Canon PowerShot A620 Review
The A620 has six white balance presets (daylight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, fluorescent H and underwater) in addition to the default auto white balance. There is also a 'custom' white balance setting, which allows you to point the camera at a white or gray object and set the white balance manually. The custom white balance setting is remembered even if you turn the camera off. In normal outdoor shooting the auto white balance works perfectly (as confirmed by our studio tests). Indoors it's a bit more hit and miss, as we've seen with most Canon PowerShots, fluorescent lighting doesn't cause much of a problem, whereas incandescent (tungsten) lighting causes a fairly strong orange color cast. Best to stick to the preset (or one-push custom WB) or the tungsten preset if you want more neutral colors.
Outdoor - Auto WB
|Fluorescent - Auto WB
Red 0.2%, Blue 0.1%
|Incandescent - Auto WB
Red 9.5%, Blue -15.3%
The A620's built-in flash has a quoted working range of 0.45m - 4.2m (1.5 - 11.5 ft) at the wide end of the zoom and 0.45m - 2.5m (1.5 - 7.2 ft) at the tele end - more or less the same as the A95. It also works down to about 25cm (11.8 inches) in macro mode (in all cases assuming the ISO is set to auto). In our real-world tests the flash did a perfectly good job within its effective range, exposing perfectly in a wide range of situations and with virtually no color cast. Recycle time - though still not class-leading - is a significant improvement over the A95, and rarely gives cause for complaint.
Excellent color, Slight underexposure
No color cast, very slight underexposure
As is common to most compact digital cameras the A620's macro mode is most effective at the wide end of the zoom, where you can get as close as 1cm - very impressive. At the long end of the zoom the performance is less impressive - 25cm subject distance - but still pretty useful. There is inevitably some distortion when shooting very close up at the wide end, but it is not too strong, and certainly less so than many of its competitors.
Barrel and Pincushion Distortion
Barrel distortion is - at 1.1% - fairly low for a camera in this class, and certainly doesn't mar real world scenic shots. There is a tiny (0.2%) amount of measurable pincushion distortion at the telephoto end of the zoom.
|Barrel distortion - 1.1% at Wide angle
Equiv. focal length: 35 mm
|Pincushion distortion - 0.2% at Telephoto
Equiv. focal length: 140 mm
Specific Image Quality Issues
No real complaints here - the A620 produces clean, detailed results in a wide variety of shooting situations. The images are a touch on the soft side when viewed at 100% on-screen, but they respond well to a little unsharp masking, and I'd rather that than images that are over-processed (especially over-sharpened). Colors are natural (less over-saturated than the A95), and white balance generally very accurate (unless you're shooting under tungsten lighting). We're not talking groundbreaking image quality here - there's still some muddying of low contrast detail such as foliage, but the pictures are on a par with all the other 7MP cameras in this class, and - given the specification on offer and the keen pricing - I don't think many users will find much to grumble about.
The good news is that the purple fringing that plagued the A95 has been all but eliminated, and focus accuracy is significantly better (only one or two shots out of 500 had missed focus).
We found very little evidence of purple fringing in any of our real-world shots - where there is some it is only in overexposed areas, and is so soft as to be unnoticeable at normal print sizes. This is a real improvement over the A95 (and many of the SD/IXUS models too).
|100% crop||35 mm equiv., F3.5|
As is common with small sensor, high pixel count cameras, the A620 struggles to capture the full range of brightnesses in scenes with a large dynamic range (high contrast, very bright days). This sensor has shown itself to be capable of capturing a fairly wide dynamic range with the right processing, and the A620's problem seems to be a combination of slight overexposure of contrasty scenes, and a fairly steep tone curve, which can lead to quite harshly clipped highlights. We found the problem could be minimized by careful use of AE compensation when the metering got it wrong, but this is hardly a completely acceptable situation, as clipped highlights can be difficult to spot on a small LCD screen. To be fair, the problem wasn't widespread, but was prevalent enough to merit mention here. Below is a classic example - the large tree has fooled the meter into overexposing by a stop or so, meaning most of the highlight detail has been lost forever.
|100% crop||35 mm equiv., F3.5|
Last week, more than a million tonnes of Californian coastline slid into the ocean, taking part of Highway 1 with it. Check out the remodeling in photos taken before and after the landslide.
Even after eighteen months of reviewing the latest, greatest, shiniest and must-buy-me-est new gear, DPReview staffer Carey Rose has continued to use older DSLR cameras for his freelance work. But now, that might be changing. Read more
Sony is the world's leading mirrorless camera brand but remains third for ILCs overall, it's said in a presentation to investors. A focus on high value cameras and lenses should boost operating income, it says. Read more
It's nicknamed the 'Cycloptic Mustard Monster,' and is a 3D printed medium format camera. Read more
The new NanGuang LED lights are battery powered and come with accessories including filters and diffusers.
Have you been telling yourself, "Hey, I really need one of those 8K displays?" A video about Dell's new 8K monitor shows you what to expect. Is it really that much better?
Tamara Lackey, a Nikon ambassador USA and pro shooter, discusses embracing self-consciousness as a means of connecting with subjects.
There's a new Spiderman movie coming out and the poster been generating a lot of online chatter. Mostly about how it looks like the creation of a fevered teenager that just discovered Photoshop.
An honest defense of the system's merits, with photos as proof.
Copyright disputes are no fun at all. 'Binded' is a new startup that aims to simplify the process of registering - and enforcing - copyright for photographers. Read more
Not everyone wants to pay a premium for a long zoom camera. Thankfully, there are many reasonably priced cameras available, though they won't offer the same image quality as enthusiast models. In this updated roundup we look at big zoom cameras with more consumer-friendly price tags. Read more
Think Tank Photo has updated two of its popular bag lines with improvements to functionality. Read more
We’ve all seen Bob Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize winning photo, but there's another.
The sample footage looks good.
It will automatically pick the best camera settings depending on shooting conditions. It even promises enhanced functionality for your camera, like exposure and focus stacking. It already supports many cameras from Canon, Fuji, Nikon and Sony. Read more
As if $13,950 wasn’t enough to pay for a special edition lens, the Leica Store in San Francisco is offering a prototype of said lens for $24,995. Read more
Make those old photos disappear without deleting them forever.
Firmware updates enable 10 fps shooting with adapted A-mount lenses, and faster startup times and better compatibility for 20 fps shooting when using native lenses on the a9.
Fujifilm has released firmware updates for its camera models X-T2, X-Pro2, GFX 50s, X-T20, X100F and X-T1 and updates to three of its software products.
A 22 year-old Romanian photographer uses his DJI Phantom 4 drone to capture unique perspectives of the city where he now lives.
What's it like to ride the waves with champion surfer Kelly Slater? This VR video from Teton Gravity Research gives you a taste.
When Nikon released the full-frame D3 in 2007, it changed the professional photography industry. In this week's Throwback Thursday, Barney remembers a legend. Read more
The new stuff should have better red hues, improved sensitivity and finer grain - but don't worry - will still shift blues to green, greens to purple and yellows to pink.
Ricoh has introduced a new rugged compact camera with a 16MP CMOS sensor, 28-140mm lens, 2.7" LCD and built-in LED macro lights. Read more
This compact drone can shoot HD video using a 2-axis stabilized 12MP camera. Read more
The new Prynt Pocket can print a photo directly from their iPhone simply by inserting the phone into the printer, then snapping a photo. Each print will cost about 50 cents. Read more
Updates for Adobe Camera Raw and Lightroom CC bring support for the Sony A9 and Panasonic ZS70/TZ90, along with bug fixes.
The Triggertrap remote camera control system is no longer sold due to the company folding, but now users will be able to build their own. Read more
The Magic Format Converter comes with internal optics that expand the image circle of full-frame DSLR lenses for use on the Fuji medium format camera. Read more
The usually Apple-exclusive MacPhun software developer has announced that it will introduce PC versions of two of its most popular applications. Both Aurora HDR and Luminar should be available for the Windows operating system by the autumn of this year. Read more