Canon EOS 70D review

Canon's enthusiast-friendly DSLR still cuts it

TODO alt text
Editor's Choice

Some photographers get a bit worked up about Canon's choice to use polycarbonate rather than metal for some of its camera bodies - including the Canon 70D - but the new camera feels nice and solid and seals ensure that it should survive some exposure to the weather.

The buttons and dials are sensibly arranged and the deep grip has a textured coating that makes it feel secure in your hand.

EOS 70d


The Canon 70D has 19 AF system, all of which are cross-type for greater sensitivity, just like the Canon EOS 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.

In comparison with the Nikon D7200's 51-AF point system, however, 19 points doesn't seem that impressive, but the centre of the frame is well covered. In comparison with the coverage that you get with the average compact system camera, it seems rather poor, because the points are clustered around the centre. This means that off-centre subjects require the focus and recompose technique, which is a common issue with DSLRs.

Although Canon's new Dual Pixel AF system is faster than its previous Live View AF systems, it isn't quite as fast as the contrast detection systems in Panasonic's recent G series compact system cameras.

However, it's not that far off, and it's sufficiently fast for the camera to be used handheld when composing images on its screen - at least in normal daylight conditions. And it means that the articulating joint on the screen is much more useful.

When light levels fall, however, the focusing slows and a backwards and forwards adjustment becomes noticeable.


Head of Testing, Cameras

Angela (Twitter, Google+, website) is head of testing for Future's photography portfolio, writing and overseeing reviews of photographic equipment for Digital Camera, Photography Week, PhotoPlus, NPhoto and Practical Photoshop as well as TechRadar's cameras channel. Angela has a degree in photography and multimedia and prior to joining Future in October 2010 was Amateur Photographer magazine's technical editor.