Canon EOS C70 kit

The Canon C70 was announced on September 24, 2020, and started shipping by the end of 2020. Availability was very low, and backorders were being filled at a snail’s pace. It’s now March 2021, and the EOS C70 is finally available at B&H and many other retail outlets. I’m bringing this up because we here at have been waiting to get our hands on one for months. we even signed an NDA and knew it was coming. Canon USA was not very helpful either in getting a preproduction or a sample version, so I would like to say THANK YOU! B&H for sending us a loaner for this better late than never review.

Hybrid or Video Camera?

The EOS C70 is a cross between a mirrorless style camera and a cinema camera. This design is something many people wanted, well people actually wanted a hybrid with all the features of a cinema camera, but Canon refused to make that one, yes the new EOS RF mount cameras have much-improved video specifications than the DSLR models in the past, but I/O has always been lacking for video as well as specs. Remember when a simple headphone jack was omitted from cameras?

The Panasonic GH line sort of became the standard for the true hybrid with many video features found in a cinema camera.

I’m not a huge fan of shooting video-solely with a mirrorless camera because they need some workarounds since they’re primarily designed for stills. I subscribe to the idea of the right tool for the job. Before you send me hate mail, I understand the need for small higher quality cameras for gimbals, drones, and tight locations. However, making one your primary video camera is just not my cup of tea. I’m actually a coffee drinker.
the C70 doesn’t shoot stills or have any frame capture options.

What’s Included?

  • C70 camera body
  • Mic Holder
  • Mic holder adapter
  • Handle
  • Tape measure hook
  • Grip belt
  • Shoulder strap
  • One BP-A30 battery
  • Body cap
  • Battery charger CG-A20
  • AC adapter CA-CP200 L

C70 Key features

  • RF mount
  • Super 35 sensor with DGO (same sensor as C300 III)
  • 4K 120p no crop 4:2:2 10-bit recording
  • 2K 180p crop
  • Built-In ND filters
  • HDMI output up to 4K DCI 4:2:2 10-bit
  • Dual mini-XLR
  • Timecode IO
  • Full-sized HDMI
  • Dual SD card slots
  • Extended Auto Focus (Dual Pixel CMOS AF + EOS iTR AF X )
  • Articulating touch screen
  • No recording time limits
  • Compact size

Form Factor & Controls

Canon C70 front

The C70 comes in at 2.58 lb (1.17 kg). It has physical dimensions of (H) 130.2 mm / 5.1″ x (W) 160 mm / 6.3″ x (D) 115.9mm / 4.6″.

From the front, it looks like an EOS 1DX without an EVF. The compact size of the C70 makes it a good contender for gimbal setups and quick handheld shooting.

Sony FX3 Canon C70 side by side LCD

It’s not a small camera especially if you compare it to the Sony FX3.

Holding the C70 with a Canon RF 24-70 F2.8 attached, it has some heft. Not having an EVF also means you will be holding the C70 either mid-chest or close to eye level. This isn’t very easy to do for very long, and you lose the third point of contact for stability. A lens with image stabilization will be needed for handheld shooting to keep the jitter at a minimum.

Canon C70 controls 2

The included wrist strap is nice and necessary as it helps you hold the camera-less firmly when you want to use the buttons that are close to your fingers, and there are several. Canon did a nice job adding a lot of function buttons all over the C70 body.

Canon C70 tripod mount

One issue for me is the tripod mounting position on the bottom of the camera. It’s going in the wrong direction for video QR plates. This is clearly a miss communication with video and stills design. To avoid the QR plate from twisting and loosening, the plate needs two screws. The C70 has three mounting points but in the wrong direction. Yes, it does have a hole for a Manfrotto type plate with the front peg to assist with anti-twist; However, that doesn’t help me as I use Arca/Swiss type plates and clamps on all my cameras.


Below is a list of several Canon cameras to better understand the weight and how it compares to other Canon cameras.

CANON C70 1.17 kg (2.58 lb)
CANON R5 738 g (1.62 lb) (Body with Battery and Memory)
CANON C200 1.5 kg (3.2 lb)
CANON C100 Mark II 1.5 kg (3.2 lb)
CANON C300 Mark III 1.77 kg (3.9 lb)
Canon XC15 910 g (2 lb)
CANON 1D C 1.5 kg (3.5 lb)
CANON 1D X Mark III 1.25 kg (2.75 lb) (Body Only)

Does the C70 Need a Cage?

I seem to always put a cage on a video camera since I tend to want more gear on a camera than one cold shoe can handle. The first thing to look for is to make sure none of the valuable buttons and inputs are blocked. This requirement is harder with a camera that is covered in buttons and functions.

I would like to attach an EVF on the left side for certain situations when a viewfinder on top is too tall; however, that makes it a little tight to get access to the buttons and using the flip-out touch screen. With a smaller body, you have to make creative decisions on how you use external devices.

Multi-functional Grip

The C70 grip is a cross between a Cinema EOS and EOS RF camera. It’s packed for your right-hand assignments. Three custom dials and a joystick are placed on the grip. On top, you have the main power switch. The C70 powers up very fast at around 3-seconds.

Missed Opportunity with the Cold Shoe

Canon C70 top

Here is where Canon had a chance to do something special with the coolest add-on, but it didn’t happen.

Sony XLR
Sony XLR-K3M Dual-Channel Digital XLR Audio Adapter Kit with Shotgun Microphone

The cold shoe is only for mounting an accessory like the included handle, but if it was a hot shoe with contacts, the C70 would be able to have add-ons such as the Sony XLR-K3M Dual-Channel Digital XLR Audio Adapter that gives you 2-XLR inputs.
Sony has had this set up for some time now and is included in all the mirrorless cameras, including the a6000 line. It’s not perfect, but it sure is handy. Canon could have taken this idea to the next level. Since the C70 has no EVF, Canon could have made one that slides in, connects, and powers directly from the camera. Think of it as the same one in the EOS R5, only in a little box. That would have solved a big issue with the camera for me.

The custom dials can be set to perform various functions. Along with iris and ISO/gain, WB selection and color temperature have now been added. This is useful in a lot of shooting scenarios.

Fixing the Lack of an EVF

Canon C70 with EVF

I recently reviewed the PortKeys LEYE EVF and found it a very good option in the $399 price range. To date, I don’t think you can get a better viewfinder for less or equal price. The C70, like the Z Cam or other box cameras, needs monitoring. The touchscreen LCD is great as it adds a few features I like to use, and covering it with a loupe might not be the way to go. With a few bits, I got the LEYE mounted on the C70, and it works very well.

Bits and Pieces Needed

To get the PortKeys LEYE to play well with the C70, I had a few hurdles to deal with. Mainly powering it. The LEYE doesn’t have an on-board power option, so you have to power it externally. In my review, I mentioned it was a miss not to add an LP-E6 type battery on the back. Maybe V2?

To power the LEYE, you could add a 5V portable battery to the back with some Velcro and use either the USB or the 5.5 x 2.5mm DC input. The barrel connector is a better option. When using the USB input, the power switch doesn’t work, and the LEYE stays powered up. You have to unplug it, or you will drain the battery.

Canon C70 with EVF 1

Speaking of batteries, the best option is the Core SWX Nano-C98. It has both USB and D-Tap power taps that work perfectly with the LEYE. Now I have one powering solution for both C70 and EVF.

With powering the LEYE solved, I needed an easy way to mount the EVF. Without a cage, my only option is to use the cold shoe. The C70 has a very solid cold shoe. It needs to be as it’s designed for the handle.

Nitze Monitor Holder Mount ELF Series Low Profile QR Cold Shoe to 14” 20 Screw with Locating Pins N54 G1
 Nitze Monitor Holder Mount with cold shoe locking lever

I picked up a Nitze Monitor Holder Mount that is fairly low profile. The big plus is it pans and tilts and holds in place. The tension is adjustable with a simple screw. Over time these can get loose, so keeping a hex wrench in the bag is a must.

I like the way it locks down with the lever. This makes it easy to get the mount nice and tight on the cold shoe. Another big plus is the Nitze has a 1/4”-20 screw with locating pins similar to the Arri accessory mount. The LEYE’s mount has a slot along the NATO rail where the two pins fit in. This is great as the EVF won’t twist and is rock solid.

Canon C70 with EVF 2

Yes, it is a little bulkier, but it will be a lifesaver if you are shooting outside in the sun.

Shortcut & Feature Buttons

Screen Shot 2020 09 24 at 21 49 14

The C70 has a total of 13 assignable buttons. I found them too very helpful, and you have an option to assign them. I never liked to change the buttons with markings on the body, such as the Waveform button with the WFM. It would be confusing. With that said, Canon did an excellent job with a lot of buttons and options.

Below is a full list of what can be assigned

Screen Shot 2020 09 27 at 12 07 41

Monitoring – Articulating LCD Screen Only

The C70 doesn’t have a built-in EVF, and that could be an issue, at least it is for me. I would happily pay a little extra and have a slightly larger body to have one instead of adding one and dealing with powering it. Instead, the C70 uses a fully articulating LCD screen with a 3.5-inch (8.8 cm diagonal) color LCD with a 16:9 aspect ratio. It has approx. 2,760,000 dots (1280 x RGB x 720), and a 100% field of view ratio. It also features touch screen operation.

Canon C70 LCS Audio controls 1

As for the size, I have a tough time depending on a 3.5″ screen for focusing, but the image is good. The other EVF-less camera I have used is the BMD Pocket 4K. While the screen is much bigger, it didn’t work in the sun, and it doesn’t articulate.

Canon cameras have a huge advantage as the Dual Pixel AF is very good so this takes one of the biggest issues away somewhat as focusing with the touch screen works very well. With that said, it’s fatiguing to looking at such a small screen for longer periods of time.

Touch Control

Canon C70 LCD touch shortcut
By my thumb is a touch screen shortcut that opens many camera functions settings.

The touch screen is a good one. On the bottom of the LCD screen is a quick access menu that includes the most used settings. It works really well. You tap the corner, and the menu appears. It doesn’t take up a lot of room or block the image. It’s very handy. When you make the changes, a simple tap and it hides.

Erik Naso

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