Review Comparison of the Canon EOS 70D vs Canon 700D / Rebel T5i

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EOS 700D and 70D review comparison

Earlier in the year I compared the EOS 5D Mark III and 6D, Canon’s least expensive full-frame cameras. Today I’m going to look at two other models that cause confusion: the Canon EOS 70D vs Canon 700D (Rebel T5i).

Note: North America readers will know the EOS 700D as the Digital Rebel T5i. EOS 700D is the European name for the same camera. It is called the Kiss X7i in Japan.

The confusion arises because many photographers, when buying a new camera, start by searching online for information. While there are lots of websites that list the differences between the two cameras, it isn’t always easy to understand which of these matter to you.

The major differences

I’m going to start by looking at the major points of differentiation between the two models. It’s impossible to list them all, but these are the ones most likely to influence a buying decision:

Price

Budget is an important part of the buying decision, and there is a sizeable difference in price between the two models. At the moment you can buy the EOS 700D (Rebel T5i) body only for around $700 and the EOS 70D for about $1100 (body only prices, excluding tax). The difference isn’t really surprising considering the difference in specifications between the two models.

Bottom line:  If you’re on a tight budget then the EOS 700D (Rebel T5i)  is the model for you, but not before considering the benefits of the 70D.

Megapixels

Not really a big deal in today’s world of high megapixel digital cameras, but it may matter to some. The EOS 70D has a 20.2 megapixel sensor compared to the EOS 700D’s (Rebel T5i) 18.0 megapixels.

EOS 700D and 70D review comparison

The sensor of the EOS 70D. Both cameras have an APS-C size sensor with a similar megapixel count.

Bottom line:  The difference between the two models is negligible, and shouldn’t greatly influence your decision.

Autofocus performance

This is a big difference. Minor differences aside (and excluding AF in Live View or movie mode), the autofocus of the 70D is the same as that found in the more advanced Canon EOS 7D camera. It has 19 cross-type AF points (the more reactive ones) plus a transmissive LCD screen in the viewfinder that lets you configure different display options.

By contrast the EOS 700D (Rebel T5i) has 9 cross-type AF points and a fixed viewfinder display. This diagram shows the difference between the two:

EOS 700D and 70D review comparison

The autofocus arrays of the EOS 700D (Rebel T5i) and 70D compared

The higher AF point count of the EOS 70D makes it better for shooting moving subjects, as there are more AF points to measure the focusing distance to the subject. It is also more likely that you can find a well placed AF point to use when photographing still subjects, without having to focus and recompose. This is useful when using prime lenses at wide apertures, where the margin of error for focusing is small.

The autofocus of the EOS 70D also excels when using the camera in Live View or movie mode. It uses new technology called Dual Pixel CMOS Autofocus, the only EOS digital SLR to do so. This is mainly of interest to people who want to use the camera to shoot movies.

You can read about the autofocus performance of the EOS 70D in more detail in my article Understanding EOS Autofocus: The EOS 70D.

Bottom line:  The autofocus performance of the EOS 70D is much better than that of the EOS 700D (Rebel T5i). If you want to buy an EOS digital SLR to shoot movies, the 70D currently has the best AF performance in movie mode.

Lens micro-adjustment

The EOS 70D allows you to calibrate your lenses so they focus as accurately as possible. This is a feature found only on higher end Canon cameras and will appeal in particular to photographers who use prime lenses at wide aperture settings, where AF performance is critical. The EOS 700D (Rebel T5i) doesn’t have this feature.

Bottom line:  Autofocus micro-adjustment complements the more advanced autofocus of the EOS 70D. It is Canon’s least expensive camera with this feature.

The Quick Control dial

The Quick Control dial is one of the features that differentiates mid-range EOS cameras such as the EOS 70D from enthusiast level models like the 700D (Rebel T5i). It is located on the back of the camera where it is easily moved by your thumb when holding the camera. The benefit of the Quick Control dial is that it lets you adjust exposure compensation and focus point selection easily while looking through the viewfinder. This speeds up the photo taking process and may make the difference between getting a shot and missing it. The cross keys on the EOS 700D (Rebel T5i) can be used while looking through the viewfinder, but are much harder to do so.

This diagram shows the difference between the two:

EOS 700D and 70D review comparison

These photos show you how the Quick Control Dial (700D/T5i – left image) and (70D – right image above) cross keys influence the design of the back of the camera:

EOS 700D and 70D review comparison

Another advantage of the Quick Control dial is that it lets you scroll very quickly through your images when playing them back on the camera’s LCD screen.

For me, the Quick Control dial is so useful that I never want to use another camera without it.

Bottom line:  The Quick Control dial on the EOS 70D makes it easier and quicker to use in many situations. This is something you can only appreciate by trying the camera out, so make sure you do so before making a buying decision.

Size and weight

The EOS 70D isn’t a great deal bigger than the 700D/T5i, but it is heavier (755 grams/1.6 lbs. compared to 580 grams/1.3 lbs.). If you are intending to carry the camera around all day, then the lighter 700D/T5i may have more appeal. But it really is subjective, and this is where the hands-on comparison comes in again. I cannot stress the importance of trying out both models to see which one you prefer to handle.

Bottom line:  Try before you buy, as preferences when it comes to size and weight are personal.

Built-in Wi-fi

The EOS 70D has built-in Wi-fi, the EOS 700D/T5i doesn’t. The Wi-fi feature lets you:

  • Transfer images to other Canon cameras with Wi-fi
  • View saved images or operate the camera from a smartphone (the free app EOS remote is required)
  • Print images using a Wi-fi printer
  • Operate the camera remotely using EOS Utility (free software that comes with the camera) which lets you transfer photos wirelessly to your computer, something that photographers working in a studio may find useful
  • Upload images to Canon iMage Gateway, a free photo online service for Canon camera owners(but not to photo sharing sites like Flickr or FTP)
  • View photos on a television screen if you use a media player supporting (DLNA) Digital Living Network Alliance

You can’t do any of those things with an EOS 700D/T5i, nor can you buy a Wi-fi unit for the camera.

Bottom line:  If Wi-fi is important to you, then buy the EOS 70D. If you shoot tethered in a studio, remember you can transfer images to a computer using an extra long USB cable if your camera doesn’t have Wi-fi.

Electronic Level

The EOS 70D has an electronic level display that you can view on the LCD screen. It is useful for taking photos with a level horizon when you have the camera mounted on a tripod. There is also an electronic level display in the viewfinder to help you keep the camera level when shooting hand-held. The EOS 700D/T5i doesn’t have this feature.

Bottom line: The electronic level is a useful feature, especially for landscape photographers. However, if your budget doesn’t stretch to the EOS 70D, remember you can buy an inexpensive spirit level that fits in the EOS 700D/T5i’s hotshoe for landscape photography.

Shooting speed

The EOS 70D can shoot at 7 frames per second (fps), the 700D/T5i is a little slower at 5 fps. How important this is depends on the subjects you shoot – it is more likely to be of interest to those of you into sports and wildlife photography.

Bottom line: The more advanced autofocus and higher shooting speed of the EOS 70D makes it the better model for sports and wildlife photography.

Minor differences

There are lots of minor differences between the two cameras, so I’ve provided some links to in-depth reviews so that you can get more information before making a purchasing decision. You’ll also see some photos taken with both models. In the meantime, if you own or have used either of these cameras, why not tell us what you think in the comments. Why did you choose one or the other, and do you think you made the best choice?

EOS 70D reviews

EOS 700D/T5i reviews

Finally, if you want to ask owners of these cameras what they think, a good place to do so is the EOS magazine forum. It’s a high quality forum with lots of helpful members. You should also take a look at EOS magazine – the most in-depth magazine for Canon EOS users you can buy.

For more reviews and discussion on cameras and equipment see our Cameras section!


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Andrew S. Gibson

is a writer, photographer, traveler and workshop leader. He’s an experienced teacher who enjoys helping people learn about photography and Lightroom and his written over 25 popular photography ebooks. Enroll in his new Lightroom course for free, or download his free Creative Fade Presets for Lightroom.

  • cougarscat

    All good points, Andrew. Great job!

  • ziplock9000

    So the 70D is the clear winner. How does it stack up against the 7D, which is older tech? Plus is the 7D going to get an upgrade soon?

  • radohc

    any comparisson of iso performance…. ?

  • Bella

    Good points, that’s for this article

  • The EOS 7D may be older but it’s still a step up from the 70D in terms of image quality and suitability for action/wildlife photography with its faster frame rates. Canon doesn’t releas information about forthcoming models to many people, and there is always an embargo on the information until the day of the official launch. So no-one can tell you for certain when (or even if) there will be an upgrade to the 7D, although it is certainly due for one. Best way to keep an eye on the situation is to check out the Canon Rumors website, the owner seems to have a good handle on what is going on:

    http://www.canonrumors.com/2014/02/eos-7d-mark-ii-announcement-in-q2-of-2014-cr1/

  • No. High ISO performance is almost impossible to evaluate because noise levels depend on exposure and subject matter as well as the camera itself.

  • dc matthews

    is sensor size the same? is 70d fullframe? or have to go to the 7d? didnt you say in anohter article that too many megapixels on a smaller sensor = more noise? is there significant more noise on either or both in low light- than a full frame?

  • Helen Knight

    Damn i wish i’d had this information before i brought the 700d but i am happy budget wise i just couldn’t afford the 70d maybe later i might get one who knows but it’s nice to know these things….

  • none of those are full frame including the 7D, you have to go up to the 6D to get FF

  • I think that’s what he’s asking for – tests with both on the same subject, no?

  • JvW

    The 70D has an LCD screen and dedicated function buttons on top, which I wouldn’t want to do without on any camera. Personal taste, I admit, but major to many.

  • I wouldn’t say that there is a significant amount of noise on the EOD 70D or 700D compared to Canon’s full-frame cameras but you would get better image quality from a full-frame camera. But of course they cost more money – like anything the quality improves as the price increases. But don’t feel you have to go full frame purely because of noise. There are many professionals using cameras with APS-C size sensors, the EOS 7D being a popular model.

    It is true that putting too many pixels on a smaller sensor gives more noise as the pixels are by necessity smaller than those on a full-frame camera. But the quality of those pixels plus the camera’s built in computer that processes the image has also improved over the years, allowing manufacturers to push the megapixel count on smaller sensors upwards. All the manufacturers now sell crop sensor cameras in the range of 16-20 megapixels, something that would have been unthinkable just five years ago.

  • Perhaps he is Darlene, but I’ve never been able to find an article where anyone has done that test.

  • I’ve found something that may be of interest. DP Review lets you view noise comparisons from different cameras side-by-side. They are test shots, rather than real world examples, and they only show photos taken in the JPEG format, which means they are a comparison of how the camera’s built-in noise reduction works, rather than what you can expect if you shoot Raw. But potentially useful still the same:

    http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-700d-rebel-t5i/17

  • Michael

    I picked up a 70D a couple months ago and so far it’s been great although I’m still learning how to dial in all the features to my needs. That being said one thing I’d like to chime in on is regarding build quality. As Andrew mention size and weight are ultimately a personal choice but do note that the added weight the 70d has is due to its better build quality and weather sealing. If you can compare both in person you’ll see what I’m talking about.

  • Ekta

    spirit level? ??? what the hek man as if we haven’t got enough to do contorting our bodies to get the right view in the viewfinder

  • Ekta

    er sorry …daffodils…er sos.

  • Jim

    I have owned a 6D for over a year and consider this a very balanced review. This is not a sports or marriage photography camera. I shoot a lot of landscapes, city scenes and architecture. One very distinct advantage of the 6D over the 50D and Rebels I have owned is low light focus. This camera can focus is almost complete darkness.

  • flo

    Thank you. Just thank you.

  • Birdiee

    Hi everyone,

    I am about to buy my very first DSLR camera, I have never used a Digital SLR before, I m only familiar with point and shoot cameras for now. My passion for nature’s photography is leading me to look into photography as a serious hobby. So after a lot of surfing on internet I have finally decided to buy canon EOS 700D with 18-135 STM IS Lens which I assume is sufficient for a beginner according to the available information on internet. But here is the issue on which I need an advice;
    Is this a right choice regarding the camera and lens and is it easy to operate?
    Is lens choice is ok as I am looking forward to click not just in day light but in low light situations like at night as well.
    If this lens is not good enough for night shots then which lens should I buy?
    Also should I buy it on amazon( i will be getting it delivered in UK at a relative’s place if i buy on amazon because otherwise I will have to pay duty n postage if I receive the delivery in my country of residence ) or should I buy it in a country where I live? Does these cameras have international warranty ?
    I know I am asking dumb questions here that is because I m completely a beginner with DSLR.
    Experts please help a beginner to start……
    Thanks in advance

  • niko

    Currently unavailable.
    We don’t know when or if this item will be back in stock.
    ????? ????

    ??? ????????

  • devid

    is sensor size the same? is 70d fullframe? or have to go to the 7d?
    didnt you say in anohter article that too many megapixels on a smaller
    sensor = more noise? is there significant more noise on either or both
    in low light- than a full frame?

    ????? ??????? ??????????????? ?????????? ??????? ??????? ???? ????????????? ????

  • binsa

    I’ll see what I can find out for you.
    ??? ?????? ?????????? ??? ???????

  • monam

    I will pass it on to my students.????? ??????? ????????

  • ????
  • Jim

    Hi
    Thanks for this wonderful review. I am new to cameras and photography. I want to make YouTube videos for teaching purposes. Basically I’ll it to shoot myself talking in my office. Apart from that the camera will be occassionally used for family holidays etc.
    Obviously I would prefer to pay for a 700D with a couple of lenses, but it seems that the 70D will perform considerably better in terms of auto focus and image quality. I want my videos to look good. Do you think the 70D is the way I should go?

  • Guardian
  • o.dylan

    Choosing the perfect DSLR might be confusing for a first timer like you. I suggest you go for the top rated cameras (see http://www.camerastop7.tk/ for example…) and you won’t go wrong.

  • Since I have gotten this camera, I can barely set it down. I am not an
    expert, and won’t compare this to other past models (there are enough of
    those informative reviews). The reason I bought the newer version, it
    was only $50 more than the older T4i. Not much of a reason, but that is
    the truth. I am still learning some of the key features, but am having
    so much fun with this camera, it has become an extension of me. I won’t
    leave home without it!

  • sepideh

    i like your article ..i have one question

    i have online store .. i sell scarf.. i need dslr for site…

    Which is better & enough for me (70d or 700d)? i need sharp and good photo for site.

    And what lens you recommend to me?

    I’m going to take shot scarf and modeling (A woman wearing a scarf) in outdoor?

  • WilsonGraye

    I am satisfied with my Sony DSC-RX100/B camera now. A decent little camera that can be considered one of the best cameras for both size and quality of photos. See from: http://www.consumerrunner.com/top-10-best-cameras/

  • Kasia

    I have my Canon 700d, I bought it for my yt videos and to be sincere I
    regret it so much:( The AF is terrible, I have to record swatches in
    second video as autofocus works so badly 🙁 If you are looking for video
    shooting I would go with 70d for sure!

  • SK Rao

    Good review. But with the 700d available for $400 and the 70d costing $1,000, the price difference becomes a factor. The 70d is still a great deal for the money, so it is ultimately a question of whether you have money or not.

  • Meg Barstow

    hi everyone, i’m just looking into buying my first DSLR and hav done quite a bit of research. i am very familiar with the canon powershot sx40hs so i would like to stay with canon. do you think the 70D is appropriate? i don’t want to spend too much or get anything too complicated. I am going to be mostly looking at equine (so fast moving) and some wildlife photography. what lense(s) do you think would be best? sorry for all the stupid questions, i have no idea what i’m doing!

  • Meg Barstow

    hi everyone, i’m just looking into buying my first DSLR and hav done quite a bit of research. i am very familiar with the canon powershot sx40hs so i would like to stay with canon. do you think the 70D is appropriate? i don’t want to spend too much or get anything too complicated. I am going to be mostly looking at equine (so fast moving) and some wildlife photography. what lense(s) do you think would be best? or should i be looking at the 7D M1 (can’t afford MII)? sorry for all the stupid questions, i have no idea what i’m doing!

  • Vaz zy

    That’s like comparison of apples to oranges and saying 70D is the winner here there etc. Pick one of its own size to fight with. Nice points though.

  • Freya

    Hi, so from seeing this I think that the 70D will be better suited for me as I will primarily be filming, however I was wondering if it is also good for portrait photography?

  • oscar487

    I also have a Canon 700D, I have three lenses 50mm prime, 18-55 and 75-300. For low light situation you better get the prime 50mm lens it works great for me.

  • Pukar

    yes 18-135 stm is probably the best lens and yes if low light is most you do probably 50mm is the best lens for it.

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