Canon EOS 70D Review

5.0
September 6, 2013 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 6Mb.

The Canon EOS 70D produced images of excellent quality during the review period. This camera produces noise-free JPEG images from ISO 100 all the way up to ISO 1600, with noise first appearing at ISO 3200 - a great performance for a 20 megapixel APS-C Sensor. The faster settings of 6400 and 12800 display progressively more noise, with the fastest setting of 25600 best reserved for emergenices.

The JPEG images were a little soft straight out of the camera using the default Picture Style and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting. The night photograph was very good, with the maximum shutter speed of 30 seconds and Bulb mode allowing you to capture enough light in all situations.

The 6 different Picture Styles and the ability to create your own are a real benefit to JPEG shooters, as are the Highlight Tone Priority and Auto Lighting Optimizer custom settings when used in the right conditions. The HDR mode combines three images taken at different exposures to create a single image with greater dynamic range, while the new Creative Filters allow you to preview the effect before shooting, if only in Live View mode.

Noise

ISO sensitivity can be set between ISO 100 and ISO 12800 in full-stop increments, and a boosted setting of ISO 25600 is also available. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with JPEG on the left and the RAW equivalent on the right.

JPEG

RAW

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

ISO 6400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

ISO 12800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

ISO 25600 (100% Crop)

File Quality

The Canon EOS 70D has 2 different JPEG file quality settings available, including Fine and Normal, with Fine being the higher quality option. Here are two 100% crops which show the quality of the two options.

Fine (6.24Mb) (100% Crop) Normal (3.08Mb) (100% Crop)
   
RAW (22.4Mb) (100% Crop)  
 

Sharpening

The out-of-camera JPEGs are quite soft and at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes via the Picture Style options.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

Flash

The flash settings on the EOS 70D are Auto, Manual Flash On/Off, and Red-Eye Reduction. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1m.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (29mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (29mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (216mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (216mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On setting nor the Red-Eye Reduction option caused any amount of red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

Night

The Canon EOS 700D's maximum shutter speed is 30 seconds and there's a Bulb mode for even longer exposures, which is excellent news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds, aperture of f/8 at ISO 100. Here is a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

Picture Styles

Canon's Picture Styles are preset combinations of different sharpness, contrast, saturation and colour tone settings. The available Picture Styles are shown below in the following series, which demonstrates the differences. You can tweak these Picture Styles to your liking, and there are also User Defined styles so that you can create your own look.

Standard

Portrait

   
Landscape

Neutral

   
Faithful

Monochrome

Creative Filters

Essentially a more extreme version of the well-established Picture Styles, Creative Filters offers seven options, all of which can be interactively tweaked to suit your taste. Note that you have to shoot in Live View mode to access the filters.

Grainy B/W

Soft Focus

   
Fish-eye Effect

Art Bold Effect

   
Water Painting Effect

Toy Camera Effect

   
Miniature Effect  
 

Auto Lighting Optimizer

Auto Lighting Optimizer performs in-camera processing to even out the contrast and correct brightness. There are 4 different settings - Off, Low, Standard and Strong.

Off

Low

   
Standard

Strong

Highlight Tone Priority

Highlight Tone Priority is a custom function which can be enabled from the menu. Use of this custom function improves highlight detail by expanding the camera's dynamic range in the highlights. As you can see from these examples, Highlight Tone Priority reduced the extent of highlight blow-out considerably.

Off

On

HDR

The Canon EOS 70D's HDR Mode captures three different exposures and combines them into one, retaining more shadow and highlight detail.

Off

+1EV

   
+2EV

+3EV

Multiple Exposure

The Canon EOS 70D can can shoot multiple images (2 to 9) and then merge them into a single image. An example with two images is shown below.

Entry Tags

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