++++Please note, this video sample was taken with a beta quality Canon 70D camera which is producing beta quality images++++

One of the features Canon was proudly presenting with the Canon 70D is a new autofocus mechanism.
For that test I had only one lens supplied by Canon, the EF 40mm f/2.8 STM.

Equipped the camera,lens, circular ND and a Zacuto viewfinder, I’ve decided to shoot in a “home video style” as I can think of many people that will be using the camera and its new autofocus function as their new main holiday camera. (besides, I didn’t want to film in the event with a tripod).

I left many of the shots “as is” so you as a viewer can decide if working with an engaged autofocus makes sense for you.

I must say that the new autofocus mechanism is impressive!. With the right lens and some practise I am sure nice results can be achieved. (not sure if there is a way to lock the autofocus without moving the lens button to MF).

So what are the working options?
You can work with the autofocus engaged in 2 ways. with or without touchscreen.
If you choose working with the touchscreen you might get more accurate and easy to “change focus” results but in my case, this option is useless when shooting outside as I can not judge the right exposure in full daylight when looking at the LCD screen.
The other option is to disable the touchscreen and work with the back wheel. That’s the method I used when shooting this video as I had a Zacuto VF attached to the camera.
Also mote that if you like working with an external monitor, the LCD screen will go blank right after attaching the HDMI cable.

For this test Neutral picture file was used. No CC was applied.
ISO, 160-320
Edited on Adobe Premiere CS6.

Equipment used:
Canon 70D
Canon EF 40mm f/2.8 STM lens
Zacuto Z-finder
Light Craft circular ND

Music: http://www.themusicbed.com
From Truth, Dexter Britain http://www.themusicbed.com/#!/From-Truth-3985/

DSC04578 300x168 Canon 70D autofocus test 40mm vs autofocus

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Reply
Archie July 31, 2013

Wow, the colors! That´s why I like Canon! When there´s enough light, the best!

Reply
Brian August 2, 2013

irritating that almost all Canon cameras will black out the internal/onboard LCD whenever in use with an HDMI monitor – one of my biggest gripes with Canon DSLRs that aren’t the 5DMk3

Reply
Vaportrail August 3, 2013

What is that attachment the photographer is using for the viewfinder?

I’ve been thinking of just throwing a sheet on my head for sunny days. This seems like a better solution. :-p

Reply
guest August 3, 2013

if you used the back wheel then this really isn’t an auto focus test right?

Reply
Peter Kent August 3, 2013

I also don’t understand how the back wheel is used for auto focus. Plus will holding down the af lock button on the back stop the auto focusing?

Reply
Johnnie Behiri August 4, 2013

Hi Peter.
The back wheel is used to locate the point where you would like your focus to be during shooting video.

I am yet to find how to lock the focus. I will try a tip I’ve got from one of the viewers when I’ll get the camera agin when it’s out and share it if it’s working.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
PeterK August 5, 2013

Thanks for the response Johnnie, So the back wheel cycles through the 19 AF points? Is there no joystick on the back for this (like the 7d has)?

Reply
PeterK August 5, 2013

BTW have you tried the “AF ON” button on the back of the camera to try and lock focus? You may have to reassign that button to “AF off during video” in the menus though.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri August 7, 2013

Hi PeterK.

Did not. Will try it when I have a production camera for a second review round.

Thanks!

Johnnie

Reply
Johnnie Behiri August 4, 2013

Hi Guest. What is the connection between the “back wheel” and “autofocus” test?

Thanks.

Johnnie

Reply
PeterK August 5, 2013

I think what that guest and I thought was that the rear wheel was controlling the AF motor. (like those USB follow focus devices do) which would have actually been really cool lol

Reply
Peter Kent August 3, 2013

This really shows off a great use for this camera, such a minimal rig with decent results. I also did not see moiré on things that I was expecting to see moiré on, would you please do a comparison with the 6D and SL1 when you get the chance? Thanks!

Reply
Johnnie Behiri August 4, 2013

Hi Peter.

We get a lot of requests to do a compression test between the 60D and the 70D.

I hope we will have time to do so.

Thanks (again)…:)

Johnnie

Reply
Jared mo August 15, 2013

This is a pretty video and well shot but there’s so much afternoon sun and what looks to be a relatively high f-stop that the whole frame is pretty much in focus anyway. This what scares me about all these promises. Even the terribly disappointing autofocus of my Sony a-99 will work well enough with daylight and generous f stop. I wish someone would shoot video with this camera under indie film and /or event videographer lowish light interior conditions.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri August 16, 2013

Hi Jared,

F-stop was low as I’ve used ND filter.
I will try and get the camera again when it’s in production and see if anything got a bit better and re-check the auto focus function too.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
Dennis Hinkamp September 11, 2013

The 70D touch screen shutting off when you plug in an external monitor is a big disappointment out of the box. I was looking forward to using touch screen to move the focus more quickly

Reply
Ronnie Chan October 2, 2013

if EOS M2 came out that can do that,I would get one.

Reply
Jon Wood November 8, 2013

Great video, very nice, really awesome for a camera test. Thanks! Did you notice moire’ when you were shooting with this? I noticed some comments from others complaining about the problem, just wondering if you saw it.

Reply
Johnnie Behiri December 6, 2013

Hi Jon. Sorry about my very very late response. Somehow it got lost in all of those comments I’m getting with other reviews.

Unfortunately moire and aliasing are there and in a noticeable way.

Thank you!

Johnnie

Reply
Anthony Diaz December 6, 2013

Hi, have you heard anything on Magic Lantern for the 70D?

Reply
Johnnie Behiri December 6, 2013

Hi there. Nothing. Sorry!

Reply
Motion Pikczer February 6, 2014

Hey! Please tell me how about external monitor. Is it 1080i/p through hdmi when you recording? I’m thinking of buying this EOS. Please reply :)

Reply
Johnnie Behiri February 10, 2014

Dear Motion Pikczer, sorry for my late response.

It is over 7 months ago that I had this camera and I am sorry to say, I simply can not remember if it had a true 1080 HDMI output.
I presume it has but it can be either “I” or”P”.

Sorry I can not help much here.

Thanks!

Johnnie

Reply
Robert June 9, 2014

To answer the low light question… 2.8 in low light is worse than 2,8 w/ and ND filter… The difference to me is about the contrast. The ISO to boost a wedding reception might expose things but the AF feature keeps loosing focus on the target and searching. I had bad first results with shooting even the toasts and 1st dances. I’m learning that you have to adapt your shooting style to the camera; i.e. shoot more “face forward on toasts, and find angles for dances that have less background movement, touch the focus to more contrasting parts of the subject like tux collar or a bling, blinged hair piece. I have to babysit the touchscreen to keep the focus right. If it starts to search, it goes way out and will not look like a reasonable “check focus”. All together, a zacuto is better in most situations. That being said, having instant focus can be a life saver in those split second candid b-roll shots that happen so fast that you lose them immediately. Conclusion: It’s great for certain applications… like any other good tool.

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