Due out at the end of August, the Canon 70D incorporates an APS-C, Canon-made, 20.2-million-pixel imaging sensor and introduces Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology (the EOS 60D features an 18MP sensor).

Trumpeted as a DSLR first, Dual Pixel CMOS AF is a sensor-based ‘phase detection’ AF system that aims to deliver ‘smooth, high-performance focus tracking’ for shooting videos, and ‘fast AF acquisition’ when capturing stills in live view.

Each microlens features two photodiodes that can be read independently, information then used for focusing – the two signals being brought together to drive the lens, according to David Parry from Canon UK’s Product Intelligence Team.

Canon adds in statement: ‘These photodiodes can be read separately to achieve phase-detection AF, or read together as imaging pixels – unlike other methods of sensor-based autofocus, which allocate either autofocus or imaging functions to pixels on the sensor, or rely solely on contrast detection.’

Canon claims the new sensor design requires no additional image processing for dedicated AF pixels, ‘ensuring both quick acquisition of focus and maximum image quality…’.

The system – said to be compatible with 103 Canon lenses – is designed to work across 80% of the image sensor area.

Billed as a ‘huge step-up from the 60D’, the Canon 70D borrows its 19-point AF (all cross-type points) from the 7D and features a tweaked version of the 7D’s viewfinder, allowing the user to view and change the focusing mode while looking through the viewfinder.   

The viewfinder, designed to produce 98% coverage, also includes a camera level indicator graphic for use while shooting.

Canon claims photographers can shoot at seven frames per second for up to 16 raw, or 65 JPEG, files – a level ‘pretty impressive for a camera of this level’, asserts Parry.

The standard 100-12,800 ISO can be expanded to 25,600.

Wi-Fi connectivity, as found on the full-frame EOS 6D, allows users to remotely control the camera via a smartphone or tablet, for example.

Like the 700D, the Canon 70D has a 3in, vari-angle ClearView II LCD touchscreen with a resolution of 1.04 million dots.

‘People almost expect a vari-angle screen at this level,’ adds Parry.

Firepower also includes HDR capture, a Digic 5+ image processor, multiple exposure and creative filters.

The Canon 70D will cost £1,079.99 body only. It will also be out as a kit with an 18-55mm STM lens, priced £1,199.99; and an outfit that includes an 18-135mm STM lens, costing £1,399.99.

The camera’s sibling, the Canon EOS 7D, adds an aluminium-alloy body, 100% viewfinder coverage, spot AF, an extra one frame per second and a large buffer.

A new battery grip for the Canon 70D (the BG-E14) will go on sale priced £229.99.

Canon expects the EOS 60D to remain on sale until the end of the year.