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CANON EOS 70D Review: Should You Buy this Camera?

 

Canon EOS 70D Review

 

Key Features

  • 2MP APS-C ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’ sensor
  • Fully articulated 3-inch 1040k dot vari-angle Clear View II LCD display, 3:2 aspect ratio
  • DIGIC 5+ image processor
  • 19-point AF system, all cross-type
  • Sensor sensitivity ISO 100-12800, expandable up to 25600
  • 98% viewfinder coverage with 0.95x magnification
  • 7fps continuous shooting
  • 1080p video recording at 30p and 24p
  • Multi-exposure modes
  • Exposure bracketing of up to 7 frames
  • External 3.5mm stereo microphone jack
  • Built-in Wi-Fi with good features including remote shooting via Canon app

Introduction

Cano EOS 70D comes as a successor to Canon 60D and was first launched in July 2013. When Canon announced its first EOS 7D back in late 2009, since then the company had only progressed. Almost every EOS model came with an increased resolution and high ISO range with plenty of new features. The mid-range EOS 70 D is quite a sensible upgrade to its predecessor 60D. Let us discuss the specifications in detail.
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Design, Build, and Handling

Though the camera is almost similar to EOS 60D, it is a bit smaller in size. The body is mainly made of plastic but feels quite sturdy. The camera has a well-sized grip and sits quite perfectly in your hand.  There are a number of buttons above the small screen on the top of the camera. These buttons give you an easy access to drive modes, autofocus, metering, and ISO.

The exposure mode dial on the left has a number of automated scene modes including portrait, landscape, SCN etc. The mode dial has a lock button in the center that rotates through 360 degrees.

 

Canon EOS 70D Controls

 

Between the front dial and the shutter release, there is a small button which is a dedicated focus area expansion control. It lets you expand the AF area from a single point to larger group of points. This feature is extremely useful when shooting moving objects. Canon has also included a dust and water resistant feature in this model.

Just like EOS 700D and 650D, EOS 70D sports a fully articulated 3-inch vari-angle LCD display. The elimination of air gap between the screen and the cover glass leads to a much better visibility in bright light. The screen can be flipped out and rotated to point upwards, downwards or even forwards for shooting self-portraits and live view mode. You can also fold the screen inwards with the screen facing the camera for better protection.

 

Canon EOS 70D Specs

The camera sports a touch-sensitive screen and almost every feature of the camera can be controlled by touch. You can change a wide range of settings using the Q button which can be seriously useful when shooting from a tripod (where you can select the focus point by simply touching the screen).

On the front of the handgrip sits the IR remote control receiver and beside it, there is a lamp which is the visual indicator for the self-timer. The camera sports a live view/movie controller. This can be activated by pressing the central button. When the switch is flicked into the movie mode, the camera starts recording when you press the start button.

Canon EOS 70D Screen

 

EOS 70D sports an 8-way multi-controller within its rear dial. This can be used to move the autofocus points, navigate menus and scrolling through the images in playback. The built-in flash is released by a button which is there on the side of the lens throat that pops up above the lens axis. The flash has a guide number of 12m at ISO100 and offers a pretty good coverage for lenses that is as wide as 17mm. It also supports wireless control of slave flash units. The hotshoe sits on top of the pentaprism that accepts a wide range of Canon’s EX series flash units. A pair of built-in stereo microphones is positioned on either side of the hotshoe.

 

Canon EOS 70D Connectivity

 

The memory card slot is placed on the side of the handgrip that can house a single SD/SDHC/SHXC card. The various connectors of the camera are located under rubberised flaps on the side of the camera’s body. There are sockets for RS-60E3 remote release and a stereo microphone on the left. On the right under another flap are the HDMI and USB ports. The sound speaker for movie playback is sensibly-designed and hidden above the covers for the connectors. The socket for the tripod is placed straight in-line with the lens axis.

Performance and Image Quality

The overall performance of Canon EOS 70D is pretty responsive. The startup is quick and the autofocus is faster in both usual phase and live view. The camera responds quite fast to the inputs and the tab My Menu keeps all your often used controls in one place for a fast access. When special modes like Handheld Night Scene or HDR are active the camera takes much time for processing. But that can be avoided when you use a fast card.

 

Canon EOS 70D Dual Flash

The camera can shoot up to 7 frames per second. Though it is much improved over EOS 60D’s 5.3fps and EOS 50D’s 6.3fps, but still slow in comparison to EOS 7D’s 8fps. About 17 JPEGs and 11 Raw images can be captured in high-speed mode. Shooting in low-speed mode would be better if you are not capturing many frames. The camera can keep shooting JPEGs as long as you press the shutter button down. However, the frame rate slows down and the buffer gets a bit longer when shooting in live view.

EOS 70D has a good, bright viewfinder which covers 98% of the frame. The viewfinder also displays an electronic level that indicates whether the camera is on an even base or not. Moreover, Canon has also introduced an option to show a new icon at the bottom of the optical viewfinder which remains visible even after the shutter release button is pressed. However, the level icon is something that does not illuminate making it difficult to see while shooting dark subjects or at night-time.

As we all know Canon has one of the best automatic white balance systems which is capable of capturing some good images with pleasant colors. Sometimes the images came out to be little on the warmer side, but the overall results were decent. Apart from this, the images are pleasantly saturated with natural colors. Nowadays, people are more inclined towards stronger contrast and vibrant tones. In that case, you may prefer adjusting the available settings.

Canon EOS 70D’s 63-zone metering system performs quite well but is more prone to exposing in high contrast conditions. This can give you a bit of trouble when shooting properly sunlit landscapes as you need to be cautious about where you set the AF point.

The camera captures plenty of detail. The Raw files came out to be more natural than the JPEGs as the out of focus areas in the latter have a mild watercolor appearance at 100%. The chroma noise is not a very big issue throughout the whole sensitivity range. However, as we tried to increase the sensitivity, the in-camera noise reduction took a heavy toll. Images shot at ISO12,800 displayed an impressive amount of detail. However, we found some fine-grained texture visible when we sized the images to make A4 prints. But that is not totally unacceptable.

Canon EOS 70D ships with 7.2V, 1800mAh LP-E6 rechargeable lithium-ion battery. The battery slot is housed in the handgrip. The battery is capable of capturing about 920 shots when the optical viewfinder is in use and about 210 shots with live view mode.

 

Canon EOS 70D Battery

 

Should You Buy the Canon EOS 70D?

Canon EOS 70D is priced at INR $899 (body only), $999 (with kit EF-S18-55 IS STM) and $1,199 (with Kit II EF-S18-135 IS STM). The camera is much better crafted as compared to that of its predecessor with an excellent combination of quality, control, and affordable pricing.

The image quality is pretty nice and the camera offers a handful of features that include an excellent advanced phase-detection autofocus. Overall the camera is quite a good option for not only the normal users but also for the photography enthusiasts.

Pros

  • Excellent LCD with responsive touchscreen
  • Coating on the touchscreen minimizes fingerprint smudges
  • Dual Pixel AF makes the live view and movie mode shooting easy
  • Decent high ISO shots
  • Silent shutter mode
  • AF Microadjustment
  • Good range of HD video features

Cons

  • Dual Pixel AF doesn’t allow tracking autofocus while shooting continuously
  • AF illuminator is integrated to flash
  • LCD blacks out in the middle during continuous shooting in live view mode
  • Messy Wi-Fi setup, movie mode cannot be used when the Wi-Fi is enabled
  • Single card slot and no headphone jack

 

 

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