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The Canon 70D introduces a handful of key new features that promise improved video quality, much faster and more decisive autofocus, built-in Wi-Fi, and higher resolution. Let's take a closer look at the Canon EOS 70D
The big technology leap for the Canon EOS 70D is its sensor-based autofocus. Called Dual Pixel CMOS AF, this technology was made possible by reworking the design of the sensor. Instead of offering one photodiode per pixel, the 70D's sensor has assigned two photodiodes per pixel. This allows the camera to simultaneously capture light and perform phase-difference detection autofocus. What this means to the average user is that the camera should be able to focus faster and more accurately, and for full autofocus to operate smoothly and accurately while shooting videos.
A second big new technology (for Canon's APS sensor lineup) is the addition of built-in wireless technology. The camera's exposure settings, such as aperture, shutter speed and ISO, focus, and shutter can be operated wirelessly using an iOS or Android smartphone with the free Canon EOS Remote app. Users can shoot remotely from a distance, even in Live View mode and remotely review images stored on the EOS 70D from their smart phone or tablet.
Still images can be transferred between two wireless-enabled Canon cameras over a Local Area Network (LAN) and can be uploaded via Canon iMage Gateway and printed directly from a wireless PictBridge printer without the need for a PC.
The EOS 70D camera's 20.2 Megapixel CMOS sensor, the highest-resolution APS-C sensor to date, records 5472 x 3648 pixels and offers 14-bit signal processing for what Canon claims is improved tonal gradation. Canon says the new 5+ Image Processor will yield improved data processing speeds, greater noise reduction, and real-time compensation for chromatic aberration.
Canon claims the 70D will record up to 16,384 colors per channel thanks to its 14-bit analog-to-digital conversion, and the camera has a wide ISO range of 100-12800, expandable to 25,600 in H mode. The company claims improved noise reduction and better performance in low-light shooting.
HD Video Improvements
Canon's claim for the 70D is that its HD video performance rivals that of camcorders. The camera offers All-I and IPB compression, supports H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile, and automatically splits files greater than 4GB (FAT specifications) for extended recording without interruption. It offers the option of time coding during recording only (Rec Run) or at all times (Free Run), which is useful for multi-camera shoots.
There's a built-in stereo mic, 64 adjustable sound recording levels, and the camera has a 3.5mm mic jack. The camera can also record "Video Snapshots"-2,4, or 8-second video clips that can be combined into a highlights album without the need for editing.
Viewfinder and LCD
The Canon EOS 70D features a high resolution (over 1 million dots) flip-out touch screen which lets users control the camera for stills and video from the screen. The eye-level viewfinder is an optical finder with a superimposed LCD display that superimposes focus points, grid lines and other compositional tools as well as exposure information over the optical image-a feature that can be turned on or off.
Special effects and modes
The Canon EOS 70D offers a wide range of shooting modes and effects, including High Dynamic Range covering a range of plus and minus 3 stops, multiple exposure mode up to 9 images in RAW and JPEG, a handheld night scene mode that combines four shots at fast shutter speed to reduce camera shake, HDR backlight mode, and seven creative filters: Grainy Black and White, Soft Focus, Fisheye Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Miniature Effect, Art Bold Effect and Water Painting Effect. Each of these effects can be applied at three levels of opacity.
Other effects include multi-shot noise reduction: the camera captures four images in quick succession, merges and aligns them to reduce noise. A Lens aberration correction tool corrects for vignetting and color fringing. The camera has an on-board help mode called Feature Guide, which briefly describes each mode. It is compatible with the optional Canon GP-E2 GPS receiver.