Design and features
I really like the design of the camera, though there are a few things I wish were a bit different. Overall, it's a slightly more streamlined layout than the 60D, so overall it's comfortable to grip and shoot, even single-handed.
On the top left sits Canon's now-typical mode dial with center lock button. It's got, plus a single custom setting slot. On the right top above the status LCD is an array of direct-access buttons for metering, ISO sensitivity, drive mode, and autofocus mode (single, AI Servo, and AI Focus), plus a top dial and a second AF area select button. You cycle through your AF area options -- single-point, Zone (center 9 points or 4-point clumps on the top, bottom, left, or right), or auto 19-point -- by repeatedly pressing the button, then choosing the point or points using the back Quick control dial.
The back offers Canon's typical thumb-operated Live View/Movie switch with record button; AF-On, exposure lock, and second AF-area selection buttons arrayed above the thumb rest; Quick Control panel and review buttons next to the LCD; and the multicontroller navigation control inset in the quick-control dial around the Set button. It has a dedicated lock switch; you can choose to apply it to the main dial, quick control dial, multicontroller, or any combination. On the front near the bottom of the lens mount is a small, reprogrammable depth-of-field button. The viewfinder is sufficiently big and bright that the preview is usable.
Canon's articulated touch screen remains a favorite of mine for shooting video, and the 70D keeps the same interface as the T5i. It's responsive and has an intelligent user interface, including the usual capabilities, like touch focus, that streamline Live View shooting. You can view the screen pretty well in direct sunlight. You don't have to use it if you don't want to, though operations like selecting ISO sensitivity go much faster when you can directly select rather than having to cycle through them. Overall, I find Canon's interface straightforward and easy to use.
I've never been a fan of the multicontroller design, though. It looks sensible and straightforward, but it's too flush with the control dial and now that it's smaller it's even harder to precisely manipulate without stopping and concentrating.
In other interface quibbles, I don't really like the viewfinder level display either. It's a tiny camera icon with em dashes that project from it indicating the degree of off-level rotation. Unfortunately, it's really hard to use -- nay, impossible -- in dim or dark conditions. In contrast, other viewfinder implementations use illuminated bars along the bottom and sides and provide information for two axes, not just one.
Also, the camera still has only a single card slot. Boo. And though it has built-in Wi-Fi, you have to disable movie mode in order to turn it on. I don't mind that they can't work simultaneously, but jeez, if I try to turn on Movie mode why not disable Wi-Fi for me? Don't just say, "Movie recording is disabled when [Wi-Fi] is set to [Enable]." It's really annoying to be unexpectedly forced to delve into the menu system because I'd forgotten to turn the Wi-Fi option off. I've missed shots because of this nonsense.
|Canon EOS 60D||Canon EOS 70D||Canon EOS 7D||Nikon D7100||Pentax/|
|Sensor effective resolution||18MP CMOS |
|20.2MP CMOS |
|18MP hybrid CMOS |
|24.1MP CMOS |
|16.3MP CMOS |
|Sensitivity range||ISO 100 - ISO 6400/12800 (exp)||ISO 100 - ISO 12800/25600 (exp)||ISO 100 - ISO 12800||ISO 100 - ISO 6400/ 25600 (exp)||ISO 80 (exp)/ |
100 - ISO 12800/
|Burst shooting||5.3fps |
16 raw/58 JPEG
16 raw/65 JPEG
25 raw/130 JPEG
(7fps in 1.3x crop mode)
8 raw/30 JPEG
|Viewfinder (mag/ effective mag)||96% coverage |
|98% coverage |
|100% coverage |
|Autofocus||9-pt AF all cross-type; center cross to f2.8||Dual Pixel CMOS |
19-pt phase-detection AF all cross-type; center cross to f2.8
|19-pt phase-detection AF all cross-type; center cross to f2.8||51-pt phase- detection AF |
15 cross- type; center to f8 or faster
|11-pt phase-detection AF |
9 cross- type
|AF sensitivity||0 to 20 EV||-0.5 to 18 EV||-0.5 to 18 EV||-2 to 19 EV||-3 - 18 EV|
|Shutter speed||1/8,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/250 sec x-sync||1/8,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/250 sec x-sync||1/8,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/250 sec x-sync||1/8,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/250 sec x-sync||1/8,000 to 30 secs; bulb; 1/180 sec x-sync|
|Shutter durability||100,000 cycles||n/a||150,000 cycles||150,000 cycles||100,000 cycles|
|Metering||63-zone iFCL||63-zone iFCL||63-zone iFCL||2,016-pixel 3D color matrix metering II||77-segment|
|Metering sensitivity||0 to 20 EV||1 to 18 EV||1 to 20 EV||0 to 20 EV||0 to 22 EV|
|Video||H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/30p/ 25p/24p; 720/ 60p/50p||H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/30p/ 25p/24p; 720/ 60p/50p||H.264 QuickTime MOV 1080/30p/ 25p/24p; 720/60p/ 50p||1080/60i/ 50i/30p/ 25p/24p; 720/60p/ 50p H.264 QuickTime MOV |
(60i/50i only in 1.3x crop mode)
|1080/25p; 720/30p/ 25p Motion JPEG AVI|
|Audio||Mono; mic input||Stereo; mic input||Mono; mic input||Stereo; mic input; headphone jack||Mono; mic input|
|Manual aperture and shutter in video||Yes||Yes||Yes||Shutter only||n/a|
|Maximum best-quality recording time||4GB |
(approx. 12 minutes)
|n/a||4GB/29:59 min||4GB/29:59 min||4GB/25 min|
|LCD size||3-inch articulated |
|3-inch articulated touch screen |
|3-inch fixed |
|3.2-inch fixed |
|3-inch fixed |
|Memory slots||1 x SDXC||1 x SDXC||1 x CF (UDMA 7)||2 x SDXC||1 x SDXC/ SDHC |
(SDXC requires firmware upgrade)
|Battery life (CIPA rating)||1,100 shots |
(320 Live View)
|920 shots |
(210 Live View)
|800 shots |
(220 Live View)
|950 shots |
|740 shots |
|Size (WHD, inches)||5.7x4.1x3.1||5.5x4.1x3.1||5.8x4.4x2.9||5.3x4.2x3||5.2x3.8x2.9|
|Body operating weight (ounces)||27||27.2||35||27.3||26.1 (est)|
|Mfr. price||$899.99 (body only)||$1,119 (body only)||$1,599 (body only)||$1,199.95 (body only)||$1,095.95/ |
$1,199.95 (body only)
|$999.99 (est, with 18-135mm lens)||$1,349 (with 18-55mm STM lens)||n/a||$1,599.95 (with 18-105mm lens)||$1,249.95 (with 18-55mm WR lens)/n/a|
|n/a||$1,549 (with 18-135mm STM lens)||n/a||n/a||$1,449.95/ n/a (with 18-135mm WR lens)|
|Release date||August 2010||August 2013||December 2009||March 2013||October 2012|
The Wi-Fi implementation is identical to the Canon EOS 6D's and not bad for remote shooting using the EOS Remote app, which currently lets you change shutter speed and aperture, ISO sensitivity, and exposure compensation. Configuring the connection is neither notably easy nor difficult; the camera acts as access point that you then set as the device's Wi-Fi connection, then launch the app. However, as with many of these cameras, it doesn't always connect to the phone the first time.
You can also wirelessly tether the camera to a computer using Canon EOS Utility, but only through an access point, not peer-to-peer; that renders it useless for a subset of cases. Setting it up is a little more convoluted than I'd like (or than I expect in 2013), and the camera didn't consistently see my work network.
The 70D offers a reasonably broad set of video-specific features, though like most of the company's dSLRs it ostensibly can't output clean HDMI for external recording (I wouldn't be surprised if that capability eventually surfaced in a Magic Lantern hack, though.) Like many of the dSLRs that Canon's been churning out, there's nothing else notable in the 70D's feature set; a reasonable set of still shooting options but no photographer-friendly frills like time lapse/intervalometer, multiple card slots, or multiple custom-setting slots.
For a complete accounting of the 70D's features and operation, download the PDF manual.
I wanted to give the camera an image quality rating of 7.5; it's very good, but overall not quite as good as the D7100, all things considered. It's unfortunate, because the rest of the package -- excellent autofocus system, streamlined shooting design and appropriate feature set for the price -- adds up to a camera I really like.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)