Canon PowerShot A620 Review
Timing & Performance
Perhaps the biggest complaint about the A95 (and the A510 / A520 for that matter) was that some aspects of performance are pedestrian to say the least. Compared to most of Canon's current range these cameras feel - and are measurably - sluggish in some very important areas, such as focusing, image playback and shot-to-shot times. The reason is simple - these models use the original DIGIC processor (introduced back in 2002 - in digital camera terms, just around the time cavemen first started using sticks to fight the woolly mammoth), which though very capable, doesn't really cut the mustard in late 2005. The good news is that the A620 sports the newer - and much faster - DIGIC II processor. The even better news is that the difference this makes is immense, with virtually every aspect of the A620's performance not just beating its predecessor, but in most cases doing so by a very wide margin. In fact, for a budget model, the A620 is remarkably fast and feels very responsive indeed, and certainly it is now on a par with the best cameras in this class.
All times calculated as an average of three operations. Unless otherwise stated all timings were made on a 3072 x 2304 SuperFine JPEG image (approx. 2,800 KB per image). The media used for these tests was a 1.0 GB SanDisk Extreme III SD card.
|Power: Off to Record||1.3|
|Power: Off to Play||Image displayed||1.6|
|Power: Record to Off||All activity ceased||1.8|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty, lens already retracted||~0.2|
|Power: Play to Off||When buffer is empty, lens extended||1.4|
|Record Review||Image displayed||~0.5|
|Mode: Record to Play||1.0|
|Mode: Play to Record||Lens already extended||1.0|
|Play: Magnify||To full magnification (10x)||~0.8|
|Play: Image to Image||Time to display each saved image||0.3|
|Play: Thumbnail view||3 x 3 thumbnails||0.4|
|Zoom from Wide to Tele||35 to 140 mm (4 x)||1.5|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Wide angle||~0.4|
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)||Telephoto||~0.55*1|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||LCD live view||<0.1|
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)||Viewfinder||<0.1|
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)||LCD live view, wide angle||~0.6|
|Off to Shot Taken||LCD live view||~2.3|
|Shot to Shot||Flash off||1.4|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on (redeye reduction off)||2.0 *2|
|Shot to Shot||Flash on (redeye reduction on)||2.7 *2|
|*1||Focus speed in good light is in the 0.5 to 0.6 range. In low light this can stretch to around 1.0 seconds.|
|*2||Flash recycle time varies greatly according to subject distance and battery condition. With far off subjects or low batteries this figure can stretch to 5.0 seconds or more.|
Lag Timing Definitions
|Half-press Lag (0->S1)
Many digital camera users prime the AF and AE systems on their camera by half-pressing the shutter release. This is the amount of time between a half-press of the shutter release and the camera indicating an auto focus & auto exposure lock on the LCD monitor / viewfinder (ready to shoot).
|Half to Full-press Lag (S1->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (assuming you have already primed the camera with a half-press) to the image being taken.
(Take shot, AF/AE primed)
|Full-press Lag (0->S2)
The amount of time it takes from a full depression of the shutter release button (without performing a half-press of the shutter release beforehand) to the image being taken. This is more representative of the use of the camera in a spur of the moment 'point and shoot' situation.
(Take shot, AF/AE not primed)
The tables below show the results of our continuous shooting test, indicating the actual frame rate along with maximum number of frames and how long you would have to wait after taking the maximum number of frames before you could take another shot. The media used for these tests was a 1.0 GB SanDisk Extreme III SD card. Shutter speed was kept above 1/200 sec during these tests.
Continuous drive mode
The A620 has only a single continuous shooting modes, which in our tests averaged around 2.1 fps (a little over the 1.9 fps quoted by Canon). In continuous shooting mode the A620 does not show a live preview, but does display a brief review image for each picture taken. With a fast card it appears to be impossible to fill the buffer, so you can keep shooting until you run out of card space.
Frames in a burst *1
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Super Fine||Continuous||2.0 fps||50+||n/a|
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Fine||Continuous||2.1 fps||50+||n/a|
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Normal||Continuous||2.2 fps||50+||n/a|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Super Fine||Continuous||1.8 fps||50+||n/a|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine||Continuous||1.7 fps||50+||n/a|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Super Fine||Continuous||2.2 fps||50+||n/a|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Fine||Continuous||2.1 fps||50+||n/a|
|*1||In a single "burst" (finger held down on shutter release).|
|*2||The A95 does not stop shooting once the buffer is full, but the frame rate drops significantly. The rate varies, so the figure shown is an average measured over 20 frames.|
Not a bad performance at all for a camera in this class - and certainly capable enough for most of the target market.
File Write / Display and Sizes
Timings shown below are the time taken for the camera to process and "flush" the image out to the storage card, the timer was started as soon as the shutter release was pressed and stopped when activity indicator went out. This means the timings also include the camera's processing time and as such are more representative of the actual time to "complete the task". The media used for these tests was a 1.0 GB SanDisk Extreme III SD card.
Time to store
Time to display
File size *1
Images on a *2
512 MB Card
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Super Fine||~ 1.0||~0.3||2,800 KB||322|
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Fine||~ 0.8||~0.25||1,660 KB||515|
|3072 x 2304 JPEG Normal||~ 0.6||~0.2||720 KB||1068|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Super Fine||~ 1.1||~0.25||1,980 KB||391|
|2592 x 1944 JPEG Fine||~ 0.8||~0.2||1,150 KB||695|
|2048 x 1536 JPEG Super Fine||~ 0.7||~0.2||1,480 KB||607|
|*1||All file sizes are an average of three files. As is the case with JPEG it's difficult to predict the size of an image because it will vary a fair amount depending on the content of the image (detail and noise).|
Read/write performance is greatly improved over the A95 - as well as the more recent A520 / A510 - and, at not far under 3MB per sec, one of the better cameras in its class.
YouTube channel Filmmaker IQ has put together a very interesting, technically detailed, and scientifically accurate description of exactly how various image sensors (and photographic film) work. One of the best overview videos we've seen.
In Part 1 of his series on photographing Greenland in winter, landscape photographer Erez Marom shares the freezing details of his arrival on the town of Uummannaq where the temperature was -25°C. Still, he went out shooting.
SmugMug has acquired struggling photography site Flickr for an undisclosed sum, with CEO Don MacAskill promising to give the neglected photo sharing service 'the resources that it deserves'.
The APO-Makro-Plasmat 105mm F2.7 is Meyer Optik's latest Kickstarter lens revival, and it promises "natural sharpness, unbelievable color reproduction, and a glowing bokeh united at every step of the aperture" ... whatever that means.
The update also comes with "post-scan cloud processing," which allows you to render 3D models with 4K resolution textures for better detail and realism.
Chinese accessories brand Meike has announced it will introduce an 85mm F1.8 lens for Canon and Nikon full frame DSLRs that will feature autofocus. This will be the company’s first AF lens.
The World Photo Organization has finally revealed the overall winners for the 2018 Sony World Photography Awards, including the coveted Photographer of the Year, Open Photographer of the Year, Youth Photographer of the Year, and Student Photographer of the Year winners.
Venus Optics has unveiled four new lenses that will ship later this year: a wide-angle zoom for Sony FE, a circular fisheye for Micro Four Thirds, a wide-angle lens for the medium format Fujifilm GFX, and a 2x Ultra Macro for multiple full-frame mounts.
The One Backpack is a 5-in-1 modular backpack that can be used as a camera bag, work & gym pack, suit carry backpack, travel pack or tech-backpack.
This highly-specialized lens is perfect for sports, action and wildlife photography. Check out these first sample images for a taste of what it's capable of.
For KFC Hong Kong’s latest ad campaign, New York City-based advertising agency Ogilvy and Mather used Photoshop to magically morph pieces of flaky fried chicken into fire and smoke in various scenes.
The Android and iOS app from Surpuba AR lets you place animated 3D models in real-world environment using augmented reality technology. You can alter poses and location, insert lighting equipment, and more... right from your phone or tablet.
Under the agreement, the two companies will work together to develop Oppo's smartphone camera roadmap, covering optical zoom, depth mapping and other innovative imaging features that dual cameras allow.
Canon is jumping into the portable printing game with the new IVY Mini Photo Printer: a rechargeable battery-powered printer for creating 2x3 prints and stickers of your smartphone snaps on-the-go.
The program first launched last year, but only as a temporary promotion limited to previous-generation GoPro cameras exchanged for discounts on current-generation models. This time around, GoPro is accepting nearly any digital camera in any condition.
One of the most usable 360° cameras on the market is getting even better. With its latest update, Rylo adds a 180° mode, bluetooth remote capture, and a cinematic motion blur effect for your timelapse shots.
Phase One has released the first major update to its Capture One Pro 11 photo editing program. The update adds support for 8 new cameras and 16 new lenses, and includes several new features and functional improvements that speed up workflow.
We recently got our hands on Samsung's latest and greatest smartphone, the dual camera, variable aperture Galaxy S9+, and took it to mostly sunny Southern California for a long weekend.
It's spring, and that means wedding season is upon us! If you're one of the many photographers planning wedding shoots this year, this is a great time to think about including aerial photography in your plans.
The first firmware update for the Sony a7 III addresses an issue in video mode wherein "blinking pixels" would show up along the base of footage recorded with certain settings.
Researchers with Switzerland's EPFL have developed a soft exoskeleton that enables its wearer to control a drone using their upper body. The human-robot interface is said to offer "natural and intuitive control of drones."
Photokina has released an official list of confirmed exhibitors for the 2018 expo, quieting rumors that major brands like Canon and Profoto might follow in Elinchrom's lead and skip this year's show.
For owners of Sony's a7R III, a9 and the new a7 III, there's now an easy fix for the rare but dreaded 'striping' in backlit shots with lots of flare. Click through to learn more.
The team behind the ubiquitous JPEG format has unveiled an all new image format designed to quickly and efficiently stream content across wired and wireless networks alike. Surprisingly, it actually uses less compression than traditional JPEG.
Canon USA has released a promotional video showcasing its latest CMOS sensor technology. Albeit over daraticized, it’s an interesting overlook at the work it’s continually putting into its camera systems.
The large-format digital LargeSense LS911 is the "world's first 8x10 digital single shot camera for sale." The camera features a 12-megapixel 9x11-inch monochrome CMOS sensor, which translates into massive 75 micron pixels.
Pricing and availability have been announced for Tokina's high-end Fírin 20mm F2 FE AF autofocus lens for Sony E-Mount. If you're curious about this lens, you'll be able to pick up your own starting in June for $950 USD.
It's the copyright lawsuit that refuses to die. In September 2017, PETA finally settled its monkey selfie lawsuit with photographer David Slater, but the request to dismiss the case has since been rejected by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
As part of his ongoing ‘Good Light’ YouTube series, London-based photographer Sean Tucker has created a simple tutorial on how to find good natural light for portraits.
The 2018 Pulitzer Prizes were announced yesterday, with the photography awards going to photojournalist Ryan Kelly for image of a car plowing into protesters in Virginia, and the entire Reuters photo staff for a series on Rohinga refugees fleeing persecution.