Canon A70 Powershot

This camera is a popular 3.2 megapixel digital camera; there are many reviews on the Internet. I added a 128 MB compact flash memory card, and bought two sets of LiMH batteries and a charger.

This camera jammed after less than a week of use, and I returned it to the camera store. I had bought it at a very reputable camera store (Ginn's, on Bank Street in Ottawa). They gave me a new one on the spot. I strongly recommend dealing with stores such as this one; the price is about the same as the chain box stores, and the service far better if trouble occurs.

It will hold about 80 pictures at the lowest compression setting for the JPEG images it produces. I have been using it at at the default setting, which enables a 128 memory card to hold about 130 pictures, and have found the results very satisfactory. I had a number of 4*6 prints made by a local processing shop, and the results were indistinguishable from those made by a 35mm film camera. I have also had a few 10*8 enlargements made, also at the local processing shop, and the quality seems very good.

After eleven months of use, the second camera failed. This happened as I turned off the power. The lens retracted half way, and then it stopped, showing an "E18" error message. This is well documented on many web sites, and there have been lots of complaints about it. I was lucky. My camera was still just within warranty. Ginn's took it back, and said it would take between three and four weeks to get it repaired. They called me just two weeks later to say it was ready, and I picked it up. It has worked perfectly well since, and I shall keep my fingers crossed.

The camera works very well for outdoor scenes in good light. For indoor photographs of young children it is much less pleasing, as the red-eye reduction option only seems to work if the subject is looking directly at the camera - which very young children won't do. The focus is less than perfect in these conditions, and the shutter delay means that it is very hard to get good expressions.

By now, I have about a thousand pictures, and can no longer save them all on a single CD. This gadget is the biggest user of storage that I have, and a CD-Writer is essential for reliable backups. (You do back up your computer, don't you?)

Here is a sample image of our house, reduced in size to make it fit within the limited space available for these web pages.

Last updated : 2005-01-31