Canon EOS 70D Review
During the early days of digital SLRs, Canon was pretty much the undisputed leader in CMOS image sensor technology. Almost every new EOS model came with an increase in resolution and high ISO range, and when the EOS 7D appeared in late 2009, the company had progressed from 3MP to 18MP, and ISO 1600 to ISO 12800, in just over nine years. But since then Canon's APS-C cameras have all sported variants on the same basic sensor design, to the extent that you could be forgiven for wondering what on earth their engineers were doing all day. Now we know.
The EOS 70D is a mid-range SLR for enthusiast photographers that from the outside looks like a sensible, indeed desirable upgrade to the EOS 60D. It borrows many of the best bits from Canon's existing SLRs, including the autofocus sensor from the EOS 7D, the fully articulated touchscreen from the EOS 700D (Rebel T5i), and built-in Wi-Fi from the EOS 6D. But on the inside it sports an entirely new sensor that is, potentially, revolutionary. It offers 20.2MP resolution, but uses a 'Dual Pixel CMOS AF' design in which every single pixel is split into two separately-readable photodiodes, facing left and right. This means that in principle they are all capable of phase detection autofocus in live view and movie mode.
On-chip phase detection is nothing new - we first saw it in the Fujifilm F300EXR back in 2010. Since then it's been adopted in one form or another by most manufacturers, with arguably its most successful implementation coming in Nikon's 1 System mirrorless models. But because until now it's used relatively few active pixels scattered sparsely across the sensor, it's had practical limitations, often only covering a restricted area of the frame and struggling once the light drops below outdoor daylight levels. Canon says that its Dual Pixel AF system, in contrast, 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 means it could well be the most capable live view autofocus system we've yet seen on any type of camera.
We'll look at the technology behind the EOS 70D's live view AF in more detail later, but let's not forget that it has to work as a conventional SLR too. To this end it uses the same 19-point AF sensor as the EOS 7D for viewfinder shooting, but with slightly simplified control options in firmware. It can rattle shots off at 7fps for up to 65 frames in JPEG or 16 in Raw, and its standard ISO range covers 100-12800, with ISO 25600 as an expanded option. Image processing is via the DIGIC 5+ processor first seen in the EOS 5D Mark III.
In terms of control layout the EOS 70D is a logical evolution of the EOS 60D, adopting many of Canon's intervening updates and improvements. So it offers a full set of external controls to operate most key functions, and Canon's well-designed Quick Control screen to cover pretty much everything else. It also adopts the superb touchscreen interface that debuted on the EOS 650D (Rebel T4i), which we've found to be more useful than you might at first think. The 70D also regains an array of features that disappeared between the EOS 50D and 60D, such as AF microadjustment.
Canon EOS 70D key features
- 20.2MP APS-C 'Dual Pixel CMOS AF' sensor
- DIGIC 5+ image processor
- ISO 100-12800 standard, 25600 expanded
- 7fps continuous shooting, burst depth 65 JPEG / 16 Raw
- 'Silent' shutter mode
- 1080p30 video recording, stereo sound via external mic
- 19-point AF system, all points cross-type, sensitive to -0.5 EV
- 63-zone iFCL metering system
- 98% viewfinder coverage, 0.95x magnification, switchable gridlines and electronic level display
- Fully-articulated touchscreen, 1040k dot 3" ClearView II LCD, 3:2 aspect ratio
- Single SD/SDHC/SDXC card slot
- Built-in Wi-Fi
- Single-axis electronic level
- Built-in flash works as off-camera remote flash controller
- AF microadjustment (can be set individually for up to 40 lenses, remembered by lens serial number)
- In-camera High Dynamic Range and Multiple Exposure modes (JPEG-only)
- 'Creative Filter' image processing styles, previewed in live view
Key specs compared
In the table below we see how some of the EOS 70D's key specs measure up against its more expensive big brother, the EOS 7D, and its main rival, the Nikon D7100. What's interesting here is just how close the 70D is to the 7D in terms of spec - in much the same way as Nikon's D7000 made the D300S look almost redundant, it's quite difficult to see why most Canon users would now choose the top-end APS-C model.
Canon EOS 70D
Canon EOS 7D
|Effective Pixels||• 20.2 MP||• 18.0 MP||• 24.1 MP|
|ISO Range|| • 100-12800 standard
• 25600 expanded
| • 100-6400 standard
• 12800 expanded
| • 100-6400 standard
• 50-25600 expanded
|No of AF points||• 19||• 19||• 51|
|AF in live view||• Phase detection||• Contrast detection||• Contrast detection|
|Screen|| • 3.0" 3:2
• 1,040,000 dots
• Touch sensitive
| • 3.0" 4:3
• 920,000 dots
| • 3.2" 4:3
• 1,228,800 dots
|Viewfinder|| • 98% coverage
• 0.95x magnification
| • 100% coverage
• 1.0x magnification
| • 100% coverage
• 0.94x magnification
|Continuous drive||• 7 fps||• 8 fps||• 6 fps|
|Storage||• SD/SDHC/SDXC||• Compact flash|| • SD/SDHC/SDXC
• 2 slots
|• 755g (1.7 lb)||• 860g (1.9 lb)||• 765g (1.7 lb)|
|Dimensions|| • 139 x 104 x 79 mm
(5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1")
| • 148 x 111 x 74 mm
(5.8 x 4.4 x 2.9")
| • 136 x 107 x 76 mm
(5.4 x 4.2 x 3.0")
|Wi-Fi||• Built-in||• Optional||• Optional|
Size and design compared to the EOS 60D
The EOS 70D directly replaces the EOS 60D in Canon's range, and is very similar in terms of size and design. It's a bit smaller though, and has a sensibly-updated control layout. Here we take a more-detailed look at the two cameras side-by-side.
Kit options and pricing
The EOS 70D will be sold body-only for £1079 / $1199 / €1099, as a kit with the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM for £1199.99 / $1340 / €1249, or with the EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens for £1399.99 $1549 / €1499. The BG-E14 battery grip will cost £229.99 / $270 / €215.
The new compression standard is set to reduce video file sizes by half to save space and speed-up transmission, paving the way for more portable 8K footage.
Sony recently confirmed plans to launch a successor to the video-centric a7S II. We don't even know the name of the camera, but Jordan already has a feature wish list for the new 'a7S III' – and it doesn't include 8K.
The Profot B10 is the first studio flash system that can be used when shooting with an iPhone camera.
The Pixii camera is an interesting little rangefinder camera that features a 12MP APS-C sensor and lacks a rear LCD display, opting instead to pair with your mobile device, which can be used to view and transfer images.
Sirui is launching an Indiegogo campaign for a wide-angle answer to its existing 50mm F1.8 anamorphic lens. The 35mm APS-C lens will come in a Micro Four Thirds mount with adapters for other systems.
Sony has added a 12-24mm F2.8 to its top-shelf 'G Master' series of lenses. It's the widest constant F2.8 zoom currently offered for full-frame, with a hefty price tag to match: it will sell for $3000 when it ships in mid-August.
Take a look at the view from Sony's new ultra-wide F2.8 zoom – we paired it with the a7R IV for some initial shooting.
Canon's EOS-1D X Mark III is one of the best DSLRs ever made. With fast burst speeds, great video quality and impressive autofocus, the 1D X III is equal parts cinema rig and sports shooter. Find out how it fares against steep competition in our full review.
Nikon Rumors is reporting that Nikon will announce successors to its Z6 and Z7 camera systems by the end of the calendar year.
Canon says the event, set to take place at 14:00 CEST in two days on July 9, will be its 'biggest product launch yet.'
The Verge Video Director, Becca Farsace, shows how she built a custom Raspberry Pi camera with effectively zero coding knowledge over the course of just three days.
The EOS R5 has been in the works for some time, and Canon has published a handful of specifications, but there's still plenty we don't know. What are you hoping to see from Canon's forthcoming flagship camera?
Canon's CE-SAT-IB satellite camera was destroyed alongside six other satellites during Rocket Lab's ironically-named 'Pics or It Didn't Happen Mission.'
This sample gallery includes images from our recent review of the Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD zoom lens. Check out these photos to see how it performs, from wide-angle to telephoto and everything in between.
The Tamron 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 Di III RXD provides a wide zoom range in compact, weather-sealed design. Find out why it's Chris and Jordan's new favorite travel lens.
Kodak Portra 800 is a wonderful and versatile color film. And any rumors of it being discontinued, we're pleased to report, are simply untrue. That's a good thing, because it's capable of producing lovely results in all sorts of conditions.
Boering has left the World Press Photo without much of an explanation from either him or the organization, but he tells DPReview the COVID-19 pandemic is forcing the WPP to change the way it makes money.
The standard-size deck of playing cards features unique photography-oriented artwork and act as cheat sheets for photographers.
The Sony ZV-1 and Panasonic Lumix DC-G100 are the first cameras we've seen that are overtly designed with vlogging in mind – and the changes they represent could have implications for the future of all cameras.
The utility allows the E-M1X, E-M1, E-M1 Mark II, E-M1 Mark III and E-M5 Mark II cameras to be used with video conferencing apps over USB.
Olympus is showing final images of its under-development 150-400mm F4.5, which it says will arrive this winter. An unspecified macro and 8-25mm F4 Pro have also been added to the lens roadmap, and the E-M1X's AF gains bird detection.
The scam, which involves sending fake copyright violation notices, has been circulating on the social media platform since at least June 9.
Fujifilm is one of just two producers of tape media (the other being Sony) and it is hard at work on a breakthrough that will allow single tape storage drives to offer 400TB capacities in the coming years.
The National Parks Service says it's investigating the incident, which took place just two days after the park opened following a shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Professional full frame lenses are usually large and have fast apertures. In this episode of DPReview TV, Chris and Jordan argue that there's a need for slow professional lenses – inspired by some of their favorite Micro Four Thirds lenses.
The camera maker joins Olympus, Fujifilm and others is a legal tussle over US digital camera technology patents held by DigiMedia Tech.
NASA's Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) photographs the sun every 0.75 seconds. In its first decade in space, the SDO has captured more than 425 million images of the sun. NASA has compiled these images into an amazing time lapse, come check it out.
The lens is available for Leica M, Sony FE, Nikon Z and L-mount camera systems, and now holds the title as the world's widest rectilinear lens for full-frame camera systems.
Tamron's new 28-200mm F2.8-5.6 is a versatile zoom lens for Sony E-mount. Well-suited for travel photography, it's compact, lightweight, and fast/quiet to focus.
Fujifilm has announced that its GF 30mm F3.5 R WR wide-angle lens for its medium format cameras will ship in late July or early August.