Canon 70D vs Nikon D7100 Preview

Canon has just dropped the ball and announced the long awaited 70D, successor to the popular 60D, after nearly 3 years of waiting. The Nikon D7100 has been around the block for some time, but these two cameras are pitted head to head in price, features, and more. Let’s take a closer look to see which one fits your needs best.



Nikon has gone with 24mp while Canon has developed a brand new 20mp sensor (finally!) after years of the same old 18mp. While the Nikon is already proven to have great noise performance, the 70D will probably outdo it. But you know the story – it’ll probably be a bit softer, smudging the details a bit, as Canon has proven with most of its sensors. But both cameras will deliver the goods, nonetheless. Take your pick: more resolution, or less noise.


This is where the Canon will excel. The new sensor is considered “revolutionary” in that it will give probably the fastest live-view autofocus of any DSLR on the market. The new “dual pixel” sensor with phase detection autofocus makes this possible. The Nikon has phase detection and live-view autofocus as well, but it won’t stack up to the Canon. Further points against the Nikon – its video output is rather soft, and there is no control of aperture while filming. However, it does have headphone inputs where the Canon lacks.


Canon offers a clear advantage here with the twist and swivel LCD. You can’t deny its usefulness not only for video, but also getting shots at odd angles above and below and the like. The Nikon is a bit larger with a few more pixels, but that won’t make a big difference in the field. On the other hand, the viewfinder in the D7100 is something to write home about, and arguably more important than the LCD for most shooters. It delivers with an impressive 100% coverage and 0.94x magnification.


Both cameras have slimmed down slightly from the previous models and that’s not a bad thing. Ergonomics is a personal thing; some people like Canon, and some people like Nikon. The 70D will be a great accompaniment to the 6D as it has nearly identical controls. The D7100 has a greater range of external controls but the difference is not huge. The Nikon definitely feels a bit chunkier in the hand than the slim and sleek 70D.


The D7100 features a nifty 2x crop mode, where instead of a 1.5x crop factor, you’ll have essentially double the reach of your lens. Thus a 50mm becomes a 100mm. I think this will be very useful, especially for sports. The Canon features a nice wifi mode that allows you to transfer photos easily, and control the camera with a smartphone.


As it see it, if you’re a video shooter, the choice is clear – get the Canon 70D. If you’re a sports shooter, the 70D will also probably serve you well with its slightly faster continuous shooting (7 vs 6 fps) and predicted lower noise. But if you’re into landscapes and nature, the Nikon will not disappoint with its greater resolution and likely higher dynamic range. If you’ve already invested in tons of Canon or Nikon glass, I think you already know the answer :)

Stay tuned for a full review when we get our hands on the 70D.

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