Canon PowerShot SX530 HS 16 Megapixel Compact Camera 9779B001 31
What had impressed me most about this camera is its 50 power optical zoom lens, giving the near equivalent to a 1200 mm telephoto lens. I enjoy nature photography, and this promised to be a huge improvement over the very capable 300 mm lens on my Canon SLR. Just for kicks I aimed the camera out my kitchen window toward car parked in its driveway a block away. The license plate came in sharp, easily readable filling a large portion of the frame. “Wow,” I exclaimed out loud, even though I was alone, with no one nearby to hear my excitement. I couldn’t wait to take this baby to the San Diego Zoo.
But first I thought it prudent to spend a little time reading the manual for my new toy. At the top of page 3 there was a suggestion to download the electronic (PDF) version of the manual and software. The URL provided was http://www.canon.com/icpd/. To my surprise and chagrin that only led to a 404 error, no such page. It surprised me that Canon could make such a blunder, but the next logical approach was to simply Google “cannon manual sx530 hs.” Bingo. Google found it in an instant, and I was able to download the 169 page manual quickly. “Wow,” again I thought, “with a 169 page manual, this is going to be more than a simple point an shoot camera.” A quick perusal of the manual impressed me more. This is a feature rich camera at a bargain basement price.
Ok, so off we go to the San Diego Zoo. First stop was the flamingos. I wanted to try out the zoom feature of this camera’s lens. Each of the following shots were taken from the same exact vantage point, using a tripod. The images are untouched, with the exception that I used Paint Shop Pro to reduce the images to 800×600, and then ran each through the compressor at TinyPNG.com. The purpose in doing so was simply to reduce the file size for use on the web.This process reduced the file size on the wide angle image from 6.8 MB to 116 KB. The zoomed image was reduced from 2.53 MB to just 32.9 KB.
The two closeups are at the camera’s 100x digital zoom. Excellent. This camera offers up to 200x digital zoom, which I’ll explore later. The image quality at 100x, however, is awesome considering how far I was from the subject. The bird below was one of those in the photo above on the far side of that little island, just below that brown bird on the opposite shore. There are actually two birds in this shot, as you can better see in the second photo below.
The camera’s auto focus left the closer of the two flamingos sharp, with some bokeh on her neighbor:
The result of this test of the Canon SX530 zoom capability is pretty impressive. I’m thrilled with my small investment in this camera. If you are looking for an inexpensive, light weight, walk-around camera, this has to be one of the best on the market.
That said, I must advise you that each of these shots were taken by manually pressing the shutter button. It was a little tricky at this magnification since pressing the button introduces some camera shake. Even with the built-in image stabilization feature, I had to take several shots to get ones I could use. Others were blurry. I found myself wishing for a remote shutter control.
Wish fulfilled. Canon has solved this little problem in a very big way, by providing built-in a WI-FI access point in the camera. Using Canon’s free “Camera Connect” iPad or iPhone app, you can access images on the camera, handle remote shooting, and even create a location log.
This is one very cool camera, well worth the small investment. And I have yet to really give it a workout.