Canon A700 Performance

Timing and Performance

Canon A700 Timing
Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Power on
to first shot
2.4 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.
1.6 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens and stow in your pocket.
Buffer clearing time
2 seconds
(Large/Fine JPEG,
Unlimited shots in
continuous mode)
Worst case buffer clearing time.* This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
1.7 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
1.79 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
recorded image
1.56 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.53 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.68 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
0.074 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Manual focus
0.37 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.18 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
2.18 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Early shutter
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.82 second (1.23 frames per second);
No limit w/fast card*;
~2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.82 second (1.23 frames per second);
No limit w/fast card*;
~2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Flash recycling
11.5 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
5,702 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 120x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode.

The A700's performance is generally average to faster than average. Startup and shutdown speeds are average. Shutter response is a bit faster than average but not dramatically so. Shot-to-shot cycle times and continuous-mode speeds are only average, too, but the impressive thing is that the A700 can shoot indefinitely in continuous mode, given a fast enough memory card. (We tested with a Kingston 120x Ultimate SD card.) The one slow spot is that the flash takes a leisurely 11.5 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, well below average. On the other hand, connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are very fast, pretty much eliminating the need for an external reader. Bottom line, while not a first choice for sports or other really fast-paced action, the A700 is responsive enough (particular at wide angle lens settings) to handle most family photo opportunities.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Short battery life with the LCD on, very good when LCD is switched off.

Battery Type
Battery Life
100 shots
(2500 mAh capacity)
400 shots

The Canon A700 uses two AA batteries for power. The table above shows the number of shots it can take with either Alkaline or NiMH batteries, based on the CIPA battery-life standard. (Based on 2500 mAh capacity cells.) A CIPA rating of 400 shots (with the LCD display enabled) is pretty good, but as always we strongly recommend that you purchase a couple of sets of high-capacity NiMH rechargeable batteries and a good-quality charger, as they'll save you many times their cost over the life of the camera.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

A 16-MB SD Memory Card is included with the PowerShot A700.

Image Capacity with
16-MB SD Memory Card
2,816 x 2,112 Images 5
File Size 2.8MB
2,272 x 1,704 Images 7
File Size 2.1MB
1,600 x 1,200 Images 15
File Size 1MB
640 x 480
Images 56
File Size 283K

We strongly recommend buying at least a 128MB card, preferably a 256MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.

Recommended Software: Rescue your images!
Just as important as an extra memory card is a tool to rescue your images when one of your cards fails at some point in the future. I get a lot of email from readers who've lost photos due to a corrupted memory card. Memory card corruption can happen with any card type and any camera manufacturer, nobody's immune. A surprising number of "lost" images can be recovered with an inexpensive, easy to use piece of software though. Given the amount of email I've gotten on the topic, I now include this paragraph in all my digicam reviews. The program you need is called PhotoRescue, by DataRescue SA. Read our review of it if you'd like, but download the program now, so you'll have it. It doesn't cost a penny until you need it, and even then it's only $29, with a money back guarantee. So download PhotoRescue for Windows or PhotoRescue for Mac while you're thinking of it. (While you're at it, download the PDF manual and quickstart guide as well.) Stash the file in a safe place and it'll be there when you need it. Trust me, needing this is not a matter of if, but when... PhotoRescue is about the best and easiest tool for recovering digital photos I've seen. (Disclosure: IR gets a small commission from sales of the product, but I'd highly recommend the program even if we didn't.) OK, now back to our regularly scheduled review...

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