Canon 70D Digital Camera Review
The Canon 70D is a very impressive DSLR that has some amazing features. The most significant is the new Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology that uses two photodiodes within each pixel for fast, precise focusing.
It has a very high ISO range of 100-12800. It also includes a variety of special effects and multi-shot modes such as HDR and Miniature Effect.
Optical Image Stabilization
The EOS 70D is Canon’s latest mid-range enthusiast DSLR, bringing some important features back into the mainstream. It offers a 20.2 Megapixel APS-C sensor, Full HD video recording and built-in Wifi. It also has an impressive AF system with four modes: Face and Tracking, Flexizone Multi AF and Quick Mode. The latter momentarily drops the mirror and uses Canon’s traditional contrast-based viewfinder AF system before raising it again to continue Live View shooting.
The 70D also retains the Picture Style presets which apply sharpness, contrast and saturation levels as collective settings. It also supports the same seven frame bracketing for HDR photography that found its way onto the 60D. A good thing too, as it makes for much easier and more precise control over your image capture. However, unlike many rival mirrorless models the 70D doesn’t include in-camera auto-panorama capabilities, which stitch multiple images together to create a single panorama. This is a real shame considering the competition.
Dual Pixel CMOS AF
For vloggers and DSLR video shooters the ability to quickly and confidently refocus a subject with just a tap of the screen is a game changer. Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology is what makes it happen.
It’s a Canon-engineered sensor-based phase detection autofocus system that debuted on the EOS 70D in 2013 and is now found on every EOS DSLR camera. Essentially 80% of the pixels on the image sensor double up as phase detect AF points – 16 million of them in total. This means that the 70D can track and focus on subjects much quicker than other DSLRs – even with a fast lens – as it doesn’t need to use contrast detection or move the mirror.
Each pixel on the sensor has two photodiodes that can be read independently to achieve autofocus or together for image capture. As such, this technology works across all EF lenses and is ideal for creating professional-looking pull-focus effects, keeping a moving subject in sharp focus with blurred background – something that’s very popular among vloggers.
Handheld Night Scene Mode
The Canon 70D has a number of modes that let you take pictures in difficult lighting conditions without using a tripod. This is a useful feature, especially for beginners who don’t want to worry about setting all the various exposure and autofocus options.
The camera’s Handheld Night Scene Mode takes four sequential shots, raising the sensitivity to an easily hand-holdable shutter speed and then merging them in-camera. This process helps to reduce image noise, so you can capture more details in low light.
The camera also has a built-in WiFi connection, which lets you connect the EOS 70D to a smartphone or tablet and remotely control it, transfer images to and from your computer and view images on DNLA enabled TVs. It can even be used to print a photo. The 70D also includes seven Creative Filter Effects that can be applied to JPEG photos only. These include Soft Focus, which dramatizes an image and smoothes over shiny reflections, Grainy Black and White, Toy Camera, Art Bold and Miniature Effect.
Creative Filter Effects
The 70D has a ‘Creative Filter Effects’ feature which can be used in Live View mode to apply seven different filters to images. These are similar to Canon’s well-established Picture Styles but can be interactively tweaked to your own tastes. There is also an ‘Auto Lighting Optimizer’ custom function to help even out contrast in images with dark areas and ‘Highlight Tone Priority’ to reduce highlight blowout.
The camera can shoot in JPEG or RAW and at up to 20 megapixels with either Fine or Normal compression. The lowest 5 megapixel settings produce images that are still very high quality and even at the highest resolution setting there is plenty of detail visible when zoomed in to 3x. The 70D’s viewfinder offers 98% coverage and displays key exposure information, including ISO speed, AF mode selection and metering. It’s also possible to enable a variety of viewfinder grid lines. The camera is able to shoot bursts of up to 30 seconds and there’s a bulb mode too for longer exposures.