Canon EOS 70D was announced yesterday with expected availability sometime in September. Specifications include:
- 20.2 megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and DIGIC 5+
- Dual Pixel CMOS AF (Faster AF in live view and video mode)
- 19 point -0.5 EV cross-type AF System (AF-module from 7D but with simpler configurations)
- 7 fps, up to 65 JPEG or 16 RAW images in a single burst (UHS-I card required for maximum burst duration)
- ISO 12800 (H:25600)
- 30-1/8000s shutter speed + bulp, flash sync 1/250s
- 63-zone iFCL metering system
- Intelligent pentaprism viewfinder (98%, 0.95x)
- Vari-angle 1.040.000 dots 7.7cm ClearView II TFT LCD touch screen
- Wi-Fi with Instant sharing and Remote control (including remote and live view via smartphone apps)
- Full-HD movies with stereo sound
Technically, the most interesting thing with 70D, is probably the new Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor. In video and live-view mode, this new technology should drastically increase autofocus performance, however for conventional slr use, it will not have any effect on AF-performance. Since the sensor, as I understand, technically can be described as having 40.4 megapixel "inside", a really interesting question is if this technology might have a negative impact on image quality parameters like dynamic range and noise level?... According to Imaging Resource, Canon says JPEG shooters should see a "huge improvement" in image quality, and RAW shooters should see noise levels that are roughly on pay with the lower-res 60D.
When Canon made the 50D to 60D upgrade, some features where lost from the product line. Most controversial was maybe the omitted AF micro-adjustment, but in 70D some of the lost features returns, including AFMA. Something that however doesn't return are multiple Custom modes on the dial. And that's even though Canon has collapsed all the scenery modes to one SCN selection on the 70D's dial, and made it a lot less dense dial. What hides behind the single C(ustom) selection on the dial, I don't know for sure. It could of course be a "bank" with potentially an endless numbers of custom configurations saved, but haven't heard about anything like that. It's most likely still only one Custom setting.
On a personal note, I want to upgrade my 50D to a new APS-C that gives me more dynamic range and better low light performance when shooting RAW. While we haven't seen any reviews yet that can tell if 70D is the answer to that, it sounds like it probably ain't. However a lot of other technologies introduced by Canon the later years (60D is 3 years old), could make this an interesting camera for a lot of people. And especially if video and live view shooting is an important parameter, 70D sounds like a very interesting camera for the advanced amateur.
I would expect a 7DII to be announced within the next half year. If there's a price in image quality for the new Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology, it will be interesting to see if Canon prefers a more "conventional" sensor in the 7DII - or if they just do what they are used to do, use basically same sensor technology in the XXXD, XXD and 7D product lines.
One place where I do expect to see a new camera with the Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology introduced very soon, is in Canons mirrorless line. The Canon EOS M, introduced last year, got a lot of bad press for its slow AF-performance. A new mirror-less camera with Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology should fix this with style...
No new lenses, flashes or other accessories was announced together with the EOS 70D. I would also expect/hope to see a replacement or supplement for Speedlite 430EX II before too long, adding support for the wireless radio control system introduced with 600EX-RT.