Canon 70D vs 850D
The Canon EOS 70D and the Canon EOS 850D (labelled Canon T8i in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in July 2013 and February 2020. Both are DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex) cameras that are equipped with an APS-C sensor. The 70D has a resolution of 20 megapixels, whereas the 850D provides 24 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon EOS 70D and the Canon EOS 850D? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
The side-by-side display below illustrates the physical size and weight of the Canon 70D and the Canon 850D. 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 850D is notably smaller (7 percent) than the Canon 70D. Moreover, the 850D is markedly lighter (32 percent) than the 70D. It is worth mentioning in this context that the 70D is splash and dust resistant, while the 850D 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 following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. In case you want to display and compare another camera duo, you can use the CAM-parator app to select your camera combination among a large number of options.
|1.||Canon 70D||139 mm||104 mm||79 mm||755 g||920||Y||Jul 2013||1,199|
|2.||Canon 850D||131 mm||103 mm||76 mm||515 g||800||n||Feb 2020||749|
|3.||Canon 250D||122 mm||93 mm||70 mm||449 g||1070||n||Apr 2019||599|
|4.||Canon 77D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||540 g||600||n||Feb 2017||899|
|5.||Canon 800D||131 mm||100 mm||76 mm||532 g||600||n||Feb 2017||749|
|6.||Canon 80D||139 mm||105 mm||79 mm||730 g||960||Y||Feb 2016||1,199|
|7.||Canon 750D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||555 g||440||n||Feb 2015||749|
|8.||Canon 760D||132 mm||101 mm||78 mm||565 g||440||n||Feb 2015||649|
|9.||Canon G3 X||123 mm||77 mm||105 mm||733 g||300||Y||Jun 2015||999|
|10.||Canon 7D II||149 mm||112 mm||78 mm||910 g||670||Y||Sep 2014||1,799|
|11.||Canon 6D||145 mm||111 mm||71 mm||770 g||1090||Y||Sep 2012||2,099|
|12.||Canon 60D||145 mm||106 mm||79 mm||755 g||1100||Y||Aug 2010||1,399|
|13.||Canon 7D||148 mm||111 mm||74 mm||860 g||800||Y||Sep 2009||1,699|
|14.||Canon 50D||146 mm||108 mm||74 mm||822 g||800||Y||Aug 2008||1,299|
|15.||Nikon D7100||136 mm||107 mm||76 mm||765 g||950||Y||Feb 2013||1,199|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||400||Y||Jun 2015||1,299|
|17.||Sony RX10||129 mm||88 mm||102 mm||813 g||420||Y||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The listed launch prices provide an indication of the market segment that the manufacturer of the cameras have been targeting. The 850D was launched at a markedly lower price (by 38 percent) than the 70D, which puts it into a different market segment. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. 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.
The size of the imaging sensor is a crucial determinant of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Moreover, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more control over depth-of-field in the image and, thus, the ability to better isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature an APS-C sensor, but their sensors differ slightly in size. The sensor area in the 850D is 2 percent smaller. They nevertheless have the same format factor of 1.6. Both cameras have a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 3:2.
Technology-wise, the 850D uses a more advanced image processing engine (DIGIC 8) than the 70D (DIGIC 5+), with benefits for noise reduction, color accuracy, and processing speed.
Despite having a slightly smaller sensor, the 850D offers a higher resolution of 24 megapixels, compared with 20 MP of the 70D. This megapixels advantage comes at the cost of a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 3.72μm versus 4.11μm for the 70D). However, it should be noted that the 850D is much more recent (by 6 years and 7 months) than the 70D, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that make it possible to gather light more efficiently.
The resolution advantage of the Canon 850D implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the 850D for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 30 x 20 inches or 76.2 x 50.8 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 24 x 16 inches or 61 x 40.6 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 20 x 13.3 inches or 50.8 x 33.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon 70D are 27.4 x 18.2 inches or 69.5 x 46.3 cm for good quality, 21.9 x 14.6 inches or 55.6 x 37.1 cm for very good quality, and 18.2 x 12.2 inches or 46.3 x 30.9 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon EOS 70D has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 12800, which can be extended to ISO 100-25600. The corresponding ISO settings for the Canon EOS 850D are ISO 100 to ISO 25600, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 100-51200.
Since 2007, DXO Mark has published sensor performance measurements that have been derived using a consistent methodology. 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"). The following table provides an overview of the physical sensor characteristics, as well as the sensor quality measurements for a selection of comparators.
| DXO |
|9.||Canon G3 X||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||21.4||12.3||521||63|
|10.||Canon 7D II||APS-C||20.0||5472||3648||1080/60p||22.4||11.8||1082||70|
|11.||Canon 6D||Full Frame||20.0||5472||3648||1080/30p||23.8||12.1||2340||82|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||1-inch||20.0||5472||3648||4K/30p||23.0||12.6||531||70|
Many modern cameras cannot only take still pictures, but also record videos. Both cameras under consideration have a sensor with sufficiently fast read-out times for moving pictures, but the 850D provides a better video resolution than the 70D. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/24p, while the 70D is limited to 1080/30p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. The 70D and the 850D 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 viewfinder in the 70D offers a wider field of view (98%) than the one in the 850D (95%), so that a larger proportion of the captured image is visible in the finder. In addition, the viewfinder of the 70D has a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.51x), so that the size of the image transmitted appears closer to the size seen with the naked human eye. The table below summarizes some of the other core capabilities of the Canon 70D and Canon 850D in connection with corresponding information for a sample of similar cameras.
|9.||Canon G3 X||optional||n||3.2||1620||tilting||Y||1/2000s||5.9||Y||Y|
|10.||Canon 7D II||optical||Y||3.0||1040||fixed||n||1/8000s||10.0||Y||n|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||2359||Y||3.0||1229||tilting||n||1/3200s||14.0||Y||Y|
One feature that is present on the 70D, but is missing on the 850D is a top-level LCD. While being, of course, smaller than the rear screen, the control panel conveys some of the essential shooting information and can be convenient for quick and easy settings verification.Both cameras have an articulated rear screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This feature will be particularly appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies.
The Canon 850D has an intervalometer built-in. This enables the photographer to capture time lapse sequences, such as flower blooming, a sunset or moon rise, without purchasing an external camera trigger and related software.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the 70D and the 850D write their files to SDXC cards. Both cameras can use UHS-I cards, which provide for Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s.
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 70D and Canon EOS 850D and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|9.||Canon G3 X||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||2.0||Y||Y||-|
|10.||Canon 7D II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||mini||3.0||-||-||-|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||Y||stereo||mono||Y||Y||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
The 850D is a recent model that features in the current product line-up of Canon. In contrast, the 70D has been discontinued (but can be found pre-owned on eBay). As a replacement in the same line of cameras, the 70D was succeeded by the Canon 80D. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon website.
So what is the bottom line? Is there a clear favorite between the Canon 70D and the Canon 850D? Which camera is better? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Advantages of the Canon EOS 70D:
- More complete view: Has a viewfinder with a larger field of view (98% vs 95%).
- Larger viewfinder image: Features a viewfinder with a higher magnification (0.59x vs 0.51x).
- Easier setting verification: Features an LCD display on top to control shooting parameters.
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/8000s vs 1/4000s) to freeze action.
- Longer lasting: Can take more shots (920 versus 800) on a single battery charge.
- Better sealing: Is weather sealed to enable shooting in dusty or wet environments.
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in July 2013).
Reasons to prefer the Canon EOS 850D:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (24 vs 20MP), which boosts linear resolution by 10%.
- Better jpgs: Has a more modern image processing engine (DIGIC 8 vs DIGIC 5+).
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/24p vs 1080/30p).
- Easier time-lapse photography: Has an intervalometer built-in for low frequency shooting.
- Less heavy: Has a lower weight (by 240g or 32 percent) and is thus easier to take along.
- Easier wireless transfer: Supports Bluetooth for image sharing without cables.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced category (38 percent cheaper at launch).
- More modern: Reflects 6 years and 7 months of technical progress since the 70D launch.
If the count of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a measure, the 850D comes out slightly ahead of the 70D (8 : 7 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. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon 70D and the Canon 850D place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best DSLR Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the specs-based evaluation of cameras can be instructive in revealing their potential as photographic tools, it remains incomplete and does no justice, for example, to the way the 70D or the 850D perform in practice. User reviews, such as those found at amazon, can sometimes inform about these issues, but such feedback is often incomplete, inconsistent, and biased.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The table below provides a synthesis of the camera assessments of some of the best known photo-gear review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon 70D||5/5||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||5/5||Jul 2013||1,199|
|2.||Canon 850D||4/5||+||80/100||4/5||3.5/5||Feb 2020||749|
|3.||Canon 250D||..||o||79/100||4/5||4/5||Apr 2019||599|
|4.||Canon 77D||4.5/5||..||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||899|
|5.||Canon 800D||4.5/5||..||80/100||4.5/5||4/5||Feb 2017||749|
|6.||Canon 80D||4/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||1,199|
|7.||Canon 750D||5/5||..||75/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||749|
|8.||Canon 760D||5/5||+||77/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2015||649|
|9.||Canon G3 X||3.5/5||+||..||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||999|
|10.||Canon 7D II||4.5/5||+||84/100||4/5||4.5/5||Sep 2014||1,799|
|11.||Canon 6D||5/5||+ +||83/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2012||2,099|
|12.||Canon 60D||5/5||+||79/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2010||1,399|
|13.||Canon 7D||5/5||+ +||84/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Sep 2009||1,699|
|14.||Canon 50D||..||+ +||+ +||4.5/5||4.5/5||Aug 2008||1,299|
|15.||Nikon D7100||5/5||+ +||85/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Feb 2013||1,199|
|16.||Sony RX10 II||5/5||+ +||82/100||4.5/5||4/5||Jun 2015||1,299|
|17.||Sony RX10||5/5||+||80/100||4.5/5||4.5/5||Oct 2013||1,299|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
Care should be taken when interpreting the review scores above, though. The ratings were established in reference to similarly priced cameras that were available in the market at the time of the review. A score, therefore, has to be seen in close connection to the price and market introduction time of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. Also, kindly note that some of the listed sites have over time developped their review approaches and their reporting style.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? If you would like to see a different side-by-side camera review, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. As an alternative, you can also directly jump to any one of the listed comparisons that were previously generated by the CAM-parator tool.
Specifications: Canon 70D vs Canon 850D
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon 70D||Canon 850D|
|Camera Type||Digital single lens reflex||Digital single lens reflex|
|Camera Lens||Canon EF mount lenses||Canon EF mount lenses|
|Launch Date||July 2013||February 2020|
|Launch Price||USD 1,199||USD 749|
|Sensor Specs||Canon 70D||Canon 850D|
|Sensor Format||APS-C Sensor||APS-C Sensor|
|Sensor Size||22.5 x 15.0 mm||22.3 x 14.9 mm|
|Sensor Area||337.5 mm2||332.27 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||27 mm||26.8 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||20 Megapixels||24 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||5472 x 3648 pixels||6000 x 4000 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||4.11 μm||3.72 μm|
|Pixel Density||5.91 MP/cm2||7.22 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||Anti-Alias filter||Anti-Alias filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/30p Video||4K/24p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 12,800 ISO||100 - 25,600 ISO|
|ISO Boost||100 - 25,600 ISO||100 - 51,200 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 5+||DIGIC 8|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||68||..|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||22.5||..|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||11.6||..|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||926||..|
|Screen Specs||Canon 70D||Canon 850D|
|Viewfinder Type||Optical viewfinder||Optical viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||98%||95%|
|Top-Level Screen||Control Panel||no Top Display|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||1040k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Swivel screen||Swivel screen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon 70D||Canon 850D|
|Focus System||Phase-detect AF||Phase-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/8000s||1/4000s|
|Continuous Shooting||7 shutter flaps/s||7.5 shutter flaps/s|
|Shutter Life Expectancy||100 000 actuations||100 000 actuations|
|Time-Lapse Photography||no Intervalometer||Intervalometer built-in|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||UHS-I||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon 70D||Canon 850D|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||mini HDMI||mini HDMI|
|Microphone Port||External MIC port||External MIC port|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Bluetooth Support||no Bluetooth||Bluetooth built-in|
|Body Specs||Canon 70D||Canon 850D|
|Environmental Sealing||Weathersealed body||not weather sealed|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||920 shots per charge||800 shots per charge|
139 x 104 x 79 mm
(5.5 x 4.1 x 3.1 in)
131 x 103 x 76 mm
(5.2 x 4.1 x 3.0 in)
|Camera Weight||755 g (26.6 oz)||515 g (18.2 oz)|
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