The Cinema Showdown: Canon C70 vs EOS R5 vs Sony A7S III

Recently, three video-centric cameras have emerged within the last two months—the Canon EOS R5, Sony A7S III and the Canon Cinema EOS C70. Each camera has its own unique features that make it the perfect video camera depending on what you're using it for. 

the canon c70, eos r5 and sony a7siii

Below, we'll explain why all three of these cameras have made a huge impact in the videography and cinematography world. Hopefully, we help you come to your own decision on which camera will be the best suited for your needs. 

Camera Specification Chart 

Camera Feature 

Canon C70 Canon R5 Sony A7S III
Sensor Resolution 8.85 MP 45 MP 12.1 MP
Sensor Type  CMOS CMOS CMOS
Sensor Size 26.2 x 13.8mm 36 x 24mm 35.6 x 23.8mm
Image Size  4,096 x 2,160 8,192 x 5,464 4,240 x 2,832
Sensor Format Super 35 Full-Frame  Full-Frame 
Native ISO Sensitivity 100-102,400 100-51,200 80-102,400
Dynamic Range 16 stops 15 stops 15 stops
Mount Type RF Mount  RF Mount  E Mount 
Autofocus Tracking  Yes Yes Yes
Storage  2 SD (UHS-II) 1 CFexpress Type B, 1 SD (UHS-II) 2 Dual Compatible CFexpress Type A or SD (UHS-II)
Image File Format XF-AVC: MXF (OP-1a) MPEG4: MP4 HEVC: MP4 Stills: JPEG, HEIF, RAW, C-RAW Movies: ALL-I, IPB, RAW Stills: JPEG, HEIF, ARW (RAW) Movies: XAVC S, XVAVC HS
Image Stabilization  Digital Stabilization 5-axis IBIS 5-axis IBIS
Recording Limit Unlimited  30 min. (20 min w/ 8K) Unlimited 
Video Max Resolution 4K/120fps 8K/30fps 4K/120fps
Slow-Mo Video 4K/120fps
1080p/180fps
4K/120fps 4k/120fps
1080p/240fps
Audio Recording  2 – Mini-XLR inputs (Auto and Manual level settings) External microphone terminal: (3.5 mm diameter) Built-in stereo microphone, optional external stereo microphone Built-in stereo microphone, optional external stereo microphone
Headphone Jack  Yes Yes Yes
LCD Type Articulating Touch Screen Articulating Touch Screen Articulating Touch Screen
LCD Size  3.5" 3.2" 3"
LCD Resolution  2,760,000 dots 2,100,000 dots 1,440,000 dots
Viewfinder Resolution  N/A 5,670,000 dots 9,437,184 dots
GPS GP-E2 with Interface cable IFC-40AB III / IFC-150AB III) Via USB-C Geo-tagging via phone app Geo-tagging via phone app
Wi-Fi Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth Yes Yes Yes
Battery Life  TBA  300 shots  Up to 135 mins with LCD
Battery Type BP-A30, BP-A60 LP-E6NH FW-Z100
Weather-Sealed Body  No Yes Yes
USB Version  USB-C USB-C USB-C
Weight  2.6lbs 1.43lbs 1.35lbs
Dimensions  130.2 x 160 x 115.9mm 138 x 97.5 x 88 mm 128.9 x 96.9 x 69.7 mm
MSRP Price $5499 $3899 $3498

As you can see from the chart above, these cameras contain some of the most advanced video capabilities to date. Keep in mind, we are comparing a cinema Super 35 camera to Full-Frame mirrorless cameras, but each hold its own weight. 

Image Resolution and Video Capability

The EOS R5 is really more of a hybrid stills and video camera, hence the 45MP, whereas the EOS C70 and the Sony a7s III were made specifically for video users. However, due to the EOS R5's 8K video capabilities and price range, this comparison is only natural. 

the canon eos r5

The EOS R5 utilizes its impressive 45MP sensor to shoot in a staggering 8k resolution, capturing massive amounts of detail and providing enough flexibility to heavily crop or reframe in post production. However, there are recording limits to consider at the higher resolutions and frame rates due to over heating. Those 8k files sizes themselves are massive and require very powerful computers to edit efficiently.

The Sony a7s III, on the other hand, has a lower resolution but makes up for it with incredible low-light capabilities and an unlimited recording limit. The EOS C70 has a Super 35 dual gain sensor with 8.85MP which allows for 16 stops of dynamic range and practically the same native ISO range as the a7s III from 100-102,400. Both the a7s III and C70 can shoot up to 4K 120p and all three cameras can record in 10-bit 4:2:2 color with flat log profiles suitable for color grading.

The EOS R5 lets you record 12-bit RAW video internally, but RAW is only available at 8K resolution with no compression options. You also won't have the ability to send those raw files to an external recorder. While the Sony A7S III can't record RAW internally, it can output RAW over HDMI, which can be recorded in Apple ProRes RAW with an Atomos Ninja V recorder.

Available Lenses 

The C70 utilizes a large cooling fan which allows the camera to maintain optimal temperature performance for long recording sessions, but also compromises some of its weather sealing in return. The R5 and C70 utilize Canon’s new mirrorless RF lens mount, and combining the impressive RF lens line up currently available with the extensive collection of EF full frame lenses and Canon Adapters, both of these cameras will have no shortage of lenses to utilize.

Sony’s universal E-mount allows the user to choose from full-frame, cinema, and even APS-C lenses with full functionality and an increasingly growing lineup of high-quality third-party lenses expands the filmmaker’s options even further. Sony has also included a new gyro metadata feature that dramatically increases the post production stabilization when using Sony's software, eliminating the need for a gimbal or tripod in some cases.

Battery Life 

Battery life is another important factor. For the best results the Canon EOS C70 takes the cake. Although they haven't released the official stats, representatives have claimed this camera will "last for hours." Also, because the battery is located externally, it has the option of using an even higher capacity battery. The Sony comes in a close second with 135 minutes and lastly the EOS R5 with only around 300 shots. 

Conclusion

Now assuming that you're not already invested in either the Sony or Canon mirrorless ecosystem any of these options will give you the tools and features to create amazing video content. The R5 takes the lead for hybrid content creators who need to fully utilize the high resolution sensor for stills and want the flexibility for more creative cropping in post when shooting 8k video. Though the video record limits, editing hardware requirements for 8k footage, and potential workflow interruptions from over heating may give video focused content creators pause.

the sony a7siii

The Sony Alpha a7s III addresses the overheating issues and allows the user to record continuously until the battery is empty or the card is full, all the while managing to make this weather sealed body the smallest of the three. Sony introduced a new articulating touch screen with this camera, but did not add the same robust menu functionality that we've come to expect from Canon's touch screens. The 12 MP sensor gives stills enough resolution for most social and web based purposes but may leave some creators wanting.

The Sony also requires the new media format CFexpress Type A memory cards to record at the cameras highest resolution and frame-rates and so availability and brand options of those storage cards is limited at the time of this writing. However, Sony benefits from being the longest standing in the Full-Frame mirrorless game and so they have the largest line up of superb native lenses and high quality third-party lenses to choose from. Combined with the Sony's lower price and gyro data, makes this a very attractive contender for new high-production film makers looking to be fast and light on set.

the canon c70

The C70's 8.85 MP Dual-Gain Super 35 sensor limits this camera to 4k video but the C70 aims to do 4k better than anyone else. With 16-stops of reported dynamic range at 4k 120 fps, combined with Canon's impressive new RF glass and large BP battery pack, this camera is a video powerhouse and video content creator's gold standard.

The larger build and open cooling vent could dissuade some undecided filmmakers looking for the smallest travel rigs, or those knowing they will be filming in harsher environments. But that certainly doesn't mean the C70 is limited to the studio. Being small enough to mount on one-handed gimbals, the C70 now gives Canon shooters a lighter option to those who were forced to pack in their C300s on long treks.

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