Compared to... Canon A620

Canon appears to have entirely abandoned the much-praised 7.1MP 1/1.8" CCD for its 2006 range of compact PowerShots, using instead the new 1/2.5" 6.0MP sensor (we believe both sensors come from Sony) that - despite a slightly smaller pixel pitch - is claimed to offer marginally lower noise (the 7MP sensor itself offered a noticeable step up from the 5.0MP version that preceded it). To see how the new chip compares to its predecessor we've put the A700 head to head with the A620 (7MP, 3x zoom).

Studio scene comparison (A700 @ ISO 80, A620 @ ISO 50)

  • Canon PowerShot A700 : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 80, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +0.67 EV compensation
  • Canon PowerShot A620 : Aperture Priority mode, ISO 50, Default Image Parameters,
    Manual white balance, +1.0 EV compensation
  • Lighting: Daylight simulation, >98% CRI
Canon PowerShot A700
Canon PowerShot A620
ISO 80, 1/50 sec, F5.0
ISO 50, 1/50 sec, F4.5
2,357 KB JPEG
2,757 KB JPEG

There really isn't a lot in it - the 6x zoom performs remarkably well, color rendition is very similar (though the new sensor seems to handle reds more accurately), noise is very well controlled and noise reduction fairly unobtrusive. Sensitivity is very similar - it's interesting to note that the A700 seems to be slightly more accurate in its ISO rating than the A620, which - typically for a Canon - is understated. Both cameras are actually around ISO 90-100 when measured against a Sekonic light meter. Edge-to-edge sharpness is very good, and the loss of a million pixels doesn't seem to have had a significant effect on resolution.