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Best lenses for the Canon EOS 70D

By Kevin Carter - Friday August 30 2013

Lens Recommendations
Introduction | Part 1: STM series | Part 2: Best performing Primes and Zooms | Part 3: Best performing wide angle and telephoto lenses
Best lenses for the Canon EOS 70D

Introduced in July this year, the EOS 70D at first sight seems like a regular update to the maker’s mid-range EOS 60D model. It shares a number of features with the firm’s existing SLR range including a 19-point cross-type phase detection AF system, a 3-inch (1.040M dot) articulated touchscreen and built-in WiFi connectivity with remote viewing and image transfer. The camera can also shoot at up to 7fps and has 1080/30p video recording with stereo sound using an optional external microphone.

While all of those features sound promising, it is the inclusion of a new 20.2 Mpix Dual Pixel CMOS AF sensor that makes the $1,199 EOS 70D particularly attractive to video users. This new sensor adopts two photodiodes per pixel location, which are used separately for phase-detection AF in Live View mode and during video-capture, although the firm say only 80-percent of the frame is used. For stills capture, the output from the two photodiodes is combined, giving a pixel count of 20.2 million. At the time of the announcement, Dual Pixel CMOS AF is compatible with 103 current EF lenses, spanning both EF and EF-S models but it also has limited compatibility with many more, mainly older lenses.

Although we’ve not tested AF compatibility (or reliability), the labs have worked incessantly to analyze the optical performance of over 130 models from both Canon and third-party makers, ranging from the uniquely wide, yet reasonably compact APS-C Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM through to the affordable 18-55mm ‘starter’ zooms and up to the new and not so accessibly priced full-frame EF 600mm f/4 IS II USM and EF 200-400mm f/4 IS USM Extender 1.4x models.

Some of the more recent introductions analyzed by DXO Labs include:

- Canon EF 200-400mm f/4L IS USM Extender 1.4x (extender on and off)
- Sigma 18-35mm F1.8 DC HSM A Canon
- Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS STM
- Sigma 30mm F1.4 DC HSM A Canon
- Canon EF 35mm f/2 IS USM

Part 1: STM series

Part 2: Best performing Primes and Zooms

Part 3: Best performing wide angle and telephoto lenses