Home  Donate  New  Search  Gallery  Reviews  How-To  Books  Links  Workshops  About  Contact

Canon SD700
© 2006 KenRockwell.com

Please help KenRockwell..com

Canon SD700

Canon SD700.This free website's biggest source of support is when you use these links, especially link to it at Amazon or this link directly to them at eBay (see How to Win at eBay), when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. Thanks! Ken.

Summer 2006, updated July 2007 and May 2012    Canon Reviews   All Reviews

Superceded by the almost identical and newer Canon SD850.

 

Nikon D3X, D3, D40, and Canon 5D Mark II, 5D and SD700 Sharpness Comparison 13 January 2009

Panoramas with the SD700

Camera LCD Monitor Tests, featuring the SD700.

Memory Card and Download Speed Tests, featuring the SD700.

SD700 vs. Nikon D80 / D200 / D70 / Canon 20D / 30D Noise and Resolution Shootout!

 

INTRODUCTION

Adorama pays top dollar for your used gear.

B&H Photo - Video - Pro Audio

I bought this jewel of a pocket camera in the summer of 2006 and I LOVE it! I take it everywhere in my dusty pants pocket with no case. As of June, 2007 I've made over 12,500 shots on it and it still works like new. As of July 2007 there is an almost identical and improved newer version called the Canon SD850. I expect that this SD700 will become discontinued.

The SD700 was announced on February 21st, 2006 and became available in April 2006. Canon released the SD800 in October 2006, which has a wider lens and a few more pixels, but with a shorter zoom range. The SD800 is also a great camera, but being newer costs more.

Canon announced the SD850 on May 7th, 2007 to replace this SD700. The SD850 ought to be available in July 2007. It seems like the same camera with a few more pixels (8MP vs 6MP), although Canon's claim of "30% more vibrant colors on the LCD" worries me if it means the LCD is no longer color-accurate as it is on my SD700 and my other Canon compacts. I see no reason to wait, I'd get the SD700 for less money today. I do want to try an SD850.

Now back to my SD700 review.

The SD700 colors are fantastic, the Image Stabilizer works great, the battery lasts beyond forever and it's super fast and easy to use.

The SD700 has a stabilized 4x optical zoom lens that covers what a 35 - 140 mm lens would on a 35mm film camera. It's a bargain, too: about $300 - $400 this week. It's called the DIGITAL IXUS 800 IS in Europe.

This is Canon's first pocket camera with Image Stabilization (IS). IS is important because it helps get sharp photos in almost any light without a tripod. This technical advancement, quality and low price impress me - a lot! See Why VR and IS Matter and I'll show you how this little gem can be sharper than my expensive 10 MP Nikon D200!

I'd been wanting another Canon point-and-shoot because of the great color rendition I used to get on my old Canon A70, but I hadn't found any recently that handled fast enough for me. The Canon S80 is too slow. The SD700 is FAST!

As of September 2006 my SD700 replaces my Casio EX-Z850 in my pocket. My EX-Z850 replaced my EX-Z750 in April 2006 because it had a super bright screen, bright enough to see in daylight. The EX-Z750 replaced my Canon A70 in 2005 because of its tiny size and ultra fast operation. I always preferred the colors of my 3MP Canon A70, but was won over by the portability and fast operation of the Casios. Now I have fast operation, tiny size, almost unlimited battery life, bright screen and great color in my SD700.

 

COLOR

Color is excellent and similar to other Canon compacts.

I always use Canon's VIVID setting.

Sunrise, Las Vegas

Sunrise, Las Vegas, Nevada. 04 October 2006.

This is the exposure and color exactly as it came from my SD700, in Vivid mode as I always use. Click the image for the camera original file (1.3MB).

This shot is at 7.5mm (medium wide), f/3.2 (wide open) at 1/10, hand held, balanced on a ledge.

Shark Reef, Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas

Neon, Las Vegas, Nevada. 06 September 2006.

My SD700 looks great for neon, too. Earlier digital cameras used to clip and lose the color of the liquid fire contained inside the glass tubing. This color is exactly as it came from my SD700, vivid mode.

Mimi's Cafe, Mira Mesa

Chain Restaurant, San Diego, California. 21 August 2007.

by Chrome by Moonlight

By Chrome by Moonlight, San Diego, California. 10PM 29 August 2007.

Oceanside, CA

Railing at Denny's, Oceanside, California. 24 September 2006.

This is just a grab shot while the wife snuck in to pee. Photography is all about seeing cool things. Taking the picture once you've seen something cool is the easy part; it's the noticing things that takes practice. This is exactly the way the file come from my SD700, uncropped and untweaked.

 

SPECIFICATIONS

LENS: 5.8 - 23.2mm f/2.8 - 5.5 IS. It gives a similar field of view as a 35 - 140mm lens does on a 35mm film camera. See Lens Performance below.

AF: 9 zone TTL.

OPTICAL VIEWFINDER: about 80% coverage.

SHUTTER: 1 - 1/1,600. Goes to 15 seconds in a trick manual mode. Electronic and mechanical. Observed Flash Sync (maximum speed with flash): 1/500.

SENSOR: Smaller sized 1/2.5."

IMAGE SIZES: 2,816 x 2,112 pixels native. Also 2,816 x 1,584 (16:9 cropped), 2,272 x 1,704, 1,600 x 1,200 and 640 x 480.

FORMATS: JPG, three compression levels. File size vary wildly with image complexity. I always use the smallest size, "Normal." The middle, default size is called "Fine" and the largest is called "Superfine." File sizes are optimized to each image, so very detailed images may have file sizes triple the file size of a blank, flat sky image. This is good and normal.

AUDIO FORMAT : WAVE, only as 60 second clips or with video.

VIDEO: 640 x 480, 320 x 240, 160 x 120 at 60, 30 and 15 fps (not all combinations available, see video below). Sequential motion JPEG AVI (not the more efficient MPEG).

ISO: 80, 100, 200, 400 and 800. AUTO mode goes from 80 - 200, HI AUTO goes from 80 - 800. More under Auto ISO modes and ISO Performance.

WB: Auto, Direct Sun, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent Warm and Cool, custom manual white card. No shade position, but the custom white card setting is so easy I don't penalize the SD700 as I would other cameras.

FRAME RATE: 2 FPS continuous (no change in focus, exposure or anything between shots.)

METER: Evaluative, center and spot.

LONG EXPOSURE NR: Automatic if shutter speed is longer than a second. The SD700 only goes this long if you set these speeds manually.

LCD SCREEN: 2.5," 173,000 pixels.

STORAGE: SD card up to at least 2 GB.

DATA TRANSFER: USB 2.0 high-speed, 480 Mb/s peak.

LANGUAGES: 23! English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, two kinds of Chinese, Korean, Thai and Arabic.

SIZE: 2.270 x 3.588 x 1.016" H x W x D, measured, including protrusions. (57.88 x 91.13 x 25.98 mm)

WEIGHT: 6.825 oz (193.6 g) measured fully loaded with battery, memory card, strap and ID stickers. (Canon's meaningless 5.82 oz - 165 g figure published elsewhere is buck naked, without battery or anything.)

COLOR: Weird light blue, silver and black.

ENVIRONMENT(rated): 0 - 40 C (32 - 104F), 10 - 90% RH.

UNDERWATER: Optional WP-DC5 housing, rated to to 130 feet (40m). You can get it here or here.

POWER: 3.7V, 1,120 mAh NB-5L Li-ion battery. It must be removed to charge. It lasts almost forever! I got 1,150 shots on my first charge with a lot of use of the LCD, a lot of continuous 2 FPS shooting and and not too much flash. Canon rates it at only 240 shots CIPA or 700 shots no LCD, 6 hrs playback. Charger: CB-2LX with folding plug.

 

PERFORMANCE

Canon SD700

Press photo of an SD700 with a photo from my own SD700 Photoshopped onto the screen. Click to enlarge the inner photo. None of these photos has been changed - you're seeing the actual color, sharpness and exposure I got hand-held at 1/10 second!

I held down the shutter for 24 shots to be sure I got a sharp one. They were all sharp except for 4! How sharp? Here is a 100% crop of the bright magenta billboard on the bottom center right. A print at this same magnification would be 28 x 21"!

New York New York LAs vegas

100% crop from above hand-held night shot.

Not bad for hand-held night shots while I was walking to dinner with my wife. This was in Auto ISO at about ISO 200, auto WB, my standard -2/3 exposure compensation and default LARGE FINE JPG. It was a 1.8MB file.

 

HANDLING

This tiny Japanese jewel fits perfectly in my big American hands. It's made mostly of metal and feels great. Everything is tight and precise.

Handling is excellent. It has the same menus as every other Canon compact. It's faster and easier to use than Canon SLRs.

Response to menu inputs is almost instant. There's no waiting for the camera to catch up to your inputs.

 

Settings Remembered with Power Off

My SD700, in M mode, remembers where I set most things like WB, ISO and exposure compensation when I last turned it off.

Unfortunately it doesn't remember my setting of the continuous advance mode. I have to reset that every time I turn on my SD700.

I wish instead it always woke up in Auto WB (instead of whatever screwy custom setting I used yesterday) and always woke up in continuous shutter mode. Oh well.

 

User's Manual

All English, 137 pages, reasonably well written (better than Nikon manuals).

 

Panoramics

Like most Canons, there is a Panoramic mode for making easy-to-stitch shots. It works great with the included pan stitching software. Canon has always been very good at this. My A70 did the same thing, with the same software!

 

EXPOSURE

General: Like all my Canon point-and-shoots, the SD700 overexposes most of the time. This isn't a problem, since I set exposure compensation to -2/3 stops and leave it there most of the time. It remembers this even after being turned off.

If you shoot Canon compacts as they come out of the box you'll get bad results, because highlights will be blown out. Set your compensation to -2/3 and watch the image improve greatly.

TRICK: Auto Exposure Lock (AEL): Press and hold the shutter halfway. Tap the ISO button and the SD700 measures and locks the exposure. AEL shows on the right of the screen. Recompose and shoot. This exposure value stays locked for more shots until you press the ISO button again.

TRICK: Flash Exposure Lock: It really works! Press and hold the shutter halfway. Tap the ISO button and you get a preflash which sets the flash exposure. FEL shows on the right of the screen. Recompose and shoot. This exposure value stays locked for more shots until you press the ISO button again.

 

FLASH

General

Flash is well exposed and even. It works much better than most point-and-shoots at balancing fill with daylight.

Me in E430

Self-Portrait. Fill flash with daylight, SD700 held in other hand.

This is exactly as the shot came from my SD700, resized to fit your screen. I think I dialed in some compensation to bring down the daylight. THe flash exposure can't be changed, which is just as well, since it's right on.

 

Recycle Time

Recycle time is much faster than my Casios. Only if the flash has to fire at full power will you have to wait as long as 7 seconds. Most of the time the flash recycles right away. At reasonably close distances you can fire away quite quickly, since the flash recycles quickly when it doesn't have to reach very far. In continuous mode the SD700 fires as soon as it's recycled. Just hold down the shutter.

 

Sync Speed

Sync (maximum shutter speed with flash): 1/500 max. (measured).

 

Flash Modes

Auto mode turns on the flash at light levels which would result in a shutter speed of 1/50 sec or less. The light level at which the flash comes therefore varies with ISO setting.

Shutter speed is usually 1/60 in the dark. It can go longer in the slow syncro mode.

Mode Exposures Chosen by SD700 ISO AUTO HI AUTO ISO
       
Auto Flash wide open @ 1/60 w/flash* 80 - 200 80 - 800
Flash On wide open, 1/60 - 1/500 100 100
Slow Sync wide open, 1s - 1/500 80 - 200 80 - 800

* Varies when light is brighter and flash automatically turns off.

WB and ISO stay set with flash. My Casios, by comparison, force the WB to FLASH regardless of where I set them.

 

LENS

Sharp and good. Not quite as sharp as the SD550, but IS makes up for it in real-world operation.

 

Zoom

As all point and shoots, the zoom only works in fixed steps. The SD700 has 9 steps, two more than most cameras. They are at 5.8 mm, 6.6 mm, 7.5 mm, 8.6 mm, 10.0 mm, 11.8 mm, 14.3 mm, 18.6 mm and 23.2 mm.

This is not a problem; there are plenty of steps, although the three last steps on the telephoto end are a little bit far apart.

The tiny sensor of the SD700 has a 6.03x felid-of-view factor to make 5.8mm on the SD700 give the same angle of view as a 35mm lens does on a 35mm film camera. With that factor, the available focal lengths of the SD700 become similar to: 35mm, 40mm, 45mm, 52mm, 60mm, 71mm, 86mm, 112mm and 140mm.

 

Sharpness

These are subjective ratings, E - VG - G - F - P, made at 100% on my monitor. These are tough, since this magnification would print at 21 x 28" at this magnification.

Don't worry about differences between adjacent grades. These are subjective and evaluated with the same criteria I use for SLR lenses.

Different samples of cameras will be different. It's normal for compact cameras like this to get soft in the farthest corners, so don't worry about it.

The SD700 is sharp enough for marvelous prints of any size. The biggest issue is the noise, like all compact cameras, from its small sensor.

5.8mm (wide): VG Center, G Sides, G far corners.

6.6mm: VG center, G sides, G far corners.

7.5mm: E Center, VG sides, G far corners.

8.6 mm: E center, VG sides, VG far corners.

10.0mm: VG center, VG sides, G far corners.

11.8mm: VG center, VG sides, VG far corners.

14.3mm: VG center, VG sides, VG far corners.

18.6mm: VG center, VG sides, VG far corners.

23.2mm (tele): VG center, VG sides, G far corners.

 

Distortion

Distortion is about the same as every other camera. It's easy to correct in Photoshop CS2's lens distortion filter with the numbers below. I read the actual focal lengths in iView.

5.8mm (wide): Barrel distortion, use +4.00 in CS2's lens distortion filter.

6.6mm: Barrel, use +4.0 in CS2's lens distortion filter.

7.5mm: Barrel, use +3.0 in CS2's lens distortion filter.

8.6mm: Barrel, use +2.5 in CS2's lens distortion filter.

10.0mm: Barrel, use +1.5 in CS2's lens distortion filter.

11.8mm: Barrel, use +1.5 in CS2's lens distortion filter.

14.3mm: Barrel, use +0.3 in CS2's lens distortion filter.

18.6mm: Barrel, use +0.2 in CS2's lens distortion filter.

23.2mm (tele): 0 (none, whoo hoo!).

(Use these figures all you want for your own photography, but remember this is all copyright and registered, so you'll need to get permission before using them for any other purpose.)

 

Focus

Excellent! AF is almost immediate. It nails focus very fast and smoothly. It does not have servo motors clicking around as other cameras do.

AF is always perfect. I've never gotten out-of-focus shots, as my Casios can do.

There are also infinity and Macro settings.

 

Macro

Macro is similar to most compacts.

In the normal AF mode it focuses to 1.5 feet (0.45m) at all zoom settings.

In macro mode it can focus to less than 1/2" (1cm) from the front of the lens at wide, and about a foot and a half at tele. It has barrel distortion at wide, flat at tele. See these images for the real story:

Canon SD700 Canon SD700

Canon SD700 Macro Performance

The lens is just as sharp and has the same distortion in the macro range as at regular distances. Set Photoshop CS2's lens distortion filter to +4 at wide to make the curvature go away.

 

LCA (Edge Color Fringes)

This isn't a problem with the SD700. You'll only see this if you're deliberately looking for it.

5.8mm: Minor, just a little green/magenta at the very corner.

6.6mm: Minor, just a little green/magenta at the very corner.

7.5mm: Minor, just a little green/magenta at the very corner.

8.6mm: Minor, just a little green/magenta at the very corner.

10.0mm: Minor, just a little green/magenta at the very corner.

11.8mm: Almost completely gone. You'd never see it unless you were looking for it.

14.3mm: Almost completely gone. You'd never see it unless you were looking for it.18.6mm

23.2mm: Minor, just a little red/blue at the very corner.

 

IS (Image Stabilization)

I have an iron grip. I also have a lot of practice releasing shutters smoothly. I can get perfect results at 1/4 second at wide and 1/13 second at tele! Most people will need practice to do this.

TIP: I make a series of shots in continuous mode and pick the sharpest one later. Using this tip I always can get sharp shots at 1/4 at wide and 1/13 at tele.

If I only get one shot, I'm completely sharp every other shot at 1/8 at wide.

See Why IS Matters for details and examples.

Slow Shutter Warning

The low-light blur warning is smart. It knows your zoom position and whether or not the IS is on! Here are the speeds at and below which you'll get a warning:

 

Stabilizer
ON

Stabilizer
OFF
Wide
1/15
1/40
Tele
1/40
1/125

 

NOISE and ISO

See excruciating details and examples at my DSLR comparison, where I put this little gem against grown-up sized cameras.

It's about the same as every other compact. It's too bad amateurs waste so much time worrying about this minute aspect of performance, since most competitive cameras are almost identical under identical conditions.

Others like to believe press releases which imply that ISO 800 on the SD700 looks as good as ISO 400 did on the previous SD550. Baloney! They look about the same when compared at the same true ISOs. Canon monkeyed around with the actual ISOs and made ISO 400 and ISO 800 a bit less sensitive on the SD700 to give the appearance of less noise. They aren't aren't as fast as the same ISOs on the SD550. You can compare this yourself by making some experiments and looking at the image lightness and exposure data. I bought my SD700 to replace an SD550 because of IS, not because of ISO 800.

It looks fine at ISO 80 and 100, looks a little less clean at ISO 200 if you look closely, gets a bit grainy at ISO 400 (better than most compacts) and looks awful at ISO 800. ISO 800 looks like a sandstorm even in 4 x 6" prints. There are usually no hot pixels. Keep it down to ISO 400 and it looks much, much better.

Canon SD700 at ISO 800

Canon SD700 at ISO 800.

This looks much worse in a print, since a print's 300 DPI shows all the grain that you can't see at 72 DPI on-screen. I've made prints from ISO 800 shots and they are so noisy that even normal people complain.

The good news is that the SD700 has awesome color, and at ISO 800 I caught twilight by the waterfall which would have looked awful with flash.

Canon SD700 at ISO 800

100% crop from above.

The SD700 is much sharper than this at ISO800. This is hand-held at a moderate telephoto zoom setting with moving subjects at 1/3 second!

 

AUTO ISO

There are two settings.: the regular AUTO ISO and a new HI AUTO ISO.

AUTO ISO runs from ISO 80 - 200.

HI AUTO runs from 80 - 800 and even in normal light runs at higher ISOs than regular AUTO does. Since ISO 800 looks awful and is only useful for a grain effect I'd avoid the HI AUTO setting. That's the setting I used for the party photo above; today I'd hard-set ISO 400 and make more shots to ensure a sharp one.

This table contains my actual copyrighted measurements; it is not copied from a manual. I suspect Canon would rather keep this confidential, since this is exactly the data other camera companies need to copy Canon's algorithms. I wish the SD700 worked as my Nikon SLRs do and let me program exactly how I wanted AUTO ISO to work. I would have programmed the HI AUTO mode to work differently and made it wait until dimmer light to crank ISO as far as 400 or 800.

LV Condition ISO AUTO HI AUTO
       
16 sand or snow 80 80
15 direct sunlight 80 80
14 oblique sunlight 80 - 100 80 - 160
13 bright open shade 100 160
12 open shade    
11 shade 80 250
10 deep shade 100 - 200 400
9 near a window indoors 200 800
8 bright indoors daytime 200 400
7 indoors daytime 200 400
6 indoors daytime 200 800
5 dark indoors 200 800
       
Auto Flash on at less then 1/50 80 - 200 80 - 800
Flash On wide open, 1/60 - 1/500 100 100
Slow Sync wide open, 1s - 1/500 80 - 200 80 - 800

HI AUTO keeps the lens wide open if it can. Manual ISO settings use smaller apertures if reasonable.

 

ADVANCE

The continuous mode works great. It shoots at a continuous 2 FPS for as long as you can hold down the shutter. In bright light mine runs 2.04 FPS and will slow as the exposure times increase. I see the same speed regardless of image size settings.

The SD700 uses the same settings for each shot, which is why it goes so fast. It doesn't change the focus or exposure, so it's not useful for tracking action. I use the continuous mode all the time in dim light to fire off several identical shots and pick the sharpest later.

It works great with flash. It shoots as fast as the flash recycles, which at reasonable distances can be less than a second.

Moon and Palms

Moon and Palms, Old Town, San Diego, 27 September 2006. Held on a fence at Acapulco in Old Town San Diego, 4 seconds at f/2.8 at ISO 100.

 

SOUND MEMOS

You can record short (1 minute or less) voice memos.

You do this in playback mode. Select the image to which you wish to attach the sound clip. Press MENU > Sound Memo> SET > SET > and have fun.

To hear the playback, you have to navigate though this complex memo menu again.

Hint: I leave my camera set to MUTE in the wrench menu. You have to unset this to hear the playback!

 

VIDEO

Video works, but other point-and-shoots do a much better job if file size or shooting time is important.

Video is encoded as motion JPEG, meaning much larger file sizes and shorter recording times than the completely different MPEG format (don't let the similar acronyms fool you). MPEG, which the SD700 can't do, makes much better looking files at smaller file sizes because it uses motion vectors to encode movement between frames very efficiently. MPEG files only have to send one frame and then simply the differences for each successive frame. The Motion JPEG format of the SD700 is easier to play on other cameras, but makes fat files because it has to record each and every frame separately. (For you engineers, Motion JPEG only sends only complete I frames while MPEG sends I, P and B frames.)

 

File sizes, 10 second clips:

  640 x 480 320 x 240 160 x 120
       
60 FPS (not supported) 12.7 MB (not supported)
30 FPS 18.6 MB (Broadcast) 6.5 MB (not supported)
15 FPS 9.4 MB 3.3 MB 1.1 MB

These files are bigger than they need to be, take up too much space on the card and restrict recording times. By comparison, the Casio EX-Z850 and EX-S600 make the same quality video with a 2.6 MB file for a 10s clip, or less than one-seventh the file size or putting over seven times as much video on a card! Casios use far more advanced MPEG-4 files, not motion JPEG like the Canons.

Most of these sizes and frame rates are set in the regular video mode in the same menu as the metering and WB options.

The 320 x 240 at 60 FPS option is hidden under the top video mode selection as the "Fast Frame Rate" (runner icon) option. This gives better time resolution than regular video and you might want to use it for analyzing fast action. The motion JPG format lets you pull individual frames from the video file without motion artifacts, presuming you have the right software like iMovie or Quicktime (Mac) to do this.

The 160 x 120 at 15 FPS option is under the top video mode selection as the "Compact" (email icon) option. If small file sizes are important to you, get a different camera.

640 x 480 resolution is the same as broadcast TV and DVDs.

320 x 240 is the resolution of the little 2.5" screen.

160 x 120 is tiny.

60 FPS gives unusually smooth and fluid motion, better than TV or normal video. We engineers call this 60p (progressive). Regular TV is 60i (interlace) and movie DVDs are 24p (progressive).

30 FPS is about the same as normal video. Hollywood movies are shot at an almost identical 24 FPS.

15 FPS gives jumpy, jerky pictures. Olde-tyme movies were shot at 18 FPS.

Picture quality is iffy if you have a lot of straight lines. They look jaggy as you tilt or pan. We engineers call these weirdnesses "resampling artifacts." This means avoid Venetian blinds and exteriors of office buildings because they'll look a little unnatural if you pan slowly across them.

Sadly video files are prefixed with "MVI" instead of "IMG." The video files will alphabetically list after all the still images in a folder, even if the video files were shot before.

 

MECHANICS

It's cased mostly in metal. It's made in Japan. Everything about the SD700 is tight and precise, except maybe the flippy plastic cover to the data port. The battery and charger come from China.

Excuse me for being observant, but my $360 SD700 feels much better built than the far more expensive Canon XTi, Canon 20D and Canon 30D! For less than $400 the SD700 is a premium, luxury level product that is a joy to own and operate.

 

DATA

Transfer

The SD700 downloads fast through its high-speed USB 2.0 port at up to 480 Mb/s. I can suck 500 MB of photos into my Mac in only 90 seconds! I get this same speed from both my 2 GB Sandisk Extreme III and 1GB 32x Lexar SD cards.

Sadly, like all Canons, the SD700 never appears as a hard drive from which you can drag and drop files and folders. This is how I prefer to download.

Instead I have to use Apple's free-on-every-Mac Image Capture program for downloading, which works great. Canon provides software as well, but I try to install as little software as possible.

There is no need for a separate card reader unless you want access to folders.

 

EXIF Content

I see no ISO values when read in iView. If I needed to look one up I'd transfer an image file back to a card and play it in the SD700, or look for some other software. The included software from Canon probably reads this, but I avoid installing and using camera-maker software.

 

Folders and Files

Unlike older Canons, the SD700 can put up to 2,000 shots in each folder. If you go over, the SD700 simply creates a new folder for you.

You can create new folders manually. You also can set the SD700 to create new folders for you automatically on the days you prefer at the time you prefer.

 

File Numbering

The SD700 defaults to the correct mode to count up from the last image number, even after formatting a card. If you really want 534 files all named IMG_0022.JPG on your computer in a few years then go right ahead and change the file numbering option to Auto Reset. It should be left at its default of CONTINUOUS.

If you swap cars with images from other cameras, you may confuse the SD700 into counting up from a higher number that was on the card from another camera.

To restart file numbering from an arbitrary number:

1.) Format a card in the SD700.

2.) Make a photo.

3.) Remove the card from the SD700.

4.) Select AUTO RESET for file numbering in the SD700's wrench menu.

5.) Put the card in a card in a reader and change the file number of the image file.

6.) Put the card back in the SD700.

7.) Make a photo.

8.) Select CONTINUOUS for file numbering in the SD700's wrench menu.

 

Formatting

There are two levels offered. If you check "Low Level Format" it takes a little longer and does a more complete formatting job. I leave "Low Level Format" checked. If this takes too long, cancel and uncheck it. I don't really know what's going on here, but since when I format I want it formatted, I leave " Low Level Format" checked.

My 2 GB Sandisk Extreme III low-level formats in 3.5 seconds.

My 1GB 32x Lexar SD card low-level formats in 13 seconds.

My old (May 2006) blue 256MB Sandisk SD card low-level formats in 12 seconds.

 

Erasing

ERASE ALL can take a while. It took about two minutes to erase 1,500 files from a half-full 2 GB SanDisk Extreme III card.

 

Clock

I had two SD700s. One was fast about 9s/month, the other is fast 23s/month.

The internal clock battery is good for at least five days with the main battery removed.

It's easy to reset daylight time or time zone without resetting the seconds.

 

PLAYBACK

General

My SD700 magnifies to 100%. It's accurate: what you see on it's LCD is exactly what I see on my computer later, in terms of resolution and sharpness with a star target.

When playing files made on other cameras, my SD700 played and enlarged its own files perfectly, but added the additional artifacts to images from the Canon 20D, 30D and Nikon D80, D200 and D70.

 

Auto Rotation

The Auto Rotation sensor works on playback to rotate the image on the LCD!

 

LCD

Anti-reflection coated.

Bright enough to use in direct sunlight. It's brighter than my Nikon D200 but not quite as sharp.

TIP: Turn off the default TRANSITION in the playback menu to click between images quickly. Otherwise the SD700 fades slowly between them, which is slow and annoying!

TIP: Tap FUNC/SET after making a shot to hold it on screen and allow zooming and scrolling. You can see shot data if you press the DISP button. Tap the shutter to get back to the shooting mode. This saves having to switch to PLAY mode to review each shot in detail. Don't like the shot? Hit the DELETE key, again saving you from switching to the PLAY mode.

Data

No shutter, aperture or lens data is shown in the detailed playback display. This data does record to the files themselves, so you can read it on other cameras or on your computer.

WARNING: The histogram, as all single histograms, is worse than useless. Ignore it, otherwise you could get severe overexposure with colored items. See my page on Color Histograms, which the SD700 lacks.

 

POWER and BATTERY

Fantastic!!! I average 1,000 shots on a charge, and I play in the menus and use the LCD! I do make a lot of sequential shots in the Continuous advance mode, which helps get this many shots.

Not that you're likely to run it down, but when you do there isn't much advance warning. I get only about 10 - 30 shots after flashing red battery icon first appears. This is the worst part: it's so good that you can forget about charging it, and since you get little warning, can get stuck with a dead battery unless you remember to charge it every 500 shots or so.

If you do run it all the way down each time (not a good idea since it reduces the life of the battery), the last shot made as the battery dies does NOT get recorded to the card.

Oddly the last charge only got me 300 shots. The first few charges got me 1,000 shots each. We'll see - it did take 2 hrs to charge, so I presume the battery has its full capacity. I suspect I may have done something silly like leave the camera on and connected to my Mac after downloading.

Charger: The charger is a tiny one with a folding power plug. It runs on all voltages and 50 and 60 Hz. It easily fits in your other pocket. A full charge from a completely dead battery took exactly two 2 hours. THe next time it took 2 hours and 5 minutes.

My charger makes a soft, high-pitched whine as it charges. That's what we engineers call a switched-mode power supply. I presume it's normal. That's how Canon can make it so small without heavy iron transformers.

If you buy your SD700 outside the USA you may get a slightly different charger with a cord instead of the folding plug.

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

Buy one! I bought two! My SD700 goes everywhere with me. I'd get it here, here or here.

Remember to set the exposure compensation to -2/3 and the Vivid option to get professional exposures and color. I tried the crazy new "my colors" options and they were less vivid than the classic Vivid option.

 

Help me help you         top

I support my growing family through this website, as crazy as it might seem.

The biggest help is when you use any of these links to Adorama, Amazon, eBay, Ritz, Calumet, J&R and ScanCafe when you get anything, regardless of the country in which you live. It costs you nothing, and is this site's, and thus my family's, biggest source of support. These places have the best prices and service, which is why I've used them since before this website existed. I recommend them all personally.

If you find this page as helpful as a book you might have had to buy or a workshop you may have had to take, feel free to help me continue helping everyone.

If you've gotten your gear through one of my links or helped otherwise, you're family. It's great people like you who allow me to keep adding to this site full-time. Thanks!

If you haven't helped yet, please do, and consider helping me with a gift of $5.00.

As this page is copyrighted and formally registered, it is unlawful to make copies, especially in the form of printouts for personal use. If you wish to make a printout for personal use, you are granted one-time permission only if you PayPal me $5.00 per printout or part thereof. Thank you!

 

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Mr. & Mrs. Ken Rockwell, Ryan and Katie.

 

Home  Donate  New  Search  Gallery  Reviews  How-To  Books  Links  Workshops  About  Contact