Canon Unveils the 70D: ‘Dual Pixel’ APS-C Sensor Brings Snappier Autofocusing


Canon has officially announced the 70D, the company’s latest mid-range DSLR for serious photography enthusiasts. It’s a successor to the 60D that packs some major improvements in how autofocusing is done.


Inside the camera is a 20.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor that was designed and manufactured by Canon. Its basic specs are pretty standard: an ISO range of 100-12800, 7fps continuous shooting, and a 14-bit DIGIC 5+ processor.


It’s the autofocus system built into the sensor that’s quite groundbreaking. Canon is introducing a new technology called Dual Pixel CMOS AF. The feature takes each pixel on the sensor and splits it into two photodiodes. Data gathered by these photodiodes can be read independently to assist with autofocusing, or together for capturing a photograph.

Dual Pixel CMOS AF helps the 70D do smooth and sharp autofocusing when capturing HD videos and speedy autofocusing when capturing photographs in Live View mode. When it’s not in Live View mode, the camera can take advantage of 19-autofocus points that are all cross-type. The points can be selected individually, in small groups, or automatically in a large area of the frame.


On the back of the camera is an Intelligent Viewfinder that offers a 98% frame coverage at a 0.95x magnification. Underneath it is a 3-inch swiveling LCD screen with a 1.04-million-dot resolution. It’s also a capacitive touchscreen, allowing the photographer to control various features of the camera by touching, swiping, and pinching.


The 70D is also features wireless connectivity thanks to its built-in Wi-Fi adapter. The camera can be paired with Canon’s EOS remote app for remote controls and Live View.

Other features include in-camera HDR, multiple-exposure mode, creative filters, an Integrated Speedlite transmitter for controlling multiple external Speedlite flashes, and 1080p HD movie recording.

You’ll be able to pick up a Canon 70D beginning at the end of August 2013 for a price of $1199 for the body only, $1349 when paired with an EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens, or $1549 when bundled with a EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM lens.

  • Feroz Khan

    Isn’t auto focusing supposed to happen before the light hits the sensor?

  • samuel

    “Dual Pixel CMOS AF helps the 70D do smooth and sharp autofocusing when
    capturing HD videos and speedy autofocusing when capturing photographs
    in Live View mode.”

    For video I think

  • Canon Marketer

    I love how the lenses they use in their feature are only L series lenses, which are supposed to be fast at focusing anyways…

  • Genkakuzai

    Curious on how the new sensor will fare… considering their last APS-C sensor attempt wasn’t impressive 5 years ago. Oh yeah, also looking forward to see some tests on the AF performance.

  • D.G. Brown

    Yup, only L lenses. Except that only 5 of the 12 lenses in the feature were L. Here’s the full list:

    EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM
    EF 50mm f/1.2L USM
    EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM
    EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM
    EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II
    EF-S 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6 IS
    EF 40mm f/2.8 STM
    EF-S 10-22mm f/3.5-4.5 USM
    EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
    EF-S 18-55 f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
    EF-S 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 STM
    EF-S 60mm f/2.8 Macro USM

    Also, two other points. First, this video has almost nothing to do with how fast these lenses can focus. This is about video AF, which is still going to be slower than the full phase detection most of these lenses were built to work with. In fact, the STM lenses, which are all non-L have more advantages for this application.

    Second, while some L-lenses are fast at focusing, it’s pretty variable. Unlike weather sealing, an “L” stamp doesn’t mean it will lock on quickly. I laughed when I read your post since the 50mm f/1.2L was one of the L lenses used.

    I love that they included the most horrible lens ever created :) (the 18-200, which is so very loved and so very hated)

  • Yepi 2

    I need a detailed than its configuration, with such changes, the D70 is still a worthy dream machine.

  • Andrew

    From your own quote from the article: “…and speedy autofocusing when capturing photographs in Live View mode.”

    So: not for just video.

  • Filip Wesołowski

    Not in Live View or video mode. In this two modes mirror is constantly down so actual photons hit sensor straight. Therefore light doesn’t hit traditional autofocus sensor or viewfinder. That’s why in LiveView focus had such a poor performance and that’s what Canon is addressing with this Dual Pixel Stuff.

  • Feroz Khan

    Thanks everyone. Missed out reading the part where it said for live view and video

  • Dave

    Over 30 years shooting Nikon and recently getting involved in shooting dslr video (and loving it), this is tempting for the focus advantages alone.

  • Victor

    Canon still doesn’t have fast sensor with good dr and that is why double-hyper pixels. 7d did cost around $1400 not year ago. But new is better. Ehh…

  • Mike

    Just a side effect. Its mainly for video.

  • Kyle Sanders

    The two brands leap-frog each other constantly. Think one is better? Wait a few months then the other company will release something better. A few more months and the first will be back on top! If i still shot APS-C Nikon, I would be pretty interested in the D7100.

  • Zos Xavius

    The real story is will this new sensor break the 12EV DR limit that canon sensors seem stuck at. Also it will be interesting to see how this sensor competes in high ISO compared to the new Toshiba 24MP aps-c sensor.

  • Mantis

    Canon will let you use Magic Lantern. That alone gives Canon the advantage.

  • Zos Xavius

    So with this price, canon is moving the 70D into 7D territory. It will be interesting to see how the 7D mk2 fares in terms of pricing, considering that its direct competitor is likely the $1100 Nikon D7100, unless nikon plans on *finally* releasing a D400.

  • Philip A Swiderski Jr.

    Nothing about this being a full frame or not.

  • zeptom

    It’s not full frame and the text “Inside the camera is a 20.2-megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor” also said it’s APS-C sensor so crop factor of 1.6 probelby.

  • Genkakuzai

    Aye, that’s exactly what I was talking about :)

  • tonyc0101

    They do all of this and still haven’t managed to make the shots remaining indicator more than 3 digits?? We need a REAL shots remaining count! lol

  • tonyc0101

    They do all of this and still haven’t managed to make the shots remaining indicator more than 3 digits?? We need a REAL shots remaining count! lol

  • Ian

    Looks like a great camera for sure, but really makes you wonder what’s in store for the 7D Mark II

  • caity cc

    how is it more if you bundle it with the same lens it’s paired with? am i missing something

  • Keith D

    Learn to read.

  • kjb

    I think you missed something. It’s body only for 1199, or available with 2 lens kits.
    18-55 = 1349
    18-135 = 1549

  • Zos Xavius

    in video……

  • Mantis

    Don’t be a douche.

  • Mantis

    That’s what Dave said he was interested in. Shooting video.

  • Keith D

    The title of the article includes APS-C. The article also says “APS-C CMOS sensor” in the second paragraph. He could of easily found his answer by actually reading the article or even the title.

  • Dave

    *could have*

  • Adam Cross

    plenty of useful features in Magic Lantern for stills photography too, focus racking and intervalometer to name just two.

  • Eugene Chok

    no videographer will use this completely designed for amateurs who cant focus pull

  • Abraham Galih

    sometimes you’ll need simpler stuff.

  • lidocaineus

    Er, not sure why you think you can’t pull focus with this, especially since pulling focus is almost always a lens feature or a firmware feature (covered by ML already by the way).

  • Rabi Abonour

    It’s not like memory cards these days can hold more than 999 frames.


  • Rabi Abonour

    Pretty sure still photographers said the same thing when the first AF cameras came out.

    This won’t be perfect. We videographers will still need to be able to pull focus manually, at least for the foreseeable future. But good AF in video is a compelling feature, especially for run-and-gun shooters. If it works well, then I see no reason to knock it.

  • MS

    Oh cool! What a nice ‘design’…

  • Eugene Chok

    i didnt say you cant focus pull i said its for people who cant focus pull…