Canon PowerShot SX70 HS Review

This is the summary of TechRadar’s review, which provides you with all the important information you want if you are seeking for rapid purchase recommendations in less than 30 seconds; our standard comprehensive and in-depth evaluation comes after.

Although traditional compact cameras may no longer be popular, their superzoom bridge camera siblings continue to be a competitive option to DSLR and mirrorless camera systems. To a considerable extent, this is, of course, attributable to the range of their optics; but, the most recent models have a great deal more to offer than simply enormous zoom ranges in order to captivate passionate photographers.

Key Specs

  • The sensor is a 20.3-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch BSI CMOS type device.
  • Lens: 21-1365mm (Equiv.) f/3.4-6.5
  • Screen: 3-inch vari-angle, 922k dots
  • 10 frames per second when shooting in burst mode (5.7fps with C-AF)
  • Autofocus: Contrast-detect AF
  • Video: 4K (30/25p)
  • Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity are included.
  • Life of the battery: 255/325 shots
  • Weight: 610g (including battery and card)

One model that fits this description is Canon’s most recent PowerShot SX70 HS. Its main selling point, a 65x optical zoom lens, is (somewhat unusually) carried over from the model that it updates; however, it is equipped with an impressive array of additional technology, ranging from raw capture to 10 frames per second burst shooting and wireless connectivity all the way up to 4K ultra-high-definition video.

It is wonderful to notice that the camera does not become overly front-heavy when the lens is completely extended, despite the fact that it is quite tiny and lightweight. The camera has a deep grip, which allows you to get a solid grasp of it. The build quality, on the other hand, may be improved, and there is no weather sealing.

Even while collecting raw data, the focusing mechanism of the camera works in a timely manner, and the shot-to-shot timings are extremely excellent; nonetheless, it is recommended that a fast memory card be used. Even though it is not possible to apply different Styles (color settings) to images when shooting raw files, and post-capture raw processing is also sadly not provided, you have very good control over your captures thanks to the familiar EOS-style menu system, which gives you very good control over your captures as well.

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is capable of producing quite beautiful output, which is impressive given the camera’s very modest sensor size. Although the exposures are generally satisfactory, the camera has a restricted dynamic range, which means that highlight details may be lost in high-contrast settings; thus, it is recommended that the Auto Lighting Optimizer be used.

The image stabilization system does a good job of keeping captures at the telephoto extreme relatively sharp, while the wide-angle results and anything captured indoors at moderate ISO settings or higher are noticeably worse. There is good detail in images in the middle part of the focal range, while the system also does well to keep captures at the telephoto extreme relatively sharp.

There is a decent amount of control offered over recording, including a mic port; however, it would be nice to have a built-in ND filter to help better control exposure. Videos captured at the maximum 4K UHD resolution hold up well in good light, and there is also a decent amount of control offered over recording.

The Panasonic Lumix FZ1000 is the most obvious example of a superior superzoom choice available at this price point; nevertheless, the PowerShot SX70 HS combines a significant amount of control with a large zoom range within a compact body.

It would be a more consistent performer if it had stronger wide-angle results and better outcomes at higher ISO settings, but if you’re a fan of Canon and you anticipate you’ll be routinely shooting in the mid-telephoto range, the PowerShot SX70 HS could be the solution you’re looking for.

Who exactly does it serve, and should I get it?

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is being marketed as an all-purpose camera; nevertheless, its asking price is comparable to that of many entry-level interchangeable lens systems. The camera looks to have a lot going for it. The marketing for the camera by Canon makes it abundantly apparent who the company is aiming its product at: this is a model that is geared at individuals who want the control of a DSLR as well as a big zoom lens at their disposal in one compact package.

  • Miniature in size yet loaded with options
  • capturing in raw format, including the all-new CR3 mode
  • ISO 100-3200
  • 4K UHD video at 30/25p

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is based around a lens that has a maximum aperture that ranges from f/3.4-6.5 and has a focal length that is comparable to 21-1365mm in terms of 35mm. There has been no modification made to this camera since its predecessor, the PowerShot SX60 HS. However, due to the inclusion of the most recent DIGIC 8 engine, the camera’s image stabilization feature is now capable of providing up to five stops of correction, among other benefits.

Also brand new is the sensor, which has been upgraded to 20.3 megapixels and has rear illumination. This is an improvement above the 16.1-megapixel option seen in the previous camera. It is possible for some people to be dissatisfied with the fact that the lens’s sensitivity range only extends from 100 to 3200, despite the fact that the lens’s field of view requires it to be just 1/2.3 inches in size. However, with a stabilization mechanism that is more successful than it was in the past, it is possible that you won’t need to constantly adjust to the higher levels.

The camera is capable of capturing raw data as well as JPEG photographs, with the former being able to be stored in Canon’s CR3 Raw format. This was first seen in February with the launch of the EOS M50, and its primary benefit over its CR2 predecessor is the ability to save raw files that are of a lesser size while having been shot at the full resolution of the camera.

Videos, on the other hand, may be recorded at resolutions as high as 4K UHD. You can choose between 30p and 25p frames per second, but there is no 24p option. When filming in Full HD, you have the choice of recording at up to 60 frames per second, which may be disappointing to those who were hoping for more traditional slow-motion output options, such as 100 or 120 frames per second shooting. The camera does, however, include a time-lapse mode that can produce results in 4K, which is something that may be appealing to people who are more creative.

Auto Focus

The autofocusing mechanism is fairly lackluster on paper because it uses the contrast-detect AF principle and has just nine points that come into play in its basic auto setting. However, if you need to, you can move a single point across the screen to a more exact position if you need to.

In addition, manual focus with focus peaking is available, and you may concentrate up to 0 centimeters away from the subject while working in macro mode. Those who are shooting action may take bursts of shots at a rate of 10 frames per second; however, this lowers to 5.7 frames per second when the continuous focus is used.

The camera is able to deliver photographs wirelessly and may be managed remotely from an iOS or Android device thanks to the combination of Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

Wi-Fi and Bluetooth work together to provide wireless picture transfer and remote operation of the camera from an iOS or Android device. The camera can also receive photographs wirelessly from another device. Although there is not a GPS system per se, it is possible to insert GPS data into photographs by utilizing the Canon Camera Connect app.

When using the LCD, you may take up to 255 photos before having to charge the battery; when using the back display, you can take up to 325; however, switching to Eco mode increases this to around 405 frames. There is also support for UHS-I cards that are designed to the Class 3 standard and may be inserted into the device’s slot, which takes SD, SDHC, and SDXC cards.

A lightweight frame with excellent maneuverability

  • Because of its deep grip, the handling is exceptionally pleasant.
  • LCD screens are able to undergo physical adjustments.
  • Access to the power control is a little bit cumbersome.

The PowerShot SX70 HS combines an electronic viewfinder with an LCD screen that can be articulated, which is currently the normal practice for cameras of this type. Because the electronic viewfinder (EVF) has a decent resolution of 2.36 million dots – a considerable improvement over the 922k-dot LCD display found inside the SX60 HS – it makes perfect sense that it operates to a fantastic quality when there is sufficient light.

The contrast is excellent, the colors are pleasing to the eye, and the details in the drawing are spot on. In addition to this, it has an eye sensor built into the side of it, which eliminates the need for manually switching the feed between the electronic viewfinder (EVF) and the LCD screen.

You may have a better appreciation for how well this one operates when you think of the viewfinders that are typically cloudy, noisy, and have color casts every once in a while that comes with models like this. Having said that, as soon as the light levels begin to decrease, the minor muddiness of the details makes it more difficult to determine whether or not the focus is exact, so you do have to lay some confidence in the camera to do things right here.

The 3-inch liquid crystal display (LCD) contains 922k dots and can be rotated to display whatever is in front of it. However, it does not have a touchscreen, which may be an annoyance to individuals who are used to tapping on their smartphones and tablets. On the other hand, it performs to a quality that is appropriate for such a model, allowing for effortless movement and providing a strong grip thanks to its thick profile.

You also get a somewhat reduced version of the EOS interface in both the LCD and the EVF. This version contains a My Menu tab that can be customized, which will undoubtedly satisfy existing Canon customers who are already accustomed to this user interface.

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS may not be a very huge camera, but the fact that it has a particularly deep grip and a designated spot on the back for the thumb makes it an exceptionally pleasant camera to handle.

A mode dial that protrudes prominently from the top plate and a shutter-release button that provides distinct feedback between the many locations it may be pushed in both contribute to the camera’s manageability.

The top plate also conceals a built-in flash, which offers a respectable range of control options via the menu. However, Canon made the decision to omit the hot shoe from the design of the PowerShot SX60 HS in this particular area, which means that external units cannot be installed.

The power and Wi-Fi buttons are both located on the top plate of the device. It is unfortunate that these are not arranged in the opposite direction from one another, since this would make the power control that is used more frequently easier to access with the forefinger.

In addition, the zoom control that is located on the lens barrel of the camera seems to be positioned a bit too high for comfort. However, if you have very large hands, this may not bother you as much. Since you can also zoom using the collar that surrounds the button that releases the shutter, you could find that you don’t need to use this secondary control at all.

Image quality

  • System for the effective stabilization of images
  • Capable of producing 4K video with acceptable quality.
  • performance that falls short when using wide-angle lenses

When judged by the benchmark set by entry-level interchangeable-lens cameras, cameras created as an alternative to DSLRs and mirrorless cameras can sometimes fail to impress; nevertheless, the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS does a good job of breaking this precedent. At the very least in regard to how it’s operated, I found it to be an awful lot more enjoyable to use than I had anticipated.

In addition to the excellent handling, a significant portion of this may be attributed to the camera’s focusing technology, which gets things into focus quite quickly in most cases. Although it is able to achieve this regardless of where you are in the focus range when there is adequate light, its performance suffers when there is less than optimal light or when you are photographing scenes with less contrast. This is, however, pretty typical for cameras of this type.

The shot-to-shot timings are also extremely good, even when shooting raw files, which is particularly handy at the telephoto end of the zoom range when you might want to take a few pictures to compensate for less-than-steady framing.

However, the image stabilization system does a very good job of keeping the feed as stable as possible, and it’s usually possible to get precise composition with just a handful of frames. This is especially true when you provide additional stability with your face as it’s pressed up to the viewfinder in order to achieve optimal results.

If you wish to change the color output, you may choose from a variety of styles, such as Vivid and Neutral. However, the PowerShot SX70 HS follows in the footsteps of earlier Canon models in that it disables this option when raw pictures are being captured (or simultaneous raw and JPEG frames). This can be a minor annoyance, especially if you are accustomed to manipulating these settings on a more complicated Canon camera model.

The camera’s output is normally consistent with what we should anticipate from a sensor of 1/2.3 inches, which is to say that it performs admirably when working at the lowest sensitivities possible in environments with sufficient illumination but has some difficulty performing elsewhere. The photographs have very nice clarity, particularly in the intermediate focal length range. Even at the telephoto end, there is just a bit of noise reduction and softness, but other than that, the performance is really satisfactory.

Curvilinear distortion is not a concern at either end of the lens, and vignetting is only truly noticeable in the kinds of settings that are most bothered by it. Optical aberrations are typically well controlled. Chromatic aberration is handled effectively as well, despite the presence of purple fringing in regions of high contrast most of the time.

Specifications

Body typeSLR-like (bridge)
Max resolution5184 x 3888
Image ratio w:h1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9
Effective pixels20 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors21 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeBSI-CMOS
ProcessorDigic 8
ISOAuto, 100-3200
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
CIPA image stabilization rating5 stop(s)
Uncompressed formatRAW
JPEG quality levelsFine, normal
Focal length (equiv.)21–1365 mm
Optical zoom65×
Maximum apertureF3.4–6.5
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSelective single-pointTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Normal focus range5 cm (1.97″)
Macro focus range0 cm (0″)
Number of focus points9
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size3″
Screen dots922,000
Touch screenNo
Screen typeTFT LCD
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Viewfinder coverage100%
Viewfinder resolution2,360,000
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2000 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range5.00 m (at Auto ISO)
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, on, slow sync, off
Continuous drive10.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 secs, custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±3
FormatMPEG-4, H.264
Modes3840 x 2160 @ 30p / 120 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 60p / 60 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC1920 x 1080 @ 30p / 30 Mbps, MOV, H.264, AAC
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC (UHS-I supported)
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes (micro HDMI)
Microphone portYes
Headphone portNo
WirelessBuilt-In
Wireless notes802.11b/g/n + Bluetooth
Remote controlYes (via smartphone)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBuilt-in
Battery descriptionLP-E12 lithium-ion battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)325
Weight (inc. batteries)608 g (1.34 lb / 21.45 oz)
Dimensions127 x 91 x 117 mm (5 x 3.58 x 4.61″)
Orientation sensorYes
GPSNone

Final Verdict

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is a capable camera for photographing wildlife and sporting events. Because it has a decent continuous shooting speed and a reasonably rapid buffer empty time, you will be able to record fleeting moments of action that are moving quickly with a minimum of disruption. Even at slower shutter speeds, the optical stabilization performs an outstanding job of keeping the image stable, which is made possible by the extremely long focal length of the built-in lens.

This makes it ideal for photographing subjects that are located at considerable distances. When utilizing the maximum focal length, you might find that you still require a tripod. The image quality is good; however, increasing the ISO results in a substantial increase in noise as well as a loss of clarity and sharpness, which makes it unsuitable for use while photographing in low-light environments. Its autofocus mechanism does an excellent job of following moving objects, but it is far less effective at following faces.

Pro & Cons

Good For
  • 4K is not available in all modes.
  • Not excellent in poor light.
  • Deletes the auxiliary shoe and films at 24 frames per second.
  • This is not the best option for speedy action.
Need Improvements
  • 4K is not available in all modes.
  • Not very good when the lights are low.
  • Deletes the auxiliary shoe and films at 24 frames per second.
  • This is not the best option for speedy action.

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