Canon SX700 HS Review

Camera Reviews / Canon Cameras / Canon PowerShot i Now Shooting!
Basic Specifications
Full model name: Canon PowerShot SX700 HS
Resolution: 16.00 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.3 inch
Lens: 30.00x zoom
(25-750mm eq.)
Viewfinder: LCD
ISO: 100-3200
Shutter: 15-1/3200
Max Aperture: 3.2
Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.6 x 1.4 in.
(113 x 66 x 35 mm)
Weight: 9.5 oz (269 g)
includes batteries
MSRP: $350
Availability: 03/2014
Manufacturer: Canon
Full specs: Canon SX700 HS specifications
30.00x zoom
1/2.3 inch
size sensor
image of Canon PowerShot SX700 HS
Front side of Canon PowerShot SX700 HS digital camera Back side of Canon PowerShot SX700 HS digital camera Top side of Canon PowerShot SX700 HS digital camera Left side of Canon PowerShot SX700 HS digital camera Right side of Canon PowerShot SX700 HS digital camera

Canon SX700 HS Review -- Now Shooting

Preview posted

Their model names might not imply as much, but the coat pocket-sized Canon SX700 HS is, we're told, a logical successor to 2013's SX280 HS. Like that camera, the SX700HS is based around a speedy DIGIC 6 image processor, and aims to satisfy the needs of travel shooters for whom size and weight are an overriding concern.

So what's new in the SX700? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Canon has replaced both image sensor and lens, and swapped in a new LCD monitor on the rear. The company has also rethought its connectivity options, and substituted a slightly higher-capacity battery pack. Battery life has also been improved greatly, and the price increased just slightly.

But perhaps the most important change is the new 16.1-megapixel sensor -- unfortunately not for its slightly-increased resolution, so much as for its drawbacks in other areas. Linear resolution has increased by around 15% compared to the earlier 12.1-megapixel chip, but that difference comes accompanied by a significant reduction in performance and sensitivity range.

Where the SX280 could shoot at 3.8 frames per second, or a whopping 14 fps with focus and exposure locked from the first frame, the SX700 is rather less swift. With focus and exposure updating between frames, you should manage around 3.1 fps according to Canon. Locking exposure variables will increase this, but only to 8.5 fps, less than two thirds of the original rate. And then there's the SX700's sensitivity, with a curtailed range of ISO 100 to 3200 equivalents. That's less generous at both ends than the ISO 80 to 6400 range of the earlier camera.

The news isn't all bad, however. The Canon SX700HS also sports a brand new lens with much more telephoto reach. Where the earlier camera had a 20x optical zoom, the new model provides a much more generous 30x zoom -- and all of that extra range comes at the telephoto end. You'll find everything from a generous 25mm-equivalent wide angle to a 750mm-equivalent telephoto on offer, a very generous range indeed for a camera that will easily fit in a coat pocket or purse.

And despite the extra range, the new lens is actually brighter, with a maximum aperture that varies from f/3.2 at wide-angle to a still-rather-dim f/6.9 at telephoto. The SX700 HS will also focus rather closer, shooting macro subjects from as little as just 0.4 inches, 1.6 inches closer than the previous model could.

Of course, like almost any pocket travel zoom, there's no viewfinder here. Images and movies are framed and reviewed on a 3.0-inch, 4:3 aspect LCD monitor. It's grown quite a bit in resolution, though. Where the earlier camera had a 461,000 dot (~480 x 320 pixel) display, the Canon SX700 has 922,000 dot (~640 x 480 pixel) resolution. That means sharper, more detailed imagery, and a better chance of confirming that your shots were in focus before you head home.

Exposure modes are much as they were in the SX280. Specifically, you can shoot automatically or manually (including aperture / shutter priority exposure), or opt for one of a variety of hand-holding Auto and Scene modes. The only variation we spotted in terms of the SX700HS' exposure capabilities is that the underwater white balance mode is gone, replaced by a new multi-area white balance mode similar to that seen in some Ricoh and Pentax cameras.

Like its predecessor, the Canon SX700 HS includes built-in Wi-Fi connectivity, which both makes it easy to get your photos onto your smartphone and lets you control the camera remotely. There's a slight tweak here too, though you'll only be able to take advantage of it if you're an Android user. There's no complex Wi-Fi setup required with the new model, which now supports Near-Field Communications technology. Simply hold your camera and smartphone or tablet close together, and they'll create a connection automatically. Apple users need not apply, though, as the company continues to resist implementing NFC in any of its devices.

Another slight tweak to connectivity is that the Mini HDMI connection of the earlier camera has been replaced by a smaller Micro HDMI connector in the new model. This high-definition video output is still supplemented by composite standard-definition NTSC/PAL video output, and a USB 2.0 High Speed data connection.

One last change of note is that the Canon SX700 HS now ships with an NB-6LH battery pack, instead of the earlier NB-6L. Although capacity has increased only very slightly to 1,060mAh, the new camera sports significantly better battery life, at a manufacturer-rated 250 shots. That's 40 shots up from the life of the SX280 HS on its 1,000mAh pack.

Available from March 2013, the Canon SX700 HS is priced at around US$350. Two color options are available: black or red.

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