Canon C70 Slow Motion is finally pushing the envelope!

Canon C70 Slow Motion

We consider the Canon C70 as the real successor to the 5D Mark II which started the ILC  DSLR revolution.  It ticks almost all the boxes for a vast array of users and does so on a somewhat realistic price point. We get a Cinema caliber sensor in S35 format at 4k Cinema and UHD that is capable of producing 16 real stops of dynamic range. The camera actually is using simultaneous dual gain technology to merge the exposure from both settings into an amazingly beautiful progression between light and dark.

The Canon C70 Slow Motion Mode has real 120fps 4k with HDR and full Canon dual pixel AF technology and even can crop to Super 16mm to record 180fps at 1080p and 2k resolution to provide you with that extra oomph which was sorely needed in Canon land. The camera does have some drawbacks but it is so good out of the box that we may have an avalanche of switchers to the format from Sony, Nikon, and Panasonic.

Canon C70 Main Features:

  • Super35 Dual Gain Output (DGO) Sensor
  • 4K 120p, HDR
  • 2K Crop 180p/1080p HDR Capture
  • Canon Log 2, 3, PQ & HLG Recording
  • RF Lens Mount / EF Mount with Adapter
  • DIG!C DV7 Image Processor
  • 16+ Stops of Total Dynamic Range
  • Built-In ND Filters / Auto ISO & Gain
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF & EOS iTR AF X
  • 1 BNC Timecode / 2 Mini-XLR Audio Inputs
  • Dual SD Card Slots, LUT/Long GOP Support
  • $5,499.00 MSRP Pre-order at Adorama
  • Estimated release date of December 2020.

As you can see the camera is a powerhouse for a vast majority of users. Studios can use it without problem for paid projects as an A or B cam for a C300 Mark III for example or just build an army of C70s to cover events from many angles. The camera performs great in low light with ISO 25600 being the first initial noise bump that may need Noise reduction software in post but below that, a 6400 ISO shoot should be extremely clean.

Canon C70 Slow Motion Component:

  • 120fps 4k and UHD
  • 180fps 1080p/2k Super – 16mm Crop
  • 4k 50/60p
  • Resolutions:
  • 4096 x 2160p up to 119.88/120 fps
    3840 x 2160p up to 119.88/120 fps
    2048 x 1080p up to 179.82/180 fps
    1920 x 1080p up to 179.82/180 fps
  • All with up to 4:2:2 10-Bit capture.

The image quality at 4k 60p and 120p is excellent, we see crisp detail and the codec options are plentiful enough to deliver a good to excellent image in those modes.

However, the 1080p and 2k with a Super 16mm crop loos soft and mushy.  Compression is not that bad but detail is sacrificed from what we have seen. We need to wait for more samples but the ones we have seen make us believe that it looks more like soft 720p upscaled than real 1:1 pixel capture.  4k is immune to this but not 2k and below.

Canon C70 Slow Motion Footage Samples:

We found some samples and we made sure to copy the time stamp so they should start playing at that point.  We find the quality in 2k to be passable but it is not very detailed which makes us think it is not really a 1080p or 2k signal but a soft upscaled one.

Canon EOS C70 – In-Depth Review & Test Footage by CVP:

CANON C70 Full Review – A small but powerful beast from Canon! by Giannis Saroukos:


Things that could be improved:

The camera does have some holes in the spec sheet that many could find objectionable.

There is image stabilization on lenses that support it but In-body stabilization is only software-based and not actually stabilizing the sensor as with most other recent cameras.  So no IBIS could be a deal-breaker for people expecting several extra stops of shake reduction.

The form factor of the C70 is smaller than other Canon Cinema cameras but it is not exactly tiny compared to other EVIL cameras out there like the Sony a7s Mark III or the Panasonic S1H or S5.   You do not have a viewfinder available unless you add one as a third party attachment which may prove to be indispensable. Canon might at some point create a viewfinder product for this camera line but now that is an extra cost to be factored in if you need one.

The Slow motion at 1080p/2k at 180fps looks soft from the samples we have seen, very reminiscent of upscaling and line-skipping done on other cameras.   We hope the sharpness/detail quality improves in future firmware but it could be a sensor limitation.

The price seems to be a little hefty for a camera that does not shoot in RAW of any kind, still, we believe considering the package and image quality produced to be an acceptable range.

The still images that can be captured by the camera are from what we fount to be only JPEG with very good quality. It will be interesting to see if RAW images can be saved and used in this mode. The camera however is geared primarily for video with Photo mode probably saved for timelapse and hyper-lapse video capture options.

Canon EOS C70 First Look | Entry Level, Compact Cinema Camera with RF Mount by Park Cameras:

Still in the early days:

We love what Canon has done here, finally a camera that creates real excitement by providing a formfactor and inventing a new segment that bridges the gap between DSLRs and larger cinema cameras. It is a godsend of a camera for anyone wanting to get more professional with their video capture and being able to command presence in a paid video shoot with a professional and dependable tool that has large batteries, dual SD Cards for nearly unlimited recording if swapped, and image quality that rivals the best out there.

On the other hand, it does not offer RAW capture like RED’s REDCODE RAW or Black Magic Design’s BRAW which is especially important for productions that need extreme image adjustment.

The Canon C70 is more a camera that creates silky smooth images with real 16+ Dynamic range progression that will hardly blow a sky end even let you shoot in sunny conditions with the aid of the built-in ND Filters. It is a camera that will not disappoint on set and will generate beautiful footage that will stand the test of time without a lot of processing.

The Canon C70 slow motion at 4k 120p is excellent and could be used without problem on a paid shoot, the 1080p/2k quality is soft and we simply cannot recommend it for that format. You are better off converting 4k 120p to 180fps with software later on and avoid the Super 16 soft images at the lower resolution.

We are still looking for more 2k and 1080p 180fps footage to make a final verdict, but from what we have seen so far, that feature is best saved only for situations where you absolutely need it.

We really cannot find a camera out there that offers so much for certain segments of the video world, anything from weddings, music videos to documentaries or short films, the C70 could be the camera you were waiting for over a decade. Canon seems to have woken up and we now expect Panasonic and Sony to hit back with products that will land somewhere in the range of the C70, if Panasonic could offer a 240fps or even 480fps mode at reduced resolution in such a camera, they could become a favorite of HSC and high frame rate enthusiasts.

We will have more on the C70 slow motion mode in the coming months as more samples show up. In the meantime, if you plan to order the C70 or any other camera, please use our links so you help our website at no added cost to you.   Thank you for your continued support – HSC

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8 thoughts on “Canon C70 Slow Motion is finally pushing the envelope!”

  1. This DGO sensor seems to be excelent! It´s basically the same camera as the C300mkIII without RAW for half the price, that´s insane!
    The 180fps seems to not have DPAF as well. It´s a bit bad but I don´t think it´s unusable if lit with great lights in a studio, for example.
    It´s very close to a extraordinary camera…

    By the way, did you see that Freefly Systems are developing a slowmo oriented camera that seems to shoot 1000 fps?
    Chris V just posted in his stories:
    It would be awesome if you get to know more about it!

      1. It was a stories from instagram, I believe it was already gone. But they said they would reveal it next week, so we probably gonna know about it soon 🙂

  2. Gerald Undone on YouTube claims the 120 fps 4K is lousy and can only be recorded at 108Mbs. What data rates were you able to use, at 120fps 4K?

    1. 108 Mbps is not too bad for 4k since cameras like the GH5 record in such rates with excellent quality. It will not be RAW quality but it is not that bad either. See the footage here, there is good detail in the branches and textures with no perceived aliasing and or moire. It is not the best out there but it is not lousy. We need to put in context that this camera is not a slow motion dedicated device and only has the feature as an extra.

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