Expert Review of Canon EOS 70D DSLR Body Black
Canon EOS 70D SLR comes with a new AF system that features a dual pixel on every microlens over the sensor, and thus covers 80 percent of the area, as beyond this, the accuracy drops due to the added lens. This mechanism has been designed to give the best possible live view experience by any Canon digital single lens reflex camera produced till date. This is also claimed to aid the video recording experience. There is an inbuilt Wi-Fi connectivity feature by which, images, videos can be browsed on any iOS or Android based devices. You can also transfer images between other Canon cams via this inbuilt Wi-Fi feature. Moreover, you can print images with Wi-Fi printer, display the same on DLNA compatible TV, or upload the images to Canon Image Gateway.
The electronic level featured on 70D can be viewed in the viewfinder and although, it is not dual axis, it works in landscape or portrait modes. The AF area button lets you to quickly alter the focus area. The updates on 60D that make 70D are; Continuous shooting at 5.3fps of 60D has been replaced by a better 7fps on 70D and 70D is narrower at 139mm against 144.5mm of 60D. Although Canon EOS 7D offers continuous shooting at 8fps, 70D somehow, in performance and in specs array, sits below 7D. However, both the cameras weigh 755 grams with memory and battery card.
Design and Build Quality
Canon EOS 70D SLR comes in an aluminum and polycarbonate resin body made up of conductive fibre and glass. The camera feels quite well constructed, for it is weather sealed like EOS 1N. It weighs 755 grams with memory card and battery, sans lens. Also, a new switch at the rear lets you to switch between photos and videos and a button in the middle is used to switch on the LiveView in photo mode or start and stop recording in movie mode. The rear set button with surrounding directional pad can feel smaller to some people. At the top, an AF area selection mode button is present in front of the control wheel and next to the shutter release, to make it convenient to alter the focus area without the need to shift your eyes from the viewfinder. ISO, AF, Drive and metering buttons are also placed at the top. The mode dial on top offers a middle push that needs to be pressed in order to turn the dial and to avoid accidental turning of the dial.
Focus and Face Detection
The focus modes of Canon EOS 70D SLR comprise of manual, spot, face detection, autofocus, autofocus tracking, multi, centre, touch AF and autofocus fine tuning. The AF area button lets you shift the focus area without you even needing to take your eyes off the viewfinder. In general operation, a 19-point all cross type focus system is used wherein, the focus can be set to 1-point zone or 19-point auto selection. The focus point used can be seen via Canon's digital photo software and in playback mode of the camera. In video mode and in LiveView mode, the dual pixel AF becomes active and thus, covers around 80 percent of the image. This mechanism is utilized for smooth autofocus tracking and face tracking that works for both video and photo modes, even when the subject is on the move.
Lens and Image Stabilization
The dynamic range of Canon EOS 70D SLR is quite impressive as it allows a number of different means to extend it via using HDR, ALO or by shooting images in RAW format. If you shoot images in RAW form, then lens distortion can be corrected via Canon's software and should you shoot in JPEG form, lens distortion can be corrected within the camera. The exposure work is reliable. This analysis is for Canon 50mm f/1.4 lens and Canon EF-S 18-135mm IS STM lens. The Live View focus is quicker than previous EOS cams from Canon. Under low light, flash can be used to assist autofocus when popped but in LiveView focusing and in very low light situations, focus struggles. As hinted, detail to RAW images is good while JPEG images can appear soft. The softness in JPEG images can be corrected by increasing the sharpness settings, sharpening the JPEGs itself or working RAW images out, using Canon's or any other photo editing software. In camera, the picture style menu offers adjustments on saturation, color tone, sharpness and contrast.
Screen and Menus
Canon EOS 70D SLR offers a 3 inches wide touchscreen with a resolution of 1040k dots. The menu system of this device has been laid out well, which is easy to use and is spread over five areas playback (3 screens), setup (4 screens), shooting (6 screens) my menu and custom functions. These segments are all color coded, so you can keep that in mind and navigate easily. Moreover, the touchscreen can be used to scroll through the system and set options.
Canon EOS 70D SLR comes with a battery rated at 920 shots as per CIPA/Canon testing standards. Those who hold Canon EOS 60D and look forward to this camera, will gain advantage in this segment, since both the cams use the same LP-E6 battery pack. The usage of LiveView drastically cuts on battery life and results in 230 shots only if it is availed full-time.
Under this mode on Canon EOS 70D SLR, you can manually choose settings from ISO100 to ISO6400. The digital zoom range that can be availed is between 3x and 10x wherein, you can adjust the zoom while video recording is going on via touch sensitive screen. Continuous focus is impressive and the device refocuses swiftly as per need. Also, the movie mode offers face tracking and face tracking with AF. Moreover, just by tapping on the face of the subject via touchscreen, the focus gets locked and very less noise gets picked up by the camera in all this focusing and re-focusing, provided you use STM lenses. The quality of video is quite good and moire is can be seen at times.
And yes, Full HD video recording can be availed with frame size of 1920 x 1080 pixels. For HD videos, 1280 x 720 pixels is the frame size and for VGA, it is 640 x 480 pixels, all of these in stereo sound. Frame rates that can be used are 24, 25, 30fps respectively. Also, optical zoom can used while recording videos.
Canon EOS 70D SLR features a 20.2 megapixels APS-C CMOS sensor that produces images having a width of 5472 pixels and height of 3648 pixels each. The width of sensor is of 22.5mm and height of 15mm. The aspect ratios are 4:3, 3:2, 16:9 and 1:1. As far as ISO sensitivity is concerned, the range begins from ISO100 and reaches its end at ISO12800. The end can be extended to 25600 equivalent as well. The noise level is low at ISO100, ISO200 and ISO400 and at ISO800, a slight increase in noise can be observed. At ISO1600, the noise increases leaving the detail to the image still acceptable. At ISO 3200, the detail drops even more with increase in noise level and in noise reduction as well.
When this segment of 70D is compared with that of EOS 700D, the effect on detail and noise is the same except at 3200ISO, where 700D holds a bit more on detail. Coming back to 70D, at ISO6400, the noise increases and at ISO12800, softness gets into the images. At ISO25600 territory, the images gain the highest noise level and noise reduction upon them causes softness and loss of detail.
Canon EOS 70D SLR offers excellent color reproduction
3 inches wide vari-angle screen is touch sensitive and is excellent in response
Focusing in video is remarkable
There is an electronic level to level videos and images
Lens correction is provided
Battery life is remarkable sans the usage of LiveView
Q button gives swift access to setup
LiveView focus is quite enhanced
Canon EOS 70D SLR has a limited warranty of 1 year only
JPEG format images can be affected by softness
EOS remote utility is restrained
There is no AF light assist and AF assist uses flash
Above ISO3200+, images tend to lose detail