Canon PowerShot SD700 IS review: Canon PowerShot SD700 IS

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.8
  • Design: 8.0
  • Features: 7.0
  • Performance: 8.0
  • Image quality: 8.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Great performance and pictures; effective image stabilization; attractive, comfortable design.

The Bad No aperture-priority or shutter-priority modes; awkward optical viewfinder and power button.

The Bottom Line The Canon PowerShot SD700 IS has practically everything you could want in a compact camera, though you might think the price tag a bit steep.

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Compared to its siblings in Canon's SD line of compact point-and-shoot cameras, the top-end SD700 IS packs more features into its small frame than higher resolution. It shares the same 6-megapixel sensor as its peers, the PowerShot SD600 and SD630 but has a longer zoom lens and image stabilization to curb blurry photos.

The Canon PowerShot SD700 IS is compact, though slightly larger than the other two models. Still, it's the right size to slip into a jacket or a loose pants pocket. At 6.8 ounces, it's a bit heavy for its small size, giving it a nice, solid feel.

The camera's intelligently laid-out controls are comfortable to operate, though with a few minor annoyances. Most of the controls are located on the back panel, leaving only the shutter release and zoom rocker on the top edge of the camera. I'm not crazy about the zoom rocker, which encircles the shutter release. Though its small nub makes it easy to find and responsive to use, I'd have preferred it to be slightly larger. You select among the shooting and playback modes via a half-covered, View-Master-like wheel on the right side of the camera.

The main camera controls rest in a four-way-plus-OK pad, while menu, print, and display buttons sit next to the LCD screen. You change the flash, timer, macro, and ISO sensitivity settings directly through the control pad, while more technical settings such as exposure compensation, white balance, and color adjustment are accessed via the function menu. The buttons are round and responsive, and they feel comfortable even under large thumbs. My only real quibble with the SD700's control layout is the tiny, finicky power button, which is wedged in an uncomfortable position just above the LCD screen and to the right of the viewfinder.

Canon PowerShot SD700 IS
Canon PowerShot SD700 IS
Canon PowerShot SD700 IS
The Canon PowerShot SD700 IS's small but efficient controls.

The Canon PowerShot SD700 IS is packed with handy features. Its 6-megapixel sensor works with its image-stabilized f/2.8-to-f/5.5 35mm-to-140mm lens (35mm equivalent) and can hit sensitivity settings as high as ISO 800. Its 2.5-inch LCD screen is nice and bright, and it leaves just enough room for an optical viewfinder. Unfortunately, the viewfinder is just above the center of the LCD screen, forcing you to turn your head uncomfortably or polish the LCD with your nose.

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Where to Buy See all prices

Canon PowerShot SD700 IS

Part Number: 1130B001 Released: Mar 15, 2006
MSRP: $349.99 Low Price: $69.00 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Mar 15, 2006
  • Digital camera type Compact
  • Optical Zoom 4 x
  • Optical Sensor Type CCD
  • Sensor Resolution 6.0 Megapixel
  • Image Stabilizer optical
  • Lens 35 - 140mm F/2.8
  • Optical Sensor Size 1/2.5"