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EOS C70, R5 C, R5 or R3: Which to Get for Video?

2022-04-07
6
452

If you are an aspiring video producer looking for a good camera that offers advanced video shooting functionalities within around the same budget as a professional mirrorless camera, there are currently four cameras in Canon’s EOS lineup that you might be interested in. Firstly, from Canon’s EOS R mirrorless camera lineup, there is the EOS R5, which can shoot 8K video, and the EOS R3, which can shoot 6K video. There is also the EOS C70 from the Cinema EOS lineup, which can be obtained for around the same budget as the EOS R3, and the EOS R5 C, which combines many of the strengths of the Cinema EOS lineup with those of the EOS R5, including its 8K video capability. How do you choose the camera that will work best for you and your intended work? Read on to find out.

In this article:

Introduction: Achieving cinematic quality

Introduction: Achieving cinematic quality

The growing popularity of online movie streaming, vlogs, and livestreams have resulted in a leap in demand for video content production. The tastes of video audiences have also become more sophisticated, and many now demand high quality video images just like what you would expect from cinema.

Sensor size and impact on cinematic depth of field

Sensor size and impact on cinematic depth of field

Previously, most camcorders—even the professional grade ones—had relatively small 1/3 or 2/3-inch type sensors (5 to 9mm on the long end). Meanwhile, movies were filmed on cinema cameras, for which the Super 35mm format (24mm on the long end) was the norm. The bigger the sensor size, the shallower the depth of field and the easier to achieve good subject-background separation. This difference in expressive capabilities has major impact on the atmosphere created in the footage.

The image sensor sizes of the EOS r5, EOS R5 C, EOS R3, EOS C70

EOS C70
The EOS C70 is equipped with the cinema standard Super 35mm format image sensor. At around 26.2 × 13.8mm in size, the surface area of this sensor is almost 8 times larger than that used on electronic news gathering (ENG) cameras used for news broadcasts. The camera is therefore capable of cinematic shallow depth of field expressions.

EOS R3 / EOS R5 / EOS R5 C
These three cameras have 35mm full-frame image sensors, which are around 36.0 × 24.0mm in size, with a surface area about twice that of the EOS C70 image sensor. This means more intense shallow depth of field effects and better bokeh.

As the shallow depth of field effect depends on the image sensor size and has nothing to do with the megapixel resolution of the camera, under the same conditions, the bokeh created by the EOS R3, EOS R5, and EOS R5 C look basically the same. The EOS C70 generally produces bokeh that is less intense, but it can also achieve results similar to these cameras with the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x and an EF lens.

It is also worth noting that due to the differences in aspect ratio between 8K/6K and full-frame sensor images, recording video on the EOS R3 and EOS R5/R5 C uses the full sensor width but not the entire sensor length. Therefore, although the EOS R3 and EOS R5/R5 C image sensors respectively have up to 24.1 and 45 effective megapixels, the sensor area used when recording in each camera's largest video resolution is 18.98 and 35.38 megapixels respectively. 

Image resolution: Sizes and picture quality

Image resolution: Sizes and picture quality

The EOS R5 and EOS R5 C can shoot video up to 8K DCI, the EOS R3 up to 6K, and the EOS C70 up to 4K DCI.

The higher resolutions on the EOS R3, EOS R5 and EOS R5 C allow more post-production flexibility for 4K output. For example, with 8K, you can crop as much as 75% of the image area away and still retain sufficient pixels for 4K output without any deterioration in image quality—ample allowance for creating digital zooming and panning effects. The compactness and affordability of the EOS R5 and EOS R5 C as 8K-capable cameras also make them tempting choices as a secondary (or even tertiary) camera to supplement a high-resolution setup.

Comparison of 2K, FHD, 4K, 6K and 8K video resolutions

If shooting in 8K matters to you, the EOS R5 C offers a greater variety of recording options in both RAW and MP4 formats.


Consider: Do you want to invest in 8K right now?


8K: Good for flexibility, future-proofing…

In anticipation of more support for 8K display environments in the future, there is increasing demand for 8K video production. Shooting 8K may be a good way to keep your footage future-proof! Besides 8K DCI RAW files that can be processed just like RAW still image files, the EOS R5 and EOS R5 C can also record 8K DCI/UHD MP4 files that allow 8K playback without the need for post-processing. Meanwhile, the EOS R3 records 6K files in RAW format, which will require post-processing before playback.


…but the extra features on the EOS C70 might meet your needs better

The higher the resolution, the more processing power and storage capacity you will need to handle the larger file sizes that result. If you don’t have the hardware already, don’t forget to factor in the costs. Meanwhile, 4K output is sufficient for current mainstream audiovisual display and playback environments. Depending on your needs at the moment, you might find EOS C70 features such as the built-in ND filter, audio features, and longer battery life a better investment.


Know this: Cinema RAW Light format

With an update to Firmware Version 1.0.3.1 for the EOS C70, all four cameras are now capable of internal 12-bit RAW video recording. On the EOS C70 and EOS R5 C, the challenges of transferring and processing large RAW video files on location and during editing are alleviated with the use of Cinema RAW Light format found on advanced Cinema EOS cameras such as the C300 Mark III. Ideal for colour grading and archiving, this format results in file sizes that are much smaller than the standard RAW video file while retaining the same 12-bit sampling depth, and you can select from three modes: RAW HQ (High quality), RAW ST (Standard), and RAW LT (Light).


RAW recording resolutions and frame rates


Key video specifications for EOS R5, EOS R5 C, EOS R3, and EOS C70


*With firmware version 1.0.3.1 and above

Download this in PDF

Bit depth and chroma subsampling

Bit depth and chroma subsampling


Bit depth

To put things simply, bit depth (also known as colour depth) indicates the number of colours that are recorded. A higher bit depth means more colours can be displayed or recovered in post-production: the more colours, the easier it is to display smooth colour transitions. The main recording modes, including bit depth, on all three cameras are as indicated in the table above. The EOS R3, EOS R5, and EOS R5 C offer the highest bit depth as they support 12-bit RAW recording.


Chroma subsampling

The numbers such as “4:2:0” that appear next to the bit depth specification indicate the chroma subsampling, which refers to how much colour resolution is recorded by each pixel. As with bit depth, higher resolution ensures that footage still retains its quality even with intensive manipulation in post-production.

During 4K recording, both the EOS C70 and the EOS R5 C support 10-bit YCbCr 4:2:2 subsampling compared to the 8-bit YCbCr 4:2:0 recording supported by the EOS R5 and EOS R3. 8-bit recording records about 16.77 million colours, whereas 10-bit recording records over 1.07 billion colours, resulting in higher quality straight out of camera footage. The smoother colour transitions provided by YCbCr 4:2:2 also prevent artefacts such as the halo effect when applying compositing with green screen footage.


Considerations in 4K recording


i) Oversampled or dot-by-dot 4K?

The higher resolution image sensors of the EOS R5 C, EOS R5, and EOS R3 allow the creation of oversampled 4K videos, which have higher quality than normal 4K footage. For example, here’s what happens when we create a 4K video by oversampling from 6K:

1. The image sensor captures 6K image data in the Bayer Pattern.
2. Three sets of 6K data are generated (one set each from the red, green, and blue-filtered pixels).
3. These sets of data are de-mosaicked (debayered) and processed by the image processor to form full-colour 6K data.
4. The full-colour 6K data is processed by the image processor again to downsize it into a 4K resolution file.


The resulting 4K resolution file is higher quality with less moire, artefacts, and noise.

EOS R3 Cropless 4K DCI recording:
6K oversampling
59.94p / 50.00p / 29.97p /
25.00p / 24.00p / 23.98p
EOS R3 Cropless 4K UHD recording:
5.6K oversampling
59.94p / 50.00p / 29.97p /
25.00p / 24.00p / 23.98p
EOS R5/ R5 C Cropless 4K DCI recording:
8.2K oversampling
29.97p / 25.00p /
24.00p / 23.98p
EOS R5/ R5 C Cropless 4K UHD recording:
7.7K oversampling
29.97p / 25.00p / 23.98p
EOS R5/ R5 C Cropless 4K DCI recording:
5.1K oversampling
59.94p / 50.00p / 29.97p /
25.00p / 24.00p / 23.98p
EOS R5/ R5 C Cropless 4K UHD recording:
4.8K oversampling
59.94p / 50.00p / 29.97p /
25.00p / 24.00p / 23.98p

On the other hand, the 8.85-megapixel image sensor of the EOS C70 has the exact resolution required to shoot 4K DCI video, making it capable of performing dot-by-dot recording where 1 image sensor pixel captures 1 pixel of video resolution. No further conversion is required, and this also results in higher quality images.


So is oversampling or dot-by-dot recording better?

There is no clear-cut answer as to which achieves better results, oversampling or dot-by-dot recording. However, during oversampling, each frame in the video is processed individually, which requires a high-performance image processor. Even on a powerful image processor like DIGIC X, the processing load also contributes to heat generation especially when working with large resolutions.

Dynamic range: Canon Log and HDR recording modes

Dynamic range: Canon Log and HDR recording modes


Canon Log

Log recording is a way of recording that maximises the tonal range of an image sensor. Canon’s system for log recording is called Canon Log, which has three different “modes” with different characteristics:

Canon Log (original)
Dynamic range approx.12 stops
800%
Distinctive feature Easier colour grading as image quality is close to ITU-R BT.709.
Canon Log 2
Dynamic range approx.15 stops
(With the 4K DGO sensor on EOS C70: up to 16+ stops equivalent)
1600%
Distinctive feature Has characteristics close to film. Offers higher tonality in medium to dark areas.
Canon Log 3
Dynamic range approx.13.3 stops 
(With the 4K DGO sensor on EOS C70: up to 14 stops equivalent)
1600%
Distinctive feature Retains the advantages of Canon Log, but with greater dynamic range especially in the highlight areas.

Support for the different Canon Log modes varies between camera models:

EOS R5
When it was first released, the EOS R5 supported only Canon Log. However, it also supports Canon Log 3 once upgraded to firmware version 1.3.0 or above.

EOS R3 and EOS R5 C
The EOS R3 and the EOS R5 C support only Canon Log 3 in-camera. However, Canon Log 3 incorporates the advantages of Canon Log, so that shouldn’t be too much of an issue. On the EOS R5 C, if you record in the Cinema RAW Light format, you can apply Canon Log 2 in the Cinema RAW Development software—a workaround that would come in handy if you are using the EOS R5 C in a multi-camera setup where the other cameras are recording in Canon Log 2. 

EOS C70
As a Cinema EOS camera, the EOS C70 is designed for users who are likely to apply advanced colour grading to their footage. Hence, it supports Canon Log 2 in addition to Canon Log 3. It is also equipped with the Dual Gain Output (DGO) image sensor, which takes two amplified readouts (noise-prioritising gain and saturation-prioritising gain) from each pixel and combines them to expand the dynamic range. For this reason, it achieves a greater dynamic range than possible on the EOS R5, EOS R5 C, and EOS R3—up to 16+ stops on Canon Log 2, and up to 14 stops on Canon Log 3.


Log and HDR modes on the EOS R5/ R5 C/ R3/ C70

*With firmware version 1.3.0 and above


HDR video recording modes

In recent years, there has been increasing standardisation of HDR video recording modes. More and more televisions and display monitors support the open HDR10 standard, and this has also increased demand for HDR content. With this comes an increasing need for recording formats that allow for a streamlined post-production workflow so that HDR videos can be produced more easily and efficiently.  The PQ (Perceptual Quantization) and HLG (Hybrid Log Gamma) are two such formats that allow you to record HDR video that can be played back in HDR quality on HDR displays without the need for colour grading.

All the cameras support the PQ format. However, the EOS C70 and the EOS R5 C also support the HLG format, which offers backward compatibility with SDR UHDTV displays, whereas PQ is not backward compatible with SDR displays.

Fast motion (high frame rate) recording capabilities

Fast motion (high frame rate) recording capabilities

*High Frame Rate 120p recording in 4K DCI is supported only on the EOS R5 C.
**High Frame Rate 120p recording in 4K UHD and 2K FHD are supported only on the EOS R5 C and EOS C70.

A camera’s support for high frame rate recording determines its ability to produce smooth slow-motion video. While all four camera models support at least 4K DCI and 4K UHD 119.88p/100.00p recording, they differ in terms of the supported crop modes, recording bit depth, and compression methods.


Cropped versus cropless modes

While high frame rate recording at up to 119.88p/100.00p is supported in the cropless and cropped recording modes on the EOS R3, only the cropless recording modes are supported on the EOS R5. Meanwhile, in both the PAL and NTSC mode, the EOS C70 supports up to 120p during cropless shooting (4K UHD), and up to 180p during 2K/Full HD shooting (Super 16mm crop).

On the EOS R5 C, 120p high frame rate shooting is supported in the cropless 4K and cropped 2K (Super 16mm crop) modes in the XF-AVC and MP4 formats, as well as in Super 16mm cropped mode in RAW format.


Visual quality

The improved image processing capability of the EOS R3 means that 119.88p/100.00p high frame rate footage shot on it looks better than that on the EOS R5. Oversampling is not supported on both the EOS R5 and EOS R3.


Slow/fast motion rate

On the EOS R5 and EOS R3, high frame rate footage is saved as a 29.97p/25.00p video file, and so becomes a 1/4x slow-motion video when played back. 

On the EOS C70 and the EOS R5 C, you have different options for the saved frame rate of the high frame rate footage: 59.94p/29.97p/23.98p/24.00p/50.00p/25.00p. That means that with the EOS C70, you can create a 1/7.5x slow-motion video if you record in 2K/180p and save the footage as a 23.98p file.

On the EOS C70 and EOS R5 C, you can also shoot 12 or 15p videos, which makes it possible to create fast-motion videos sped up by about 4 times.


Audio recording and AF

The EOS R5 C offers AF and sound recording (as a separate WAV file) for slow and fast motion recording. On the other cameras, AF and sound recording is not available in these modes.

Maximum continuous shooting time

Maximum continuous shooting time

The “continuous shooting time” of a camera generally refers to the time from the start of recording to when recording stops. This is a significant concern when shooting ultra-high-resolution videos (4K and above), especially if you intend to do long takes or leave the camera running.


Why is there a limit on continuous shooting time?

Shooting high-quality ultra-high-resolution video places a huge load on the image processing engine. This contributes to heat generation, which can also cause processing to slow down and image noise to increase. To prevent this, the camera’s monitoring system may automatically stop video recording if the internal temperature gets too high. On some cameras, there also may be a cap on the duration of each clip. But even if your clips are not that long, if you shoot multiple clips consecutively without leaving sufficient time for cooldown, they still may be affected by the increase in heat.


System limits

(These are the longest continuous shooting times possible on each model, before memory card capacity and battery life are taken into account)
- EOS R5: 29 min 59 sec
- EOS R5 C: 6 h
- EOS R3: 6 h (1 h 30 min during high frame rate shooting)
- EOS C70: 6 h

The EOS R5 cannot shoot continuously for more than 29 min 59 sec regardless of the recording conditions. This is important to note if you intend to use the camera to record interviews, events such as concerts and seminars, and livestreams.


Cooling system

Recording video at high resolutions generates internal heat. As cinema cameras, the EOS R5 C and EOS C70 are both equipped with an internal cooling fan system that effectively reduces internal heating, making them capable of virtually non-stop recording regardless of the shooting mode. 

Meanwhile, the EOS R3 and EOS R5 were designed to prioritise weather sealing and lightweight bodies, and hence come with internal overheat limits as their heat management mechanism. The EOS R3 has better tolerance for internal heating than the EOS R5 and is capable of non-stop recording in lower resolution modes (4K 30p ALL-I and below).
 

Know this: Battery life

For situations that require utmost mobility, you will want to consider the battery life, in which the EOS C70 holds the advantage over the EOS R5 C: It is able to shoot up to approximately 170 minutes of 4K DCI 60p video with its BP-A30 battery pack*, compared to the EOS R5 C’s 35 minutes on the LP-E6NH**.

* Measurement conditions: With the second card recording function turned off and LCD brightness set to normal. Lens: RF35mm f/1.8 Macro IS STM.
** Measurement conditions: CFexpress card recording (two-slot recording: off), using LCD monitor (Brightness: normal). Lens: RF50mm f/1.2L USM

 

ND filter and lenswork


ND filters

When shooting video, to avoid flicker and ensure smoother action playback, you have less flexibility to use shutter speed for exposure control compared to during still photography. This makes neutral density (ND) filters essential for exposure control.

EOS C70
The EOS C70 has a built-in ultra-thin electronically controlled ND filter system, which provides up to 5 selectable effect levels: 2, 4, and 6 stops by default, plus 8 and 10 stops when the extended ND range is enabled.

EOS R5, EOS R5 C, EOS R3
With the EOS R5, EOS R5 C, and EOS R3, you can use the Drop In Filter Mount Adapter with the Variable ND filter, which provides an effect range of 1.5 to 9 stops (ND3 to ND500).

EOS C70 EOS R5, EOS R5 C and EOS R3 mount adapter and lens compatibility
EOS R5, EOS R5 C and EOS R3 mount adapter and lens compatibility

 

Lenses and effective angle of view: Full-frame vs Super 35mm image sensor

The EOS R3, EOS R5, EOS R5 C, and EOS C70 all feature the RF mount, and therefore support RF lenses natively. However, while the EOS R3, EOS R5 and EOS R5 C feature full-frame image sensors, the EOS C70 has a Super 35mm image sensor, resulting in differences in the angle of view.


EOS C70, the Super 35mm sensor, and Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x

The Super 35mm image sensor on the EOS C70 results in a 1.45x crop factor, which makes images look more zoomed in compared to on a full-frame camera. While this can be an advantage for close-up takes, it also prevents you from making the most of wide-angle lenses.

To remedy that, you can use the Mount Adapter EF-EOS R 0.71x. This doesn’t just let you attach EF lenses to the RF mount, but also contains optics that reduce the image circle projected by the lens to Super 35mm size, maintaining the original angle of view of the lens. The reduced image circle also concentrates the light rays entering the lens, achieving a “speed booster” effect where the resulting image is one f-stop brighter than when the master lens is used alone.


EOS R3, EOS R5, EOS R5 C: Full frame image sensors

The other three cameras are equipped with full-frame image sensors, allowing RF lenses and (through an EF-EOS R mount adapter) EF lenses to be used with their original angle of view. They also have a Super 35mm cropped shooting mode for when you wish to shoot with the Super 35mm angle of view.

** Measurement conditions: CFexpress card recording (two-slot recording: off), using LCD monitor (Brightness: normal). Lens: RF50mm f/1.2L USM

In conclusion: What’s the most important to you?

In conclusion: What’s the most important to you?

Ultimately, the camera that works best for you depends on your objectives for getting the camera and the type of productions you do. For example, videographers who are drawn to the Cinema EOS system functionality may choose the EOS R5 C for its 8K capabilities and still shooting performance, or go for the EOS C70 because of specific features such as advanced audio, in-camera Canon Log 2 and built-in ND filter. Meanwhile, hybrid shooters who are still primarily photographers may find the video capabilities of the EOS R3 and EOS R5 sufficient for their needs.

If you want…
Consider…
8K shooting EOS R5, EOS R5 C
Longer continuous recording times EOC C70, EOS R5 C, EOS R3
Oversampled 4K EOS R3, EOS R5, EOS R5 C
Built-in ND filter system EOS C70
Widest dynamic range EOS C70
HLG recording EOS C70, EOS R5 C
Cinema camera functionality/
Dedicated professional video controls
EOS C70, EOS R5 C
Strong still photography capabilities EOS R3, EOS R5, EOS R5 C


Wondering about the EOS C70? Also see:
6 Things About Cinema Cameras that Serious Video Creators Should Know

For a comparison of the still shooting capabilities of the EOS R3 and EOS R5, see:
EOS R3 vs EOS R5: Which One Should I Choose?

 


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