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Editor's Choice

Canon EOS 70D review

Canon's most enthusiast-friendly APS-C SLR to date

Our Verdict

Canon has produced a very well rounded camera for enthusiast photographers. It has all the specifications that we expect, along with a few modern niceties in a body that feels well made and comfortable in the hand.

For

  • Excellent image quality
  • Plenty of control over images
  • Responsive, articulated touchscreen
  • Wi-Fi built in for remote control
  • 19-AF points all cross-type

Against

  • Creative Filters JPEG only
  • HDR mode JPEG only
  • Creative Filters live view only
  • Viewfinder level can be hard to see
  • Metering problems in high contrast

The announcement of any Canon DSLR usually creates a lot of excitement, but when that camera launches a new sensor with a new pixel count (for the manufacturer) and is aimed at enthusiast photographers, it ups the ante considerably. So naturally there's been quite a buzz surrounding the new Canon EOS 70D, which has a 20.2 million-pixel CMOS sensor coupled with a Digic 5 processor.

As well as having a higher pixel count than Canon's other recent APS-C format sensors, the EOS 70D's sensor is a Dual Pixel CMOS device, which enables faster focusing during Live View and video mode. There are two photo diodes for every pixel site (strictly speaking pixels don't exist until an image is created) on the sensor, and each of them can read light independently to enable a form of phase detection autofocusing to be used to focus the lens.

Ratings in depth

Canon EOS 70D review

Canon EOS 70D review

Canon EOS 70D review

Canon EOS 70D review

Canon EOS 70D review

While the diodes are read separately for autofocusing, they are read together to form the image, and this means the Canon 70D creates 20.2 million pixel images.

Although every 'pixel' is a dual diode device, only the central 80% are used for auto focusing, because using the outer edges makes the system more prone to errors.

The Canon 70D also has a dedicated phase detection sensor for use when images are composed in the viewfinder. This has 19 AF points, all of which are cross-type, just like the Canon 7D's AF system. However, the two cameras' AF systems aren't identical, since the Canon 70D only has three AF point selection modes: Single point AF, Zone AF and 19-point Area AF.

Canon EOS 70D review

While the 60D has a maximum continuous shooting speed of 5.3fps, the 70D can shoot at up to 7fps at full resolution for up to 65 JPEGs or 16 raw files, which is useful when shooting sport and using the 60D's continuous focusing capability.

Sensitivity may be set in the native range of ISO 100-12,800 with an expansion setting allowing the equivalent of ISO 25,600. The top native setting, ISO 12,800 is an expansion setting on Canon's other enthusiast SLRs.

Canon was the first manufacturer to give a DSLR a touchscreen, and the 70D has a 3-inch 1,040,000 dot LCD that can be used to make settings adjustments and scroll through images. As with the Canon 700D, the manufacturer hasn't added the touchscreen functionality at the expense of buttons or dial controls, since the Canon 70D has all the physical controls that you'd hope for.

Further good news with the Canon 70D is that the LCD screen is on an articulating joint, and this makes it easy to view from a range of angles, whether shooting in landscape or portrait format.

Wi-Fi connectivity is fast becoming one of the must-have features for cameras, and the Canon 70D does not disappoint in this respect.

Canon EOS 70D review

While the ability to download images wirelessly may not be all that enticing, the possibility of controlling the camera remotely using Canon's free EOS remote app for Android and iOS smartphones and tablets is a real bonus for wildlife photographers.

Canon has also included a few features to enable more creative images to be captured with a Canon 70D - there's a built-in Speedlite transmitter, for example, which gives wireless control over multiple Canon Speedlite EX flashguns, a multi-exposure mode and an HDR mode that combines three images to create one with a greater range of tones.

There's also a collection of Creative Filters (Grainy B/W, Soft Focus, Fish-Eye effect, Art Bold effect, Water Painting effect, Toy Camera effect or Miniature effect) that can be used to give JPEGs a particular distinctive look when shooting in Live View mode.

Canon EOS 70D review

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While it's disappointing that these can't be used when shooting raw files simultaneously, or when using the viewfinder, they can be applied post-capture in review mode, so it's possible to retain a 'clean' image as well as one with the filter effect.

The Canon EOS 70D has a full price of £1,089 / US$1,199 / AU$1,499 body only, putting it well above the Canon 700D but at the same price point as the Nikon D7100.

Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital SLR Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Effective Camera Resolution20.2 Megapixel
USBYes
PictBridgeYes
Product FamilyEOS
Brand NameCanon
DurabilityWater Resistant, Dust Resistant
FeaturesNoise Reduction, External Flash Shoe, Time Lapse Function, Orientation Sensor, Continuous Shooting Mode, Live View, Face Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeSLR
Weight (Approximate)755 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityErP, REACH, RoHS, WEEE
Maximum Image Resolution5472 x 3648
Maximum Frame Rate60 fps
Number of Batteries Supported1
Battery Built-inNo
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camera Resolution20.9 Megapixel
HDMIYes
Camera AssemblyBody Only
HD Movie ModeYes
Battery Model SupportedLP-E6
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC UHS-I), Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC UHS-I)
Height104.3 mm
Width139 mm
Depth78.5 mm
Autofocus Points19
Image FormatsJPEG, RAW
Audio FormatsPCM
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product Model70D
Product NameEOS 70D Digital SLR Camera
Product LineEOS
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number8469B024AA
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.canon.co.uk
Marketing InformationCanon EOS 70D
Capture the moment at seven frames per second

Capture the moment in stunning stills and Full-HD movies with the high performance EOS 70D, featuring 7fps full resolution shooting, an advanced 19-point AF system and Canon's unique Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology.
Battery Life920 Shot
Package Contents
  • EOS 70D Digital SLR Camera
  • Eyecup Eb
  • Camera Cover R-F-3
  • Wide Strap EW-70D
  • Battery Pack LP-E6
  • Battery Charger LC-E6E
  • AC Cable (with E-Type plug) 1m
  • Interface Cable IFC-400PCU
Display Resolution1040000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Built-in DevicesSpeaker, Microphone