Canon PowerShot SD700 IS
By: Dan Havlik
Review posted: 06/30/06
With its new top-of-line “Digital ELPH” camera, the PowerShot SD700 IS, Canon makes a compelling argument for doing away with flash photography altogether. Along with being the first compact digital camera in Canon’s line to offer its optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology, the six-megapixel SD700 IS has selectable ISO settings of up to 800, making the camera extremely light sensitive and able to shoot effectively in dusk-like conditions without a flash. Used in concert with IS — a technology which employs vibration sensors to detect and correct the camera shake which causes image blur — the SD700 IS’s high ISO capabilities give this camera the potential to be a low-light killer. Though there are other compact cameras on the market that are more light sensitive — the Fuji F30 has ISO up to 3200, for instance — Canon’s latest digital consumer models are some of the best I’ve seen for controlling noise. Though consumers are accustomed to using on-camera flash in dark situations which often “nukes” the subject in a harsh burst of light, when they see what an unblurred portrait shot in natural light looks like, it’s a world of difference.
Along with its low-light potential, the SD700 IS has several deluxe features that suit its Digital ELPH flagship status. In a relatively slim body, the camera has a 4x optical (35mm-140mm in 35mm equivalent) extending zoom lens that’s fast at f/2.8-f/5.5. The SD700 IS also has Canon’s DIGIC II image processor, a 2.5-inch LCD with decent resolution and a wide-viewing angle, 16 shooting modes, widescreen (16:9) still recording, and a new attractive three-tone design that’s distinctively curved and pleasing to hold. Do all these high-end features justify its high starting price tag? Read on and find out.
Canon SD700 User Report
By: Dan Havlik
Though in a previous review of the SD600, I had said I felt the classic Digital ELPH “box and circle” design was getting a little long in the tooth, the SD700 IS offers a nice refresh. The SD700 IS is an extension of the “Perpetual Curve” design introduced on the SD550 about a year ago, but with three different colored materials — brushed silver, beige satin, and black gloss — contoured together to form one unit. Despite the various tones, there’s a luxurious subtlely to the design, which Canon has dubbed “Curvature and Stream.” Though the name’s a bit unusual, the SD700 IS does have a great look and feel to it with the camera’s various lines blending together artfully. Even though its a bit thicker than some competing models on the market, the camera slides easily into your pocket, with the smooth curving design preventing snags. The camera weighs in at about six ounces without the battery, so while it’s not heavy, it has enough heft to give it some balance. The SD700 IS extends slightly on the right side (from the user’s perspective) with the right edge of the camera slanted inward to provide a good place to grip the camera. Even though this is a camera designed for size and style, it’s fairly easy to hold.