Canon Powershot SX700 HS Review

Gary Wolstenholme reviews the Canon Powershot SX700 HS, a compact travel zoom camera with a 30x optical zoom lens and built in Wi-Fi.

| Canon Powershot SX700 HS in Compact Cameras
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Canon Powershot SX700 HS Review: Canon Powershot SX700 HS Black (2)

The Canon Powershot SX700 HS is a compact camera with an image stabilised 30x zoom lens,  manual controls and wireless connectivity via WiFi and NFC.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Features

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Review: Canon Powershot SX700 HS Black (3)

The Canon Powershot SX700 HS features a 16 megapixel CMOS sensor, a wide-angle 30x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 25mm to 750mm, and optical image stabilisation to aid taking sharp shots at the telephoto end of the zoom range, or in low light conditions.

The camera features a 3inch Purecolor II G screen, with a resolution of 922,000 dots and a retractable pop up flash unit. As well as the usual compliment of automatic shooting modes, full creative manual control is available, which is great for those who like to take control of their camera, although there is no provision for recording RAW files with this camera. Processing is taken care of by Canon's DIGIC 6 processor, which promises better quality at high ISOs and a more responsive camera than previous processor versions.

1080p video can be recorded at 60fps, plus stereo sound, and optical zoom is available. The camera can also record high-speed video at 120 and 240fps, at a reduced resolution. The camera can shoot up to four shots in a burst at 8.5 frames per second, at full resolution, and larger bursts at 3.1 frames per second.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Review: Canon Powershot SX700 HS Black (5)

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel CMOS sensor
  • 30x optical zoom lens, 25mm-750mm equivalent
  • Optical image stabilisation (lens shift)
  • 3inch screen, 922k dots
  • 1080p video at 60p, stereo sound, 5-axis IS
  • My colours and creative shot modes
  • ISO100-ISO3200
  • 1cm macro mode
  • 8.5fps high speed burst (4 frames)
  • 3.1fps continuous shooting
  • Zoom framing assist
  • Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Handling

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Review: Canon Powershot SX700 HS Black (7)

The Canon Powershot SX700 HS has a metal body that feels reasonably robust. A small raised, rubberised finger grip on the front of the camera body helps to provide a secure hold of the camera, which is especially important, given the zoom range on offer.

A mode dial on the rear lets you set the shooting mode, and there are video record, playback, menu and wireless transfer buttons. The four-way controller can be used to change settings on the rear screen and the function button nestled within allows quick access for shooting options. On top is the on/off button, shutter release and zoom control. The base gives access to the battery and memory card compartment and connections for USB and HDMI are located on the side under a plastic flap. The screen had good viewing angles and is bright, clear and easy to see in bright sunlight.

The zoom framing assist feature simply zooms the lens out, whilst superimposing a rectangle on the screen to show how much your previous zoom setting would have covered. The issue with this system is that it doesn't zoom back automatically, so unless you were at full zoom before, the superimposed frame is pretty meaningless. However it is handy for those times you lose your subject at full zoom, as it quickly retracts the zoom so you can find your subject again. I feel this system would work better if the zoom returned to its previous setting when the zoom framing assist button is released.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Review: Canon Powershot SX700 HS Black (6)

Menus – To change settings you can press the function button, located within the circular 4-way controller and this will bring up a number of common settings on the rear screen. A jog dial located around the perimeter of the 4-way controller makes it easier to apply manual adjustments. To adjust more advanced settings you simply press the menu button and the options are spread over two screens. The menus are well laid out, and will those who have used a Canon compact camera before will feel right at home with the layout.

Wireless Connectivity - In order to connect the camera and a smartphone or tablet, Canon’s Camera window app must first be installed on your Android or Apple, phone or tablet. Once complete, the camera can be connected directly to the device via Wi-Fi or NFC, or through your home network via Wi-Fi.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Review: Screenshot 2014 05 09 17 14 43 | Canon Powershot SX700 HS Review: Screenshot 2014 05 09 17 15 08 | Canon Powershot SX700 HS Review: Screenshot 2014 05 09 17 16 23 |
The Canon Camera Window app connects the camera to the phone or tablet via Wi-Fi or NFC. Images can be viewed on the device or shared via other apps.
The camera can even be controlled via the app over Wi-Fi.

Connecting directly to an Android device is straightforward, but we had some issues trying to do the same with an iPhone 5s, although this could equally be down to the phone itself. Connecting over a home network via Wi-Fi is very straightforward also, although entering the password for your network can be quite fiddly on the camera, especially as numbers and letters are on separate keyboard screens. Once connected, images on the camera can be viewed on the smart phone or tablet and then shared via whatever apps you may have on the device, such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram etc.

The camera can even be controlled via the app, which works much better than we expected. Zoom and focus can be controlled remotely, as can other options, like the flash mode for example. This can be especially useful for those who are partial to taking the odd 'selfie' photograph, as the image can be composed easily using your phone's display. The GPS capability of your device can also be utilised to add geo-tags to your images as they are taken.

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 250 shots according to Canon / CIPA test results, which is reasonable performance. An 'ECO' mode is also available, which extends to battery life to 360 shots.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Review: Canon Powershot SX700 HS Black (1)

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.04secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.12secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.55secs
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 1.68secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 0.72secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 3.24secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
8.5fps (4 shots)
3.1fps (>100 shots)

Shutter response and focus are both quick, and the camera gives a good continuous shooting speed of 8.5fps (for up to 4shots) or 3.1fps until either the shutter button is released,  memory card is full or the battery runs out, whichever comes first. 

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Sample Photos

Sample Photos - Images are sharp and flash portraits are free of red-eye, with good skin tones. Levels of detail decrease as the ISO is raised but even images taken at ISO3200 should be plenty good enough for sharing on the web via social networking. Colour and exposure are good, with natural levels of colour saturation. If stronger colours are required, then you may use the Vivid My Colours digital filter to give saturation a boost.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Lens test images

Lens Performance - Images are generally sharp in the centre of the frame, although corners can be a little soft at the wide angle zoom setting and detail levels are good for a camera of this type. The camera does a good job of correcting for barrel and pincushion distortion, with only a slight amount of distortion being visible in images. The camera has a very impressive 1cm macro mode, letting you get very close to your subject. 

Canon Powershot SX700 HS ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise levels are well controlled for a camera of this type, with images taken between ISO100 and ISO400 being relatively free of noise. Noise does increase with sensitivity, but even images taken at the maximum sensitivity should be good enough for sharing on the web via social networking.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a slightly warm image under tungsten lighting, with the tungsten preset providing a better corrected result. AWB performs reasonably well under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset a very slight yellow/green colour cast. 

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Other sample images

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of colour options to choose from in the My Colours section of the function menu as well as digital effects such as a miniature effect and creative filters like the toy camera effect.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Scene modes

Creative Shot Mode – Accessed via the mode switch on top of the camera, this mode takes six images in quick succession, applying different crops and filters randomly to each image. One possible use for this mode is for sharing images via one of the popular photo montage apps on a smartphone, or simply to choose the effect you like best of the six.

Video - The camera records 1080p HD video at 60fps with stereo sound, and optical zoom is available. Image stabilisation helps keep the shot steady while recording and overall the quality delivered is very good, with no jerkiness or blockiness.

Value For Money

The Canon Powershot SX700 HS is available for £277 which makes it good value for money, as few cameras come close to the same specification for the price.

Nikon Coolpix S9700, 16MP, Wi-Fi, GPS, 30x optical zoom, £269
Panasonic Lumix TZ60, 18MP, Wi-Fi, NFC, GPS, EVF, 30x optical zoom, £339
Sony Cyber-shot HX60, 20MP, 30x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, £319
Olympus Stylus SH-1, 16MP, 24x optical zoom, Wi-Fi, £349

You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Verdict

Overall, this camera provides decent quality images and a range of features that will appeal to both advanced photographers and happy snappers alike. Image quality is good for a camera of this type, although corners can be a little soft at the wide angle end of the zoom. The image stabilisation works well and video quality is very good also. Wireless connectivity features make sharing images on the go a pleasure and the novel remote control feature is ideal for those partial to taking the odd 'selfie'. The camera is reasonably priced compared to alternatives too.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Review:
  The Canon Powershot SX700 HS offers an appealing range of features and good image quality, with built in Wi-Fi.

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Pros

Good colour and exposure
1080p HD video at 60fps with IS
Creative shot mode
Wireless connectivity
Remote control function
Excellent 1cm macro mode
3inch screen with 922k dots
30x zoom lens
8.5fps burst mode

Canon Powershot SX700 HS Cons

Zoom assist mode seems strangely implemented
Corners can be a little soft at wide angle end of the zoom
Lacks panoramic mode


Canon Powershot SX700 HS Specifications

Max Aperturef/3.2 - f/6.9
35mm equivalent25mm - 750mm
Optical Zoom30x
Image Sensor
Pixels16.1Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeBack-lit CMOS (B.S.I.)
Sensor Size1/2.3inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 3:2
  • 16:9
  • 1:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution922k
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Manual
  • Face Detection
  • AF Tracking
  • Multi
  • Centre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/3200sec
Shutter speeds longest15sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Aperture-Priority
  • Shutter-Priority
  • Manual
  • Scene modes
  • Program Variable
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 3200
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting8.5fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1920x1080 FullHD
Video FPS60p
Stereo SoundYes
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeRechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6LH
Battery Life (CIPA rating)250shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsDigital Camera PowerShot SX700 HS, Wrist Strap WS-800, Battery Pack NB-6LH, Battery Charger CB-2LYE, AC Cable, User Manual Kit

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Photographs taken using the Canon Powershot SX700 HS

Hope Cove wild seaA Mallard on Lake Champlain  (best viewed large)The Boston Commons Busker  (best viewed large)From Around MontrealStatue of Genghis Khan, MongoliaAlbert Park, AucklandApproaching AitutakiAn Albino Gray Squirrel  (best viewed large.)A Female Mallard Duck ( (Anas platyrhynchos)  (best viewed large)Architecture; Downtown Montreal  (best viewed large)CormorantMaple Leaves In AutumnA Female Mallard On Silky WaterSunrise in the South PacificStone Sour

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