CNET First Look
Canon brings 70D up to serious speedThe new autofocus technology seems to be a winner and the photos look okay, but we're withholding judgment on the video quality.
I've been shooting with a pre-production version of the Canon EOS 70D for about a week now. Well, there's a lot that's improved in it including the new auto-focus system. I hope Canon can tweak the video quality before the camera ships. Even in its early stage, the camera's fast. The new dual pixel CMOS sensor-based auto-focus system is responsive and reasonably accurate combined with its 7 frame per second burst rate, a quick design for changing auto-focus area settings and the decent view finder. It's really quite nice for action shooting. Not pro-class but not too shabby for a $1,200 body. In video, the touch focus works well for racking, snaps decisively but not on attractively fast from subject to subject. The camera has the rough the same body designed as the 60D with some of the important tweaks. The mode dials, more stream line with fewer auto options. The articulated LCD has Canon's very nice touch screen with its excellent interface, and the lock button for the multi-controller is better. My one complaint is about the multi-controller. It's smaller than before and even harder to precisely manipulate. Also, the 70D only has a single SD card slot compared to dual slot in the Nikon D7100. It does have a reasonable if not stellar Wi-Fi implementation as well. My only significant issue with the camera in its current state pre-production is the image quality. Part of that stems from Canon default color settings, which I've never liked. That will probably live through the final production and you certainly have the ability to change them to something more natural and less crunchy. JPEGs look fine through EOS 1600, pretty comparable to the D7100. But even in raw files, they're doesn't seemed to be a lot of preserved highlight detail in high contrast shots and I couldn't bring up shadows without introducing more noise that I like. That said, the still photo quality remains pretty competitive. However, based on my testing, the video quality still needs some work before the camera ships. Even in the all icodec, the best that looks the same as the video from the T5i. It displays tons of [unk] effects; ringing, aliasing, more ray and crawling edges. But more disappointingly, poor detail resolution and limited tonal range. Low light videos exceptionally noisy, if Canon can't improve at least a little bit before shipping that will be sad. It would be a shame to tie such a great auto-focus system to such a myth video. I'm Lori Grunin, and this is an early version of the Canon EOS 70D.