Aahz's Canon A710 IS
Why did I pick the A710? I stopped doing film photography in the 1980s
because it was "too expensive" -- it wasn't that I couldn't afford it,
but it just bothered me too much to keep paying and paying for film,
development, and printing.
Stef does a lot of
picture-taking for the local humane society, and we've talked
occasionally about how it would be fun for us to go on photo expotitions
together. But I knew that sharing a camera would be Not Fun, so I
wanted my own camera, and in April 2007, I finally made that happen.
I wanted a digital camera that would not make me feel that I was
sacrificing photo quality, but I didn't want to pay a lot of money for
it. I also decided that my other critical qualities were the compact
form factor (rather than subcompact because it's easier to hold -- and
you usually get more features for your money) and an optical viewfinder.
The viewfinder was actually one of the trickier features to find among
cheap, high-rated cameras.
I initially focused on the Canon A630 (about $50 cheaper than the A710
and more battery life), but was swayed by the A710's slightly smaller
size, bigger zoom, and optical image stabilization. The only feature
I really wish I had from the A630 is the swing-out LCD. For a good
The A710 takes great pictures literally right out of the box, for more
details, see my
NOTE: Never, never bother with digital image stabilization. It sucks.
NOTE: Never, never bother with digital zoom. Turn off your
camera's digital zoom and rely only on the optical zoom. Crop it at
home with software if you need to.
- 6x zoom
- Optical image stabilization
- Sharp, clear lens
- Optical viewfinder
- Very little shutter lag
- Decent shot-to-shot time
- 7.1 megapixels makes for good enlargements up to 12"x18"
- Compact form factor makes it easy to hold
- Has both aperture-priority and shutter-priority modes, plus
program mode, full auto, full manual, and a slew of specialty modes
(I mostly use aperture-priority and program mode)
- Menus and controls are mostly clear and easy to use
- Takes standard AA batteries, so you can get emergency supplies
Cons (roughly in descending order):
- Only uses PTP, doesn't work as USB drive
- LCD washes out in bright sunlight
- ISO800 is noisy (I mostly stick with ISO80)
- Doesn't fit in pocket
- Zoom is stepped (not continuous), but I have not found this to be a problem
- Only two batteries, which means...
- Slow flash recharging
- Weak flash -- I've taken decent pictures out past the official range, but don't rely on it
- However, I have no complaints about battery life
Last update: 5/2007
Copyright 2007 by Aahz
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