The Canon EOS 70D has an innovative autofocus system that "may very well have started a revolution" for the entire camera industry. It amalgamates the best bits from other Canon DSLRs -- the articulated touch-screen LCD from the EOS Rebel T5i and built-in wireless from the EOS 60D -- and produces excellent quality images to boot. This is a camera for the enthusiast who wants plenty of control and functions without venturing into the professional DSLR market.
Nicely balanced. The Canon 70D nicely balances size and weight to produce a camera that has a good heft yet isn't too large to hold. The touch-screen LCD is consistently responsive and is fully articulated, making it easy to shoot from odd angles. Reviewers say this free-angle LCD is on a par with the screens offered by Olympus and Panasonic, and is significantly more flexible than those found on Sony and Nikon DSLRs. The 70D's controls are based on the EOS 60D (Est. $1,100 (with kit lens)) and are well placed for easy and intuitive access, although the viewfinder is relatively small.
Autofocus exceeds expectations. The image quality produced by the Canon EOS 70D is similar to that of its rivals, especially in low-light performance. Its continuous shooting speed of 7 fps is faster than most other DSLRs and high ISO shots are acceptable, even above ISO 6,400. It's in the autofocus area, however, that the 70D really impresses reviewers and exceeds expectations. One says the EOS 70D is "the best 'traditional' DSLR camera in terms of auto-focusing during Live View and movie shooting."
Robust metal chassis. Like all higher-end Canon DSLRs, the 70D has a metal chassis covered with a plastic outer layer. Canon advertises that the 70D is as robust as its predecessor, the EOS 7D.
Revolutionary phase-detection autofocus. The Canon EOS 70D is the big sibling of the Canon EOS Rebel T5i (Est. $650 (with kit lens)) and has all of its features. Yet it also has an entirely new sensor of revolutionary design. The 20.2 megapixel sensor uses a Dual Pixel CMOS AF design in which every single pixel is split into two separately readable photodiodes, facing left and right. So in principle, each pixel is capable of phase-detection autofocus in Live View and Movie mode. There's a built-in Wi-Fi function, although operating it is a bit complicated. The autofocus is the same 19-point system found in the pricier EOS 7D, but with a simpler operation.
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The Canon EOS 70D is a strong contender in the enthusiast DSLR camera arena and is on a par with its rivals. Exceeding reviewers' expectations in the autofocus department, the 70D is great for any semi-pro shooting situation as long as you don't want to travel light.
Review: Canon EOS 70D Review, Andy Westlake, Richard Butler, Shawn Barnett, October 2013
Mark Goldstein points out that despite being the next model number in the series, the Canon EOS 70D is not a direct replacement for the Canon EOS 60D, which is still available. The 70D's "winning blend of features, performance and image quality" impresses Goldstein, who names it the go-to model if you're looking for a mid-range DSLR camera.
Review: Canon EOS 70D Review, Mark Goldstein, Sept. 6, 2013
Reviewers at Imaging-Resource.com go so far as to state that the Canon EOS 70D's innovative autofocus system "may very well have started a revolution" for "the camera industry as a whole." While the still-image quality is a slight improvement over other Canon EOS cameras, the 70D excels in video production quality.
Review: Canon 70D Review, William Brawley, Mike Tomkins, Dave Etchells and Dan Havlik, Sept. 16, 2013
The Canon EOS 70D wins an Editors' Choice award for 2013 at TechRadar.com. The EOS 70D's touch screen is in addition to all the usual buttons and dials, so users have the choice of how to control their cameras. Having built-in Wi-Fi also sets the 70D apart from some of its competitors.
Review: Canon EOS 70D Review, Angela Nicholson, Nov. 14, 2013
Josh Fate opens his review of the Canon EOS 70D with information about its use of the new APS-C CMOS image sensor, along with the top-of-the-line DIGIC 5+ processor featured in Canon's professional series of cameras. He says this gives the 70D some abilities not found on other DSLR cameras.
Review: Canon EOS 70D Review, Josh Fate, Nov. 18, 2013
6. Ken Rockwell
Ken Rockwell states that the Canon EOS 70D feels and shoots just like his Pentax K-5 II, but costs and weighs a lot less. He especially likes the 70D's video autofocus, saying it's the best yet from a DSLR.
Review: Canon 70D, Ken Rockwell, Not dated
More than 160 Amazon.com contributors post reviews for the Canon EOS 70D, and more than 90 percent of them are extremely positive. Complaints are mostly about the condition of cameras received through the mail.
Review: Canon EOS 70D 20.2 MP Digital SLR Camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of February 2014