Photography News 01

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Camera review

Canon EOS 70D Canon’s chosen its latest enthusiast DSLR to introduce its newAPS-C sensor with Dual Pixel AF technology. This might transform the Live View experience, but what else does the EOS 70D oƒer? ON TEST

19-point AF; in One Shot AF, this is simply automatic selection, but in AI Servo mode, it becomes a focus tracking system. Once tracking starts, you lose control of exactly where it focuses on your subject, but you can alter the sensitivity and speed of tracking according to your subject’s movement. Handling reinements When it comes to handling though, the EOS 70D has some reinements over the EOS 7D. Most notably, there’s an extra button between the shutter button and command dial, which provides direct access to the AF area mode selection so you can keep up with changing requirements in an instant. The rest of the handling on the EOS 70D is equally as user friendly, with all the direct access buttons within easy reach of your right hand. For settings that don’t have a direct access button, there’s Canon’s Q button that activates the quick menu. For the irst time in an enthusiast Canon DSLR, the screen itself is a touch screen and this simpliies navigation even more. It’s also fantastic in Playback, where you can swipe to navigate and pinch to zoom, and in Live View you can touch the screen to set the focus point. This combines with its vari-angle positioning to make the most of Dual Pixel AF. The EOS 70D is also only the second Canon digital SLR after the EOS 6D to feature Wi-Fi. It’s easy to set up using the Canon EOS Remote app on your smartphone or tablet, and once done you can transfer images to your mobile device or, more usefully, control the camera remotely. You can change the aperture, shutter speed, ISO and focus area and release the shutter in this way, and since remote control is only possible with Live View, Dual Pixel AF improves the experience hugely. ABOVE The EOS 70D body is smaller and lighter than the EOS 7D. Interestingly, it’s the same size and weight as the full-frame EOS 6D and feels similar in the hand. LEFT The EOS 70D deals well with tricky lighting and contrast, but also has Auto Lighting Optimizer and HDR modes for extra help if needed.

Words by Ian Fyfe

SPECS

PRICE £1079 body only CONTACT www.canon.co.uk SENSOR

The brand new 20.2-megapixel APSC sensor in the EOS 70D is Canon’s irst advance on its trusty 18- megapixel version for several years, but that’s not the most interesting thing about it. Grabbing the limelight away from the pixel count is never-before- seen technology that provides a new on-sensor phase-detection system: Dual Pixel AF. On-sensorphase-detectionAF isn’tanewconcept, but it’s never before taken this form. While each pixel site usually consists of a single light-sensitive photodiode, on Canon’s new sensor there’s two. For focusing, the information from the two photodiodes is read separately, but for image formation, they’re read together so they act as a single pixel. The result, in theory, is faster focusing without compromising image quality. It’s a clever idea, but does it work? Taking just one picture in Live View is enough to know that it does – focusing in Live View has been transformed. Movement to the correct focus point is direct, and it locks on fast. Admittedly it’s not as fast as relex mirror AF, and it struggles in low light levels, but it’s an ininite improvement in Live View and makes it genuinely useable. This improvement also transfers to movie recording, and means you can use AF to achieve professional-looking pull focus eects. You just need to be careful with touch focusing that you don’t swap dodgy focusing for camera shake. Updated technologies Dual Pixel AF is a technological leap, but it’s worth keeping in mind that if you’re unlikely to use Live View or shoot movies regularly, it’s of no beneit. This isn’t the only upgrade the EOS 70D has had from the 60D though, and in some respects, it’s now Canon’s most advanced APSC oering. Whether or not it claims prosumer lagship status from the EOS 7D is up for debate. As a newer camera, the EOS 70D includes many updated technologies that simply didn’t exist for the EOS 7D. The processor,

20.2-megapixel CMOS with DIGIC 5+ processor IMAGE DIMENSIONS 5472x3648 pixels ISORANGE 10012,800 (10025,600 extended) AUTOFOCUSMODES 19-point AF, single point COMPENSATION +/-5EV in 1/3 or 1/2EV steps, autoexposure bracketing 2, 3, 5 or 7 frames at +/-3EV in 1/3 or 1/2EV steps SHUTTER 30secs-1/8000sec METERING PATTERNS Evaluative, partial, spot, centre weighted SHOOTING SPEEDS Single, continuous L, continuous H 7fps, self- timer 2 or 10secs, silent single shooting, silent continuous shooting LCD SCREEN 2 3in vari-angle LCD touch screen with 1,040k dots STORAGEMEDIA SD, SDHC, SDXC, UHSI compatible DIMENSIONS 139x104.3x78.5mm WEIGHT 755g with battery and memory card AF, zone AF EXPOSURE

for example, is a generation ahead, and the EOS 70D has the same DIGIC 5+ chip as found in Canon’s full- frame DSLRs. This provides an extra stop of ISO sensitivity, but it doesn’t give an advantage when it comes to continuous shooting – while 7fps is an increase of nearly two compared with the EOS 60D, it’s still one behind the EOS 7D. The focusing system in the EOS 70D is essentially a stripped-down version of that in the EOS 7D. It has the same 19 cross-type AF points, and three of the ive EOS 7D AF area modes: single point AF, zone AF and 19-point AF. The most interesting of these is In some respects, the EOS 70D is nowCanon’smost advanced APSCoering

Photography News | Issue 1

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