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Products >> All Products In Focus: PowerShot SX70 HS- Part4

Canon PowerShot SX70 HS Hands-on Review: Travel Photography in Nikko


When travelling overseas, sometimes you just wish for a multi-purpose and dependable camera that can handle various kinds of photography so you don’t have to bring along multiple lenses to saddle you with extra weight. Lightweight and capable of both wide-angle and telephoto shots, the PowerShot SX70 HS fits the bill as I discovered for myself during a short trip to Nikko in Japan.

PowerShot SX70 HS

With the PowerShot SX70 HS in hand, I took a two-hour train ride from Tokyo to the small city of Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture. The city is renowned for its autumn colours and collection of historic Shinto shrines and Buddhist temples that have been designated as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

When travelling free-and-easy with public transport as my only means of getting around, I appreciated how lightweight the camera was. Even with a heavy suitcase in tow, I could easily stop to snap a photo at any time as I moved around the country. It doesn’t cramp your style either as the camera has a sleek and professional exterior design. 

PowerShot SX70 HSThe PowerShot SX70 HS offers a firm grip and professional design.

My first stop in Nikko was the famous Toshogu Shrine, the final resting place of the founder of the Tokugawa Shogunate. Befitting of the great warrior, the temple was lavishly decorated with intricate carvings and gold embellishments, with more than 500 carvings adorning the main gate alone. Powered by Canon’s latest image processor DIGIC 8, the PowerShot SX70 HS was able to capture the crisp details of the beautiful shrines and temples that I visited in Nikko.

PowerShot SX70 HSYomeimon, the most extravagantly decorated gate in Japan. Shot using the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS at f/4, 1/500s, ISO 320, 39mm.

PowerShot SX70 HSA five-storey pagoda that the famous Tokyo Skytree is modelled after. Shot using the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS at f/4, 1/100s, ISO 100, 22mm.

A popular attraction at Toshogu Shrine is the Nemuri-neko, a carving of a sleeping cat atop a doorway that I would have missed if not for the large crowd gathered beneath it. The huge crowd prevented me from moving nearer for a closer look, but thanks to the PowerShot SX70 HS’ high optical zoom that can go up to 65x, I managed to do a zoom above everyone’s heads to get a clear shot of this National Treasure. 

PowerShot SX70 HS A zoomed-in shot of the Nemuri-neko. Shot using the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS at f/5.6, 1/80s, ISO 800, 237mm.

After a short bus ride that zig-zagged up and down a mountain, I arrived at Chuzenji Onsen, a serene hot spring town situated by a lake. The wide zoom range of the PowerShot SX70 HS, which boasts the widest angle in its class at approximately 21mm, proved handy in capturing the beauty of Lake Chuzenji in its entirety. 

PowerShot SX70 HSLake Chuzenji. Shot using the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS at f/4.5, 1/1000s, ISO 100, 55mm

On top of its 65x optical zoom, the PowerShot SX70 HS has a digital zoom (ZoomPlus) of up to 130x that I utilised to take this telephoto shot of one of the many swan paddle boats on the lake. Here, you can see my actual view of the lake from the shore at normal focal length.

PowerShot SX70 HSUltra-wide angle shot taken from the shore using the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS at f/4.5, ISO 100, 1/1000sec, 22mm.

Even after applying an incredibly high digital zoom, the paddle boat still looks sharp in the photo thanks to the camera’s Dual Sensing IS technology that corrects image blur caused by camera shake. Just like Canon’s EOS cameras, the PowerShot SX70 HS has a high definition EVF which allowed for easier focusing through the viewfinder instead of the LCD monitor.

The Zoom Framing Assist feature is also useful for tracking moving subjects that tend to move out of the frame during telephoto shooting.

See also: How to Frame Your Photos

PowerShot SX70 HSTelephoto shot taken with digital zoom using PowerShot SX70 HS at f/5.6, ISO 250, 1/1000sec, 688mm.

The sun had set by the time I arrived back in Tokyo. While waiting for the lights to change at a busy road junction at Asakusa, I was intrigued by this sight of Sensoji Temple and Tokyo Skytree in the same frame. With a pair of steady hands, the PowerShot SX70 HS was able to produce a decent night shot without the use of a tripod. 

See also: [Lesson 4] Challenging Handheld Night Shots

PowerShot SX70 HS night shotHandheld night shot taken using the PowerShot SX70 HS at f/3.4, 1/25sec, ISO 800, 22mm. 

The next day, I visited a digital art museum at Odaiba that had numerous digital artworks displayed in the dark. While I struggled to take photos in the dark using my smartphone, I found that shooting with the PowerShot SX70 HS was a relatively easier affair even in near pitch darkness.

The artworks appeared as unsightly flares in the photos taken using my smartphone, but the PowerShot SX70 HS was able to capture human subjects and even the colours and details of the artworks projected on the walls, even without the use of flash or tripod. The Dual Sensing IS and improved AF speed helped to reduce camera shake, allowing for superb image quality even in low-light conditions. 

PowerShot SX70 HS low lightInsta-worthy artworks are projected on the walls and reflected on the floors of the digital art museum. Shot using the Canon PowerShot SX70 HS at f/3.4, 1/8sec, ISO 800, 22mm. 

With such Insta-worthy pictures, it would be a waste not to share them on social media. Using the built-in Wi-Fi of the PowerShot SX70 HS, I could easily transfer my photos from the camera to my smartphone via the Canon Connect app and upload the photos to my Instagram while on the go, even without a laptop with me. This was definitely a useful feature for social media users like me.

All in all, the PowerShot SX70 HS is a lightweight multi-purpose compact camera that is easy enough to use in any setting. A really handy camera to have when travelling!


Photos by Gabby, an avid traveller and casual photographer who prefers to leave her photos in the capable "hands" of a camera's Auto mode.   


Read more: 

Guide to Planning a Family Vacation as a Photographer
How to Take Prettier Photos for Instagram
Fun Ways to Use Your Camera’s Wi-Fi (Part 1): Introduction to Wi-Fi Features
Fun Ways to Use Your Camera’s Wi-Fi (Part 2): Real-Life Examples