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The New EOS 70D Camera — With Super Fast Auto Focus

 

The New Canon EOS 70D

It’s been at least a month since Canon released their last DSLR, (just kidding), however, this new release is massive: the new EOS 70D. What’s so massive about this? Well, quite a bit actually. The price is just under $1200 for the body, packs 20 mega pixels and has a bevy of picture style profiles. Although those reasons alone make this announcement huge, there’s much more.

Anyone who’s shot video with a DSLR knows that the real issue separating it from a traditional camera has been autofocus. Prior to the 70D, trying to use autofocus in the middle of a shot was painfully slow and essentially rendered the footage unusable. Well brothers and sisters, I can tell you now, I’ve seen the promised land, and it’s full of autofocus. Not just any autofocus, but autofocus that can be controlled via a flip out touchscreen. But wait, there’s more! Not only is there subject tracking controlled via touchscreen, but it achieves this with over 100 of Canon’s finest EF lenses.

Described by Adorama as a step in between the Canon 7D and 60D, the 70D  promises “…improved video quality, faster and more decisive autofocus, built-in Wi-Fi, and higher resolution”. Perhaps its most endearing feature is a sweet price point: just $1199.00

Here are some specs:

Canon EOS 70D Key Features

  • 20.2 Megapixel CMOS APS-C sensor (23.7×15.7mm)
  • Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • 14-bit A/D Conversion
  • ISO range 100-25,600
  • Full HD video up to 1080p at 30 or 24fps, 720p at up to 60fps.
  • Buil-in stereo mic
  • Flip-out 3-inch touch screen LCD with 1.040k dot resolution
  • 7fps Burst Rate
  • 19-point cross-type AF system with f/2.8 dual cross-type AF center point
  • Intelligent viewfinder with superimposed LCD display
  • Many in-camera creative features
  • Scene intelligent Auto mode

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In addition, an improved sensor allows for a powerful new autofocus utilizing the new LCD touchscreen. You should watch the test videos they have on their website to really see it in action, but it looks handy even for those who swear away AF. The sensor possesses what Adorama refers to as “…the highest-resolution APS-C sensor to date” and records 5472 x 3648 pixels. The sensor will also allow for a wide ISO range of 100-12800, faster processing speeds, and better low light shooting.

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As with many cameras released these days, the 70D has built in wireless, allowing the use of Canon’s EOS Remote app to control numerous camera features and settings. The 70D’s wireless abilities also enable sharing still images between it and any other wireless Canon camera.

One of the more interesting bits of info provided is that the 70D’s HD video capabilities are much more in line with a camcorder than the EOS cameras before it. It supports H.264/MPEG-4 AVC High Profile, and even “…automatically splits files greater than 4GB (FAT specifications) for extended recording without interruption.”

As mentioned above in the spec list, the 70D has numerous in-camera creative features, including a variety of shooting modes (such as a mode for High Dynamic Range and Nicght Scene) as well as numerous effect filters (Grainy Black and White, Soft Focus, Fisheye Effect, Toy Camera Effect, etc).

Last, but certainly not least, is the 70D’s compatibility with Canon’s current line of lenses. It will be compatible with “…all 103 Canon EF lenses currently available will be able to operate fully and users should see faster AF acquisition with any Canon EF lens on the 70D”.

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As mentioned before, the Canon EOS 70D body will sell for $1199, and is available now for pre-order in numerous places, including Adorama, B&H and more. Be sure to watch the video on their site for more at Canon at www.usa.canon.com, as well as the press release below.

Canon develops new Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology for significantly improved autofocus performance during Live View shooting and when shooting movies

TOKYO, Japan, July 2, 2013—Canon Inc. today announced the development of Dual Pixel CMOS AF, an innovative new autofocus technology for digital SLR cameras. Dual Pixel CMOS AF, a phase-difference AF technology on the image sensor plane, employs a CMOS sensor on which all of the effective pixels are able to perform both imaging and phase-difference AF to achieve dramatically improved AF performance during Live View shooting and when shooting movies.

Dual Pixel CMOS AF logo

As digital SLR cameras have evolved in recent years in terms of functionality and performance, shooting styles have become more diverse, with an increasing number of users no longer relying exclusively on the viewfinder when shooting, but rather confirming images on the camera’s LCD monitor when capturing images using the Live View function and when shooting movies.

Canon’s newly developed Dual Pixel CMOS AF, an innovative new image-plane phase-difference AF technology, employs a CMOS sensor on which all of the effective pixels are able to perform both imaging and phase-difference AF. Each individual pixel (the smallest structural unit capable of outputting an image signal) on the CMOS sensor incorporates two independent photodiodes (elements that transform light into electrical signals) which output signals that can be used for both imaging and the phase-difference AF. When using the Live View function, the technology makes possible shooting with a feel similar to when shooting through the viewfinder, enabling sharp focus to be obtained across a wide shooting area1 through phase-difference AF2 until final focus is achieved. Compared with Canon’s previous image-plane phase-difference AF,3 Dual Pixel CMOS AF realizes shorter focusing times, exceptional tracking performance and smooth autofocusing during movie shooting. Accordingly, because Live View shooting can be used in a manner similar to using the camera’s viewfinder, the fast and smooth AF performance allows users to focus more attention on the subject and composing the photo when shooting.

Compared with the EOS Kiss X7 (EOS Rebel SL1 or EOS 100D in other regions), which employs Hybrid CMOS AF II, the EOS 70D (which goes on sale in late August 2013 in select regions), the first camera to feature the new AF technology, not only achieves an approximately 30% faster4 focusing speed but also delivers improved Movie Servo AF tracking for continuously smooth focusing during movie shooting, even when filming quickly moving subjects.

Because the outstanding AF performance of Dual Pixel CMOS AF is made possible with 1035 models of EF lenses (including earlier models and models available outside of Japan), users can enjoy a wide range of photographic endeavors enabled through various lenses.

Recognizing great potential for the application of this technology across diverse product categories, Canon aims to promote its development efforts in the field of AF technology, targeting further advances to contribute to expanding the world of photographic expression.

1 Shooting area coverage of approximately 80% vertically and horizontally for the EOS 70D.
2 Contrast AF employed when using some older EF lens models, during magnified view, during Movie digital zoom and when using an extender.
3 Hybrid CMOS AF and Hybrid CMOS AF II, which combine phase-difference AF and contrast AF.
4 When used with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, based on a comparison by Canon. Disparity between AF methods may be small depending on lens used and shooting conditions. Disparity becomes greater when using older types of lenses.
5 As of July 2, 2013.

How Dual Pixel CMOS AF works

Reference information

Phase-difference AF
With phase-difference AF, the light that enters through the photographic lens is divided into two images and the difference in the focus point position between the two images formed on the dedicated AF sensor is measured, enabling the camera to determine the direction and amount of lens adjustment required to obtain proper focus. Because phase-difference AF enables fast focusing performance compared with contrast AF, the technology is widely employed in digital SLR cameras, mainly for viewfinder shooting.

Since Dual Pixel CMOS AF makes possible phase-difference AF on the image sensor plane employing the same principle as with a dedicated AF sensor, an imaging sensor capable of outputting a phase-difference AF signal was developed that enables image-plane phase-difference detection AF through to the achievement of final focus.

Contrast AF
Contrast AF is an autofocus method employed in compact digital cameras and video camcorders, as well as digital SLR cameras for Live View shooting. Because contrast is highest when an image is in proper focus, the camera analyzes the contrast information from the image on the image sensor, adjusting the lens until the maximum contrast value is reached. While contrast AF offers high focusing accuracy, compared with phase-difference AF, it tends to require more time because the lens adjustment is needed to find the point of peak contrast.

Hybrid CMOS AF and Hybrid CMOS AF II
Hybrid CMOS AF is an AF method employed in entry-level EOS digital SLR cameras and the EOS M compact-system camera that delivers enhanced focusing speed during Live View shooting and when shooting movies. Combining fast contrast AF and high-accuracy phase-difference AF, Hybrid CMOS AF makes possible faster focusing performance, quickly measuring the subject distance using the dedicated phase-difference AF image element embedded in the CMOS sensor (focal plane) and completing the process with extreme accuracy using contrast AF. The EOS Kiss X7 (EOS Rebel SL1 or EOS 100D in other regions) features Hybrid CMOS AF II, which makes use of an imaging sensor that supports AF across a wide area spanning approximately 80% vertically and horizontally of the shooting area.

Lens Comparison Chart

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