The implications of the Canon 70D sensor for mirrorless (and DSLRs)

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Chris R-UK
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The implications of the Canon 70D sensor for mirrorless (and DSLRs)
8 months ago

It is now almost 2 years since the launch of the Nikon 1 Series, so far the only mirrorless camera with decent AF-C.  AFAIK there has been no significant improvement in M4/3 AF-C in that time.

AF-C is a big deal for me because I shoot a lot of wildlife and the dreadful AF-C on M4/3 is the only reason that I have kept my DSLR.

Although we will have to wait for a full 70D review and owner feedback, yesterday's article on initial tests of the 70D's dual pixel AF system suggests that Canon may now have a sensor based PDAF system which is as good as a DSLR's PDAF.  That presumably means very good AF-C.

If the 70D's sensor really works what are the implications for mirrorless and for DSLRs?

Some thoughts/questions:

  • Does Olympus or Panasonic have such a sensor up their sleeve?  I hope so!
  • Is CDAF capable of getting to PDAF quality AF-C?
  • Are current M4/3 lenses designed for CDAF suitable for PDAF? 
  • What will M4/3 lenses focusing speed be like compared with DSLR lenses (designed for PDAF) when using a 70D type PDAF system?
  • Are DSLRs likely to turn into mirrorless EVF systems but retain DSLR lenses?
  • In the longer term which will win out, CDAF or PDAF?

Yesterday's article had made me stop and think whether I should both hold onto my DSLR lenses and hold off buying any new M4/3 lenses.

I realise that some of the above questions are rhetorical but I would be grateful for any thoughts from forum members with more technical knowledge than I have.

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Chris R

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Canon EOS 70D
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