Canon EOS 70D review – Viewfinder, live view, LCD and video

The EOS 70D’s 98% viewfinder is bright and large and, best of all, it uses the same intelligent technology found in the EOS 7D. This means that the viewfinder has an LCD overlay that allows information about the focus point, the focus mode in use, and a level guide to be visible in the window. Settings can therefore be changed without having to remove your eye from the viewfinder, and I found that having a level available in this way was extremely useful.

Unlike the first incarnations of live view from a few years ago, that of the Canon EOS 70D works extremely fluidly. Focusing using Dual Pixel phase detection works well – very quickly in bright light and smoothly when shooting video. Image effects applied in live view are nicely previewed so you can see exactly what you are going to get on the 3in, 1.04-million-dot LCD screen.

The high resolution means that images look extremely detailed, and even the menus look great, which can’t be said of many cameras. The one downside of the articulated touchscreen is that smudges and fingerprints can be a problem, particularly in bright light. In such conditions I had to increase the brightness of the screen, and thankfully it can be increased quite a lot. The catch is that you have to remember that images look brighter on screen than they actually are, so you’ll need to trust the metering when shooting in this way.

As I said in Build and handling, having an articulated touchscreen is great for certain types of shooting. Obviously, it makes shooting at low angles much easier, especially as you only need to touch the screen to select the point of focus, and then to actually focus and fire the shutter. It is also useful for macro photographers.

Videographers too will like the capabilities of the 70D, and will find the focusing and screen perfect for their needs. Video files can be saved at 1920×1080-pixel full HD resolution at 30fps, and are saved as .mov files with H.264 compression. A 3.5mm microphone socket is provided.

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