Behind the Scenes Using the New Canon C700 4K Video Camera on ‘The Calling’

Canon’s newest flagship cinema EOS camera was put into the hands of Cinematographer Russell Carpenter and ASC and Canon Explorer of Light Tyler Stableford. Together they created the beautiful short film, "The Calling," that takes a look into the lives of three people in the American West.

The Canon C700 is a high-end cinema camera made for feature, commercial, or documentary projects. The EF and PL versions boast a dynamic range of 15 stops with 4K raw at up to 120fps through an external recorder. If you’re unfamiliar with it, check out this article that goes over some of the features, but also questions if Canon was a bit late in releasing a camera at this level.

The behind-the-scenes feature above shows how Stableford and his team worked in a number of typical, yet challenging production scenarios. Whether it was low light in a bar scene, or fighting midday sun with very bright highlights, one thing that kept coming back was the C700’s ability to capture a broad dynamic range with exceptional detail. And the larger form factor didn’t keep Stableford from hauling it up the side of a cliff to shoot handheld clips of rock climbing.

Here is the short film that was created:

So what do you think about the visuals here? At first glance I wasn’t terribly impressed, but when I sat down to write this article I watched the film full screen, and had a change of heart. The colors, the detail, it all looks really good. I think this would be a great camera choice to rent for a commercial shoot sometime, I personally can’t wait to get my hands on one.

Mike Wilkinson's picture

Mike Wilkinson is an award-winning video director with his company Wilkinson Visual, currently based out of Lexington, Kentucky. Mike has been working in production for over 10 years as a shooter, editor, and producer. His passion lies in outdoor adventures, documentary filmmaking, photography, and locally-sourced food and beer.

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I'm glad to see Canon jumping into this high end market. I really wish Nikon would make some sort of video camera. It doesn't need to be this high end. Just a little better than a DSLR.

Agreed on the Nikon front, I love their cameras and especially their color science.
As for this Canon C700.....4K and no Internal RAW recording would have been impressive 5 years ago but for today's standards where we have Alexa Minis doing that and RED Heliums/ Weapons doing the same in 6/8K....Canon is far behind the competition. Still lovely images though and some cool features like internal Nd's, Russell Carpenter is a genius.

I want to use this camera so bad!

Why couldn't Canon put some of this tech into their latest SLRs? It's a clear indicator that they're deliberately seperating their lineups and a clear message to Canon users: buy both a still and video camera or jump ship to Sony.

Sure the visuals are nice, but I'm just not a fan of the ergonomics of this camera, and the specs seem a year or two behind. I'm amazed on how many Alexa Mini's I see on shoots as A cameras over the full size Alexas, and the same with RED. If this camera had the ergonomics and size of the C300 mkii then that would be amazing! I thought a Sony F65 was a tank, but with the Codex RAW recorder for the C700 (which without it this is just an overpriced/glorified c300 mkii but up to 4k60p) this just looks huge! And just not ideal for my needs.

With the push for wireless controls over cameras there's less of a need for the larger traditional film-style cameras with operator and assistant sides and just shrinking the size and weight of the camera to accommodate any shooting style from gimbal to studio configurations.

Who knows maybe I'll rent one of these for a shoot, but think I'm going to stick with Arri and REDs as a whole.