Basic Specifications
Full model name: Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Resolution: 20.20 Megapixels
Sensor size: 1/2.3 inch
(6.2mm x 4.6mm)
Lens: 25.00x zoom
(25-625mm eq.)
Viewfinder: No / LCD
Native ISO: 80 - 3200
Extended ISO: 80 - 3200
Shutter: 1/2000 - 15 seconds
Max Aperture: 3.2
Dimensions: 3.8 x 2.2 x 1.1 in.
(97 x 57 x 28 mm)
Weight: 6.4 oz (182 g)
Availability: 06/2016
Manufacturer: Canon
Full specs: Canon SX620 HS specifications
20.20
Megapixels
25.00x zoom 1/2.3 inch
size sensor
image of Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Front side of Canon SX620 HS digital camera Front side of Canon SX620 HS digital camera Front side of Canon SX620 HS digital camera Front side of Canon SX620 HS digital camera Front side of Canon SX620 HS digital camera

Canon SX620 Review -- First Impressions

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Preview posted:

Canon SX620 Review -- Product Image

Back at the start of 2015, Canon replaced its affordable, no-frills pocket zoom camera with a newer model, the PowerShot SX610 HS. Now that camera reaches the end of its life, and the Canon SX620 arrives in its stead, replacing the earlier camera with one offering an even more powerful zoom lens in a body the company says will still "easily fit in a pocket or purse".

The Canon SX620 HS sports a powerful 25 to 625mm-equivalent, 25x optical zoom lens, up from a 25 to 450mm-equivalent, 18x zoom in the SX610. (Actual focal lengths on the new lens range from 4.5 to 112.5mm.) This new optic means you'll still have access to the very same, fairly generous wide angle as before, but you'll now get the benefit of a significantly more powerful telephoto -- although you're going to need to crank up the sensitivity or shoot in good light to take advantage of all that extra reach.

That's because the Canon SX620's lens isn't the brightest optic around, although admittedly it's rather brighter than that in the preceding model. The SX620 HS' maximum aperture starts off from f/3.2 at wide angle and falls to f/6.6 at the telephoto position, which compares well to the even dimmer f/3.8-6.9 optic in the earlier camera.

Of course, the availability of Canon's Intelligent IS image stabilization system will help out with steadying your shots, especially at longer focal lengths, reducing the blur from camera shake. However, there's nothing the stabilization can do to freeze subject motion, and so at the dim telephoto end of the range you'll have to rely on raising sensitivity (at the expense of increased noise levels) if you want sharply-rendered subjects in less-than-optimal lighting. That, or you can back the zoom off some, and live with a less tightly-framed image but a brighter aperture.

Canon SX620 Review -- Product Image

One fairly interesting and unusual feature that should help users take advantage of the Canon SX620' far-reaching optic is carried over from the earlier SX610. Coupling face detection and zoom control, the SX620 will automatically control the zoom so as to keep your primary subject's face at a constant size, even as they move towards or away from the camera. Although we've not had an opportunity yet to try this for ourselves, it seems to be a handy function that will let you choose how large you want your subject in the image frame just once, and then let the camera itself do all the tricky work for you.

The Canon SX620 HS' lens not surprisingly dominates its front panel, with the lens bezel stretching right from top to bottom of the camera body. Overall, the styling and basic layout is very similar to that of the SX610, although the front grip is now a bit more generous to promote a steadier hold on the camera, and the rear grip now has a level surface with a larger textured pad that surrounds the entire mode switch. A couple of rear-panel controls have also moved to different buttons, but by and large, if you're familiar with the earlier camera you'll be right at home here too.

Underneath its skin, things are even more similar between the Canon SX620 HS and its predecessor. It has the exact same imaging pipeline, pairing a high-resolution 20.2-megapixel, 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensor with a DIGIC 4+ image processor, and you'll frame and review your creations on a 3.0-inch, 922,000-dot LCD monitor.

Canon SX620 Review -- Product Image

The basic exposure modes are also carried over intact from the earlier camera, and since this is a camera aimed at beginners with no photographic experience, the Canon SX620 aims to keep things very simple indeed. Manual and priority-mode shooting aren't possible, and instead Canon has emphasized clever tech such as its Smart AUTO and Creative Shot modes.

Smart AUTO mode will choose all exposure variables automatically for you based on an analysis of the scene, and then turn out a relatively straightforward photo much as you'd expect. Creative Shot mode will also handle everything manually, but it will capture six images at a time, crop them automatically for what the camera believes to be a pleasing selection of compositions, and then overlay them with automatically-selected filters that should please the Instagram crowd.

You don't get to choose these filters, incidentally, but you can at least select the overall style -- either Retro, Monochrome, Special ("bold and distinctive," says Canon), or Natural. Or you can let the Canon SX620 HS have free rein in choosing any of the filters by itself.

ISO sensitivity ranges from 80 to 1600 in Smart AUTO, or can be set from 80 to 3200 in Program mode; shutter speeds range from 15 to 1/2000 second, there is up to +/-2 EV of exposure compensation available, and metering modes include evaluative, center-weighted and spot.

Canon SX620 Review -- Product Image

Another function held over from the SX610 is the Canon SX620's Hybrid Auto mode. This captures not just still images, but also up to four seconds of video from before each image was captured. At the end of the day, these brief video clips are combined into a single, longer video that recaps your day's shooting -- or at least, the moments immediately before each shot.

And speaking of video, just as in its predecessor, the Canon SX620 will also shoot Full HD video clips suitable for viewing on your high-definition TV. That's 1080p, or 1,920 x 1,080 pixels, if you want exact dimensions. You can also shoot 720p (1,280 x 720) and VGA (640 x 480) resolutions, all at 30 (29.97) frames per second as with the preceding model. Video format is MP4 using MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 encoding with MPEG-4 AAC-LC monaural audio.

Also like its predecessor, the PowerShot SX620 can shoot bursts of stills at up to 2.5 frames per second in Auto and Program mode, but has a High-speed Burst mode rated at just over seven frames per second, however no information on buffer depths was provided.

Finally, the Canon SX620HS also retains its predecessor's built-in Wi-Fi and NFC wireless communications support. In plain English, you'll be able to transfer images from the camera to your Android or iOS smartphone or tablet with a minimum of fuss and no cables at all. (And if you own Canon's Connect Station CS 100 storage device, you'll also be able to transfer the photos there, again without a single cable.) Remote control of the camera from your mobile device is also supported using Canon's free Camera Connect App.

The NFC radio means that Android users will be able to simplify the task of getting their camera and phone talking to each other. Setup will be slightly more involved for iPhone / iPad users, but that's entirely Apple's fault since it doesn't allow third-parties to use the NFC radios in its devices. And once connected, Canon says the Wi-Fi function will now be easier to work with, as since there's now a standalone button for this feature, you don't have to switch to playback mode before you hit the Wi-Fi button to start transferring images.

Canon SX620 Review -- Product Image

Images and videos are stored on SD cards including SDHC and SDXC types, and the camera includes a Micro USB port for wired data transfer as well as a Micro (Type D) HDMI port for viewing on your HDTV.

The Canon SX620 is powered by a proprietary NB-13L lithium-ion battery pack, and a dedicated battery charger is included in the bundle. The SX620 is CIPA-rated for 295 shots on a charge, but that can be extended to about 405 shots in ECO mode. This is up slightly from the SX610's battery life of 270 and 400 shots respectively, but it used a different NB-6L battery pack.

List price for the Canon SX620 HS is set at around US$280 -- some $30 more than was the preceding model at launch some 16 months ago -- and three body colors will be available. From late June 2016, you'll be able to purchase the Canon SX620HS in black, red or silver-bodied versions.

 

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