Canon 70D: What to Like and Dislike
Canon has finally announced their new mid-range APS-C camera, the 70D, successor to the 60D. The camera borrows from the 700D and comes with some new bells and whistles too. It’s got a long list of specs you can read on pretty much every other site, so I’ll give you a quick rundown on what those features actually mean to video professionals.
– The new Dual-Pixel CMOS video autofocus system compatible with 103 Canon EOS lenses. This is their big winning addition, I was concerned it was going to be like the EOS-M, but it actually looks pretty smooth and clean in the demos I’ve seen and I look forward to pushing it when I get my hands on one. It’s unclear if it will work at all with Tokina/Sigma/Tamron, but anyone with relatively new Canon lenses, your lens just got autofocus in video. STM lenses will probably perform the best for rack-focus but their pizza tutorial used some USM lenses that worked mighty nice too. The video above is all shot using autofocus and if you watch from 3:15 it labels all the lenses used so you can see how each perform.
– WiFi built-in. This is a growing trend across all cameras. Canon allows live view and remote control over wifi. I’ve yet to use this feature on any Canon DSLRs so I’d bet it’s probably delayed live, good for framing like on the GoPro but not true live view. But you can remote start-stop, shutter, ISO, and aperture (when using an EOS lens). What I’d be interested in seeing is utilizing the iOS or Android app and touchscreen in live view to select and program focus marks for repeatable takes and actions. This would be a killer feature and really fully utilize the potential of the new video autofocus system.
– No Uncompressed HDMI out. The fact that this feature isn’t trickling down the Canon line-up starting with the camera is really concerning for anyone looking to shoot with DSLRs on-going. Even an 8-bit 422 option would be adequate as an option.
– Same H264 internal recording options as 5DIII, 6D, and 1DX. It’s too bad Canon is protecting it’s Cinema line-up with such a stranglehold. Would love to see a bump here but really didn’t expect it.
– No major improvement in low-light. PetaPixel believed the ISO performance would be much improved yesterday but so far I’ve seen no sign that it’s anything groundbreaking, the three 3200 ISO shots in the video above were clean but that wasn’t out of the realm of possibility on the 60D. This lack of improvement is likely due to the AF technology in the sensor and the fact that it’s now 20MP, so it’s not the end of the world, but it would have been nice to see an APS-C camera from Canon compete with FF low-light/ISO levels.
– If you are using manual glass, say hello to almost no improvements over the 60D. Wifi is nice, but I’d guess most people won’t be dumping their 60D just for that.
So obviously this camera is all about the autofocus, a big feature for consumers and a potentially awesome tool for professionals, but I highly doubt it’s a total gamechanger like they claim, FS700 has great autofocus also but that’s not it’s big selling point to filmmakers. I could go into the details on the 70D’s autofocus but Imaging Resource has got it down pretty solid, so go check out their write-up. It’s long as hell but explains all 4 of the focus settings and why it’s better than the competitors autofocus implementations.
I think this camera is a tell-tale sign of where Canon is taking the DSLR range, they are trying to make it more user-friendly for consumers, they will build special Cinema models intended to appease the video crowd, and they will keep focusing on their photo abilities first for all other models.
MSRP on the 70D is expected to be $1,199 for body only, $1,349 with the 18-55 STM lens, or $1,549 with the 18-135 STM lens.