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Canon Powershot SX70 HS review

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Old Friday 28th December 2018, 08:31   #26
HermitIbis
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardHoeg View Post
https://www.365daysofbirds.com/2018/...pecker-images/

My original SX70 review using Snowy Owls and Spruce Grouse for subjects:

https://www.365daysofbirds.com/2018/...spruce-grouse/
Many thanks for these links to your blog. I like your photos, the woodpecker gives a hint that the SX70 has the same optics as the SX60, but works better due to software tweaks. Not to forget the 14 frames per second (JPEG).

That said, having used only RAW for two years I won't go back to JPEG. I've read somewhere that the SX70 can shoot 5 RAW per second - still a lot. So I wonder why you prefer the 14fps jpeg over RAW shooting. Many DSLR birders have the option of shooting 10 fps, but prefer 5fps in everyday use. The SX50 did only 2 shots per second (JPEG fine). Its 10-shot burst was sweet, but short. For me, 5fps (RAW) would be a big plus of the SX70. The SX70 can shoot JPEG, or RAW + JPEG or RAW only.

Another feature I am interested in: manual focus peaking. It could be useful for birds hiding in a bush. Is it as good and fast as focus peaking with a Sony NEX?

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Old Friday 28th December 2018, 14:29   #27
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Richard's blog has encouraged me to read the SX70 manual. One think I can't find is the equivalent of the "s" wildcard button on the SX50. It's assignable to several setting and I use it to toggle the digital teleconverter.

I see that the SX70 does have the digital teleconverter but I don't see a fast way to toggle between off, 1.6 and 2x.

On the SX50 I would often use it when not at full optical zoom because it would allow me to get closer to an object but also not be at optical max as it would allow more light in during low light situations.

I would be very unhappy if I could not easily toggle the digital teleconverter.
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Old Friday 28th December 2018, 17:40   #28
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Reading the manual I see that when using Framing Assist Seek, the SX70 does what the SX60 did and darkens the area outside of the original frame. This makes it harder to refind the bird! Stupid. The SX50 does not darken outside the original frame.

That was one reason, but not the most important reason, why I considered the SX60 to be inferior to the SX50 and in this regard the SX70 will also be inferior unless there is a way to change that in the settings.
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Old Friday 28th December 2018, 18:02   #29
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Richard's blog has encouraged me to read the SX70 manual. One think I can't find is the equivalent of the "s" wildcard button on the SX50. It's assignable to several setting and I use it to toggle the digital teleconverter.

I see that the SX70 does have the digital teleconverter but I don't see a fast way to toggle between off, 1.6 and 2x.

On the SX50 I would often use it when not at full optical zoom because it would allow me to get closer to an object but also not be at optical max as it would allow more light in during low light situations.

I would be very unhappy if I could not easily toggle the digital teleconverter.
Page 208 of the manual says that the AE botton or Framing Assist Lock button can be set to other functions but the manual doesn't list the available functions that can be tied to them.
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Old Friday 28th December 2018, 18:59   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyfingers View Post
Page 208 of the manual says that the AE botton or Framing Assist Lock button can be set to other functions but the manual doesn't list the available functions that can be tied to them.
I thought I had read somewhere that the T/W switch on the lens barrel could be set to other functions.
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Old Saturday 29th December 2018, 17:47   #31
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SX70 Snowy Owl Photos Using Full Zoom

I just posted to my blog some images I took this morning in Sax-Zim Bog up in northern Minnesota. Images were taken at full zoom (optical only ... I always turn off digital zoom). Photographic conditions were near perfect. Thus, in really good conditions early in the morning you will be able to see how the SX70 performs at full zoom. I did some very minor post processing (lighting tweaks).

https://www.365daysofbirds.com/2018/...and-snowy-owl/

The post also links at the bottom of the content to my full review
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Old Saturday 29th December 2018, 18:58   #32
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Thanks. It's hard to say for sure but I would not be surprised if the SX50 at max optical and with the digital teleconverter at 1.5x would do just as well or better.
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Old Saturday 29th December 2018, 19:49   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardHoeg View Post
I just posted to my blog some images I took this morning in Sax-Zim Bog up in northern Minnesota. Images were taken at full zoom (optical only ... I always turn off digital zoom). Photographic conditions were near perfect. Thus, in really good conditions early in the morning you will be able to see how the SX70 performs at full zoom. I did some very minor post processing (lighting tweaks).

https://www.365daysofbirds.com/2018/...and-snowy-owl/

The post also links at the bottom of the content to my full review
I'm still very torn. Don't get me wrong. I want the SX70 to be better than my SX50. I want to upgrade these old SX50's that I have. But....

Looking at your snowy owls, I compared to the attached photo of red-shouldered hawk that I took with the SX50. I'm certain that I took this at the SX50's maximum optical zoom and also was using the 2x teleconverter making it 100x. I know that it's not exactly a fair comparison as my hawk is a bit larger but consider that if I had used the 1.6x teleconverter it suggest that the birds may be similar distance from the camera.

The detail on the SX50 photo appears sharper to me. The detail on the twigs look better. Consider also that to post it here I had to resize to just 1600x1200. The original is 4000x3000

I've also attached a photo of where the hawk was. It was inside the red circle in a "V" inside the "V" that you can only see if you zoom in. It's very faint.
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Old Saturday 29th December 2018, 21:23   #34
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Perhaps a white owl isn't the ideal test for the SX70. Requires more than -1.00 EV to keep the feather detail.

The missing button to toggle the digital teleconverter is a worry. I've read Mr Hoeg's reviews and learned he isn't keen on the digital zoom. With the SX50 my experience was different, the digital TC worked very well.

Someone posted a SX70 youtube video of a kingfisher. I've rarely shot videos, but it looks attractive.

Last edited by HermitIbis : Saturday 29th December 2018 at 21:25.
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Old Saturday 29th December 2018, 21:31   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HermitIbis View Post
Perhaps a white owl isn't the ideal test for the SX70. Requires more than -1.00 EV to keep the feather detail.

The missing button to toggle the digital teleconverter is a worry. I've read Mr Hoeg's reviews and learned he isn't keen on the digital zoom. With the SX50 my experience was different, the digital TC worked very well.

Someone posted a SX70 youtube video of a kingfisher. I've rarely shot videos, but it looks attractive.
I don't know if anyone ever figured it out but there was something different about the digital teleconverter and standard digital zoom. I have not been able to see any degradation of IQ using the teleconverter. How it works is a mystery. But it's an essential tool. I think it's likely but not certain it can be assigned to those buttons on the page in the manual above.
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Old Wednesday 2nd January 2019, 21:39   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazyfingers View Post
I'm still very torn. Don't get me wrong. I want the SX70 to be better than my SX50. I want to upgrade these old SX50's that I have. But....

Looking at your snowy owls, I compared to the attached photo of red-shouldered hawk that I took with the SX50. I'm certain that I took this at the SX50's maximum optical zoom and also was using the 2x teleconverter making it 100x. I know that it's not exactly a fair comparison as my hawk is a bit larger but consider that if I had used the 1.6x teleconverter it suggest that the birds may be similar distance from the camera.

The detail on the SX50 photo appears sharper to me. The detail on the twigs look better. Consider also that to post it here I had to resize to just 1600x1200. The original is 4000x3000

I've also attached a photo of where the hawk was. It was inside the red circle in a "V" inside the "V" that you can only see if you zoom in. It's very faint.
I conducted a landscape test of Lake Superior Sea Smoke this morning. I took photos with both my SX70 and my Sony A6000. Find the results and images via my blog:
https://www.365daysofbirds.com/2019/...andscape-test/

Another item worth noting between the SX50 and SX70. The SX50's burst mode would never have worked for many of the images I have taken with my new SX70. While not part of the test, a few days ago I took 23 straight images of a Northern Hawk Owl eating a vole with one continued press of the shutter. I believe the SX50 has a limit of 6 or 8 images in burst mode, and is also slower. The Northern Hawk Owl images are here:
https://www.365daysofbirds.com/2019/...eating-a-vole/
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Old Wednesday 2nd January 2019, 23:29   #37
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I had tried HQ Burst mode on the SX50 early on. It created far too many photo than I was willing to sort through. It took a lot of the fun out of it. Besides, it confounds my filing system. I batch rename all my photos by time year month day hour minute second such as "2019 01 02 11 12 34.jpg. it created a mess for me.

I like taking one shot at a time.

Still hoping someone with an SX50 will get an SX70 and do some side by sides. I might do it myself come spring if no one else does. With amazon I'd have 30 days to decide to keep it or not.
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Old Thursday 3rd January 2019, 18:04   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichardHoeg View Post
The SX50's burst mode would never have worked for many of the images I have taken with my new SX70. While not part of the test, a few days ago I took 23 straight images of a Northern Hawk Owl eating a vole with one continued press of the shutter. I believe the SX50 has a limit of 6 or 8 images in burst mode, and is also slower.
Burst mode of the SX50: 10 shots within 1 second. Here is an example. No teleconverter allowed, so it's only 1200mm. The SX70 with 14fps might do better in such a vole-eating situation.

Quote:
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Still hoping someone with an SX50 will get an SX70 and do some side by sides.
Worth a look are two recent short reviews on the US site of the big river, by "Patrick Fitzgerald" (31 December) and "Gadget Guru" (1 January). Their reference objects are the SX60 and SX40.

Future tests from respected sources will hopefully clarify if the hicups are real or (maybe after FW upgrades) the SX70 is a solid performer (as it was my SX50).

Last edited by HermitIbis : Friday 4th January 2019 at 10:10.
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Old Saturday 5th January 2019, 12:28   #39
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SX70 Birding Photo Reviews and Software Developer's Kit

I am the user who has been posted the SX70 reviews with pictures of birds. I just learned this morning that Canon has released a new software developer's kit for the their EOS DSLR platforms and the SX70. Thus, I believe the SX70 is the only non DSLR for which Canon is now offering this kind of API support.

Here is the DPReview article on the subject:

https://www.dpreview.com/news/777205...ershot-sx70-hs

My own SX70 reviews now includes my initial test, a SX60 vis SX70 test, and a landscape test. Access via my blog:

https://www.365daysofbirds.com/2018/...spruce-grouse/



As a fyi, I have no relationship with Canon nor have I received any compensation (real or in kind)* from Canon I actually also own a Sony A6000 which I use for landscape and night photography.
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Old Saturday 5th January 2019, 19:26   #40
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Burst mode of the SX50: 10 shots within 1 second. Here is an example. No teleconverter allowed, so it's only 1200mm. The SX70 with 14fps might do better in such a vole-eating situation.



Worth a look are two recent short reviews on the US site of the big river, by "Patrick Fitzgerald" (31 December) and "Gadget Guru" (1 January). Their reference objects are the SX60 and SX40.

Future tests from respected sources will hopefully clarify if the hicups are real or (maybe after FW upgrades) the SX70 is a solid performer (as it was my SX50).
Thanks. Those reviews from SX40 users are helpful. I had the Sx40 before the SX50. I had an SX30 before the SX40.

The SX40 was very nice with excellent IQ. The SX50 as worse in low light but just as good or better in adequate light and extra zoom was worth it.

I know that the SX60 had lower IQ than the SX50 as I purchased two SX60s and returned them both.

So far I'm not seeing an indication that the SX70 will improve on the SX50 but I'll keep looking for the definitive test review before I decide to try it myself.
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Old Tuesday 22nd January 2019, 01:24   #41
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SX70 Digital vs Optical Zoom Test

In my previous reviews I had noted I never used the digital zoom with my SX60. Today I found another cooperative Snowy Owl and tried turning of digital zoom. I was very impressed in sunny / very bright cloud conditions, and not so impressed when the clouds were thick (lower light)

My photos / test may be found upon my blog ...

https://www.365daysofbirds.com/2019/...nowy-and-gray/
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Old Tuesday 22nd January 2019, 12:08   #42
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In my previous reviews I had noted I never used the digital zoom with my SX60. Today I found another cooperative Snowy Owl and tried turning of digital zoom. I was very impressed in sunny / very bright cloud conditions, and not so impressed when the clouds were thick (lower light)

My photos / test may be found upon my blog ...

https://www.365daysofbirds.com/2019/...nowy-and-gray/
Thanks for the link to your blog. I particularly liked your piece "The Well Dressed Birder at -13F (-25C)".
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Old Saturday 26th January 2019, 18:16   #43
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SX70 Auto Focus Issue in Highly Reflective Light Situation

I am the user who has been posting periodic reviews of the new Canon SX70 of photographs taken of birds in the Boreal forest. Up until this point, I have been very pleased with my new camera, particularly how it now performs in low light compared to the SX60 it replaced.

However, two days ago I discovered an auto focusing issue which appears to happen in very bright light situations. In my case, while photographing a Snowy Owl, even though I had good light (extremely light clouds with reflective light off newly fallen snow). I was using Aperture Priority with the sun pretty much behind me. My ISO was set at 100, and the camera picked a 1/1500 shutter speed. I noticed that I was having difficulty getting a focus lock. At first I thought the issue was white on white (Snowy Owl on fresh snow). I did manage to get some good photos, but also a lot of garbage shots.

Later in the afternoon I visited a Bobcat den I have been watching. Once again I started to have focus lock issues (aperture priority once again). The combination of new snow, and a reflective shed wall was fooling my camera. This time I wondered if that was the case, switched to full manual ... halved the shutter speed and kept the ISO at 100 and the aperture as low as possible. Immediately my auto focus problem was solved.

I now suspect that in any highly reflective high light situation I will need to make certain I am in full manual mode ... no big deal for me, but for the more casual user it could ruin a lot of images (i.e. they will rarely use, if ever, manual mode). I expect in the summer while out on any of Minnesota's 15,000 lakes the problem will reoccur. One again, for me it will be a non issue as I am now prepared.

If you want to see my Snowy Owl and Bobcat photographs, follow this link:
https://www.365daysofbirds.com/2019/...oking-for-you/

If you want to see all my SX70 reviews, follow this link:
https://www.365daysofbirds.com/2018/...spruce-grouse/
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Old Saturday 26th January 2019, 18:18   #44
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Thanks for the link to your blog. I particularly liked your piece "The Well Dressed Birder at -13F (-25C)".
The last few mornings it has been -25F to -30F in Sax-Zim Bog! I am still birding!
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Old Sunday 27th January 2019, 07:05   #45
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Richard, Given where you are birding and that the auto focus problems just started, is it possible that the extreme cold temperatures are affecting the camera? Just a thought as you are way below the Canon specified operating range. Occasionally, I start seeing issues with my 7D when the battery gets too cold. I have been out birding at -20C here but usually call it quits at about -15C.
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Old Monday 28th January 2019, 02:11   #46
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Temperature Issues

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Richard, Given where you are birding and that the auto focus problems just started, is it possible that the extreme cold temperatures are affecting the camera? Just a thought as you are way below the Canon specified operating range. Occasionally, I start seeing issues with my 7D when the battery gets too cold. I have been out birding at -20C here but usually call it quits at about -15C.
Actually Imdoubt that -15C (5F) are causing any issues. This temperature is so common in the winter where I live, that I don't really even consider it cold. For the past 4 years I used my SX60 on every birding outing innthe winter and it was extremely unusual when the mornind does not start out this cold. I have had my SX70 since early December. We are now experiencing sever cold with a great fresh snow cover. Crisp, cold days of this nature meas almost zero moisture in the air ... in other words the amazing clear blue skies. This light reflects off the snow and creates huge reflections.

While Canon says the operating range is down to 32F, I've never had any issues when it is much, much colder. As noted, making the adjustments solved the problem.
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Old Wednesday 19th June 2019, 23:52   #47
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SX70 Continuous Mode and Video

I am the person who has occasionally been posting reviews of the SX70 I purchased. This morning I had the opportunity to photograph two different osprey nests in northern Minnesota in "almost perfect photography conditions". Folks may be interested to view some videos I took, and my discussion of using JPG vs RAW mode ... and the post processing edits I made. Here is the link to my blog: (images & videos taken at full zoom using a monopod)

The Osprey Challenge
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Old Thursday 20th June 2019, 01:08   #48
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those are great pics and videos Richard
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