The Canon EOS C70 is Sawyer Hartman’s Camera of Choice – Here’s Why

Content creator and YouTuber Sawyer Hartman got an EOS C70 from Canon on loan six months ago. Now, he doesn’t want to give it back. 

Sawyer Hartman is known for being a content creator on YouTube. His community of 1.91 million-plus subscribers  tune in to his vlogs, gear reviews and how-to guides among other content. Although he is known for his YouTube channel, he has 608K subscribers on Instagram, 611K subscribers on Twitter and 403K on Facebook. 

During his time shooting with the Canon C70 , Sawyer first landed on one pivotal question when crafting his own review of the product.

“Question number one is, what actually separates the Canon C70 from the Canon EOS R5?” Sawyer said. “In all honesty, these are two completely different cameras that can be summed up extremely simply. If you like taking photos occasionally, then you’re going to get the Canon R5. 

“But if you are a videographer or someone who only shoots video and wants to shoot video at the highest possible level, then you are going to be getting rid of your R5 instantly and upgrading to the Canon C70, because the DNA of the Canon C 70 is different.”

Sawyer added that while the Canon R5 is skilled at acting as a solid camera for multiple disciplines, the C70 picks its lane and excels in it. 

“The Canon R5 I have… straddles the line between videographer and photographer. It’s a very capable camera that allows you to do two things relatively well,” Sawyer said. “The C70, on the other hand, is unapologetically a video camera. This camera is not set up to take pictures. This camera is not for professional photographers. 

“This camera does one thing and it does one thing very well. And that one thing is video. The reason this camera excels at video so well is because it’s exactly that, It’s just a video camera. It doesn’t have to play two roles.” 

Sawyer's first impressions

At the beginning of Sawyer’s time with the C70, he was admittedly not sure what to make of it.

“When I first got this camera for the first three months, I didn’t even really understand it. I tried to use it. I wasn’t a huge fan,” Sawyer said. “And then I started using it differently. I started using it like my cinema cameras.”

The C70 has a 1/4″-20 mounting point, so it can be used to shoot cinematic vertical video. To go along with the flexibility, it also has a fully articulating touch screen. Plus, the C70 is the first cinema camera to offer Canon’s new RF mount. However, with one of Canon’s EF to RF adapters, this means you can use one of the 21 RF Lenses or one of the 77 EF still lenses or one of the 28 EF Cine Lenses on this camera.

With those specs and features in mind, Sawyer changed the way he used Canon’s new camera. After some time using the C70 like the cinema camera it is meant to be, Sawyer quickly changed his tune.

“I would recommend this camera all day. Yes. Without a second thought,” Sawyer said. “If you’re shooting video or cinematography, 100 percent yes. You are going to love this camera.”

Image quality

After getting some time with the camera under his belt, Sawyer offered his perspective on the global shutter controls found on the C70.

“The key to getting cinematic footage is to control your shutter speed. This camera will do that for you,” Sawyer said. “So if you are a cinematographer or a videographer, whether you are a professional or just starting out, you will get so many benefits shooting on the C70”.

Along with the cinematic controls designed for filmmaking, the camera also has Dual Gain Output (DGO). Dual Gain Output creates two images at different amplifications. This is done in real time and then combines them. By combining two different frames, it increases the camera’s dynamic range.

Takeaways

To make his life as a photographer and cinematographer easier, Sawyer said he finds it to be extremely beneficial to use the right tool for the job. When shooting video, Sawyer consistently chooses the C70.“Nearly every single feature in this camera caters directly to the videographer and filmmaking community,” Sawyer said. “The first and most important factor when it comes to video cameras in general is, what does the image actually look like? And for the Canon C70, it’s beautiful”.

Hands-on with the C70

Super 35 sensor

According to Sawyer, the Canon C70’s super 35mm Dual Gain Output sensor is an essential feature of the camera.

“Thanks to the super35 sensor, you’re able to get over 16 stops of dynamic range and the footage, the colors are absolutely beautiful,” Sawyer said. “This camera supports both Canon C-log and C-log3, which are Canon’s flat cinema profiles. I would recommend them all day.”

The C70 captures internally in XF-AVC, in 4:2:2 color space in 10-Bit.

“It’s going to have extremely nice soft contrast and dreamy colors without sacrificing any of the sharpness that you might expect for getting such a film look,” Sawyer said.

With a top resolution of DCI 4K in 60p, it also offers high-speed capture in UHD 4K at 120 frames per second or in 2K at 180 frames per second.

Sawyer added that shooting full frame EF lenses using the Canon Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x on the C70 is profoundly useful.

“It’s incredible because while this is an RF mount camera, you can use Canon EF lenses with the additional [Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x] speed boosting adapter,” Sawyer said. “So it multiplies your lens by .71 to give you a full frame [field of] view while also boosting the F-stop in your lens by a full stop.

“Which means if you’re shooting at a Canon at f2.8 lens with the speed booster, you’re actually getting closer to f1.8. And if you’re shooting on Canon Cinema primes like I am, it means that you’re getting down to, like, f0.5.”

Form factor

The form factor of the C70 is unique, rethinking the applications of a cinema camera.

“Transitioning into what the camera actually feels like to shoot on, it’s pretty carefree. I tried to find some weaknesses in the camera, but it handles like a champ in low light and it also still has a lot of the pro features that I like, like focus peaking and zebra striping.” Sawyer said. “It even has false color, which a lot of people don’t even use. Having all of these features in a camera for me, coming from a traditional film background and using larger format cameras – this to me is like home.”Along with cinematic vertical video made possible by the 1/4″-20 tripod thread built into the grip, another useful feature is the detachable handle. When you need your rig to be as small as possible, the camera can be stripped down, or it can be fully set up for on-set production.

ND filters

When discussing the topic of the C70’s ND filters, Sawyer was quick to point out the significance of the feature.

“By far the coolest feature of this camera – and you’re going to use it all the time – is it actually has built-In ND filters. Which means, you no longer need to put on a matte box that you would drop in filters in front of the camera,” Sawyer said. “I literally use this feature every single moment. I was shooting on this camera in order to achieve perfect exposure without sacrificing my shutter angle.”

The C70 has a mechanical filter wheel with clear, 2 stop, 4 stop, 6 stop, 8 stop and 10 stop ND Filters. This enables the camera to shoot in bright sunlight with a wide open aperture. Shallow depth of field in high key lighting situations is a breeze with the use of a ND filter. A ND filter is no more than precisely tinted sunglasses for your camera; basically, it lowers the light getting to the image sensor.

Audio connections

One of the biggest differences you’ll find with a camera made for video, is that it has professional audio inputs. Sawyer’s experience wasn’t any different.

“One of the even more important features of this camera than its video quality is its ability to record external audio,” Sawyer said. “If you’re running a C70, you can just run your audio straight into the camera and your professional level sound with full audio monitoring on the back.”

In addition to two Mini XLR Mic/Line level inputs with phantom power, the camera also has a 3.5 mm stereo input and a 3.5 mm headphone out.

Media

Sawyer finds himself shooting all over the world. Access to ubiquitous media is important, he said.

“The C70 records to SD cards, which for me is awesome. It’s a personal preference thing, but when it comes to importing and finding card readers, I would much rather shoot on SD cards every single day of the week,” Sawyer said. “Trying to find a fast card reader in the middle of Indonesia just doesn’t happen.”

With dual SD card slots, the C70 can use SD/SDHC/SDXC cards.

Summing it up

After using it for six months, Sawyer is making the C70 his.

“I started using this camera the way it was intended to be used. Now, after six months of shooting on this camera, I feel like I genuinely have a really good idea of who this camera’s for,” Sawyer said. “This camera is for anybody that is primarily shooting video and wants to shoot better video.

“This is an upgrade from whatever you’re coming from. It’s a first step into the cinema world. And if you’re ready for that step, I think this is an incredible camera to start with.”

With the C70’s unique mounting points and a fully articulating touch screen monitor, it is ready to get the shot. It doesn’t matter if it’s vertical or horizontal, or from any angle. With its new mirrorless RF lens mount, the C70 gives you 10-stops of internal ND. And with its Dual Gain Output (DSO) you get more dynamic range. 

The C70 can also be fully rigged out or compact for shooting light. Lastly, with its professional audio inputs, you are able to easily capture quality audio and transfer it to affordable and ubiquitous media – an SD card. 

It’s safe to say that the C70 has quite the future as a centerpiece of Sawyer’s gear collection. 

“This is now my new 100 percent YouTube video camera. I use this for everything,” Sawyer said. “If I am going somewhere now, this camera is with me in my backpack.” 

Sawyer offered some final thoughts when it comes to the C70 camera.

“When it comes to video, when it comes to YouTube videos and cinematography, I am shooting on the C70 for every single video now,” Sawyer said. “To put it simply, this camera makes you shoot cinematically. And that is the goal of my channel.”








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