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The Canon Powershot Pro 70 digital camera, like the much more expensive Nikon D1, has more in common with it's 35mm cousins than with it's digital brothers and sisters. The Pro 70 bears a strong family resemblance to the EOS cameras in both appearance and operation. For many traditional photographers the jump to digital imaging and equipment can be almost frightening, I mean you are an expert with lots of experience, and all of a sudden you are in unfamiliar territory, asking advice from people who are young enough to be your children. The Pro 70's controls and operation will feel familiar and comfortable to traditional photographers, this will insure a smooth and non-threatening switch to digital imaging and digital equipment. The feature list for the Pro 70 is very impressive. A 1/2 inch 1.68 million pixel CCD with resolution settings for 1536 x 1024 and 768 x 512 pixels. This Canon offers both a 2 inch TFT LCD screen viewfinder AND an optical viewfinder (very important to traditional photographers who want to see the "real" scene) the optical viewfinder is bright, contrasty, and offers a focus adjustment for those who wear glasses. A NiMH battery charger and battery are included and since digital cameras are known to go through batteries pretty darn quick, having the (optional) battery pack is a good thing. Additional good news is that up to 400 images can be made on one fully charged battery pack. Flash options for the Pro 70 are quite impressive, two Canon speedlites, the 220 EX and the 380 EX are available (advised) for this model. Flash is often a weak point in digital cameras, usually either no flash or an almost worthless "pop up" flash are the only options. Flash for the Pro 70 can be handled in much the same way it would be handled with a 35mm SLR camera. Another tremendous feature in this camera is the ability to hold, not one, but two compact flash cards, including one type II. Canon was the innovator he
re, being first to offer this feature. You can either use the 8mb card that comes with the camera, or use two 80mb cards, this will allow shooting in CCD "raw mode" and switching back and forth between the two cards. Results for both auto and program modes are first rate. Low light situations are not a problem for the fast f2.0-2.4/28-70 (35mm equivalent) optical zoom lens. The Pro 70 comes complete with everything you need to get started, however replacing the included serial cable with a CF card reader would probably be a good idea. The software package bundled with the Pro 70 includes Adobe Photoshop LE, Ulead Photocompact, Photo Stitch, Time Tunnel, and Slide Show Maker. The digital revolution in photography can be very intimidating to traditional 35mm photographers. Most of these traditional photographers have anywhere from ten to thirty years of photographic experience, yet when it comes to "digital" they are "Newbies" and all that experience is very difficult to transfer to the new medium. Cameras like the Pro 70 will help traditional photographers make this transition more easily, by providing a familiar platform, logical controls, and traditional handling.