It’s common to want to use a DSLR with an HDMI capture card for high-quality live streams or video calls.
However to make this effective you need the ability to have clean HDMI output on the DSLR you are using.
Unfortunately, the Canon EOS 70D does not have a proper clean HDMI output.
We discuss 2 workarounds that get close to the same effect, but they are not quite as effective as having a clean HDMI output setting built into the camera.
We’ve also included our best alternative camera that does have a clean HDMI output.
1. How to (Almost) Get Clean HDMI Output On The Canon EOS 70D
To get 90% of the way there to a proper clean HDMI output this is what you have to do.
- Make sure you have live-view turned on, so you can see footage on the LCD screen or external monitor that you have connected via HDMI.
- You should see quite a lot of icons and information on your screen.
- Press the ‘INFO’ button on the camera a few times (normally twice) until all you see is a white square (this is the autofocus indicator).
- Now put your camera into manual focus mode by flipping the switch on the lens from AF to MF.
- Now the white square should also be gone and you should have a clean HDMI feed, with the drawback that you cannot use autofocus.
- If there is no white square showing up then you probably already have your camera set to manual focus.
If you can see grid lines on your display even after pressing the info button then do the following:
- Go to your setup menu (the yellow wrench icon).
- Go to page 2 of the ‘Setup’ menu. It may say “Set up2” in the top right corner.
- Select ‘Viewfinder display’
- Select ‘Grid Display’
- Select ‘Hide’
- The grid lines should now no longer be displayed on our screen.
By following the instructions above you should see that you can kind of emulate a clean HDMI feed with this method.
But it’s not ideal because you are unable to use autofocus capabilities (unless you want the white square showing up constantly).
This means you will have to set your focus at the start of your session and make sure that the subject does not move out of the focal plane.
Otherwise, you will have to continuously adjust your focus manually.
2. Using The Canon EOS Webcam Utility
Another way of getting a clean feed is to use the Canon EOS Webcam utility. However, this feed is lower quality than HD.
By using the Canon EOS Webcam Utility you will still be able to use autofocus capabilities, but the maximum resolution is about 1024×576.
When the Canon EOS Webcam Utility was first released, the Canon EOS 70D was not compatible.
Since then Canon has made the Canon EOS Webcam Utility compatible with the Canon EOS 70D so you can use your 70D as a webcam with a USB cable.
Best Alternative to Canon EOS 70D That Does have Clean HDMI
If you don’t want to mess about with the webcam utility or try to get clean HDMI without autofocus, then it’s best to just get a different camera.
In our testing, the best alternative to the Canon EOS 70D that has clean HDMI is the Canon EOS 90D.
The Canon EOS 90D is a newer version of the Canon EOS 70D and it comes with a number of improvements (including a clean HDMI output).
*Note there was also the Canon 80D which came before the Canon 90D, but the Canon 80D also does not have clean HDMI.
Here are some of the key improvements on the Canon 90D over the Canon 70D.
- A faster processor (Digic 8 on the 90D vs Digic 5+ on 70D)
- A better sensor (more 32.5 megapixels vs the 70D’s 20.2 megapixels)
- Can shoot at 4k resolution up to 30fps (the Canon 70D cannot shoot at 4k at all)
- Can shoot at 1080p at 120fps (the 70D can only do 1080p up to 30fps)
- Better low light capabilities (higher ISO limits)
- Better battery life (CIPA rating of 1300 shots vs 920 shots on the 70D)
You can check the price and availability of the Canon EOS 90D on Amazon at the link below.
You should now know that the Canon EOS 70D does not have a proper clean HDMI output, and the best alternative to the 70D that does have a clean HDMI output is the Canon EOS 90D.