Canon Powershot S70 Review

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Canon Powershot S70

Features & Controls

The all-glass Canon 5.8-20.7mm 3.6x wide angle zoom (28-100mm 35mm equivalent) boasts a maximum aperture of f/2.8-5.3, and is constructed with 8 elements in 7 groups.

Focus range is 44cm (1.4 ft) to infinity in normal mode. Macro autofocus range is 4cm (1.6 in.) (wide-angle) / 30cm (1.0 ft.) (telephoto) to 44cm (1.4 ft.).

Auto focus is accomplished via a 9-point TTL system with user-selectable AF points visible on the LCD monitor. The S70 also features an AF assist illuminator for accurate focusing in dim to dark environments.

Canon Powershot S70

Canon has an optional TC-DC10 Tele-converter available for the S70 that doubles the telephoto focal length to 200mm. The LA-DC10 Conversion Lens Adapter is required to mount the lens on the S70.

Canon Powershot S70

The Manual focus option is enabled by pressing and holding the "MF" button while using the Up or Down on the 4-way switch. The manual focus range is 4cm (1.6 in.) (wide-angle) / 30cm (1.0 ft.) (telephoto) to infinity. While manually focusing, the subject area covered by the active focusing point is digitally enlarged on the LCD to aid in critical focusing.

Canon Powershot S70

To save battery power or when outdoors in the bright light, switch off the LCD and frame your shots with the eyelevel optical viewfinder. There is no diopter adjustment. The LEDs on the side indicate recording, autofocus and flash status. The eyelevel finder shows approximately 80% of the captured image.

Canon Powershot S70

The builtin speedlight has 5 modes: Auto, Redeye reduction, Slow-sync (1st and 2nd curtain), Fill and Off. The flash coverage with ISO set to AUTO is 55cm to 4.2m (1.8 ft. - 14 ft.)(W), 55cm to 2.0m (1.8 ft. - 6.6 ft.)(T).

Canon Powershot S70

On top is the shutter release and Mode Dial. The zoom lens control is along the back edge behind the shutter button. The Mode Dial has positions for:

  • Custom - Save settings from any P, Tv, Av or M exposure mode for rapid recall. Also saves zoom position and focus distance if MF is used.

  • Manual - you set both the shutter speed and aperture. Exposure value is displayed when shutter is half-pressed.

  • Av (Aperture priority) - the camera automatically selects a shutter speed to match the aperture you set. Aperture settings available are:
    Wide F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0
    Telephoto F5.3, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0

  • Tv (Shutter priority) - camera automatically selects an aperture setting to match the shutter speed you set. Available shutter speeds are: 1/2000, 1/1600, 1/1250, 1/1000, 1/800, 1/640, 1/500, 1/400, 1/320, 1/250, 1/200, 1/160, 1/125, 1/100, 1/80, 1/60, 1/50, 1/40, 1/30, 1/25, 1/20, 1/15, 1/13, 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.3, 1.6, 2, 2.5, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15 seconds. Noise reduction is enabled for shutter speeds of 1.3 seconds or longer.

  • Program AE - camera automatically set the shutter speed and aperture settings like AUTO but the user can change many options like white balance, exposure compensation, saturation, sharpness and more. You can "shift" the selected shutter/aperture combination, enter this mode by half-pressing shutter release and then press the AE lock button - now change by pressing the Right or Left button.

  • AUTO - camera sets almost everything automatically, this is "point and shoot" mode. You can set flash mode, macro focus and image size.

The pre-programmed "Image Zone" modes include:

  • Portrait - Sets a large aperture value to have a minimum depth of field so your subject is sharp but the background gets blurred.

  • Landscape - Sets the focus to infinity and uses a small aperture

  • Night Scene - Uses slow shutter speed (tripod recommended) to capture night backgrounds and synchronizes the flash to illuminate foreground subjects

  • Fast Shutter - When you need to capture fast moving subjects

  • Slow Shutter - when you need to blur motion such as river rapids (tripod recommended)

  • Stitch Assist - The user will be aided by the LCD when creating multi-image panorama pictures. Five types of assistance are available:
    1. Horizontal - left to right
    2. Horizontal - right to left
    3. Vertical - top to bottom
    4. Vertical - bottom to top
    5. Clockwise starting at top left.

  • Movie - capture full motion video and sound clips at a rate of 10 or 15fps. Movie size is 640x480 (30 secs.), 320x240 or 160x120 pixels (3 mins.)

Canon Powershot S70

On the back is the T-W zoom buttons, in play mode they operate the zoomed (magnified) view function. The Play button switches the camera to review mode or if the camera is powered down with the lens barrier closed, you can turn it on in Play mode by pressing this button. Next to that is the new Pint/Share button used for printing and transfering images to the computer. The 4-way controller lets you navigate menu screens, when pushed in the center it is the SET button. When in Record mode the SET button is used to manually select the active Focus Point. The Menu button calls up the onscreen menu system, The DISPLAY button turns the color LCD on/off and controls the amount of data that is displayed.

Canon Powershot S70

On the back left along the top is the Flash mode button (thumbnail index button in Play mode), Macro focus mode button (the Jump button in Play mode)...

Down the left side of the LCD is the FUNCtion button, this gives you access to an onscreen menu to change Exposure Compensation, White Balance, Drive mode, ISO speed, Photo Effect, Bracketing functions, Flash Compensation and Resolution/Quality. The "MF" toggles the manual focus mode when held (in Play mode this is the single image Delete button.) The bottom button cycles through the AE metering modes (in Play mode this is the Sound Annotations button.)

Canon Powershot S70

Located on top of the camera are the builtin microphone and speaker.

Canon Powershot S70

The I/O ports are on the side:

The A/V OUT handles both the audio and video (NTSC or PAL, selectable).

The lower connector is the USB v1.1 data port.

Canon Powershot S70

On the bottom in the battery compartment is the Compact Flash Type II card slot. The S70 is supplied with a 32MB CF card and can use any Type I or II solid state flash memory card or one of the IBM Microdrives. The card is ejected far enough to be easily removed, even Microdrives. The S70 is FAT and FAT32 compatible and can be used with any size card or Microdrive.

Canon Powershot S70

The S70 is powered by a Canon NB-2LH 7.4V 720mAh lithium rechargeable battery pack. A fully charged battery is good for approximately 140 images when using the LCD or up to 370 images when you use only the optical viewfinder. Or a playback time of approximately 3 hours 30 minutes. The lower capacity NB-2L battery pack can also be used.

(Battery test conditions: Normal temperature (23°C ±2°C/ 73°F ±3.6°F), normal relative humidity (50% ±20%), alternating wide angle end and telephoto end shots at 30 second intervals with the flash fired once every two shots and the camera power turned off after every tenth shot. Power is left off until battery returns to normal temperature, then the power is turned back on and the testing procedure is repeated.)

The NB-2LH pack is charged out of the camera in the included CB-2LT Compact Charger (100-240VAC). Charging time is approx 90 minutes or less. It plugs straight into an AC outlet, no cords required.

Canon Powershot S70

The optional WP-DC40 waterproof case allows the S70 to go to almost any sporting activity, from boating to snow skiing to scuba diving (40m/130 feet max depth.) The S70 features a special preset White Balance setting specifically for underwater use that produces properly color balanced images.

Canon Powershot S70

The optional WL-DC100 infrared remote controller can be used up to approximately 5m (16.4 ft) directly in front of the camera to shoot or control playback. In record mode it can trip the shutter (with a zero, two or ten second delay), control the zoom lens and toggle the overlay information displays shown onscreen. In Playback mode it can display the next or previous image, play and replay movies, enable zoomed playback and pan around the magnified view and toggle the various onscreen data overlays.

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