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Canon SD630 Optics


Lens

Zoom
Good performance from the SD630's 3x optical zoom lens.

35mm
105mm
4x Digital Zoom

The Canon PowerShot SD630 zooms over the equivalent of a 35-105mm range, which is pretty typical for its class. Details are somewhat soft at wide angle, with some softening and chromatic aberration in the corners. There's also some mild coma distortion in the trees. The 4x digital zoom takes it in to a total of 12x, though with loss of quality from the digital enlargement.

Macro
A tiny macro area with good detail and high resolution. Flash exposure is uneven up close, with strong overexposure.

Standard Macro Macro with Flash

The Canon PowerShot SD630's macro setting performs well, capturing a very small minimum area of 1.42 x 1.07 inches (36 x 27 millimeters). Detail and resolution are both very good, though there is moderately high blurring in the corners from the lens. (Most cameras have some softening in the corners in macro mode.) The flash had trouble up close and overexposed most of the frame, with stronger shadows in the lower corners. (Plan on using external lighting with your closest shots with the SD630.)

Distortion
Low barrel distortion at wide angle, and practically no distortion at telephoto.

This is the tendency for the lens to bend straight lines outward (like a barrel--usually at wide angle) or inward (like a pincushion--usually at telephoto). The Canon PowerShot SD630's 0.5% barrel distortion at wide angle is actually quite low among the cameras I've tested, with a small effect on images. At the telephoto end, I couldn't find even a half pixel of either barrel or pincushion distortion.

Barrel distortion at 35mm is 0.5%
Pincushion at 105mm is virtually nonexistent.

Chromatic aberration
Moderate at wide angle, small effect on images at edges.

Wide: moderately high, top left @ 200% Wide: fairly bright, top right @ 200%
Tele: quite low, top left @200% Tele: quite low, top right @200%

Chromatic aberration is moderate at wide angle, showing about 3-4 pixels of somewhat dim coloration on either side of the target lines, but decreases to lower levels at telephoto focal lengths. (This distortion is visible as a slight colored fringe around the objects at the edges of the field of view on the resolution target.)

Corner Sharpness
Some softening in the left and right corners of the frame, strongest effect in the lower left corner at telephoto.

Wide: soft in the upper right corner. Wide: sharp at center.
Tele: very soft in the lower left corner. Tele: sharper at center.

The Canon PowerShot SD630 produced soft corners in a few shots. At wide angle, the top corners of the frame appeared softest, while the lower corners were softest at full telephoto. The SD630 was pretty sharp in the center, however, at both wide and telephoto.

Viewfinder

Coverage
Very good accuracy from the LCD monitor.

35mm eq., LCD monitor 105mm eq., LCD monitor

The Canon PowerShot SD630's LCD monitor showed close to about 100 percent frame accuracy at both lens zoom settings.