Canon 70D – Four Years After Its Release
Even four years after its release the Canon 70D still has a lot going for it. It has a good articulating screen and plenty of physical buttons, dials and switches to control it all with.
Image quality is excellent at all ISO settings, though you’ll get more detail by shooting RAW and applying noise reduction in post. The camera also offers seven creative filters which work only in live view mode and with JPEG files.
The 70D’s electronic focal-plane shutter has a maximum speed of 30 seconds and a bulb mode for long exposures. It also supports autofocus and flash sync with a remote control.
The AF system in the Canon EOS 70D uses a 19-point all-cross-type CMOS sensor and is positioned to detect horizontal and vertical features. It also boasts Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, which is said to deliver shorter focusing times and better Movie Servo AF tracking performance when filming moving subjects.
The camera supports five Picture Styles and offers a wide range of automatic image enhancements and processing settings. It also has a new feature called Lens Aberration Correction, which corrects for unwanted effects such as vignetting and chromatic aberrations in JPEGs.
The Canon 70D has a high-resolution LCD display and an impressive autofocus system. The latter feature uses the sensor’s pixels to deliver speedy phase-detection autofocus in live-view and video shooting modes. This is a game-changing technology that has been praised by professional reviewers.
The 70D’s 20-megapixel CMOS sensor has excellent image quality. It produces nearly noise-free JPEG images up to ISO 1600, with the faster settings (ISO 3200, 6400 and 12800) displaying progressively more noise.
The 70D can tag images with GPS data (latitude, longitude and altitude) for location recording. It also supports wireless image transfer and remote control over Wi-Fi, which are very useful features for photographers.
The Canon 70D features an electronic viewfinder that displays what the final photo will look like. You can see the image in real time and adjust it to suit your subject and lighting conditions. This allows you to avoid the risk of taking a photo with incorrect exposure.
It also allows you to choose different metering modes, such as spot, center-weighted, and matrix. The camera also has a variety of white balance settings, including auto, kelvin, and custom.
The 70D has an internal dust-removal system that uses short bursts of vibration to dislodge particles from the sensor surface. This can delay the need for manual sensor cleaning and may even eliminate it entirely.
Like its predecessor, the EOS 60D, the new 70D slots in below the semi-pro EOS 7D and above the entry-level EOS Rebel models. It retains most of the 60D’s functionality and features while adding a 20.2 megapixel imaging sensor. JPEG images are a little soft straight out of camera at the default sharpening setting and would benefit from some further processing in software such as Adobe Photoshop.
The 70D boasts a large articulated screen that helps to realise the full potential of Live View and movie shooting. Its touch-screen interface works surprisingly well, especially when it comes to navigating the on-screen Q menu and entering text for copyright or Wifi codes.
The 70D uses a custom Canon LP-E6 rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. It can be supplemented with a battery grip (BG-E14) that accepts two LP-E6 packs, doubling its shot-per-charge capacity.
The camera’s 20 megapixel CMOS sensor delivers good-quality JPEG images at standard settings, with noticeable noise only appearing at ISO 1600 and higher. The fastest ISO setting of 25600 is best reserved for emergency use.
The 70D offers a host of features to expand its users’ photographic horizons. A thorough rundown is provided in the intimidatingly huge 468-page owner’s manual linked to above.
The 70D employs Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. This essentially splits each image sensor pixel into two light gathering photo diodes, which can either be read separately to provide phase-detection AF information or together as conventional imaging pixels.
It is impressively sensitive down to -0.5 EV and works well for both stills and movies. It can also track a subject as it moves through the frame, an advantage over rival contrast-based systems.
It can use its internal Dust Delete Data system to map the location of visible dust particles and remove them automatically in post-processing. This could delay the need for manual sensor cleaning by a considerable time, especially for a camera used in remote locations.
The AE Lock button, below the asterisk icon, provides a way of locking exposure parameters while recomposing and focusing (in Live View or when using a point-and-shoot mode). This allows you to take multiple photos with the same exposure settings.
The camera also offers a number of custom functions that can be set to operate when you press and hold the shutter button halfway down or when you rotate the Main Dial. Typically, these functions will control the camera’s aperture or shutter speed settings. They are useful if you want to avoid overexposure.