Canon PowerShot SX430 IS Review


A new low-cost superzoom camera from Canon, the PowerShot SX430 IS, has been released.

The Canon SX430 IS has a CMOS sensor with a resolution of 20.5 megapixels and a 45x optical zoom lens, which translates to a focal length range of 24-1080mm when measured in terms of 35mm film.

Other important features include networking by Wi-Fi and Dynamic NFC, movie recording at 720p resolution, and a clever Image Stabilizer for both still images and video.

Ease of Operation

The focal range of so-called “travel” cameras has been slightly hamstrung by the fact that manufacturers still need to produce a camera that can easily fit into a pocket or day bag. Traditionally, super zoom or “bridge” cameras have been bulky affairs, while the focal range of “travel” cameras has been limited.

The Canon PowerShot SX430 IS, which was first introduced in February and has just recently become available, is a camera that resembles a consumer-grade SLR (or an enthusiast-level super zoom), but one that has been conveniently shrunk in the wash. It has a whopping yet still impressively compact 45x optical reach, which is strapped to the front of a camera that looks like it has been shrunk in the wash. In our opinion, at least, the Canon PowerShot S

When you look at the press images of this camera before you really get your hands on it, it may be quite difficult to get an accurate sense of how little it actually is.

We were only able to get two of our adult-sized fingers within its handgrip, which left our forefinger hanging over the conveniently located shutter release button at the handgrip’s top-most edge, which was itself surrounded by the lever for adjusting the zoom.

Even while it is feasible to control the camera with just one hand (your right), you should use your left hand to hold the lightweight zoom. This will assist maintain the body of the camera (and your horizons) level and stability while you are shooting.

The face of the Canon PowerShot SX430 IS digital camera

Even though it would be difficult to fit the SX430 IS (which stands for “image stabilized”) into a trouser pocket due to its prominent lens barrel, which offers a maximum aperture of f/3.5 and a much more eye-catching massive 24-1080mm equivalent reach in terms of 35mm film, the camera will fit comfortably into any jacket or, for those traveling types on a weekend city break, a small rucksack or shoulder bag.

This camera is suitable for use by everyone in the family as long as the youngest members are at least seven years old because its operation is mostly composed of pointing and shooting. Because of the large focus range, virtually any image can be framed and reframed with the aid of the rear LCD screen. This means that the photographer needs to move towards or away from their subject very little in order to get the desired effect.

We’d guess that summer vacation would be the perfect opportunity to put this PowerShot’s lack of size as well as its wide range of capabilities, which are, at the same time, quite basic and easy to use, to good use. This particular lens cap is of the detachable plastic form, and it may be threaded into the empty lug on the camera that would normally be used for a strap. That is most likely the most effective approach to keep against merely misplacing the cap.

The SX430 IS is possibly not a camera for the photo enthusiast, who will want something more substantial in every sense of the word. Its operation is pretty much point-and-shoot all the way, and its heart is a relatively unflashy 1/2.3-inch CCD sensor that provides a 20-megapixel effective resolution (just like the 8x zoom IXUS 185 that was released alongside it).

We envision the typical smartphone user or family man or woman as the ideal buyer of this camera because they are looking to upgrade to a “proper” camera that has a little bit more punch and flexibility when it comes to the zoom department. In other words, they are looking to get more bang for their buck. When it comes to image sharing, the camera supports both Wi-Fi and NFC transmission, and the user does not need to remove the memory card in order to do so. In the case of smartphones, this eliminates a common hassle.

Thankfully, a standard SD or SDHC card, about the size of a postage stamp, is the recommended storage medium for this purpose, rather than the more cumbersome MicroSD card.

A view of the rear of the Canon PowerShot SX430 IS

The Canon PowerShot SX430 IS is both reasonably priced (it has a suggested retail price of £229.99) and, in terms of any manual features, it has been significantly simplified. We are not provided with an eye-level viewfinder; rather, a built-in speaker occupies the position that would normally be occupied by the viewfinder directly above the LCD screen on the backplate.

The aforementioned screen isn’t a touch screen, which is something we’ve been accustomed to finding on compacts in 2017, and the video quality is only HD rather than Full HD or 4K at best. The resolution of the LCD is a bog-standard 230K dots, which means that it is still tricky to determine whether an image is properly sharp without enlarging a portion of it to check. The LCD is a little larger than its overall body size might suggest, measuring 3 inches, but the resolution is a bog-standard.

The lens capacity of the SX430 IS is a miracle of current technology; nonetheless, the camera itself has a bit of a retro feel to it, giving the impression that it was designed in a simpler era. One good example of this is the configuration of its control layout.

Anyone who has used a point-and-shoot digital compact camera at any point in the last 15 years will be able to navigate their way through this device’s multitude of buttons with ease because it mimics the design of an older model of such a camera.

A control pad with a function/set button at its center is surrounded by four backplate buttons that have been inset into the body. These buttons can be manipulated with the thumb or a fingernail, but they are less likely to be unintentionally knocked off by accident.

Even though you may feel as though you are holding the camera as still as possible, the picture that is communicated to the LCD screen has a tendency to ‘dance’ around when you are attempting to take photographs at the telephoto end zoom range. This is because the lens reach here is so huge.

If you are shooting at the maximum telephoto setting, you will need to do some experimenting as well as take a few additional pictures in order to achieve the composition that you had in mind. Putting the SX430 IS on a tripod is the obvious way to get over this limitation; a little portable Gorillapod tripod that can otherwise be folded up and stowed away in a pocket would be a great partner with this mini DSLR-styled camera.

The best that the Canon PowerShot SX430 IS has to offer

We have already discussed the handgrip of the SX430 IS, which, despite its little size, provides a secure and pleasant grip. The primary on/off power button is situated a bit further back on the camera top plate than the shutter release button, which is located at the front top of the handgrip and is encompassed by the zoom lever. The handgrip has been subtly molded to offer somewhat greater traction for two adult fingers.

There is a red record button located at the rear of the grip, which is often where our thumb will come to rest. This button is used to activate video capture. Again, this button is flush with the bodywork and slightly recessed so that it cannot be unintentionally pressed when the camera is being handled or when it is being lined up for a still photo. The buttons are sensitive to touch, and we never had the impression that the camera was holding anything up as it tried to keep up with the choices we were making.

It is reasonable to believe that the SX430 IS would be an excellent choice for photographing wildlife or sporting events given the extensive focus range at our disposal. Even though we were able to take pictures of wildlife that was standing still, for the most part, our continuous shooting speed of 0.5 photos per second at full resolution is not quite up to Olympic standards.

If there is one aspect of the Canon PowerShot SX430 IS that betrays its low-end price point, it is the functioning of the lens itself, namely the motor that is used to extend it outwards and retract it inwards. This is our one and only complaint about the camera.

During operation, this makes a grinding and buzzing sound. There is also some background noise. But to be fair, if you’re using the camera in crowded, bustling tourist situations anyhow, this won’t be picked up, and it won’t prove to be a distraction for prospective subjects, either.

Canon PowerShot SX430 IS lateral view

Aside from that, the responsiveness of the camera is on par with what we would hope for, even though the available options are a little restricted. This is both a reflection of the camera’s affordable price point and the fact that it is intended to be easy to use right from the start. You won’t need to consult any kind of instruction manual since you’ll have no trouble learning your way around the camera even if you start from the beginning.

When it comes to picture quality, there are two options to choose from: superfine and fine. Additionally, the ISO range is rather restricted, spanning from a manually set ISO100 all the way up to ISO1600. In addition, there is a specialized mode for photography in low light that can be selected from the function menu on the left side of the screen. However, the maximum resolution that can be captured in this mode is just five megapixels, which is done to prevent the emergence of picture noise.

We will return to the topic of image quality in just a bit; for the time being, however, let’s discuss the battery life. Although we did not find the camera to be particularly power-hungry in comparison to others in its category, its website of Canon claims that a full charge of the lithium-ion cell would only last for 195 photos. This appears to be a very dismal number when written out.

If you put the camera into “eco” mode, though, you can increase this number to a more reasonable 260 photos, which is, to be honest, closer to what we expected.

The Canon PowerShot SX430 IS demonstrates its versatility as a general-use camera for those who desire far more zoom power than their smartphone could ever provide them with. These individuals are the ideal candidates for this camera.

Given the extensive focal range that is available, it may present itself as a jack of all crafts for those who need versatility in a very small package; yet, the question remains as to whether or not it is also a master of said skills. Continue reading to discover out…

Quality of the Image

When using the Canon PowerShot SX430 IS during daylight hours, the camera performs quite well. We get the impression that we are getting a lot of bang for our money in terms of the amount of zoom power it offers.

And while shooting in stated daylight situations, it is conceivable to shoot handheld with the Canon and acquire sufficient clarity in our photographs, both at the widest possible angle and the greatest possible zoom, to produce outcomes that are worthy of being kept.

When we were shooting handheld and using the rear LCD to compose our shots toward the furthest extremities of the zoom, the image that was relayed to the rear plate LCD screen moved around quite a bit. As a result, we had to make an effort to press the shutter button as soon as we saw the framing we wanted on the screen. As we mentioned in the main body of this write-up, this caused the image to jump around quite a bit.

To our good fortune, the autofocus of the camera is sensitive enough to allow us to achieve the necessary components in this circumstance.

Despite this, the sensor is somewhat tiny, and its resolution is just slightly over average. How well does it perform, then? In a general sense, quite satisfactorily. We did observe some purple pixel fringing between places with high contrast; however, this was only truly noticeable when we zoomed in to check out the finer details.

Again, this is something that is only really obvious if you are actively seeking it in the corners of the frame, despite the fact that there may be some loss of clarity in certain areas. The performance of the Canon PowerShot SX430 IS, on the other hand, is not very impressive while working in low light; nevertheless, that is not why its target audience will be purchasing it.

Since we found that photographs began to blur at an ISO of 800, it is best to keep the camera set to an ISO of 400 whenever possible. This implies that photography may be done on cloudy days, but definitely not during all-night parties.

Conclusion

Canon has released a new superzoom camera called the PowerShot SX430 IS. Despite its little appearance, this camera has a broad variety of functions. Even while it features streamlined connections that make it simple to share and uncomplicated point-and-shoot creativity, can this camera capture photographs of a high enough quality? At order to find out, the knowledgeable technicians in our laboratory put it through its paces.

Specifications

Lens
Max Aperturef/3.5 – f/6.3
35mm equivalent24mm – 1080mm
Optical Zoom45x
Image Sensor
Pixels20Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)5152
Pixels (H)3864
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.33inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio4:33:216:91:1
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution230K dots
Touch ScreenNo
Focusing
Min Focus0cm
Focusing modesAutofocusFace DetectionAF TrackingMultiCentre
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/4000sec
Shutter speeds longest15sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modesProgramScene modes
MeteringCentre-weighted – AverageMulti PatternCentre Spot
ISO sensitivity100 – 1600
White balanceAutoManualOutdoors/DaylightCloudyIncandescentFluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting0.5fps
Video
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution1280×720 HD 720p640x480 VGA
Video FPS25fps
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoYes
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Interface
HDMINo
USBUSB 2
Wi-FiYes
Storage
Card TypeSDSDHCSDXC
File TypeJPG
Power Source
Battery TypeNB-11LH Lithium-ion 800mAh
Battery Life (CIPA rating)195shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsCamera, lens cover and strap, instructions, free access to irista with 15mb free of storage, battery charger and battery
Dimensions
Weight323g
Width104.4mm
Height85.1mm
Depth69.1mm

Final Verdict

If you’re looking a flexible, long-zoom travel camera, the PowerShot SX740 HS doesn’t disappoint, but neither will it astonish you. It performs everything very well, but other than the wide zoom range, there’s little to be excited about. Performance is perfectly sufficient, but a contemporary top-end camera phone will trounce it for wide-angle image quality. Although in fairness, the latter is applicable to any modern small-sensor compact camera. While there may still be ‘new’ travel cameras like the SX740 HS being introduced, most are really marginally refurbished versions of earlier cameras and are based on aging core technology.

Canon isn’t pushing the boundaries here, even from the perspective of competitor tiny cameras. The removal of a touch-sensitive screen hurts when cameras like the Nikon Coolpix A1000 do have this. The Canon’s lack of raw picture recording and an electronic viewfinder also appears poor on paper, but we recognize many consumers are unlikely to acquire a camera like this in order to shoot raw, and electronic viewfinders in this sector are more of a token marketing addition than a really useful feature.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Very simple to use
  • 40x optical zoom
  • 4K video
  • Move the screen to the front.
Need Improvement
  • We are unable to shoot in Raw.
  • The image quality is not outstanding.
  • The process of taking photographs may be slow at times
  • There is no touchscreen or an EVF.

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