Last Updated: January 3, 2018
Are you looking at the Canon 60D vs. the Canon 70D? The DSLR cameras seem almost identical from the outside, but there are some significant differences between them worth noting.
Both of these cameras fall into the “prosumer” category and will give you excellent images for an affordable price.
The EOS 60D’s resolution of 18.0 megapixels is only slightly less than the EOS 70D’s 20.2 megapixels, but the sensors and processors are entirely different.
No matter which camera you end up choosing, they’re both capable of accepting Canon’s infamous lineup of EF & EF-S mount lenses.
Canon EOS 70D Advantages
- 19 focus points
- Continuous shooting of 7 frames per second vs. 5
- ISO increased from 6,400 to 12,800
- Wi-Fi connectivity with smartphone tether
- Excellent Continuous AF in movie mode
The Canon EOS 70D adds touchscreen functionality to its articulating LCD, a nice improvement over the 60D. This allows you to use the menu and, more importantly, set focus points using the screen instead of the buttons & dials.
Another significant improvement is the increase in focus points. The Canon 70D introduces 19 autofocus points over the 60D’s 9, giving you much more focus control.
You’ll also be able to shoot more in burst mode with the 70D. The increased image buffer and seven frames-per-second rate make the EOS 70D much better for sports & action shooting over the 60D.
If you shoot in low light, you’ll also enjoy the 70D’s increased ISO. The native ISO is 12,800 and is expandable to 25,600. Overall, the 70D handles very well in low light.
Added Wi-Fi functionality gives you many useful functions. With Canon’s iOS & Android apps, you’ll be able to use your smartphone as a remote and even set the exposure.
For the movie shooters out there, the 70D is now capable of Continuous Autofocus in movie mode. You can now track moving subjects and smoothly change the focus on the touchscreen thanks to the new sensor.
The new sensor gives you slightly higher resolution – 20.2 megapixels vs. 18.0. This isn’t a massive difference for making prints, but it will allow you to crop more.
And finally, you’ll get more life out of the expensive shutter mechanism. The 70D has increased the shutter life by 50% from the 60D, giving you an expected use of 150,000 actuations.
Canon EOS 70D Disadvantages
- Overall image quality not much improved despite new sensor & processor
- Auto HDR crops a lot of the image
- Can’t record movies wirelessly
- No headphone jack
- Inconsistent white balance
It’s interesting to note that despite the new sensor & processor, overall image quality on the 70D doesn’t improve much upon the EOS 60D. Don’t worry – you’ll still get great images, but you’d expect more out of a camera upgrade.
The 70D does have built-in HDR processing, but be aware that the processor will crop more of the image that it needs to. Take this into consideration when composing – keep your points of interest away from the edges!
Even though you can take pictures from your phone and make better movies with the 70D, you won’t be able to control movie mode remotely. It must all be done from the camera.
The lack of a headphone jack is another peculiar feature missing from a camera that boasts its movie capability. You won’t be able to monitor audio quality during recording, and you’ll be limited to the weak built-in speaker when reviewing movies.
One final thing noted by many Canon 70D users is the inconsistent white balance. It’s consistent in that it’s consistently off – being too warm in some situations and too cold in others.
Canon EOS 60D Advantages
- Longer battery life
- Faster startup time
- Higher flash guide number
- Large number of used camera bodies available
- Low price
The Canon 60D doesn’t have all of the electronic features of the 70D, and thus the battery life is slightly longer. You’ll get an extra 200 shots out of the standard LP-E6 battery when used with the EOS 60D, compared to the 70D.
When it comes to capturing fleeting shots, the Canon 60D has the edge over the 70D with a faster startup time. It’s not much – less than a half-second – but that could be the difference between missing the shot and getting a keeper!
The Canon 60D also has a higher flash guide number (43’ vs. 39.4’). You’ll get a little extra reach to fill in those shadows over what you could do with the 70D.
Because the Canon 60D has been out for eight years and was so popular, there’s no shortage of used bodies available. You won’t find them at the major camera stores, but a simple Internet search will reveal dozens and dozens of choices available at any given time!
Finally, the Canon 60D is also significantly cheaper than used 70D bodies, by a couple hundred dollars on average. Use these savings to buy another lens!
Canon EOS 60D Disadvantages
- Older Digic 4 processor
- Only nine focus points
- No continuous focus
- No in-camera HDR
- Unable to make lens micro-adjustments
While not a terrible processor, the Digic 4 of the 60D is prehistoric compared to today’s processors. You’ll still get excellent image quality, but overall the camera lags in processing and focus times.
And speaking of focus, you’ll be somewhat limited by the EOS 60D’s nine autofocus points. The diamond pattern gives no autofocus capability in the corners and leaves significant gaps between the existing points.
The older sensor of the 60D also means that you have no continuous autofocus capability. You’re going to have to manually reset the autofocus points if you want to stay focused on moving subjects.
One favorite feature of prosumer cameras that the 60D lacks is a built-in HDR functionality. You can do this on the 70D, but if you want high dynamic range photos out of the 60D, you’ll need to do it in post-processing.
Another feature curiously left out of the 60D but seen on the 50D and 70D is the ability to make micro-adjustments based on the characteristics of each lens you use. You may notice that some images appear soft because of this.
I’d really like to choose the EOS 60D because of the super-low price for used camera bodies, but there are just some things lacking on this camera that I can’t look past.
The lack of continuous autofocus is almost a deal breaker and the low ISO of 6,400 limits where you can shoot.
Finally, the added Wi-Fi capability and articulating touchscreen of the EOS 70D puts enough icing on the cake to say that the 70D is the clear choice.