The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is a superzoom compact camera that boasts a huge 65x optical zoom with a 35mm-equivalent focal range of 21-1365mm.
Its new 20.1MP high-sensitivity CMOS sensor promises excellent image quality, especially as it’s paired with Canon’s latest high-end DIGIC 8 processor. This also enables up to 10ps continuous shooting and 4K video capture with stereo sound.
The camera isn’t short on other features either, with a 2.36-million electronic viewfinder with an eye-sensor, flip-out LCD display, clever Zoom Framing Assist function, built-in Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for easy image sharing and remote camera control, plus plenty of creative effects.
Ease of Use
We reviewed the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS's predecessor, the SX60 HS, 4 years ago in 2014, and externally little has changed since then with the launch of the SX70. It's really inside the camera where Canon have made improvements, with a new image sensor, processor, faster continuous shooting, 4K video recording, higher-resolution EVF, and Bluetooth connectivity all now on offer.
Externally the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS looks like the SX60 HS and most other high-end ultra-zoom bridge cameras too, which is to say it resembles a small DSLR camera. Considering it packs what’s currently one of the biggest zoom ranges in the business, the camera isn’t particularly large at 127 x 90.9 x 116.6mm, and at 610g it cuts 40g off the weight of the previous SX60 model. It boasts solid build quality, with a rugged plastic casing that’s free from flex or squeaks and a tactile rubber coating on the chunky hand and thumb grips.
Considering the SX70 HS is such a feature-packed camera, its control layout is fairly simple and logical. Some buttons are a little more unusual though, like those positioned on side of the lens barrel.
The upper button activates Canon’s Zoom Framing Assist function. When you’re zoomed in to the max, it only takes a tiny twitch of the camera to send a distant subject flying out of frame. Finding it again can be frustrating, but by pressing and holding the Zoom Framing Assist button, the camera automatically zooms out but leaves an outline of the original frame size on screen. Position the outline around your subject, release the button and the camera automatically zooms back in.
The lower button on the lens barrel then helps prevent you losing track of your subject again, as pressing it enhances the camera’s image stabilisation to further iron out camera shake. The effect is minimal though, however the Zoom Framing Assist feature is handy and effective.
A brand new control on the SX70 HS is a second Zoom control, located just in front of the Zoom Framing Assist buttons on the lens barrel. Naturally controlled with your left-hand thumb, we found it to be useful addition, especially when holding the camera up to eye-level and using the longer end of the telephoto lens.
Initial set-up of the Wi-fi and can be a faff, requiring you to manually connect to the camera’s wireless hotspot, especially as the camera no longer supports NFC pairing. The new Bluetooth feature is a lot easier to setup. However you connect though, the Canon Camera Connect app lets you wirelessly transfer images to a smartphone, tablet or computer, as well as print to a PictBridge-compatible printer. The app also allows you to remotely control the camera with your phone and add GPS data to your images (when connected via Bluetooth).