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Canon EOS 70D review

Verdict

A stunningly fast new autofocus system makes the 70D a seriously tempting DSLR

Review Date: 3 Sep 2013

Reviewed By: Barry Collins

Price when reviewed: £899 (£1,079 inc VAT)

Buy it now for: £858
(see more store prices)

Overall Rating
5 stars out of 6

Features & Design
5 stars out of 6

Value for Money
5 stars out of 6

Image Quality
5 stars out of 6

PCPRO Recommended

The Canon EOS 70D adds yet more spice to the increasingly competitive mid-range DSLR sector. Whereas last year it was all about the emergence of full-frame cameras in the affordable mid-range, this year Canon has brought an innovative autofocus system into play with its latest 70D.

The Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology splits 80% of the image sensor's pixels in half, creating two independent diodes that are used as phase-detect autofocus points. The upshot is faster, more accurate autofocus in Live View. There's also a separate phase-detection sensor, used when shooting with the viewfinder, which is no slouch either.

Canon EOS 70D

The result is remarkably reliable autofocus: there's no hunting back and forth as the camera tries to locate the subject, it simply snaps into focus at breathtaking speed. Previous Canon cameras have struggled with video autofocus, but the 70D has no such problems, and crucially it's all but silent with the EF-S 18-135mm kit lens.

It's further boosted by a face-detection mode that keeps your subject perfectly in focus as they walk towards the camera – down the wedding aisle, for instance. Alternatively, you can tap the 70D's touchscreen to adjust the focus point, with the camera responding quickly and smoothly.

The 70D has 19 cross-type autofocus points, which can be selected individually or in zones. The slightly pricier Nikon D600 has 39 autofocus points (although they're more closely bunched in the centre of the frame than here). Rarely did we find ourselves craving more, though.

Focus isn't the only thing that's bang on: exposure is beautifully judged, too. The camera coped well with a series of tricky situations, including portrait subjects sat in front of bright windows, direct sunlight and areas of high contrast. Colours are accurate, if a little flat on occasion.

Canon has pushed the native maximum ISO limit up to 12800 (and you can also artificially bump this to 25600), which is four times the maximum sensitivity of the 60D it succeeds. This allows you to shoot indoor sports action at frame rates as fast as 1/1,000sec, without needing a flash or tripod. Photos are speckled with noise at ISO 12800, and although they can be saved with aggressive noise reduction in Lightroom, it leaves the images looking a little soft and unnatural. Shooting at ISO 6400 delivers much cleaner results.

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User comments

Impressive auto-focus

Finally decided to get the 70D after days of researching. What impresses me the most is its auto-focus and video recording. Got mine at Amazon from http://topcamerareviews.hubpages.com/hub/CanonEOS7
0DCameraReview

By PeachesAdamson on 9 Sep 2013

Impressive auto-focus

Finally decided to get the 70D after days of researching. What impresses me the most is its auto-focus and video recording. Got mine at Amazon from http://topcamerareviews.hubpages.com/hub/CanonEOS7
0DCameraReview

By PeachesAdamson on 9 Sep 2013

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