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[Part 2] Evolutionary Leap in Live View Shooting with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF of the EOS 70D

Pioneering a new shooting style of DSLR cameras, the EOS 70D features the evolutional Dual Pixel CMOS AF which gives a whole new definition to Live View AF. Here in [Part 2], read the product review focused on comparison with its predecessor EOS 60D. Also check out [Part 1] if you missed the report on the most notable features that are newly added to the EOS 70D, as well as the benefits they offer. (Reported by: Ryosuke Takahashi)

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Characteristic of EOS 70D's Body Design and Difference between EOS 60D

Key features of EOS 70D's body design

Front

A:Height: Approx. 104.3mm
B:Width: Approx. 139mm

Red: The built-in flash covers an angle of view equivalent to about 17mm, and has a guide number of 12 (ISO 100, in meters). Also, it can function as a "master" unit for controlling the flash firing of a Canon Speedlite unit wirelessly via optical transmission.

Rear

C:Depth: Approx. 78.5mm

Red: The Vari-angle LCD monitor, which can be flipped out sideways, makes low-angle and high-angle shooting easy. Also, the touch-screen function of the LCD monitor allows you to set the focus intuitively.

Blue: The compartment at the bottom of the body can accommodate a Battery Pack LP-E6 (1,800mAh), which is employed on a wide range of models. The EOS 60D also uses the same battery pack.

Green: An SD memory card is used as the recording media. Besides SDHC, SDXC and UHS-I standards are also supported. Taking into account the higher frame rate, a large-capacity card is recommended.

Improvements made to enhance operability

Besides a reduction in the width by about 5.5mm, no major changes have been made to the body design compared to the EOS 60D. The design concept of the EOS 60D, which is to realize a compact size while maintaining balance with the large EF lenses, is also inherited on the EOS 70D. As for the details, the shape of the Mode Dial and the way of turning have been altered, and the button layout on the rear face also adopts the same design as that of models such as the EOS 6D. Other adjustments include a more gentle inclination angle of the Mode Dial to enhance the visibility when it is viewed from directly above. This makes it easier for users to identify the shooting mode. With the width of the body slightly downsized, the diameter of the Quick Control Dial is also made smaller compared to the EOS 60D, but the EOS 70D offers greater ease when turning the dials and pressing the Multi-controller.

Comparison of EOS 70D's body design with EOS 60D

Body size

EOS 70D

EOS 60D

Besides a reduction in the camera's width by about 5.5mm, changes have also been made to the inclination angle of the Mode Dial to enhance the visibility from above. The height and thickness have also been reduced slightly.

Mode Dial

EOS 70D

EOS 60D

The layout of the Mode Dial has been simplified with the scene modes relocated under SCN. The dial can now be rotated 360° to enable selection of a shooting mode more quickly.

Display panel

EOS 70D

EOS 60D

The information displayed is basically similar to that of the EOS 60D, except for the addition of the newly-employed Wi-Fi function. The button layout of the EOS 60D near the top panel is also retained.

Right side of the body (Rear)

EOS 70D

EOS 60D

The diameter of the Quick Control Dial has been downsized slightly, and the button layout has also been changed. The Playback and Erase buttons are relocated to the right side to ease operation with one hand.

Left side of the body (Rear)

EOS 70D

EOS 60D

The Erase button has been moved to the right side of the body, making the button layout identical to that of the EOS 6D. Also, the On/Off display of the power button can be identified more easily from above.

Aiming for the perfect balance between weight and high-function

As with the EOS 60D, engineering plastic is employed for the external casing of the camera body, and the body weight remains at approximately 675g. Although there are voices requesting for the use of magnesium in consideration of the material's robustness and texture, it is better to have as compact and light a body as possible in order to facilitate shooting using the Vari-angle LCD monitor. In particular, the EOS 60D has gained much popularity from a wide range of users because of its superb weight balance and functionality, hence the conclusion to make minimal changes to the size of the EOS 70D.

6 Features of EOS 70D

Great advancement made to the AF and Viewfinder functions

Turning our attention to the functionality, significant enhancements have been made to features related to AF and the viewfinder. Most importantly, the number of AF points has been increased from nine on the EOS 60D to 19 on the EOS 70D. With the introduction of a separate AF area selection mode button, an AF area selection mode can now be chosen more easily. At the same time, the [Zone AF] mode that is also available on the EOS 7D has been added. A new "Intelligent Viewfinder," which makes use of a transparent LCD, has been adopted to enable display of various information in the viewfinder, making viewfinder shooting a more pleasant experience.

1. Three types of AF area selection modes

Single-point AF (Manual selection)

Zone AF (Manual zone selection)

19-point automatic selection AF

Three useful AF area selection modes are available. Particularly handy is the [Zone AF] for capturing snapshots and moving objects. Compared to a 35mm full-frame camera, the area on the viewfinder that is covered by the AF points is wider, so you can make the best use of the 19 AF points.

2. Intelligent Viewfinder

Grid Lines

Electronic Level

Besides the grid lines, other icons such as the electronic level can also be displayed inside the Intelligent Viewfinder. In particular, the new electronic level icon does not make use of the AF points, so you can check for camera tilt while focusing is in progress.

3. Wi-Fi function

The Wi-Fi function is similar to that on the EOS 6D. With it, unique photos such as those applied with Creative filter effects can be uploaded quickly to a website. Also, you can make use of the Wi-Fi function to transfer images between two EOS cameras.

4. Custom Controls

One of the most strongly recommended features on the EOS 70D. The display of the Custom Controls allows you to perform setting efficiently. In order to utilize this camera fully, one of the key points to consider is the functions you assign to the [SET button] and [Depth-of-field preview button].

5. HDR mode & Multiple exposures

In the HDR mode, three shots with different exposures are taken and combined. You can choose to adjust the dynamic range automatically or manually (±1 to ±3EV). With moderately mild effects, this mode helps to produce natural images, and is applicable to a wide array of scenes.

As with the EOS 6D, the Multiple-exposure mode comes with two options, [Additive] and [Average]. You can merge the second to ninth exposures while displaying the Live View image of the first exposure.

6. Custom AF comparable to higher-end models

A feature that is also available on models including the EOS 7D. You can customize the AF function to handle situations when a subject moves away from the AF point during AI Servo AF. Adjust according to the subject you are capturing.

You can set the subject tracking sensitivity by altering the AI Servo AF characteristics according to the movement and speed of the subject. To capture a subject that moves or stops suddenly, setting to a positive value helps to prevent the image from going out of focus.

Try out the Wi-Fi and HDR features also! Newest features packed in EOS 70D

New features have also been added according to the recent trends, including the Wi-Fi function, HDR mode, as well as customizable AF functions. Creative filters, which were introduced for the first time on the EOS 60D, are also offered. All these features contribute to enhancing the perfection of the EOS 70D in terms of both shooting functions and image production. While many tend to focus their attention solely on the Dual Pixel CMOS AF, it is noteworthy that steady improvements have also been made to aspects such as the basic shooting functions.

If you are looking for a highly mobile camera suitable for street snaps and travel photos, the EOS 70D is the best choice. You can enjoy Live View shooting to the fullest with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF, while at the same time engage in viewfinder photography utilizing the multitude of AF functions. All the qualities that a mirrorless DSLR is unable to offer can be found on the EOS 70D.

Click here to read [Part 1] Evolutionary Leap in Live View Shooting with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF of the EOS 70D

Ryosuke Takahashi

Born in Aichi in 1960, Takahashi started his freelance career in 1987 after working with an advertising photo studio and a publishing house. Photographing for major magazines, he has travelled to many parts of the world from his bases in Japan and China.

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