The Canon EOS 70D is the latest in their long line of mid-range digital SLRs. It brings several new and interesting features to the range, most notably a brand new Dual Pixel sensor design.
The sensor in the Canon EOS 70D is a 20.2 megapixel CMOS sensor, APS-C size. What makes it interesting is that it incorporates Canon’s new Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology. This means that each pixel on the sensor is made up of two individual photodiodes, instead of the one you would normally expect. Each pixel’s pair of left and right photodiodes can have their separate values read, and these two values can then be used to achieve phase detection autofocus (by analysing any difference in the values between the left and right photodiode (the phase difference), it is possible to work out how front or back focused the image is, and therefore how much to adjust the lens focus to bring that pixel into perfect focus).
What this means is that you have a fast sensor based phase detection autofocus, which can be used when shooting in live view mode or shooting video – ie in scenarios when the sensor is receiving the image. In normal photography mode, when you are using the viewfinder, the EOS 70D utilises a traditional off-sensor 19 point cross-type autofocus system. When the image is captured, the values from the pairs of diodes are simply combined to become treated as one normal pixel.
Moving on from the sensor design, the Canon 70D has several other headline features. The 70D has a vari-angle LCD touch screen, which allows you to set the focus in live view mode etc by touching the screen. The 70D also has built in Wi-Fi, allowing you to remotely control the camera with a suitable device and app, in addition to transferring files wirelessly. You can shoot stills at a rate of 7 frames per second, and the ISO range is from 100 to 12800 (expandable up to 25600).
You can of course shoot full HD movies with the 70D, at various frame rates. The Canon 70D also features a built in speedlite transmitter, allowing you to remotely control Canon flashguns that are not mounted on the camera. The 70D has a high dynamic range mode that merges three images with different exposures – although I wonder whether the new sensor design could be utilised in the future to create a new HDR function by varying the sensitivity of one half of each pair of photodiodes. The viewfinder provides 98% coverage, and there is a built in flash with a guide number of 12.
The Canon 70D has a new battery grip available, the Canon BG-14 battery grip. It is also compatible with the Canon GP-E2 GPS unit, and the remote switch RS-60E3. The 70D takes SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, and uses the existing LP-E6 battery. It weighs in at 755g.
The Canon EOS 70D is expected to be available in August, with a retail price of £1079.99 for the body. You can find our UK stock price comparison for the Canon 70D here.
There are two lens kits available as well, here are the links to the price comparisons:
Canon EOS 70D With 18-55mm IS STM Lens
Canon EOS 70D With 18-135mm IS STM Lens