The 1.6-megapixel Canon PowerShot Pro 70 is a high-end consumer digital camera that can also be called a low-end professional (prosumer) camera too. When this review was originally written the Pro 70 was retailing for around $1000, it can now be had for a fraction of that.
This camera has the look-n-feel of a regular 35mm camera.
It's not small and it's not light as this is a
real (metal) camera -- the build quality is excellent and leaves most other
digicams looking like plastic toys.
Serious photographers want their cameras to have some heft to them.
Lightweight cameras are a real pain to hold steady at low shutter speeds
and we don't always have a tripod handy.
It may not have
interchangeable lenses but the one it comes with is an excellent example
of Canon optical glass. While most digicams are going for a 3x or greater
power zoom lens the Canon engineers opted for a 2.5x (28-70mm) zoom with
exceptional wideangle capabilities. Other 3x zooms exhibit considerable
barrel distortion and almost none is seen in the Pro 70's lens. It is
threaded to accept standard 37mm (camcorder) filters.
When the 380EX Speedlite is attached the
camera also makes use of the onboard infrared focus aid. If the green
"focus OK" light is illuminated steadily you can bet that whatever is
dead-center in the viewfinder is properly focused.
The LCD screen tilts out and away from the camera body up to 180 degrees.
It also rotates 270 degrees to allow for use as a viewfinder even when
taking self-portraits. The refresh rate of the LCD is a fast, 25 frames
per second which is very close to realtime. Most users will probably
leave the LCD folded closed against the camera body when shooting anything
but closeup shots.
The LCD shows almost the entire captured frame, most only show 85-90%.
After receiving email from a Pro 70 user I took it back out into the bright
sunlight and checked the LCD display again - I'm happy to report that the
LCD *is* useable in these conditions. The viewing angle of the LCD is
what I would call "narrow" so you need to make sure you are looking at
from the right perspective point.
I just put the Pro 70 and the IBM
Microdrive to the test - this is truly a match made in heaven. The
Microdrive was *faster* than a solid state CF card at saving the CCDRaw
images by a full 3 seconds! Shown above is SanDisk's new 300MB CF2 solid state
card and the brand new 1GB Microdrive.
Due to the side-mounted positioning of the CF slots you can easily remove the flash card(s) even when the camera is on a tripod. I also liked the way the Pro 70 popped the CF card out more than far enough for even my big fingers to easily grasp it.
The number of images that can be stored varies due to image size and JPG compression. The Pro70 can save images in standard JPEG format at 1536x1024 or 768x512 pixels using three different compression settings; uncompressed (aka "Raw"), Fine, and Normal. The average filesize varies from 1.9MB for the CCD Raw format, to ~400K for large/fine, 200K for large/normal, 140K for small/fine, and 83K for small/normal.
Return To Steve's
Note: All photographs and page content
Copyright © 2000 Steve's Digicam Online, Inc.
Nothing on this page may be used, distributed or
copied without the author's prior permission.