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Canon EOS 70D: Image Quality and Verdict

By Phil Hall

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Canon EOS 70D: Image Quality

Not only is the 70D's sensor completely redesigned thanks to its Dual Pixel technology, it also features the highest resolution of any Canon APS-C sensor to date. As a result, the 70D should be able to resolve more detail than ever before, and it doesn't disappoint.

Canon EOS 70D

Throughout the lower end of the ISO range the EOS 70D manages to resolve more detail than it's main competitor, the Nikon D7100, while even at higher ISO settings it still delivers a good level of detail.

The higher megapixel count does raise some concerns with regards to image noise throughout the ISO range, although on the whole these concerns are generally allayed.

Canon EOS 70D

Performance at lower settings is first class, and it's not until you approach ISO 1,600 that the first signs of grain-like noise appears. Results remain strong up to ISO 6,400, and although chroma noise is apparent it's not the to detriment of overall image quality.

If you're happy shooting Raw then results remain usable right up to the maximum extended setting of ISO 25,600, so long as you're willing to work on noise reduction in post-production.

Canon EOS 70D

The 70D maintains the 63-zone iFCL metering system as seen in all DSLRs since the 7D. As a result, it offers a pleasingly good level of performance. There are some instances whereby the exposure system can be fooled by particularly light or dark areas in the frame, although on the whole we rarely found the need to use the exposure compensation.

The 70D's colour system is also reliable, with colours pleasing in the standard colour setting, although they do lack a bit of punch. If you're looking for a bit more punch then the range of Canon's Picture Style modes offer plenty of options. The model's auto white balance is also reliable, delivering good results across a range of different lighting conditions

Should I buy the Canon EOS 70D?

There's no denying that the Canon EOS 70D breaks new ground when it comes to DSLR photography, thanks to the very best AF performance when shooting live view we've yet seen in such a camera.

However, when it comes to headline resolution – as well as some other elements of it's specification – it is still behind the Nikon D7100. It is a big step forward from the 60D however, and it even runs the higher-end EOS 7D close in a host of areas.

So, if you're a Canon user looking to make the step up from a triple-digit DSLR, or are simply wanting to upgrade your double-digit model, the 70D is an impressive bit of kit and could well be the option.

Verdict

The Canon EOS 70D is a real step forward in the world of DSLR photography, and if you shoot a lot of video, or find yourself using live view image capture with any regularity, it's a great choice. But It's not without its faults, with a few bugs in the Creative Filter settings proving particularly disappointing, although on the whole it's an impressive bit of kit that will change the way DSLRs handle AF technology in the future.

Overall Score

8

Scores In Detail

  • Design 8
  • Features 9
  • Image Quality 8
  • Performance 8
  • Value 8

dpanch_89

September 6, 2013, 9:30 pm

Who ever even uses the "creative filters" anyway? Anyone who shoots RAW would have no need for them at all!

eddie

September 6, 2013, 10:15 pm

Agree

DB

September 9, 2013, 9:12 am

What ISO are the sample photos in the gallery?

Jmac

September 10, 2013, 7:20 am

See, now I'm in a quandary. I want to upgrade my ageing 7D, and was strongly tempted to pick up a 5DIII, but with the new live view AF features, the 70D is a compelling choice for video, and the pop-up flash, wi-fi and articulated screen give it a lot of flexibility. I only shoot in RAW, so obviously no interest in creative filters, but there are some features here that are very attractive indeed. Image quality, weather sealing and low light performance obviously won't touch the 5DIII with its full frame sensor, but I wonder if the 70D would be "good enough" to justify deferring my move up to full frame until the 5D Mk IV arrives (whenever that may be), inevitably bringing dual-pixel AF to the full frame range.

Don Carlson

September 16, 2013, 8:52 pm

Interested in Canon EOS 70D. Confused by your review comments in "Verdict."

Please explain:

“Canon EOS 70D
Throughout the lower end of the ISO range the EOS 70D manages to resolve more
detail than it's main competitor, the Nikon D7100, while even at higher ISO
settings it still delivers a good level of detail.”

And

“However, when it comes
to headline resolution – as well as some other elements of it's specification –
it is still behind the Nikon D7100.”

MarLo

September 23, 2013, 12:35 pm

I own the 5D Mark III and cannot recommend it highly enough. I also own the 7D and am disappointed with it. It does not compare to the 5D. However, I shoot predominantly landscapes with a lot of wide angle shooting (14mm). If you want to photograph this type of thing I would recommend the full frame. However, if you are not into wide angle shooting then the 70D may be a better solution. It all depends on the type of photos you tend to take. If you shoot a lot of low light shots you will also want the 5D Mark III.

Jmac

September 30, 2013, 7:18 am

Thanks MarLo. I shoot a lot of street scenes, handheld with available light, and the 5D Mk III's low light capabilities have been tempting me for some time. But it has to be a "do everything" for me - I want to be able to shoot wildlife, weddings, the whole lot. I'm not overly swayed by the price (happy to spend the extra for the 5DIII if it's the right body for me) but I am a little torn by the 70D's dualpixel live view for video, which I'm sure will hit the next gen of 5D, so the question is whether to hang on for that or bite now and accept that I'm going to feel the need to upgrade in a couple of years. Decisions, decisions...

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