Popular Post herein2020 Posted February 20, 2022 Popular Post Share Posted February 20, 2022 I can tell already this post will be long and probably ramble a bit so I will apologize in advance 🙂. For me, purchasing the C70 was a years in the making decision because I do not make new camera purchases lightly. My goal with a camera body purchase is that it fits with minimal additional investment into my existing camera ecosystem, it will perform its purpose for at least 5 years, and it will handle my specific type of projects. Everything in this post is based on my own personal style of shooting, the types of projects that I get hired to do, and the gear that I already have. I am also posting this after owning the camera for less than 48hrs so my views may change over time. After using the camera on a single shoot, I thought about how I would describe it in a single word.....and quirky keeps coming to mind. I'll get to more on that later, but in comparison to my current favorite camera, the Panasonic S5 I would describe the S5 in a single word as frustrating. The S5 is so close to being perfect, yet the AF finally pushed me back to Canon. Since I have called it (and continue to call it) quirky, let start there. Here is my list of things that I just find strange about the camera: The Mount - the mount is without a doubt the strangest mixture of FF, crop sensor, RF, and EF that I've ever encountered. I bought the 0.71 Canon speed booster so that I can use my EF lenses but with it mounted I cannot use my EF-S lenses. For EF-S lenses I also need to buy the straight through adapter. I have no RF lenses and probably won't have any for years so EF and EF-S is it for me. I would like for the speedbooster to live on the camera so I bolted it on because I like the extra stability, but that means I can't use the Sigma EF-S at all unless I want to either leave the speedbooster unbolted or or fiddle with removing it while on set. Speedbooster - Yes, the speedbooster gives you a stop of light with EF glass, but the DOF remains the original DOF. Additionally, I saw some sample videos where the speedbooster decreases contrast and saturation in strongly backlit scenarios due to the extra glass elements, it also decreases the AF area for EF lenses. Not sure if this is also the case for EF-S lenses. It is great for providing a FF FOV, but it still falls into the quirky category for me. Storage - this one hit me before the camera ever arrived. I planned on buying 1TB SD cards due to the data rates but discovered that there is no such thing for V90 cards. In fact, the largest V90 cards I could find were 256GB which means now I have to worry about running out of space; something I haven't even thought about for years. Speaking of V90 cards, they are actually crazy expensive when compared to the typical V30 cards. So now I have a camera that can go up to Canon RAW yet no way to store the footage in the camera. I know I could use an external recorder, but I like the dual slot redundancy and the compactness of doing everything in body. Even V60 512GB SD cards are nowhere to be found. Such a strange problem to have in 2022. Lens IS + Digital IS - The C70 does not let you turn off lens IS and keep the digital IS on, no idea why but I discovered that during my brief testing. I wanted to test the difference in lens IS vs digital IS with the same lens but you can't have digital IS on and lens IS off. OK, so here for me is what I find is just bad about the camera so far. Once again, this is due to my own personal workflow and my shooting style, for bigger crews and different shooting environments this may or may not be something you care about at all. Firmware Bug - Yep, within 20min of turning it on I found what I believe is a firmware bug and I currently have a Canon CPS case open for it. I shoot a lot of content that goes on both YT (16:9) and IG (4:5), so instead of shooting vertical which would mean it would only work on social media, I shoot landscape and display 4:5 aspect ratio guides on screen so that I know what would fit perfectly on IG. My customers love this, I deliver them two versions of the video and both fit perfectly on their respective platforms. I set this up on the S5 and I checked before buying the C70 that it had the capability to configure custom aspect guides as well. So while setting up the C70 I went into the aspect guide menu > custom > and started inputting my guide ratio. What I found out is that there is a bug and you can only change the left side of the guide. So I can set up 2:1, or 4:1 but there is no way to change the 1 on the right side. I called CPS and they couldn't figure it out either, so they opened a case for me. Fortunately, I have been using the guides with the S5 for so long that I kind of know from memory how to frame 4:5 within 16:9 but it is very annoying to say the least for this not to work. Flip Screen Quality - This is a real thing, terrible quality, very flimsy and the worst physical part of the camera. I can only hope it does not break and if it does I hope it breaks when I don't have a job lined up and while it is still under warranty. I avoided flip screens for years because I thought they would be flimsy, my first camera with a flip screen was the GH5 and now in 2022 Canon found a way to confirm my worst fears about flimsy flip screens. By comparison the R6, S5, and GH5 all had great high quality flip screens. Stabilization - this is a big one and anyone who knows me knew this was coming and I know cinema cameras do not have IBIS, I knew the C70 did not have it before buying it, but it is still a downside in my book for this camera. It's one thing to not have it for cameras that are too big to hand hold, but when you market a cinema camera as being handheld and give it a DSLR form factor IBIS would be great. I will say that I never knew how good lens stabilization was until I shot with the C70, if you have a stabilized lens and turn off the Digital IS it is almost as stable as IBIS. When it comes to digital IS, I simply do not trust it and feel like it makes the footage jittery so I only use if I don't have a stabilized lens on the camera. Speaking of stabilized lenses, I discovered my favorite video lens (Sigma ART F1.4 50mm) does not have lens IS which makes the S5's IBIS even more impressive in my book. I had no idea that none of the 50mm EF lenses offer stabilization and neither does most Canon EF lenses. So now I am stuck with no IBIS, and only the Canon 24-105mm F4 and the Canon 24mm F2.8 for stabilized lenses options. Horizon Level - Yes I know no Canon cinema camera has this (I think the C500 does but not sure), but it is still really annoying to have to keep checking the edges of my screen and guides to try to keep the camera level. It is easy when it is on a tripod and there's plenty around to line up with, but when you are hand holding it is one more thing to try to guess at. I use the horizon level religiously with every other camera. I would think this might be able to be added via firmware, I'm guessing it has a gyro since it provides digital stabilization but not certain of this. Flip Screen Visibility - The flip screen looks great indoors but completely disappears outdoors, no possible way to see much more than an outline of what you are shooting even with a monitoring LUT enabled. This means an external monitor is almost required and for gimbal work you pretty much just have to hope you are pointed in the right direction. Indoors it is great. The Fan - I know, I know, it is required to keep it cool...but I live in FL (where everything overheats so the fan is even more important lol), but living in FL I also shoot a lot on beaches with the wind blowing and sand going everywhere. That fan is my worst nightmare in that scenario. I really don't know yet what I am going to do for those shoots, I may just use the S5 whenever a dusty or sandy environment like that is required. The Joystick - the joystick is nearly impossible to use. You can navigate left/right/up/down ok, but if you try to press it to select a menu item it typically jumps to a different screen, very hard to precisely press it. I started using the Set button in the thumbwheel instead to select menu options. It is not all bad, and I will say up front that I do not regret my purchase (not yet), so for me (so far) the good outweighs the bad: Internal ND Filters - those glorious internal ND filters make me smile every time I press the button. I almost like them more than I like the sensor and image quality. Being able to dial in an exposure with the press of a few buttons is nothing short of awesome. Gimbal Balancing - I watched a ton of YT videos and bought counterweights and a clamp for my Ronin S because I didn't think it would balance otherwise. Well, it turns out that with my gimbal lens (Canon EF 24mm F2.8) it balances with no problems. The arms are at their outer limits, but it does balance properly. I was able to balance the Sigma EF 50mm as well but not properly and the motors had to engage just to keep the horizon level...not a good situation. Sensor - This one is a given, all of the spec charts and YT videos in the world can't compare to just shooting with the camera with your style of shooting. The sensor is more than sufficient for everything I need do and I tested right away a model backlit by direct sunlight and the image was good enough for me. It did wash out a bit but it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. CODEC - Yesterday I shot mostly 30FPS and 60FPS and the XF-AVC codec was actually easier to edit than the H.265 footage coming out of my S5. I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to edit it and Davinci Resolve along with my editing setup handles it with no problem. Ironically the hardest footage to edit on my system is GoPro footage. Ecosystem - This one is important to me and since I have a lot of Canon glass and XLR audio equipment it was important that it fit into my existing ecosystem. I picked up a shotgun mini XLR mic for on camera work, a cage, a DTAP to C70 power cable, the speedbooster, v90 cards, and that was it. It fit perfectly into the rest of my gear. Integrated XLR Audio - Obviously this is great to have, no more finicky adapters to deal with. The mini-XLR jack isn't that big of a deal to me, my new on camera mic is mini-XLR, and I bought adapter cables for the rest of my equipment. Build Quality - I was actually expecting worse build quality than it has after seeing so many people complain about it. It's not great, it definitely is not as nice as my S5, GH5, C200, or 5DIV, but for what you get I think its not bad. The buttons feel a bit cheap when you press them but as long as they work I don't really care. Auto-Focus - having AF is just wonderful....ANY AF is better than NONE, and this will be the first video camera I have owned that I can somewhat handhold and have AF at the same time. I know everyone is saying it is not that good, but to me it is great. I just set it to large area AF and kept the box on the subject and it did the rest. I already know in lowlight it won't work well or with certain skin tones but the focus peaking is so good that I am actually looking forward to MF for those situations. Exposure Tools - Obviously there are a ton of them, I thought I had my setup all figured out but during the shoot I ended up just using the WFM because it was the only thing I could see in the sunlight and it worked well. Battery Life - The battery life is decent, 1.5hrs shows on the meter when I first turn on the camera. With the DTAP to C70 cable I can connect the camera to my VMOUNT battery which can probably power it for at least 4hrs. OTHER CAMERAS Before buying the C70, I did a lot of research and comparisons to other cameras that I felt could meet my needs, the list below is arranged from closest to furthest for how close they came to what I was looking for: Canon R5C - This was the number 1 contender, but for me there were too many compromises. No internal ND filters, adapter required for XLR audio (the adapter BTW that even further shortened the already terrible battery life), the weird USB PD power requirements, the terrible battery life, and no IBIS ruined this one for me. If it had IBIS or an eND filter system I probably would have picked it over the C70. Canon R3 - Interesting camera but no ND filters, would need the adapter for XLR audio (adding to the price), no video exposure tools, no good codecs, and cost a ton of money for that fast readout sensor that I would never need since I don't shoot sports. Canon R5 - No XLR inputs, no ND filters, no video tools, terrible codecs, and that horrible overheating issue that just won't go away after all the firmware updates eliminated this one from my list. Panasonic - All of their cameras have no useable AF, so as much as I love my S5 in every other way, there's no way I am buying another one unless their AF system changes. Sony - that's a whole different world for me and different ecosystem which doesn't interest me at all. Nikon - looked interesting but I know nothing about Nikon and feel like they are one foot from the grave (kind of like Panasonic for that matter). I am sure they make good cameras but I don't feel like learning their ecosystem, also I would have been paying for that sensor and XLR adapter similar to the R3. FIRST SHOOT EXPERIENCE My first shoot was almost comically bad. I got the camera late on Friday, went through all of the menus and watched YouTube C70 setup videos until 3AM, then got up and did my first paying shoot with it at 10AM. Also, the cage did not come on time so I really felt out of place hand holding it without a cage or side handles and nowhere to mount a top handle or mic. I thought I had figured everything out....I was going to use the Zebras at 45% to expose the skin tones, use digital IS for the 50mm, and use only lens IS with the 24-105mm. I set up my favorites menu with AF mode, Zebras on/off, and framerate. I also balanced it on the Ronin S with the 24mm F2.8. As soon as the shoot started I realized the zebras were impossible to see in the sunlight, I forgot to turn on digital IS when switching to the 50mm, and without the zebras I had no idea if I was exposing properly. So I switched to the WFM, gave up on the skin tones, and kept it in the middle of the WFM. After the shoot I checked out the handheld and gimbal footage and it wasn't as bad as I thought. I ended up throwing away much less shaky footage than a typical S5 shoot where I have to throw away out of focus footage. The subject for this shoot moved around quite a bit and my S5 keeper footage rate would have been way lower. I also ended up buying the Buttery C70 LUT pack to get the initial grade. Sound It Out Films did a great YT review on LUTS and the Buttery one looked like it had the best starting point for the Rec.709 grade. I do not like their creative LUTS though because they added them into the Rec.709 grade vs separating them so you can't use them for all of your footage from different cameras from a shoot. But their Rec.709 primary grade is the best looking to me. LEARNING EXPERIENCE I still really need to learn how to properly expose CLOG2 with the C70. I think I did OK on my first shoot, my false color LUT shows me that for the most part I was able to get the exposure where it needed to be, but I definitely need more experience with CLOG2. The totally confusing area for me is the AF, I watched tons of YT videos but the whole area AF with subject tracking turned on confuses me. When whole area AF is on and subject tracking is on, boxes are flying all over the screen, it seems to be tracking things even though I did not tap the screen so I am not sure if it is just showing me what it decides should be in focus or if it is actively tracking something. I also don't really understand the logic behind whole area AF, how it works and when it breaks so I need to test that feature a lot more. WRAP-UP For my needs the C70 is a great "quirky" camera that I think was worth it. I hope to get at least 5yrs of use out of it, but TBH with you my main concern now is how to get V90 cards big enough to store long form content. I don't see 256GB cards lasting through an 8hr day. I may actually test V30 cards at its lowest bitrate settings or even 2K @ 30FPS for long form talking head content. An annoying problem to have in 2022 and out of all of my problems with this camera, that's one I never saw coming. So far it definitely seems like it was worth it, but time will tell. I still don't think it can replace my S5, when I need to travel light, work in dusty environments, or I'm on a shoot with a budget that just isn't high enough to bring the C70, I will probably still use the S5. Mark Romero 2, Juank, PannySVHS and 8 others 7 4 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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