Europe.
The 12-pin lens communication of the RF mount has enabled the development of features including electronic focus breathing correction and an improved level of image stabilisation. The aperture system has also been redesigned to transition in smaller increments, meaning there is no distracting shift in brightness levels when you adjust the aperture while recording video, compared with conventional lenses.
In order to provide a seamless integration with the extensive range of EF lenses, a series of EF to RF mount adapters are available – including the new Canon MOUNT ADAPTER EF-EOS R 0.71X, which enhances the performance of EF lenses in two distinct ways.
"Not only does it retain the full angle of view of a full-frame EF lens on the Super 35mm sensor, its optical conversion allows an increased light transmission of approximately one stop," says Aron. This means that an EF 24-105mm f/4 lens effectively becomes an EF 24-105mm f/2.8 lens when used with the Canon MOUNT ADAPTER EF-EOS R 0.71X, offering significant advantages when shooting in low light.
One of the advantages of the RF mount's faster communication is improved image stabilisation. Both cameras' image stabilisation systems offer coordinated control with IS-enabled RF lenses to reduce the effects of unstable handheld movement. Where the Canon EOS C70 and Canon EOS R5 differ is in their implementation of in-body image stabilisation – the EOS C70 uses an Electronic IS (EIS) system, whereas the EOS R5 also offers a sensor-shifting In-body Image Stabilizer (IBIS).
"The Canon EOS C70 features the same 5-axis electronic image stabilisation system previously featured in the Canon EOS C500 Mark II and the Canon EOS C300 Mark III, but with the faster lens communication, we are able to get optical and in-body IS to seamlessly communicate and work together," Aron says.
"Not only is the optical side of the image stabilisation far better than we had in previous generation EF lenses, we've also expanded the EIS functionality by adding a Super 16 Digital IS mode in the EOS C70. This crops the image to a native 2K resolution but utilises the peripheral area of the 4K sensor to achieve even more powerful stabilisation."
The IBIS in the EOS R5 works with the optical IS in compatible lenses to produce smoother, more stable footage and dramatically reduce image blur caused by camera shake. "The system has been designed to work in tandem with any stabilised RF or EF lens," says Mike. "But you get a noticeable improvement when using an IS-equipped RF lens thanks to the faster communication made possible by the RF mount. And if that's not enough, digital stabilisation can also be used on top of these two optical systems with a slight x1.1 crop."
One of the key differences between the Canon EOS C70 and the Canon EOS R5 is their imaging sensors. The EOS C70 uses a Super 35mm sensor, while the EOS R5 features a full-frame sensor – but the underlying technology is distinctly different too.
The EOS C70 features Canon's innovative 4K Super 35mm DGO sensor and DIGIC DV7 image processor. This is the same sensor found in the Canon EOS C300 Mark III, delivering over 16 stops of dynamic range thanks to its Dual Gain Output (DGO) technology.
"This works at the sensor level, before any processing is applied to the image," says Aron. "Two separate images are produced at different amplification levels: one at a lower gain that retains details in the highlights and diminishes noise, and the other at a higher gain to increase details in the shadows. This is all happening in real-time and it's active up to 60 frames per second.
"The EOS C70 offers a wealth of recording formats, too. So, you can shoot in Canon's robust and well-known XF-AVC format in 4:2:2 10-bit up to 410 Mbps, but you also have the option of HEVC in 4:2:2 10-bit. Additionally, you can record High Frame Rate 4K up to 120fps, and for the first time you're able to record audio simultaneously."
The Canon EOS R5's state-of-the-art full-frame sensor has been designed from a different starting point, explains Mike. "Obviously it's a hybrid stills video camera, so one of the key things is its 45MP resolution for a stills photographer. But it has an amazingly low rolling shutter even at high resolution and it can capture DCI 8K 12-bit RAW internally at approximately 2,600 Mbps as well as recording 4K 10-bit 4:2:2 in Canon Log up to 120p."
With a form factor that bridges the world of Cinema EOS and Canon's DSLR and mirrorless cameras, the Canon EOS C70 has a unique design that offers a high degree of mobility. But it still packs all of the professional features that you would expect from a Cinema EOS camera, including mini XLR inputs to record audio internally, built-in ND filters and unlimited recording.
"If you're a dedicated filmmaker who shoots a range of productions, from corporate work to weddings to independent film, these are three essential camera features that you're going to need," says Aron. "They are simple functions for a video camera, but the EOS C70 is the first camera to incorporate these features in such a compact body."
Despite its small form factor, the Canon EOS C70 doesn't skimp on physical controls. It has 13 customisable buttons, an eight-way joystick and a 3.5-inch 16:9 articulated screen. "It reacts better to human skin compared to earlier Cinema EOS products," Aron says. "In previous models, the touchscreen only controlled the Dual Pixel CMOS AF. However, the EOS C70 introduces a whole new direct touch user interface, so it needed to be more responsive."
While the Canon EOS R5 offers a more compact design than the Canon EOS C70, it's primarily intended as a stills camera and follows the blueprint originally laid down by the Canon EOS 5D DSLR Series. It lacks XLR inputs and ND filters, but it does offer customisable controls and a 3.15-inch 3:2 vari-angle touchscreen.
It also has a Movie Shooting button that enables you to start recording video when in stills mode. "This button gives you direct access to all your preassigned favourite video settings, so you can just tap it to start recording without having to take the camera away from your eye," explains Mike. "You know what video settings have been assigned to it, so there's no need to check menus, which means you can concentrate on filming and never miss the crucial moment."
Both cameras offer Canon's Dual Pixel CMOS AF for responsive and reassuringly accurate tracking when the situation demands, particularly useful for solo and run-and-gun shooters. The Canon EOS R5 gets the very latest Dual Pixel CMOS AF II, which covers a wider area of the image and features integrated animal detection.
Both cameras benefit from EOS iTR AF X, an advanced Deep Learning autofocus technology that was introduced in the Canon EOS-1D X Mark III. "This enables the exceptional face-tracking capabilities that we now see in the EOS C70, and obviously the EOS R5 takes that a bit further with its animal tracking abilities," explains Mike. "We anticipate that the EOS C70 will be used more for drama and documentary work focusing on people rather than animals, but there's always someone out there who will surprise you and show you what the camera can really do."
An autofocus feature not offered by the Canon EOS R5 is the Canon EOS C70's Face Only mode. "This smart AF tracking feature only focuses when a face has been detected in the frame," explains Aron. "Once that person leaves the scene, rather than refocusing on the background, it waits for someone to re-enter the frame before refocusing, delivering a much more cinematic result."
Beyond the headline specifications, the Canon EOS C70 and the Canon EOS R5 present filmmakers with a similar proposition: a highly mobile camera that delivers exceptional image quality. So, which camera is right for you and your video production?
If shooting video is your sole purpose, then the EOS C70 should be top of your list. "Ultimately it's a video camera, whereas the EOS R5 is a hybrid that has great video functionality but is focused towards stills," says Mike. "Both of these cameras are tailored towards different users, but they'll complement each other very nicely."
As an entry-level 4K camera in the Cinema EOS system, the Canon EOS C70 makes a great companion for the Canon EOS C300 Mark III on cinematic productions where a small-format camera may be required for action setups or drone sequences. Both cameras share all the same characteristics, including XF-AVC, DGO and Canon Log 2 or 3.
"That being said, the Canon EOS R5 can come into the mix as a B-cam to the EOS C70 or when higher resolution is required for particular shots," says Aron. "The EOS R5 is still shooting in the same colour matrix as all of the Cinema EOS cameras, so it's easier to combine footage captured from different bodies."