|*||7.1-Megapixel CCD delivers 3,072 x 2,304 pixel images|
|*||4x optical zoom lens covers 28-100mm equivalent range|
|*||Nice mix of high-end features, easy usability|
|*||Beautiful, rugged, compact design|
NOTE: The Canon PowerShot S70 is virtually identical in form and function to the If you’ve already read the S60’s review, you can skip most of this review of the Canon S70, and just skip over to the section.
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The Canon PowerShot S70 is a minor update of this year’s previous wide angle powerhouse, the S60. At the top of Canon’s “mid-sized compact” line, the sleek S70 leverages its wide-angle zoom lens (reaching down to 28mm equivalent focal length at its widest zoom setting) by adding a 7.1 megapixel imager to an already superbly crafted camera. Hidden within the PowerShot S70’s trim case is a new level of optical sophistication, thanks to Canon’s advanced molding process that permits aspheric lens elements to be (reliably) crafted from high-index optical glass for the first time. The result is a zoom lens that’s capable of very wide angle operation, in a very compact form factor, yet with lower levels of distortion than was formerly possible.
In addition to the new lens technology it uses, the 7.1-megapixel PowerShot S70 also includes a new set of updates to both the user interface and controls. The Canon S70 is an advanced point-and-shoot style digital camera that incorporates many features from the high-end Canon PowerShot G6 model, but in a more compact, portable format. With the exception of the rotating LCD monitor and external hot shoe, the PowerShot S70 has almost all of the advanced features of the G6, including an impressive range of automatic and manual exposure controls, JPEG and RAW file formats, and in-camera adjustment of image contrast, sharpness, and color saturation, as well as a user-controlled AF point that can be moved around the screen in the manual exposure modes. Just shy of the range of the G6’s 4x lens, the S70’s 3.6x optical zoom lens reaches a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 28mm at its widest. In addition to these features, relative to last year’s very popular S45 and S50, the S70 also offers an updated user interface (a slight redesign), and the new Print/Share button that is appearing on all new PowerShot cameras, designed to make the PictBridge direct-to-inkjet printer connection that much easier. With an estimated selling price at introduction of $599, the PowerShot S70 comes in at $100 more than the S60, but does offer a few more pixels for that price. It is sure to be a popular choice among business users, prosumer photographers, realtors, advanced amateurs, and even beginning photographers who want a high-quality digital camera that delivers large, sharp, colorful photo