Canon PowerShot SX710 HS: Pocketable Speedster

 
Canon PowerShot SX710 HS

Canon PowerShot SX710 HS

There’s a new compact superzoom in town, in the form of the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS. Supriya Joshi puts it through its paces.

The latest iteration of Canon’s PowerShot series is the SX710 HS, which was announced by the company back in January this year. The SX710 HS is the successor of the SX700 HS, which we saw at CP+ in Japan in 2014. Several key features seen in the SX700 HS have been brought back to the SX710 HS. Let’s find out how the camera fares.

Features
The SX710 features 30x zoom (25–750mm in 35mm parlance) in a compact body, 20.3MP CMOS sensor and 1080p video at 60p. Like the SX700, the SX710 features a 5-axis image stabilisation, which compensates for 2.5 stops. This, in combination with the DIGIC 6 image processor promised not only speed, but also sharp images at any focal length. You can shoot multiple frames at a burst rate of 8fps, however, the focus and the metering will be locked on the first image you shoot in the series.

The camera features P, S, A, M modes along with a whole host of automatic modes like Hybrid Auto, which captures a four second video before each shot and combines them in a video montage. Another interesting feature, which we had first seen in Canon PowerShot N, is Creative Shot, which shoots a burst of images, and produces six images in different aspect rations and filters. This is a fun mode to try out while making casual portraits with friends and family.

Handling
Canon has packed in a 30x zoom lens in quite a portable body, while being lightweight, yet robust. A finger grip on the front of the camera body made it real easy to operate the camera even using one hand.

A button on the left of the camera controls the pop up flash. Right next to that button is another, the Zoom Framing Assist. How this works is that if you press the button while zoomed into a subject, it zooms back in, while superimposing a rectangle on the part of the subject that the full zoom range would have covered.

Where the camera truly succeeds, however, is its speediness. The SX710HS is very, very quick. Everything from powering up to zooming in to the complete telephoto end and even focusing happens in seconds. I had absolutely no trouble focusing on a subject at the extreme end of the telephoto range. The IS also controlled camera shake to a great extent.

Performance
I quite enjoyed the shooting experience with this camera. The focal length truly makes this a multipurpose camera. Its low light performance is also quite good for a camera of this class. I shot many low light indoor photos at the complete telephoto end, and I would very rarely get out of focus or blurry shots.

Even in bright light, the camera produces good images with very minimal noise reduction, and it handled chromatic aberrations fairly well.

The ISO performance is fairly ok, and the images are quite good up to ISO 400, beyond which the images are usable if you are not intending to print them in a large size.

Video recording was really good, and the 5-axis image stablisation really shone through when I made movies. The aggressive camera shake you would expect from the telephoto end of such a zoom range was not present in the camera.

Conclusion
The Canon PowerShot SX710 HS is quite an exciting camera but, it is virtually identical to its predecessor. Perhaps a RAW mode is wishful thinking, but basic features like a panorama mode, HDR capture and a touchscreen interface should have been added to the list of features in the camera. While I will still maintain that this is a really good superzoom compact, I do wonder why one would pick up this camera over the SX700?

It takes only seconds to boot the camera and land the shot. For a discerning street photographer, this is a boon. Exposure: 1/50sec at f/4.5 (ISO 200). Photograph/Supriya Joshi

It takes only seconds to boot the camera and land the shot. For a discerning street photographer, this is a boon. Exposure: 1/50sec at f/4.5 (ISO 200). Photograph/Supriya Joshi

The SX710 comes at a pricetag of Rs. 23,995. If you prefer zoom range over pocketability, you can also consider the Canon SX50 HS, which has 50x zoom and RAW shooting as well for Rs. 25,995.

FINAL RATINGS

 Features: 30x zoom, 5-axis image stabilisation, no RAW  24/30
 Performance: Extremely speedy, average ISO performance, great video  26/35
 Build Quality: Lightweight, pocketable  13/15
 Ergonomics: Easy menu system, bright LCD screen, WiFi and NFC connectivity  14/15
 Warranty & Support: Large service network  4/5
 OVERALL  81%

MRP: Rs. 23,995

Who Should Buy It: Those who want to carry something portable on their travles without compromising on quality.

Why: The speedy camera will ensure that you don’t miss important moments. Plus, the 5-axis image stabilisation will ensure that you make great videos as well.

Tags: April 2015, canon compact camera, Canon PowerShot SX710 HS, Canon PowerShot SX710 HS MRP, Canon PowerShot SX710 HS price India, Canon PowerShot SX710 HS review, Supriya Joshi