|Previous news story Next news story|
A raft of 7 megapixel compacts is coming your way soon, with Canon being the latest to announce its PowerShot S70, which is practically the same as the S60, except the resolution. The sliding lens camera retains the wideangle 28-100mm optic of the S60, plus a 3.6x optical zoom. Images can be recorded in RAW or JPEG modes and improved continuous shooting up to 15 images. Price around $600.
The extensive list of high-end and semi-professional features include simultaneous RAW and JPEG file recording, 15 sec to 1/2000 sec shutter speeds, AF and AE lock, manual focusing and an intervalometer for automatic time-lapse photography. Optional accessories include a wireless controller, 2x tele-converter and a 40m depth waterproof case. Also included is a pre-set white balance mode for underwater photography, Print/Share button and the latest PowerShot S-series user-interface for fast, simple and intuitive navigation.
"This extraordinarily compact camera is packed with a sophisticated array of technologies,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe at the camera’s launch. “With 7.1 Megapixels and many features borrowed from our digital SLR range, the S70 is expected to appeal to professionals looking to add a compact camera to their usual kit, and serious photography enthusiasts looking for uncompromising specifications.”
Starting with the optics
Canon has drawn on its 60 year heritage of precision optics and lens manufacturing to produce the tiny yet relatively fast 3.6x optical zoom f2.8 – f/5.3 lens. This is only the second camera ever to feature an aspheric element glass-moulded from Canon’s new ultra-high refractive index glass. This new UA lens allows for the design of a more compact lens with no compromise on image quality, and contributes to making the body almost 8% thinner than the popular PowerShot S50, despite a 28mm wide angle focal length and higher zoom ratio. The 28-100mm focal length range expands to 200mm with the addition of an optional 2x tele-converter.
Updated and integrated
The user interface is smooth and easy to follow and learn, with an ergonomic SLR-style Mode Dial on top of the camera for shifting quickly and easily between 13 different shooting modes. Users can record up to 180 second movies (30 seconds at VGA resolution) with sound, playback and in-camera editing. Two new languages – Portuguese and Russian – have been added to the intuitive menu system, taking the total number of languages supported to 14.
The same improvements to both shooting and playback times that were incorporated on the S60 are also included in this camera. Despite its diminutive size, the supplied NB-2LH Li-ion battery provides enough power for approximately 140 shots from a single charge, or approximately 210 minutes of playback time. This performance is due in part to the incorporation of Canon’s DIGIC image processor. DIGIC is purpose built by Canon to execute the complex algorithms necessary to properly calculate functions such as white balance and color rendition, with no trade-off in camera responsiveness. By keeping all key functions on a single chip, size and power consumption are also reduced. The overall result is super efficient processing and stunning image quality.
Fast and accurate
DIGIC also drives a 2 frames per second (High speed) continuous shooting speed, and supports 9-point AiAF for fast, accurate focusing even when subjects are not centred. FlexiZone AF/AE allows scrolling around the frame's Auto Focus areas to select the desired subject, for which exposure is weighted accordingly. The camera also includes iSAPS – a type of artificially intelligent photographer's assistant that instantly analyses each scene. By taking into account zoom position, camera settings and readings from the orientation sensor, iSAPS makes adjustments even before the shutter release is pressed to optimise exposure, white balance and auto-focus settings in every shooting situation.
The S70 borrows several features from Canon’s range of digital SLR cameras.One such feature is the ability to record RAW files. The camera embeds a JPEG with selectable resolution in recorded RAW files, allowing for quick in-camera review to confirm successful image capture. An optional wireless controller allows for remote shooting, ideal for when the photographer wishes to mount the camera at a fixed vantage point during sporting or other events. The controller also supports remote playback and forwarding, perfect for reviewing shots or footage on a TV.
As soon as the camera recognises successful connection to a direct printer or Windows computer, a blue light on its Print/Share button illuminates to indicate that printing or file transfer can commence. Connection via USB cable to any PictBridge compatible printer enables printing without first transferring to PC. When connected to Canon compact photo printers such as the Canon CP-330, the camera/printer combination allows for 'movie-prints' (a series of up to 63 evenly spaced frames of a movie clip printed as an action sequence to a single card) and photo IDs (passport style ID photographs – selectable from 28 different sizes).
Membership to Canon’s web portal CiG (CANON iMAGE GATEWAY) expands to allow uploading of movie clips. These are first compressed for faster uploading using an upgraded version of the Canon ZoomBrowser software. CiG gives S70 customers 100MB of album space on the web for storing and sharing favorite photographs and albums – a private online photo gallery.
Software supplied includes browsing and printing software ZoomBrowser EX 5.0 (Windows) and ImageBrowser 5.0 (Mac). Both ZoomBrowser and ImageBrowser have been updated to improve navigation, folder management, browsing and sorting, and viewing. When selected, a new Properties window displays image information such as shooting information, histogram, user’s ‘Star’ rating, an editable comments field and a ‘Protect’ feature. Other software includes PhotoStitch, plus photo and movie manipulation software ArcSoft PhotoStudio and VideoImpression. The supplied software is supported by Windows 98SE / Me / 2000 with Service Pack 4 / and XP, plus Mac OS X v10.1.5 – 10.3. Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP) support allows the camera to connect to any Windows XP and Mac OS X (v10.1/v10.2/v10.3) system without the requirement for a driver installation.
1/1.8 " Type CCD
|Image sizes|| 3072 x 2304
2592 x 1944
2048 x 1536
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
|Movie clips|| 640 x 480 at 10fps up to 30 secs
320 x 240 at 15fps up to three minutes
160 x 120 at 15fps up to three minutes
|File formats|| Still: JPEG (Exif 2.2), RAW
Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG)
Sound: WAV (monaural) up to 60 seconds per image
|Lens|| 28 - 100mm (35mm equiv)
F2.8 - F5.3
|Conversion lenses|| Tele-converter 2.0x TC-DC10
Conversion Lens Adapter LA-DC10
|Digital zoom||Up to 4.1x|
1-point AF (any position or fixed center)
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Focus distance|| Macro: 4cm|
Spot (center or linked to frame)
|ISO sensitivity|| Auto
|Exposure compensation|| +/-2EV
1/3 stop increments
|Shutter speed|| 15 - 1/2000 sec
Slower shutter speeds of 1.3 sec and more available in Manual and Shutter priority AE modes only
Shutter speeds of 1.3 sec and more operate with noise reduction
|Photo Effects|| Vivid
Black & White
Shutter priority AE
Aperture priority AE
Movie with sound
|Self timer||2 or 10 secs|
|Continuous shooting|| High Speed at approx.2.0 fps (for up to 15 images)
Normal at approx. 1.2 fps (for up to 23 images)
|Flash|| Auto, manual, on/of, red-eye reduction
Flash range: 55cm - 4.2m (W) 2m (T) at ISO 100 equiv
|LCD monitor|| 1.8-inch TFT LCD
|Print compliance|| DPOF Version 1.1 compliant
Canon Photo Printers
Canon Pixma printers supporting PictBridge
CompactFlash type I/II and Microdrive
|Power|| Rechargeable lithium ion battery (NB-2LH/NB-2L)
|Weight (no batt)||230 g (8.1 oz)|
|Dimensions||114 x 57 x 39mm (4.4 x 2.2 x 1.5in)|