Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100: 15 things you really need to know

Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100: 15 things you really need to know

Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100? When the Canon EOS 70D was announced, your first thought may have been, which of these high-spec cameras is the better deal.

Here we take a look at some of the key differences between the cameras, which might make all the difference for you in choosing a winner in the Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100 debate.

Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100: 15 things you really need to know

Canon’s brand new EOS 70D is packed with new and innovative technologies, including on-sensor phase-detection autofocus, built-in wi-fi and an articulating touch-screen display. So how does it stack up against its chief rival, the Nikon D7100?

Does the Canon blow it out of the water, or does the Nikon have the muscle to fight back? Hopefully our Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100 comparison will answer some of your burning questions. If not, let us know in the comments!

Buy the Canon EOS 70D on Amazon US
Buy the Canon EOS 70D on Amazon UK
Buy the Nikon D7100 on Amazon US
Buy the Nikon D7100 on Amazon UK

Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100 Comparison: 01 AUTOFOCUS

Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100 Comparison: 01 AUTOFOCUS

The Canon EOS 70D uses a newly developed ‘Dual-Pixel CMOS AF’ system which allows on-sensor phase-detection autofocus.

Phase-detection AF is much faster than the ‘contrast-AF’ systems normally required when the sensor is used for focusing, and Canon claims this will offer “instant and accurate focusing of stills and videos.”

This should give Canon a clear autofocus advantage in live view mode and when shooting videos in any EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100 debate. It has no effect during normal, ‘viewfinder’ shooting, where both cameras use separate phase-detection sensors.

Here, the Canon EOS 70D offers a 19-point autofocus sensor, where all 19 are superior ‘cross’ types. The Nikon D7100 hits back with a sophisticated 51-point AF system taken from its professional DSLRs, with 15 cross-type sensors.

On balance, it looks as if the Canon EOS 70D has the advantage, but it will depend on how much you use the live view and movie modes.

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Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100 Comparison: 02 SENSOR

Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100 Comparison: 02 SENSOR

The Canon EOS 70D has new 20.2-megapixel CMOS sensor measuring 22.5 x 15.0mm with a built-in/fixed low pass filter. The Nikon D7100 has a very slightly larger 24.1-megapixel sensor measuring 23.5 x 15.6mm with no low-pass filter.

Removing the filter means increased sharpness with fine details, though at the risk of moire effects with some subjects and patterns – though this does not seem to be a problem for the D7100 in practice.

It remains to be seen how well the Canon EOS 70D’s sensor performs in tests, but test results from the Nikon D7100 and the difference in specifications suggest that the Nikon should in theory yield slightly sharper images.

The slight difference in the sensor size also explains why the Canon has a 1.6x focal factor while the Nikon’s is 1.5x.

Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100 Comparison: 03 EXPOSURE

The Canon EOS 70D has dual-layer 63-zone IFCL (Intelligent Focus, Colour & Luminance) exposure sensor. The dual-layer design makes it colour-sensitive, and is designed to eliminate random exposure errors caused by subject colours and light sources.

The Nikon D7100 metering system, meanwhile, uses a 2016-pixel RGB sensor. It’s not yet clear whether either one has an advantage in a Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7100 comparison, and the limitations of in-camera metering sensors in general and the different metering techniques of individual photographers mean that comparisons aren’t always meaningful.

Both cameras offer multi-pattern, centre-weighted and spot metering modes, but the Canon EOS 70D adds ‘Partial’ metering (a kind of ‘big’ spot mode).

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  • jmeyer

    We intend to review both products head-to-head… but the Canon 70D isn’t released yet. As we stated in the article, we will be able to elaborate more on some points once we’ve had the camera in for testing.

  • jmeyer

    Are you sure? I just re-read it, and it seem right to me?