• SPECIFICATIONS
  • Sensor: 1/2.3 inch High Sensitivity CMOS Sensor
  • Resolution: 20.3MP
  • Zoom Range: 40x (equiv. 960mm)
  • Display: 3.0 inch LCD Display
  • Connectivity: WiFi, NFC
  • Storage: SD Card
  • Pros:
  • 40x zoom
  • Compact
  • Cons:
  • Image stabilisation decreases as you zoom in more

A Small Camera With Big Aspirations

DSLRs and mirrorless camera are all the rage these days, but what if you just wanted a simple compact solution that isn’t complicated to operate? Sure, your smartphone might provide a decent option, but not all smartphones these days have that great of a shooter. This is where the Canon SX720 HS comes in.

There aren’t many compact cameras around today that can boast that they have a 40x optical zoom that’s equivalent to 960mm, but the SX720 HS does just that. It sports a 1/2.3 inch sensor, with an effective pixel count of 20.3MP. Measuring in at just 38mm in thickness, the camera is compact enough to be carried around in a handbag, perfectly lightweight that it won’t add any additional heft at all, be it to your handbag or backpack.

One of the features that is touted by Canon on the SX720 HS is its 40x zoom. As mentioned earlier, this is equivalent to a 960mm zoom on an APS-C sensor. This is super useful if you’re thinking of taking shots of things that are very far away, but as you zoom towards the 40x magnification, you’ll begin to notice that the image stabilisation starts to become more and more erratic.
That being said, at 40x zoom, sometimes it’s easy to lose track of the subject that you’re trying to capture, and here, Canon has added a button that allows you to zoom back to search for the subject, and when the button is released, the lens will zoom back to its last position.

As far as functionality is concerned, the SX720 HS is a pretty straight forward camera. It’s got a number of buttons and dials for easy access of various functions, and sports both WiFi and NFC connectivity, making it easy to transfer photos from your camera to your smartphone if needed.

Image quality-wise, the camera takes pretty good shots when you’re out in the open, and when it’s bright. For the most part, photos look colourful, with details intact even if the weather is somewhat overcast. The challenge for the SX720 HS comes in when it’s dark however, as pictures do turn up to be somewhat grainy when the ISO count is bumped up to compensate for the lack of lighting.

Another complaint is that it is difficult to get sharp photos at the end of the 40x zoom if you’re not using a tripod to keep the camera steady, so if you see yourself using the zoom function a lot, we highly recommend that you keep one around for steadier shots.

CHIP CONCLUDE: The Canon SX720 HS is a compact camera that is impressive in more ways than one. Its compact design makes it easy to keep even in the smallest of compartments, while the image quality is great if you’re shooting casually when you’re out and about.

(previously published in issue July 2016)

Canon SX720 HS