Canon 70D Camera Review
A good number of physical buttons, dials and switches are available to those who wish to move beyond the fully-automatic Auto mode. These are useful for users who want more control over the camera settings.
The headline feature is Canon’s genuinely impressive new Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. However, this wasn’t the only thing that caught my eye when testing the 70D.
The Canon 70D is a full-featured camera that delivers exceptional image quality. Its most notable new technology is the Dual Pixel CMOS AF system, which provides on-chip phase detection autofocus for each pixel on the APS-C sensor during video recording. This makes live view AF feel almost as fast as traditional optical viewfinder shooting.
The 70D’s JPEG noise levels are low across the ISO range, and it bests all other recent Canon DSLRs except 1-series models at higher ISO settings.
A new feature in the 70D is Lens Aberration Correction, which uses a database of correction data to remove unwanted lens effects such as vignetting and chromatic aberrations (purple fringing) when shooting JPEG images. The 70D also has the ability to detect and correct for dust particles visible on the sensor, a useful feature since it can delay the need for manual sensor cleaning. This works by briefly shaking the sensor at high frequency, which can dislodge stuck on dirt and debris without affecting the image data.
The Canon EOS 70D has a great autofocus system that’s well suited to a wide range of shooting situations. It features 19 AF measuring fields, which cover much of the frame, and it also has several advanced focusing modes to help you get exactly the shot you want.
One of the more interesting new features on this camera is its Dual Pixel CMOS AF. This technology uses the imaging sensor to capture two image spectrums, and then blends the data from both of them to find focus. This is an impressive technology that should really set this camera apart from its competitors.
There are many other standard and optional functions that can be added to this camera, including a built-in Wi-Fi feature for uploading photos directly to social media. The camera can also create slideshows, view a live zoom of the image you’re shooting, and protect images to prevent them from being deleted or altered.
The 70D’s articulated screen really comes into its own when shooting stills and video, offering a whole host of new angles of view. The feature also helps you realise the full potential of Canon’s Dual Pixel AF capabilities, which see 80% of the sensor pixels double-up as phase-detection AF points for improved Live View AF tracking.
The DSLR also offers a range of auto shooting modes for beginners, with options such as Night Portrait, HDR Backlight Control and Hand-held Night Scene all on tap. You can even use the camera to create composite images with the Multiple Exposure facility.
Like the 60D and 6D, the 70D supports a number of Picture Styles, which are preset combinations of sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings. You can also tweak these and create your own User Defined styles. The 70D also carries over the twin card slot feature from its older siblings, and there’s a handy single-axis electronic level for lining up compositions.
The 70D’s 20.2 megapixel, APS-C CMOS sensor gets high marks from reviewers. Its unique design includes two photodiodes underneath a single shared microlens at each pixel location, allowing for on-chip phase detection AF for virtually all of its pixels over nearly two-thirds of the sensor surface area.
JPEG images are a little soft at default settings, although this is easily corrected in-camera. The 70D also features in-camera RAW processing adjustments including Auto Lighting Optimizer, Distortion Correction, High ISO Noise Reduction and Peripheral Illumination Correction.
Battery life is another strong point, with Canon quoting 920 shots per charge with the viewfinder active. This is a bit less than the 1100 and 1090 quoted for the 60D and 7D respectively, but still well above what rivals offer in this price range. The 70D also has a left-hinged, free-angle LCD screen that gives it a whole new level of flexibility for live-view and video shooting. It’s a welcome addition and helps the camera realise its potential as a modern stills/video hybrid.