Canon PowerShot A720IS 8MP Digital Camera with 6x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (OLD MODEL) facts, interesting information with costumer testimonials who previously ordered and as well best price along with quite nice discount.
Today, I’m not going to tell you that you can take better images with a point and shoot camera than you can with an DIGITAL SLR. But, I’m not going to notify you that you aren’t take good images with them either. If a point and shoot has an aperture priority, shutter priority, or a manual shooting mode, you should have some pretty good control over the actual image will look like. But, even if it doesn’t have custom shooting modes, you can still get favorable results. After all, there are groups of photographers that pride themselves on getting great images using only their mobile phone cameras.
This item produced by Canon become one of the great Point and Shot Camera since a lot of shoppers satisfied after using this product. In addition to its features, the best price also becomes a factor. This article is a details of Canon PowerShot A720IS 8MP Digital Camera with 6x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (OLD MODEL), a product favored by buyers and have a lot of beneficial reviews. We will give you customer reviews, product features, descriptions, and a variety of other interesting things. Happy reading.
Canon PowerShot A720IS 8MP Digital Camera with 6x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (OLD MODEL) Details and Reviews
480 of 485 people found the following review helpful.
Great value, powerful camera
By Amazon Customer
I’ve had the Canon PowerShot A720 IS for about a month now and took a few hundred pictures in various conditions. So I feel ready to write a detailed review of this (great) camera. I’m an engineer by profession and am starting out in amateur photography. I wanted something with enough manual controls so that I can apply what I’ve learned in photography theory. But I wasn’t willing to spend too much on a full dSLR + lenses (yet). Plus I like the portability of a compact camera. I’ve read a lot of published online reviews on this camera & a few others in its class at the time of purchase. Here are some of my thoughts on each area of this camera that other reviewers may not have covered.
Size & Looks:
Not as small as the ultra-compacts, but it’s very hard to find one smaller with all the manual controls that Canon A series P&S cameras offer. Having aperture and shutter priority modes and a wide enough ISO range (80-1600) is a must for more creative shooting. If all you shoot is in auto mode (& occasional scene mode), then there are other cameras that are sleeker & smaller (such as the SD series). I personally prefer a darker color, silver on an obviously plastic body is a pet peeve of mine in all electronics these days. Just a matter of personal taste. I wished the camera was slightly lighter & smaller. The main weight should just be a high quality glass lens, everything else can be electronics & plastic. A lot of pros like the Canon G series because of the solid metal frames. But that’s mainly because in the dSLR world, everything weighs a lot more. In a portable camera I want portability. Unlike shrinking cellphones & MP3 players these days, the big lens (& preferably bigger sensor size) should be the limiting factor for cameras. I want lenses big enough to let in enough light at the largest zoom and also not suffer from barrel distortion & other abnormalities. Another reason why I didn’t go with ultra-compacts that have prizm-folding optics.
This is on the low end for currently introduced new cameras. But it’s more than I (or most people) need. 8MP is enough for all but poster-sized enlargements. Higher megapixels have problems such as denser sensors that have more noise and less dynamic range, and requiring more memory/disk space for storage. More camera buyers should be informed that high megapixels does not mean better image quality, and actually introduces new problems.
This camera has 6x Optical zoom. I was tempted to get the new SX100 with 10x optical zoom. But I would have to sacrifice the A720’s optical viewfinder and slightly smaller size. Also from an earlier Kodak Z712 (12x optical zoom) I owned and sold, the higher zoom was not as appealing as it seemed at first due to a number of reasons such as hand shake (even with IS), slightly less optical sharpness at all zoom levels, and the added bulk. 6x optical zoom is good enough for 90% of the shooting I do without sacrificing size and image quality. A wider wideangle would also be more beneficial than a longer reach (28mm at the wide end instead of 36mm).
Optical Image Stabilization:
A very important feature in cameras these days, especially with a small lens that could always use more light. I can take hand-held pictures about 2-3 stops slower than without, which means the shutter speed can go as low as 1/10 sec in wide angle without blurring the pictures (while keeping ISO low for less noise). IS is even more important when zoomed in at 6x in all but the sunniest outdoor conditiions, again this is limited by the small optical lens. The more zoomed in, the smaller the aperture, and less light hitting the sensor, so the camera needs a slower shutter speed to expose the picture properly (which means steady hands or tripod), this is compounded by the higher sensitivity to hand shake when zoomed in.
Optical viewfinders are rare among cameras in this class from other brands. Kudos to Canon for including it. The benefits of a viewfinder include being able frame & shoot in sunny conditions that would wash out the LCD display. Also once I have the settings set, I can just turn off the LCD & shoot through the viewfinder for framing to conserve battery power (up to 4x as many pictures taken per set of batteries, 900+ on NiMH) The viewfinder is about 80% of the full image frame, so there’s enough buffer for framing error so you can crop digitally later on a computer. The viewfinder is slightly offset from the sensor so it’s less reliable for close shooting and definitely not recommended for macro shooting. The A720 IS doesn’t have a swivel LCD display, but I prefer it since it only adds cost & bulk to a camera. LCDs today have enough wide angle viewing so they’re still usable if I want to shoot from way above or below eye level.
This was a very important factor in my decision when shopping for a digital camera. I preferred standard batteries because I can find them when I’m traveling at any convenient store. The A720 also takes rechargeable NiMH AA cells for everyday use (more environmental, and also more capacity than AA alkalines). The CIPA rating for battery use is about 140 pictures on alkalines and 400 with NiMH. You may get more if you don’t use flash & zoom every other shot. I seem to get a lot more shots since I shoot using just the optical viewfinder often, and not much flash. Some cameras (such as my former Kodak Z712 IS) may imply on paper that it can use AA alkaline & NiMH batteries, but they weren’t really designed to conserve power. Faster performance usually means having motors and electronics that run at higher power, thus depleting batteries quicker. The A720 actually can use AA alkalines efficiently.
The A720 is way ahead of the competition in that you can focus on objects as close as 1cm (that’s less than half an inch in front of the lens!). Also one of the few benefits of having a smaller CCD sensor is that you get more Depth of View (DOF) for macro subjects compared to dSLRs.)
Custom white balance for odd indoor lighting conditions. In-camera adjustment to contrast, sharpness, and noise reduction. I prefer to keep these settings at a minimum so that the original image is captured with the most detail (in-camera contrast & sharpness boosting actually destroys detail). If need to, I can always adjust the image on a computer afterwards, but the more detail I can capture in the beginning, the more I have to work with in post-processing.
Some of the issues with this camera that I didn’t like are:
Small sensor & noise:
This is probably the biggest shortcoming that I see in the Canon A720 IS. But the only other viable option is to go the dSLR route and that means spending at least 3x as much (not including additional lenses and associated equipment.) The CCD sensor is only 1/2.5 inch diagonal, this is a very small area for 8 Megapixels. Basically at this point in digital sensor technology, cramming more megapixels into a small area results in less dynamic range (difference between lightest and darkest colors), and noise at anything higher than ISO 200 (which is needed for low-light shooting). I would’ve preferred a 1/1.8 inch sensor or larger. I get around it by shooting ISO 1600 when I absolutely need to (very dim scenes where flash washes out the background, or the subjects are beyond the reach of flash) and using computer software to reduce the noise afterwards. The results are usable for small prints. Also noteworthy is Canon uses little on-camera noise reduction compared to other manufacturers (a user-selectable setting would be nicer). Which is good, because noise-reduction is a fine delicate process that must balance reducing noise at the expense of reducing clarity too. A process that I would much prefer to do on a full computer with more processing power & updated software than the one included in a camera that has less processing power and is not easily updated.
Flash recycle times:
Some other people have complained about how long it takes for the flash to recycle after use (it’s about 4-6 secs). The main problem I see here is that the LCD goes blank during this time, and I would’ve preferred that the the LCD be in review mode or something useful so it doesn’t SEEM as long. From a technical point of view, I can see how this could be due to using alkaline batteries that provide low power, and to charge the flash safely without depleting the battery too fast with high current. Think of sipping water through a small straw versus a fat pipe. My previous Kodak Z712 had fast recharge time, but it ate batteries like crazy. So I prefer Canon’s approach, with some slight tweaking.
Actually a better workaround to this is to use off-camera flash. On camera flash is bad because it dulls & flattens pictures, produces red-eye, and makes the background too dim. I ordered a cheap wireless optically triggered slave flash (around $20). (Canon makes a more expensive one that’s more compatible in auto modes). Basically it’s a wireless flash that fires when another camera flashes in the vicinity. One caveat is that most slave flashes (unless specifically stated) will trigger with digital camera’s auto exposure & red-eye pre-flashes. These flashes confuse the slave flashes to fire prematurely. The A720’s manual mode comes to the rescue again. In manual mode, I can turn down the on-camera flash and the pre-flash off, relying on one or more off-camera flashes to light the subject and give depth to my pictures. So for me the on-camera flash gets very little use.
Histogram not live:
The histogram (and flashing blown highlights) is a very important feature for setting the proper exposure manually in the digital world. It allows consistent picture to picture exposure. Otherwise the exposure is set automatically depending on whether the camera scene has a bright spot or not (e.g. noticeable when you shoot with the sky in one frame and another without.) The A720 displays a histogram in review mode and when holding the shutter button in single-shot mode. But a live histogram would’ve been better so that I can adjust aperture/shutter/ISO and see how it affects the scene. Apparently a live histogram is possible with the CHDK firmware mod on older DIGIC II based cameras (A720 uses DIGIC III, so no mod is available currently).
Other minor gripes:
Video (up to 640×480 30fps) does not use the modern MPEG4 compression algorithm, so only allows up to 60 mins worth of video with 4GB of memory. Also the optical zoom is disabled when shooting video (supposedly to prevent the motor noise being picked up). I would’ve preferred the camera allowing this and I can either process it out of the video later with software rather than having to stop recording, zoom to a new angle, and then resume recording. I haven’t recorded a lot of video, but one option would be to set the optical zoom to a close enough distance, and then while recording, use the digital zoom for better composition. But zooming in digitally seems to just blow up the pixels instead of increasing resolution. If video performance is important, then I would look elsewhere, or get a dedicated video camera that has a lot more zoom & recording time. What is nice is the continuous image stabilization of the A720 while recording video, it makes everything look like it was shot professionally on a hollywood movie camera cart.
No adjustment for LCD brightness. Even though I shoot with optical viewfinder mostly, sometimes I have to use the LCD and would prefer to set the brightness to low or high depending on need for battery conservation or in bright environments.
Some minor color fringing at the corners in contrasty scenes when zoomed in maximum. Not much worse than other digital cameras though.
As you can see, I’m starting to get very picky about the camera. Overall it takes great pictures and at a great price. I did a lot of research and the longer I use the camera, the more I’m pleased with how much I got for the money. It’s more of a camera for those who like to play with settings so their pictures stand out. If you rely on auto modes, then another camera may serve you better (I can’t speak much for it since I don’t use auto often except at social events when I hand it to someone else to take a snapshot while I’m in the picture.) Relying too much on auto modes can give unpredictable results (usually the case when pictures are blurry, or too dark/bright), but I blame that on the auto mode computer, and partially the user, not the overall camera.
406 of 414 people found the following review helpful.
A Well Rounded, Compact Camera that’s Suitable for Beginners and Amateur Photographers
The Canon PowerShot A720IS is an interesting beast as it doesn’t seem to have particularly good or bad qualities. It takes pleasant pictures with good clarity and color, and the rich feature-set will satisfy both novice and experienced photographers, but in the end, this camera feels uninspired and amorphous. It’s not as small or sleek as Canon’s Digital ELPH series (SD Series), nor does it have the imaging abilities of the G series or the absolute zoom capabilities of the S series. If you could take all of Canon’s consumer digital cameras (minus the DSLR’s) and roll them up into a single camera, it would be very similar to the A720. This camera isn’t anything exceptional, but it is very functional.
With that said, this is one of the better budget cameras I’ve used. With various scene modes and full manual controls, it can grow with you as your skills improve, assuming you spend the time to learn how to use it. This camera works as an acceptable point-and-shoot in the program mode, but when you start playing with the manual controls, great low light and macro shots become possible. Some noteworthy elements of this camera are its excellent video mode (30fps 640×480 resolution), 6x optical zoom, and use of standard AA batteries. The flash is also pretty good and in the right mode, the camera will automatically adjust the flash’s brightness.
Digital Noise has been getting better throughout the years and with the new A720, you can pretty much use up to ISO200 without having to worry about noise. Although the camera supports higher ISO settings, anything above 200 will start to become very noticeably grainy. At ISO80, the pictures are just beautifully smooth.
This camera performs exceptionally well outdoors on a sunny day, or in places where there are generous amounts of bright light – the picture quality in these situations can rival cameras costing twice as much! Unfortunately, this performance noticeably diminishes in challenging lighting situations such as those encountered on a hike in the woods. There, the overall level of light is lower but there are now very high contrast zones (such as sunlight peeking through the tree branches). Under these circumstances, the picture’s colors become muted and flat with a tinge of blue. Also, under challenging lighting conditions, it’s very easy to get blurry or over/underexposed shots. (You can fix the color issue by adjusting the camera’s “White Balance”, and you can help the over/underexposed shots by adjusting the “Metering Mode”)
In my opinion, the built-in image stabilization works, but it isn’t terribly effective. IS cameras can’t perform miracles – they can only compensate a little bit for camera shake, so blurry pictures will remain a reality. Observing the proper shooting posture and holding your breath is much more effective – many digital camera users extend both arms to hold the camera, which is an inherently unstable position. It’s much more stable to hold the camera up to your face and use the viewfinder! There are a number of things you can do to fight blur besides relying on image stabilization, including: zooming out, using a higher ISO, increasing shutter speed, and opening up the aperture (make the F number smaller). Keep in mind that to effectively use this camera’s 6x zoom, you’ll either need a tripod or some other stable surface to put the camera on.
The camera feels lightweight but sturdy, and is small enough to fit inside a large pocket. Although it is bulkier than the Digital ELPH series, with the A720, I can grip it firmly with both hands for steadier shooting.
I didn’t have too many complaints about this camera except that it’s sluggish at times (especially when the flash is turned on), but power-on to first shot times are respectable. Another problem is that the built-in viewfinder is off-center and only shows about 70% of the scene, making fine compositions a very challenging task. In the end, this is a great camera and you get a lot for the money.
86 of 89 people found the following review helpful.
Best digital camera model in its class
By Rahul Jain
I had canon a75 which served well for almost 3 years before retiring.
I knew canon digital cameras are best but I still did lot of research.
Things do tend to change a lot in this field, and next generation best cameras can come from any company. I looked at Nikon, Sony, Olympus, Panasonic among the main contenders. Among Nikon L11 and L12, and similar models in others. This camera beats all others including its own cousins, the canon a570is and a710is.
Between a570is and a710is, it is a tough choice because while a570is has a DIGIC III, it has 4x zoom while a710is has DIGIC II but 6x zoom. This camera combines the best of a570is and a710is: 8MP, DIGIC III, 6x zoom, Image Stabilization, ISO 1600, and oh, face detection! What it does lose over a710is is the special scene modes: color accent and color swap. I just do not understand why – while retaining hundreds of other features, canon had to remove those features in the a720is. Otherwise, anything that you can find in either of its cousins, you can find the better of the two in the a720is. And boy, it is fast to be ready for the shot!
Of course, the a570is is much cheaper, as are most cameras in this class from competing brands. But short of a dSLR, this is the most complete camera for a photography enthusiast.
Features of this product
- 8-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 16 x 22-inch prints
- 6x image-stabilized optical zoom; 2.5-inch wide-viewing-angle LCD display
- Face Detection technology and in-camera red-eye fix
- 19 shooting modes, including 7 special scene modes; Print/Share button
- Powered by 2 AA-size batteries (2 alkaline batteries included); stores images on SD memory cards (16MB memory card included)
I’ve been a photographer for a number of years, more than I care to consider, right from the days and nights of the Brownie, the Polaroid together always recently been a film user until fairly recently. In my every day job, We use Nikon DSLR video cameras, but every now and then I see something We would like to capture after i don’t have these bulky cameras to hands. I decided it was time to buy personally a point and shoot camera. Which to buy? There are so many on the market, as we all know, and is actually confusing.
That’s the whole thing you should know about this product. With this kind of comprehensive input, you will definitely get more than enough guideline so there’s not really a single possiblity to make wrong decision. Don’t forget that best valued one isn’t always be the most cost effective one. Price won’t become a problem when it meets your decision. Off course, you’re someone to decide and when your final decision with this product is a no, we’ve reviews for one more products from the same category. There’s possibility you will find what you need derived from one of of them. Thanks a lot and also have an excellent day!