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70d Canon Review

The Ultimate Canon 70D Review! Everything You Could Ever Need To Know!

Welcome to our Canon 70D Review! Lets get right into it. The upgraded version of Canon 60D, Canon 70D was released in July 2013. It is a part of Canon EOS two-digit line which also includes 70D’s predecessor Canon 60D, and 70D’s successor Canon 80D. It features 20.2 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC+ image processor to ensure high-resolution images and excellent low-light sensitivity.

The EOS 70D 20.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor is definitely one of a kind. This sensor accommodates two photodiodes sitting under a single shared micro lens at each pixel location. This means that in principle they are all capable of phase detection autofocus in live view and movie mode. On-chip based detection my not be something new itself but 70D’s Dual Pixel AF system works across an area 80% of the frame width and height, in light levels as low as 0 EV, and at apertures down to F11. This is exactly what makes 20.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS the most capable live view autofocus system we have yet seen on any type of camera. Sensor’s actual size is 22.5 x 15 mm. So, the sensor’s size is unchanged when compared to Canon 60D, but the active imaging area of the sensor is slightly increased. The sensor has a surface area of 337.5 mm², and there are approximately 20,200,000 photosites (pixels) on this area. The pixel pitch, i.e. the distance from the center of one pixel to the center of the next is 4.09 µm which means it has been reduced when compared to Canon 60D. But even with this reduction, the difference is not as great as you might otherwise expect.

Canon 70d

Canon EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera

  • 20.2 MP APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+
  • 19 point cross-type AF System
  • Up to 7 fps shooting
  • ISO 100-12800, expandable to 25600
  • Dual Pixel CMOS AF for fast focus in live view and video

Price: $1,199

One very important element of Canon EOS system we noticed for our review is that the DIGIC processor which is Canon Inc.’s proprietary family of signal processing and control units for digital cameras and camcorders. Cannon 70D features the DIGIC 5+ Image Processor which is approximately three times faster than DIGIC 5, and 17 times faster than DIGIC 4. This means that the processor can perform pixel-to-pixel based calculations immediately after the image is recorded. The DIGIC 5+ processor works in tandem with the APS-C CMOS sensor in a way that the sensor captures the light and converts the brightness at each pixel into an electronic signal, then the processor processes each separate signal and converts them into a finished image. So, the 70D’s 20.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+ processor are producing high-resolution, well-detailed, natural-looking and smooth images with the minimal noise, as well as full HD 1080p videos with remarkable low-light sensitivity. 

One important enhancement of Canon 70D when compared to 60D is the DUAL Pixel CMOS AF which provides a significant improvement in focus accuracy and consistency over conventional autofocus. It works perfectly for both videos and stills thanks to the Live View/video-optimized AF system which works well also without special lenses.  When working with still imagery, this focusing system works to acquire focus quickly and accurately, making it ideally suited to shooting and tracking moving subjects and ensuring critical focus is attained with each shot. We noticed when completing our review that when shooting video, focusing is smooth and natural when changing from different subjects or different distances within the scene. DUAL Pixel CMOS AF has many more benefits such as the ability to focus on subjects in a very fast and precise manner, and to utilize the touchscreen LCD monitor to its full potential. In addition, Dual Pixel CMOS AF is fully supported by over 100 current and former EF and EF-S lenses to offer a wide spectrum of compatibility for both still and video applications.

Large and Clear Display

The Canon 70D uses a fully-integrated, large and bright 3.0″ touchscreen Clear View LCD monitor. It is very similar to that used in the EOS 650D and 700D. However, it is improved on the one in the EOS 60D in a sense that the air gap between the glass and the screen itself has been eliminated, and thus the visibility in bright light is now improved. Thanks to the vari-angle design the shooting and viewing from both high and low angles is very efficient and the touchscreen control gives way to easy navigation of menus and shooting controls, as well as precise control over focus points. The screen has the anti-reflective and smudge-resistant coating which provides clearer viewing, even in in any lighting condition.

One thing we did we were massively impressed by when conducting our review was that the 70D features also the Intelligent Viewfinder which provides 98% frame coverage and 0.95x magnification, which is rather an improvement on the 96% coverage of EOS 60D. So while working with the viewfinder, the 19-point all cross-type AF system is used to provide a wide range of focus coverage for acquiring focus. All 19 points increase sensitivity and they are fast and accurate even in very low light. These focus points are configurable and allow homing in on specific elements within the frame to focus on or to provide coverage across the frame.

iFCL 63-Zone Dual Layer Metering Sensor incorporated in the 70D detects the color of the subject to determine the exposure accurately. The 63 zones for measuring brightness cover the entire image with great detail and dual-layer design. The 63 zones also function in tandem with the AF points where distance and color information is transmitted between them for more precise and stable exposure. In fact, this metering system uses evaluative, center-weighted, and spot metering methods to determine exposure, as well as allowing for a +/- 5 EV exposure compensation for greater manipulation of the determined exposure setting.

Lack of Creativity?

One bad point we discovered when completing our 70d review, the Canon 70D does not let you apply creative filter effects to movies. As a kind of compensation it offers the Video Snapshot which allows recording short video clips in 2, 4 or 8 seconds segments, then joins them together to compile a quick and easy movie.

Live View offers a great number of shooting modes. On the mode dial you can choose between 7 presets: PASM, Bulb, Custom, Green Square Auto+, Flash Off, Creative Auto and the SCN. The SCN allows you to choose between seven modes: Portrait, Landscape, Close-up, Sports, Night Portrait, Handheld Night Scene and HDR Backlight Control. Handheld Night Scene takes four shots in quick succession and automatically combines them to reduce camera shake along with visible noise, but it operates only operates with Auto ISO. Further on, in Live View you can now apply seven Creative Filters: Grainy Black and White, Soft Focus, Fish Eye, Art Bold, Water Painting, Toy Camera and Miniature. As already mentioned above, the creative filters cannot be applied to movies. What is also new from Canon is an auto-panorama mode, which works differently than, for instance, Sony’s or Panasonic’s panorama mode where you only have to pan the camera around to have a panorama image. 70D has software which actually stitches multiple images together into one single image.