Canon 70D Brief Hands-On Report

Canon 70D Hands-On

I just got my hands on the Canon 70D and wanted to share a few thoughts about the new camera. This will be short and sweet as it really is a “brief hands-on” look at it.

Out of the box, I was a little surprised that the 70D is noticeably larger than the 60D. In my opinion, this is a good thing as I have come find the 60D a little undersized for a prosumer DSLR.

As quick as I could get a battery in the thing, my first thing to look at was the performance of the 70D’s new Dual Pixel AF system for live view and video autofocusing. And finally, Canon gets live view AF right.

Live view and video AF is fast and accurate. This is what we have been waiting for in DSLRs.

Continuous live view and video AF tracks much like a camcorder. With the 18-135mm STM and 40mm STM lenses, there is no pumping and hunting like we have experienced in the past.

I also tried out the EF 50mm f/1.4 USM and EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lenses and was impressed with the results in live view AF. The EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens was significantly noisier and not as smooth in AF acquisition; however, it seemed to be about as fast. The EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM lens was much quieter than the 50mm lens during AF and was plenty fast.

In addition to continuous AF during live view, forced AF acquisition by half-pressing the shutter button yield smooth and fast results. There seems to be a hint of a delay between pressing the shutter and live view AF kicking in, but it is very mild compared to what we have been accustomed to in past Canon DSLRs.

Likewise, the advances in the standard phase detection AF when using the optical viewfinder are most welcomed. The 70D’s viewfinder with all those additional AF points feels like a 5D Mark III Jr. I’m looking forward to getting in more time with this camera, but for right now it all looks very promising.

I will have sample photos and video up soon, so stay tuned for more.

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Comments

  1. Koos den Haan says

    I’ll just receive my Canon 70D (4 days ago) , my first DSLR ever, and my first impession: this is a great camera.
    I ordered the 70D with the EF-S 18-55 IS STM kit lens. and made some nice pictures, ofcourse in the auto mode as a beginner. The Wi-Fi connection works on my PC, but not on my IPAD

    • Koos den Haan says

      Yess, i tried some other settings and the Wi-Fi connection works with EOS-Remote on my iPAD. There are some questions left but it works. Thanks wmsey maybe works Shuttersnitch, i have trie this programm.
      This

  2. Ron Byram says

    Everyone is talking about the Live View AF feature of the 70D. ok. I get it! its Great?
    But what about the features as a still Camera? How is the Focus points and photos?
    Should I go from a Current 60D to the 70D or maybe wait for the 7D Mk II in 2014?

  3. Bill says

    I’ll wait and see what the 7D Mk II can offer before deciding whether to get this 70D or not.
    I would suggest those who are more keen on still shooting to wait and see what 7D Mk II can offer. while for those who do a lot of videos, you can surely get this 70D if you don’t want to play the waiting game.

  4. says

    “Koos den Haan August 30, 2013 at 4:15 am
    I’ll just receive my Canon 70D (4 days ago) , my first DSLR ever, and my first impession: this is a great camera.
    I ordered the 70D with the EF-S 18-55 IS STM kit lens. and made some nice pictures, ofcourse in the auto mode as a beginner. The Wi-Fi connection works on my PC, but not on my IPAD”

    I don’t have the 70D but my 6D works very well with an iPad using ShutterSnitch. This assumes, and I think it’s a safe, that the two cameras are sharing the same WiFi radio. Go over to the iOS app store and make the small investment. Haven’t even tried Canon’s app so can’t comment on it.

  5. OLD_CANON_GUY says

    Eric,
    The complaints were that the 60D was a welcome relief from the 50D, being too bulky. Now, that the 70D has regained some dimensional fortitude, the 60D is being criticized as being too puny. Is this a case of “not pleasing anyone anytime”?

    • Ron Byram says

      I too stopped by the camera store and got to check out the 70D. Man some of the new features are going to take a bit of Understanding.
      Everyone is talking about the AF for video. Heck I want it(Camera) for photo’s. Now do I get a STM lens or not ;)

      • says

        STM lenses aren’t needed for photos. The USM lenses work just fine. The still image AF options are huge. It’s closer to the 7D than the 60D in still image AF functionality. Lot’s more to come on this.

    • says

      Maybe so.

      There are folks happy with the 60D’s size. When it was initially released, I admit that I was intrigued by it as well. However, the more I have used it over the past several months, the more I prefer the grip and heft of the larger 5D bodies. It’s purely a personal preference; however, I shot for a couple hours yesterday morning with the 70D and several lenses and am happy to say that I was very pleased with the handling – more so than the 60D.

  6. Sam says

    @ Koos den Haan your first DSLR and you think it’s great? I guess you don’t have much to compare it to now do you.

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