The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is a compact superzoom camera that features a huge 65x optical zoom with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 21-1365mm.
Its new 20.1MP high-sensitivity CMOS sensor promises excellent picture quality, especially when paired with Canon’s latest high-end DIGIC 8 processor. This also allows for continuous shooting of up to 10ps and 4K video capture with stereo sound.
The camera also lacks many features, with a 2.36 million-pixel electronic viewfinder with an eye sensor, flip-out LCD display, integrated Smart Zoom Framing Assist, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth function for easy image sharing and control remote camera control, plus many creative effects. At No Fluff Tech you will find the brief review of Canon PowerShot SX70 HS.
Easy to use
We reviewed the predecessor of the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS, the SX60 HS, four years ago in 2014, and little has changed since then with the release of the SX70. Externally, the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS also looks like the SX60 HS and most other high-end ultra-zoom bridge cameras, which is tantamount to saying that it resembles a small DSLR camera. Considering that it packs what is currently one of the largest zoom ranges in business, the camera is not particularly large at 127 x 90.9 x 116.6 mm, and at 610g it reduces the weight of the previous SX60 model by 40 grams. It features a solid build quality, with a sturdy plastic casing that is free of bending or winches and a tactile rubber coating on the bulky hand and thumb grips.
Front of Canon PowerShot SX70 HS
Considering that the SX70 HS is a camera so full of features, its control layout is quite simple and logical. Some buttons are a bit more unusual, like those positioned on the side of the barrel of the lens.
The top button activates the Canon Zoom Frame Assist function. When you zoom in, a small shrink of the camera simply sends a distant object flying out of the frame. Position the outline around your subject, release the button, and the camera automatically returns inward.
Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS
The lower button on the lens barrel helps prevent you from losing track of the subject again as the pressure increases the camera’s image stabilization to further reduce camera shake. The effect is minimal, however, the Zoom Framing Assist feature is useful and effective.
A new control on the SX70 HS is a second zoom control, located just in front of the Zoom Framing Assist buttons on the lens barrel. Naturally controlled with the thumb of the left hand, we find that it is a useful addition, especially when holding the camera at eye level and using the longer end of the telephoto lens.
Unfortunately, the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS totally eliminates the proper hot-shoe flash mount from its predecessor, so you can no longer connect a separate flash or a remote trigger to the latest version. The built-in flash of the camera still needs to be opened manually by pulling it up instead of using a typical button release. Besides the flash, there is a useful button to establish a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection and, besides the button, the power button.
Initial Wi-Fi setup and can be a faff, requiring you to manually connect to the wireless access point of the camera, especially since the camera no longer supports NFC pairing. The new Bluetooth feature is much easier to set up. However, you connect, the Canon Camera Connect application lets you transfer wireless images to a smartphone, tablet or computer, as well as print to a PictBridge-compatible printer. The application also lets you remotely control the camera with your phone and add GPS data to your pictures (when connected via Bluetooth).
Top of the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS
There are also two dials on the top of the SX70 HS. One is the front control button, just as you would find it on a Canon DSLR, making it much easier to adjust common settings like exposure and aperture compensation, rather than touching the buttons and menu settings. The main shooting mode dial is behind and offers an instant selection of auto priority, auto program, aperture and shutter modes of the camera, as well as a fully manual option, all great for viewing on a camera like this.
Another way worth mentioning is Hybrid Auto, which automatically captures a few seconds of video with each image and compiles everything into a video summary of your day. So if you switch to Creative Filters mode, seven more individual filter effects can be applied when shooting. With so many capture options to choose from, remembering your preferred settings can be tricky, but fortunately the C1 and C2 modes allow you to save two custom settings for quick retrieval.
Front of Canon PowerShot SX70 HS
The dedicated movie mode setting is what you need to choose to use the new SX70 HS 4K video recording feature. Thanks to its new sensor and processor, the SX70 can now record 4K video at 3840 x 2160 pixels at 30/25 fps, as well as the 1080p options offered by its predecessor.
The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS has LCD and EVF for image composition. Unfortunately, the LCD screen is not yet touch sensitive, something we complained about 4 years ago, and also has exactly the same 922k dots resolution, which is pretty low for a new camera in 2018. On the bright side, it has excellent angles of vision that translates into accurate colour and contrast reproduction regardless of your viewing angle.
The side of the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS
The EVF has been improved since the SX60, now with 2.36 million points, instead of the resolution of 922 thousand points of its predecessor. It also gets an eye sensor that automatically switches from the LCD screen to the EVF when you hold the camera to the eye, something that the SX60 HS did not offer, and again directly addressing another complaint we made about that camera. The screen also benefits of being a foldable unit, facilitating the composition of high and low angle photos, as well as a good old selfie. The screen brightness is also high enough to be used in direct sunlight, but if things get too light, the viewfinder is a useful alternative.
There are also many display preferences available during live display and playback of images, including RGB histograms, activated by pressing the Info button. Also on the back of the SX70 is the usual directional dial pad that also serves as controls for exposure compensation, flash, macro / manual focus, and excludes options.
The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS In Hand
When it comes to shooting with the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS, the camera turns on and gets ready to fire a shot in 1.5 seconds pretty fast. Concentrating on good light is almost instantaneous, but the weaker conditions slow things down to a delay of 1.5 to 2 seconds. Zooming at longer focal lengths can also cause some focus and general slowdowns, and the system is sometimes not reliable in those situations. Exposure metering is absolutely reliable and is not disturbed by high contrast scenes. The continuous shooting rate of 10fps, above 6.5fps on the SX60, is exceptionally fast for this type of camera. Navigating the SX70 HS menu system is easy thanks to the design and layout experienced and tested by Canon.
The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS battery lasts 325 shots from its smaller 875mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery is not as good as its predecessor’s 340-shot duration. By activating Eco mode of the SX70 HS, the battery life can be estimated at around 405 photos by means of subtle measures of energy saving.