A Well-Rounded DSLR for Stills and Video

Canon 70d

HWM (Singapore) - - Performance -

the 70D, with con­trols within easy reach and the top LED panel pro­vid­ing es­sen­tial info. The big UI im­prove­ments come with Live View and the ca­pac­i­tive touch-screen; you can tap on any­thing in the menu. In ad­di­tion, the abil­ity to use both the touch-screen and phys­i­cal con­trols make it eas­ier to ad­just cam­era set­tings.

Canon’s Dual Pixel CMOS AF sys­tem makes its de­but on the 70D. Whereas Hy­brid CMOS AF uses a com­bi­na­tion of phase- and con­trast-de­tec­tion AF, AF is cal­cu­lated ex­clu­sively us­ing phase-de­tec­tion AF via Canon’s Dual Pixel tech­nol­ogy. On the 70D, Dual Pixel AF is a com­ple­men­tary tech­nol­ogy; when you shoot with the op­ti­cal viewfinder the 70D will de­fault to us­ing con­ven­tional phase de­tec­tion AF, it’s when you switch to us­ing Live View that Dual Pixel AF kicks in.

Dual Pixel AF works to a de­gree. Auto-fo­cus when shoot­ing movies is faster, and fo­cus racks smoothly. It helps cre­ate but­tery fo­cus tran­si­tions with a sim­ple tap to fo­cus on the Live View screen, and is vastly bet­ter than pre­vi­ous DSLRs’ at­tempts at shoot­ing movies with phase de­tec­tion AF. When it comes to shoot­ing stills how­ever, there’s still a split­sec­ond lag in fo­cus ac­qui­si­tion that you don’t see in the best mir­ror­less cam­eras to­day.

Im­age qual­ity is vivid, with clear ISO per­for­mance up to about ISO 1600. It’s ISO 3200 when de­tail loss starts, but you can prob­a­bly reach up to ISO 6400 if nec­es­sary. There’s more chroma noise than ex­pected, and while ISO 12,800 looks mushy in our lab tests, you can get away if it in the real world if it’s just for shar­ing at low res­o­lu­tions. The 18-135mm kit lens is a weak point; ser­vice­able but none too sharp.

While the Canon 70D might not break new ground in terms of imaging qual­ity, it de­liv­ers a well-rounded pack­age for shoot­ing both stills and video. Shoot­ing stills in Live View is not as fast to fo­cus as with the best mir­ror­less cam­eras, but it makes smooth aut­o­fo­cus­ing in video as easy as it can be for non-pro­fes­sion­als.

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