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Sony DSC-S70

Sony makes a compact 3.3 megapixel digicam with full movie/sound capability and a razor-sharp Zeiss lens!

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Page 3:Design

Review First Posted: 5/5/2000

Design
Compact and light, Sony's DSC-S70 is a stylish little camera offering many of the same features as the S50, but with a few differences (the most obvious being the larger CCD, upgraded lens and static LCD display). The all plastic body keeps the S70 at a very manageable weight of 15 ounces (423 g), excluding the battery pack. Measuring approximately 4.6 x 2.87 x 2.6 inches (117 x 71 x 64mm), the S70 should easily fit into most coat pockets and purses. An accompanying neck strap should make transportation even more convenient.

The relatively sleek front of the S70 features a slightly protruding lens barrel, holding a retracting lens protected by a removable lens cap. Luckily, the lens cap attaches to a small strap to help you keep up with it. The rest of the camera front is very cleanly designed, with a large, rubber finger grip on the side, the built-in flash, optical viewfinder window, self-timer LED and flash sensor.

The entire left side of the camera (when looking at it from the front) holds the battery compartment/Memory Stick slot. The same design appeared on the S50 and we heartily approve of this sensible usage of space. The compartment's location makes work in the studio a breeze, as you can easily access the battery and Memory Stick while mounted to a tripod (many digicams put these compartments on the bottom of the camera).

The opposite side of the camera features mainly the external flash socket, Video In and USB jacks, lined up beneath a small rubber flap that fits snugly into place. The camera's speaker and a dioptric adjustment dial for the optical viewfinder are also on this side of the camera.

The shutter release button, mode dial and microphone are all located on the top panel of the camera. There's also a small LCD information display that reports battery status, the number of recorded images, file size, etc. This was left out on the S50 and we're glad to see it on the S70 as these small displays help out when you're conserving battery power by shooting without the LCD monitor.

The remaining camera controls all live on the camera's back panel with the LCD monitor. Flash, focus, zoom, volume and exposure mode can all be controlled from here. There's also the power switch and DC in slot for connecting the AC adapter. An interesting design feature here is that two buttons control the LCD panel. One turns the monitor on and off, and the other turns the information display on and off. (We're used to seeing one button control both functions). We like the continuance of the small rocker toggle button, which accesses the menu and navigates through its options. Also, under the zoom control is a plastic thumb grip, which helps give you an even more secure hold on the camera. Although the controls are slightly spread out, one handed operation of the camera is possible (if you leave it in autofocus).

As with the S50, the S70's bottom is very flat and featureless with the exception of the metal tripod mount, set pretty close to the lens and just a little off center.

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