This comparison guide delves straight in and looks at the Canon EOS 7D vs Canon EOS 70D. It’s not a simple case of which is better for photography. It’s a case of which semi-pro DSLR is right for YOU.
My page is for any photographer who’s interested in these serious contenders. It’s especially helpful if you want to upgrade from an entry-level DSLR to something more.
The 7D has a few more key specs than the 70D, but this showdown is far from over. Keep reading to discover the strengths and weaknesses of each model along with their shared and unique features.
The list below shows the criteria used to assess and compare these two favorite Canon cameras:
|Canon EOS 7D Semi-Pro DSLR||Canon EOS 70D Semi-Pro DSLR|
|Best For||Hard-working semi-pro and professional photographers||Ideal for serious amateurs and prosumers|
|Continuous Shooting:||8.0fps (1fps faster)||7.0fps|
|Sensor Pixel Area:||18.54µm2 (pixel area larger by 9%)||16.91µm2|
|Dynamic Range:||11.7 (slightly higher dynamic range)||11.6|
|Flash Sync Port:||Yes||No|
|Wireless (Wi-Fi) Connection:||None||Built-in Wi-Fi|
|Articulating Touchscreen:||No||Fully-articulating touchscreen|
|Max ISO:||6.4||12.8 (Max ISO 100% higher)|
|Low Light ISO:||854||926 (improved ISO performance)|
|Color Depth:||22||22.5 (slightly higher color depth)|
|Weight (camera body):||30.33 oz.||26.6 oz. (3.73 oz. lighter)|
|Smartphone Remote Control:||No||Yes|
|Max Sensor Resolution:||18 MP||20 MP (11% more pixels)|
|Battery Life:||800 shots||920 shots (120 extra frames per charge)|
Here’s what we cover in the review:
Canon EOS 7D and Canon EOS 70D Shared Features
Not all Canon cameras or photographers are the same. It’s why we demand models that offer different designs, features, specs, and prices. But the EOS 7D and EOS 70D do share some characteristics.
These two cameras have a fair bit in common. They both have a built-in flash that’s handy for on-the-spot low light shooting. And their external flash shoes give them even more creative light control.
The optical viewfinders help with framing and composition. Canon’s EOS 7D and 70D also sport top mounted LCDs. These displays make viewing menus and changing settings more convenient.
Environmental sealing is another welcome feature shared by both Digital-SLRs. Okay, it doesn’t make these bodies waterproof. Still, water and dust resistance is protection that many cameras don’t provide.
You’d expect RAW support at this level, so it’s no surprise that the 7D and 70D support this feature. Editing RAW files gives a definite post-processing edge over JPEG files.
The Face Detection Focus makes life easier for portrait photographers. There’s also AEB or AE Bracketing. AEB’s multiple exposures can prove invaluable when shooting in awkward light and HDR.
AF Micro Adjustment (AFMA) is a useful feature when there’s a need to fine-tune the focus. Canon typically reserves its AFMA for their mid-range and high-end Digital-SLRs.
High-quality audio is also possible thanks to the external microphone ports. That pleases DSLR videographers, movie makers, and vloggers. And the 150000-cycle shutter life is sure to satisfy heavy users.
Camera Body Comparison
The bodies of these two cameras vary in several ways, including size differences. The 70D is shorter by 7mm, narrower by 9mm, but 5mm thicker.
The weight difference is worth noting too. The Canon 70D weighs 755g (26.6 oz.) and is lighter than the EOS 7D by 105 grams. Carrying weight is also about lenses of course.
The table below sums up each camera’s dimension (inches) and weight (oz.):
|Canon EOS 7D||Width: 5.8”||Height: 4.4”||Depth: 2.9”||Weight: 28.9|
|Canon EOS 70D||Width: 5.5”||Height: 4.1”||Depth: 3.1”||Weight: 26.6|
Canon has done an excellent job with the ergonomics of both cameras. The build of the 70D uses a plastic composite and aluminum. It’s comfortable to hold with its deep, restful, rubbery grip.
Photographer’s with larger hands may find the 70D’s body a tad compact. There’s extra to get hold of with the EOS 7D which feels more grippy. The 7D also has a robust magnesium alloy chassis.
The storage doors are plastic and metal for both cameras. There are cosmetic differences between the bodies too. I wouldn’t say one is better than the other as that depends mainly on preferences.
Even so, small variances can still influence individuals. For example, the 7D’s eyepiece is both deeper and larger than the 70D. Yes, it’s a small difference, but it may prove significant to some people.
There are other variances in body and design covered in the subsequent sections.
Why Consider the EOS 7D over the EOS 70D?
Why consider the Canon EOS 7D? Well, it’s an ‘almost’ professional cropped-sensor Digital-SLR. The company announced its launch on September 1, 2009, and it’s still going strong.
There are a few areas where the Canon EOS 7D beats the EOS 70D. Whether these advantages matter is something that only you can decide. The 100% viewfinder coverage is one, vs. the 70D’s 98%.
The 7D has an eight frame per second (fps) fast continuous shooting mode. That beats the 70D by 1fps. It also has a slightly higher dynamic range at 11.7 vs. the EOS 70D’s 11.6.
Canon’s EOS 7D boasts a larger sensor pixel area at 18.54µm2 to the 70D’s 16.91µm2. It provides the option for off-camera flash as well with its handy flash sync port.
None of these details are massive in photographic terms. Collectively, though, they may sway the decision of some photographers. There are the ergonomics and layout of controls to consider too.
Compared to the EOS 70D, the 7D is the most robust model of the two. It also has a full range of external features along with a faster response lead. So, are these things serious game changers?
Why Consider the EOS 70D over the EOS 7D?
Canon’s newer EOS 70D is a semi-pro level Digital-SLR first announced on July 2, 2013. It succeeded the older EOS 60D and continues to sell well despite its successor, the EOS 80D.
The price differences here are no small detail. The 70D costs less than the 7D at the time of writing this review. Prices can fluctuate, though, depending on upgrades, promotions, and seasonal offers.
Canon’s 70D has a 13% higher resolution LCD or 1.040k dots vs. 920k. The articulating selfie-friendly touchscreen gives extra flexibility and smoother control of the main functions.
Its 20-megapixel sensor has 11% more pixels than the 7D’s 18MP. The built-in wireless (Wi-Fi) connectivity is something else the EOS 70D has that the EOS 7D doesn’t.
You can control Canon’s 70D remotely by using any modern smartphone or tablet. Other things to consider are the 70D’s 100% higher MAX ISO and superior high ISO performance.
This camera is physically lighter by 105g and is more energy-efficient. You should expect up to 120 more frames on a full battery, or EOS 70D 920 shots to the EOS 7D’s 800.
There’s a lot to consider here, but it’s not over yet.
Each camera brings different things to the table. There are present or absent qualities that can turn on or put off individuals. We all have different needs and expectations, and that’s the point.
Canon aims its EOS 7D and EOS 70D at prosumers and semi-professionals. That means they offer more than entry-level models but not as much as the full-blown professional DSLRs.
Most of the shared weaknesses, though, are observations more so than serious gripes. After all, Canon must save some of its finer features for the cream of its crop.
Canon doesn’t provide sensor-based (in-body) image stabilization (IS). You need to buy optical stabilized Canon lenses if you want this feature. Canon has over 90 7D and 70D compatible lenses with IS for its EF/EF-S mount.
There are a few absent built-in features that some people would like to see. Neither model has built-in Bluetooth or GPS, for example. Also missing is an external headphone jack and dual card slots.
On a nit-pickier level, neither camera offers focus peaking or in-camera panoramas. Nor is there an opportunity to shoot slow motion video.
There’s a lot more included than missing with these feature-packed cameras, though. By now you should have a clearer idea of which model checks your boxes.
OK, now let’s see what the real reviewers like to say about these favorite Canons.
What the Reviewers Say
The Canon EOS 7D enjoys a lot of positive feedback from those who invest in it. Some of the shared praise talks of the sturdy build and confident feel of the body. Outdoor photographers love the sealing.
Reviewers are happy with the ISO range, though some find it a little too grainy at 6400. The AF speed and fast frame rate get a fair bit of mention as well, as does the easy-to-navigate menus.
RAW shooting is in demand at this level, and the feedback echoes user’s delight here. They also appreciate the simple one-touch switch between jpeg and RAW shooting.
Videographers also have plenty of praise for the 7D. They say its 1080p HD footage contribute toward its appeal as an excellent all-around prosumer stills/video camera.
There are a few shared gripes too. The “average” battery life is one, and the weight also gets negative comments. Still, most realize it’s not possible to have a robust, quality build without the extra grams.
Reviewers’ take on the EOS 70D
Canon’s EOS 70D enjoys lots of similar feedback from its reviewers. There’s the predictable praise for excellent photos and video quality. The camera’s high ISO capability and performance are others.
The articulating (swivel) touchscreen almost always gets a favorable mention. That’s not surprising when you consider how we use touchscreen technology in everyday life.
Reviewers also talk of the fast, reliable, and smooth autofocus (AF), and AF expansion mode. Plenty of folks pick up on the long battery life, too. It’s not all praise, so there are a few critical remarks.
Some feedback talks of the cheap plasticky feel compared to other cameras they owned. Others think it’s too big and bulky, though they use general terms rather than specific comparisons.
A clear majority of EOS 70D and 7D owners are happy campers and pleased with their purchases.
Consider the Canon 70D if you want a new (rather than refurbished) model on a restricted budget. The cheaper 70D also has a slight edge over resolution and image quality.
The Canon EOS 70D is lighter and more compact than the 7D. That’s something to think about if you have small hands or go on all-day shoots with the camera around your neck.
Shortlist the Canon EOS 7D if you want a rugged workhorse Digital-SLR. Canon’s 7D is also a better choice if you prefer to work fast and intuitive using the range of external physical controls.
With this review—and a checklist of needs and wants—your preference should now be much clearer.Back to Top