Canon PowerShot SX710 HS Review

January 26, 2015 | Mark Goldstein |
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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20.3 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 8Mb.

The SX710 HS produces fairly pleasing images. Detail is crisp across the frame and isn't as susceptible to noise reduction smoothing as many cameras with equivalent sized sensors. Consequently fine details in landscape scenes are well retained and don't get smeared into a painterly mess as is all too common with cameras in this sector. Bright, punchy colour reproduction adds to the appeal, as does the flawless exposure metering and reliable white balance.

Optically there is some chromatic aberration (purple fringing) visible in high-contrast areas, but it's rarely distracting. Despite its very generous focal length range, the lens also fares well in the distortion department, with only a hint of barrel distortion at wide angle and no noticeable pincushion effect when zoomed in.

With such an impressive performance it's a shame the SX710 HS's image noise levels let the side down somewhat. The SX710 HS produces noise-free images at ISO 80-200, with limited noise and colour desaturation starting to appear at ISO 400. ISO 800 exhibits quite visible noise, smearing of fine detail and colour desaturation, and ISO 1600 is usable for small prints. The fastest setting of ISO 3200 should be avoided if possible.

Noise

The Canon PowerShot SX710 HS has seven sensitivity settings at full resolution. Auto mode uses a range between ISO 80 and ISO 3200, or you can switch to one of the creative shooting modes to manually select these settings.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

iso80.jpg iso100.jpg
   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

iso200.jpg iso400.jpg
   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

iso800.jpg iso1600.jpg
   

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

 
iso3200.jpg  

Sharpening

We found that the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS images are already sharp, but do benefit from a little touch-up in post processing.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
   
sharpen2.jpg sharpen2a.jpg

Focal Range

The Canon PowerShot SX710 HS' 30x zoom lens achieves a maximum wide-angle focal length equivalent to 25mm, and is capable of a telephoto reach of 750mm (in 35mm-camera terms).

25mm

750mm

focal_range1.jpg focal_range2.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon PowerShot SX710 HS handled chromatic aberrations fairly well during the review, with purple and green fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

File Quality

Every image size option on the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS is accompanied by two quality settings: Fine and Super Fine. Going for the latter will up the file size of each image from 5MB to around 8MB.

SuperFine (7.85Mb) (100% Crop)

Fine (5.00Mb) (100% Crop)

quality_superfine.jpg quality_fine.jpg

Macro

The close focusing of the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS at wide-angle is a mere 1cm. It does mean that there's little light getting in when you do that and the edge definition drops off leaving around 50% of the image in focus.

Macro

Macro (100% Crop)

macro1.jpg macro1a.jpg

Flash

The Canon PowerShot SX710 HS' flash can only manage a relatively weak 3.5m range and hence there's some fairly obvious vignetting in our wide-angle test shot taken at a distance of 1.5m. The flash has four modes: Auto, On, Off and Slow Synchro, plus a separate setting to enable or disable red-eye reduction. Whether this is active or not, the camera successfully avoids any trace of red-eye.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Flash On - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (750mm)

Flash On - Telephoto (750mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the Flash On or the Red-eye-Reduction settings caused any red-eye.

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
flash_on.jpg flash_on1.jpg
   

Red-eye Reduction

Red-eye Reduction (100% Crop)

flash_redeye.jpg flash_redeye1.jpg

Anti Shake

As you can see here, disabling IS when shooting handheld at the upper end of the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS' focal length range isn't a good idea. Keep the system on and it does a great job of counteracting the effects of camera shake.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length Anti-Shake Off (100% Crop) Anti-Shake On (100% Crop)
1/6th sec / 25mm antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
     
0.8 sec / 750mm antishake2.jpg antishake2a.jpg

Night

The Canon Powershot SX710 HS's maximum shutter speed is 15 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 80.

Night

Night (100% Crop)

night1.jpg night1a.jpg

Special Effects

The Canon PowerShot SX710 HS offers several special effects modes, accessible via the dedicated shooting mode.

Fisheye

Miniature

effects_01.jpg effects_02.jpg
   

Toy Camera

Soft Focus

effects_03.jpg effects_04.jpg
   

Monochrome

Super Vivid

effects_05.jpg effects_06.jpg
   

Poster

 
effects_06.jpg  

My Colors

In addition to the special effect modes, you can also set the camera to apply various colour filters as you shoot. Choose from: Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue/Green/Red or Custom Color.

Vivid

Neutral

my_colors_01.jpg my_colors_02.jpg
   

Sepia

B&W

my_colors_03.jpg my_colors_04.jpg
   

Positive Film

Lighter Skin Tone

my_colors_05.jpg my_colors_06.jpg
   

Darker Skin Tone

Vivid Blue

my_colors_07.jpg my_colors_08.jpg
   

Vivid Green

 
my_colors_09.jpg