Closer Look at the Canon C70 Firmware

We have seen Canon add a lot to the EOS C70 during the couple years it has been available and some updates have been particularly impressive.

Remember when they managed to add internal raw recording to the SD cards? Anyway, Canon is continuing to make some solid improvements to the cinema camera with firmware version

B&H Photo Video went hands-on with the C70 to take a close look at this firmware update, which while it may not seem as flashy by the original announcement makes a lot of useful tweaks and additions that should make the camera even more of a joy to use.

Focusing in on just the most recent firmware, version, there is plenty to talk about and Doug Guerra dives right in.

First on the list is an update to the Picture Profile options. Canon hasn’t been lacking here with various Log and Wide DR options that people already use extensively.

This firmware adds a new “Canon 709” profile that takes the dynamic range advantages of the Wide DR profile and adds a touch more contrast. It should be basically ready to deliver straight out of camera for ultra-fast turnarounds.

Canon 709 is designed for people for want a contrasty and saturated image that is near instantly ready for viewing. It looks great and tweaks the color for skintones as well – think of it like Sony’s S-Cinetone profile.

Canon EOS C70 Cinema Camera

Image Credit: Canon

Alongside this profile is a new LUT: Canon Monitor Transfer 709 (CMT 709). This is a viewing LUT so it won’t get baked into your log footage if you prefer to shoot that way and simply monitor with a look similar to Canon 709.

A somewhat surprising upgrade was the introduction of intra-frame recording in DCI or UHD 4K up to 60p. The higher frame rates were originally limited to Long GOP options, but now we have the higher-quality picks. It’ll record at up to 600 Mb/s.

One thing that has become leaps and bounds better than launch—where it was already great – is the AF system. The Dual Pixel CMOS AF tech has been reliable in many cameras. This update brings Eye AF, Face Detection, and Subject Tracking to the C70, including in slow motion.

These tools work with the manual tools and can be controlled using the touchscreen. It’s a versatile system that should help no matter how you prefer to operate the camera.

The C70 has already supported 4-channel audio recording using the mic input, built-in stereo mic, and the two mini-XLR inputs. Now, you can actually monitor all four channels at once using the audio levels on the camera’s rear screen.

For those looking to use a C70 as part of a larger network including PTZ cameras and controllers, there is now XC Protocol support. This has been coming to many of Canon’s cameras lately and is nice to see brought to these cinema cameras.

Canon EOS C70 Cinema Camera Rear

Image Credit: Canon

Some more standard updates include support for the latest pro lenses, including the CN-E 20-50mm Flex Zoom and CN8x15 IAS Cine-Servo.

Now that most of the newest update has been covered it is time to go through some of the greatest hits from the other firmwares.

The big one I already mentioned, but that is internal Raw recording. The C70 has HQ, ST, and LT options and all will provide much more flexibility in post than the more compressed codecs.

For Raw shooting, you can use LT to record in DCI 4K up to 60p or ST for up to 30p using the full Super 35mm area. With a crop to Super 16mm mode you can use all the quality options, including HQ, at up to 2K 60p.

Canon CN-E 20-50mm T2.4 LF Cinema EOS Zoom Lens

Image Credit: Canon

You’ll need some fast and large SD cards to shoot this mode. Highly recommend some V90 cards in the 128GB or larger range.

Proxy recording is available during raw recording and can be set to the second memory card slot for getting an edit-friendly 2K 8-bit file.

Interval recording was also added. Built-in time-lapse and stop motion is always nice option to have and the C70 has a few interval options from 1-30 seconds or 1-10 minutes. You can also select how many frames are captured at each interval.

If it wasn’t already, the Canon EOS C70 should be on the list of anyone looking for a great, compact cinema camera.

What do you think about these updates for the Canon EOS C70?

[source: B&H Photo Video]

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