One particular area in which they are lacking? Optical zoom. There is no alternative for a good, old-fashioned zoom lens, and when you want a camera for dancing recitals, plays, sports pictures, and holidays – you want a camera with a hefty serving of optical zoom.
This type of camera can be found in the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS, which retails for $349.99 and has an outstanding 30x optical zoom in a body that is small enough to carry comfortably in the pocket of a jacket. The PowerShot SX710 HS, much like its predecessor, the PowerShot SX700 HS, promises to provide all the reach you want in an intuitive and quick-reacting camera.
Unfortuitously, it’s not quite as great as people make it out to be. The Canon PowerShot SX710 is a very quick and responsive camera, and the 30x optical zoom might be helpful if it is exactly what you want. However, you should have no trouble locating a camera that captures pictures of a superior quality for a price of 350 dollars. There are solutions available that are superior to this level of optical zoom if you do not require it for whatever reason.
Design & Handling
The Canon SX710 HS, much like the majority of modern point-and-shoot cameras, has a tiny design that is reminiscent of a squared-off bar of soap. It is a little bit thicker than others, and it has a circular projection that serves as the home of the 30x telescopic zoom lens. In addition to that, you will discover a plastic hump that has a leatherette inlay. This will provide you with a sufficient amount of grip to hold the camera stable.
You’re going to need it since when the zoom is all the way out, the lens protrudes several inches from the body of the camera. The zoom is controlled in the standard manner, with a slider that is located above the shutter button on the top of the camera. You’ll find the controls for the pop-up flash, the video record function, and the power button right next to this.
There is a full suite of manual modes, and if you screw something up you can just pop it into the green “Auto” mode and everything will be OK. On the back of the camera there is a mode dial, which is great for professional shooters as well as newbies alike; there are a full suite of manual options. In addition, a range of physical buttons for accessing saved photographs, the menu, and other common settings are located on the rear of the device (includng white balance, drive mode, focus mode, etc.).
The menu, like it is on the vast majority of Canon point-and-shoot cameras, is quite straightforward and easy to read. If you’ve ever used a Canon point-and-shoot camera, using this one should seem completely natural to you. If you haven’t done it before, there isn’t much more you can learn. The only thing that may seem a little strange is that the majority of the essential controls aren’t located in the actual menu, which is accessed by pressing the “menu” button. Instead, these controls are displayed on the back LCD when the “Func. Set” button in the middle of the device is pressed.
Overall, the SX710 HS is very similar to the SX700 from the previous year in practically every respect. Canon normally does not make many significant changes from one year to the next since the company is aware of what is successful. This camera isn’t perfect, but even if you’re replacing a Canon point-and-shoot from four or five years ago, you’ll feel right at home with the SX710 HS. Even if this camera isn’t ideal, you’ll feel right at home with this camera.
Unfortunately, a Catch-22 situation has always been something of a challenge when it comes to tiny travel zoom cameras like these. While on the one side they are small and portable, allowing you to take them everywhere (thus the name), they also have a significant amount of zoom. However, a camera of such a small size has so little place for the grip that it is practically difficult to take steady pictures at the maximum zoom setting without first placing the camera on a steady surface or using a tripod.
The SX710 HS has a surprising number of manual controls considering that it is designed to appeal to inexperienced users. Aperture- and shutter-priority modes, in addition to full manual and program modes, are included in this camera; nevertheless, the camera does not offer a very large selection of apertures and shutter speeds from which to choose.
It’s okay if you have no idea what any of those terms imply; the SX710 HS, like all other point-and-shoot cameras made by Canon, is meant to be user-friendly enough for even absolute novices to feel comfortable using it. To achieve this goal, the camera possesses fundamental Auto settings, in addition to straightforward scene modes like as Portrait, Snow, and Handheld NightScene, which give photographers more control over their images while shooting in challenging environments.
In addition to this, there are two more modes that are user-friendly even for novices: creative shot and live view control. Creative Shot is a feature that we have seen on previous Canon cameras, and the way it works is that it captures a brief succession of images every time you press the shutter button. The image is then subjected to a variety of adjustments, including cropping and the use of a variety of filters, before being saved in a number of various formats. This hands up the majority of creative control to the camera, but it may produce some interesting images as a consequence.
Even though Live View Control only snaps one picture, it gives you greater control over the final product by allowing you to adjust three easy sliders: dark/light, neutral/vivid, and cool/warm. You may use them to frame your photo, and then use the d-pad to tweak the sliders until you get the effects you desire. Once you do, you can save your settings. It is the same procedure that a more experienced photographer would go through, but instead of making adjustments to things like aperture, shutter speed, color balance, and white balance, the camera uses terminology that is simple to comprehend.
Regarding video, unhappily, there are not a lot of fresh choices available. Even though it can record video at 60 frames per second, the camera’s maximum resolution is still still 1080p. The video quality is not very good, and it is easily outclassed by many newer smartphones that are capable of recording 4K video. The 30x zoom is once again the primary advantage of this device, despite the fact that maintaining camera stability when using the full zoom setting is practically hard.
It is remarkable from a technological point of view that Canon was able to fit such a substantial optical zoom range into a camera that is just slightly larger than a deck of playing cards. However, if you spend your own money on a camera, you want the device to produce satisfactory results. Even while the Canon PowerShot SX710 HS isn’t the worst camera we’ve ever evaluated, there are a few major flaws that you should be aware of.
During the performance tests that we ran, the SX710 HS performed approximately as well as we had anticipated it would. The SX700 from the previous year is essentially the same camera, despite the fact that its sensor has been upgraded to 20 megapixels. And just as it did the year before, the camera has a number of the same problems, including unsatisfactory image quality in low light and performance that deteriorates at the furthest ends of the zoom range. Moreover, the price remains the same.
To look on the bright side, not everything is a disaster. The aspects that are driven more by software, like as color accuracy and white balance, perform really well. The software that comes with the SX710 attempts to improve edge sharpness in order to compensate for the inadequacies of the lens. When seen at 100 percent, the images will have unsightly halos around the borders as a result of this, but if you are simply posting them on Facebook or creating tiny prints, they will appear normal.
In spite of this, the one scenario in which software is completely helpless is dimly lit environments. Photos taken with the SX710 HS feature unpleasant digital grain even when taken in moderately low light. The camera uses a software-based noise reduction system to bring this under control; but, in the process of doing so, a significant amount of fine detail is lost.
The performance of the camera’s focusing suffers significantly in low light, especially when using the maximum amount of magnification. Even though it isn’t fantastic to begin with, when the SX710 HS is zoomed all the way out, it has trouble securely locking onto a stationary target. Because of this, the camera is not a good option for capturing action at a distance, such as when you are trying to photograph indoor sports. It’s possible to do the task with sufficient amounts of trial and error, but the results are, at best, unreliable.
That is very astounding, and it makes selling a camera like the SX710 HS at its full price even more challenging. It is not only an excellent point-and-shoot camera, but it also meets three essential requirements: it is small, it is simple to operate, and it has a significant amount of zoom. If you are willing to compromise on any one of those aspects, you will almost certainly be able to get a camera of superior quality for the same price.
For example, if you only want an excellent small camera and don’t mind having less zoom, Canon’s own PowerShot S120 delivers superior photographs and is just as simple to operate as its more expensive counterpart. If you are ready to go to the next level, you may even want to consider upgrading to Canon’s entry-level DSLR, the Canon Rebel T5, which can be purchased for less than $400. Even while it’s not our go-to DSLR, this camera captures pictures that are head and shoulders above those produced by practically any point-and-shoot. There are also compact mirrorless cameras available, such as the Olympus PEN E-PL6, that can be purchased for the same amount of money and come with a lens package. A buyer’s market currently exists.
Having said that, the SX710 HS is most likely your best option at this time if the things on your want list are fixed and align with the features that are offered by the device. Even if you might choose the SX700 HS from the previous year and save some money doing so, you should consider the SX710 instead since it is crisper, more responsive, and its price will drop as time goes on. That alone is sufficient to make the acquisition profitable for the appropriate buyer, provided that they pay the proper price.
When looking at the raw performance of the Canon SX710 HS, what you find is a travel zoom that is rather typical in its characteristics. Nothing in particular will blow your mind, but when you really turn up the zoom, the shooter will experience the anticipated drawback of diffraction. This is a drawback that you should expect.
This Canon camera’s sharpness isn’t exactly the best, but it gets the job done when it comes to taking rapid snapshots, which is typical of travel zooms in general. It is important to keep in mind that the clarity will considerably deteriorate the more you zoom out. The sharpness begins at an average of 2226 line widths per picture height with the zoom set to its most minimal setting. From there, it gradually decreases to a minimum of 1729 lw/ph when the lens is set to its halfway.
Precision in terms of both color and white balance
When the MyColors option is toggled to the “Off” position, color performance is improved. When you get there, the C 00 (saturation corrected) error should be at 2.17, and the total picture should have a saturation of 117.3 percent. If you are especially observant, you will most likely notice that the reds, greens, and blues all have a particularly vibrant quality.
On the other side, the white balance is inconsistent from shot to shot. The color temperature will be accurate whether you are shooting in a setting lighted by daylight or fluorescent illumination. When you shoot with incandescent (tungsten) lighting, every single one of your photographs will have a characteristic orange hue to it.
Even after several re-tests, the SX710 HS consistently posts an inaccuracy of over 2000 kelvin when exposed to incandescent light, which is far higher than the typical deviation of roughly 1000 kelvin that we observe from “excellent” point and shoot cameras in incandescent light.
It should not come as much of a surprise that the SX710 HS struggles with noise given the size of its sensor and the number of megapixels it has. Because there are no noise reduction settings available, you will receive exactly what you see.
The tale is discouraging when it comes time to look at the gross noise levels, but there is nothing remarkable or out of the usual about it. The noise level reaches an astounding 0.89 percent when the camera is set to its basic ISO, which is above average for virtually every camera. At ISO 1600, the amount of noise exceeds the 2 percent level that is considered “irredeemably bad.”
The effectiveness of noise reduction can vary quite a little, but it stands to reason that the lower the ISO level, the less detail will be lost. Maintain a score that is at or below 800 if at all possible.
Although the quality leaves much to be desired, video can be used to passable effect when time is of the essence. However, if you are in an area with a lot of light, you have nothing to worry about.
The SX710 HS is able to resolve 600 line-pairs per image height both horizontally and vertically when the scene that you are photographing is well-lit, but that figure lowers to 450 when the lighting is poor (60 lux). Even if it’s not very impressive or useful in any other way, most people should be able to make good use of it.
However, if the lights are turned out and you are in a more dimly lit environment, you will see that your image is nearly worthless in that state. When tested in our facilities, the camera was unable to produce a picture of broadcast quality (50 IRE) at any light level lower than 13 lux. That’s brighter than most people’s birthday celebrations, so you may do whatever you want with that information.
|Max resolution||5184 x 3888|
|Other resolutions||4:3 (3648 x 2736, 2048 x 1536, 640 x 480), 16:9 (5184 x 2912, 3648 x 2048, 1920 x 1080, 640 x 360), 1:1 (3888 x 3888, 2736 x 2736, 1536 x 1536, 480 x 480)|
|Image ratio w:h||1:1, 4:3, 3:2, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||20 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||21 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)|
|White balance presets||5|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Superfine, fine|
|Focal length (equiv.)||25–750 mm|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterTrackingSingleContinuousFace DetectionLive View|
|Digital zoom||Yes (4X)|
|Manual focus||Yes (with focus peaking)|
|Normal focus range||5 cm (1.97″)|
|Macro focus range||1 cm (0.39″)|
|Number of focus points||9|
|Screen type||PureColor II G TFT LCD|
|Minimum shutter speed||15 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/3200 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Subject / scene modes||Yes|
|Flash range||3.50 m|
|Flash modes||Auto, on, off, slow synchro|
|Continuous drive||6.0 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 secs, custom)|
|Exposure compensation||±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|Resolutions||1920 x 1080 (60p, 30p), 1280 x 720 (30p), 640 x 480 (30 fps)|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/SDXC card|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Wireless notes||802.11b/g/n with NFC|
|Remote control||Yes (via smartphone)|
|Battery description||NB-6LH lithium-ion battery & charger|
|Battery Life (CIPA)||230|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||269 g (0.59 lb / 9.49 oz)|
|Dimensions||113 x 66 x 35 mm (4.45 x 2.6 x 1.38″)|
The Canon PowerShot SX710 HS had better be an excellent camera considering its starting retail price of $350. After all, 350 dollars was a reasonable price to spend for a camera like this a few years ago; but, these days, you can get a great deal more for the same amount of money. There has never been a better time to go shopping in the bargain bin than right now, with cut-rate discounts to be found on everything from point-and-shoots to interchangeable lens cameras. There are cut-rate deals to be found on everything from point-and-shoots to interchangeable lens cameras.
Pros & Cons
- Full HD video at 60p
- 30x optical zoom
- Integrated Wi-Fi and Near Field Communication
- There is no recording in raw format.
- At high sensitivities, there is a blurring of the details.
- Not a touchscreen device.