Canon PowerShot A570IS
- Brilliant pictures, Image stabilisation works very well, Face detect technology
- Nothing of note
Canon's A570IS is a brilliant advanced camera, combining exceptional image quality with all the features you'd expect. It packs in two technologies, image stabilisation and face detect, that are sure to make an impression on consumers.
Price$ 449.00 (AUD)
Canon's PowerShot line of cameras usually impresses, and the A570IS is no different. A nice return to form for the camera giant, after the rather lackluster , the A570IS is one of the best mid-range, advanced cameras on the market. It combines the usual Canon functionality with superb image quality and Canon's relatively new face detect focus mode, making a brilliant all-purpose consumer camera.
Traditionally, Canon cameras have been renowned for their image quality and in this regard the A570IS certainly impressed. When we opened up our preliminary test shots we were greeted by clean, smooth edges and great detail. The pictures were consistently sharp and crisp, showing that not only is the sensor excellent, but the image stabilisation technology works very well. Normally our outdoors tests return several blurry shots in amongst the clearer pictures, but we encountered none when using the A570IS. For those who find hand shake a problem, the image stabilisation (IS) on this model is an ideal solution.
Imatest backed up this result, awarding the A570IS a score of 1525 in its sharpness test. This is a strong result, and is consistent with other 7.1 megapixel cameras on the market. Similarly, it's score of .67% in Imatest's chromatic aberration test was very impressive. Most cameras score quite a bit higher than this and it's been a long time since we've had an advanced model do this well, so we were extremely pleased with the result. Our shots showed only minor fringing, which wasn't noticeable unless you zoomed right in.
As usual, the A570IS's colour results were impressive, with the camera posting a score of 6.01 in Imatest's colourcheck test. Most colours were accurate, with only the standard errors in the red spectrum detracting from the otherwise extremely well balanced photographs.
In our image noise tests, the A570IS performed slightly worse than in the other areas, but it was still about average. With an Imatest score of .85% for noise, it was roughly on par with most other units we've looked at lately. There was some minor, extremely fine speckling across our shots, but it wasn't large enough to really detract from their overall look and won't have an impact at smaller magnifications.
As this is an advanced model, you'd expect it to have a bevy of features and as usual Canon has packed in a fairly strong array of them. As mentioned, ISO sensitivities extend up to 1600. Shutter speeds from 15 seconds to 1/2000th of a second are on offer, along with apertures of f/2.6 to f/8. The burst mode snaps shots are a little over 2.5 frames a second and all the standard white balance presets are included, along with a custom mode.
The real gem in the features list is the new face detect technology, which Canon has just begun to pack into their new compact and advanced models. At the touch of a button you can tell the camera to detect any faces in the picture and make them the focus point. It is extremely effective. In our testing, it successfully differentiated between a tiger's face and a person's face, and furthermore, as you move the camera around, the little focus crosshair actually moves with you, following the face. This is a brilliant inclusion. The majority of photos taken by the average consumer involve people, and by not only making sure they are always the focus of the shots but also allowing users to see the tracking in action, Canon has created a brilliant, consumer friendly technology.
In our speed tests, the A570IS performed fairly well. Its shutter speed of .08 of a second was about average, but it's 1.9 second power up time was quite impressive. With a delay of just 1.1 seconds between shots, the A570IS will be more than speedy enough for most people's needs.
The A570IS follows the standard PowerShot design, with a slightly chunky, jutting hand grip and a silver plastic body. It isn't the sturdiest unit we've seen, as there is little metal in the construction, but it should survive some rough treatment. The controls and interface will be familiar for regular Canon users, with a five-way directional pad used to navigate the two separate menus; one for picture options (ISO, white balance etc) and one for everything else (format, reset etc). The controls are a little cramped for our liking, but they shouldn't pose too many problems. Measuring 89.5mm x 64.3mm x 42.8mm and weighing 175g, the A570IS is a little smaller than some previous PowerShot models.
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