Canon SD430 Review

 
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Canon SD430 Operation

The Canon PowerShot SD430's user interface is straightforward and relatively uncomplicated, with a menu setup and basic control philosophy similar to the rest of the current ELPH series. Most of the camera's functions are controlled by buttons on the top and rear panels, while a handful of settings are controlled through the LCD-based menu. A Function menu provides fast access to basic settings like image size, quality, and exposure compensation, without the need to sift through menu screens. The LCD menu system itself is quite efficient, as you view menu items organized in tabs instead of through a series of pages. Additionally, the Setup and My Camera menus are always available, regardless of the camera mode. With the instruction manual in-hand, it shouldn't take more than an hour to get comfortable with the camera.

Record Mode Display: In most Record modes, the PowerShot SD430's LCD display shows either the image area with no information, the image with a limited information display, or no display at all. Pressing the Display button cycles through the available display modes. When the information display is active, it reports resolution and image quality settings, the number of available images, Record mode, orientation, and a handful of exposure settings (although not aperture or shutter speed). In Digital Macro, the display is always on with at least the focus target and magnification displayed.


Playback Mode Display: Playback mode also offers three display modes, including the image only, the image with information, and the image with expanded information and a histogram. You can display as many as nine thumbnail images at a time on-screen with the index display mode, or zoom in on captured images to check fine details, focus, or framing. From the nine-image index display, a "Jump" mode that allows you to page through screens of nine thumbnails at once. You can also jump through the images stored on the card using the Up arrow key to access JUMP mode while viewing single images. This mode can jump 10 or 100 images ahead, by shot date, and to a Movie or a folder.

 

Canon SD430 Modes and Menus

Still Record Mode: Sets the Canon SD430 for image capture, with a full range of exposure and shooting options available through the on-screen menus. Exposure modes include Auto and Manual (though no direct exposure control), as well as Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, My Colors, and Stitch Assist (in the Record menu) preset shooting modes.

Movie Mode: Records short movie clips with sound in one of four modes. Focus and optical zoom are fixed at the first frame. Movie modes include Standard (either 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 pixels at either 30 or 15 fps, up to 1-GB each), Fast Frame Rate (320 x 240 pixels at 60 fps for up to one minute), Compact (160 x 120 pixels at 15 fps for up to three minutes), and My Colors (either 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 pixels at either 30 or 15 fps, up to 1-GB each).

Playback Mode: This mode allows you to scroll through captured images and movies, write-protect images, view a nine-image index display, zoom into a captured image, delete unwanted images, rotate images, set up images for printing on DPOF compatible devices, as well as play and crop movies.

Record Menu System: Accessed by pressing the Menu button in any record mode (some options are not available in all modes). Four menu tabs appear, one each for Record, WiFi, Setup, and My Camera sub-menus.

Record Menu:

  • AiAF: Turns on the AiAF focus system. If switched off, the camera bases autofocus on the center of the frame.
  • Self-Timer: Sets the Self-Timer countdown to two or 10 seconds, or lets you specify a custom timer. The custom timer can have a delay of 0-10, 15, 20, or 30 seconds, and allows multiple shots (from one to 10 in total) to be captured. If the camera is set to capture multiple shots, these are captured with an interval of about one second between shots, enough time for the flash to recharge if required. Focus and exposure are locked from the first shot. (A very handy feature for getting good shots of groups, as someone invariably blinks right as the shutter goes off.)
  • AF Assist Beam: Turns the AF assist light on or off. If on, the bright orange LED on the camera's front automatically illuminates in low lighting.
  • Digital Zoom: Enables the SD430's 4x digital zoom function, which is engaged by zooming past the optical zoom range. Also disables digital zoom.
  • Review: Turns the instant review function on or off, sets the amount of time that the captured image is displayed on the screen from two to 10 seconds, or allows a "Hold" mode where the image remains on the screen until the shutter button is half-pressed. The instant review function applies to still images only.
  • Save Original: When in My Colors mode, sets the camera to save an unmodified version of each still image captured, as well as the version modified by the My Colors function.
  • Grid Lines: Enables or disables display of grid lines to help align shots or compose using the rule of thirds.

  • Date Stamp: Activates the Date Stamp feature, which imprints the date (and optionally, the time) on the lower right of images captured in "Postcard" mode only.
  • Long Shutter: Activates Long Shutter mode, so that it appears in the Function menu.
  • Stitch Assist: Enables the Stitch Assist (panoramic) shooting mode, and lets you designate whether the panorama travels left to right or right to left.

Wireless Menu:

  • Connect/Disconnect: Selects among the registered device configurations in the Canon SD430 to make a WiFi connection.
  • Reg. Target Device: Registers in the camera device configurations other than the included print adapter.
  • Delete Registration: Removes any of the device configurations registered in the camera.
  • Auto Transfer: Toggles the immediate transfer of recorded images.

Setup Menu:

  • Mute: Turns the Canon SD430's beep sounds on and off.
  • Volume: Individually sets Startup, Operation, Self Timer, Shutter, and Playback volumes. Five steps are available for each item, or the sound for each item can be disabled individually.
  • LCD Brightness: Adjust the brightness of the LCD backlight, with 15 steps of control available.
  • Power Saving: Toggles the camera's automatic shutoff function, which turns off the camera after a length of inactivity. Also sets display shutdown time to 10, 20, or 30 seconds, or to 1, 2, or 3 minutes.
  • Time Zone: Sets both a Home and World (away) time zone, so you can simply select one or the other to record date and time settings for that location. Setting a time zone displays a world map with scrollable time zones and major city names for each zone, making it easy to select a location.
  • Date/Time: Sets the camera's internal calendar and clock, as well as the format for dates (mm/dd/yy, dd/mm/yy, or yy/mm/dd).

  • Clock Display: Controls the clock display option, which shows the current time (but not the date) for a period of 0-10, 20 or 30 seconds or for 1, 2 or 3 minutes when the Function key is pressed and held for two seconds. (Handy if you forgot your wristwatch, I guess.) If set to zero, the clock is displayed only while the Function button is held in.
  • Format: Formats the Secure Digital card, erasing all files (even those marked for write-protection). An option is available to do a low-level format of the card.
  • File Numbering: Resets file numbering with each new Secure Digital card when set to Auto Reset. If set to Continuous, the camera continues numbering in sequence, regardless of memory card.
  • Create Folder: Immediately creates a new folder on the memory card to store images or creates the folder at the day and time you specify.
  • Auto Rotate: Toggles Auto Rotate feature on and off. The camera can detect when the camera is held approximately level, or when it is rotated left or right beyond approximately 45 degrees. If you aim the camera vertically up or down, it will remember the orientation before you did so -- hence letting you control which orientation an image is tagged with even for shots where the camera is tilted enough vertically to prevent the sensor working.
  • Language: Sets the camera's menu language to one of a whopping 22 choices. English is the default setting.

  • Video System: Sets the camera's video-out signal to conform to NTSC or PAL timing.
  • Reset All: Resets all non-custom camera settings to their default values.

My Camera Menu

  • Theme: Selects a common theme for each My Camera menu settings item. Four options are available, the first one being Off. When a theme is selected, all of the following settings automatically adjust to that theme. Users can also select and upload their own sounds to the camera.
  • Start-Up Image: Sets the startup image when you turn on the camera to: Black screen, Canon logo, Canon logo with sunset, and nature scene. You can also apply your own image using the Canon software.
  • Start-Up Sound: Sets the startup sound when you turn on the camera to: No sound, Musical tone (1), Musical tone (2), or Birds chirping. You can also apply your own sounds using the Canon software.
  • Operation Sound: Sets the sound when any control or switch is use (except the Shutter button). Options include no sound, Beep, Musical tone, and Chirp.
  • Self-Timer Sound: Sets the sound that signals you when the shutter release is two seconds away. Options include no sound, Fast beeps, Telephone ring, and Howling.
  • Shutter Sound: Sets the shutter sound that you hear when you depress the Shutter button (there is no shutter sound in Movie mode). Options include no sound, Shutter sound, Musical Tone, and Bark.

Playback Menu System: Accessed by pressing the Canon SD430's Menu button in Playback mode, the Playback menu also has subject tabs for the Setup and My Camera menus. Since these were described above, I won't repeat them here.

Playback Menu:

  • Protect: Marks the current image for write-protection, or removes write-protection. Protected images cannot be deleted or manipulated, except through card formatting, which erases all files.
  • Rotate: Rotates the current image. The first press gives a 90 degree clockwise rotation; the second press rotates the image 90 degrees counterclockwise from the original position. On the third press, the image returns to its original orientation. The image data is not actually rotated; the camera actually sets a tag in the EXIF header, hence your software must recognize this tag to be able to recognize the orientation set in-camera.
  • Sound Memo: Records a short sound clip to accompany a captured image.
  • Erase All: Erases all files on the memory card, except protected ones.
  • Slide Show: Automatically plays all captured images in a slide show.
  • Print Order: Determines how many copies of the current image will be printed, with options for creating an index print, imprinting the date and time, and imprinting the file number.

  • Transfer Order: Select images for downloading to your computer.
  • Transition: Select a fade or wipe transition between images as they are displayed or disable the effect.

Print Connection: When you connect the Canon SD430 to a PictBridge, Canon Direct Print, or Bubble Jet Direct-compatible printer, a new menu option is enabled, allowing easy printing to a number of basic paper sizes, all without a computer. A special icon appears in the upper left hand corner, with the word SET right next to it, telling you that to adjust settings, you should press the Set button. You can select not only the size and type of paper, but you can also crop the pictures right in the camera. If you only print one size, full frame, you need only press the Print/Share button and printing of the current image begins immediately.

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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