Since Canon announced the R5C back at the beginning of the year, one of the most common questions we’ve had about it is, should I buy this or the C70? And honestly, it’s a hard question to answer but in this blog, we are going to explore the two options and help you understand which one might be best for you!
The main reason that these cameras are being compared is because of their incredibly similar price point with only £300 being the difference between them. What the overall price of your package comes out at, will really depend on what you need the camera to do.
The C70 & R5C have fundamental design differences. The C70 has been designed solely for motion acquisition whereas the R5C is aimed at being a hybrid camera that leans just slightly towards video than photo capabilities. We can see this not only in their design, as the C70 cant take stills, whereas the R5C has the ability to switch modes. We can also see this in the sensors used by each camera!
The R5C features a full-frame sensor capable of capturing 8K RAW, similar to the one introduced with the R5, but improved processing has resulted in better video imagery over the R5. The R5C also features a dual native ISO sensor, whereas the C70 does not. This will result in cleaner imagery when shooting at the higher ISOs. The footage we managed to capture with the camera earlier this year is honestly incredible. It’s incredibly detailed, has great Canon colours and decent dynamic range. This combination makes it great for both still and video acquisition and if you do want to soften up the image a little, you can easily dial down Sharpening in post or in camera, or chuck some kind of Mist or Soft filter on your lens of choice to soften things up a little!
The C70 features a Super 35 4K sensor which was first introduced in the C300 MKIII, this means it features the same DGO tech which is partly how Canon are achieving such great dynamic range out of the C70 & C300 MKIII. We’ve shot with the C70 a bunch and love the image quality that it can produce. It’s a really versatile image that makes the camera adept at capturing a large range of different jobs!
When we compare them, I would say the R5C is more detailed due to the increased resolution but does have less dynamic range and latitude than the C70. Because of this increased dynamic range, the C70 features CLOG2 which can hold more dynamic range than the CLOG3 profile in the R5C.
One of the biggest differences between the two cameras for video shooters has to be the built-in ND filter that the C70 has. The C70’s system allows you to quickly go from a clear filter to 10 stops of ND in two-stop increments. This is awesome for really any video work, but especially run and gun solo operators, where you may need to change your exposure fast while keeping your shutter and aperture locked! The ND quality is good and it’s one of the biggest pro’s the C70 has over the R5C.
As the R5C doesn’t have an ND system built in you will need to either use a front mounted ND or an ND RF adapter. A front mounted option is more of a pain to use but will allow you to use RF lenses and an adapter ND will be better to use, but will just limit you to EF. You will also need to remove the ND for a clear option on the front or swap to a clear on adapter ND system if you needed no ND for a shot. So basically the C70 system is far more convenient and faster to use than the systems for the R5 C and once you’ve used a camera with an internal ND system, going back to one without one will be very annoying, trust me!
Both cameras can record a mix of RAW as well as a range of other formats which is great as it makes them both very versatile! If we look at both of the options available for them, they are actually quite comparable, though I would say the R5 C does have the edge due to the option to shoot 4K 120 in slight better formats!
When it comes to editing the rushes from both of these cameras, there is actually quite a big difference! Of course, capturing in 8K is great for many reasons, however editing it can be quite challenging on hardware that can’t handle it! There are a couple of workarounds for this when shooting with the R5 C, the first being the ability to shoot downsampled 4K in camera or by batch processing these 8K files through Resolve down to 4K. How long this takes will really depend on your workstation but we’ve found doing this through Resolve on our Mac Studio to be relatively fast, and we can also colour grade our clips during this process too.
Bboth cameras both have their own pros and cons in regards to usability, as their body designs are actually quite a bit different. The C70 is a decent amount larger which could be seen as good or bad. It’s good because it has more space to put custom function buttons, but it’s bad as it does make it more challenging to configure onto different support equipment. Where as the R5C is essentially a small stills camera with a cooling fan chucked on the back, this means that it’s great for gimbals or car mounting as you can keep it stripped down and then when you need to rig it back up you can easily! Both can record for long periods of time due to them both featuring robust cooling systems. They are also both good to use for handheld shooting or can be rigged out as you need to!
The R5C really needs a cage to make it a more versatile camera due to the limited mounting options on it, luckily these aren’t super expensive from the likes of SmallRig. The C70 has cage options available but may actually not need it. The C70 comes with a top handle and mic mount out of the box which is great but I do recommend this SmallRig Portable Kit as a key accessory for the C70. I find the handle much nicer than the included one, though if you run a shotgun mic you may want to stick with the original one, the top plate adds a good amount of mounting points and the bottom plate is really crucial as it allows you to mount tripod plates using two screws instead of the just one that is possible without it!
If you want some more advice on rigging up your camera get in touch with us or even book a demo at our Newman House location where you can rig up your camera with one of our Technical Consultants on hand to make your rig tailored exactly to your needs!
When in video mode, the R5 C runs a similar operating system to the C70, which means both are very well featured when it comes to shooting tools. This means the same great exposure and monitoring tools, same White balance function, same autofocus parameters and much more!
The C70 also has a full-size HDMI port whereas the R5 C has a Micro HDMI. Anyone who’s used Micro HDMI before will have experienced a broken cable so it does mean that the included cable protector is a must for peace of mind that you aren’t going to damage your cable or even worse your camera!
One of the biggest drawbacks in my eyes for the R5C has to be the battery life! Because of what the camera can do internally, it means it requires a lot of power. This means that a single new LP-E6NH will not give you much recording time, though this completely depends on the frame rate and recording format you choose but they can last as little as half an hour, so you will need to either carry loads of LP-E6’s around or run some kind of external battery, which is what we used when we reviewed the camera!
There are plenty of third party options for rigging up a power but one option I’ve seen several people using is the battery grip for the R5C which allows you to use two LP-E6 batteries and kinda turns it form factor into a slightly smaller C70! If we compare this to the power draw and battery size of the C70 we can see just how much longer a single BP-A battery will last when compared to an LP-E6! I’ve shot for an entire day with only changing the battery once with the C70, that definitely would not be the case with the R5C.
You can also get third party batteries that have different power outputs on it, such as this CoreSWX battery here. This will allow you to power accessories like a monitor via this which can be really handy! The C70 also comes with a power supply for it out of the box which is a small detail, but for anyone shooting in more studio configurations, it saves you having to grab one which you would have to if you grab an R5C.
The lenses you grab for each camera can actually be quite similar. Both cameras feature Canon’s RF mount and currently, there are only really a couple of RF APS-C zooms, mainly because the R7 and R10 have only just come out! So at the moment you will be looking at full frame RF mount lenses or looking to adapt older EF mount lenses onto the C70. Using a Speedbooster is also a good option with the C70 if you want to get part of that full frame look! We reviewed the Canon 0.71x focal reducer a while ago and have also broken down how focal reducers work in previous videos, links to which are down below if you want to learn more! Though one thing that we have seen since looking at the Canon focal reducer is purple flare and overall lower contrast when shooting in harsher varied light outside. This kind of issue isn’t surprising with focal reducers but is worth considering if you are looking at picking one up!
Audio is such a crucial component for cameras in this area of the market and Canon has been great in this regard since the introduction of the original C300! The R5 C has a 3.5mm mic input on the side of the camera but you can also use this Tascam top unit which will directly communicate with the camera via the updated hot-shoe on the top of the camera. This allows you to bypass the camera’s internal preamp, resulting in much better quality audio and it also provides two XLR inputs and a bunch of control. This is a great solution for the R5C, though recording externally and syncing in post could also be a good option!
The C70 features two Mini XLR inputs. While it is annoying they are not full-size XLRs, you can easily get cables to use your favourite XLR microphones directly into the C70 or you grab a full-size XLR adapter module like the Wooden Camera A-Box if you don’t want to use Mini XLR cables. The pre-amps in the C70 are great, so going directly into the camera for recording audio is definitely a solid option. The C70 also has a full BNC for timecode whereas you will need a DIN adapter for the R5 C.
To find out our conclusion and even more details on the two cameras, visit our Youtube channel for the full review!