Canon 30D vs 70D
The Canon EOS 30D and the Canon EOS 70D are two enthusiast cameras that were officially introduced, respectively, in February 2006 and July 2013. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 30D has a resolution of 8.2 megapixels, whereas the 70D provides 20 MP. Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their sensors, their features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
|Canon 30D||Canon 70D|
|Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|8.2 MP, APS-C Sensor||20 MP, APS-C Sensor|
|no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO 100-1600 (100-3200)||ISO 100-12800 (100-25600)|
|Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|2.5" LCD, 230k dots||3.0" LCD, 1040k dots|
|Fixed screen (not touch-sensitive)||Swivel touchscreen|
|5 shutter flaps per second||7 shutter flaps per second|
|Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|750 shots per battery charge||920 shots per battery charge|
|144 x 106 x 74 mm, 785 g||139 x 104 x 79 mm, 755 g|
Body comparison: Canon 30D vs 70D
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 30D and the Canon 70D. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth measures are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon 70D is notably smaller (5 percent) than the Canon 30D. Moreover, the 70D is slightly lighter (4 percent) than the 30D. It is noteworthy in this context that the 70D is splash and dust-proof, while the 30D does not feature any corresponding weather-sealing.
The above size and weight comparisons are to some extent incomplete since they do not consider the interchangeable lenses that both of these cameras require. In this particular case, both cameras feature the same lens mount, so that they can use the same lenses. You can compare the optics available in the Canon EF Lens Catalog.
The adjacent table lists the principal physical characteristics of the two cameras alongside a wider set of alternatives. If you want to switch the focus of the display and review another camera pair, just select a new right or left comparator from among the camera models in the table. Alternatively, you can also move across to the CAM-parator tool and choose from the broad selection of possible camera comparisons there.
|Canon 30D»||144 mm||106 mm||74 mm||785 g||750||n||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 70D«||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 80D« »||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||123 mm||77 mm||105 mm||733 g||300||Y||Jun 2015||999||Canon G3 X|
|Canon 7D II« »||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 60D« »||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||750||n||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||127 mm||84 mm||65 mm||556 g||370||n||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||127 mm||94 mm||64 mm||540 g||400||n||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||144 mm||106 mm||72 mm||770 g||700||n||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D7100« »||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199||-||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D80« »||132 mm||103 mm||77 mm||668 g||600||n||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||147 mm||113 mm||74 mm||920 g||400||Y||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
Any camera decision will naturally be influenced heavily by the price. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 70D was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 14 percent) than the 30D, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Usually, retail prices stay at first close to the launch price, but after several months, discounts become available. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
Sensor comparison: Canon 30D vs 70D
The size of the sensor inside a digital camera is one of the key determinants of image quality. A large sensor will generally have larger individual pixels that offer better low-light sensitivity, provide wider dynamic range, and have richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors tend to be more expensive and lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 1.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the medium-sized sensor cameras that aim to strike a balance between image quality and portability. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, the 70D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 5+) than the 30D (DIGIC 2), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the 70D offers a higher resolution of 20 megapixels, compared with 8.2 MP of the 30D. This megapixels advantage translates into a 56 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the 70D has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 4.11μm versus 6.42μm for the 30D). However, it should be noted that the 70D is much more recent (by 7 years and 4 months) than the 30D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size.
The 70D has on-sensor phase detect pixels, which results in fast and reliable autofocus acquisition even during video recording.
The Canon EOS 30D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 1600, which can be extended to ISO 100-3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 70D are ISO 100 to ISO 12800, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-25600..
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service is based on lab testing and assigns an overall score to each camera sensor, as well as ratings for dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), color depth ("DXO Portrait"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports"). Of the two cameras under consideration, the 70D has a markedly higher DXO score than the 30D (overall score 9 points higher), which will translate into better image quality. The advantage is based on 1 bits higher color depth, 0.8 EV in additional dynamic range, and 0.3 stops in additional low light sensitivity. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
|Canon 30D»||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.5||10.8||736||59||Canon 30D|
|Canon 70D«||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||22.5||11.6||926||68||Canon 70D|
|Canon 80D« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||23.6||13.2||1135||79||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63||Canon G3 X|
|Canon 7D II« »||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 60D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.2||11.5||813||66||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||APS-C||17.9||5184||3456||1080/30p||22.0||11.7||854||66||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||APS-C||15.1||4752||3168||-||21.8||11.4||696||63||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.3||703||64||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||APS-C||10.1||3888||2592||-||22.1||11.0||664||62||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||APS-C||8.0||3456||2304||-||21.8||10.8||637||60||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||APS-C||8.2||3504||2336||-||21.9||11.0||721||62||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D7100« »||APS-C||24.0||6000||4000||1080/60p||24.2||13.7||1256||83||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D80« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.1||11.2||524||61||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||APS-C||10.0||3872||2592||-||22.3||11.5||583||64||Nikon D200|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The 70D indeed provides for movie recording, while the 30D does not. The highest resolution format that the 70D can use is 1080/30p.
Feature comparison: Canon 30D vs 70D
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 30D and the 70D are similar in the sense that both have an optical viewfinder. The latter is useful for getting a clear image for framing even in brightly lit environments. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 30D and Canon 70D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|Canon 30D»||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 30D|
|Canon 70D«||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n||Canon 70D|
|Canon 80D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||Y||8000||7.0||Y||n||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||-||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||2000||5.9||Y||Y||Canon G3 X|
|Canon 7D II« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||8000||10.0||Y||n||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 60D« »||optical||Y||3.0||1040||swivel||n||8000||5.3||Y||n||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||8.0||Y||n||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||optical||Y||3.0||920||fixed||n||8000||6.3||Y||n||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||optical||Y||3.0||230||fixed||n||8000||6.5||Y||n||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||optical||n||1.8||115||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||optical||Y||1.8||118||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D7100« »||optical||Y||3.2||1229||fixed||n||8000||6.0||Y||n||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D80« »||optical||n||2.5||230||fixed||n||4000||3.0||Y||n||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||optical||Y||2.5||230||fixed||n||8000||5.0||Y||n||Nikon D200|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The 70D has a touchscreen, while the 30D has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The 70D has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the 30D does not have a selfie-screen.
The 30D writes its imaging data to Compact Flash cards, while the 70D uses SDXC cards.
Connectivity comparison: Canon 30D vs 70D
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon EOS 30D and Canon EOS 70D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
|Canon 30D»||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 70D«||Y||stereo||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||Y||-||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 80D« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-||Canon G3 X|
|Canon 7D II« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 60D« »||Y||mono||mono||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||Y||mono||-||Y||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||1.1||-||-||-||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D7100« »||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D80« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||Y||-||-||-||-||-||2.0||-||-||-||Nikon D200|
It is notable that the 70D offers wifi support, which can be a very convenient means to transfer image data to an off-camera location. In contrast, the 30D does not offer wifi capability.
Studio photographers will appreciate that the Canon 30D (unlike the 70D) features a PC Sync socket, so that professional strobe lights can be controlled by the camera.
Both the 30D and the 70D have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The 30D was replaced by the Canon 40D, while the 70D was followed by the Canon 80D.
Review summary: Canon 30D vs 70D
So how do things add up? Is the Canon 30D better than the Canon 70D or vice versa? Below is a summary of the relative strengths of each of the two contestants.
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 30D:
- Better studio light control: Has a PC Sync socket to connect to professional strobe lights.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2006).
Advantages of the Canon EOS 70D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20 vs 8.2MP), which boosts linear resolution by 56%.
- Better image quality: Scores markedly higher (9 points) in the DXO overall evaluation.
- More dynamic range: Captures a broader range of light and dark details (0.8 EV of extra DR).
- Better low-light sensitivity: Can shoot in dim conditions (0.3 stops ISO advantage).
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 5+ vs DIGIC 2).
- Broader imaging potential: Can capture not only stills but also 1080/30p video.
- Better video autofocus: Features on-sensor phase-detection for more confident movie autofocus.
- Larger screen: Has a bigger rear LCD (3.0" vs 2.5") for image review and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 230k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has swivel screen for odd-angle shots in portrait or landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (7 vs 5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (920 versus 750) out of a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is splash and dust sealed for shooting in inclement weather conditions.
- Easier file upload: Has wifi built in for automatic backup or image transfer to the web.
- More affordable: Was released into a lower priced segment (14 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 7 years and 4 months of technical progress since the 30D launch.
If the count of individual advantages (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the 70D is the clear winner of the contest (18 : 2 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision.
In any case, while the comparison of technical specifications can provide a useful overview of the capabilities of different cameras, it says nothing about, for example, the handling, responsiveness, and overall imaging quality of the 30D and the 70D in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
Expert reviews: Canon 30D vs 70D
This is why expert reviews are important. The adjacent table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (cameralabs, dpreview, ephotozine, imaging-resource, photographyblog). You can find the full text of the reviews by clicking on the site logo in the table header.
|Canon 30D»||HiRec||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2006||1,399||-||Canon 30D|
|Canon 70D«||HiRec||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199||-||Canon 70D|
|Canon 80D« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199||Canon 80D|
|Canon G3 X« »||Rec||-||4.5/5||3.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999||Canon G3 X|
|Canon 7D II« »||Rec||84/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799||Canon 7D II|
|Canon 60D« »||Rec||79/100||4/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399||-||Canon 60D|
|Canon 7D« »||HiRec||84/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699||-||Canon 7D|
|Canon 50D« »||HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299||-||Canon 50D|
|Canon 40D« »||HiRec||HiRec||4.5/5||rev||4.5/5||Aug 2007||1,299||-||Canon 40D|
|Canon 400D« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||4.5/5||4/5||Aug 2006||799||-||Canon 400D|
|Canon 350D« »||80/100||HiRec||rev||rev||-||Feb 2005||899||-||Canon 350D|
|Canon 20D« »||-||HiRec||-||rev||-||Aug 2004||1,499||-||Canon 20D|
|Nikon D7100« »||HiRec||85/100||4.5/5||5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199||-||Nikon D7100|
|Nikon D80« »||Rec||HiRec||rev||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2006||999||-||Nikon D80|
|Nikon D200« »||HiRec||HiRec||rev||5/5||-||Nov 2005||1,699||-||Nikon D200|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The assessments were made in relation to similar cameras of the same technological generation. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and rating-comparisons among cameras that span long time periods or concern very differently equipped models make little sense. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
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Specifications: Canon 30D vs Canon 70D
|Camera Model||Canon 30D||Canon 70D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||February 2006||July 2013|
|Launch Price||USD 1399||USD 1199|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||22.5 x 15.0 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||337.5 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||27 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||8.2 Megapixels||20 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||3504 x 2336 pixels||5472 x 3648 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||6.42 μm||4.11 μm|
|Pixel Density||2.43 MP/cm2||5.91 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||no Video||1080/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100-1600 ISO||100-12800 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100-3200 ISO||100-25600 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 2||DIGIC 5+|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||59||68|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||21.5||22.5|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||10.8||11.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||736||926|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||95%||98%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||Control Panel|
|LCD Framing||n/a||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||2.5 inch||3.0 inch|
|LCD Resolution||230k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Swivel screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Autofocus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Maximum Shutter Speed||1/8000s||1/8000s|
|Continuous Shooting||5 shutter flaps/s||7 shutter flaps/s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||CF cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|Studio Flash||PC Sync socket||no PC Sync|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||no HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||no MIC socket||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||no Wifi||Wifi built-in|
|Environmental Sealing||Not weather sealed||Weathersealed body|
|Battery Type||BP-511A power pack||LP-E6 power pack|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||750 shots per charge||920 shots per charge|
144 x 106 x 74 mm
(5.7 x 4.2 x 2.9 in)
139 x 104 x 79 mm
(5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1 in)
|Camera Weight||785 g (27.7 oz)||755 g (26.6 oz)|
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