Canon PowerShot A70 Review
Date: Sep 8, 2003
Handling & Feel
Canon PowerShot A70 is a compact digital camera
with dimensions of 101.0W x 64.0H x 31.5D mm (3.98W
x 2.52H x 1.24D in.) and weighs 215g (7.58 oz.)
without the battery and recording media card.
It is constructed from a mixture of plastic and
aluminum and feels very solid. The hand grip is
probably the distinctive design element of the
camera and, besides giving it an attractive and
stylish look, also provides a good and comfortable
When holding the camera, the forefinger and thumb
naturally falls on the shutter release button
and Shooting Mode Dial, respectively. The Shooting
Mode Dial is almost flushed on top but projects
out just enough at the back for the thumb to rotate
it. Each selection clicks in place securely.
I personally like the Zoom lever around the shutter
release button, finding it easier and more natural
to control the zoom this way than using a thumb
lever at the back. The Zoom lever does jiggle
just a little bit freely, but I haven't had any
problem with it falling off (as some owners have
expressed the fear) -- and haven't read of any
such incidence so far. This is in contrast to
the lens. With the lens extended, I have tried
to jiggle them carefully and they don't budge
The wrist strap attaches to the strap mount at
the top edge of the grip (instead of the customary
middle). It feels in the way at first, but I soon
get used to it.
Battery door is at the bottom of the camera, and
the CompactFlash I memory card goes through a
door in the grip. Everytime I open the rubber
terminal cover housing the USB, AV and DC connectors,
I feel as though I am going to tear it off if
I am not too careful; it could do with a hinge
that swings open a bit wider.
PowerShot A70 feels well balanced with the 4 AA
batteries providing the weight. Included in the
box are 4 AA Alkaline batteries, which you throw
away once they run out of juice. This means that
if you wish to use rechargeable NiMH batteries,
you will have to purchase the optional battery
recharger. I recommend you factor the extra cost
of 8 rechargeable NiMH batteries (4 inside the
camera, and 4 recharging), a battery recharger,
an A/C adapter, and a new date battery (type CR
1220) when you purchase your A70. The A/C adapter
is convenient when you're transfering your images
to your PC; you don't want to run out of battery
power in the middle of a transfer. The date battery
is preinstalled at the factory and may have run
for quite a while by the time you purchase the
1.5 in. LCD is only 78,000 pixels resolution --
and it shows. Sometimes I see "lines"
and in bright sunlight, it can at times be difficult
to see. I use the viewfinder on these occasions.
I'm not sure why there is a reflective strip all
around the LCD for the reflections in that strip
can at times distract a bit from being able to
concentrate on the picture on the LCD.
You, No Pictures Allowed!
16.2 mm, 1/125 sec., F8 and ISO 50
Level, Brightness, and USM adjusted in Photoshop
of putting the Shooting and Replay functions on
the Shooting Mode Dial, Canon put them on a separate
Mode Switch on the back of the camera. I find
this very convenient since all it takes is one
flick of the thumb to switch between the two modes,
leaving my selected shooting mode unchanged.
PowerShot A70, though not ultra compact in size,
still fits in a large pants pocket. I would not
recommend you carry it in a tight jeans pocket,
for you may end up inadvertently turning the Shooting
Mode Dial to another setting and/or scratching
the LCD. Carrying the PowerShot A70 in a coat
pocket or in a soft case hung on the belt is probably
the best way to go. A soft pouch is recommended.
the PowerShot A70 is superbly designed, looking
and feeling like an expensive camera. I especially
like the handgrip, with the flushed shutter release
button, zoom lever, memory card compartment, battery
compartment, and speaker. It is a very elegant,
clean design, and I hope Canon keeps that signature
handgrip for a long, long time.