The Canon PowerShot SX70 HS is a bridge camera with a built-in zoom lens. It has an incredibly wide 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Note: This camera may overheat and interrupt progress during long video recording sessions.
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.
Update 09/24/2021: We retested the camera's face detection distance and updated it to 80" (203 cm).
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.
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.