Canon SX700 vs Panasonic ZS70
The Canon PowerShot SX700 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 (labelled Panasonic TZ90 in some countries) are two digital cameras that were announced, respectively, in February 2014 and April 2017. Both the SX700 and the ZS70 are fixed lens compact cameras that are equipped with a 1/2.3-inch sensor. The Canon has a resolution of 15.9 megapixels, whereas the Panasonic provides 20.2 MP.
Below is an overview of the main specs of the two cameras as a starting point for the comparison.
Going beyond this snapshot of core features and characteristics, what are the differences between the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS and the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70? Which one should you buy? Read on to find out how these two cameras compare with respect to their body size, their imaging sensors, their shooting features, their input-output connections, and their reception by expert reviewers.
An illustration of the physical size and weight of the Canon SX700 and the Panasonic ZS70 is provided in the side-by-side display below. The two cameras are presented according to their relative size. Three successive views from the front, the top, and the rear are shown. All width, height and depth dimensions are rounded to the nearest millimeter.
The SX700 can be obtained in two different colors (black, red), while the ZS70 is also available in two color-versions, but different ones (black, silver).
If the front view area (width x height) of the cameras is taken as an aggregate measure of their size, the Canon SX700 and the Panasonic ZS70 are of equal size. However, the ZS70 is markedly heavier (20 percent) than the SX700. In this context, it is worth noting that neither the SX700 nor the ZS70 are weather-sealed.
Concerning battery life, the SX700 gets 250 shots out of its NB-6LH battery, while the ZS70 can take 380 images on a single charge of its DMW-BLG10 power pack. The power pack in the ZS70 can be charged via the USB port, which can be very convenient when travelling.
The following table provides a synthesis of the main physical specifications of the two cameras and other similar ones. If you would like to visualize and compare a different camera combination, you can navigate to the CAM-parator app and make your selection from a broad list of cameras there.
|1.||Canon SX700||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||250||n||Feb 2014||349|
|2.||Panasonic ZS70||112 mm||67 mm||41 mm||322 g||380||n||Apr 2017||449|
|3.||Canon SX740||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||299 g||265||n||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX730||110 mm||64 mm||40 mm||300 g||250||n||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Canon SX420||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||195||n||Jan 2016||299|
|6.||Canon SX720||110 mm||64 mm||36 mm||270 g||250||n||Feb 2016||379|
|7.||Canon M10||108 mm||67 mm||35 mm||301 g||255||n||Oct 2015||499|
|8.||Canon SX410||104 mm||69 mm||85 mm||325 g||185||n||Feb 2015||279|
|9.||Canon SX710||113 mm||66 mm||35 mm||269 g||230||n||Jan 2015||349|
|10.||Canon SX520||120 mm||82 mm||92 mm||441 g||210||n||Jul 2014||399|
|11.||Canon SX400||104 mm||69 mm||80 mm||313 g||190||n||Jul 2014||249|
|12.||Panasonic ZS80||112 mm||69 mm||42 mm||327 g||380||n||Feb 2019||449|
|13.||Panasonic FZ80||130 mm||94 mm||119 mm||616 g||330||n||Jan 2017||399|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||124 mm||82 mm||92 mm||528 g||410||n||Aug 2011||499|
|15.||Ricoh GR II||117 mm||63 mm||35 mm||251 g||320||n||Jun 2015||699|
|16.||Sony WX800||102 mm||58 mm||36 mm||233 g||370||n||Oct 2018||399|
|Notes: Measurements and pricing do not include easily detachable parts, such as add-on or interchangeable lenses or optional viewfinders.|
Any camera decision will obviously take relative prices into account. The manufacturer’s suggested retail prices give an idea on the placement of the camera in the maker’s lineup and the broader market. The SX700 was launched at a somewhat lower price (by 22 percent) than the ZS70, which makes it more attractive for photographers on a tight budget. Normally, street prices remain initially close to the MSRP, but after a couple of months, the first discounts appear. Later in the product cycle and, in particular, when the replacement model is about to appear, further discounting and stock clearance sales often push the camera price considerably down.
The imaging sensor is at the core of digital cameras and its size is one of the main determining factors of image quality. All other things equal, a large sensor will have larger individual pixel-units that offer better low-light sensitivity, wider dynamic range, and richer color-depth than smaller pixels in a sensor of the same technological generation. Furthermore, a large sensor camera will give the photographer more possibilities to use shallow depth-of-field in order to isolate a subject from the background. On the downside, larger sensors are more costly to manufacture and tend to lead to bigger and heavier cameras and lenses.
Both cameras under consideration feature a 1/2.3-inch sensor and have a format factor (sometimes also referred to as "crop factor") of 5.6. Within the spectrum of camera sensors, this places the review cameras among the smaller-sensor digicams that favor affordability and compact design. Both cameras feature a native aspect ratio (sensor width to sensor height) of 4:3.
Technology-wise, both cameras are equipped with BSI-CMOS (Backside Illuminated Complementary Metal–Oxide–Semiconductor) sensors.
While the two cameras under review share the same sensor size, the ZS70 offers a higher resolution of 20.2 megapixels, compared with 15.9 MP of the SX700. This megapixels advantage translates into a 13 percent gain in linear resolution. On the other hand, these sensor specs imply that the ZS70 has a higher pixel density and a smaller size of the individual pixel (with a pixel pitch of 1.18μm versus 1.33μm for the SX700). However, it should be noted that the ZS70 is much more recent (by 3 years and 2 months) than the SX700, and its sensor will have benefitted from technological advances during this time that compensate for the smaller pixel size. Coming back to sensor resolution, it should be mentioned that neither of the two cameras has an anti-alias filter installed, so they are able to capture all the detail the sensor resolves.
The resolution advantage of the Panasonic ZS70 implies greater flexibility for cropping images or the possibility to print larger pictures. The maximum print size of the ZS70 for good quality output (200 dots per inch) amounts to 25.9 x 19.4 inches or 65.8 x 49.4 cm, for very good quality (250 dpi) 20.7 x 15.6 inches or 52.7 x 39.5 cm, and for excellent quality (300 dpi) 17.3 x 13 inches or 43.9 x 32.9 cm. The corresponding values for the Canon SX700 are 23 x 17.3 inches or 58.5 x 43.9 cm for good quality, 18.4 x 13.8 inches or 46.8 x 35.1 cm for very good quality, and 15.4 x 11.5 inches or 39 x 29.3 cm for excellent quality prints.
The Canon PowerShot SX700 HS has a native sensitivity range from ISO 100 to ISO 3200. The corresponding ISO settings for the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 are ISO 80 to ISO 3200, with the possibility to increase the ISO range to 80-6400.
Consistent information on actual sensor performance is available from DXO Mark for many cameras. This service assesses and scores the color depth ("DXO Portrait"), dynamic range ("DXO Landscape"), and low-light sensitivity ("DXO Sports") of camera sensors, and also publishes an overall camera score. The table below summarizes the physical sensor characteristics and sensor quality findings and compares them across a set of similar cameras.
| DXO |
|15.||Ricoh GR II||APS-C||16.1||4928||3264||1080/30p||23.6||13.7||1078||80|
Many modern cameras are not only capable of taking still images, but can also record movies. The two cameras under consideration both have sensors whose read-out speed is fast enough to capture moving pictures, but the ZS70 provides a better video resolution than the SX700. It can shoot movie footage at 4K/30p, while the Canon is limited to 1080/60p.
Apart from body and sensor, cameras can and do differ across a range of features. For example, the ZS70 has an electronic viewfinder (1166k dots), which can be very helpful when shooting in bright sunlight. In contrast, the SX700 relies on live view and the rear LCD for framing. The following table reports on some other key feature differences and similarities of the Canon SX700, the Panasonic ZS70, and comparable cameras.
|15.||Ricoh GR II||optional||n||3.0||1230||fixed||n||1/4000s||4.0||Y||n|
One differentiating feature between the two cameras concerns the touch sensitivity of the rear screen. The ZS70 has a touchscreen, while the SX700 has a conventional panel. Touch control can be particularly helpful, for example, for setting the focus point.The ZS70 has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing. This characteristic will be appreciated by vloggers and photographers who are interested in taking selfies. In contrast, the SX700 does not have a selfie-screen.
The reported shutter speed information refers to the use of the mechanical shutter. Yet, some cameras only have an electronic shutter, while others have an electronic shutter in addition to a mechanical one. In fact, the ZS70 is one of those camera that have an additional electronic shutter, which makes completely silent shooting possible. However, this mode is less suitable for photographing moving objects (risk of rolling shutter) or shooting under artificial light sources (risk of flickering).
Both the SX700 and the ZS70 have zoom lenses built in. The SX700 has a 25-750mm f/3.2-6.9 optic and the ZS70 offers a 24-720mm f/3.3-6.4 (focal lengths in full frame equivalent terms). Hence, the Panasonic provides a wider angle of view at the short end than the Canon, but less tele-photo reach at the long end. The SX700 offers the faster maximum aperture.
Concerning the storage of imaging data, both the SX700 and the ZS70 write their files to SDXC cards. The ZS70 supports UHS-I cards (Ultra High Speed data transfer of up to 104 MB/s), while the SX700 cannot take advantage of Ultra High Speed SD cards.
For some imaging applications, the extent to which a camera can communicate with its environment can be an important aspect in the camera decision process. The table below provides an overview of the connectivity of the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS and Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70 and, in particular, the interfaces the cameras (and selected comparators) provide for accessory control and data transfer.
| WiFi |
| NFC |
|15.||Ricoh GR II||Y||stereo||mono||-||-||micro||2.0||Y||Y||-|
Both the SX700 and the ZS70 have been discontinued, but can regularly be found used on eBay. The SX700 was replaced by the Canon SX710, while the ZS70 was followed by the Panasonic ZS80. Further information on the two cameras (e.g. user guides, manuals), as well as related accessories, can be found on the official Canon and Panasonic websites.
So how do things add up? Is the Canon SX700 better than the Panasonic ZS70 or vice versa? A synthesis of the relative strong points of each of the models is listed below.
Reasons to prefer the Canon PowerShot SX700 HS:
- Faster shutter: Has higher mechanical shutter speed (1/3200s vs 1/2000s) to freeze action.
- Better light gathering: Has a lens with a wider maximum aperture (f/3.2 vs f/3.3).
- More tele-reach: Has a longer tele-lens for perspective compression and subject magnification.
- Less heavy: Is lighter (by 53g or 16 percent) and hence easier to carry around.
- Easier device pairing: Supports NFC for fast wireless image transfer over short distances.
- More affordable: Was introduced into a lower priced segment (22 percent cheaper at launch).
- More heavily discounted: Has been available for much longer (launched in February 2014).
Arguments in favor of the Panasonic Lumix DC-ZS70:
- More detail: Has more megapixels (20.2 vs 15.9MP), which boosts linear resolution by 13%.
- Better video: Provides higher definition movie capture (4K/30p vs 1080/60p).
- Easier framing: Has an electronic viewfinder for image composition and settings control.
- More detailed LCD: Has a higher resolution rear screen (1040k vs 922k dots).
- More flexible LCD: Has a tilting screen for odd-angle shots in landscape orientation.
- Fewer buttons to press: Has a touchscreen to facilitate handling and shooting adjustments.
- More selfie-friendly: Has an articulated screen that can be turned to be front-facing.
- Faster burst: Shoots at higher frequency (10 vs 8.5 flaps/sec) to capture the decisive moment.
- Less disturbing: Has an electronic shutter option for completely silent shooting.
- Wider view: Has a wider-angle lens that facilitates landscape or interior shots.
- Longer lasting: Gets more shots (380 versus 250) out of a single battery charge.
- Easier travel charging: Can be conveniently charged via its USB port.
- Faster buffer clearing: Has an SD card interface that supports the UHS-I standard.
- More modern: Reflects 3 years and 2 months of technical progress since the SX700 launch.
If the number of relative strengths (bullet points above) is taken as a guide, the ZS70 is the clear winner of the contest (14 : 7 points). However, the pertinence of the various camera strengths will differ across photographers, so that you might want to weigh individual camera traits according to their importance for your own imaging needs before making a camera decision. A professional sports photographer will view the differences between cameras in a way that diverges from the perspective of a street photog, and a person interested in family portraits has distinct needs from a landscape shooter. Hence, the decision which camera is best and worth buying is often a very personal one.
How about other alternatives? Do the specifications of the Canon SX700 and the Panasonic ZS70 place the cameras among the top in their class? Find out in the latest Best Superzoom Camera listing whether the two cameras rank among the cream of the crop.
In any case, while the comparison of the spec-sheets of cameras can offer a general idea of their imaging potential, it says little about, for example, the shooting experience and imaging performance of the SX700 and the ZS70 in practical situations. User reviews that are available, for instance, at amazon can sometimes shed light on these issues, but such feedback is all too often partial, inconsistent, and inaccurate.
This is why hands-on reviews by experts are important. The adjacent summary-table relays the overall verdicts of several of the most popular camera review sites (amateurphotographer [AP], cameralabs [CL], dpreview [DPR], ephotozine [EPZ], photographyblog [PB]). As can be seen, the professional reviewers agree in many cases on the quality of different cameras, but sometimes their assessments diverge, reinforcing the earlier point that a camera decision is often a very personal choice.
|1.||Canon SX700||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Feb 2014||349|
|2.||Panasonic ZS70||..||+ +||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||449|
|3.||Canon SX740||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Jul 2018||399|
|4.||Canon SX730||..||+||..||4/5||4/5||Apr 2017||399|
|5.||Canon SX420||..||..||..||..||3/5||Jan 2016||299|
|6.||Canon SX720||..||+||..||4/5||4.5/5||Feb 2016||379|
|7.||Canon M10||..||..||..||..||4/5||Oct 2015||499|
|8.||Canon SX410||..||o||..||..||..||Feb 2015||279|
|9.||Canon SX710||..||+||..||4/5||3.5/5||Jan 2015||349|
|10.||Canon SX520||..||+||..||3.5/5||3.5/5||Jul 2014||399|
|11.||Canon SX400||..||+||..||..||..||Jul 2014||249|
|12.||Panasonic ZS80||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||..||Feb 2019||449|
|13.||Panasonic FZ80||..||+ +||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jan 2017||399|
|14.||Panasonic FZ150||3/5||+ +||76/100||4/5||4.5/5||Aug 2011||499|
|15.||Ricoh GR II||..||..||..||4.5/5||4.5/5||Jun 2015||699|
|16.||Sony WX800||..||..||..||..||..||Oct 2018||399|
|Notes: (+ +) highly recommended; (+) recommended; (o) reviewed; (..) not available.|
The above review scores should be interpreted with care, though. The ratings are only valid when referring to cameras in the same category and of the same age. Thus, a score needs to be put into the context of the launch date and the launch price of the camera, and comparing ratings of very distinct cameras or ones that are far apart in terms of their release date have little meaning. It should also be noted that some of the review sites have over time altered the way they render their verdicts.
Other camera comparisons
Did this review help to inform your camera decision process? In case you are interested in seeing how other cameras pair up, just make a corresponding selection in the search boxes below. There is also a set of direct links to comparison reviews that other users of the CAM-parator app explored.
Specifications: Canon SX700 vs Panasonic ZS70
Below is a side-by-side comparison of the specs of the two cameras to facilitate a quick review of their differences and common features.
|Camera Model||Canon SX700||Panasonic ZS70|
|Camera Type||Fixed lens compact camera||Fixed lens compact camera|
|Camera Lens||25-750mm f/3.2-6.9||24-720mm f/3.3-6.4|
|Launch Date||February 2014||April 2017|
|Launch Price||USD 349||USD 449|
|Sensor Specs||Canon SX700||Panasonic ZS70|
|Sensor Format||1/2.3" Sensor||1/2.3" Sensor|
|Sensor Size||6.17 x 4.55 mm||6.17 x 4.55 mm|
|Sensor Area||28.0735 mm2||28.0735 mm2|
|Sensor Diagonal||7.7 mm||7.7 mm|
|Sensor Resolution||15.9 Megapixels||20.2 Megapixels|
|Image Resolution||4608 x 3456 pixels||5184 x 3888 pixels|
|Pixel Pitch||1.33 μm||1.18 μm|
|Pixel Density||56.73 MP/cm2||71.80 MP/cm2|
|Moiré control||no AA filter||no AA filter|
|Movie Capability||1080/60p Video||4K/30p Video|
|ISO Setting||100 - 3,200 ISO||80 - 3,200 ISO|
|ISO Boost||no Enhancement||80 - 6,400 ISO|
|Image Processor||DIGIC 6||Venus|
|DXO Sensor Quality (score)||..||36|
|DXO Color Depth (bits)||..||19.1|
|DXO Dynamic Range (EV)||..||10.6|
|DXO Low Light (ISO)||..||106|
|Screen Specs||Canon SX700||Panasonic ZS70|
|Viewfinder Type||no viewfinder||Electronic viewfinder|
|Viewfinder Field of View||100%|
|Viewfinder Resolution||1166k dots|
|LCD Framing||Live View||Live View|
|Rear LCD Size||3.0inch||3.0inch|
|LCD Resolution||922k dots||1040k dots|
|LCD Attachment||Fixed screen||Tilting screen|
|Touch Input||no Touchscreen||Touchscreen|
|Shooting Specs||Canon SX700||Panasonic ZS70|
|Focus System||Contrast-detect AF||Contrast-detect AF|
|Manual Focusing Aid||no Peaking Feature||Focus Peaking|
|Max Shutter Speed (mechanical)||1/3200s||1/2000s|
|Continuous Shooting||8.5 shutter flaps/s||10 shutter flaps/s|
|Electronic Shutter||no E-Shutter||up to 1/16000s|
|Fill Flash||Build-in Flash||Build-in Flash|
|Storage Medium||SDXC cards||SDXC cards|
|Second Storage Option||Single card slot||Single card slot|
|UHS card support||no||UHS-I|
|Connectivity Specs||Canon SX700||Panasonic ZS70|
|External Flash||no Hotshoe||no Hotshoe|
|USB Connector||USB 2.0||USB 2.0|
|HDMI Port||micro HDMI||micro HDMI|
|Wifi Support||Wifi built-in||Wifi built-in|
|Near-Field Communication||NFC built-in||no NFC|
|Body Specs||Canon SX700||Panasonic ZS70|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||250 shots per charge||380 shots per charge|
|In-Camera Charging||no USB charging||USB charging|
113 x 66 x 35 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.4 in)
112 x 67 x 41 mm
(4.4 x 2.6 x 1.6 in)
|Camera Weight||269 g (9.5 oz)||322 g (11.4 oz)|
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