Canon R5 C or Canon C70?

It’s easy to get bogged down when comparing all the features offered by Canon’s cameras but the task becomes much simpler when approaching the question purely from the perspective of HDR, for which the camera must meet a minimum of three criteria: low noise, thirteen stops of dynamic range and offer raw recording (either internally or externally). If our budget is six grand, surprisingly, only a couple of cameras currently on the market meet that bar. Not a must, but preferable, is 120p recording, as that is what will be necessary to lessen the motion artifacts that plague high dynamic range video. Incidentally, TCL (the second largest TV manufacturer by market share) just became the very first TV manufacturer to incorporate TrueCut Motion by PixelWorks, a Silicon Valley company teaming up with studios and streaming network providers to offer a solution to 24p judder (which is where shooting at 120 fps comes in). Anyhow, those two cameras are the RED Komodo and the Blackmagic Ursa 12K, each of which shoots raw and both of which boast a dynamic range of around 12-1/2 stops as calculated by Imatest. The Canon C70 has the desired dynamic range and noise handling (courtesy of its DGO architecture) as well as built-in ND filters but confusingly, lacks raw capability. As we’ve repeated many times in the past, 10-bit 4:2:2 Y′CbCr is to be avoided as it can introduce hue shifts, saturation problems, contouring and banding. The maximum color deviation in 10-bit Y′CbCr exceeds commercial cinema theater white point tolerance specifications at every luminance level. The Canon R5 C has mediocre dynamic range if it is at all similar to the Canon R5 and 8K Canon RAW Lite files are said to be all but impossible to work with in post. Because of the form factor of the Ursa 12K and the fact that in order to get those 12-1/2 stops of dynamic range, you’ve got to shoot 12K and downsample to 4K in post, we’d choose the RED Komodo: REDCODE RAW, 12-1/2 stops of dynamic range, film-like noise, excellent color accuracy along with a global shutter, seven stops of exposure latitude and an RF mount make it the most compelling if not the sexiest option at the moment as far as we’re concerned.

19 thoughts on “Canon R5 C or Canon C70?

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    1. According to Dolby, “It is ideal to have an RGB 4:4:4 (12-bit or 16-bit) pipeline all the way from production through post production to final delivery. It is always recommended to preserve all the image quality in the original camera raw throughout the production and post production process. Camera raw may be converted to other image formats for convenience and efficiency”. The R3D codec is supposed to be the most powerful raw codec on the market.

      1. It absolutely is! I have seen people talk about it and the versatility of the codec because of the support and playback. Another point for RED is their implementation of ISO and how it’s a slides on a pivot so you can adjust it when you want more highlights and a scene has little shadows.

    2. A firmware update slated for March that adds Cinema RAW Lite to the Canon C70 could very well make it another contender for the title of the best sub-$6,000 HDR cinema camera. Well, $6,300.00 here in Saigon. The update might limit shooting to 30 fps maximum. What are your thoughts? Should I trade in the Sony? 😅

      1. Well, for me such limit would not be a factor as I sometimes shoot 30fps and then place it on a 24fps timeline. For my regular videos I shoot at 24 to 25fps.

        The A7S III is quite the camera but you already have it so to make the best decision would be to see how the raw plays out. If it’s crippled someway or you can only use 1 specific SDXC card that costs 10x as much then no.

        I have been myself eyeing the Z9 to “replace” my Z6 but as it stands now I am quite content. I would benefit from the internal recording with no timelimit as I usually set my camera alone to take videos of birds with my 50mm so the “infinite” internal recording would be useful as well the longer battery life.

        Exciting times to be a cinema camera enthusiast.

  1. Nice analysis.
    However, the RED Komodo has a Super35 sensor (the standard for most movies, ~APSC) whereas the RF mount is for full frame lenses.
    The focal length will certainly be ~ x1.5.

    1. An advantage of the RF mount on the C70 (which might be back in the running with the announcement of a firmware update adding Cinema RAW Lite) over the C300 Mark III is the ability to use adapters to get the full frame look on Super35.

      1. Ho yes that’s true, that’s a good point.
        I don’t know if there are downsides on the AF capibilities or not however.

      2. What is weird is that the adaptor to get the full frame look exist only for the EF lenses mount.
        Will they put an adaptor to get Full Frame look of RF lenses on an RF mount?
        That would be good but weird at the same time…
        Also, getting full frame lenses (Price and size+weight) to use on a Super 35 sensor, I don’t know.

      3. Yeah, you’ve got to use an EF to RF focal reducer to get the full frame look. When using the Canon adaptor, you lose some of the AF area coverage.

  2. If I remember well, one of the most beautiful footage I watched on YouTube has been recorded with the Red camera but I can’t find it anymore.

    Are you about to switch Jon?

    1. I don’t know about switching, but I’ve been thinking about the Komodo ever since it was released. A couple months ago my camera shop got a couple of used Dragons in and they invited me over to have a look. I guess I never realized just how premium REDs are. The Komodo will probably cost something like $8,000 here, so out of my budget.

  3. I see, and switching your lenses will also cost.
    GM lenses cost but RF also.
    What about the AF that you use a lot with the A7SIII?

    1. Eye AF is great to have but focus breathing is a problem with Sony lenses. I think Sony could add breathing compensation in a future firmware update, but I’m sure it won’t work with ProRes RAW. I don’t think the Komodo has eye AF, so that might drive me crazy. hehe

      1. They added the focus breathing compensation on the FX6 latest firmware (Philip Bloom tests it in one of its latest videos).

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