Canon EOS 70D Digital Camera Review
Canon's flagship APS-C camera finally delivers on the video DSLR promise—with a catch.
Since Nikon released the D90 in 2010, the promise of a do-everything, video-capable DSLR for consumers has largely gone unrealized. While practically every DSLR can shoot full HD video these days, none have made capturing everyday clips the accessible, convenient experience that it is on camcorders or smartphones.
The main issue is autofocus; DSLRs shoot aesthetically pleasing video with shallow depth of field, but actually keeping what you want in focus—let alone tracking your subject anywhere—is extraordinarily difficult. Even when cameras get it right, most often it's the result of a noisy, staccato performance by the camera's autofocus motor. Enter: the Canon EOS 70D (MSRP $1,199.99 body-only) and its Dual Pixel AF technology, allowing for quick, easy, smooth autofocus performance in video.
Dual Pixel AF is a technical marriage of hardware and software that yields a remarkably simple result: usable autofocus that tracks subjects quickly and quietly, locks onto faces with ease, and swings between subjects without trouble. While the EOS 70D is a perfectly competent high-end DSLR in its own right—featuring excellent manual control, superb handling, and great image quality—it's this simple change that should elevate the 70D over its DSLR peers, even if some needless feature-gutting will leave budget-minded filmmakers in the cold.
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