Canon R5 Versus Canon C70: Which Should You Buy for Video?

Canon has been releasing some superb cameras in the last year, with lots of options for videographers. Two of the chief contenders are being pitted against one another here to see which is the best for video purposes.

Canon's 2020 has to be one of its strongest years on record for cameras released, with the brilliant R5 and R6 taking center stage. However, the Canon C70 is pitched as a cinema camera (albeit an entry-level one) and so if you're a videographer, there is a decision to be made. If you're looking at buying a Canon mirrorless camera for video, which one should you choose?

The R5 stole the headlines with its 8K, albeit marred by the overheating issues. However, it's rarely relevant for most shooters, with the maximum resolution 99.9% of viewers will ever watch content in is 4K, and more upsetting still, the bulk of those will be watching on phone screens. I have done unscientific tests to see if I could tell the difference between 4K and 8K on my phone (which has a 6.7" screen might I add) and I could barely see the difference between 1080p or 2K and 8K, let alone 4K. So for the most part, 8K is superfluous, which is nice, because the C70 doesn't have that option.

Two of the biggest differences between the C70 and the R5 are the price and the sensor size, as Parker Walbeck discusses, and for me, the R5 is where I'd send my money, but I'm also drawn in by the fact it's a hybrid. How about you?

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18 Comments

Kurt Hummel's picture

I would buy a video camera to shoot video, use the right tool for the job.

T Van's picture

What if you could get better results on a tight budget by using a still camera that shoots better video than what you could afford in a video camera?

Benoit Pigeon's picture

About canon R5 vs Canon Elan? I haven't seen that one yet.

Eric Robinson's picture

More a question rather than a comment. Given the difference between 4K and 8K is the number of pixels rather than any inherent video quality would one expect any difference at all when resized to fit a phone screen? Again more a question, are data rate/bit depth not much more important factors when determining video quality?... and what about the final codec recipe used for delivery? The problem as I see it with video quality is the resolution tag 4K/8K often used gives no real indication of the actual quality of the footage..... or am I missing something?

T Van's picture

I think those are good questions.
First thing that came to mind was, who has a 4K monitor to even see what the video actually looks like. Even more rare, who has an 8K monitor. Hard to see a difference if you don't have something that can display the difference.
And what is the data rate and bit rate of the capture?
Potentially there is much more detail/resolution the higher the pixel count if the data is captured in it's raw form.
In general, starting with the highest resolution raw data will yield the best results down the line.
Don't want the weak link at the start of the process.
I think you're right, the amount of information/data rate and bit rate is likely as important as overall resolution of the capture.
All that said, camera technology, video quality and affordability are pretty impressive when looking at what was available 30 - 40 years ago. If you ever worked with 3/4" Umatic video cameras, new cameras are like science fiction in comparison.

Eric Robinson's picture

Never mind 30 years ago! If I think back to my film making days in 2006 when My main video camera was a CanonXl2 in all its tape based SD glory! Back then interlaced 4:3 was pretty common and HD was an expensive rarity and that’s not taking into account the hardware that was required to edit it. I still have the Raid system I got especially to cut my first Film shot on HD on some Sony HD tape based Behemoth of a Camera.Technology sure has come a long way in a relatively short time.

Kai Fredriksen's picture

A key benefit for me - is that with 8k, I can crop significantly for 4k video, or with 4k I can crop a lot for a 1080 delivery, even add some nice camera movements or crops that fakes a 2 camera set up, with just one camera set up.

T Van's picture

Yes. And for better results in any post processing and compositing.

Eric Robinson's picture

Can you explain how 4K on an HD timeline will result in better post processing if the footage had been used for digital pans/creeps etc?

T Van's picture

I wouldn't say that it would be better after using it to punch in, or for pans. I'd say that in addition to being able to punch in or pan, the video at it's full resolution is better for Compositing and CGI.

Eric Robinson's picture

Sure thing, video cropping along with some Ken Burns movement can be a really useful thing for a project at the expense of much bigger file sizes and all that it brings, though is shooting 8K for 4K delivery not a tad wasteful in respect to all that extra storage required?
Is it also yet another ‘sloppy’ way of working digital has brought with it? Back in the day a shooting ratio of 4:1 or 6:1 was common, now shooting digitally ratios from what I’ve heard have skyrocketed add shoot 8K deliver 4K into the mix and that makes for a lot of pixels ending up on the cutting room floor!

T Van's picture

Hard Drives are pretty cheap. I'd venture to say you are correct about the ratio of video used. I'm not sure if that's a result of higher resolution cameras though.Most bigger production companies still create a shoot list and set up times aren't any faster than they used to be. I'm not sure what qualifies as wasteful pixels/resolution.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Shows that Canon is making a big mess crossing things. The entire video good feature package should be on the C70 and the crop sensor on the C70 is probably not that attractive. It's like overnight Canon went berserk. I don't understand that brand any more.

T Van's picture

Two divisions within the company that often don't communicate with each other. It's a demanding marketplace that is pulling them in many different directions in an effort to remain relevant and retain as much market share as they can. Not an easy time to be a camera company when every phone iteration has better and better cameras with built in post processing.

Benoit Pigeon's picture

Well that stuff is not working to get my $ and new lenses for my mirrorless eventual and unavoidable switch.

Jon Wolding's picture

I'm both a DP and a professional photographer.
Having used both and R5 and the C70, as well as owning a C300 mk3, I can say that I would 100% get a C70 over the R5.

What the C70 has:
- balanced audio inputs (mini XLR)
- same sensor as the C300 mk3 - and it is amazing.
- 95% of my work is NOT shot on RAW.
- timecode

What I don't like about the R5:
- 29:59 recording time limit
- even shorter recording time limits in RAW
- you can't shoot 4K RAW
- no timecode
- no balanced audio
- can't use a lot of S35 (PL and EF/CN) lenses because they will vignette

For stills?
I'd get the R5 without question.

Garrett Stevensen's picture

Article Quote: "I could barely see the difference between 1080p or 2K and 8K, let alone 4K."

I think you meant to say: "I could barely see the difference between 1080p or 2K and 4K, let alone 8K."

Ryan Stone's picture

I own both, right tool for the job and they match somewhat closely in grading.