Canon SD700 Performance

Timing and Performance

Canon PowerShot SD700 Timing
Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Power on
to first shot
1.2 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.
1.5 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens and stow in your pocket.
Buffer clearing time
<1 second
(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
1.8 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
2.5 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
recorded image
1.8 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.38 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.48 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
0.075 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Full AF Wide
(Flash Enabled)
0.55 second
Flash shots often involve slightly longer shutter delays, due to the need for a metering pulse to determine exposure.
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.36 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
1.33 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
0.46 second (2.18 frames per second);
No limit w/fast card*;
< 1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.48 second (2.08 frames per second);
No limit w/fast card*;
< 1 second to clear
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Flash recycling
6 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
2,350 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 SD700's is faster in just about every measure than competing compact camera models, and as fast or faster than many full-size cameras. It starts up very quickly, and has a very fast shutter response both wide angle and telephoto lens settings. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a blazing 0.075-second time, among the fastest on the market. Shot to shot cycle times are very good, at about 1.36 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and it can apparently capture an unlimited number of shots this quickly before it has to slow down and wait for the memory card to catch up, provided you're using a high-speed memory card. (Slower cards may place limits on how many shots you can capture in succession before the camera has to wait for the card.) Continuous-mode speed is average, at a bit over two frames/second, though once again apparently for an unlimited number of shots in succession, given a fast enough memory card. The flash takes about six seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, also about average for this class of camera. Connected to a computer, download speeds are very fast, among the best on the market. Bottom line, the SD700IS is one of the more responsive cameras on the market, bested by only a few full-sized models in continuous shooting speed.

Battery and Storage Capacity

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

Operating Mode
Number of Shots
LiIon rechargeable battery
LCD on
LiIon rechargeable battery
LCD off

The Canon PowerShot SD700 uses a custom rechargeable LiIon battery for power. The table above shows maximum number of shots based on the CIPA battery-life standard. The rated 240 shots per charge isn't bad, but remember that this number doesn't include time spent viewing images on the LCD screen. As usual, we recommend purchasing a second battery along with the camera if you plan any extended outings.

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

A 16MB SD card is included with the Canon PowerShot SD700.

Image Capacity with
16MB Memory Card
Fine Normal Basic
2,816 x 2,112 Images 5 9 19
File Size 2.7 MB 1.7 MB 834 KB
2,272 x 1,704 Images 7 13 26
File Size 2.1 MB 1.2 MB 600 KB
1,600 x 1,200 Images 15 26 50
File Size 1.1 MB 600 KB 316 KB
640 x 480
Images 56 87 137
File Size 283 KB 183 KB 117 KB

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


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