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Canon PowerShot SX70 HS Camera Review

Tested using Methodology v0.8
Reviewed Jun 10, 2021 at 10:34 am
Canon PowerShot SX70 HS Picture
6.5
Travel Photography
6.5
Landscape Photography
7.2
Sport & Wildlife Photography
6.3
Vlogging
5.0
Studio Video
3.6
Action Video
Body Type
Bridge
Mirrorless
Yes
Sensor Size
1/2.3-inch
Tested Lens
Built-In Lens

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is a bridge camera with a built-in zoom lens. It has an incredibly long focal length, letting you capture everything from wide-angle landscapes to far-away subjects and close-ups. Despite its zoom lens, the camera feels lightweight and comfortable to use, with a simple menu system and decently sturdy construction. However, it's bulky in size, so it's not as convenient to take on the go. It also lacks a touchscreen, although the screen is fully articulated. The image quality is adequate; that said, sharpness declines significantly, and visual noise becomes noticeable at moderate to higher ISO levels, so it's not well-suited to low light photography. On the upside, it has a decent autofocus system for photos, especially when tracking objects, but it's not great at tracking faces. Video quality and features are also quite lacking, especially when it comes to low light performance and autofocus.

Our Verdict

6.5 Travel Photography

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is okay for travel photography. It's not especially portable, but it's relatively lightweight and feels comfortable to use. It has a fully articulated screen that gets bright enough to overcome glare, but unfortunately, it's not a touchscreen, making it harder to navigate the menu. That said, the menu is clean and simple. Autofocus performance is decent, especially with tracking objects, and images look okay for the most part. However, the camera doesn't perform well in low light, as sharpness declines significantly at higher ISO levels. It also has a sub-par battery life, although this depends on settings and usage habits.

Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable to use.
  • Fully articulated screen.
  • Simple menu system.
Cons
  • Image quality degrades in low light.
  • No touchscreen.
  • Bulky size.
6.5 Landscape Photography

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is alright for landscape photography. It delivers reasonably high-quality images, although it doesn't perform well in low light, as higher ISO levels introduce noticeable noise and a significant decline in sharpness. However, it has a fantastic dynamic range, which is great for capturing details in landscapes with a wide range of both highlights and lowlights. Unfortunately, it has a bulky design that makes it a little more cumbersome to take to remote shooting locations. Although we don't currently test this, it also lacks weather-sealing, so it won't be protected from rain or humidity if you shoot outdoors.

Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable to use.
  • Fully articulated screen.
  • Simple menu system.
Cons
  • Image quality degrades in low light.
  • No touchscreen.
  • Bulky size.
7.2 Sport & Wildlife Photography

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is good for sport and wildlife photography. It has a good continuous shooting speed and a relatively quick buffer empty time, so you can capture moments of fast-moving action with minimal interruption. The built-in lens has an incredibly long focal length, great for capturing far-off subjects, and the optical stabilization does an excellent job of steadying the image, even at slower shutter speeds. You may still need a tripod when using the full focal length. Image quality is okay; that said, raising the ISO introduces significant noise and loss of detail and sharpness, so it's not well-suited to shooting in dim lighting conditions. While its autofocus system is great at tracking moving objects, it performs much worse at tracking faces.

Pros
  • Incredibly long focal length.
  • Lightweight and comfortable to use.
  • Excellent image stabilization.
  • Good shooting speed.
Cons
  • Image quality degrades in low light.
  • No touchscreen.
  • Bulky size.
6.3 Vlogging

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is adequate for vlogging. It's bulky, making it harder to shoot footage on the go, and the video quality is poor, especially in low light. While it does a good job of smoothing out camera shake in FHD, video stabilization performs much worse in 4k. Shooting in 4k also incurs a significant crop. Its autofocus system performs poorly as well, and it especially struggles with face tracking. It has a fully articulated screen, so you can easily monitor yourself while recording.

Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable to use.
  • Fully articulated screen.
  • Simple menu system.
  • Good video stabilization in FHD.
Cons
  • No touchscreen.
  • Poor video quality.
  • Can only shoot 4k video at 30 fps with a crop.
  • Disappointing autofocus performance.
  • Bulky size.
5.0 Studio Video

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is inadequate for studio video. Its video quality is poor, whether shooting in FHD or 4k, and its autofocus performance is disappointing. Its 4k capability is quite limited, as it can only shoot at 30 fps with a severe crop. Lastly, it's a bit limited in terms of inputs and outputs, as it lacks a headphone jack, and while it has a microphone jack, there's no hot shoe on which to mount an external mic. It also has an HDMI port, but it only allows for playback as opposed to external recording.

Pros
  • Lightweight and comfortable to use.
  • Fully articulated screen.
  • Simple menu system.
Cons
  • No touchscreen.
  • Poor video quality.
  • Inputs and outputs are limited.
  • Can only shoot 4k video at 30 fps with a crop.
  • Disappointing autofocus performance.
3.6 Action Video

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS isn't for action video. It's too bulky for mounting on an accessory or helmet, and it isn't weather-sealed, although we don't currently test for that. Video quality is also poor, especially in low light. While it does a great job of reducing camera shake in FHD, it struggles a bit in 4k. Finally, its frame rates are limited. It can't shoot in 120 or 240 fps, so you can't generate smooth slow-motion video, and when shooting in 4k, it's limited to 30 fps with a crop.

Pros
  • Great video stabilization in FHD.
Cons
  • Limited frame rates.
  • Not water-resistant.
  • Poor video quality.
  • Can only shoot 4k video at 30 fps with a crop.
  • Bulky size.
  • 6.5 Travel Photography
  • 6.5 Landscape Photography
  • 7.2 Sport & Wildlife Photography
  • 6.3 Vlogging
  • 5.0 Studio Video
  • 3.6 Action Video
  1. Updated Apr 25, 2022: Converted to Test Bench 0.8.
  2. Updated Nov 30, 2021: Corrected input error in 'Max Focal Length (Full Frame Equivalent)'.
  3. Updated Sep 24, 2021: Corrected input errors in 'Max Aperture (Full Frame Equivalent)' and 'Face Detection Distance'. Retested lens luminance and light falloff and updated 'Lens' score.
  4. Updated Jun 10, 2021: Review published.
  5. Updated Jun 08, 2021: Early access published.

Check Price

Black PowerShot SX70 HS
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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
4.7
Design
Portability
Height
3.7" (9.3 cm)
Width
5.0" (12.6 cm)
Depth
5.0" (12.6 cm)
Volume
90.1 in³ (1,477.0 cm³)
Weight
1.37 lbs (0.62 kg)
Weight With Lens
1.37 lbs (0.62 kg)
7.0
Design
Build Quality

  • Body is made of plastic
  • Buttons feel nice and provide good tactile feedback
  • Command dial feels solid and provides good feedback
  • Additional zoom buttons on side of lens feel solid and work well
  • Sturdy-feeling screen hinge
  • Picture mode dial is somewhat stiff
  • Battery/SD card compartment is covered by a locking hinged door, while inputs are covered by rubber flaps

Design
Body
Water Resistance
No
Rugged
No
Hot Shoe
No
Customizable Button
Yes
Command Dial
1
Tripod Mount
Yes
Lens Mount
No Lens Mount
Built-In Flash
Yes
Design
In The Box

  • Canon PowerShot SX70 HS camera
  • Shoulder strap
  • Lens cap with string attached
  • 1x Canon LP-E12 battery
  • Battery charger
  • Getting Started guide

8.0
Design
Ergonomics & Comfort
Hand Grip: Small Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Medium Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Large Hand
Yes
Hand Grip: Extra-Large Hand
Yes

  • Grip is comfortable, but texture feels a bit lacking
  • Only one command dial, but Q menu makes it easy to quickly adjust important settings
  • Screen edge sticks out slightly when folded in
  • Viewfinder includes a rubber eyecup and feels comfortable to use
  • Exposure parameters are easy to adjust, even when looking through the viewfinder
  • Fully articulated screen
  • Lack of touchscreen makes it more difficult to navigate menu
  • SD card can't be changed while the camera is mounted on a tripod

Design
Viewfinder
Viewfinder Type
Electronic
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Resolution
2.36 million dots
Advertised Magnification
N/A
7.9
Design
Screen
Screen Articulation Type
Fully-Articulated
Screen Max Brightness
575 cd/m²
Advertised Resolution
0.92 million dots
Size
3.0" (7.6 cm)
Touchscreen
No
8.5
Design
Menu System
Guide Mode
Yes
App Name
Canon Camera Connect

  • Simple, uncluttered menu system
  • Lack of touchscreen makes it a bit less easy to navigate
  • Menu system changes depending on the current mode
  • Quick menu makes it easy to access frequently-used settings
  • Includes a guide mode, but it's limited to features found in the Q menu

Design
Assistance Functions
Level Display
No
Grid Lines
Photo & Video
Histogram
Photo Only
Zebra Pattern
No
Focus Peaking
Photo & Video
Waveform
No
6.3
Design
Lens
Lens Type
Built-in
Maximum Aperture
3.4 - 6.5
Max Aperture (Full-Frame Equivalent)
f/19.1
Minimum Focal Length
3.8 mm
Maximum Focal Length
247 mm
Max Focal Length (Full-Frame Equivalent)
1,365 mm
Optical Image Stabilization
Yes
Luminance
76%
Light Falloff
66.7%

Update 11/30/2021: We mistakenly noted that the camera's max focal length (full frame equivalent) was 1388mm. The review has been updated to show the correct full-frame equivalent focal length of 1365mm.

Update 09/24/2021: Corrected 'Max Aperture (Full Frame Equivalent)' from 19.7 to 19.1. We also reshot and retested the lens's luminance and light falloff. The score has been updated accordingly.

Design
Sensor
Sensor Type
BSI CMOS
Advertised Effective Pixels
20.3 MP
Processor
DIGIC 8
Extended ISO Minimum
N/A
Native ISO Minimum (Base ISO)
100
Native ISO Maximum
3,200
Tested Firmware
Ver. 1.1.1
5.8
Design
Battery
Battery Type
Canon LP-E12
USB Charging
No
Use When Charging
No
Advertised Battery Life In Photo
325 photos
Tested Battery Life In Video
90 min

Note: This camera may overheat and interrupt progress during long video recording sessions.

Photo General
Photo General
Photo Features
JPEG File Format
Yes
Raw File Format
CR3 + C-RAW
Shutter
Mechanical
Slowest Shutter Speed
15 s
Fastest Shutter Speed
1/2,000 s
Silent Shooting
Yes
HDR
No
Time Lapse
Yes
6.7
Photo General
Photo Shooting Speed
Low Speed Continuous
4 fps
High Speed Continuous
10 fps
Silent Shooting Continuous
N/A
Raw Buffer Size
15 Photos
JPEG Buffer Size
80 Photos
Buffer Empty Time
6 s
6.7
Photo General
Photo Autofocus
Object Tracking Success Rate
84%
Face Tracking Success Rate
45%
Face Detection Distance
80" (203 cm)
Eye Detection
No
Advertised Coverage
N/A
Advertised Focus Points
9

Update 09/24/2021: We retested the camera's face detection distance and updated it to 80" (203 cm).

8.8
Photo General
Photo Image Stabilization
Minimum Shutter Speed Achieved
1/6 s
In-Body Image Stabilization
No
Photo Image Quality
7.2
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Dynamic Range
SNR 18% After Exposure Recovery
19.76 dB
Dynamic Range At Base ISO
10.5 f-stops
Dynamic Range At ISO 800
8.6 f-stops
Dynamic Range At ISO 3200
6.9 f-stops
5.1
Photo Image Quality
Photo Sharpness
JPEG Sharpness At Base ISO
3.082 pixels
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 800
6.6572 pixels
JPEG Sharpness At ISO 3200
8.491 pixels
RAW Sharpness At Base ISO
6.059 pixels
RAW Sharpness At ISO 800
6.348 pixels
RAW Sharpness At ISO 3200
6.913 pixels
9.0
Photo Image Quality
Photo JPEG Color Accuracy
Color Difference (dE2000) At Base ISO
7.70
Color Difference (dE2000) At ISO 800
7.17
Color Difference (dE2000) At ISO 3200
6.91
8.4
Photo Image Quality
Photo JPEG Noise
SNR 18% At Base ISO
40.92 dB
SNR 18% At ISO 800
35.77 dB
SNR 18% At ISO 3200
31.90 dB
4.0
Photo Image Quality
Photo RAW Noise
RAW SNR 18% At Base ISO
32.84 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 200
29.81 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 400
26.88 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 800
24.1 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 1600
21.63 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 3200
18.69 dB
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 6400
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 12800
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 25600
N/A
RAW SNR 18% At ISO 51200
N/A
Photo Image Quality
Test Scene Pictures Download
JPEG Picture At Base ISO Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 400 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 800 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 1600 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 3200 Download
JPEG Picture At ISO 6400 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 12800 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 25600 N/A
JPEG Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
RAW Picture At Base ISO Download
RAW Picture At ISO 400 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 800 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 1600 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 3200 Download
RAW Picture At ISO 6400 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 12800 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 25600 N/A
RAW Picture At ISO 51200 N/A
Pictures Sample Gallery
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Skate Park Picture
JPEG Skate Park Picture Download
RAW Skate Park Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Polish Church Picture
JPEG Polish Church Picture Download
RAW Polish Church Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Studio Picture
JPEG Studio Picture Download
RAW Studio Picture Download
Pictures Sample Gallery
The Stairway Picture
JPEG Stairway Picture Download
RAW Stairway Picture Download
Video General
Video General
Video Features
Full HD Video
Yes
4k Video
Yes
6k Video
No
Clean HDMI Output
Yes
Advertised Max Chroma Sampling Over HDMI
Not Advertised
Advertised Max Bit Depth Over HDMI
N/A
Log Picture Profile
No
Recording Light
No
Video General
Audio
Audio Test Sample
Audio Recording
Stereo
Microphone Level Display
No
Video General
Video File Format And Compression
MP4 H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
Yes
MP4 H.265 / HEVC
No
MOV H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
MOV H.265 / HEVC
No
AVCHD H.264 / MPEG-4 AVC
No
All-I Compression
No
4k Video
3.1
4k Video
4k Video Frame Rate
240 fps In 4k
No
120 fps In 4k
No
60 fps In 4k
No
30 fps In 4k
Yes, with a Crop
24 fps In 4k
No
4k Crop At Max Available fps
1.39 x

Note: The camera can only shoot in 4k resolution when set to 'Movie' mode. You can shoot video in other modes, like 'Manual' mode, but only in FHD. However, there's a 'Manual Video Mode' setting in the video menu that lets you adjust exposure parameters when shooting 4k video.

6.8
4k Video
4k Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In 4k
122 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In 4k
122 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In 4k
4:2:0
Bit Depth In 4k
8 Bit
Record Time Limit In 4k
30 min
Overheat Recording Interruptions in 4k
2
4.7
4k Video
4k Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In 4k
6.3
Face Tracking In 4k
3.1
Face Detection In 4k
Yes
Eye Detection In 4k
No
6.3
4k Video
4k Video Stabilization
Walking Test In 4k
13.34 pixels/frame
Running Test In 4k
21.21 pixels/frame
In-Body Video Image Stabilization In 4k
No
4k Video Stabilization Crop
1.38 x
2.4
4k Video
4k Video Quality
Low Light Capability In 4k
1.5
Test Scene Extract In 4k
3.3
6.9
4k Video
4k Video Rolling Shutter Effect
4k Rolling Shutter
4.3°
Full HD Video
5.5
Full HD Video
FHD Video Frame Rate
240 fps In FHD
No
120 fps In FHD
No
60 fps In FHD
Yes
30 fps In FHD
Yes
24 fps In FHD
No
FHD Crop At Max Available fps
1 x
7.6
Full HD Video
FHD Video Internal Recording
Bitrate Maximum In FHD
60 Mbps
Bitrate Minimum In FHD
30 Mbps
Chroma Sampling In FHD
4:2:0
Bit Depth In FHD
8 Bit
Record Time Limit in FHD
30 min
5.3
Full HD Video
FHD Video Autofocus Performance
Object Tracking In FHD
6.7
Face Tracking In FHD
4.1
Face Detection In FHD
Yes
Eye Detection In FHD
No
8.2
Full HD Video
FHD Video Stabilization
Walking Test In FHD
5.10 pixels/frame
Running Test In FHD
7.62 pixels/frame
In-Body Video Image Stabilization In FHD
No
FHD Video Stabilization Crop
1.25 x
3.7
Full HD Video
FHD Video Quality
Low Light Capability In FHD
1.5
Test Scene Extract In FHD
5.8
6.9
Full HD Video
FHD Video Rolling Shutter Effect
FHD Rolling Shutter
4.3°
Storage And Connectivity
Storage And Connectivity
Storage
Card 1 Slot
SD Card UHS-I
Card 2 Slot
No 2nd Card Slot
7.8
Storage And Connectivity
Inputs / Outputs
USB
Micro USB
HDMI
Micro (Type D)
Headphones
No
Microphone
Stereo
Wi-Fi
Yes
Bluetooth
Yes

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS only comes in one color variant: 'Black'. You can see our unit's label here.

If you come across another variant or your SX70 HS doesn't correspond to our review, let us know, and we'll update the review.

Discussions