Canon reinvents video focusing with the fiercely fast EOS 70D

@ 2013/07/02
Looking to capture professional-quality video on the cheap? You've probably considered a DSLR, but for many users, an interchangeable-lens camera might not be the best pick. Camcorders and higher-end video rigs typically offer far more powerful autofocus capabilities, and while Digital SLR footage can look great, if you're not tweaking the lens manually, things might not go as smoothly as you'd hope. Canon's setting out to change that, with its brilliant new EOS 70D. On the surface, this 20.2-megapixel camera doesn't venture far from its 60D roots, but internally, it's an entirely different ballgame.

At the core of the 70D's modifications is what Canon's calling Dual Pixel CMOS AF. Essentially, the sensor includes twice the number of pixels in an (very successful) attempt to improve focusing. There are 40.3 million photodiodes on the sensor, and when they're all working together, "it's like 20 million people tracking the focus with both eyes," as Canon explains. The result is camcorder-like focusing for both stills and video, when you're shooting in live view mode. During our test with a pre-production sample, the device performed phenomenally, adjusting focus instantaneously when snapping stills, and quickly but gradually when recording video. Join us after the break for a closer look.

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