Prizefight: Nikon D7100 vs. Canon EOS 70D
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Prizefight: Nikon D7100 vs. Canon EOS 70D

4:30 /

It's Nikon vs. Canon in a throw-down showdown between two of the top mid-range dSLRs that have been battling since the beginning of time. Who's your Prizefight King of the Ring!

What's up, Prizefight fans? I'm Brian Tong and we have a face-off between two of our favorite mid-range digital SLR cameras. It's a picture perfect punch-out between the Nikon D7100 and the Canon EOS 70D. Our judges for this fight are CNET review senior editor Lori 'Boom Boom' Grunin and senior editor Josh 'The Goldman' Goldman. We'll take both judges' scores and average them out to the nearest tenth of a point. The final Prizefight score will be an average of all rounds doing the same decimal system. Let's do this. First round is design and interface. Both of these camera bodies are comfortable to use. They aren't overly complex, with easy to navigate menus for DSLR users and can be found for around $1,100 each. Now, a lot of times this comes down a personal preference, Josh likes Nikons way out better while Lori prefers Canons. The convenience of Nikon's power switch right next to the shutter release makes more sense to us, and while we're fans of Canon's flip out LCD, that design choice forces some of the direct controls to be on top. Pressing the button directly in the middle of the mode dial to unlock it can be awkward and even though its menus are easy to navigate, its directional pad control dial combination can make it a pain. Nikon's D7100 gets things started with a 4 and Canon 70D gets a 3.5. Next round is features. Both of these cameras bring features you would expect from a mid-range DSLR. Nikon brings dual SD card slots and clean HDMI output for video, but it lacks the ability to change aperture during video shooting. You have a fixed LCD screen that limits its usefulness and if you want Wi-Fi, you'll have to purchase a dongle add-on. Now, Canon's 70D articulated touchscreen LCD built-in Wi-Fi and its ability to control aperture while shooting video sets it apart from the D7100. It really has the advantage if you're looking to shoot video, but the lack of a headphone jack and clean HDMI out is a bummer. It still won't matter, this round goes to Canon with a 4 and Nikon gets a 3. So after averaging two rounds, Canon has the slight lead, next round is shooting performance. Fast don't lie and the numbers don't lie where tenths of a second matter. Now the D7100 is generally faster for still photography with a tenth of a second advantage in time to first shot. Both cameras are dead even with raw shot-to-shot time as well as JPEG shot-to-shot time. Now in dim light situations, the D7100 has the advantage by three tenths of a point, where the 70D has a two tenths of a point advantage for typical shutter lag. Now, for typical continuous shooting speed, Canon's 70D also edges out Nikon with 7.1 frames per second versus Nikon's 6.3 frames per second for the D7100-- also, Canon 70D shines during live view shooting with autofocus performance that outclasses other DSLRs. These results are all tenths of a second apart, but in real world use, the D7100 feels faster with the ability to power on and shoot with one hand and it gets the edge in this round with a 4.5 and the Canon 70D gets a 4. The final round that decides it all is image quality. The D7100 brings better detailed resolution and naturally sharper images because it doesn't have an optical low-pass filter. It also brings better color reproduction without fiddling with the settings, but Lori says it doesn't preserve as much highlight detail as she'd like. Now, the Canon's 70D is no chump, but the judges aren't too hot on its default color settings and images just aren't as sharp with its optical low-pass filter. Now, Josh says, it's the high ISO results that tilt this in favor of Nikon's D7100. Nikon takes the final round with a 4 and Canon gets a 3. So, let's average out all four rounds and in a Prizefight where Nikon trailed early, the D7100 closed the gap on Canon's 70D and takes this battle 3.9 to 3.6 and is your Prizefight winner. I'm Brian Tong. Thanks for watching and we'll catch you guys next time for another Prizefight. I can't take--

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