Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Canon Powershot A650 IS

I bought A CANON Powershot A650 as a gift for my dad last month. I tried out the camera for a full week. Then I thought Let me share the imfo I found out about that piece of art.

The Canon Powershot A650 IS is a 12 megapixel digital camera with a 6x optical zoom lens. It includes a number of more advanced features such as manual exposure controls and manual focusing. Image stabilisation has also been added to the Powershot A650 IS. One feature I really like is an LCD screen that you can pull out and twist round. This is great for awkward shooting positions and you can also move the screen away from the sun. This is also one of the few digital cameras with a viewfinder. To increase the flexibility of the lens you can buy a series of conversion lenses for the Powershot A650 IS.

Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom): Found it hard to cope with the glare from the sun.Taken on a bright day there is still a degree of strength in the sun and the fact that the sun is a bit lower in the skycreates the problem. The Canon Powershot A650 IS does quite a good job of handling the glare without being perfect. This leads toa loss of detail where the sun strikes the target.
There is plenty of good news though. Sharpness levels are clearly better than I am used to seeing. Colours are more or less spoton. A common problem I am used to seeing is the blue lines taking on a strong purple tinge. The A650 IS is able tocompletely overcome this problem.

Outdoor 2 (No Zoom) :Top quality. With the lens zoomed all the way out many camera struggle to focus and also find itdifficult to correctly expose darker areas . The Powershot A650 IS has no such problems and manages to take one ofthe better wide angle shots I have seen.

Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom) :The sharpness and definition the Powershot A650 IS manages to produces when the lens is fully zoomed inare excellent. With other brands it often tends to lose sharpness towards the edges. That is not a problem with thiscamera and I am very impressed with the result. My only disappointment is that I would like to have seen a bit more colour in thesky.

Outdoor Portrait: I used the face recognition setting for all of my portrait photos. For the outdoor one I also set white balance tocloudy. The sharpness and detail in this photo are some way above average. I also like the skin tones and colours in general.

Indoor Portrait : setting works very well for me. The Powershot A650 IS manages to produce a very sharp photo. Despite using theflash, colours are not washed away and the lighting is good as well. The original photo showed a small amount of red eye. Thisgave me the chance to test out the red eye correction tool. It worked a treat and is also easy to use.

Lowlight :Rather than using flash for indoor portrait some people prefer the camera to make the most of the light that isavailable. Without using flash my test result has a pink tinge and is a bit darker than I would like to see. The lighting used isnot perfect, but I think in most indoor situations you are likely to be best off using flash.

Colours :Apart from when the zoom lens is fully extended there are no problems colour wise. The colours are punchy and wellbalanced. These are fairly close to my own personal ideal.

Macro :When it comes to clarity it is difficult to beat this range of Canon cameras for close up shots. The Powershot A650 ISproduces one of the very best.

ISO 400 :At higher ISO settings this camera shows an improvement over previous Canon cameras I have seen. In fact at ISO 400 thephoto is quite good with only low levels of noise showing.

ISO 1600 :At ISO 1600 there is a clear loss of detail as noise becomes a more major issue.

Overall :Overall these are an excellent set of photos. I have few complaints and the Canon Powershot range still manage to bejust about the best around.

Shutter Lag: I was able to take a single photo in 0.38 seconds and five photos in 12.34 seconds. Although not desperately slow it would be good to see faster times. With the flash on a single photo took 1.10 seconds and five photos took 19.66 seconds. Again I would like to have seen these times beaten.
Style: The Powershot A650 IS is built along the lines of a mini SLR camera. It has a grip on the front to hold it steady and in my view is a good choice for someone with larger hands. Dimensions: 112.1 x 67.8 x 56.2 mm
Weight: 300g
Batteries: Four AA batteries are required. Canon estimate that a standard set of alkaline batteries should be good for around 300 photos.
Memory cards: A 32mb SD card is supplied as standard. I was able to take seven photos before the memory card was full. The camera is also compatible with SDHC cards.I got a 1GB card free also.
Ease of use rating: Average. With all the features the camera has it is not as simple as a more basic point and shoot. Time spent getting to know the camera will be worth it in the longer term.
Points I like: Picture quality - viewfinder - flip out and twist LCD screen - red eye correction tool Where it could improve:Skies can lose colour when the lens is zoomed in.
Verdict: The Canon Powershot A650 IS is a very smart digital camera. It has a good selection of features and picture quality is among the best you will find from a consumer, compact digital camera. I have really struggled to come up with any negative points about the camera. You will also find the build quality of the camera a step up from most other Powershot models.


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