One of the latest introductions to the series is the EOS 70D – the direct successor to the popular 60D and an amazingly versatile camera that can easily compare or even replace the more expensive EOS 7D (which is placed right above the 70D in the product lineup). So, what does the 70D bring to the table and how does it compare to all the other cameras on the market? Let’s take a closer look at it.
The Canon EOS 70D is an evolved 60D design wise – it’s got the same overall layout and size, with a few minor changes and tweaks, which all result in a camera that is easier to hold and use for pretty much any period of time. You wouldn’t be able to tell the two apart just by looking at them, but you can recognize the 70D by its narrower and less rounded profile, as well as the presence of a movie mode button and a dial lock switch (as opposed to the button on the 60D) on the back.
While the EOS 70D isn’t a whole new revolutionary product, it doesn’t have to be and it still has a few new features that will make it a choice worthy of attention for any photographer. By far the biggest feature of the 70D is the 20.2 Megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor, which uses a unique Dual Pixel AutoFocus technology – and it’s actually more useful than it sounds. The major advantage that Dual Pixel AF has over the competition is that it allows for extremely fast and accurate autofocus, even in low light conditions, for both in photos and video.
It is basically a perfected on-chip phase detection technology, with each pixel being split into two photodiodes that capture light from the left and right side of the lens independently, then uses that information to adjust the focus (if the image is out of phase between both diodes, then the picture is blurry).
Other than this headline feature, the Canon EOS 70D also has a fully articulated 3 inch display with 1,040,000 dots and a touch digitizer, an EVF with 98% coverage 0.95x magnification and switchable gridlines, the DIGIC 5+ image processor, a 7 FPS continuous shooting mode, an ISO range of 100-12800 (25600 extended), 19 autofocus points (plus independent AF settings saved for different lens), HDR and a silent shutter support.
The EOS 70D supports pretty much all of the lens that you can fit on other Canon dSLR’s, and it comes as a kit with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM and the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.
Video recording features
Video recording was a strong point of EOS cameras starting with the 5D, which inadvertently made them the go to choice for indie film makers. Thankfully, Canon decided to go with it, and most of the subsequent cameras were excellent for video, with the 70D being no different. The EOS 70D has the special movie mode button, can record in up to 1920x1080p resolution at 30 FPS, has two external microphones and a microphone input, image stabilization and of course the Dual Pixel AF technology, which is perfect for video (especially in low light conditions).
Connectivity and battery
Connectivity wise, the EOS 70D pulls ahead of its predecessor and direct competition with the built in Wifi adapter, which is more useful than it may seem at first glance. Using Wifi, you can not only transfer photos and video to/from your computer, but also stream video/photos to DLNA compatible TVs, print photos, upload photos directly to online services, and most importantly, remotely control most of the camera’s photo functions using a smartphone, tablet or laptop – no more need for a dedicated remote or trigger.
The other connectivity options are the same as on the 60D – the camera supports SDXC (including UHS-1, of course) cards, supports GPS, and has USB out, HDMI out and analog AV out interfaces.
The standard LP-E6 battery pack is rated for up to 1000 shots without flash and the display, up to 225 shots with the display LiveView on and up to 80 shots with 50% built in flash usage. The numbers are average for dSLR’s, but if you want to get the most out of one battery charge, you can go with the BG-E14 battery grip.
|Specifications||Canon EOS 70D|
|Sensor||20.2 Megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor with unique Dual Pixel AF technology|
|Lens and optics||Interchangeable lens; kits available with 18-55mm STM and 18-135mm STM|
|Display/viewfinder||Fully articulated 3 inch, 3:2 format, 1040K dots ClearView II LCD display with touch digitizer; electronic viewfinder with 98% coverage, 0.95x magnification and switchable gridlines|
|Photography features||DIGIC 5+ image processor, 7 FPS continuous shooting mode, ISO 100-12800, 19 point AF system, silent shutter, built-in flash, lens-dependent AF modes, HDR and ME modes|
|Video recording features||Up to 1920x1080p at 30 FPS, integrated stereo microphones, external mic input, fast autofocus (using DP AF), image stabilization|
|Storage||SDXC card slot|
|Connectivity Options||Wifi, GPS interface, USB out, HDMI out, analog AV out|
|Battery||LP-E6 battery pack: up to 1000 shots without flash, 225 shots with LiveView and 80 shots using flash;
Support for external battery pack
|Dimensions and weight||139.0 x 104.3 x 78.5 mm, 755 grams|
User Controls and Interface
The external controls remain mostly the same as on previous models, which makes it easy to adjust to the camera if you’re switching from another EOS. The on screen menu is a bit more refined and adapted for touch operation, but it still retains the same overall layout and functionality – and unlike some other manufacturers, Canon is not forcing you to go touch or go home, which is a good thing for seasoned professionals.
Price and Availability
The Canon EOS 70D is coming soon, but the prices have already been announced – the body only will be sold for $1199, with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit going for $1349 and the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM kit being the most expensive at $1549. The BG-E14 battery grip will cost you an additional $269. Overall, the pricing reflects that of the 60D at launch, and is more than reasonable for the features you’re getting – Canon has yet another winner on their hands.