Amid all the present smartphone camera innovations, DSLR cameras remain undisputed when it comes to quality, though lugging snappers as bulky as DSLRs during commutes may be a bit of a hassle. This is where handy but capable dedicated point-and-shoot cameras come in.
When the Canon Powershot SX610 HS came to the office, we were more than delighted to give it a spin. The unit we tested came in black and is likely to receive positive comments because of its svelte form factor.
The SX610 HS is slim and compact making it easy to stow in the bag or pocket, though only if said pocket belongs to a loose pair of pants. The chassis is a combination of metal and plastic making it feel solid in the hand. As it is small and lightweight, you might want to attach the included hand strap to the eyelet on the side for added security. Thanks to its ergonomic design, it feels comfortable to hold and you can singlehandedly tinker with controls while fixing the subject with the available free hand.
Up front is the Canon emblem accompanied by its 18X zoom lens. On the top plate are the on/off, shutter button, zoom rocker, and pop-up flash. Turn it on its back and you have a 3-inch screen, auto/creative shot/hybrid auto toggle switch, display, video recording, menu, Wi-Fi buttons and four-way controller with func/set button in the middle. On the one side are the zoom release button and NFC tag while ports for A/V and HDMI jacks are seated on the remaining side. Lastly, its bottom hosts an opening for tripod mounts and a slide cover that reveals the battery and SD card slots.
As we’ve mentioned earlier, this Canon shooter boasts an 18x zoom lens placing it among the leagues of promising pocket superzooms. The lens can cover a 25-450mm range, which I’ve tested to be competent in covering events that require supernatural arm lengths just to capture a photobomb-free shot.
Canon’s rear display comes in at a generous 3 inches. There’s nothing amazing about the LCD; it isn’t touch enabled and is a bit grainy on viewfinder mode, however, it becomes clear and sharp when viewing pictures.
The SX610 HS comes with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. To be able to make the most of these functions, you must download the free Canon Camera Connect app available on iOS and Android. Pressing the Wi-Fi button launches the cam into a search for access points mode. Once you’ve got a network to connect to, it will command you to prompt the app on your mobile device and connect. The app allows you to transfer and view images on the camera and shoot images remotely, functions which I found very useful. You can also log and send image locations via the app. For the NFC function, you just have to hold your NFC-enabled device against the NFC tag on the camera and the Camera Connect app will start without the extra work.
User Experience: (4/5)
Just like any digital camera, using this shooter is easy as ABC. Camera start up takes just about a second so you’ll be shooting in no time. For the majority of the review, I was on Auto mode since I find it a bit of a hassle to adjust controls without physical buttons. Should you need to set the camera up manually according to your preference or shooting condition at hand, the many adjustment settings (ISO, white balance, exposure) can be found on the display via a single push of the func/set button.
If you’re into exploring effects and filters, Canon has it all figured out for you with the creative shot mode. This captures images and applies various artsy effects on it in one go.
For a compact camera, this superzoom renders excellent, vivid, crisp, and sharp photos even when fully zoomed in the subject. However, shooting images when the lens are fully zoomed in is quite complicated. It becomes shaky and focusing on the subject becomes rather finicky. On the other hand, macro shots come out stunning. The only issue I had with this camera is focusing on subjects. I figured, half-pressing the shutter does the trick, but it would take quite some getting used to.
Video recording on the other hand is in MP4 format and will yield 1080 full HD outputs. Its rechargeable 1060mAh battery is quite impressive, with a single charge lasting for days on moderate use.
Though people would most likely opt for a smartphone rather than a dedicated point-and-shoot, this capable shooter dares to challenge the smartphone market with its impressive specs and affordable price tag. With Canon heritage backing it up along with an 18x zoom lens, 20MP image sensor, Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity, and various technologies, the Canon Powershot SX610 HS is one digital camera to look out for.
If you’re in the market for a compact snapper, the Canon SX610 HS is a solid option.