Small, feature-packed and versatile: how the Canon EOS C70 supports filmmakers on a budget

Filmmaker Simeon Quarrie explains how the smallest Cinema EOS camera enables solo shooters and lower budget productions to deliver more with less.
Filmmaker Simeon Quarrie filming with the Canon EOS C70 camera.

Filmmaker and photographer Simeon Quarrie was one of the first creatives to test the cutting-edge technology in the Canon EOS C70. It's the first Cinema EOS camera to include the pioneering RF lens mount and comes with the same 4K Super 35mm DGO sensor as the Canon EOS C300 Mark III, making it a versatile video camera for solo shooters and projects with small budgets. © Simeon Quarrie

For such a compact Cinema EOS camera, the Canon EOS C70 packs in a surprising amount of sophisticated technology. With its revolutionary RF lens mount, Electronic Image Stabilisation, advanced touchscreen control and 4K Super 35mm DGO sensor – the EOS C70 makes it easy to get the high-end look with a low-profile camera.

The EOS C70's compact and lightweight design provides solo shooters or small teams a fresh perspective to achieving cinematic results. When faced with low budgets and tight turnaround times, it's a camera that enables you to maintain a high level of production without compromise.

"The EOS C70 is a great response to the market conditions that we're now facing," says filmmaker and photographer Simeon Quarrie, who shoots a range of immersive storytelling across genres. "We need to deliver to clients, but to do so with smaller camera packages that need to be more flexible, and that in turn creates a number of opportunities."

Simeon was one of the first creatives to get hands-on with the EOS C70. He used the compact Cinema EOS camera alongside the equally compact Canon EOS R5 to shoot a short film about young British artist, Bryony Benge-Abbott. Here, he shares the top technical features that he thinks can make a real difference to small crews shooting on lower budgets.

A man holding a Canon EOS C70 camera.

Simeon welcomes the level of customisation offered by the Canon EOS C70 . "On some shoots I'd have a team of three or four, including a focus puller and somebody else on the other side of the camera. But shooting on my own? What I need is a camera that can become an extension of my body. With the Canon EOS C70, there are 13 different customisable buttons that I can use to make a camera specifically designed and built for me." © Simeon Quarrie

A man in a white shirt standing at the edge of a field holding a Canon EOS C70 by a mounted handle.

The Canon EOS C70 has a lightweight but tough carbon fibre polycarbonate body and weighs approximately 1170g. The design incorporates a rugged cold shoe mount, which the handle unit can be mounted on for ease of use. © Simeon Quarrie

1. Compact size and customisable controls

The Canon EOS C70 is the most compact and lightweight camera in the Cinema EOS range – but a small body doesn't mean you have to sacrifice manual controls. Thanks to the camera's ergonomic design, detachable handle unit, Direct Touch screen interface and 13 user-assignable buttons, the EOS C70 can be customised to meet your shooting needs.

"For pros like myself who are used to large camera setups such as the Canon EOS C700 FF, this camera has a lot of the features you're familiar with, but in a smaller package that's perfect for single shooters," explains Simeon.

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"When you're working by yourself or with a very small crew, one of the challenges you face is having to make more decisions and to do so quickly. So, having a small camera that's highly accessible and also highly customisable is really important.

"If you're working as a single camera operator, instinctively you might think you need to go really small, and head down the DSLR or mirrorless camera route. The reality is that when you're doing shoots that are really important, you need to know that you're working with the correct tool for the job – one where every part of the engineering, every feature, has been specifically designed for it. The EOS C70 is that type of camera."

2. Image quality and dynamic range

The 4K Super 35mm DGO sensor in the Canon EOS C70 uses Dual Gain Output (DGO) technology to deliver high-quality, low-noise footage with more detail in the shadows and highlights. Shoot in Canon Log 2, and you can enjoy up to 16+ stops of dynamic range, with HLG and PQ options enabling HDR content to be recorded internally without grading.

"DGO means that you can now start to work really effectively in low light, and you make the most of Canon Log 2," says Simeon. Where it was once easier to introduce noise if you didn't expose correctly, the way the DGO sensor handles noise makes high-quality output much more accessible to less experienced shooters, as well as those working solo.

"With the DGO sensor, the image is clean, which means that you're not introducing noise into the image to anywhere near the same extent," says Simeon. "Even if you don't quite get the exposure right in-camera, the ability to move things around in post is much easier. As a single shooter it becomes much, much easier for me to use it as an option for some of those more outdoor-orientated shoots."

Filmmaker Simeon Quarrie filming in an art studio with the Canon EOS C70 camera. The studio is filled with large, colourful canvases.

The Canon EOS C70 features dual card slots in the grip to enable multiple recording formats – and to eliminate any worries about losing your footage. © Simeon Quarrie

3. Multi-format recording with dual card slots

Armed with dual UHS-II SD card slots, the EOS C70 is highly configurable when it comes to recording formats. You can set up the camera for simultaneous or relay recording in different formats, such as XF-AVC on one card and MP4 on the other, or for creating duplicate XF-AVC files in ALL-I and Long-GOP.

Simeon welcomes the flexibility and security that dual-card recording brings, particularly for teams on low-budget productions who might not be able to afford a team dedicated to data capture. "Having had a card failure before, I know it's a pretty terrifying experience. Losing all of your footage is the worst-case scenario. Being able to create an in-camera back-up on a really important shoot, and know you're covered should there be a failure on one of the cards, is fantastic.

"Even if you configure them so that you're recording a different format onto each card because you want to be able to have different versions for different workflows, it's fine. If the worst happened and a card failed, you'd still be okay."

Filmmaker Simeon Quarrie filming British artist, Bryony Benge-Abbott as she sits on a tree stump in the woods.

"Walking around as an individual operator with 16+ stops of dynamic range? That's a new experience," says Simeon. The Canon EOS C70's DGO technology captures a higher dynamic range in excess of 16 stops with Canon Log 2. "Previously, to get that level of performance, you would have needed a much more expensive camera, or one without the operating controls for run-and-gun filmmaking." © Simeon Quarrie

4. Built-in ND filters

One of the key features that sets the Canon EOS C70 apart from a video-centric DSLR or mirrorless camera, is that it has a built-in ultra-thin ND filter unit, designed specifically for it. The density can be adjusted by up to 10 stops at the touch of a button, enabling the exposure to be quickly altered while maintaining a cinematic, shallow depth of field in bright shooting conditions.

"When you go between indoor and outdoor locations, having NDs built into the body becomes really important," says Simeon. "When I shoot with multiple cameras, I sometimes have one set with an outside exposure and another set with an indoor exposure. But when you start to work with smaller crew sizes or you're on your own, you need to be able to change the exposure at the drop of a hat."

5. Professional audio connections

"We know from a video perspective that audio is half of the timeline, and it's critically important for a strong production," says Simeon. "The thing that makes me sweat the most on set isn't visual – it's sound."

The EOS C70 features the professional audio interface you'd expect to find in a Cinema EOS camera, including a 3.5mm microphone terminal, a pair of 3-pin Mini XLR inputs and two audio control dials that allow for independent adjustment of audio recording levels. Factor in the built-in stereo microphone, and the camera offers a total of four channels of audio input.

"The opportunity to have more than one microphone, and the addition of a physical dial where you can adjust the levels, and all of the professional capabilities of being able to plug in XLRs for example, makes a big difference to your peace of mind on set, especially when you're working on your own," says Simeon.

The back of the Canon EOS C70 camera, being used to film British artist Bryony Benge-Abbott in her studio.

The Canon EOS C70 has a new, more sophisticated touchscreen interface, but it also offers a substantial array of physical controls – including two dials on the rear of the body that allow the audio recording levels to be independently adjusted. © Simeon Quarrie

Filmmaker Simeon Quarrie filming in an art studio in front of a large easel with a Canon EOS C70 camera .

"The quality of RF lenses is outstanding," says Simeon. "They are the newest technology and offer a picture quality that's unlike anything I've seen before. From a control standpoint, I love being able to assign aperture to the control ring on the lens, because it reminds me of working with my Cine Primes – it's a very similar workflow." © Simeon Quarrie

6. Electronic Image Stabilisation

As the first Cinema EOS camera with support for in-body Electronic IS that works cooperatively with RF lenses, the EOS C70 is the perfect choice for filmmakers who want to achieve the smoothest footage possible straight out of the box. Although you can continue to benefit from Electronic IS when an EF lens is attached via the EF to RF Adapter, the system offers an enhanced level of communication and anti-vibration performance with an RF lens.

Simeon says the EOS C70's stabilisation is "liberating" and he's much less likely to need to take tripods or monopods to a shoot. "I love the handheld look, so I've invested in an Easyrig for steadying heavier cameras. But now, with the EOS C70, you've got a light camera that can give you a smooth, handheld look without that level of support. For anyone who's shooting vox pops or quick 10-15-minute interviews, it opens up new possibilities of shooting handheld. Pair the camera with the correct lens, and you're good to go."

Marcus Hawkins

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