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Canon PowerShot A720 IS Concise Review

January 2008 | By Richard Butler
Buy on From $549.25

Review based on a production Canon PowerShot A720 IS

The PowerShot A720 IS is a minor update to the A710 IS and is the latest in Canon's popular 'A-series' of cameras offering a strong feature set and good degree of user control at a competitive price. It isn't the smallest or most powerful camera in the World, (or even in the Canon range), but it does a little bit of everything and gives a good degree of control over what the camera is doing, if you want it. This focus on making small cameras that do their job well has seen Canon dominate this sector of the market for some time so it will be interesting to see if the A720 IS does anything to upset this situation. The specification highlights are:

  • 8.0 Megapixels and 6x zoom
  • Optical Image Stabilizer
  • DIGIC III processor with Face Detection AF/AE
  • ISO 1600
  • 17 shooting modes including VGA movies (30 fps) with sound
  • Optional accessories available, including Underwater Case

Key differences compared to A 710 IS

As mentioned above the A720 IS is an incredibly subtle revision of the A710 IS. The full extent of those changes reads something like:

  • More pixels (8.0 vs 7.1 million)
  • Face detection AE/AF
  • ISO range extends to 1600

PowerShot A720 IS specifications

Street price

• $210
• £145

Body Material Plastic

• 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 8.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 3264 x 2448
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
• 3264 x 1832

Movie clips

• 640 x 480 @ 30fps
• 640 x 480 @ 30fps (Long play)
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps (Compact mode)

File formats • JPEG Exif 2.2
• DPOF 1.1
• AVI Motion JPEG with WAVE monaural

• 5.8-34.8mm (35-210mm equiv)
• F2.8-4.8
• 6x optical zoom

Image stabilization Yes (lens shift-type)
Conversion lenses None
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus TTL
AF area modes • AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point)
• 1-point AF (fixed center/FlexiZone)
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance Closest 1cm
Metering • Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame)
• Center-weighted average
• Spot
ISO sensitivity

• Auto
• High ISO Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600

Exposure compensation • +/- 2EV
• in 1/3 stop increments
Shutter speed 15-1/2000 sec (With noise reduction for exposures over 1.3 seconds)
Aperture F2.8-4.8
Modes • Auto
• Manual
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
• Special Scene
Scene modes

• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Indoor
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Aquarium
• Underwater
• Night scene

White balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Underwater
• Custom

Self timer • 2 or 10secs
• Custom
Continuous shooting approx 1.3fps until card is full
Image parameters My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B&W, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)

• Auto
• Manual Flash on / off
• Slow sync
• 2nd-curtain
• Red-eye reduction
• Range: 30cm-3.5m (wide) / 55cm-2.0m (tele)

Viewfinder "Real-image" zoom viewfinder
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch P-Si TFT
• 115,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out
Print compliance • PictBridge
• Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photo Print, Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP printers only)
Storage • SD / SDHC / MMC card compatible
• 32 MB card supplied
Power • AA batteries
• Optional AC adapter kit ACK800
Other features

• Optional High Power Flash HF-DC1
• Conversion lens adapter LA-DC58G
• Wide-angle converter WC-DC58N (requires LA-DC58G)
• Tele-converter TC-DC58N (requires LA-DC58G)
• Close-up Lens 250D (requires LA-DC58G)
• Optional Waterproof Case (WP-DC16)

Weight (No batt) 200 g (7.05 oz)
Dimensions 97.3 x 67.0 x 41.9 mm (3.83 x 2.64 x 1.65 inch)

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2008 and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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