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Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Review - Performance

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Canon Powershot SX720 HS Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.

Speed - We took a number of shots to test the camera's responsiveness, from switch on to first photo, shot to shot, focusing speed etc. We take a number of shots and then use the average to ensure accurate and consistent tests, making it easy to compare with other cameras.

Shutter Response <0.05secs
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.1secs
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response  0.4-1.1secs*
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 2.0secs
Shot to Shot without Flash 1.0secs
Shot to Shot with Flash 2.1secs
Continuous Shooting - JPEG
(shots before slow down)
8fps (8 shots, then slows to 5.9fps)
Continuous Shooting - Flash 2.0secs
Continuous Shooting - RAW N/A

* If hunting, slower figure, if not hunting then 0.4s

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The focus assist light is bright, which helps focus in low light levels, but your subject may not always appreciate this. There was minimal red-eye when using the flash, but was a little over-powering for our subject. Colour reproduction is good, and the large zoom range from wide to telephoto gives good versatility. Exposure is generally reliable, although the use of the iContrast setting can help expand the dynamic range recorded. 

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Lens test images

Lens Performance - Being able to focus on subjects that are just 1cm away from the front of the lens (on the wide-angle setting) means you can take some very close up macro photographs, although you'll also need to be aware that the lens does block light from getting to the subject. Purple fringing and chromatic aberration is generally well controlled, unless there are extreme areas of contrast. There is very little lens distortion in terms or barrel or pincushion distortion, which is impressive considering the zoom range on offer, and the camera will automatically correct for this in-camera. At the wide-angle end of the lens, images are a bit soft on the left and towards the corners of the frame, and images are a little soft at the telephoto end of the lens. 

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Images are reasonably detailed from ISO80 up to ISO400, and at ISO800 noise becomes more noticeable, and detail suffers. Colour saturation remains quite good, even at the higher ISO settings of ISO1600 and ISO3200, which is quite impressive, however you may want to avoid using these settings due to high levels of noise. 

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) gives a slightly warm result under tungsten / incandescent lighting, with the tungsten preset giving a more accurate result. AWB performs very well under fluorescent lighting, with the fluorescent preset giving a colour cast. 

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Digital filters

Digital Filters - Creative shot mode takes a number of photos and automatically generates a number of different photo effects, with the option of Auto, Retro, Mono, Special, and Natural effects. In the scene mode, you have the option of Portrait, Smart shutter, Handheld Night mode, Lowlight, Fisheye, Miniature, Toy camera, Soft Focus, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect and Fireworks. There is no automatic panoramic shooting mode. 

Video - Video performance is good, with image stabilisation and the auto level option giving steady video. There doesn't appear to be a setting to adjust the zoom speed, which means that zooming in and out of videos does appear quite rapid, but there are some clever face tracking features that will automatically follow the subject when they move. The camera records full HD video at 60fps, and there are options for wind filter, and attenuator (to reduce loud sounds).


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