Rating: 4 / 5
While not the lightest dgital camera on the market at 10.25oz (290g) it is still my current favorite for several reasons.
1. Resolution. At 7-megapixels I can shoot decnet pictures at high resolution and then have a great deal to work with during post processing. For example, I have taken wildlife photos with this camera where the animal, such as a loon in the distance, has been a rather small portion of the frame. While the resulting picture isn't necessarily a classic I have enough pixels to work with to grab the loon from the photo and be sure that is, in fact, what the bird is. Had I taken that same picture with a lower resolution camera I would have a much smaller image to work with (e.g., 45% at 3MP, 70% at 5MP). Doesn't sound like much, but it can make a big difference.
I like the control the S70 gives me over shooting. Granted I don't always take advantage of the control that I am given and often just use presets, but when I have the time and/or inclination having full control is a great asset.
I also prefer the S70 user interface to many cameras. Nothing irritates me more than a menu system that displays its menu overlaying a still visible image from the lens. This just makes reading the menus more difficult. While I want to have some information visible on the LCD (assuming I am using it) I want it kept under control (shutter speed, apature, drive mode, resultion, EV setting, that sort of stuff). If I have to work to use the user interface that seriously impares a camera's functionality.
I also very much appreciate the fact that the S70's lens starts at about 28mm (35mm equivilant) focal length. So many comapct digicams start around 35-38mm and that is a very noticable difference. While there are times when I wish I could shoot truly wide angle the 28mm focal length is a good compromise. The flip side of this is that the lens is not terribly long topping out at about 100mm which is rather short. Canon sells a teleconvert (I don't have it), but that only get you to 200mm which is still rather meager.
Battery life is decent for a digicam. If I follow my stnadard practices which does mean I use the LCD a fair bit I still can easily get 100-120 photos from a single charge and still get some movie clips in there too. Still this is a camera that cries out for having at least one extra battery with you. On a recent trip to Isle Royale I used 2 batteries to shoot some 200 photos and 40 movie clips (can't tell you how long the average clip is; visit my website and see for yourself).
The fact that the camera is not waterproof like the popular Pentax Optio line of cameras does not bother me. I can always put the camera away in a safe dry place. If I really want to shoot in cruddy conditions I can put the camera in something like an Aquapac or Ewa-Marine camera bag. This camera has been on many backpacking and some sea kayaking trips and has done me proud.