Canon PowerShot SX700 HS Review - Canon's latest travel camera packs everything but the kitchen sink, but how does it perform when put through its paces?
Canon PowerShot SX700 HS Review
Canon PowerShot SX700 HS Review – Image Quality
Canon PowerShot SX700 HS sample image gallery
Like the SX600 which we looked at a few weeks ago, the SX700’s image quality is consistently very good, as one might well expect from a company with Canon’s enviable track record.
Colour and White Balance
Colour reproduction under both natural and flash light is excellent, with well-saturated primaries which retain detail even in very bright tones. It also produces very nice warm skin tones.
As usual the automatic white balance is utterly reliable, producing natural-looking colours under all types of lighting, both indoors and out.
The SX700 HS features Canon’s latest back-side illuminated CMOS sensor, which produces excellent dynamic range, maintaining good shadow detail while also preserving highlights.
The exposure system takes full advantage of this, coping well with dim indoor lighting, hazy spring sunlight and everything in between.
Canon seems to have taken the wise decision to restrict the resolution of all of its compact cameras, rather than simply going for ever-bigger numbers to print on the box.
While some of its rivals have chosen to use overcrowded 20-megapixel sensors, the SX700 “only” has a 16MP sensor. However what it lacks in final image size (and that isn’t much) it more than makes up for in improved sharpness and overall image quality.
The decision to use a 16MP BSI CMOS sensor has also paid off in image noise. The SX700 has an ISO range of 100-3200, and produces excellent image quality right across that range.
Images are effectively noise-free at 1600 ISO, and it turns out printable images at 3200.
There is some drop-off in dynamic range and fine detail at the higher settings as one might expect, but it’s not enough to cause a problem.
Overall lens quality is very good, but as with any compact long-zoom lens there are certain caveats to that statement.
We’ve pointed out before that designing lenses of this type inevitably involves a few compromises, but nevertheless the SX700’s lens performs impressively well at all focal lengths.
It is a little soft at extreme magnification, but we’ve seen worse from shorter lenses. At wider settings there is no trace of optical distortion or chromatic aberration.
That’s probably partially due to digital correction, but the results are just as good either way.