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Canon C70 User Experience


herein2020
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3 hours ago, herein2020 said:

I can tell already this post will be long and probably ramble a bit so I will apologize in advance¬†ūüôā. 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.

Great write-up and nice to hear a nuanced view of pros and cons and feedback from real use.

My advice (for you and everyone getting a new camera) is to shoot and edit some test footage every day until you're familiar with the camera.  I find that it's not until I shoot some footage and then look at it on the computer that I learn something.  If you have a list of questions then just film a little test to explore each question and gradually work through them...  eg, what do all the focus modes do?  and what do the settings for each one do?  how far can I overexpose?  under?  how far can I push the WB?  highISO?  what does every codec look like at every quality setting (find something with consistent movement - waves at the beach is a good one)?  how long a focal length can I hand-hold without OIS (film your best handholding at a range of focal lengths, repeat the same test at the same focal lengths when you're warm, when you're freezing cold, when you're hungry, and when you've had too little sleep and too much coffee).  etc etc etc...

I've done a lot of these tests and I find myself referring back to them when contemplating things.  Like, if I use my camera in a certain way then that will mean pushing this parameter, then I just go and look at that test and I'll know what that will look like.

In terms of the screen, can you design a LUT that is hugely aggressive and can be seen in bright light?  eg, everything from 30IRE down is 100% pink, 30-60IRE is 100% white, and above 60% is 100% blue?  or even everything is black except 35-65 which is red below 50 and blue above 50?  Seeing something would be better than nothing.

Best of luck and good shooting! ūüôā¬†

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1 hour ago, kye said:

Great write-up and nice to hear a nuanced view of pros and cons and feedback from real use.

My advice (for you and everyone getting a new camera) is to shoot and edit some test footage every day until you're familiar with the camera.  I find that it's not until I shoot some footage and then look at it on the computer that I learn something.  If you have a list of questions then just film a little test to explore each question and gradually work through them...  eg, what do all the focus modes do?  and what do the settings for each one do?  how far can I overexpose?  under?  how far can I push the WB?  highISO?  what does every codec look like at every quality setting (find something with consistent movement - waves at the beach is a good one)?  how long a focal length can I hand-hold without OIS (film your best handholding at a range of focal lengths, repeat the same test at the same focal lengths when you're warm, when you're freezing cold, when you're hungry, and when you've had too little sleep and too much coffee).  etc etc etc...

I've done a lot of these tests and I find myself referring back to them when contemplating things.  Like, if I use my camera in a certain way then that will mean pushing this parameter, then I just go and look at that test and I'll know what that will look like.

In terms of the screen, can you design a LUT that is hugely aggressive and can be seen in bright light?  eg, everything from 30IRE down is 100% pink, 30-60IRE is 100% white, and above 60% is 100% blue?  or even everything is black except 35-65 which is red below 50 and blue above 50?  Seeing something would be better than nothing.

Best of luck and good shooting! ūüôā¬†

 

I agree 100%, I just don't have time to do that at the moment, looks like every shoot will be a learning experience¬†ūüôā.¬† I am already familiar with the Cinema OS from owning the C200 and already familiar with exposing CLOG2, as well as using CAF with my 5DIV so its just going to take some small adjustments here and there to refine my C70 shooting style.

I have a much bigger shoot on Tuesday and it will need everything plus audio so I plan on testing all of the audio features today and tomorrow to prepare for Tuesday.

 

1 hour ago, Davide DB said:

Thanks for your first hand review.

May I ask what type of jobs you find yourself working for most frequently?

 

My work really is seasonal and I shoot a wide variety of both photography and video so it varies. My most frequent work used to be events but with COVID that's changed a bit, I still shoot some events but I also shoot a lot of modeling and fashion work as well as commercial real estate (photography and video), social media commercials, and small business promo videos. I also shoot b-roll for larger commercial projects so it really just all depends.

In FL it rains a lot so during the rainy season and winter months I tend to do more studio photography and video work (talking heads, corporate headshots, modeling shoots, etc), in the spring before the rainy season there's more outdoor events that need photography and video, during the rainy season I shoot more indoor events and promo videos, and the occasional music video or wedding.

I gave up residential real estate because the pay was awful even for residential real estate promo videos, and real estate photography was even worse. 

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3 hours ago, herein2020 said:

I agree 100%, I just don't have time to do that at the moment, looks like every shoot will be a learning experience¬†ūüôā.¬† I am already familiar with the Cinema OS from owning the C200 and already familiar with exposing CLOG2, as well as using CAF with my 5DIV so its just going to take some small adjustments here and there to refine my C70 shooting style.

I have a much bigger shoot on Tuesday and it will need everything plus audio so I plan on testing all of the audio features today and tomorrow to prepare for Tuesday.

Good to hear you're not too far off.

It does seem that regardless of our intentions, we somehow end up with new cameras right before real shoots. ¬†I did it to myself, buying my GH5 right before going to India on a once-in-a-lifetime style trip. ¬†I look back on how I shot that trip and just roll my eyes at how little I knew the camera, but it turned out pretty well and I didn't stuff anything up majorly, so alls well that ends well, right?¬†ūüôā

In terms of getting your audio worked out - absolutely!  Bad visuals is unfortunate but bad audio makes it unwatchable!!

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Excellent post, thanks for sharing. I've decided that I'm going to stick with the GH5 for a few more years, but I'm very much watching these cameras to buy in a few years when they're available on the used market. 

I've always wanted a Canon cinema camera, but the stabilization was always something that made it a bad fit for me. I also still have a problem giving Canon my business given their business practices. 

The FX3 is probably the best fit, but I don't know... Sony footage just doesn't do it for me. 

I wish Panasonic could figure out the AF. Not because it's important to me, but because I think it's a key to their survival.

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16 hours ago, herein2020 said:

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.

Yeah not a fan of SD cards in general (consumer media with associated problems). And its true V90's are expensive and limited in size (I also use them with the R6). You do get two slots so it's more like 512GB before you need to do a physical swap. Not ideal if you shoot long events that require no interruption though. Kind of a shame to have to down res to 2K just because of that! Keeping the S5 for lower-budget gigs, rough-environments & handheld IBIS shooting is smart, I'm also on a cine cam + mirrorless setup depending on the job.

Kind of a shame to keep hearing about the screen & joystick quirks, Canon's hardware is usually flawless. Guess quality control is slipping or maybe its just first-gen design quirks. The obvious main advantage should be IQ. I think you'll notice night & day improvement with your previous C200, which I've also owned and was really noisy and 8-bit. Being able to go FF with the speed booster is also super nice, just get the normal $100 adapter for your EF-S lenses. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

The FX3 is probably the best fit, but I don't know... Sony footage just doesn't do it for me. 

That camera is interesting in a number of ways, but the fact is has no audio capability at all without the huge top-handle really makes the very compact form factor very compromised.

It's like taking a matchbox and having the only audio option be a shotgun microphone...  permanently mounted to a boom!

Obviously it's a cinema camera and blah blah blah, but not even capturing scratch audio while on a gimbal is a bit of an oversight I think.

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13 minutes ago, kye said:

but the fact is has no audio capability at all

To be fair, it has an onboard 3.5mm stereo mic input (which can be used simultaneously with the top handle to expand the number of channels) and headphone jack so it does have some audio capability.

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1 hour ago, kye said:

Obviously it's a cinema camera and blah blah blah

Despite its name, the FX3 isn't a "real" cine camera imo. It's a re-housed A7S3. Plain & simple.

Sony we're pretty lazy and didn't include any OS features from the FX line and obviously its missing eNDs, XLRs etc.

R5C is also a rehoused R5 but at least Canon gave it a true EOS cine mode with Lut support, assist tools and even dual ISO. If it had IBIS and full HDMI, it would be close to the perfect hybrid.

In the end both are halfway houses to an actual Canon C / Sony FX line of cameras. 

I much prefer C70's approach of taking top of the line C300mk3 DGO sensor and putting it in the most compact DSLR type form factor while still retaining ND's, XLRs on the body and bigger all day battery-life.

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54 minutes ago, BTM_Pix said:

To be fair, it has an onboard 3.5mm stereo mic input (which can be used simultaneously with the top handle to expand the number of channels) and headphone jack so it does have some audio capability.

Well, whaddaya know...  it does have one.  I take it back!

I saw multiple YT videos where people said it had no audio on the body, not even a 3.5mm mic jack.  I remember specifically because I was pretty stunned at how short-sighted it was.  Apparently the camera reviewing YT gaggle gets it wrong for Sony as well - who knew!?

9 minutes ago, Django said:

Despite its name, the FX3 isn't a "real" cine camera imo. It's a re-housed A7S3. Plain & simple.

Sony we're pretty lazy and didn't include any OS features from the FX line and obviously its missing eNDs, XLRs etc.

R5C is also a rehoused R5 but at least Canon gave it a true EOS cine mode with Lut support, assist tools and even dual ISO. If it had IBIS and full HDMI, it would be close to the perfect hybrid.

In the end both are halfway houses to an actual Canon C / Sony FX line of cameras. 

I much prefer C70's approach of taking top of the line C300mk3 DGO sensor and putting it in the most compact DSLR type form factor while still retaining ND's, XLRs on the body and bigger all day battery-life.

Yeah, that concept of putting all the features into the smallest form-factor makes sense.  Things like internal NDs really make life interesting, and although I can go out with a pocket full of batteries, really it's something that should be included on all decently sized camera bodies.  My GH5 regularly does a full-day outing without me having to swap to a second battery, and I'm not sure I can remember a time when it needed the third.  I only carry two spares, but I'm careful to always put them back on charge each night.

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3 hours ago, kye said:

I saw multiple YT videos where people said it had no audio on the body, not even a 3.5mm mic jack.  I remember specifically because I was pretty stunned at how short-sighted it was.  Apparently the camera reviewing YT gaggle gets it wrong for Sony as well - who knew!?

No, its a deliberate ploy to shill the add-on unit as they are all in the pay of Big Handle.

 

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10 minutes ago, kye said:

Yeah, that concept of putting all the features into the smallest form-factor makes sense.  Things like internal NDs really make life interesting, and although I can go out with a pocket full of batteries, really it's something that should be included on all decently sized camera bodies.  My GH5 regularly does a full-day outing without me having to swap to a second battery, and I'm not sure I can remember a time when it needed the third.  I only carry two spares, but I'm careful to always put them back on charge each night.

GH5 has good battery life I'm sure but Canon cine-cam BPA batteries are next-level.

A Canon BPA-60 will give you approx 400 minutes, that's over 6 hours of continuous shooting!

I like the physical battery life indicator as well:

Hb1d1fb4aa7f447bc97865cbfd35dfeedQ.jpg

..super handy to quick check the levels of your spare batteries! it's little things like that, that can be life savers on the field.

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11 hours ago, kye said:

Good to hear you're not too far off.

It does seem that regardless of our intentions, we somehow end up with new cameras right before real shoots. ¬†I did it to myself, buying my GH5 right before going to India on a once-in-a-lifetime style trip. ¬†I look back on how I shot that trip and just roll my eyes at how little I knew the camera, but it turned out pretty well and I didn't stuff anything up majorly, so alls well that ends well, right?¬†ūüôā

In terms of getting your audio worked out - absolutely!  Bad visuals is unfortunate but bad audio makes it unwatchable!!

 

Yes it does seem like I am in this same situation each time I get a new camera body. Or maybe we are just justifying the purchase due to the big shoot/trip that is coming up. 

I will say after digging around in the audio menus the features are quite impressive.  It creates 4 tracks and you can set it up to use a second track for each XLR input as a safety track so I have my first track set to manual control and the safety track set to automatic level control and it works pretty well that way.

 

4 hours ago, Django said:

Kind of a shame to keep hearing about the screen & joystick quirks, Canon's hardware is usually flawless. Guess quality control is slipping or maybe its just first-gen design quirks. The obvious main advantage should be IQ. I think you'll notice night & day improvement with your previous C200, which I've also owned and was really noisy and 8-bit. Being able to go FF with the speed booster is also super nice, just get the normal $100 adapter for your EF-S lenses. 

 

I don't think it's a QC issue as much as it is deliberate cost cutting decisions. Using higher quality components for the body probably would have added $500-$600USD to the price which would have pushed more people away. Even Sony did not take a sensor from a $11K camera and put it into a lower cost cinema body. Canon developed the sensor in house (which had to be incredibly expensive), then they put it in a camera that cost half the price of the original.

To me, the C70 is like a budget sports car....you are mainly paying for the engine and accepting the sacrifices that were made to keep the costs low (poor interior quality, less than stellar handling, etc.). With the C70 you have to accept the low quality buttons and screen while hoping none of it breaks. 

 

10 hours ago, newfoundmass said:

Excellent post, thanks for sharing. I've decided that I'm going to stick with the GH5 for a few more years, but I'm very much watching these cameras to buy in a few years when they're available on the used market. 

I've always wanted a Canon cinema camera, but the stabilization was always something that made it a bad fit for me. I also still have a problem giving Canon my business given their business practices. 

The FX3 is probably the best fit, but I don't know... Sony footage just doesn't do it for me. 

I wish Panasonic could figure out the AF. Not because it's important to me, but because I think it's a key to their survival.

 

The lack of stabilization was very hard to accept, stabilized lenses are pretty amazing though, if you can get them. My 24-105mm lens may become my new favorite lens which is unfortunate because the 50mm Sigma is much better for details and shallow DOF. 

Sony doesn't do it for me either, the footage I feel could be fixed in post and with the right LUT could probably be fixed with minimal effort especially out of something like the A7S3, but its a whole different ecosystem and I don't like how Sony makes so many proprietary decisions. Even their flashes aren't compatible with any other camera.

I definitely do not agree with Canon's business practices, and even thought about getting the C70 used just to ensure they did not get my money, but at the end of the day I have to focus on my own business first and make my decision based on what makes the most financial sense.  The used bodies weren't much if any cheaper and I need that original warranty plus I got a full 4yr insurance coverage from BH separate from the Canon warranty.

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45 minutes ago, herein2020 said:

I don't think it's a QC issue as much as it is deliberate cost cutting decisions. Using higher quality components for the body probably would have added $500-$600USD to the price which would have pushed more people away. Even Sony did not take a sensor from a $11K camera and put it into a lower cost cinema body. Canon developed the sensor in house (which had to be incredibly expensive), then they put it in a camera that cost half the price of the original.

Agreed, not to mention that DGO tech is lifted from nothing other than the mighty ARRI Alexa's Dual ADC design..

And with Canon RAW getting included this camera gets even closer.

As for Sony, must admit I am still on the fence with FX6. I had C200 & FS7, and only kept the FS7 as I favoured it 8 times outta ten. The FX6 pretty much improves everything and adds the E-NDs which I think is a complete game changer. It seems much better build than C70 and has more professional I/Os like SDI. 

The IQ is pretty fantastic too. Excellent lowlight and low RS. Yes its the same sensor as A7S3, but with the FX image processing gives a much more organic/cinema IQ. I also like the idea of having native FF support of my E-mount Zeiss lenses. No adapter, no speed booster.

Still, can't shake off the wonders of that DGO sensor. I love having clean shadows.

Curious to know more about how you are finding the IQ. And of course also when RAW becomes available next month.

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23 hours ago, herein2020 said:

By comparison the R6, S5, and GH5 all had great high quality flip screens.

This scares me.

Mostly because i find the S5 screen to be living in the danger zone. I am certainly one of the more reckless camera users around (I mean, considering I mostly shoot real estate, so my level of recklessness might be different from those trying to capture footage of Big Foot), and I am constantly worried of destroying the flip out screen on my S5.

So the thought that a camera company has a flip out screen that is even MORE FLIMSY than the S5 makes me shudder.

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There seems to be a design problem with the hinge:

The guy ended up getting it fixed by Canon and says its better then new now and I see others are reporting the same:

I figured I'd share my experience with the Canon C70.  After purchase, the flip out LCD quickly became loose and clicky.  I sent it to Canon Canada through my vendor and they did a great job fixing it.  Way better than the original hinge.

The only issue was how long the repair took. They had to order in a part which took about 2 weeks, so in all I was without my camera for about a month.

I've been seeing the issue come up a lot in Facebook groups, and I've been advising people to send theirs in to be fixed, I only hope that the Canon repair centres are stocking up on the necessary parts so that the repair time is quick.

So If you have a loose LCD, send it in. The repair is worth it.

https://community.usa.canon.com/t5/Professional-Video/Canon-C70-loose-LCD-screen/m-p/333954

I guess this is what herein2020 was referring to:

On 2/15/2022 at 2:19 AM, herein2020 said:

But recent YouTube videos have been saying Canon fixed the weak screen hinge in later models, if you do get one with the problem they will fix it and return it free of charge with approximately a 2wk turnaround,

 

So is the hinge on your brand new C70 "fixed" or does it feel flimsy enough to end up like the one above?

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2 hours ago, Django said:

Agreed, not to mention that DGO tech is lifted from nothing other than the mighty ARRI Alexa's Dual ADC design..

And with Canon RAW getting included this camera gets even closer.

As for Sony, must admit I am still on the fence with FX6. I had C200 & FS7, and only kept the FS7 as I favoured it 8 times outta ten. The FX6 pretty much improves everything and adds the E-NDs which I think is a complete game changer. It seems much better build than C70 and has more professional I/Os like SDI. 

The IQ is pretty fantastic too. Excellent lowlight and low RS. Yes its the same sensor as A7S3, but with the FX image processing gives a much more organic/cinema IQ. I also like the idea of having native FF support of my E-mount Zeiss lenses. No adapter, no speed booster.

Still, can't shake off the wonders of that DGO sensor. I love having clean shadows.

Curious to know more about how you are finding the IQ. And of course also when RAW becomes available next month.

 

I honestly felt like the S5's DR was sufficient for me, of course looking at the DR chart it is right up there with the best Canon has to offer and it is a BSI sensor as well not to mention FF so who knows it could be close or even with the C70 which means I won't be that impressed with the C70's DR.  I love being able to push the mids since I rarely get to work with proper fill lighting so I care more about the mids and clean shadows in low light situations. The S5 is awesome at 4000ISO since it is a dual native ISO sensor so if the C70 is just as clean at 4000ISO then I'll be happy.

 

1 hour ago, Mark Romero 2 said:

This scares me.

I thought that a camera company has a flip out screen that is even MORE FLIMSY than the S5 makes me shudder.

 

The S5's screen is definitely not as good as the GH5's and I can tell you that the C70's screen is a few steps down from there. Even my Canon Rebel T6S feels sturdier.  I still found the S5's screen to be sufficient, I never really thought about it being flimsy since everything about the S5 IMO is not as well built as the GH5; the C70 on the other hand is definitely the worse tilt/flip screen I've ever used.

 

1 hour ago, Django said:

 

There seems to be a design problem with the hinge:

The guy ended up getting it fixed by Canon and says its better then new now and I see others are reporting the same:

I figured I'd share my experience with the Canon C70.  After purchase, the flip out LCD quickly became loose and clicky.  I sent it to Canon Canada through my vendor and they did a great job fixing it.  Way better than the original hinge.

The only issue was how long the repair took. They had to order in a part which took about 2 weeks, so in all I was without my camera for about a month.

I've been seeing the issue come up a lot in Facebook groups, and I've been advising people to send theirs in to be fixed, I only hope that the Canon repair centres are stocking up on the necessary parts so that the repair time is quick.

So If you have a loose LCD, send it in. The repair is worth it.

https://community.usa.canon.com/t5/Professional-Video/Canon-C70-loose-LCD-screen/m-p/333954

I guess this is what herein2020 was referring to:

 

So is the hinge on your brand new C70 "fixed" or does it feel flimsy enough to end up like the one above?

 

Yes that's the video that I saw that said the fixed versions are better than the original. The screen on mine is so bad that I really can't tell if it is "fixed" or not since I don't have anything to compare it to other than cameras with better screens. I hope mine is not the "fixed" version of the hinge, because what I am thinking I will do is as soon as I don't have any jobs lined up I will preemptively file a complaint with Canon and send it in for repair saying the screen feels too flimsy. If they send it back without repairing it then I'm screwed and the way it is now is as good as it gets.

I do have some awesome news (for me anyway) regarding the storage problem. This truly had me concerned considering the data rates at 4K60FPS when shooting XF-AVC......so I did some testing today with my Sandisk Extreme Pro V30 cards and what do you know.....I filled up the card with 4K60FPS HEVC footage and not one problem other than the built in Canon card warning.

This morning I kept doing the math and couldn't figure out why a V30 card wouldn't work for everything except ALL-I and RAW. The Sandisk V30 card is rated at 170MB/s and the XF-AVC 4K60FPS data rate is 260Mb/s which equals only 30MB/s so as long as the vendor's card ratings were accurate there's plenty of room for overhead there.  Sure enough, I was able to shoot until the battery died at 4K60FPS XF-AVC and it stopped recording after a few seconds when I switched to ALL-I or 120FPS. So, what I think I will do is keep the V90 cards in case I decide to shoot RAW (which will probably be never since there's no way to store it) and get 1TB Sandisk Extreme Pro V30 cards. 

If you do not care about dual card redundancy (I do), you could put a 1TB V30 SD card in one slot and a 256GB V90 card in the second slot and if you want to shoot RAW, ALL-I, or 120FPS you could switch to that slot and for everything else use the 1TB V30 card.  I personally care more about dual card redundancy so I will order 2 1TB Sandisk V30 cards and in the rare cases I want to shoot 120FPS or RAW then I'll use the V90 cards. It would have been really nice if Canon had pushed the boundaries a bit with this camera and added some internal NVME storage accessible via USB-C (but there's that upfront price increase to think about).

I also have a new one for the quirky list....if you shoot 4K120FPS using the F&S menu then the camera disables one of the card slots and you cannot save the footage to both cards. No idea why, since it does not do that for ALL-I footage so I don't think it is a data rate issue. I thought maybe it was a bug, but it is documented in the owner's manual. Not that big of a deal but still surprising.

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Correction, the read speed for a Sandisk V30 card is 170MB/s the write speed is 90MB/s. The data rate for 4K60FPS XF-AVC is 30MB/s so that's why it should work. Now if a vendor such as Lexar overrates their sustained data rates (probably by a lot) then obviously it won't work.

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49 minutes ago, herein2020 said:

I honestly felt like the S5's DR was sufficient for me, of course looking at the DR chart it is right up there with the best Canon has to offer and it is a BSI sensor as well not to mention FF so who knows it could be close or even with the C70 which means I won't be that impressed with the C70's DR.  I love being able to push the mids since I rarely get to work with proper fill lighting so I care more about the mids and clean shadows in low light situations. The S5 is awesome at 4000ISO since it is a dual native ISO sensor so if the C70 is just as clean at 4000ISO then I'll be happy.

While S5's DR is solid, the tests I've seen show about a stop under. The latitude tests were good but showed strange iris artefacts.

Also dual ISO and DGO work completely different. C70 only has a base ISO of 800 so it will surely not be as clean as S5 at 4000ISO.

From what I hear it's better to underexpose on C70 to keep closer to base ISO and lift mids/shadows in post.

You'll have to experiment and let us know what works best.

49 minutes ago, herein2020 said:

The screen on mine is so bad that I really can't tell if it is "fixed" or not since I don't have anything to compare it to other than cameras with better screens. I hope mine is not the "fixed" version of the hinge, because what I am thinking I will do is as soon as I don't have any jobs lined up I will preemptively file a complaint with Canon and send it in for repair saying the screen feels too flimsy. If they send it back without repairing it then I'm screwed and the way it is now is as good as it gets. 

Is there any proof Canon have fixed the problem? I kind of doubt that. Your screen hinge is probably same as others. 

I'd definitely get it replaced by Canon for the more robust solution but would probably wait for it to loosen up like in that video. If not you definitely risk getting the repair turned down..

49 minutes ago, herein2020 said:

I do have some awesome news (for me anyway) regarding the storage problem. This truly had me concerned considering the data rates at 4K60FPS when shooting XF-AVC......so I did some testing today with my Sandisk Extreme Pro V30 cards and what do you know.....I filled up the card with 4K60FPS HEVC footage and not one problem other than the built in Canon card warning.

This morning I kept doing the math and couldn't figure out why a V30 card wouldn't work for everything except ALL-I and RAW. The Sandisk V30 card is rated at 170MB/s and the XF-AVC 4K60FPS data rate is 260Mb/s which equals only 30MB/s so as long as the vendor's card ratings were accurate there's plenty of room for overhead there.  Sure enough, I was able to shoot until the battery died at 4K60FPS XF-AVC and it stopped recording after a few seconds when I switched to ALL-I or 120FPS. So, what I think I will do is keep the V90 cards in case I decide to shoot RAW (which will probably be never since there's no way to store it) and get 1TB Sandisk Extreme Pro V30 cards. 

What does the warning say? I've had too many issues using V30 cards on my R6. Sometimes it works perfect all day, but then all of a sudden I might get the warning card is too slow and the recording stops. Way too risky on a paid shoot. I'm using Sony TOUGH cards and what stresses it most is 4K60p 10-bit Log.

I'd really to some extensive tests before ordering the 1TB V30 cards.

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