Canon Powershot A710 IS Review
Review Date: October 28th 2006
The Canon Powershot A710 IS is a 7 megapixel compact digital camera with a 2.5 inch LCD screen and optical viewfinder. For the first time ever on a Canon A-Series compact, the A710 features image stabilizer technology to help combat camera-shake. Canon have also extended the optical zoom lens to 6x, giving an effective focal length of 35-210mm. Under the surface, the Canon Powershot A710 IS uses the same advanced DIGIC II processor as the company's digital SLR cameras for fast performance and image processing. There are 14 different scene modes on offer for beginners and more advanced Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority and Manual shooting modes for those who desire greater control. VGA movies at 30fps, a My Colors mode that allows special in-camera colour effects, and PictBridge, USB 2 and AA battery support complete the specification. So does the Canon Powershot A710 IS carry on the good name of previous A-Series Canon compacts? Read our latest review to find out.
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The Canon Powershot A710 IS has a 7.1 megapixel, 1/2.5 inch CCD that delivers 6.0 effective megapixels. There are 3 image quality size settings available (Superfine, Fine and Normal) and 6 image size settings ((L)3072 x 2304, (M1)2592 x 1944, (M2)2048 x 1536, (M3)1600 x 1200, (S)640 x 480, (W) 3072 x 1728, (Postcard Date Imprint) 1600 x 1200) which are recorded as JPEGs. There are no RAW or TIFF formats. The camera's 6x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 35-210mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 4x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. It also features Canon's optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology to counteract camera shake with 3 different modes available (Continuous, Shooting and Panning). The camera is supplied with a 16Mb Secure Digital (SD) Card and also supports MultiMediaCard (MMC) memory cards.
The Canon Powershot A710 IS offers Auto, Program AE, Shutter Priority AE, Aperture Priority AE and Manual exposure modes plus 14 different scene modes (Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Stitch Assist, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Color Accent, Color Swap). The maximum aperture is f2.8 (wide) – f4.8 (tele), and the shutter speed range is 15 secs. – 1/2000 sec. There are 5 ISO speeds ranging from 80 to 800 and an Auto option. There are 6 different White Balance presets to choose from (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Underwater), plus Auto and Custom settings. The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 2 in 1/3 EV stops and an auto-exposure lock function which operates when the shutter button is pressed half-way. The Canon Powershot A710 IS offers 3 different auto-exposure metering options - Evaluative, Centre-weighted average and Spot (centre or linked to focusing frame).
The Canon Powershot A710 IS has a normal shooting mode, Self-timer (2 secs. 10 secs. or Custom) and a Continuous mode, which allows you take up to 1.7 frames/sec until the memory card is full. There are a number of different My Colors photo effects on offer (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Positive Film, Vivid Blue, Vivid Red, Vivid Green, Custom Color). The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 1cm. The camera offers 2 auto-focusing systems - 9-point AiAF and 1-point AF (any position is available or fixed centre) and you can also manually select an auto-focus point using FlexiZone AF/AE. The built-in flash offers 5 different modes (Auto, On, Auto Red-eye Reduction, Slow Synchro and Off). The flash range is 55cm-3.5m (W) / 2.5m (T). Second Curtain Synchronisation, an AF assist beam, flash compensation of +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments and Flash Exposure Lock are all available. Noise reduction is automatically applied to exposures greater than 1.3 seconds.
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor or the optical viewfinder. The Canon Powershot A710 IS has a 2.5 inch colour TFT LCD monitor which has 115,000 pixels and which offers 100% scene coverage. The Canon Powershot A710 IS can record movies with sound at (L)640 x 480 at 30/15fps, (M)320 x 240 at 60/30/15fps and (S)160 x 120 at 15fps. Video is recorded in the AVI Motion JPEG format. The length of the video is limited to Up to 1GB or 1 hour (L and M, 30/15fps) or up to 1 minute (M, 60fps) or up to 3 minutes (S). You can also attach a 60 second or less sound clip to an image. A histogram is available in playback mode. The Canon Powershot A710 IS supports the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and PictBridge printing standards, and it connects to a computer via USB 2.0.
The Canon Powershot A710 IS's dimensions are 97.5 (W) x 66.5 (D) x 41.2 (H) mm, and it weighs 210g without the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by 2x AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries or an optional AC Adapter. There is a plastic tripod mount in the left corner of the bottom of the camera.
Finally, the standard box kit contains 2x AA Alkaline batteries, AV Cable, USB Cable, Wrist Strap, 16Mb SD Memory Card and a CD-ROM containing Canon software (ZoomBrowser EX, ImageBrowser, PhotoStitch, TWAIN Driver, ArcSoft PhotoStudio). Note that you can only store 5 images at the highest quality setting on the supplied 16Mb memory card. You will therefore need to invest in some more memory cards to store your images on.
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