Canon PowerShot A710 IS

      Photo Review 9

      In summary

      High resolution plus a 6x optical zoom lens in an affordable camera with plenty of adjustable controls.The A710 IS heads Canon’s A-series range, which is easy enough for novices to use yet offers a full suite of manual controls plus DiG!C II processing. It’s the first A-series model with image stabilisation, which complements the 6x optical zoom lens. The lens packs into the camera body when power is off and accepts a variety of accessories, which are fitted by removing a surrounding attachment ring. . . [more]

      Full review


      The Powershot A710 IS heads Canon’s A-series range, which is easy enough for novices to use yet offers a full suite of manual controls plus DiG!C II processing. It’s the first A-series model with image stabilisation, which complements the 6x optical zoom lens. The lens packs into the camera body when power is off and accepts a variety of accessories, which are fitted by removing a surrounding attachment ring.

      Chunkier than the Ixus range, A-series cameras have metal and plastic bodies and use AA batteries. The rear panel of the A710 IS sports a 2.5-inch LCD plus the usual collection of buttons. On the top panel is a large mode dial with Auto, P, Tv, Av and M shooting modes plus settings for movie capture, stitch assist, scene modes and pre-sets for night portrait, landscape and portrait modes.


      Eleven scene modes are provided, including Colour Accent and Colour Swap. The former lets you colourise part of the shot, leaving the rest in B&W. The latter swaps one colour for another – although not particularly well.

      The zoom controller wraps around the shutter button and moves the lens from wide to tele in roughly two seconds, covering 15 intermediate steps. One side panel carries the I/O ports, which are protected by a snug-fitting rubber door; while the other has an eyelet for the wrist strap. Batteries and SD card slot into the base of the camera, opposite the tripod mount (which is plastic and near the body’s edge).


      The image stabiliser works by shifting elements within the camera’s lens.
      Three image stabilisation modes are provided: Continuous, which engages IS when you half-press the shutter button; Shoot Only, which only activates when the shot is taken and Panning, which only counteracts vertical motion. Canon has introduced a new digital zoom function with four menu settings: Standard, 1.5x, 1.9x and off. A Safety Zoom warning is displayed when image quality is likely to be degraded and you can zoom up to 9x in total at M2 resolution.

      The A710 IS provides plenty of user-controlled adjustments. Autofocus options include AiAF, central point and FlexiZone, which lets you move the focus point with the arrow pad. Six aperture settings are provided for the wide lens and five for tele, with f8 the minimum for both. Shutter speeds range from 15 to 1/2000 second. The spot metering mode lets you link metering to a specific AF point and you get both first- and second-curtain flash synch. Red-eye reduction can be turned on and off, as can the AF-assist beam. There’s also a Postcard mode that records 3:2 aspect ratio pictures and is the only setting where you can embed the date and time in the image data.

      You can customise the start-up screen, beeps and shutter sounds in the ‘My Camera’ menu and the supplied software lets you replace the pre-sets with your own images and sounds. With a high-speed SD card you can record movie clips in VGA size at 30 fps with sound to memory capacity or 1GB (which captures about eight minutes). QVGA resolution is also supported at 30 and 15 fps and ‘Compact’ QQVGA at 15 fps with a limit of three minutes. A Fast Frame Rate setting records up to a minute of QVGA video at 60 fps. Colour Accent and Colour Swap can be used in Movie mode.

      Shots taken with the test camera were accurately exposure with natural-looking colours under most conditions. Imatest showed overall resolution to be good, with little loss of detail from centre to edge of frame. Lateral chromatic aberration was low and colours were accurately recorded with modest saturation, although minor shifts were found in cyan and red hues.

      Little noise was found with ISO settings up to 400, although noise became visible at higher sensitivities. The flash required ISO 200 to cover an average-sized room. Close-up performance was excellent as the A710 IS can focus to 1cm. The auto white balance setting failed to correct incandescent lighting but performed well with fluorescent lights and the pre-sets and manual modes delivered natural colours.

      It took approximately 1.3 seconds to power-up the A710 IS and shot-to-shot times averaged about a second. Total capture lag averaged 0.7 seconds, reducing to 0.1 seconds with pre-focusing. The burst mode recorded shots at intervals of just under 0.6 seconds.





      The auto white balance only failed to correct incandescent light.


      Both the manual white balance pre-sets and custom measurement produced accurate colour reproduction.


      The ability to focus to 1 cm lets you photograph very small objects.




      Image sensor: 5.76 x 4.29 mm CCD with 7.4 million photosites (7.1 megapixels effective) Lens: 5.8-34.8mm f2.8-4.8 zoom lens (35-210mm in 35mm format
      Zoom ratio: 6x optical, up to 4x digital
      Image formats: Stills ““ JPEG (Exif 2.2); Movies ““ Motion JPEG/WAV (VGA/QVGA at 30/15 fps; QQVGA at 15 fps)
      Image Sizes: Large: 3072 x 2304, Medium 1: 2592 x 1944, Medium 2: 2048 x 1536, Medium 3 1600 x 1200, Small: 640 x 480, Widescreen: 3072 x 1728, Postcard Date Imprint 1600 x 1200
      Shutter speed range: 15-1/2000 sec.
      Exposure Compensation: ± 2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
      Focus system/range: TTL Autofocus with 9-point AiAF/1-point AF (Flexizone or centre-fixed); Manual focus available; range 55cm to infinity; macro 1-55cm; manual focus 1cm to infinity
      Exposure metering/control: Evaluative / Centre-weighted average / Spot (Metering frame when fixed: Centre) or linked to AF frame selectable; Auto, P, Av, Tv and M shooting modes plus 14 scene pre-sets & 11 My Colours modes
      White balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Underwater, Custom
      Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Auto, On, Off, Slow-synchro (Red-eye reduction is available); range 55cm to 3.5m
      ISO range: Auto, ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800 equivalent + Hi ISO
      Sequence shooting: Approx 1.7 frames/sec
      Storage Media: SD/SDHC/MMC cards (16MB MMC card supplied)
      Viewfinder: Real-image optical zoom viewfinder
      LCD monitor: 2.5 inch (63mm) Low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT colour LCD (115,000 pixels)
      Power supply: 2x AA alkaline or NiMH batteries
      Dimensions (wxhxd): 97.5 x 41.2 x 66.5mm
      Weight: Approx. 210g (without batteries and card)





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