When the Canon 70D was released in March of 2013 it replaced the Canon 60D, which at that time was already a little outdated having been released in August of 2010. Photographers quickly saw that the Canon 70D offered quite a bit more than the Canon 60D, and logically so as its successor in the Canon line. But, the Canon 70D also presented a much higher price tag, and although the Canon 60D was no longer in circulation, photographers could still access high-quality used bodies of the earlier model.
So the question remained, which camera is best for the specific photographer? This comparison will likely prove what you already know, that the Canon 70D is, as it should be, the better camera. But, what it also aims to do it bring a deeper understanding as to the specific features of each camera, so that you might make an informed decision based on your individual need.
Canon 60D vs Canon &0D Comparison Table
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The Canon 60D is not, as many may assume, the logical step up from the Canon 50D model. While the earlier Canon 50D in many ways targeted the semi-pro photographer, the newer Canon 60D instead went after the enthusiast market. Specifically, it appeared that Canon was looking to make the Canon 60D a step up from the Rebel series of bodies.
As such, the Canon 60D featured a range of different features and specifications, which left many critics placing it in a midway point between the Canon 550D (or Canon T2i) and the Canon 7D. So although not really a step-up from the Canon 50D, the camera remains an interesting, and some would argue necessary, addition to the Canon line.
The Canon 60D’s features and specifications include an 18-megapixel CMOS sensor, ISO range of 100 – 6400 standard with 12,800 expanded, a DIGIC 4 processor, 9-point autofocus system with all points being cross-type, 1080p30 video recording with built in mono microphone and external microphone jack, as well as an articulated 1.04m-dot LCD screen.
A perfectly executed upgrade from the Canon 60D, the Canon 70D is all the things photographers loved about the older body, with lots of new extras. Where the Canon 60D worked to tread out new territory in the Canon line between the entry-level Rebel bodies and the semi-pro Canon 7D, the Canon 70D works to establish itself as the best at its level. Taking the best aspects of Canon’s line-up, including some borrowed from higher up in the pro line, and eliminating the worst parts of the Canon 60D, the Canon 70D excels above its predecessor and the competition.
This Canon 70D offers photographers a 20-megapixel ‘Dual Pixel’ sensor, an ISO range of 100 – 12800 standard and up to 25600 expanded, a DIGIC 5+ processor, 19-point AF system, with all points being cross-type, 1080p30 video recording with a built-in stereo microphone and external microphone port, an articulated 1.04m-dot LCD touchscreen and built in wi-fi capabilities.
There are a number of key differences between the Canon 60D and the Canon 70D, as we would expect considering that they are sequential models in the same line. So, although we will certainly be looking at the differences between these two cameras, our aim in doing so is not to find an overall winner. Instead, we’re looking to view the specific details to make it easier for photographers to ascertain which camera is best for their own needs.
Now, while both cameras do have the same 3-inch 1.04m-dot resolution LCD screen, with articulated capability, the Canon 70D does one better on the Canon 60D. On an already loved, and indeed widely celebrated screen thanks to its articulating ability, which makes both low and high angle photography much simpler, the Canon 70D adds touchscreen technology.
This touchscreen technology means that getting through the Canon 70D’s menus and in-camera settings are much easier. However, and of even more interest, is the touch-to-focus potential of the screen, which paired with the camera’s autofocus system (that we’ll discuss later) makes the Canon 70D’s focus ability smooth and worry-free.
The first thing that most people notice now when looking at cameras are the slight differences in the numbers. This has been the case with the Canon 60D and the Canon 70D, and the Canon 70D does indeed offer a higher megapixel count than the Canon 60D. However, the difference is very slight (20 megapixels compared to 18 megapixels) and most users won’t notice a vast difference in image quality, unless they’re cropping heavily or planning on really blowing up their images.
Where the Canon 70D really comes ahead is with its new ‘Dual Pixel’ sensor. This newer sensor allows photographers to achieve pull focus effects similar to pro cameras, and improves performance in Live View and with videos. This is an impressive use of technology by Canon, and photographers have loved (and will no doubt continue to love) the added advantage it brings to the already strong abilities of the Canon 70D.
Another numbers difference between the Canon 60D and the Canon 70D is their processors. The two models feature DIGIC 4 and DIGIC 5+ processors respectively, which isn’t surprising considering the time between their releases. Now, the difference that processors will have on the cameras have to do with speed. So, Canon claims that their DIGIC 5+ processors work 17 times faster than the DIGIC 4 processors, which users can expect to show in the camera’s processing time for images, as well as shutter speeds and in-camera image processing. A great example of this is the continuous shooting speed of the Canon 60D and the Canon 70D, which shows that the Canon 70D betters its predecessor with 7fps compared to 5.3fps.
The Canon 60D and the Canon 70D both use pentaprism viewfinders, and although this is only a small detail the Canon 70D does beat out the Canon 60D when it comes to viewfinder coverage. While the Canon 60D offers a reasonable 96% coverage, the Canon 70D brings it up to 98% coverage. This helps in correctly composing your shot, and ensuring that it will be the same when captured.
The Canon 70D outperforms the Canon 60D when it comes to ISO. This is likely due to that updated processor, which gives the Canon 70D the ability to perform better in low light situations. While the Canon 60D still offers pretty good ISO range, the Canon 70D has 1 f-stop more maximum light sensitivity (12,800 ISO v 6,400 ISO) and 1 f-top more boosted light sensitivity (25,600 ISO v 12,800 ISO). With that being said, the Canon 60D actually doesn’t do that badly in terms of noise levels at high ISO, with noise around 813 ISO compared to 926 ISO on the Canon 70D.
The place where the Canon 70D really showcases its improvements and advantages, especially in comparison to its predecessor, is its new autofocus system. Thanks to the Canon 70D’s ‘Dual Pixel’ sensor, as well as its new 19-point autofocus with all cross-type points, focusing is smooth, accurate and very fast. Add into this already potent mix the Canon 70D’s new touchscreen, and its ability to touch-to-focus, and you have a very capable and accurate focus system that would be just as at home on a more professional body.
Now, while the Canon 60D still offers a 9-point autofocus system, with all points cross-type, it simply can’t compete with the newer innovations on the Canon 70D. That isn’t to say that the autofocus system is lacking, and indeed as a standalone system it performs very well. But by comparison the winner is obviously the Canon 70D.
The Canon 60D was always known among amateur and hobbyist videographers as a solid camera for any kind of video work. Although Canon hasn’t really made video a priority in this model, the addition of the newer ‘Dual Pixel’ sensor, the touchscreen and the improved autofocus system mean that the Canon D70 is a sure winner among videographers. It isn’t likely to impress any professionals but the Canon 70D fills the gap of the Canon 60D, and then some.
Along with a number of other updates and additional features that the Canon 70D has used to outpace the Canon 60D, the newer model also adds wifi capabilities. For some photographers, wifi is an absolute must-have, giving photographers the ability to move and share photos, as well as make full use of a range of Canon remote photography apps that are available. It isn’t important for everyone, but still worth noting.
The Canon 60D comes in a kit with either the Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II alone, or that and the Canon EF-S 55-250mm f/4-5.6 IS II as a twin lens kit. For many photographers, cost will ultimately make the decision for you on your lens choice, as the second lens can really bulk up the price.
Both lenses are highly capable, and perform very well on the Canon 60D. The 18-55mm is the perfect general-purpose lens for everyday shooting, and is ideal for the DSLR starter to really learn the ins and outs of their camera. The 55-250mm offers something more for the real enthusiast in the added focal length, which is perfect for wildlife and sports photography. Both lenses feature Canon’s Image Stabilizer (IS) for combating blur, especially in low light.
The Canon 70D comes most often in a kit with either the Canon 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM or the Canon 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM. The two rarely come as a twin kit (due to the overlapping focal lengths) so users will need to decide between them. If you’re just getting started into DSLR photography, the 18-55mm is a popular choice, and is something of a standard for many new photographers. It offers simplicity and versatility for a variety of subjects, with just a little bit of variation on the zoom to mix up your photographic perspective.
The lens includes Canon’s Image Stabilizer (IS) as well as the STM stepping motor. This motor gives photographers, and more specifically videographers, the experience of an almost silent focusing motor, which is both smooth and effective in focusing.
For many, the easy choice between the two is the 18-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM. Like the 18-55mm, this lens offers Canon Image Stabilizer (IS) as well as the STM stepping motor. But, it has the added bonus of allowing even more flexibility and versatility in a longer focal length. The 18-135mm lens is perfect in almost any environment, and is often favored for travel or by those photographers who aren’t confident or interested in having to switch between different lenses.
When it comes down to the Canon 60D and the Canon 70D, it is cost more than anything that will help you to decide. Although the Canon 60D has been discontinued by Canon, bodies are still available online for around USD$700, which represents a saving of about USD$400 on the newer Canon 70D. In addition to this, the release of the Canon 70D has seen a larger number of reasonable quality Canon 60Ds become available used on and offline all over the world.
If you’re looking for something that is an ideal starting point for DSLR photography without spending too big, the Canon 60D is the camera for you. It really is perfect for beginners, and although the Canon 70D’s more recent updates have outdone it in many ways, it still offers 20% better battery performance (1100 shots compared to 920 shots), which is exactly what most beginners want.
Now, if its an easy, technology-rich, and high-potential camera body you’re looking for, the Canon 70D has it all. For Canon 60D users, it is a moderate upgrade thanks to the improved performance and that new sensor, that many might consider making. For starters, the Canon 70D offers a range of features that will make your photographic journey easier, as well as some details that even the pros would love, including that amazing autofocus system. Whether it is photo or video, the Canon 70D has you covered.