Canon PowerShot A630 review
After my PS510 I tried the Fuji S6500FD, which gave pretty bad pictures (very bad lenses, Fujinon lenses!!). Returned it in a week. Now knowing that an old Canon PS gave perfect pictures in comparison to a relatively recent and huge-lens Fuji I decided to go for a new PowerShot.
I selected for manual options, CCD size and macro abilities. The PS A630 was comparable with the Fuji S6500FD, but without the useless "face-detection" and less optical zoom. But it indeed shoots great pictures.
Canon PowerShot A630:
- Very hard to detect any lens distortions. Only with 4x zoom and examining the picture in high digital zoom on your PC you can see some color distortions in high-contract areas (like tree-tops in the bright sky). Still hard to see when printed.
- Great, no, awesome macro features. When using manual focus, you can make objects sharp that nearly touch the lens! I caught a fly (was difficult, but worth the result!) and you can count its eye-segments!
- Battery life is great. Or that may just seem so, because this camera uses 4 batteries instead of two. I just depleated my first set of 2000 mAh NiMH batteries, and shot 450 pictures with it in about two weeks.
- When using ISO 80 or 100, noise is very very low. This is very nice when shooting dark objects or low-contrast scenes, like skies
- Use of SD card (cheap) and AA batteries (cheaper than specialized battery).
- You can run hacked firmware which enables running scripts, shooting RAW images and life histograms. Doesn't touch your original firmware so it's harmless. It runs from the SD-card.
- Like the A510, the manual options take a lot of button pressing to set. Manual only usable when you have a minute to take your picture.
- For a low-noise shot, ISO 80 or 100, you need quite some light. When it's sunny and you're outside this is no problem. But in a forest when a little cloudy or inside this is a pitty. AUTO-mode often selects 1/60s, F/2.6 with flash and a rather high ISO. In aperture-priority-mode he selects rather low shutter speeds which causes motion blurring. Note: Not-low-noise (ISO 200, 400) does not mean a-lot-of-noise. ISO 200 and 400 still give fine pictures.
- The automaticly shutting lens protection covers are fragile and I already caused one of the four in each other sliding lids to jam. Probably when being uncareful putting it into a casing. Maybe I got it that way but I can't remember. I didn't want to go trough the trouble of getting it fixed because it's merely an imperfection rather than a failure. (after my vacation I decided to send it for repair after all.. was free and took 2 weeks...)
- SD-card holder and batteries share the same lid. Batteries pop out when you want to remove the card. When at home I don't need to do this because the camera supports USB 2.0 and very quickly copies the pictures. But when somewhere else where the drivers are not installed, you need to use a card reader and remove the card from the camera.
- No changing the optical-zoom setting when shooting a movie. You can digitally zoom when filming, but you don't want that.
- Not quite a 'compact' camera. Carrying it in your pocket is uncomfortable because it is rather heavy.
Personally I experience these CON's as inconveniences and rate this camera a great camera. Also because it costs only 199 euro's (about 230 dollar I guess, June 2007).
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