Canon PowerShot A700
By: Mike Pasini and Dave Etchells
Review posted: 05/31/2006
Canon is continually expanding its PowerShot A-series cameras, even as they reduce some of their other lines. The new A700, announced just before Spring PMA 2006, is the first step in yet another expansion of the A-series to a new level. This time the expansion is more than about pixels, but includes a longer lens than any A-series previously, reaching to 6x, or an equivalent of 35 to 210mm, making the PowerShot A700 excellent for all-purpose photography.
The Canon A700 also includes a respectable 6.0 megapixel sensor, more than enough for tack-sharp 11×14 inch prints. Like most of the other cameras announced at the same time, the A700 also includes an ISO range from 80 to 800. ISO 800 should be very good for indoor low-light shots.
Like nearly every other Canon A-series camera, the PowerShot A700 is replete with features to make the camera easier to use. You can just lock it into full Auto mode to point and shoot, or just turn the dial for gradually more and more control. Fourteen Scene modes allow you to look like a pro while the camera tunes its settings for certain situations, like Portrait, Snow, Beach, and even a setting for Fireworks.
An advanced movie mode allows you to capture TV-quality 640×480 or 320x 240 videos at 30 frames per second with the Canon A700.
A fast USB 2.0 connection allows easy offload of images from the SD or MMC card to a Mac or PC. You can even bypass the computer and print directly from the PowerShot A700 to a Canon or other PictBridge-enabled printer via the same USB connection.
Though it has a large 2.5 inch LCD, Canon didn’t eliminate the A700’s optical viewfinder, something we’re seeing from other manufacturers. For saving battery life, sometimes it helps to turn off that LCD and just use the optical viewfinder. Despite its numerical position in the line, the A700 is lighter than the A620, partly owing to its use of only two AA batteries instead of the latter’s four. In this sense, the A700 is quite the light, stealthy camera; more akin to the A500 series with its slimmer profile and lighter weight.
Any of the millions of A-series owners, going back to owners of the runaway bestseller A70, will find the A700 quite attractive. It’s a smart, practical camera with a reasonable resolution, a big LCD, and a pretty long zoom, pressed into a small, light package that uses only two AA batteries. The A700 is another well-placed step in Canon’s ongoing effort to make the PowerShot A-series the most complete line of family cameras on the market.