Canon PowerShot SX620 HS Review

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Introduction

The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS features a new 25x optically stabilised lens giving a 35mm-equivalent focal length of 25-625mm and slightly faster maximum apertures at either end of the range. Otherwise, the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS offers the same 20.2-megapixel back-illuminated CMOS sensor, DIGIC 4+ processor, continuous shooting speed of 2.5fps, 3-inch 922,000-dot LCD monitor, Wi-Fi connectivity with NFC pairing and Full HD video recording as its predecessor, the SX610 HS. The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS is available in red, black and white and retails for $249.99 / £219.99.

Ease of Use

The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS is essentially almost exactly the same as its predecessor, the SX610 HS, with the biggest change being a longer zoom lens that’s ever so slightly faster in terms of maximum apertures at both ends of the range. It’s also slightly smaller and a whole 9 grams lighter than the previous model (!), battery life has increased slightly to 295 shots, the various buttons and controls are even more tiny, and there’s a slightly larger curved handgrip on the front. Otherwise, very little has changed since 2015’s SX610 camera, so almost all of the comments that we made about the SX610 apply equally to the SX620.

The PowerShot SX620 HS has a large front finger ridge and a more generously-sized rear thumb rest which help make it sit more securely in the hand. This is partly helped by the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS’s relatively chunky dimensions, measuring 96.9 x 56.9 x 27.9 mm and weighing 182g ready-to-shoot complete with battery and memory card.

Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

Front of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

The Canon SX620 has the same 3-inch LCD screen with 922,000-dots as the SX610, and viewing angles and colour accuracy are still top notch. There’s enough brightness to cope with most environments, and though you’ll struggle when shooting under very bright sunlight, such conditions will overpower most compact camera monitors. Sadly, the screen still isn’t touch-sensitive, which will likely confuse and/or infuriate one of this camera’s main target customers, smartphone-users.

Build quality remains high, with premium plastics accented with tactile metal details. There’s also a metal tripod mount – a rare luxury at this price point – and you can choose from black, red and white case colours.

Once again the SX620’s control layout remains the same as the old model. If you’re unfamiliar with recent Canon PowerShot compacts, the most puzzling control will probably be the switch to the right of the thumb rest on the rear. At first glance this appears to toggle between single-frame, burst shooting and video modes, but that’s not actually the case. The lower position of the three is where you’ll want to start, as this is the camera’s default ‘Smart Auto’ shooting mode. In this setting the SX620 HS automatically detects the scene you’re focussing on and adjusts shooting settings accordingly.

Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

If you’d prefer to take control of things like ISO sensitivity and white balance, you can by pressing the ‘FUNC. SET’ button in the middle of the d-pad below and choosing the Program Auto mode from the quick setting menu that pops up. This menu also contains the various scene modes which can be manually selected when photographing tricky subjects like fireworks, night-time or snow scenes. You’ll also find the camera’s six filter effects here.

This limited filter selection may seem a bit stingy when compared to the 10+ styles that some rival cameras contain, but the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS can spice up your shots in other ways. By flicking the mode selector up to the middle position, you can have some fun with Canon’s Creative Shot mode. This feature is included with many Canon compact cameras and instantly captures one standard shot plus an extra five variations of it, each with a different filter effect and crop applied. It’s a useful feature when you want to get creative but don’t fancy wasting time hunting through menus to manually apply different filters.

The top option on the mode switch selects the camera’s Hybrid Auto mode, whereby 2-4 seconds of video is captured before each still image and later combined into a 720p digest movie chronicling your day.

Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

Top of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

Another nifty feature with the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS is Auto Zoom, activated by pressing the directional dial on the rear panel upward. Now when the camera detects a face, it’ll automatically zoom in and out to keep it framed and at a constant size, whether he or she moves to or from the camera. It’s a clever feature that also works when multiple faces are detected, though you’ll need your subject to face the camera directly for best results.

The camera’s Wi-Fi connectivity remains unchanged from the SX610 HS, utilising the same companion Canon Camera Connect mobile app. By pushing the connection button at the bottom of the rear panel, the SX620 HS starts broadcasting a wireless hotspot that’s visible to nearby mobile devices. Simply connect as you would with any other Wi-Fi network, open the Canon app on your smartphone or tablet and you can operate the SX620 HS remotely and download photos from it. If that seems like too much trouble, and you have an NFC-enabled smart device, then you can also tap it against the camera to create a connection. Once connected, a full resolution shot takes around 5 seconds to transfer, and apart from some slight lag when operating the zoom controls, remote shooting is slick and effective.

The Wi-Fi system also enables you to use your smart device to tag the SX620 HS’s images with GPS coordinates. This is less convenient than a proper built-in GPS system as you need to sync the camera to your smartphone and rely on the accompanying app, but at least this method doesn’t drain the camera’s battery like conventional GPS.

Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS In-hand

The Canon SX620 HS uses a higher-capacity 1250mAh rechargeable Li-ion power pack than its predecessor, which in practice means that the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS’s battery life has gone up from 270 to 295 shots-per-charge, at least according to the official CIPA rating.

The battery life can also be eked out to 405 shots by activating Canon’s Eco mode, which conserves power by dimming the display after just a couple of second’s inactivity, and turning it off altogether shortly afterwards. Pressing any button will restore life instantly. The effect is rather like a start/stop system on a modern car and doesn’t seem to have any downsides, providing you don’t have to wait more than a few seconds between composing and shooting your photo.

When it comes to start snapping, the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS fires up and shoots in 1.8 seconds. That’s a tad slower than some cameras, as the lens isn’t particularly quick to extend. Fortunately the camera’s autofocus system doesn’t waste much time as it focuses pretty much instantly in good light and only requires around half a second to find its mark in dimmer conditions.

Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 8Mb.

Noise

The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS has a sensitivity range of ISO 80 to ISO 3200 available at full resolution.

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

iso100.jpg iso200.jpg

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

iso400.jpg iso800.jpg

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (100% Crop)

iso1600.jpg iso3200.jpg
Focal Range

The camera’s 25x optical zoom lens gives you a focal range of 25-625mm (in 35mm-camera terms). Canon’s ZoomPlus feature can double this to 50x without considerable detail loss, whilst an additional 2x conventional digital zoom will give a combined maximum 100x reach, albeit at the expense of image quality.

24mm

focal_range1.jpg

625mm

focal_range2.jpg
Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS handled chromatic aberrations fairly well during the review, with purple and green fringing present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg
Sharpening

We found that the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS images are already very sharp, but do benefit from a little touch up in post processing.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

sharpen1.jpg sharpen1a.jpg
File Quality

The SX620 HS has two JPEG compression options: Fine, where shots consume 4-6MB of car space, and Superfine, resulting in 7-9MB images.

SuperFine (8.19Mb) (100% Crop)

Fine (4.98Mb) (100% Crop)

quality_superfine.jpg quality_fine.jpg
Macro

A 1cm minimum wide-angle focusing distance allows you to get really close to your subject.

Macro

macro.jpg
Flash

The SX620 HS uses a pop-up style flash which needs to be manually ejected. However, this does at least mean that you won’t have to worry about the flash firing when you’re not expecting it.

Shooting a white target from a distance of 1.5 metres at ISO 80 reveals some noticeable wide-angle vignetting. There’s also a hint of red-eye visible when red-eye reduction is disabled, but enable the system via the main menu and red-eye is successfully avoided.

Flash Off – Wide Angle (25mm)

Flash On – Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

Flash Off – Telephoto (625mm)

Flash On – Telephoto (625mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots.

Flash On

flash_on.jpg

Red-eye Reduction

flash_redeye.jpg
Image Stabilisation

Canon’s lens-shift image stabilisation system does a good job of compensating for camera shake. This image required a slow 1/6-second shutter speed at ISO 80, but the photo is still fairly sharp when IS is enabled. Turn it off and there’s no chance of avoiding considerable blur at the same settings.

Anti-Shake Off (100% Crop) Anti-Shake On (100% Crop)
antishake1.jpg antishake1a.jpg
Special Effects

Six filter effects are selectable from the camera’s ‘FUNC.SET’ menu. These are: Fish-eye, Miniature, Toy Camera, Monochrome, Super Vivid, and Poster Effect. All are previewed live and recorded at full resolution.

Fisheye

Miniature

Canon_PowerShot_SX610_HS-Filter1-Fish-eye_Effect.JPG Canon_PowerShot_SX610_HS-Filter2-Miniature_Effect.JPG

Monochrome

Super Vivid

Canon_PowerShot_SX610_HS-Filter4-Monochrome.JPG Canon_PowerShot_SX610_HS-Filter5-Super_Vivid.JPG

Poster Effect

Toy Camera

Canon_PowerShot_SX610_HS-Filter6-Poster_Effect.JPG Canon_PowerShot_SX610_HS-Filter3-Toy_Camera_Effect.JPG

Product Images

Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Front of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Front of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS / Flash Raised
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Side of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Side of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS / Image Displayed
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS / Main Menu
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Top of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Bottom of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
 
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Side of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Side of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Front of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Front of the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Memory Card Slot / Battery Compartment

Specifications

IMAGE SENSOR
Type

1/2.3 type back-illuminated CMOS

Effective Pixels

Approx. 20.2M ¹

Effective / Total Pixels

Approx. 21.1M

Colour Filter Type

Primary Colour

IMAGE PROCESSOR
Type

DIGIC 4+ with iSAPS technology

LENS
Focal Length

4.5 – 112.5 mm (35 mm equivalent: 25 – 625 mm)

Zoom

Optical 25x
ZoomPlus 50x
Digital approx. 4.0x (with Digital Tele-Converter approx. 1.6x or 2.0x).
Combined approx. 100x ¹

Maximum f/number

f/3.2 – f/6.6

Construction

13 elements in 10 groups (1 Hi-UD lens, 2 UD lenses, 1 double-sided aspherical UA lens, 1 double-sided aspherical lenses, 1 single-sided aspherical lens)

Image Stabilisation

Yes (lens shift-type), Approx. 2.5-stop ¹. Intelligent IS plus 4-axis Enhanced Dynamic IS

FOCUSING
Type

TTL

AF System/ Points

AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point), 1-point AF (fixed to centre)

AF Modes

Single, Continuous, Servo AF/AE ¹, Tracking AF

AF Point Selection

Size (Normal, Small)

AF Assist Beam

Yes

Closest Focusing Distance

1 cm (W) from front of lens in Macro

EXPOSURE CONTROL
Metering modes

Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (Centre)

Exposure Compensation

+/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments.
Enhanced i-Contrast for automatic dynamic range correction

ISO sensitivity

AUTO, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200

SHUTTER
Speed

1 – 1/2000 s (factory default)
15 – 1/2000 s (total range – varies by shooting mode)

WHITE BALANCE
Type

TTL

Settings

Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom.

LCD MONITOR
Monitor

7.5 cm (3.0”) LCD (TFT), approx. 922,000 dots, sRGB colour reproduction

Coverage

Approx. 100%

Brightness

Adjustable to one of five levels. Quick-bright LCD

FLASH
Modes

Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro

Slow Sync Speed

Fastest speed 1/2000 s

Red-Eye Reduction

Yes

Flash Exposure Compensation

Face Detection FE, Smart Flash Exposure

Built-in Flash Range

50 cm – 4.0 m (W) / 1.0 m – 2.0 m (T)

External Flash

Canon High Power Flash HF-DC2

SHOOTING
Modes

Hybrid Auto, Creative Shot, SCN (Smart Auto (32 scenes detected), P, Portrait, Smart Shutter (Smile, Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer), High-speed Burst (5.0 MP), Handheld Night Scene, Low Light (5.0 MP), Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Fireworks, Long Shutter)

Photo Effects

My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)

Drive modes

Single, Continuous, Self-Timer

Continuous Shooting

Approx. 2.5 shots/s
High-speed Burst (5.0 MP): Approx. 7.1 shots/s (all speeds are until memory card becomes full) ¹²

RECORDING PIXELS / COMPRESSION
Image Size

4:3 – (L) 5184 x 3888, (M1) 3648 x 2736, (M2) 2048 x 1536, (M) 2592 x 1944, (S) 640 x 480 ¹
16:9 – (L) 5184 x 2912, (M1) 3648 x 2048, (M2) 1920 x 1080, (S) 640 x 360
3:2 – (L) 5184 x 3456, (M1) 3648 x 2432, (M2) 2048 x 1368, (S) 640 x 424
1:1 – (L) 3888 x 3888, (M1) 2736 x 2736, (M2) 1536 x 1536, (S) 480 x 480
Resize option available in playback

Compression

Superfine, Fine

Movies

(Full HD) 1920 x 1080, 29.97 fps, (HD) 1280 x 720, 29.97 fps, (L) 640 x 480, 29.97 fps

Movie Length

(Full HD & HD) Up to 4 GB or 29 min 59 s ¹
(L) Up to 4 GB or 1 hour ²

FILE TYPES
Still Image Type

JPEG compression, (Exif 2.3 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant

Movies

MP4 [Video: MPEG4-AVC / H.264, Audio: MPEG4 AAC-LC (monaural)]

DIRECT PRINT
Canon Printers

Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and Canon Inkjet Printers supporting PictBridge

PictBridge

Yes (via USB or Wireless LAN)

OTHER FEATURES
GPS

GPS via Mobile (via Canon Camera Connect app with compatible smart devices)

Red-Eye Correction

Yes, during shooting and playback

Intelligent Orientation Sensor

Yes, with Auto Rotate

Histogram

Yes, during playback

Playback zoom

Approx. 2x – 10x

Self Timer

Approx. 2, 10 s or Custom

Menu Languages

English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Greek, Norwegian, Portuguese, Russian, Swedish, Spanish, Ukrainian, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Simplified Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Korean, Thai, Arabic, Romanian, Farsi, Hindi, Malay, Indonesian, Vietnamese, Hebrew

INTERFACE
Computer

Hi-Speed USB dedicated connector (Micro-B compatible)

Other

HDMI Micro (Type-D) Connector

Computer/Other

Wi-Fi (IEEE802.11b/g/n), (2.4 GHz only), with Dynamic NFC support ¹

MEMORY CARD
Type

SD, SDHC, SDXC

SUPPORTED OPERATING SYSTEM
PC & Macintosh

Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 SP1 ¹
Mac OS X 10.9 / 10.10 / 10.11
For Wi-Fi connection to a PC:
Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 SP1
Mac OS X 10.9 / 10.10
For Image Transfer Utility:
Windows 10 / 8.1 / 8 / 7 SP1
Mac OS X 10.9 / 10.10 / 10.11

SOFTWARE
Other

CameraWindow DC
Map Utility
Image Transfer Utility
Camera Connect app available on iOS and Android devices

POWER SOURCE
Batteries

Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-13L (battery and charger supplied)

Battery life

Approx. 295 shots
Eco Mode: Approx. 405 shots
Playback Mode: Approx. 360 min

ACCESSORIES
Cases / Straps

Soft Case DCC-1500
Travel Case DCC-2400
Travel Case DCC-2500
PowerShot Accessory Organizer

Flash

High Power Flash HF-DC2

Power Supply & Battery Chargers

Battery Charger CB-2LHE
Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-13L

Other

Interface cable IFC-600PCU

PHYSICAL SPECIFICATIONS
Operating Environment

0 – 40 °C, 10 – 90% humidity

Dimensions (WxHxD)

96.9 x 56.9 x 27.9 mm

Weight

Approx. 182 g (including battery and memory card)

Conclusion

The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS is a decent enough digital camera, but one that is starting to look and feel its age, thanks in no small part to Canon’s decision to essentially leave it unchanged since 2015’s SX610 version. The biggest and almost only upgrade is a longer 25x zoom lens, up from the SX610’s 18x optic, but as we criticised the SX610 in our review for not having a longer lens, Canon are still playing catch-up. That’s quite apart from that fact that the market for this kind of camera has shrunk so much that we’d be surprised to see an SX630 HS any-time soon – despite offering better image quality and a longer zoom, most would-be users of the SX620 HS are happy enough with their smart-phones, especially when they find out that the SX620 HS doesn’t have a touchscreen display and proves laboriously difficult to share photos.

In summary, the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS is a perfectly good example of what has become a dying breed, a situation not helped by the manufacturer’s decision to essentially abandon this sector of the market and chase bigger margins, rather than bigger volumes. Which is a shame, as despite not really been improved in the last couple of years, the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS remains a perfectly good camera that still wipes the floor with most smartphones in terms of image quality…

(photographyblog.com, https://goo.gl/7wt6p9)

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