Canon A710 IS Review

 
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Canon A710 IS Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
1.5 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.
Shutdown
2.0 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens and stow in your pocket.
Buffer clearing time
1 second
(Large/Fine JPEG,
Unlimited shots in
continuous mode)
Worst case buffer clearing time.* This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
1.0 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
2.4 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
1.4 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.53 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.64 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Prefocused
0.076 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Manual focus
0.27 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.78 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
1.79 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.58 second (1.72 frames per second);
No limit w/fast card*;
~2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.59 second (1.69 frames per second);
No limit w/fast card*;
~2 seconds to clear
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Flash recycling
8.5 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
1,175 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High
*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 120x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode.

The A710's performance is generally average to faster than average. Startup and shutdown speeds are above average. Shutter response is a bit faster than average but not dramatically so. Shot-to-shot cycle times and continuous-mode speeds are above average, too, but the impressive thing is that the A710 can shoot indefinitely in continuous mode, given a fast enough memory card. (We tested with a Kingston 120x Ultimate SD card.) The one slow spot is that the flash takes 8.5 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, well below average. On the other hand, connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are very fast, pretty much eliminating the need for an external reader. Bottom line, while not a first choice for sports or other really fast-paced action, the A710 is responsive enough (particularly at wide angle lens settings) to handle most family photo opportunities.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Good battery life with NiMH rechargeable AA's.

Battery Type
Battery Life
Alkaline
100 shots
NiMH
(2500 mAh capacity)
360 shots

The Canon A710 uses two AA batteries for power. The table above shows the number of shots it can take with either Alkaline or NiMH batteries, based on the CIPA battery-life standard. (Based on 2500 mAh capacity cells.) A CIPA rating of 360 shots (with the LCD display enabled) is pretty good, but as always we strongly recommend that you purchase a couple of sets of high-capacity NiMH rechargeable batteries and a good-quality charger, as they'll save you many times their cost over the life of the camera.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
A 16MB SD Memory Card is included with the PowerShot A710.

Image Capacity with
16MB SD Memory Card
Fine
3,072 x 2,304 Images 4
File Size 3.3MB
2,592 x 1,944 Images 5
File Size 2.7MB
2,048 x 1,536 Images 9
File Size 1.7MB
1,600 x 1,200 Images 14
File Size 1MB
640 x 480
Images 55
File Size 288K

We strongly recommend buying at least a 512MB card, preferably a 1GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.

 

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