Friday, January 26, 2007

Kodak EasyShare Z612 Digital Camera Review


The Kodak Easyshare Z612 is a chunky, silver camera that has a great whopping lens on the front and many other characteristics of the digital SLR. The silver finish does appear very plastic, but with a few shiny chrome sections and strips, it retains a sophisticated and stylish look. The front of the camera has the 12x optical superzoom lens and the flash hood is above it. The flash hood will automatically open when the flash is set to Auto, Fill or Red-eye and the shutter button is pressed. It will remain open until it is manually closed. There is a self-timer light above the lens too, along with two microphone holes. To the right side is the handgrip, which feels very comfortable in your hand and has the necessary buttons on top of it. The shutter release button is a square section of the top of the grip and is flush with the camera body making it difficult to find unless you tilt the camera towards you to have a look (we’re sure after a lot of use, you would get used to where it is, but it wouldn’t have hurt for Kodak to raise it slightly from the camera body). On the top is the power switch, mode dial and there is also three shortcut buttons, which are flash, focus and drive buttons. There are two strap posts on either side of the camera which will come in handy with the camera weighing around 300g, so it is not mega heavy, but it is on the large side and the support of straps will help. On the back of the Kodak Z612 is a 2.5” high resolution LCD screen with an electronic viewfinder (EVF) just above and an EVF/LCD button to the right. On the left side there is a jog dial and zoom rocker with and information button underneath. Just below is a review button, 4-way controller, delete, menu and share buttons, which are all of decent size and easy to use whilst in action. The battery and memory card component is on the bottom under a slide door and the USB port is on the right side panel.
The features of the Kodak Z612 go on and on and on, but we will start with the most significant being the 12x optical superzoom lens, which has got to be the selling point for this monster. This zoom will ensure amazing sharpness and creative performance and along with the superb Image Stabilisation feature, blurry photos will be a thing of the past and you will be delivered with spectacular results every time. The 6.1-mega pixels will allow you to print large images with clarity as you can also choose from 5 different resolution settings, which also gives you the freedom to manually decide how many images you can store on your memory card. There are loads of scene modes to choose from to ensure your pictures receive the best attention and there is the useful Text option so you can take images of text or documents and they will have exceptional clarity. There are also 5 colour modes so you can choose from low colour, high colour, natural colour, black & white or sepia depending on which suits your image the best. The editing possibilities have come such a long way that PC editing software will probably become extinct one of these days as you can also crop your images whilst still on the camera so we must salute Kodak for including their famous Kodak Perfect Touch technology. The creative control stretches even further with the Kodak Z612 as the Movie mode enables you to capture amazing video footage with the Image Stabilisation kicking in to ensure that shaky hand doesn’t spoil things. There is a 4-MPEG compression facility so that you can squash more footage onto the memory card. Kodak have also furnished us with the Kodak Colour Science Image Processing Chip which to you and me means that there is a little chip inside the camera that acts as a ‘brain’ in the way that it will assess each image and produce the most accurate colours, details and focus regardless of the lighting conditions. What an amazing piece of technology that sure takes some beating. Well done, Kodak!
With no intention of making the Kodak Z612 feel big headed (if a camera can?), the speed of this little beauty is just as impressive as the features list. We started this bad boy up and within a second and a half we had taken our first shot. The next shots came with only 1.5 seconds between them too. The shutter lag was extremely efficient with only a 0.4 second delay, which knocked our socks off. The Kodak Z612 is highly competitive and so far through this review we are struggling to think of an alternative. Kodak really do seem to have the knack of producing cameras that deliver amazing colour reproduction and clarity and the Z612 is no exception as our images showed. Although all of our images were great, we did notice image noise creeping in at ISO 400, but they were still printable and were by no means useless. The share button on the camera is a great function and enables you to upload your images quickly to a compatible printer or email to friends and family at the touch of a button. There are a number of optional accessories that create further possibilities, such as a photo printer and camera dock.

Canon IXUS 850IS digital camera Review

On its introduction last September at Photokina, the Canon IXUS 850IS followed the IXUS lineage; a very nicely made and nicely designed ultra-compact stainless steel bodied compact digital camera. Some signature features of the new camera include another million pixels over the 800IS, its predecessor and, a new, 28-105mm (35mm equiv.) optical zoom lens that provides a much more versatile focal range (for almost any subject) than that of its predecessor’s 35-140mm lens.

In terms of the lens' brightness, it has a fast F2.8 maximum aperture at 28mm end of the zoom that is joined by a very modest F5.6 maximum aperture at full zoom. However, Canon has cannily included optical image stabilisation to help in lower lighting or at longer focal lengths where you don’t want the flash to fire; it works really well having three settings: continuous, panning and shot only. As you have guessed, the first mode is on all the time, panning works well with horizontally panned snaps and the final shot mode activates when the image is made. Of the three, the latter works best for most subjects.

Enhanced (over the 800IS) sensitivities run from ISO 80 to ISO 1600, but in truth, sensitivities above ISO 400 are noisy and at ISO 800 and 1600, almost unusable. The result – unless having an image is more important than its absolute quality – is images that can only really be used at smaller print sizes.

Another problem on the 850IS is the noise reduction processing, which is much more aggressive on this camera than on previous IXUS’. The processing is via Canon’s DIGIC III processor, the latest iteration of that Canon technology, but because the small 1/2.5-inch has just over 7-megapixels crammed onto it, noise issues are actually worse on this model than other IXUS’ I’ve looked at.

The result of the noise reduction processing is loss of fine detail in all shots taken over ISO 200, elements such as fur, hair, or foliage in landscape shots for example, are smoothed over and, the result is an image that appears to contain tiny blobs of homogenized colour where once there was detail. I will look at image quality in more detail later.

In the meantime, in terms of handling, the 850IS is very nice to use. The large 2.5-inch screen is bright, has a wide angle of view and provides a very clear and clean display, though bright point sources of light made it flare badly. Menus are of the “usual” Canon type with tabbed pages of colour-coded options all scrolled using a ubiquitous four-way jog dial that is also used to scroll images in playback.

The screen can be switched off and you can adjust the level of information displayed also display, this includes a composition grid and, in playback, you can get a histogram display as well; on balance I feel this would have been better as a “live” option when shooting.

The shutter release is surrounded by a neat rocker-style lens zoom control and joined on the top plate with an attractive-looking illuminated on/off button. Despite the small size of the camera, it boasts a small optical viewfinder that is okay to use but is very slightly blurry at all focal lengths. To its right is a flip round mode dial to select manual and auto shooting modes, the Scene selection that provides access to 17-subject program modes (including aquarium modes and the usual array of night scene, portrait and landscape settings) and finally an excellent video mode that provides 640 x 480-pixel clips at 30fps with audio.

Other kit includes Face Detection AF/AE focus control that while a bit of a novelty seems to work quite well. However, the camera’s advanced Artificial intelligent Auto Focus (AiAF) system seems hit and miss, picking seemingly random elements to focus upon even when refocusing on the same scene without moving the camera or viewpoint.

Images are stored on SD/MMC external storage that slots in a port on the base of the camera alongside the Nb-5L lithium-ion battery pack. This holds enough of a charge for around 260-shots but in practice, I found it is less if the image stabilisation is set to continuous and you do a lot of work with the flash.

Metering and exposure control are very reliable although I noticed highlight detail is clipped away in hi-key shots loosing detail in image elements such as clouds and almost any highlight area in a scene. Another factor for image quality is the aforementioned image noise, which as with most cameras with an overdose of pixels on a small sensor, is far worse on the 850IS than its predecessor.

Anything over ISO 400 and the noise becomes noticeable, above 800 and it is intrusive. For small enprint size 6 x 4-inch prints this is probably not a major issue but the noise would be very apparent on larger prints and coupled with the detail smoothing from noise reduction processing discussed earlier, it will be come a real issue for prints over 5 x 7-inches.

However, the extra flexibility the wider zoom lens provides more than makes up for some other slight image quality niggles: slight softness at the edges of images (a drawback of the lenses wider 28mm wide angle design) and modest image distortion also at the wide-angle end of the zoom. Lastly, there is a slight softness to images straight out of the camera (sharpening is tad conservative by default) but easily controlled or improved to on PC in image editing software or in the camera.

Colour capture is excellent and because you have plenty of control over colour, sharpness and contrast via the excellent “Func”-tion menu system common to Canon digital compact you can really tweak the output to how you’d prefer. White balance control has the usual presets and an easy to use custom mode; the only slight chink here was in auto mode with mixed lighting indoors where things had a distinct orange cast.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Pentax's new digital camera reveiw

I approached the review of Pentax's new little baby with some trepidation. Why, you may ask? Well, for the last 5 years I have been a Canon user through and through. I have had two of their Digital Ixus cameras (4 and 6MP - megapixel) and three of their Amateur status Digital SLRs (300D, 350D and 400D). I have also played with the Canon 10MP Ixus, and was not all that impressed, hence the reason I stuck with our 6MP Ixus.
With that in mind, I came to the Optio not expecting too much. So far, all of the 10MP compacts that I have seen or seen shots from have not been all that impressive.
The A20 is the replacement for Pentax's much liked A10, but adds some nice touches. The most obvious is the 10 Effective Mega Pixel CCD Sensor with a max capture resolution of 3648 x 2736. Other features are Shake Reduction (3 modes), Facial Recognition, a soft flash mode and most importantly the new ASIC (Application Specific Integrated Circuit) processor.


  • 10.0 mega pixels
  • 2.5inch TFT LCD screen
  • 3x optical zoom equivalent to 38mm-114mm in 35mm format
  • 22 MB Built-in memory
  • SD & SDHC memory card compatible
  • 15cm macro
  • Sensitivity range - ISO64 - ISO800
  • Shutter speed range - 1/2000 sec. to 4 sec.

    In Use

    After charging the battery and popping my memory card into the camera (note: the A20 does not come with an SD card at all, so make sure you have a spare) I decided to perform a test in typical English overcast weather, as it should show up any issues with changeable light conditions.

    I took the camera into the countryside, and took some shots that would allow me to judge the quality of the A20's sensor and processor.

    As you can see with all the shots here, the quality of the photos is top notch - even if my skill is not. You can click any of the thumbnails for a higher resolution version.

    The camera worked well and felt good on my initial outing. The build quality is certainly up there with anything that Canon and Fuji have put together; it does not weigh much and is very slim with a great screen that is easy to see under all light conditions. I was also impressed with the speed of the auto focus when in its full auto mode; some of the other 10MP cameras struggle to do this quickly, especially when the light is low.

    On that initial outing I filled my 1Gb card, then filled the 256Mb replacement I popped in, all on the same charge. So battery life is good - I was expecting the screen to sap the battery life, so this is a welcome surprise.

    The A20 also seems to be quick when saving a shot to the card. I was timing writes on its 10MP fine mode at below 3 seconds. Considering that there is 10MPs worth of data for the ASIC to process this is good, showing that the processor is up to the job. Incidentally, the timings are around the same for my Ixus which is a lower CCD size.

    Ease of Use

    This is where the A20 really shows off. The layout of the camera and menus is very intuitive. The modes are easy to identify and use; with only a single button press to access the mode menu, switching between them is easy and quick. There are a variety of built in photo modes ranging from the default Auto mode through to completely manual modes, with things like People, Landscape, Animal, Baby and even a Food mode. In the manual mode access to speeds and ISO modes is child's play. There is even a quick switch button to put you back into the Auto mode should you need to get back to it in a hurry.


    The lens is the same 3x zoom SMC one found on the previous compact Pentax cameras, and this is no bad thing. The reputation of the lens is a good one, and let's be honest: if it's not broke, don't fix it.

    The lens always produces sharp pictures up to its 3x magnification. However, the digital zoom mode is - like all cameras - one that should be used sparingly.

    The effective lens magnification is 38mm-114mm if compared to a 35mm camera, so gives a decent range. However it's not quite wide enough at its lowest magnification level, where as a true 35mm would have been nice.


    Besides the obvious 10.4MP CCD (10MP effective) there is a lot of nice technology on this camera. The most obvious of which are the Shake Reduction and the Face recognition.

    The Shake Reduction system works better than the one employed on the Sony cameras of this size, and does not seem to clip the photos as much. This is probably because it uses Pentax's CCD-Shift system rather than a pure digital version. In practice I found that you could shoot at around 2 speeds quicker with the system than without. For example, a shot that I could hold sharp and steady at 1/60sec would be usable at 1/8sec with the system active. A definite advantage.

    The other system that seems to be popular with manufacturers at the moment is the facial recognition. The camera 'sees' a face and automatically adjusts both the focus point and the shooting mode as it sees fit. The Pentax system goes a little further and can actually recognise children and animals as well, and this makes the camera a great 'point and shoot' tool.


    The A20 seems to manage happily under most conditions, although I did see it struggling on some dark scenes. However, these could be easily corrected using Photoshop without loosing any details.

    I was also shocked by how little noise this sensor created even at high ISO modes. The Ixus certainly looks better "un-shopped" but the resulting images are certainly more detailed using the A20. Even at ISO 800 the noise was not as high as I would have expected. It is worth noting that the auto mode seems to suffer most at low levels, and the best results are achieved using the Manual modes.

    As you can see, under dark light conditions the photos seem to benefit from a little Photoshoping. However the details are captured well so the photos look good after balancing.


    The A20 costs - at the moment - around £160 (243Eur or 315USD), so it's one of the cheapest 10MP cameras on the market.

    The quality of the shots are great, and the device is light, small and easy to use.

    This camera will certainly be added to my list of devices when I replace my now ageing Ixus.

    Yes the shots are not as good as the ones I get from my Canon 400D, however the lens on my 400D cost the same as this camera, and because of these points I can highly recommend this camera to anyone that wants a new compact digital camera.

    The only downside that I noticed, was the USB port on the device. Instead of using a standard mini USB port, Pentax have gone for an even smaller port. This means that you cannot just use a standard cable, and instead have to carry the included one around.

UK Internet Poker

Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Nikon Coolpix S7c :Review

The Nikon Coolpix S7c was announced back in August, along with the S9 and S10. The S7c stood out from its brethren because it looked different and Nikon was really working the “style” edge just a bit more with this camera, announcing limited edition cases ready for the holiday buying season. Besides its nice looks, the camera takes 7.1 megapixel images, has a 3x optical zoom, electronic vibration reduction and a very large 3 inch LCD. If that’s not enough, Nikon tossed in a wireless radio and a year subscription to T-Mobile Hotspots so you can send pictures to your friends via the Coolpix Connect service.
Camera Design
As one of Nikon’s Style cameras, the S7c gets an ultra-slim, all metal body with a nice glossy gray (almost charcoal) finish. Silver/chrome accents and controls add to the appeal, along with the huge 3 inch LCD on the back.
On the front of the camera, you’ll see the built-in flash, lens and focus assist/self timer lamp.
The back of the camera is dominated by the 3 inch, 230K pixel screen. There is a button to toggle between capture and playback mode, a button to access the mode menu, a button to access the camera menu and a delete button. The S7c also has a rotating control wheel mounted on top of a 5-way control pad. The wheel allows easy scrolling through images and settings. You can press up to control the flash, left to control the timer mode, and down to use the macro mode.
Camera Features :
One of the highlight features of this camera is that it is wireless enabled (802.11b/g). This isn’t Nikon’s first camera to include wireless ability, but it is the first to use their new Coolpix Connect service. On this camera, and in Nikon wireless cameras in the past, you’ve been able to transfer images to your computer either all at once, only ones you’ve selected, or you can shoot and transfer the image immediately. Also, like before, you need to connect the camera to the computer via USB and use the Wireless Camera Setup utility to add wireless profiles to your camera. With the introduction of the Coolpix Connect service, you can now email your pictures to recipients of your choice. If you have a wireless connection, you can add a recipient email address and send pictures. The pictures are sent to the Coolpix Connect service which then sends out an email to your recipient. The recipient can view the image on the Coolpix Connect website. The S7c also comes with a year subscription that will allow you to use the S7c at any T-Mobile Hotspot. The upside to this, besides being able to walk into just about any Starbucks to send pictures, is that you don’t need to setup wireless profiles on the camera to use the T-Mobile wireless access point.
The maximum resolution of the S7c is 7.1 megapixels. This equates to images of 3072x3204 pixels. There are two compression settings at the max resolution, High and Normal. If you’d like to take smaller pictures, you can choose from 2592 x 1944, 2048 x 1536, 1024 x 768, and 640 x 480. Full resolution images take about 2MB of storage space.
While the camera is labeled with “VR”, which stands for Vibration Reduction – Nikon’s optical image stabilization system – the S7c doesn’t actually have optical image stabilization. Instead, it uses “electronic” VR. To reduce blur from camera shake, a gyro collects data about the movement of the camera and that data is used during image processing in camera to “fix” blur.
Another neat feature that Nikon uses to combat blur is the Best Shot Selector (BSS). In this mode, the camera can take 10 shots, right after one another, and it picks the least blurry image to save from the set. On the S7c, Nikon has provided one touch access (by pressing Ok button) to a shooting mode that uses BSS and electronic VR during capture.
The lens of the S7c is protected by a guillotine-style cover while powered off. The lens is also “fixed”, in that it doesn’t extend at all from the body. The zoom mechanism is internal to the camera. The lens provides a 3x optical zoom with a 35mm equivalent focal length of 35-105mm. The aperture number ranges from f/2.8-5.0.
The 3 inch LCD has 230K pixels of resolution, providing a bright image with good resolution. It’s also very viewable at wide viewing angles. The screen has a high enough refresh rate that the display moves very smoothly. I really enjoyed the LCD.
There are many modes for capturing movies. The most memory-hogging mode is the 640x480 movies at 30 frames per second. Moving down the list from there are smaller sizes and lower frame-rate movies. There is a specific movie mode that is well-suited for creating PictMotion movies (for display on camera). There is a time-lapse movie mode that will join 640x480 still images taken at a specified interval into a 30fps movie. Finally, there is a stop-motion movie mode that joins together still images into a 30fps movie so that you can make your own Claymation film. Also note that optical zoom is not available during movie capture. You can enable a full-time AF and the electronic VR for a bit of stabilization during movie capture.
The camera has 14MB of internal memory, but also accepts Secure Digital (SD) memory cards for more storage.
The camera is powered by a lithium-ion battery (EN-EL8) which takes about 2 hours to charge. The battery is charged in-camera, with or without the cradle. According to the spec sheet, the S7c is good for 200 shots on a single charge, by CIPA standards. Battery life was about average. You can probably expect around 150 shots on a charge. If you use the wireless features often, the radio will drain the battery much faster.
Like most ultra-slim, stylish cameras, the S7c is truly a point and shoot camera. There are no manual exposure modes, although you can modify the white balance, sensitivity (ISO), and exposure compensation. It also has a nice complement of scene modes. Using their “one touch” button gives you single-press access to the portrait mode. You can also access the scene modes by using the mode button. Four of the scene modes (Portrait, Landscape, Sport, and Night Portrait) have what Nikon calls “Scene Assist”. When you select one of these modes, you are given an additional prompt that better defines your shooting condition. For example, when you select Portrait mode, the camera prompts you to pick portrait, portrait left, portrait right, portrait close-sup, portrait couple, and so on. Once your selection is made a mostly transparent overlay appears on the LCD to help you compose your shot for best results. The S7c also has a Hi ISO mode for taking pictures at higher ISO values.
The contrast detection AF works well under most conditions. A focus assist light really helps in low light conditions. Frankly, I don’t know why camera manufacturers would leave this seemingly simple feature out in the first place. Anyway, the lens can focus on items as close as 30cm in normal mode. If you switch to macro mode, you can get as close as 4cm.
The camera uses a center focus mode by default. If you need a bit more flexibility, you can switch the camera to a focus mode where you select the focus point manually. In this mode, you can use the directional pad to move an indicator into one of 99 areas in the center of the frame.
The camera has a 10 second and 3 second self-timer for when you want to get in the picture too. In addition to taking single shots, the camera can be set in continuous mode, multi-shot 16, and interval timer shooting. In continuous mode, the camera takes 7 shots at about 1.4 frames per second. In multi-shot 16 mode, each time the shutter is pressed, the camera takes 16 lower resolution shots at about 1.6 frames per second and combines them into one “Normal (2592)” image. With interval shooting, the camera can take up to 1800 frames automatically at the interval that you set.
The built-in flash works reasonably well. You can set the flash to auto, auto with red-eye reduction, fill flash, slow sync, and disabled. The flash has a range of 12 inches to 24.5 feet at wide angle. A telephoto, the range is 12 inches to 13 feet.
Camera Performance and Image Quality
The S7c performs well. Start up time is under 2 seconds. Shutter lag is also very respectable. With the flash disabled and a full press of the button, the lag is about 0.4-0.5 seconds. If you do a partial press of the shutter to give the camera a chance to get a focus lock and calculate exposure then the shutter lag is only about 0.1 seconds. In either case, if you use the flash, you can expect to add about 0.1-0.2 seconds to this count. The cycle time (time between shots) is also very good at less than 2 seconds. When I measured this, I was using the flash and it cycled very quickly. However, the flash cycle time is a lot more dependent on battery condition. As the battery runs out of juice flash cycle time can take a little longer.
The ergonomics of the camera are about what you would expect in an ultra-slim camera. For added grip stability, there is a little textured imprint where you can rest your right thumb on the back of the camera. The rotary control dial is a nice touch, but the directional pad underneath can be a bit hard to press. Many people will not like the zoom control, which is a pretty tiny lever on the top of the camera, but I can’t come up with a better place to put the control. You could put it on the back of the camera, but then you’d lose the thumb resting space. I actually prefer it on top of the camera.
I was pretty impressed with the flash performance of the camera. The spec sheet claims a range of 24.5 feet when shooting at the widest angle lens position. This is pretty impressive for such a small camera, but this is under ideal conditions when the camera is allowed to boost the sensitivity. If you keep the sensitivity set to ISO 50, the effective range is much less. The flash easily illuminated an average size room. In shots where there are people relatively close to the camera, the room may be under-exposed behind them since the camera does a nice job of metering on the face.


Focal Length: 5.8-17.4mm (35-105mm, 35mm equiv)
Sensor resolution: 7.1 megapixels
Optical zoom: 3x
Digital Zoom: 4x
Focus Range: 30cm – infinity (normal); 4cm – infinity (macro)
LCD Monitor: 3 inch, 230K pixel, wide viewing angle
Shutter Speed: 2 – 1/5000 sec
Sensitivity: Auto, ISO 50, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
Light Metering Mode: 256-segment matrix, center-weighted, spot, spot AF area
Exposure Control Method: programmed auto
Exposure Compensation: +/- 2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
White Balance Control: Auto, custom, daylight, incandescent, fluorescent, cloud, flash
Built-in flash operation modes: auto, red-eye reduction, fill flash, flash off, slow sync
Flash Range: 12 in – 24.5 feet (wide angle); 12 in. – 13 feet (telephoto)
Self-Timer: 10 second, 3 second
Storage Media: 14MB internal memory, SD expansion slot
Wireless radio: 802.11b/g
Computer Interface: USB
Battery Type: lithium-ion battery (EN-EL8)
Weight: Approx. 4.9 ounces without battery or memory card
Dimensions:Specifications .

digital camera review : Canon A710

Digital camera review : Canon A710 IS's tunnel style coupled real-image optical viewfinder is sharp, fairly bright, and imminently useable - but it is a little squinty and only covers a bit more than eighty percent of the image frame. There’s no diopter adjustment for eyeglasses wearers.

The A710 IS’s 2.5" low-resolution (115,000 pixels) TFT LCD screen is a bit grainy, but it is relatively sharp, bright, hue (color) correct, and fluid. It automatically boosts gain in dim/low light and provides a very useful playback histogram display that converts the image area into a graphic readout of the tonal distribution in captured images.
Zoom:The A710 IS features an f2.8-f4.8/5.8mm-34.8mm (35-210mm 35mm equivalent) all glass 6X zoom. When the camera is powered up the lens extends automatically and when the camera is powered down the zoom is fully retracted into the camera body and a built in iris style lens cover closes to protect it.The A710 IS’s zoom exhibits moderate barrel distortion (straight lines bow out from the center) at the wide-angle end of the zoom range, but there is no visible pin cushioning (straight lines bow in toward the center) at the telephoto end of the zoom. There is some very minor softness in the corners, but no visible vignetting (dark corners). Chromatic aberration (purple fringing) is well controlled, but visible in high contrast color transition areas. The A710 IS’s zoom is relatively fast and fairly quiet.
Auto Focus (AF):
The A710 IS features the same dependable TTL Contrast Detection 9 focus point AiAF (Advanced intelligent Auto Focus) system as Canon’s other digicams. In all automatic exposure modes the camera defaults to the AiAF system which analyzes the scene in front of the camera and then calculates camera to subject distance to determine which of the 9 AF points is closest to the primary subject and then automatically locks focus on that AF point (closest subject priority), even when the subject is not centered in the viewfinder. Users can also turn off the AiAF and default to the center focus point for classic portraits or traditional landscapes. In aperture priority, shutter priority, and manual mode, the A710 IS utilizes Canon’s proprietary Flexizone AF which defaults to the center focus point or permits users to manually shift that AF point around the central two thirds of the frame for maximum compositional control.
The A710 IS also provides auto focus bracketing (AFB). With a single push of the shutter button, the camera captures three exposures in rapid succession marginally shifting the focus for each (one just slightly in front of the optimum focus point, one at the optimum focus distance, and one just slightly behind the optimum focus point), virtually guaranteeing at least one correctly focused image, even in tricky lighting. The focus distance interval can be adjusted, allowing for exact spacing and precise focus no matter what sort of image is being shot. The A710 IS's auto focus is very fast and consistently accurate, essentially real time with pre-focusing and almost instantaneous from scratch.