Canon EOS 70D vs Nikon D7000 vs Canon EOS 6D Comparison

July 9, 2013

Canon EOS 60D, Nikon D7000 and Canon 6D cameras side by side

In this article I will be comparing the Canon EOS 70D, Canon’s latest mid-range DSLR camera, versus Nikon D7000 and Canon EOS 6D which is a full frame DSLR camera. Now that the 70D is out, photographers who bought an entry-level DSLR (for example: T3i) have a very good mid-range upgrade option. As for the time of writing, the EOS 7D sells for $1500 (body), while the 70D costs $1200, $300 less (price last checked on B&H – 7.9.2012).  The 70D put the 7D in a much less attractive position.

As the 70D can easily capture the 7D position in the mid-range segment. Having said that, some see the D7000 as an excellent alternative, considering that the D7000 costs around $300 less than the 70D. On  the other side of the equation we have people who might be tempted to upgrade to a Full Frame Canon DSLR and get the EOS 6D. This option is more attractive for those who already own a mid-range DSLR like the 7D or 60D and searching for a camera to upgrade to. The 6D is Canon’s most affordable full frame SLR cameras. If you always dreamed of shooting with a Full Frame SLR camera, this is probably among your best options.

Some of you might already have two or more Canon lenses, so it’s a smart move putting your investment in a better camera body and putting a FF camera on the table as an option.  Whatever your position is, this article will show you the differences between the three models, we’ll talk about the cons and pros of each camera in comparison to others, compare the specs and see which camera should be your next camera. I hope that after reading this comparison article you’ll have a pretty good idea which camera to buy. OK, without further ado let’s get started.

I will start with a short introduction to each camera and then we’ll discuss the differences in-depth.

Canon EOS 70D

Canon EOS 70D with 18-135mm lens

Canon EOS 70D with 18-135 mm IS STM lens

Announced on July 2 2013, the Canon 70D replaces the 60D which was announced almost three years earlier. The 70D brings game-changing technology innovation alongside a wide arsenal of features that should make the 70D very popular among enthusiast photographers. The 70D is also a good upgrade option from the 60D, but much better for those who upgrade from the T3i (600D) or T4i (650D).

The 70D put the 7D in a very unattractive upgrade position, although the 7D as a semi-pro SLR still has something to offer like 100% /1.0x pentaprism viewfinder, slightly faster burst (8fps vs 7fps) and much larger buffer and dual DIGIC 4 image processors. Yet, it became much less attractive as the 70D was announced and we had a chance to inspect its features. For an in-depth comparison, read my Canon 70D vs 7D comparison to find out more about the differences between those two cameras.

The EOS 70D carries the shape of its predecessor with some minor cosmetic adjustment, simplification and a slightly different button layout. It also carries the same weather-sealing degree as the 7D, yet it’s made of plastic and doesn’t have a durable magnesium alloy body construction as the 7D.  We still get a metal mount and the 70D body feels very sturdy in the hands.

One of the most attractive features on the 70D is a newly developed Dual Pixel AF 20.2MP CMOS sensor. This sensor features a unique design which each pixel utilizes two photodiodes (right and left), which means that each pixel is used as a phase-difference AF sensor – so all the pixels can be utilized as on-chip phase-detection for Live View and video recording. On paper, this should improve Live View AF performance by a large margin compared to cameras that either don’t have on-chip phase-detection AF pixels, and those who are using just a few. For more information about this new technology, visit the section What is Dual pixel CMOS AF technology on my 70D vs 60D vs 7D vs T5i vs D7100 comparison article.

The 70D also inherits the 7D’s 19-point AF (all cross-type) autofocusing system but uses the same 63-zone dual layer metering system. At the back you’ll find a 3-inch 1040K-dots Fully articulated touchscreen with Anti-reflection and anti-smudge coating in a solid structure.  The 60D also has a fully-articulated display, but the 70D have a wide viewing angle (170 vs 160-degrees), ClearView II technology and has support for multi-touch gestures (for example: Pinch to zoom).

The 7D also features an updated version of the DIGIC 5 image processor called DIGIC 5+. The new version carries noise-reduction algorithm improvements, two 4-channel A/F converters and a powerful processor to allow the camera to shoot at 7fps in full-res and offer real-time compensation for chromatic aberrations for both stills and videos.

The new sensor puts the 70D in an excellent position as a HDSLR camera for Videographers who are searching for a high-quality HDSRL camera. The 70D record Full HD videos at 30p and 24p with stereo sound, and also gives you the option to choose between ALL-I or IPB video compressions. A feature that is found on some video-oriented mid-range interchangeable lens cameras like the Panasonic Lumix GH3 for example. You also have the option to attach an external stereo microphone to the 3.5mm mic input jack to greatly improve audio quality.

The Canon EOS 70D bundled with built-in Wi-Fi wireless connectivity, so you don’t need to purchase an Eye-Fi card or a WiFi module separately to enjoy the advantages of WiFi in your camera. You can use the Wi-Fi wireless connectivity to remote control your camera using your smartphone, print images remotely with a Wi-Fi-enabled printer, share and transfer images between the 70D and your phone/tablet. Just keep in mind that you need to install Canon EOS Remote app on your mobile device to take advantage of this functionality.

Other features include in-camera RAW image processing, Intelligent Pentaprims viewfinder, in-camera HDR, 1/8000 sec shutter speed, pop-up flash, multiple exposure modes (HDR or Auto layering), AF microadjustment (correct back-focus and front-focus) and ISO12800 which can be expanded up to ISO 25600.

The Canon EOS 70D was designed from the ground up to be a great camera for stills with a revolutionary on-chip AF system to help photographers capture decisive moments and record beautiful high-quality videos. If you are upgrading from the T3i, T4i, T5i or T3, the 70D is probably the best option right now.

Canon EOS 6D

Canon EOS 6D with 24-105mm L lens

Canon EOS 6D with 24-105mm L Kit lens

The EOS 6D is Canon’s most affordable full frame digital SLR camera. It sits below the 5D Mark III and above the 7D in Canon’s DSLR camera lineup. The all idea behind the 6D is to bring the Full Frame DSLR world in the hands of the enthusiast photographer. The 6D is a professional photographic tool in its own right, offering a very wide-range of useful features.

Although the same 20.2MP resolution as the 70D, it doesn’t feature the Dual-pixel AF CMOS new technology and of course you get a full frame CMOS sensor rather than an APS-C size sensor.  Considering the same resolution, 35mm sensor means much larger pixels. Each pixel on the 6D sensor measured approximately 6.55 microns (aka pixel pitch / pixel size) On the 7D, each pixel measures 4.1 microns – so there is a big difference in size which should help the camera perform better in low-light.

The 6D uses the same DIGIC 5+ image processor as the 70D, offering the camera the processing speed it needs, as well as updated NR algorithms to help the camera capture relatively smooth and clean images at high ISO speeds.

The Canon EOS 6D was criticized for having ‘only’ 11-point AF system, only one (the center) of which is a cross type.   In comparison, the Canon 5D Mark III has 61 AF point in which 14 of them are cross-type at f/4 and dual-diagonal at f/2.8 (‘X’ shape) for an extremely high precision. The diagonal cross-type layout of the AF points boosts the camera AF precision by a large margin when you attach a lens with f/2.8 or faster aperture. The 5D Mark III s is not the first camera to offer such a diagonal cross-type AF sensor arrangement, but the 5D Mark III is the first to offer this arrangement  with multiple point in the center area.

This is just but one important reason why professionals will prefer buying the 5D Mark III (the more expensive model) over the 6D as more fast lenses are available for them. The 5D MKIII is also the obvious choice for sports photographers  and those who need a very fast AF performance for tracking fast moving subjects.

The 6D offers a wide range of features, including Multiple exposure shooting mode, in-camera HDR, aspect ratio function, in-camera RAW processing, built-in WiFi wireless transmitter, 63 Dual-layer metering, 4.5 fps, large pentaprism viewfinder and even a built-in GPS receiver to record location information into the image EXIF metadata. The 6D features a 100,00 cycles durable shutter and dust and weather resistant  body construction.

At the back you’ll find a 3-inch 160-degrees viewing-angle 1040K-dots fixed LCD with reflection resistance and multi-coating materials to enhance the screen visibility in bright daylight. As with all its advanced features, the 6D also offers Scene Intelligent Auto, Feature Guide and Basi+ Function – all which helps newbies to quickly learn all the camera functionality and offer a flexible auto mode for those who are making their first steps into the DSLR photography world. Some of those features (e.g. Feature guide) can be turned off.

The EOS 6D can record Full HD videos at 30p and 24p and gives you the option to choose the video compression as well (IPB or ALL-I). Many Videographers enjoy shooting with a FF DSLR due to its superior low-light performance, which greatly widen the possibilities when recording videos under non-optimal lighting conditions and without special lighting accessories.

With 4.5 fps burst, the Canon 6D isn’t the fastest in the group, therefore it’s not the most recommended pick for sports and bird photographers.  The 6D is a great affordable FF option. As for the time of writing, the 5D Mark III costs around $3500 and the 6D costs $2600. That’s $900 difference between the two cameras, quite a big difference if you ask me. Some of you might be tempted to buy the 5D Mark III if you already intend to spend a few thousand dollars on a DSLR camera.

However, in order to take advantage of the high-resolution and performance of such camera, you certainly need a high-quality lens. This what makes the 6D such a great alternative to the 5D Mark III. Now you can spend more money on a high-quality lens and enjoy the benefits of a full frame DSLR camera.

Full Frame DSLR Benefits / Advantages

  • Larger pixels (also depends on the resolution) – which leads to higher dynamic range, better color accuracy and less noise at high ISO
  • Use the lens designed focal length (inc. Ultra-ultra wide lenses) – True focal length of the lens, not focal length multiplication (full frame = 1x crop factor) – which means that a 24mm lens will give you 35mm, not 35mm x 1.6 = 38.4mm
  • Larger viewfinder
  • Unmatched high ISO performance
  • Better details’ resolving power
  • Smoother color gradation
  • Greater selective focus points (depends on the model)
  • Shallower depth of field  (at a given actual focal length, distance from subject and aperture; a 200mm on a 1.5x equals to 300mm full frame, therefore the focal length for a given actual 300 mm is less on the 1.5x crop camera than a full frame camera)

No doubt that a Full Frame camera helps some photographers be more creative, but some photographers might actually prefer an APS-C DSLR.

APS-C Advantages over Full Frame

  • Better price / quality ratio – APS-C designed lenses are cheaper to make (less glass)
  • Use lighter and smaller lenses
  • Lenses with closer focusing distance
  • Easier to fill the frame (higher  “magnification”; 300 mm 35mm lens on a APS-C 1.6x cropped sensor equals to 480mm)
  • Easier to place focus point
  • Can use both APS-C and 35mm lenses (some full frame cameras have a crop mode like on the Nikon D600, so you can mount a DX lens)
  • AF assistance using built-in flash
  • Large selection and availability of stabilized travel zoom lenses
  • Deeper DOF for a given actual focal length (great for landscape photography)
  • Image quality doesn’t fall far behind FF

You are the one to decide whether or not a full frame DSLR is the best option for your specific photography style. Just keep in mind that some photographers actually do prefer shooting with APS-C rather than switching to a full frame camera. Upgrading to a Full Frame DSLR is not an obvious upgrading option as you can see, APS-C DSLRs do have their advantages too.

The 6D is a great affordable full frame DSLR aimed towards the entry-level consumer market, hoping to attract enthusiast photographer to switch to a full frame camera. It comes with WiFi, GPS,  high ISO performance, great low-light focusing and of course a newly developed Full frame sensor to help you explore the world of full frame photography and ultra-wide angle photography in particular using full frame lenses that you might already own. It has an SD card slot rather than Compact Flash. It uses front and back magnesium alloy construction that makes it feel really solid when you hold it in your hands. A great camera for those who are searching to upgrade from the 60D or 7D.

Nikon D7000

Nikon D7000 dslr cameraLast and certainly not least is the Nikon D7000.   The D7000 was announced on September 15, 2010 – almost three years ago. The D7000 is a masterpiece in its own right and already gotten a tremendous amount of positive reviews across the web.  This camera offers an incredible high ISO performance, great handling, superb AF performance and a wide range of cusomization options — exactly what enthusiast photographers are looking for on their next DSLR camera.

At the heart of the D7000 is a 16.2MP DX-format CMOS sensor and EXPEED 2 image processor with 14-bit A/D conversion, same analogue-to-digital conversion as the 70D and 6D.  The D7000 utilizes Nikon’s 2016-pixel RGB (3D Color Matrix) sensor for very accurate light metering performance. I’ve been shooting with my father’s D7000 for quite some time and it does an amazing job choosing the optimal exposure for the scene.

One of my personal favorite features is the 39-point AF system (9 center cross-type). The D7000 focuses almost instantly on the subject and does an amazing job tracking the subject and making sure that it stays in focus at all times.  This is something that you just cannot explain with words and you need to use the camera yourself to really comprehend how fast it focuses. When I first tried it with the 18-135 mm lens, I thought that there was something wrong with the AF system 🙂 – of course the focus has been just spot on each time, it just focused so fast that I thought that it wasn’t working.
The D7000 is compact yet durable camera. It featured magnesium-alloy top and rear covers and has weather-sealing to protect the camera against dust and humidity. However, don’t expect the same weather-sealing as the Pentax K-5 or K-30, which have far superior weather-sealing capabilities and are also water-resistant, so you can shoot them in the rain with confidence. The D7000 also has a 150,000 cycle shutter durability.

The D7000 has a large and bright pentaprism eye-level optical viewfinder with 100% frame coverage and 0.94x magnification. At the back you’ll find a 921K-dots 170-degrees viewing angle fixed LCD display, but this is not a touch-sensitive one. On the side you have a dual SD card slot that can be used for overflow, backup or JPEG +RAW. This is a great feature that cannot be found on the 7D, 6D or the 70D.

The camera has a very fast 0.13 sec start-up time and 50ms (0.052-second to be exact) shutter release time lag, which makes this camera react fast and be ready when you are.  Using D-Movie you can record gorgeous looking videos at Full HD resolution with AF-F mode that keeps your subject in focus at all times. Furthermore, the D7000 has a 3.5mm mic input so you can also attach an external stereo microphone in order to improve the audio quality.


Keep in mind that Nikon also released a second improved model, the Nikon D7100, which comes with 51-point AF system (15 cross-type), 241.1-megapixel CMOS with no OLPF (anti-aliasing filter), 6 fps, EXPEED 3 and 3-inch 1229K-dot display. However, the D7000 is $300 cheaper (as of the time of writing: $1200 vs $900) and therefore positioned itself as one of the most attractive DSLR cameras for that price. So the D7000 costs $300 less than the 70D and therefore it’s the cheapest DSLR camera in this comparison, but still offers a superb performance and a range of features that will satisfy most of your needs.

If you have a tight budget and/or you prefer spending more on a lens instead than the camera body itself, the Nikon D7000 might be your best option here.


Canon 6D vs Canon 70D vs Nikon D7000

So there you have it. Three excellent DSLR cameras, every camera has its own unique features. The Canon 6D is fundamentally different because it’s the only one with a 35mm sensor; D7000 has a 1.5 crop factor, 70D has a 1.6 crop factor.

The 6D is much more expensive camera, and for ~$2600 (as of the time of writing via B&H), you probably want to make sure that this is the right camera for you.  Think about it for a second, the D7000 costs $1700 less. For $1400 you can purchase the Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/4G ED VR telephoto zoom lens and still have money on the side for other accessories.  So it really depends on your specific shooting style (what type of lenses you need), budget and what lenses you already have in your disposal.
The 70D and D7000 both are excellent upgrade options for those who already have either Canon or Nikon entry-level DSLR cameras and searching for their next upgraded model.  If you currently don’t have any lenses or a DSLR camera and this is the first time you put your feet in the DSLR photography world, the 6D might be an overkill for you. The 6D is aimed towards the advanced photographer who comes from cropped-sensor cameras and can / will take advantage of that full frame sensor. Having said that, nothing stops you from buying the 6D as your first DSLR, but you keep in mind that you should also invest money in a high-quality lens to take advantage of that high quality sensor — those lenses don’t come cheap.

In this section we’ll inspect and compare the 6D, 70D and D7000 specs side by side, so you can have a better understanding how the three cameras compare. I will also add some side notes to better explain the cons and pros for some of the features which need more in-depth explanation.

6D, 7D and D7000 DSLR cameras size comparison

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Let’s go over the advantages and disadvantages of each camera (in comparison to the other cameras).

Canon EOS 70D Cons and Pros

  • Smallest sensor (by a very small margin from the D7000)
  • ISO 12800 (native), better than the D7000 (ISO6400)
  • 19-point AF (more than the 6D), although less sensitive than the 6D at the center and smaller detection range
  • Dual Pixel technology – superior tracking AF in Live View and Video
  • Best rear LCD in the group (full articulated, touch screen, 1040K-dots, 3-inch, high visibility and high build-quality)
  • 1/8000 sec maximum shutter speed (same as D7000)
  • Built-in pop-up flash (6D lacks pop-up flash)
  • Built-in wireless commander (lacks on the 6D)
  • 1/250 Flash X sync (6D has 1/180 sec)
  • Fastest burst in the group (7 fps) but buffer size is smaller than the 6D yet higher than the D7000
  • All-I and IPB compression options for video (same as the 6D, not available on the D7000)
  • Built-in Wi-Fi (same as the 6D, not available on the D7000)
  • In-camera HDR (not available on the D7000)
  • Smallest eye-level viewfinder in the group
  • Smaller than the 6D, larger than the D7000
  • Lowest battery life (yet still offers excellent battery life overall)
  • Much Less expensive than the 6D but more expensive than the D7000
  • Highest resolution (together with the 6D)
  • Build quality is the least impressive in the group
  • Smallest sensor pixels in the group (4.1 microns)
  • No Dual-card slot (D7000 has it)


 Canon EOS 6D Cons and Pros

  • Full frame sensor (only one in the group)
  • (Arguably, not verified) better weather sealing in the group
  • Highest resolution (together with the 70D)
  • Largest sensor pixels (6.55 microns)
  • Highest native maximum ISO and ISO range
  • Best build quality
  • Most sensitive AF sensor with two diagonal  line sensitive at f/5.6 and best detection range
  • Slowest maximum shutter speed (1/4000 sec)
  • No pop-up flash
  • No built-in flash transmitter
  • Slowest Flash X sync speed
  • In-camera HDR (same as 70D)
  • The largest in the group (might actually be a pros depends on the use)
  • Longest battery life
  • Largest optical viewfinder
  • Most expensive
  • Mono sound for video (70D can record stereo sound)
  • No Dual-card slot (D7000 has it)
  • Choose between IPB and All-I video compressions (same as 70D)

Nikon D7000 Cons and Pros

  • Good built Quality
  • Lowest sensor resolution
  • Pixels larger than the 60D, yes smaller than the 6D
  • The lowest maximum native ISO speed in the group
  • (Arguably) The most advanced light metering sensor
  • The highest number of AF points (39) and highest upper detection range limit
  • Less impressive display in the group (but doesn’t mean it’s worse, rather than the lowest resolution and not touchscreen nor articulated one)
  • Dual SD card slot!
  • Built-in pop up flash (6D lacks this feature)
  • Built-in Wireless flash transmitter (6D lacks this feature)
  • Fastest 1/250 sec  Flash X Sync speed in the group (same as the 70D)
  • Second highest burst speed but smallest buffer
  • Mono sound for video
  • No option to choose IPB or All-I compression for video (available on both the 70D and 6D)
  • No built-in Wi-Fi (available on both the 6D and 70D)
  • No in-camera HDR
  • 100% viewfinder coverage
  • Second largest OVF
  • Smallest camera in the group
  • Second best battery life
  • Cheapest



The comparison table above and the cons and pros section shows us that each camera is unique in its own way. Each camera has its strengths and weaknesses, and each one might be favorite among different type of photographers. Video enthusiast might prefer the 70D for its Dual Pixel AF, others will love the D7000 100% OVF coverage, Dual card slot and very reliable light metering sensor.

Of course you should forget to put the price into the buying decision equation. Doing so, and you’ll see that the Nikon D7000 suddenly becomes much more attractive, especially if you don’t already have Nikon lenses.  Understanding the differences between the two cameras is the key for making a smart buying decision.

The features are now laid in front of you and you can easily see the cons and pros of each camera. I personally think that the Canon EOS 70D is an excellent addition to the EOS camera range. For $300 more than the D7000 you enjoy the new Dual-pixel AF sensor technology, being able to choose between IPB and All-I video compressions, better LCD (articulating, higher res and touchscreen), built-in Wi-Fi, faster burst, in-camera HDR and higher resolution. However, you give up on the dual SD card slot, better build quality, 100% coverage OVF, 39-point AF system, better battery life, smallest size and of course, a much cheaper price (approx. $300 less).

You need to ask yourself which features do actually need. Sometimes you are paying more for features that you might never use. Is a dual SD card slot really important for you, do you need an articulating LCD? Would you take advantage of the option to choose between IPB and All-I? — There are many questions that should be answered, but now that you have the facts in front of you, it will make it easier to make a smart buying decision.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate and post it in the comment section below. Thanks for reading and please don’t forget to share this article with your friends. Thanks.

Buy and check latest prices at the B&H Photo online store:  Canon EOS 70D, Canon EOS 6D, Nikon D7000.

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