Photography Monthly newcomer, and pro photographer, Tom Wilkinson takes a first look at Canon’s new semi-pro EOS 70D

In the lifecycle of DSLR releases, three years is a fair stretch. Due in late August 2013, with the 60D having been released in summer 2010, should we therefore expect this new model to come with a complete overhaul of features, or just a few upgrades here and there in the spirit of natural camera evolution?

First impressions from the spec list show a number of advances since the 60D, firstly a 20.2MP APS-C sensor and new image processor (the DIGIC 5+) that comes with the full-frame 6D and 5D Mark III models. Along with this comes a slightly increased sensitivity range (up to ISO 25,600), a greater frame rate of seven frames per second and a new 19-point autofocus system. Called ‘Dual Pixel CMOS AF’, it allows greater accuracy for action and wildlife shooting as well as smoother functioning in Movie mode. This is the first of Canon’s DSLR range to feature this new technology, and may well be what sets the 70D apart from its competition.

Other features that stand out on this new model include the vari-angle 3in LCD screen with touchscreen interface and Wi-Fi with remote shooting capability.

Aimed at the ‘enthusiast’ photographer, the 70D competes with Nikon’s D7100 and has all the appearances of being able to easily handle a number of different types of photographic subjects and setups while keeping the price within reasonable bounds at just over £1000 (body only). Whether it can out-perform its Nikon rival in terms of image quality and handling remains to be seen, but with the excellent reception given to its bigger brother (the full-frame 6D), and with the new autofocus system leading the charge in its new spec lineup, the 70D offers an impressive overall set of upgraded features that should appeal to those looking to upgrade or first time buyers. Watch out for the full review of the 70D coming soon.

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