The latest top-of-the-line model in Canon’s lineup of compact high-zoom cameras is the PowerShot SX700 HS. Canon has managed to squeeze a 30x zoom lens with a 35mm-equivalent focal length range of 25-750mm into a camera that has tiny dimensions of 112.7 x 65.8 x 34.8 millimeters.
Thankfully, lens-shift Image Stabilization is also present, and when paired with the sensor’s maximum sensitivity of ISO 3200, it should be possible to take clear pictures even at extremely long focal lengths and in low light. The sensor that is built inside the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS is a 1/2.3-inch back-illuminated, high-sensitivity CMOS chip that has 16 million effective pixels and is combined with Canon’s most recent DIGIC 6 image processor.
Manual, Av, and Tv shooting modes, the Creative Shot mode, which captures a standard image plus five stylized variations, and the Hybrid Auto mode, which automatically captures a 4-second movie before each shot and combines the stills and video into a montage are just a few of the many features that are available.
You also get Wi-Fi connectivity and NFC for wireless image sharing and remote camera control, and it costs around £329, which is equivalent to €399 and $349.
Convenience of Use
Although it may be packed with the most recent technology, the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS doesn’t inspire much confidence at first glance. However, it does at least have a metal case, and as a result, it feels robust and well constructed.
In spite of its relatively thin profile, the camera is surprisingly comfortable to grip because to a prominent rubberized ridge on the front and a raised shooting mode dial on the back of the device. This allows the camera to fit easily into a pocket or a small purse.
On the very top of the Canon PowerShot, SX700 HS is a zoom ring that is encircled by the shutter release button. You are in luck since the zoom ring has two different speed settings. This enables you to make precise adjustments to the focal length by moving the ring only a little bit, or you can give it a full twist to quickly zoom in and out.
Holding down the button located on the left side of the camera grants access to the SX700 HS’s ingenious zoom assist feature. When utilizing the greater telephoto settings, this feature zooms the lens out to help with framing, and then it automatically zooms back in again.
A movie record button that can be activated with a single touch is located right next to the shutter release on the SX700 HS. This camera can record movies in Full 1080p at either 60 or 30 frames per second, and it can also record in 720p at 30 frames per second. At the other end is where you’ll find the pop-up flash.
A button on the left side of the camera is used to manually expel the flash, however, doing so removes any possibility of the flash going off automatically when you aren’t expecting it.
When you turn on the SX700 HS, it comes to life in a little more than a second, and the on-screen display is straightforward if a little old; still, all of the information that you want is still quite simple to see. The user interface of the menu is similarly straightforward and easy to browse; the Func/Set button displays the most frequently used shooting choices in a consolidated fashion.
The Canon PowerShot SX700 HS doesn’t spend any time autofocusing when you’re ready to take a picture, and it finds its target faster in dim light than you’d expect it to even in bright light. If you are taking pictures of a macro subject that doesn’t take up much of the frame, the system may become confused; but, if you are taking pictures of anything else, you may keep the camera in auto mode and be certain that it will focus quickly and properly. When it comes to focusing on macro subjects, a minimum focus distance of 1 centimeter is considered to be extremely good for cameras of this type.
When it comes to shooting in a continuous fashion, the SX700 HS is also something of a speed demon. It’s true that the camera’s frame rate of 3.1 frames per second isn’t exactly lightning-fast, but unlike many other compacts, it won’t give up after a few images and crawl along at a snail’s pace.
The burst rate may gradually decrease depending on the speed of your memory card, however, we discovered that the camera remained shooting at a rate of at least 2 frames per second. You also have the option to shoot at a more speedy 8.5 frames per second, albeit doing so will only allow you to fire off four rounds. Full high-definition video capture is available in the event that all of this is still insufficient to keep up with the activity that you want to film.
When you’re in the mood to be creative, the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS provides you with a selection of effects that are adequate but not overly extensive. Fish-eye and miniaturization distortions, as well as the common vintage look of a toy camera, may be found in the shooting mode menu, in addition to the Creative Shot and Hybrid Auto settings that were discussed before.
These are combined with the standard photography modes, which also feature the helpful Smart Shutter function. This takes the picture for you when the camera recognizes a happy face and triggers the camera to take the picture. If you go to the My Colors menu, you’ll see that you have the option to have all of your photographs automatically recorded with increased color saturation, sepia tones, or in black and white.
The lack of a touch-sensitive screen may be a minor inconvenience, but the three-inch display that comes as standard is more than adequate for the task at hand. It has good contrast, is bright, has excellent viewing angles, and has a resolution that is more than adequate at 922k dots.
There is a circular mode dial located next to the screen that allows you to choose from a total of 12 distinct shooting modes. The SX700 HS, to its credit, provides the entire range of PASM creative shooting modes. These modes are great for individuals who are wanting to take more control of their photographs.
The aperture and shutter speed may be controlled via the relatively narrow control wheel located on the back of the camera. If you put the camera into Creative Shot mode, it will take a series of six pictures at once. The first picture is a straight-out-of-the-camera shot, but the subsequent five are all altered by the camera in various ways, both in terms of their aspect ratios and the color effects they apply, allowing you to choose the most interesting one later on.
If you select the Hybrid Auto mode, the SX700 HS will continue to function as usual, but in addition to taking pictures, it will also covertly record a four-second video to go along with each shot. A video and picture montage of your day is created from the resultant footage and stills, which are then combined. It’s a cool trick that’s somewhat similar to the Zoe function that’s available on select HTC devices, and it’s going to be one of those features that users will either adore or forget about.
As we move down the rear panel of the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS, we discover buttons that are a fair size to control playback and a button that is specifically designated to activate the camera’s Wi-Fi mode. Installing Canon’s CameraWindow app on your mobile device and then connecting to the wifi hotspot provided by the SX700 HS will allow you to wirelessly upload photographs from the camera as well as control it remotely if you want to engage in some covert photography. You also have the ability to use the GPS feature of the mobile functionality to provide a location tag to each and every photo. The system has a few hiccups here and there, but overall, we found the connection to be reliable and the image transfer times to be acceptable.
Battery life is a less exciting feature of the SX700 HS, but it is certainly not unimportant. It has an average lifespan of 250 photos, but turning on Eco mode increases that number to an astonishing 360 shots per charge if you are going to be away from the charger for some time. This low hunger for power is mostly achieved by dimming the display after only a handful of seconds’ worth of idleness, and then shutting it off totally shortly after that. However, you may recover your life at any time by pressing any button. The effect is comparable to the start/stop button found on many current automobiles and does not appear to have any drawbacks, provided that you do not have to wait for more than a few seconds before you can snap your picture.
Image Quality and Resolution
All of the example pictures included in this review were captured using the camera’s default setting of 16 megapixels SuperFine JPEG, which results in an image size of around 7 megabytes on average.
The SX700 HS creates photographs that are visually appealing. The level of detail is excellent over the whole frame, and it is not as vulnerable to the smoothing effects of noise reduction as it is in many other cameras with sensors of comparable size. As a result, delicate details in landscape pictures are captured accurately and do not get smeared or otherwise distorted, as is all too often the case with other cameras in this market segment. Reproduction of colors that are vibrant and full-bodied, together with faultless exposure metering and consistent white balance, contribute to the overall allure of the product.
Chromatic aberration, often known as purple fringing, is an optical phenomenon that can be seen in high-contrast areas, but it is rarely disturbing. In spite of its extremely broad focal length range, the lens performs quite well in terms of distortion. When shooting at wide angles, it exhibits only a trace of barrel distortion, but when zoomed in, there is no discernible pincushion effect.
Considering how well the SX700 HS performs elsewhere, it’s a shame that the image noise levels aren’t quite as good as they may be. Images captured with the SX700 HS are free of noise from ISO 100 to 400, however beginning at ISO 800, a limited amount of noise, as well as a desaturation of color, can be seen.
ISO 1600 produces rather noticeable noise, a blurring of fine detail, and desaturation of color, whereas the highest possible setting of ISO 3200 produces considerably more noise but is still useful for producing tiny prints.
At maximum resolution, the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS has six different sensitivity levels available for use. You may choose to shoot in auto mode, which employs a range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200, or you can switch to one of the creative photography modes and pick these values manually.
Even if the photographs produced by the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS are already rather crisp, they may need a little bit of enhancement in the post-processing stage.
Range of Focus
The greatest wide-angle focal length that can be achieved with the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS’s 30x zoom lens is comparable to 25mm, while the lens can attain a telephoto reach of 750mm (in 35mm-camera terms).
Chromatic Deviations or Aberrations
During the course of the evaluation, the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS handled chromatic aberrations reasonably well, with purple and green fringing appearing around the margins of objects in high-contrast circumstances, as seen by the images that follow below.
Optimal Quality for the File
On the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS, you may choose between two different quality settings for each image size option: Fine and Super Fine. Choosing the second option will increase the file size of each photograph from 4 megabytes to somewhere around 6 megabytes.
When shooting wide-angle, the Canon PowerShot SX510 HS has a tight focusing distance of only 1 centimeter. When you do that, it does mean that there is less light going in, and the edge definition becomes less distinct, leaving around fifty percent of the image in focus.
The flash on the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS can only achieve a rather limited range of 3.5 meters, and as a result, there is some fairly visible vignetting in our wide-angle test photo that was taken at a distance of 1.5 meters. The flash includes a total of five settings: Auto, On, Off, and Slow Synchro, in addition to a dedicated option to either enable or disable the red-eye mitigation feature. The camera is able to eliminate any and all instances of red eye, regardless of whether this setting is enabled or not.
It is not a good idea to turn off IS while shooting handheld at the longest end of the focal length range of the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS’s lens, as can be seen in this example. Keeping the system turned on allows it to perform exceptionally well in mitigating the impacts of camera shaking.
If you are truly interested in night photography, you will be pleased to learn that the maximum shutter speed of the Canon Powershot SX700 HS is 15 seconds. This picture was captured with a shutter speed of 15 seconds and an ISO setting of 100.
Effects of Specialization
The Canon PowerShot SX700 HS has a number of different modes dedicated to special effects, which users may access through the specific shooting mode.
My Assorted Hues
You may program the camera to apply multiple color filters while you shoot in addition to the special effect options that are already available to you. Choose from the following options: Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue/Green/Red, or Custom Color.
|Max resolution||4608 x 3456|
|Other resolutions||4608 x 3072, 4608 x 2592, 3456 x 3456, 3264 x 2448, 3264 x 2176, 3264 x 1832, 2448 x 2448, 640 x 480, 640 x 424, 640 x 360, 480 x 480|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||16 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||17 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)|
|White balance presets||6|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Superfine, fine|
|Focal length (equiv.)||25–750 mm|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View|
|Digital zoom||Yes (4X)|
|Normal focus range||5 cm (1.97″)|
|Macro focus range||1 cm (0.39″)|
|Number of focus points||9|
|Screen type||PureColor II G TFT|
|Minimum shutter speed||15 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/3200 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Subject / scene modes||Yes|
|Flash range||3.50 m|
|Flash modes||Auto, on, slow synchro, off|
|Continuous drive||8.5 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 secs, custom)|
|Exposure compensation||±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30p)|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|HDMI||Yes (micro HDMI)|
|Wireless notes||802.11b/g/n with NFC|
|Battery description||NB-6LH lithium-ion battery and charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||269 g (0.59 lb / 9.49 oz)|
|Dimensions||113 x 66 x 35 mm (4.45 x 2.6 x 1.38″)|
The next flagship travel-zoom compact from Canon has a lot going for it, but in terms of features and performance, it isn’t quite up to par with one of its primary competitors and the camera that we’re currently gravitating toward most, the Panasonic DMC-TZ60.
The Canon PowerShot SX700 HS is easy to use since it has reasonable settings and menus that are easy to understand. You also have the chance to take greater control over the camera by utilizing the PASM mode, and the autofocusing, exposure metering, and auto white balance algorithms all function brilliantly.
We particularly enjoy the ingenious zoom assist function that, when utilizing the greater telephoto settings, zooms the lens out to help with framing, then automatically zooms back in again. This is a feature that we find very useful. However, the additional functions of the camera are a bit of a hit-or-miss proposition.
It’s true that the Wi-Fi connection is reliable, and the Hybrid Auto and Creative Shot modes are undeniably cool, but we’d wager that a panorama mode and proper multi-shot HDR capture would be more useful. This is in addition to RAW shooting, a faster burst mode, a touchscreen interface, and possibly even a viewfinder.
The Canon PowerShot SX700 HS has excellent optics since it has a zoom range that can accommodate a wide variety of shooting situations and produces very little distortion. Nevertheless, its image clarity in well-lit environments is the true gem of its performance. Impressive detail, color reproduction, and dynamic range combine to generate photos that are almost as good as you’ll get from a camera with a 1/2.3-inch sensor thanks to the combination of these three factors.
If only the same could be true for pictures taken in bad lighting, which do suffer from noticeable noise, blurring of fine detail, and color abnormalities when using an ISO setting of 800.
Pros & Cons
- v2.5fps picture capture.
- Sharp lens.
- Reduces background noise up to ISO 800.
- When utilizing Creative Shot, you only have limited control.
- When the ISO is really high, there is a loss of detail.