DSLRs are still as popular as ever amongst indie filmmakers on limited budgets, despite the arrival of affordable dedicated cameras such as those from Blackmagic Design. Canon’s older DSLR cameras are enjoying a new lease of life with the latest version of the Magic Lantern firmware upgrade, that is bringing unforeseen RAW video shooting capabilities to many of the cameras. For those wary about upgrading their cameras with the third-party patch, Canon continues develop filmmaking/video capabilities of its DSLR range with the release of the EOS 70D.
Designed as a bridge between its affordable 700D and the popular 7D model, it offers a range of features for the cash-strapped semi-pro that will deliver pro results for stills photographers and improved Full HD video for filmmakers not requiring a full-frame sensor.
The EOS 70D features a new 20.2 MP APS-C CMOS sensor, designed and manufactured by Canon. It’s the first Digital SLR in the world to feature ground-breaking Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, which delivers smooth and accurate autofocus (AF) when shooting Full HD movies and fast AF acquisition when shooting in Live View mode.
Paired with the 14-bit DIGIC 5+ processor and 19-point all cross-type AF System, the EOS 70D captures incredible, full resolution images at up to 7 frames per second, with up to 65 JPEG or 16 RAW images in a single burst¹. Additionally, a native ISO range of ISO 100-12800 enables photographers to shoot in lower light conditions and use faster shutter speeds whilst retaining high image quality.
Canon’s new Dual Pixel CMOS AF provides swift AF performance when shooting in Live View mode and smooth accurate focus for Full HD movies. It makes it easy for users to take their next step with movies, enabling them to keep moving subjects in sharp focus and create professional-looking pull-focus effects. The technology utilises advanced CMOS architecture, allowing two photodiodes to be mounted within each pixel, both of which can be read independently to achieve autofocus, or together for image capture, with maximum image quality at all times.
An advanced AF system for stills includes 19 cross-type AF points spread across the frame, providing high speed, accurate AF – ideal for tracking sports and wildlife subjects as they move within the frame. The AF system is customisable, allowing photographers to adapt to the subject they’re shooting. AF points can be used individually, together in small groups, or as a wide active area for more unpredictable subjects. A dedicated AF area selection button, positioned conveniently next to the shutter release, enables quick switching between modes, without having to take the camera away from the eye.
The EOS 70D’s powerful specification is packed into an expertly-engineered body that’s designed for comfort and swift operation. The Intelligent Viewfinder, with 98 per cent frame coverage and 0.95x magnification, allows photographers to comfortably frame their images and visualise settings via the electronic overlay. Conveniently-placed controls provide instant access to the most frequently used settings, such as ISO, AF mode selection and metering, so users can quickly change settings and concentrate on capturing the moment.
A 7.7cm (3.0”) Vari-angle Clear View LCD II Touch screen with a sharp 1,040k dot resolution is ideal for video shooting, or composing images from unusual and creative angles. The screen is a capacitive type, which supports a series of multi-touch gestures including swiping and pinch-zooming – perfect for navigating menus, amending settings or flicking through images.
Clever connectivity for easy control and instant sharing The EOS 70D is the latest EOS model to feature integrated Wi-Fi, providing the freedom to remotely control the camera, as well as share images. Using Wi-Fi connectivity, users can connect to the EOS Remote app and control a wide range of image settings, including ISO and exposure, as well as focus and release the shutter. Photographers can also remotely use Live View mode, as well as review and rate their images.
Alongside beautiful stills, the EOS 70D allows photographers to create high-quality movies with ease. Full HD (1920 x 1080p) resolution video can be captured with a choice of selectable frame rates, including 30, 25 or 24fps, and 60 and 50fps at 720p, and a range of compression options for post-editing and sharing. Thanks to new Dual Pixel CMOS AF, Movie Servo AF mode tracks subjects as they move, or even as shots are recomposed, ensuring they’re always in focus. Alternatively, users can select different focus areas over 80 per cent of the frame simply by tapping the touch-screen, even when recording – ensuring that movies stay sharp and clear if a subject moves or the user changes the composition of a shot.
Videographers can also enjoy stereo sound using the internal microphone, or enhance audio with the in-built external microphone input terminal. Full control over settings such as aperture and ISO is also possible within manual mode, giving users greater freedom as their skills develop.