Canon PowerShot SX700 HS pictures and hands-on

When it comes to travel zooms - cameras pocketable in size but with a significant zoom lens squeezed into their designs - there are lots of options out there. Canon is no stranger to the market with many successful PowerShot models already under its belt, but with the latest PowerShot SX700 HS model it's pushing the envelope a little further than in previous SX260, SX270 and SX280 models.

It's not all about the numbers game in the name either. For the SX700 HS features a 30x optical zoom lens, offering 50 per cent more reach than the earlier SX280 model. That doesn't come at the expense of a giant body size either, as the SX700's 34.8mm thickness is a mere couple of millimetres wider than the earlier Canon model.

It puts the SX700 roughly on a par with the likes of the Panasonic Lumix in terms of lens capacity and physical size. The Canon doesn't opt for a built-in viewfinder, however, but the 25-750mm equivalent zoom of the lens puts it in a similar position to the Panasonic.

READ: Hands-on: Panasonic Lumix TZ60 review

Just like earlier models, we found the SX700 HS felt spot on in the hand, helped by a small raised grip to the front of the camera. It gives a visual point of distinction while adding to comfort in use.

Performance is decent too. The lens moves swiftly through its range - faster than the Sony Cyber-shot HX60V - and snaps subjects into focus very quickly when in good light. That can't be upheld throughout the zoom range, however, as the lens can't let loads of light in when zoomed right in. That might be a problem for some shots in low-light conditions, but it's still up there among the best solutions of this type that you can buy.

That's one thing most Canon cameras assure: decent performance. Second to that comes image quality, and it's here the company has opted to push the resolution up a notch compared to earlier SX-models with a 16.1MP sensor and Digic 6 processor. We're yet to see how this will perform in the real world, but found the lower-resolution SX280 to be our travel zoom camera of choice in the image quality department so hold high hopes for this follow up.

Canon still hasn't gone in as feature heavy as the likes of Panasonic though. There is Wi-Fi for the usual sharing shenanigans, but the SX700 HS doesn't have a built-in viewfinder and there's no touchscreen control, so if you're looking for something more technologically complete then it might miss the mark on that front.

In terms of price expect to pay £329 when the PowerShot SX700 HS hits the shelves this March. It undercuts some of the competition in this department and that, coupled with the headline 30x optical zoom lens, is what will add to the appeal. From what we've seen this is a solid all-round travel zoom model.