Tech / Filmmaking

Filmmaking Cameras Highlights From The Past Year

Filmmaking gear 2020
Published 24 February 2021

Last updated on 5 July 2022

When it comes to filmmaking gear, 2020 wasn’t so bad after all. Indeed it was grueling with everything that has been happening, especially with the effects it has had on the creative industries. But for us in the tech world, we couldn’t wait to get some of these releases.

You may want to see our. blog about the best Filmmaking Lens Filters here.

2020 Filmmaking Cameras: A 2021 Summary

Here are some select highlights to consider, whether pro or just starting out.

Sony A7S III – $3,499

Sony released its predecessor A7S II in 2015; five years later, they knew that although popular for its low-light capability and enhanced filmmaking features, their technology quickly became outdated.

Sony a7s iii
Image via Sony.

So now, the A7S III is finally out, and here are the primary specs:

  • 12.1 Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • 4K at 120p
  • 120p & 240p in full HD
  • 10-bit internal recording
  • 4:2:2 color sampling
  • 409,600 ISO
  • 15+ stops of dynamic range

In timing with Canon’s EOS R5 heating issues, the A7S III is welcomed among filmmaking enthusiasts.

Read more about the A7S III here.

Canon EOS C70 – $5,500

In 2020 Canon EOS R5 was released, and with its revolutionary features, many expected it to be a brilliant tool. However, soon the camera overheating issue appeared along with many other problems, which doused the excitement around it.

A couple of months later, Canon released the EOS C70. This camera is a hybrid between the EOS R line and the cine camera line. Having a bit of both worlds, it’s no wonder the camera performs really well, and it’s a hit right now.

Canon’s EOS C70 features a Super 35mm sensor and a very respectable dynamic range.

Canon eos c70
Image via Canon.

The only thing we noticed is that among its features, this camera lacks full-frame 6K RAW or 8K. Usually, other brands include this in their latest releases. Still, C70 is not to be dismissed yet with its Super 35mm sensor with 4K.

With that said, here are the full specs of Canon’s EOS C70:

  • Super 35 dual gain output (DGO) sensor
  • 4K 120p, 2K crop 180p HDR capture
  • Canon log 2, 3, PQ & HLG recording
  • RF Lens Mount / EF Mount with adapter
  • DIG! C DV7 image processor
  • 16+ stops of total dynamic range
  • Built-in ND filters
  • Auto ISO & gain
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF & EOS iTR AF X
  • 1 BNC timecode
  • 2 Mini-XLR audio inputs
  • Dual SD card slots, LUT/Long GOP support

Blackmagic URSA Mini Pro 12K – $9,995

One of the reasons why 2020 was revolutionary when it comes to filmmaking gear is that we got the first 12K camera, with the URSA Mini Pro 12K.

If you are familiar with the URSA Mini 4.6K and URSA Mini Pro G2, then you will notice that the body of the URSA Mini Pro 12K stayed pretty much the same as its two predecessors.

The URSA Mini Pro 12K is upgraded with new internal electronics. These include a new sensor, a new film curve, new color science, and a whole new host of recording features mentioned in the specs below.

Blackmagic ursa mini pro
Image via Blackmagic Design.

URSA Mini Pro 12K specs:

  • Blackmagic RAW across all resolutions
  • Up to 60fps 12K
  • 110fps at 8K
  • 220fps (Super 16 crop) at 4K
  • Interchangeable lens mount (ships with PL)
  • Built-in ND filters
  • Dual CFast & USH-II SD
  • SuperSpeed USB-C expansion port
  • It comes with the Studio version of Resolve

Reading this and seeing the price, you might be wondering, if people are just now upgrading to 4K, why would they need 12K. Some haven’t even gotten to 8K, for that matter.

However, filming in 12K isn’t only about delivering video material in 12K resolution. It is actually about having oversampled 4K and 6K images. This is possible with the 12K sensor, and I will come back with more information and resources on why and how to film in 12K in a while.

Filmmaking Cameras Summary

If you want to look at 2020 from a different perspective, we have just given you three new ones. And all three will provide you with a fantastic view through their lenses. More filmmaking tools are coming in 2021, so stay tuned. We will be covering any new gear entering the market.

However, if you think our picks are random, think again. The gear we select for reviewing is there because of its compact functionality. As filmmaking enthusiasts, when handling gear, we like to work with equipment that condenses tasks and increases efficiency without necessarily buying more or upgrading to any expensive additions. And these three pieces of equipment echo that.

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