In Focus: PowerShot SX Series- Part 1

There are many choices of cameras in the market today – mirrorless, full-frame mirrorless, DSLRs, compact and even your smartphone! No matter whether you are a beginner, amateur or professional photographer, selecting the right camera for your need can put you in a dilemma.

The truth is, each of these cameras has its merits and the “right” camera for you really depends on the type of photos that you want to capture and the level of investment you are willing to put into your photography gear. In this article, we look at 5 reasons why the compact camera, also known as the point-and-shoot camera, still remains relevant and robust in today’s imaging landscape.

1. Compact cameras give you sharp and clear photos even in low-light conditions

Shot on PowerShot G7 X Mark III: f/2.2, 1/100 sec, ISO 3200, 34mm (based on 35mm format)

There key to brighter, sharper and clearer photos: sensor size

Sensor Size:
Cameras with bigger sensors allow more light captured, which explains why the quality of photos taken under dim conditions are not compromised. Many compact cameras use at least a 1-inch type sensor (13.2mm x 8.8mm), which is generally larger than your smartphone’s. The flagship PowerShot G1 X Mark III uses an APS-C sensor (22.3mm × 14.9mm), which are found is some DSLRs and mirrorless cameras.

2. You can produce quality videos with ease using a compact camera

Shot on PowerShot SX70 HS: f/6.5, 1/320 sec, ISO 320, 1365mm (based on 35mm format) | Photo credit: jaysheel87

Compact cameras possess multiple focal lengths, giving them the “all-in-one” capability. Whether near or far, no shot is impossible to capture. With these G series and SX series compact cameras, you can photograph really capture majestic landscape, close-ups of flowers or faraway subjects such as wildlife and even the moon!

Shot on PowerShot SX70 HS

f/6.5, 1/400 sec, 1365mm (based on 35mm format), ISO 200 | Photo credit: jaysheel87

Shot on PowerShot SX740 HS

f/6.9, 1/200 sec, ISO 250, 960mm (based on 35mm format) | Photo credit: Katherine

Using the camera’s zoom capability to capture faraway subjects
If you find yourself taking a lot of photos of faraway subjects, choosing a device that gives you optical zoom will do a better job. With optical zoom, the camera lens zooms into your subject. On the other hand, when digital zoom is used, your camera digitally “zooms in” to the image that is already taken. In summary:

OPTICAL ZOOM - The image is magnified by the lens when its movable glass pieces are shiftedto give different focal lengths.
DIGITAL ZOOM - A software in you camera digitally crops the image and enlarges to its original size. Images tend to look pixelated due to interpolation of pixels.

The PowerShot SX70 HS boasts a 65x optical zoom with the ability to push up to 130x digital zoom — providing a reach that is far beyond what a smartphone is capable of.

Using the camera’s wide-angle and macro capabilities
The G series and SX series comes with a widest angle of 21mm (based on 35mm format). The SX series comes with a closest focusing distance of 0cm. What this means is that these compact cameras are capable of capturing wide majestic landscapes and close up objects like flowers with pin-sharp details

Wide Angle Shot

Shot on PowerShot G5 X Mark II: f/4, 1/1600 sec, ISO 125, 50mm (based on 35mm format)

Macro Shot

Shot on PowerShot SX70 HS: f/4, 1/640 sec, ISO 100, 21mm (basesd on 35mm format)

4. Get full control of creativity with a compact camera

If you’re thinking of picking up photography as a hobby, investing in a compact camera is the first step. A compact camera gives you the flexibility to individually adjust settings like aperture, shutter speed, ISO and exposure compensation. A compact camera comes with a variety of modes to help you progress in your journey in learning photography such as:

Program (a semi-automatic mode that automatically sets the aperture and shutter speed for you)
Aperture Priority (a shooting mode that allows you to adjust the degree of bokeh effect)
Shutter Priority (a shooting mode that is useful when you want to “freeze” action or capture motion)
Manual (a shooting mode that gives you complete creative control over your shot)

If you’re unsure how to use these modes, there are plenty of scene modes that helps you achieve amazing shots based on the scenario — fireworks scene, star trails or simply for portraits. These modes will give you the basics to understanding photography better.

Scene Mode: Star Trails

Shot on PowerShot G1 X Mark III: f/2.8, 30 sec, ISO 640, 24mm (based on 35mm format),

5. Get high-quality prints of your photos

What better way to relive your memories than to print out your precious images? Images from your compact camera can be printed on photobooks and on paper sizes as large as A4 without compromising on the details. That’s because images shot using a compact camera have far better quality, thanks to the larger sensor and higher quality lens used.

Conclusion: PowerShot G Series or SX Series?
Both PowerShot G series and SX series are powerful compact cameras that are capable of capturing beauty effortlessly. The chart below summarises the merits of both types of compact cameras offered by Canon to help you decide which series is more suitable for your photography needs:

This article was originally published in Canon SNAPSHOT