Canon releases new compact camera nobody asked for

by Haadi Bakar
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I don’t know about you but I personally think that compact digital cameras have no place in the smartphone age.

I look around and see everyone’s perfectly happy with their phone cameras when taking everyday snapshots.

For those looking for a step-up from their smartphone, a mirrorless camera or a DSLR would be obvious choices.

So when Canon announced a new compact digital camera last week, it got me thinking: who would actually buy this?

The Canon PowerShot SX730-HS is a superzoom compact digital camera with a 180 degrees tilting LCD display for selfie mode. Image courtesy of Canon.

The PowerShot SX730 HS isn’t a bad camera at all. The problem is that it’s 2017 and people might not even care it exists.

Sure, the SX730 HS has a 40x zoom lens, something that smartphone cameras can’t replicate (at least not yet). But in most cases, you can get by with a  smartphone by getting closer to the subject.

Of course, optical zoom beats digital any day, but the iPhone 7 Plus’ dual lens camera system has optical zoom, and I’d expect more smartphones will have this feature very soon.

Perhaps the SX730 HS’ 180 degrees tilting LCD display would entice the selfie addicts to buy this camera. But seriously, wouldn’t it be much quicker to just use your phone to take selfies and then share the photos online instantly, rather than going through the trouble of wirelessly transferring the photos from the camera to the phone?

Had the SX730 HS been released five years ago, it would’ve made a fine purchase for consumers who seriously need a step up in their photography game. There’s quite a number of solid tech built inside, from the DSLR-class DIGIC 6 image processor to  to the vast connectivity options (Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and NFC), and the 40x superzoom is something unheard of on a camera in this class.

But most smartphones today take good quality pictures. Hence, carrying a separate camera that’s neither a mirrorless or a dSLR just won’t make any difference in terms of image quality, especially when the compact camera uses a tiny 1/2.3-inch image sensor.

It does shoot at 20 megapixels, but unless you plan on printing your shots (which I doubt you will anytime soon), megapixel count doesn’t really matter. Sensor size does. The bigger the sensor, the better the image quality.

Speaking of sensor size, there are other options in the compact camera category carrying image sensors much larger than Canon’s new point and shoot, such as Sony’s RX100 Mark V and Canon’s G7X Mark II. Both these advance compacts use a 1-inch sensor, though they’re more on the expensive side.

Advanced shooters opt for mirrorless and DSLR cameras primarily for their larger APS-C and Micro Four Thirds sensors, and also their ability to swap lenses. You don’t get any of those with the SX730 HS.

I guess the only benefit I can think of when using the SX730 HS is that its a good backup camera if you want to conserve phone battery and storage space while you’re travelling.

Then again, you might as well get a pocket-sized interchangeable lens camera that’s widely available, or just stick to your phone and have a powerbank and a spare memory card with you.

But if you seriously need a compact digital camera, I’d recommend the pricier RX100 Mark V or Canon’s G7X Mark II over the SX730 HS any day.

If you seriously need a compact digital camera, I’d highly recommend the Sony RX100 V (Above) or the Canon G7X Mark II over the Canon PowerShot SX730-HS. Image courtesy of Sony.

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