We picked up a new camera a couple months ago, the Canon 70D. Here’s a quick review of what I think of the camera so far.
First off, the reason we picked up a 70D is because we were looking for a camera that does autofocus during video. We’ve been doing more videos on the blog, and we also wanted to start capturing more video footage of our growing family.
Now, we already have a Canon 6D, which is our preferred camera for photography (with it’s full frame sensor), but it doesn’t autofocus during video.
The Canon 70D features excellent video autofocus, as well as a flip out touch screen. I also thought that having both a crop sensor camera as well as a full frame camera would give more versatility with a single set of lenses. Plus the 70D uses the same battery as the Canon 6D so that’s an added bonus!
So far the 70D has been pretty much exactly what I expected. Which is great!
The autofocusing during video has been fantastic. It doesn’t hunt for focus, and it’s able to really smoothly rack focus (not moving in and out of focus as it finds it’s subject). Face tracking is excellent and works well when the face is at a wide variety of different angles from the camera.
The flip out touch screen works well. I really like being able to face the screen forward shooting selfie videos (you might have noticed a bunch on the blog over the past month). You can quickly adjust exposure settings right from the touch screen. The only downer is that there is no way to start or stop video recording from the touch screen. (Also, I picked up this excellent screen protector for the screen and you can check out a blog post about it here)
Another nice thing about the touch screen is that you can just touch on the screen where you’d like the camera to focus. Having a touch screen on a camera is awesome, and definitely a feature that should be present on all cameras.
I’ve picked up a couple lenses exclusively for shooting video with the camera:
Canon EF-S 10-18mm f/4.5-5.6 IS STM Lens – The 35mm equivalent of this lens is 16-28mm so it’s pretty wide! I got this lens specifically for shooting selfie hand held video. It’s an EF-S lens which means it will only work on APS-C crop sensor Canon cameras. I find it annoying that you can’t even mount this lens on a full frame Canon camera. I can understand if the lens won’t fully cover a full frame sensor, but why change the lens mount so it won’t even fit on full frame cameras? Another thing about this lens is that it features a plastic lens mount (instead of the more robust metal lens mount). Despite it’s shortcomings I feel like the lens offers solid value for the price (around $299) especially considering it has image stabilization!
Canon EF 24-105mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM Lens – On the 70D this lens works out to about a 35-168mm. I love the range from this lens, and it’s been the main lens I’ve been shooting video with. This lens is compatible with full frame cameras (unlike the 10-18). I really wanted to limit the amount of APS-C exclusive lenses I added to our kit, which is why I only got the 10-18.
Both of the above lenses feature image stabilization and work well for hand held shooting. They also both feature Canon’s new STM focusing motor designed exclusively for video which is super quiet. You almost can’t hear it focusing, and the sound of focusing definitely doesn’t show up in video.
One other feature of the camera worth mentioning is that it has built in Wi-Fi which lets you connect the camera to your smart phone. You can then browse images taken with the camera and download them to your phone. The Wi-Fi connection takes a bit of work to set up the first time you use it, but after that it’s pretty easy to use and the connection seems pretty reliable. Our 6D also has this feature and we use it quite a bit to quickly download images onto our phones for posting on our Instagram feed.
I’ve chatted mostly about the 70D in terms of it’s video capabilities but for photography this camera is pretty impressive as well. It sports a 20MP sensor, shoots up to 7 frames per second, has good low light performance, and great autofocus. The only thing I would love is if it were full frame!
Fun fact: Our first camera was actually the Canon 10D, and we’ve worked through a 20D, 30D and 40D. We’ve really used a lot of Canon crop sensor cameras!
What I really like about these cameras is the controls are pretty much the same as the 5D/6D, and the camera is about the same size.
For the photo and video capability I think this camera would make an excellent choice as a family or hobbyist camera (or if you’re like us, your first professional camera!)
You can find the Canon 70D here from:
The Canon 70D goes for $999. If you’re looking for a camera that’s a bit cheaper with a similar feature set you can check out the Canon Rebel T6s. The T6s is about $150 cheaper, but I would personally go for the 70D (the video autofocus is much better, the controls are better, and it’s a more durable feeling camera.)
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BIG IDEA: The video autofocus on this camera makes it a fantastic option for those looking to get into DSLR video. I can’t tell you how much easier autofocus makes shooting! If DSLR videos is something you want to get into, the Canon 70D is a camera worth checking out!