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Canon Powershot A570IS
If you managed to catch the Canon A560 review I did a couple of weeks back, you'd notice me mentioning that the camera seemed so incomplete without image stabilization. Now with the A570IS in my grasp featuring everything that the A560 had to offer, along with the much needed optical image stabilization, let's see how well that works out.
A little bulky but elegant is what I would label the A570IS as. Though the design standards stay similar in the whole of Canon's A500 series of digicams, the A570IS looks the classiest of the bunch. This would probably be because of the metallic parts that make an appearance in the otherwise plastic body, and the use of dark shades of gray for the text and the handgrip.
The build quality, overall, is quite sturdy and built to last. The buttons feel firm yet responsive, which is the way it should be.
The top of the A570 consists of the power and shutter release buttons, along with a mode dial. The shutter release button has a ring toggle switch for zooming in and out. I personally find that a lot more convenient than having a switch at the back of the camera for zooming. The mode dial allows you to select between basic shooting modes like portrait, landscape, etc. along with a scene mode where you can select something more specific. You also have a range of manual modes like, well, Manual, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, etc. Even the video shooting mode can be accessed via this dial.
The back of the camera contains the rest of the controls, along with a 2.5 inch LCD display that works pretty well under most lighting conditions. Even when shooting in bright sunlight, the image on the display was clearly visible. The part I really appreciate about this series of cameras is that they come with an optical viewfinder option. It may seem redundant when you have such a nice LCD display, but when you're trying to save the little juice you have in your batteries, shutting down the LCD can really help.
So even though the A570 is a compact camera that may not be the sleekest looking thing in the market today, it does manage to hold its own. But then again, it was never about the looks in this series.
7.1 megapixel resolution and 4x optical zoom is what the A570 boasts right out of the box. The optical image stabilization promises to keep your images blur-free without any deterioration in quality. Add face recognition to it and you have one hell of a combination.
The DIGIC III processor inside aims at producing high quality images with low noise levels. How well does it stand up to its promise can be seen in the performance section of this review.
If its manual control that rocks your boat, then the A570 has enough of it to give you near complete control of your shot. There's manual focus to begin with, which gives you a digitally zoomed look at the subject so you can get your focus right. Moreover, you can adjust the shutter speed and aperture size to get the exposure you want rather than what a 'scene mode' selects for you. Of course there's custom white balance as well for you to always get your colors right, or generally play around with.
Just like Michael Caine said in Batman Begins — "What's the point of all those push-ups if you can't lift a bloody log?". All the impressive specs that the A570 boasts are pretty much useless, if it can't deliver the goods. Thankfully, that isn't the case.
Image sharpness levels in the A570 are pretty good. I won't be able to see the twinkle in the eye of someone standing twenty feet away, but everything else would be pretty well covered. For the sake to nit-picking, I noticed a slight amount of blurring around the edges in some of my images, that too only because I was looking for it.
The A570 handled the colors pretty well in most conditions. The only little problem I noticed was the same as in the A560, it doesn't handle color saturation, caused by excessive light too well. Here too, some reds were being produced as orange and yellow under sharp and direct sunlight. This wasn't a consistent problem however and as you can see from my results, there really isn't a real problem with color reproduction here.
All the speeds were pretty much top notch. The camera shot at around 1.7 FPS in burst mode, which is fast by any consumer model standards. The start-up to shot and shot-to-shot times were also minimal just the way its meant to be.
Canon has tried to cheat its way in the night portrait mode. To avoid image blurring when shooting without flash, it spikes up the ISO sensitivity levels, which results in high amounts of digital noise. But there's always an option of shooting in manual mode using a lower ISO level and higher exposure settings to get the perfect low-light shot like the one below.
The battery life was pretty good too. A pair of alkaline batteries lasted me for around 50 shots, some with flash and some without.
Anyway you look at it, the A570 is an excellent camera. It fills all the missing gaps in the lesser models to make a very strong mid-range camera. Though I personally think that the MRP of Rs. 16,990 is kind of an overkill, I think at the street price of Rs. 15,300 it's well worth it. Perfect for home usage as well as a user who wants to learn more about taking better pictures without shelling big bucks.
Canon Powershot A560
|Dimensions||91 x 64 x 43 mm|
2 x AA
|LCD Type||2.5", 115,000 pixels|
|View Finder||Optical |
|Effective Pixels||7.1 Megapixel|
|ISO Sensitivity||Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600|
|Shutter Speed||15-1/2000 sec|
|Aperture||F2.6 - F5.5|
|Scene Modes||Snow, Beach, Macro, Indoor, Foliage, Aquarium, Fireworks, Kids & pets, Portrait mode|
5 positions plus manual
|Flash||Auto, On, Off, Manual (Red Eye, Slow Sync)|
|Self Timer||2 - 10 secs|
|Video Resolution||640x480 @ 30fps|