Canon EOS 70D Review
September 6, 2016 § Leave a comment
The Canon EOS 70D replaces the very successful EOS 60D as the latest mid-range DSLR from the company. Released nearly 3 years after the older model, the 70D is a whole lot of improvements that converge in a single package. Some of Canon’s best technical advancements in digital photography over the past 3 years are thus all in this camera. Many of these features you may have already seen in the cheaper 700D (Rebel T5i) as well as the up-market 7D. Here we try to delve deeper into its features and find out what makes the new 70D a formidable DSLR.Main features· 20.2 megapixel APS-C sensor with Dual-pixel CMOS AF technology· DIGIC 5+ image processing engine· 7 fps continuous shooting speed· Viewfinder with superimposed electronic readout of shooting information· 19-point all cross-type AF system, with one dual cross-type center AF point available at f/2.8· 3″ vari-angle touchscreen LCD display with ClearView II and 1,040,000 dots display· Built-in HDR and multiple exposure modes· Built-in Wi-Fi· Stereo mic (second EOS camera to have this after the Rebel T5i)· ISO 100-12800 (standard)Features explained: The SensorThe first thing that deserves a mention is the 20.2 megapixel sensor. It has been redesigned from the ground up making it quite an improvement over the older 18 megapixel sensor of the 60D. The older sensor came with a DIGIC 4 image processing engine while the newer model gains a DIGIC 5+ image processing engine to boost its performance.
The really outstanding feature, however, is the dual-pixel CMOS AF technology that promises a quantum jump in autofocusing during movie mode. Standard phase-detection AF system uses a phase detection sensor array which receives some of the light coming through the lens for focusing. During video shooting, or when the live view feature is used, the camera no longer uses these phase detection sensors rendering it incapable of autofocusing. The dual-pixel CMOS AF technology uses two photo-diodes for each pixel on the sensor to counter this problem. The two photo-diodes work as phase-detection sensors, each looking at the light coming through one side of the lens. At the end they line the images up and thereby lock focus.The touch-screenAnother important feature of the 70D is its fully-articulated ClearView II LCD touchscreen sporting a 1,040,000 dots display. This is something that has already been integrated into the Rebel T5i that released earlier and promises a world of difference from those migrating from the 60D. The touchscreen allows the photographer to control all of the features of the camera simply by a few finger taps.Live viewThe 70D shares a number of its Live-view features with the entry level Rebel T5i and the T4i. The Live-view functionalities are enhanced by the Q mode which offers a lot of shooting options and a total control over the features of the camera.Continuous shooting speedThe 70D comes with a faster continuous shooting speed compared to the 60D; 7 fps compared to 5.3 fps. While it does sound a bit better, it is still nowhere near what you would ideally want to have in order to shoot sports or high-speed action photography. Still, it is better than nothing.Creative featuresOne of the good things about the 70D is its built-in HDR and multiple exposure features. While HDR is a feature that is somewhat of a given with almost every new DSLR coming out of the assembly line these days having it, the multiple exposure mode offers photographers something new. For those who had shot using film and tried this using the film-technique know how precise one needs to be. Canon has made this rather easy. You can shoot 2 to 9 exposures in either RAW or JPEG mode using the built-in feature. However, one limitation is you can only use images shot in 3:2 ratio for this feature.Built-in Wi-FiWhile built-in Wi-Fi is no longer a novelty in DSLR cameras, its real world usability, however, is still limited. Canon’s latest 70D incorporates the Wi-Fi feature but packs too many connectivity issues that can irritate a serious user to the point he may not use it at all after a few attempts. For those die-hard Wi-Fi fans, however, the feature allows you to share your photos via a Wi-Fi network to your smartphones (as well as connect it directly), tablets and other compatible media devices. You can even transfer files to a PC, thanks to the optional EOS software.One immediate utility that comes to the mind is using remote shooting feature to shoot time-lapse images over a long period of time. One can set the camera on a tripod, lock AE and AF, connect it to a laptop via Wi-Fi and leave it to shoot for hours, without having to worry about running out of memory. The provided EOS software offers some other basic utilities too such as moving the focus point around, changing exposure etc.
The movie modeIt is a major offence not to mention about the 70D’s video mode. After all, the major improvement over the 60D is geared towards shooting videos. The 70D can record videos in MPEG-4 AVC / H.264 with stereo sound recording. The available frame rates are 30/25/24 fps in full-HD and 60/50 fps in 720p HD. One can plug in an external mic jack and record better quality audio. Additionally, the videographer can manually adjust the audio level using the built-in audio level controller. The 70D comes with two different video compression options. You can choose between the space conserving IPB or opt for the better quality but heavier ALL-I compression depending on your preference.My takeThe 70D is in the same segment in which the Nikon D7100 competes. The D7100 is a formidable camera in its own rights. It challenges the 70D in most of its features except may be the touch screen swivelling LCD and the dual-pixel CMOS AF sensor. Needless to say the biggest USP of the 70D is its superior auto-focusing in movie mode. As such it demands a dedicated fan following of users who prefer to shoot all their vacation videos using a DSLR. The D7100, however, scores over the 70D in its sensor resolution (24.1 megapixel vs. 20.2 megapixel), 51-point AF system, 100% viewfinder coverage and twin memory card slots. The choice again is more personal than anything, as both cameras are great pieces of tools in the right hands.