Canon unveils the 70D with a renewed sense of auto-focus

Canon’s semi-pro enthusiast level 60D digital SLR has been ageing well, but it seems Canon is in the mood to replace it, with its new brother arriving with an expected name.

With a 700D already in the market place for entry-level digital photographers, it’s now time for the three year old 60D to receive an update, and more than just the astrophotography themed change the company made last year in the 60Da.

The new model – which moves up a whole ten numbers in Canon’s naming scheme – introduces a new 20.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and is paired with a 14-bit DIGIC 5+ processor to produce up to seven frames per second, killing the buffer in continuous shooting at either 65 JPEGS or 16 RAW images.

Low light sensitivity goes all the way to 25600, though the native sensitivity runs from ISO 100 to 12800, usable in both video and stills.

Video, for what it’s worth, can be shot in Full HD 1920×1080 at either 24, 25, or 30fps, with 720p HD also possible at either 50 or 60fps.

WiFi is becoming native in cameras, and it’s no different here, with built in wireless connectivity making it possible to share straight from the DSLR, while also controlling it from a mobile application on Android and iOS devices.

New to a camera – any camera – is Canon’s “Dual Pixel CMOS AF,” which apparently enhances the auto-focus technology to make it stronger, detecting light picked up in the two diodes under each pixel and then combining them to make one pixel when the image is shot.

Canon tells us that this AF technology means shooting through Live View – which is what happens when you use the LCD for either taking stills or video – has a performance more like that of capturing through the viewfinder, with a wider area to look through and shorter focus times.

It also makes a difference to capturing movies, making it so that everything is in focus even as shots are recomposed.

To help out with composition and playback, Canon is including a 3 inch touchscreen LCD on the back, which features a 1040k dot resolution for sharp pictures, and one of the vari-angle designs shown on the 60D, making it possible to pull the screen out and show it at various angles, including straight down like you’re using a top-down camera.

“Packed with innovative features and offering professional-level control, the EOS 70D will help a new generation of creative photographers get more involved in the image capture process for more satisfying results,” said Canon Australia’s Kai Lebens, Product Manager for Consumer Cameras and Lenses.

Creative modes will also be here for the people that don’t want to send every image to a post-processing solution, with several filters, multiple exposure mode, and in-camera HDR.

Photographers who like the sound of this camera will have to wait a few months, though, as Canon isn’t set to release this until September this year.

As always, there are no pricing details, with the camera expected to replace the 60D at what the pricing was when it was first released (roughly $1699), though ultimately that value is up to the dealer.