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Month: May 2010

Review of the Canon PowerShot SD630 Digital Elph

Review of the Canon PowerShot SD630 Digital Elph

While many people now have digital cameras, there are a few that still haven’t caught up. This digital camera is so easy to use that I would recommend it to anyone who thinks they are too old or too behind in today’s technological advances to use a digital camera. Yet despite being so easy to use, this camera still boasts many excellent features.


This camera is very cute and compact, but it is so much more than that. With 6 megapixels, you definitely have enough to work with later in cropping images and making decent sized prints (how often do you really need prints larger than 16 x 20 inches or so anyway?). The 3x optical zoom is enough for most uses (though unfortunately, you cannot add any attachments to give you more zoom). The scene modes are quite helpful too, especially for those not used to camera settings. This camera even has a movie feature so you can take a quick movie on the go without lugging around your bulky video camera (and yes, the movie feature even plays back the sound on the camera, how cool is that?). There are a lot of great features to this camera, but not so many that the features become overwhelming.

My favorite feature of the Canon PowerShot SD630 Digital Elph, was by far the 3 inch LCD screen. This screen makes it very easy to see what you’re doing. The screen takes up nearly the entire back of the camera (which unfortunately leaves no room for a viewfinder, for those of you who still want that feature). The font sizes on the menus are very reasonable though because of the large screen size (a huge plus for the older generation). And if the screen just isn’t big enough for you to see a small detail of the photo you just took, you can just use the camera’s zoom to zoom in on the picture you just took and see the details (and make sure the photo is clear before you walk away from your subject and lose the opportunity to try another photo later). Also, let’s say you take a variety of vertical photos and horizontal photos. This camera knows when a photo was taken vertically and automatically shows the photo in its proper orientation. A lot of cameras do that nowadays though, so this camera goes even farther

You want to make full use of that screen for vertical photos too? No problem! Just turn the camera vertically and the photo flips so that you can see it full size. I just love that! Canon ensured that this 3 inch screen would be as useful as possible for you.

The thing I’ve always loved about Canon cameras, are all the scene modes. Scene modes take out the guess work for shooting in various settings. Instead of actually having to know something about photography and switching the camera to manual mode, you can just use a scene mode. Taking a portrait? Use portrait mode! Want to take a photo at night? There’s a scene mode for that too! Taking photos of kids and pets? Use the “kids and pets” mode. While this camera doesn’t boast as many scene modes as the Canon video cameras do, it certainly has enough for the average user. In addition to the scene modes, you can just put the camera in automatic or manual mode as well. Manual allows you to change things such as the exposure, white balance (sunny, cloudy, fluorescent, tungsten, etc.), colors (your traditional sepia and black and white, and also things like adjusting for lighter or darker skin tones), and metering as well. While the manual features don’t compare to an SLR, there are probably many more manual features on this camera than on your old film point-and-shoot.

All the features in the world won’t help you though if the camera isn’t easy to use. This camera is definitely very easy to use. You just turn on the camera, decide if you want to take pictures, shoot a movie clip, or look at photos you’ve already taken. You can easily go through the list of scene modes or just shoot in automatic. The movie clip feature is also boasts several features. You can shoot movies at TV quality (640×480, which if you don’t have an LCD TV yet, appears very nice) or smaller as well for just posting short movies online. You can still change the white balance and the colors for videos as well. Looking at photos and movies you’ve taken is easy. Just flip through the images to what you want to see. You can even delete photos right on the camera (now there’s something you certainly never could do with your old film camera!). There’s really no need to even read the manual on this camera it’s so simple to use. The features tend to be pretty self explanatory as you’re going through the menus.

Of course, every camera has its limits. There were a few things I didn’t like about this camera or that I thought others probably wouldn’t like. This camera doesn’t have a viewfinder, which for me is not a problem as I always hated using a viewfinder. However, some people really like their viewfinder and have to have one instead of just having a screen. If that’s the case for you, there are still many digital cameras out there that have viewfinders as well. My biggest problem with it was that I’m so used to shooting with Nikon cameras, that I found the macro on this camera inferior. For most people, the macro on this camera is probably going to be just fine. If you’re buying this camera solely to take photos of flowers, insects, and small objects, I’d recommend something else. Another thing I found fault with, is that you’re not given any opportunity to add attachments. Even on point-and-shoot cameras sometimes I like to be able to add attachments such as filters. I suppose the color features in this camera are supposed to make up for the lack of any ability to add filters. However, if you’d really like to add attachments to your camera, I’d recommend going with something else. There are several cameras out there that do have threads to add attachments. Overall however, I found that this camera was a very good camera for the average user.

If you’re still afraid of digital cameras and don’t yet have one, consider this one. This camera is unbelievably easy to learn and use. Even if you’ve been using a digital camera for awhile now and you’re just looking to upgrade, this is a nice camera and should serve you well. This camera fits easily into your purse or pocket so that you can take it along for all of your vacations, family gatherings, and other events. There are enough features on this camera for it to be really useful, but not so many features that you’ll be overwhelmed. I would highly recommend looking into this camera if you’re considering buying a digital point-and-shoot.