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Summary I understand that the "game changing" capabilities of this camera are on the video side, but I don't shoot a lot of video and there are plenty reviews out there on that topic. Just briefly, I did try it out and it is a tremendous step up. I was able to take well focused and shake-free footage with both the 18-135mm STM kit lens as well as my 24-105mm L lens, without really trying much...
My main review though is for the still image use and comparing it to my aging T2i (which this will replace) and my Canon 6D. I have not had the camera for long, so I'm not covering close to all features, but focus on the primary ones (80/20 rule).
It was between the T5i, 60D and the 70D for me, prior to picking the 70D.
- While just a bit smaller, the body is almost identical to the 6D, with similar layout and pretty much the same feel (which I love). For some, who want more ruggedness, such as found in the 7D or 5D's, this might be a negative. However, if I look at my trusty Rebel T2i, which has been used in rain, on the beach, thrown in the backpack on many bike rides and abused in hours and hours of astrophotography sessions (usually covered in frozen dew), it still looks and behaves almost like new. So I think the 70D will do just fine.
- Touch flip screen. I like my buttons and I am slow to adjust to what the touch screen offers, but I am catching on. Especially selecting the focus point by touch is a nice feature. Responsiveness is just as good as on my iPod Touch.
- Auto-focus. I have not explored it in detail, but out of the box it works great. I often take photos of birds in flight and I got a lot more keepers compared to my other bodies. The camera was tracking nicely when shooting a low flying eagle against the background of trees and fields.
- 7 fps. Works like a charm (after I got used to the somewhat tinny sound of the shutter).
- Good kit lens. Comes surprisingly close to the 24-105mm L lens, but with a wider range and a lot lower price. I posted a separate review under the individual lens item on Amazon. In summary, well worth it the extra money.
- Wireless. Same as the 6D. Using your smart phone or iPad/iPod as a remote, without much complications, is something that I got hooked on with the 6D.
- Long exposure behavior (I use it for astro pictures at 2-5 minute exposure) is really no difference to the already great T2i. Some stated concerns that the new sensor design (with the split photodiodes per pixel) might have a negative impact here. But based on first tests, it does not.
- Image quality is pretty much the same as with the T2i. Now, the T2i has great image quality (especially based on the year when it came out), but noise and dynamic range are practically the same. In fact, I can't tell the difference between unprocessed results from both sensors, even at 100%, for ISO 800 and below. Only for higher ISO and longer exposures one can see a little improvement (but not much more than you can expect in variances from the same sensor model). The only significant difference is that DPP takes a lot longer to generate the high definition view... Now, in a way, that still justifies having a full frame camera (and I prefer the smaller APS-C sensor for astrophotography and wild life), the 6D is just an order of magnitude better when it comes to image quality, but one could have hoped for some improvements over the last 4-5 years here. Others have done it.
Note: Some report significant low light performance improvements over the older 18 MP sensor, but you might want to check the noise reduction settings in DPP. For the same camera settings, the 70D produces much more aggressive image settings than my T2i, which makes the 70D performance look much better at first glance. Setting noise reduction to 0 (or the same value) for both, will make such differences mostly go away...
Overall, the additional features (such as wireless, better auto-focus, better body, LCD display) make it worth the higher price compared to the T5i and 60D (at least the first two here) to me, but ultimately, you can probably take the same quality still pictures with all three (at least if the subject is not moving too fast...).
P.S., Recommend to check for best deal for the Canon EOS 70D at: camerakits.wordpress.com/canon-eos-70d/
Thank for reading, hope it helps.
Pros Dual Pixel AF system, the WiFi,Excellent LCD and responsive touchscreen, the movie mode with fantastic auto focus and the complete Canon's kit!
Cons Difficult to take photos in low light conditions (with iso higher 1600)! If Canon could prepare a firmware to improve some necessities, will be fantastic( for example, review the use of Wifi plus movie mode HDR mode unavailable if Raw is active).
Summary I recommend to all this machine, high performance, a lot of tools that permit to make dreams...
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