Nigel Atkinson Photography

Equipment review: Canon PowerShot S70


Before reading this review please read my general introduction to reviews here



I bought this camera as my travel-anywhere digital compact though it is significantly larger than the two film cameras it replaced - the Contax T3 and Ricoh GR1V. It also cost less than either of them (though I had no expectation it would be level on quality either).


My reasons for buying the S70 were:

Recovered by RAW processing after accidently underexposing by a stopMy feelings about the camera are generally good despite a few niggles. The camera is build solidly and has a large degree of manual control. Image quality is pretty good at ISO 100, though the noise at ISO 400 is roughly the same as the EOS 350D at ISO 1600. The niggles are:

  • The lens isn't very sharp by SLR standards and the colours are muted

  • The noise is very obvious at ISO 400 (though some of this can be reduced in RAW processing)

  • There isn't a constant battery indicator - just a low battery warning

  • The camera isn't much smaller than a 350D with 35mm f2 (though it does at least zoom)

  • Auto focus point selection is automatic in idiot modes but seems to be manual only in the non-idiot modes. Very frustrating.

In the end the S70 lost out to the Ixus 850IS solely on size. I can carry the Ixus anywhere in my pocket and take a reasonable picture. The S70 is more of a brick. Once I realised that the S70 was selling at a big premium on Ebay due to the loss of RAW on subsequent models I sold it immediately.

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Nigel Atkinson