Canon powershot sx720 hs

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Review

Canon’s latest superzoom travel compact camera, the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS, features a 40x optical zoom lens, which is an equivalent of 24-960mm in 35mm terms. A digital zoom (called Zoom Plus) of 80x is also available. A further digital zoom of 120x can also be used. It also has a 1/2.3-inch type back-illuminated CMOS sensor which has 20.3 million pixels. The sensor is joined by a Digic 6 processor. Other features include Full HD video recording at 1080p, inbuilt Wi-Fi and NFC and a rear 3.0-inch, 922k-dot LCD screen. The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS is a replacement for the SX710, which featured a 30x optical zoom. Its main competitor in this sector of the market is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ80 which features a 30x optical zoom. The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS retails fpr £299 / $379.

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS has a slim design, which is pretty remarkable when you consider that it features a 40x optical zoom housed within a relatively small body. You can slip the SX720 into your pocket, so long as you don’t have very tight jeans on.

Canon has gone for a brushed metal look which makes the SX720 look stylish, while the rounded corners of the camera body also add to an overall sleek appearance.

On the front of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS is a rubberised grip section which your middle finger rests along. It helps the camera to fit snugly in your grip and gives you confidence that you’re not going to drop it. On the back of the camera there’s also a small textured area just next to the mode dial where your thumb rests naturally.

Front of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS

The button layout on the SX720 is relatively simple and straightforward - especially so if you’ve ever used a Canon compact camera before. On the top of the camera is the shutter release button, which is surrounded by a zoom rocker. There’s also an on/off switch, along with a video record button.

On the left hand side of the top plate you’ll find the inbuilt flash, but when you want to use this, you’ll need to eject it from its housing using a switch on the side of the camera. Just underneath this switch and back a little bit you’ll find the Zoom Frame Assist button. This is a very useful feature, especially for a camera which features such a high optical zoom.

Basically, if you’re photographing something while using the zoom (whether at the full 40x stretch or a more modest focal length) and the subject moves out of the frame, you hold down the zoom frame assist button and the lens will zoom out, allowing you to find the subject again. Release the button and the lens will automatically return to the same focal length you’d just been using - it’s much quicker than using the zoom rocker switch.

Rear of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS

Moving to the back of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS and there’s a familiar Canon button layout. At the top of the back there’s a mode dial which allows you to switch between the various exposure modes on offer. Like with the previous generation of this camera, the SX720 offers manual and semi-automatic control - you can find P/Av/Tv/M modes on the dial. There’s also Auto, Hybrid Auto, Live, Scene, Creative Shot, and Movie mode. We’ll go through some of these modes further on in the review.

Underneath the mode dial is the playback button and a button which you use to directly access the Wi-Fi mode on the SX720. Underneath this is a navigational pad, which has four directional keys surrounded by a small dial. Each of the keys has a specific function assigned to it, for example up allows access to exposure compensation, left is used for changing the focusing mode, down for accessing the timer (or delete in playback), and right is for changing the flash mode. The dial is used when altering a setting - for example if you first press the up button to access exposure compensation, you can then move the dial to increase or decrease exposure compensation.

The dial is also used when altering shutter speed or aperture depending on the shooting mode that you’re using. If you’re shooting in manual mode, you’ll need to press the up key (marked as exposure compensation)to switch between altering shutter speed and aperture.

Top of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS

In the middle of the navigational area is a function/set button. Press this while in shooting mode and a quick or function menu will appear which gives you the opportunity to change all the most commonly settings, such as ISO, white balance, aspect ratio and so on.

Finally, the last two buttons are an info button which changes the information displayed when either in shooting or playback mode, and a Menu button which gives you access to the main menu - you can use this when the quick menu isn’t enough, for example if you have to change the date or time settings.

Although the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS affords you semi-automatic or manual control, you can’t shoot in raw format. That’s perhaps a little disappointing for this camera, but it’s not that much of a surprise. It would be nice if for the next generation of the camera, you could shoot raw format though - it would be a much more appealing camera to enthusiasts looking for a travel compact camera.

Side of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS

Hybrid Auto is a fun mode which has been included on several Canon compact cameras before. Basically, it creates a two-second video before you take each shot (it starts recording from the moment you half press the shutter, but only saves the two seconds preceding the shot). At the end of a calendar day the camera will amalgamate all the shots together into a video - it’s great for holidays, wedding, occasions and so on, as you not only have the shots you’ve taken, but a video clip you can watch too. However, it’s not perfect - it would be nice for example if you could edit which clips end up in the final video. It would also be nice if you could switch on this video capture when shooting in manual or semi-automatic modes - just because you’ve taken manual control doesn’t necessarily preclude you from wanting this fun video.

Creative Shot mode is a fun way to experiment with how your images will look. Move the mode dial to this mode, and every time you take a shot, the camera will apply five different crops, filters, or combinations thereof to your image. You don’t have a choice over which crops or edits are made, but you can choose from groups of different options, including “Auto”, “Retro” and “Monochrome”.

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS In-hand

It’s not possible to change the autofocus point for the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS, which seems like a bit of an oversight for something which otherwise affords such a high level of manual control. You can choose the centre point, or switch on Tracking AF or Face AiAF which chooses a spot for you, giving priority to any faces in the shot.

Focusing is quick in day (or good) light, dropping a little more when you’re shooting in lower light. There’s a focusing light that will assist if it’s really dark, and it’s pretty rare for the camera to display a false confirmation of focus.

Start-up takes a couple of seconds, possibly because of the physical limitations of extending such a long lens at speed. Shot-to-shot time is pretty speedy though, while general operational speeds are also good.

Next Page Image Quality »

Canon SX720 HS review - | Cameralabs

Canon’s PowerShot SX720 HS is the company’s flagship pocket super-zoom camera. Announced in February 2015 it’s the successor to the year-old SX710 HS. The SX720 HS shares the same 20 Megapixel resolution and 1080 / 60p movie mode as its predecessor, but extends the optical zoom range from 30x to 40x while maintaining virtually the same body size.

The new zoom features a range equivalent to 24-960mm, allowing it to out-gun the 30x / 24-720mm of its arch rival, the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60. Canon’s secret in accommodating the long range in the small body is greater use of UHD (ultra-high dispersion) glass elements. However, unlike the Lumix which manages to squeeze-in an electronic viewfinder, the Canon entirely relies on its screen for composition. And the screen on the Lumix is touch-sensitive, whereas the Canon is not. As before the best-quality movie mode is 1080 / 60p, although again Panasonic has taken the higher ground by equipping the TZ80 / ZS60 with 4k capabilities and the chance to extract 8 Megapixel stills from footage.

Overall while the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 has arguably the better overall specification, many buyers in this market are simply after the longest zoom in the smallest and most affordable body and the SX720 HS certainly zooms longer and comes in cheaper than the Panasonic. Is it really all about the zoom, or is the Lumix a better all-round travel zoom that’s worth the extra? Read my full review to find out.


Canon PowerShot SX720 HS design and controls

The PowerShot SX720 HS is a little boxier than its predecessor; the sloping top panel is now flat, the curves have been straightened and the corners squared. Impressively, Canon has managed to maintain the same weight and slightly reduce the dimensions of the new model which at 110x64x36mm and 270g is also marginally smaller and lighter than the Panasonic Lumix TZ80 / ZS60.

So full marks to Canon for squeezing a 40x zoom into a smaller body than the earlier 30x model, but don’t forget the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 boasts an electronic viewfinder and a touch screen, so it too deserves credit for its compactness.

With a such a massive zoom range in such a compact body, comfort is all important – at longer zoom ranges you need to be able to hold the PowerShot SX720 HS nice and steady. Improvements to the grip surfaces help here – there’s a simplified grippier soft strip on the front of the camera and a new thumb pad to the left of the mode dial on the rear. The thumb pad could be bigger – it’s a bit of a squeeze to fit your thumb between the mode dial and the screen, but it’s better that nothing.

Though the body shape has changed, the control layout remains broadly similar. The on/off and movie record buttons on the top panel are now recessed, making them less prone to accidental activation. On the rear panel the buttons are all in the same place, though some have been relabelled and function slightly differently. The display button is now called Info, but toggles display overlays as before. The dedicated button for connecting to your phone via Wifi now has a Wifi antenna icon instead of a phone and can be used to connect to other devices as well as a smartphone. And the top position of the rear dial now offers album and event playback options.


The USB port and mini HDMI connector are located behind a plastic flap on the left side of the body. The Canon battery is charged using an external AC charger, supplied with the camera; sadly unlike the Panasonic and Sony, there’s no in-camera charging over USB, a feature I find particularly useful on a camera designed for travel.

The SX720 HS is powered by the NB-13L Lithium Ion pack which Canon estimates is good for 250 shots, fewer than its rivals, but if you’re prepared to put up with the screen darkening after a couple of seconds and switching off after ten seconds, then the camera switching off altogether after three minutes of activity, the ECO mode will stretch a fully charged battery to a very respectable 355 shots.


Before we move on to talk about the lens there’s one other button on the PowerShot SX720 HS that you need to know about and that’s the Framing Assist Seek button. Holding this button down temporarily zooms out so you can get your bearings before releasing the button and zooming back to exactly where you were; it’s particularly useful for keeping track of moving subjects. It also has some other clever features that I’ll talk about in the Shooting Experience section below.

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS lens and stabilisation

The headline feature of the PowerShot SX720 HS is of course its 40x optical zoom. With an equivalent range of 24-960mm it starts at the same super-wide angle focal length as the Lumix TX80 / ZS60, but extends 25 percent further at the telephoto end of the range with a maximum equivalent zoom of 960mm compared with 720mm on the Lumix. Below you can see the extent of the PowerShot SX720 HS’s range.

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS coverage, wide & tele


Above: Canon PowerShot SX720 HS at 4.3mm (24mm equivalent) and at 172mm (960mm equivalent)


Above left: Canon PowerShot SX720 HS at 172mm (960mm equivalent). Above right: Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 at 129mm (720mm equivalent)

Both the PowerShot SX720 HS and Lumix TZ80 / ZS80 have a maximum aperture at the wide angle setting of f3.3, not particularly bright, but the norm for super-zoom lenses. The Canon closes to f6.9 when fully zoomed compared with f6.4 for the Lumix, but if you zoom the SX720 HS to the 720mm maximum of the TZ80 / ZS60 it closes to the same f6.4.

What does this mean in practice? Well, for low light shooting there’s not much to choose between the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 and the PowerShot SX720 HS. In similar situations, for example shooting in low light while zoomed in, you’ll face similar problems – selecting a sufficiently fast shutter speed to avoid camera shake while at the same time trying to avoid raising the sensitivity so high that it compromises quality.

You’ll also get similar results if you’re trying to throw backgrounds out of focus by selecting a large aperture to reduce the depth of field. Here the PowerShot SX720 HS has a slight advantage in two respects; it can zoom in further, producing a slightly blurrier background, and it can get a little closer for macro shots. But for portraits at middling focal lengths, there’s really not much difference between the two. Below I’ve included a pet portrait example shot with both cameras at approximately the same focal length at the widest available aperture, which is pretty much equivalent on both cameras throughout the zoom range. As you can see, neither the Powershot SX720 HS nor the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 are capable of blurring the background very much.


Above: Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Aperture Priority 1/100 f5 80 ISO 16.54mm (92mm equivalent)


Above: Panasonic Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 Aperture priority 1/80, f4.9, 80 ISO, 16.1mm (89mm equivalent)

At longer focal lengths depth of field becomes shallower, so there’s more opportunity to throw the background out of focus. In the next example the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 is first. I zoomed it to its maximum 720mm equivalent focal length and set the maximum f6.4 aperture in Aperture Priority mode. I then attempted to match the focal length and aperture on the PowerShot SX720 HS and shot the same scene. In the absence of a focal length readout on the SX720 HS (The Lumix has one) I attempted to match the framing and, as it turns out, I was a little bit short of the mark, nonetheless I think these examples show that at longer focal lengths, though you can blur the background more, there’s not much to chose between the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 and the PowerShot SX720 HS.

That’s not the end of the story though, The PowerShot SX720 HS can of course zoom in further than the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60, to a maximum 960mm equivalent. The third example below shows how that looks. Despite the lens closing to f6.9 at this focal length, you can get a blurrier background than on either model at 720mm equivalent.


Above: Panasonic Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 Aperture priority 1/160, f6.4, 200 ISO, 129mm (720mm equivalent)


Above: Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Aperture Priority 1/125 f6.3 200 ISO 110mm (613mm equivalent)


Above: Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Aperture Priority 1/125 f6.9 200 ISO 172mm (960mm equivalent)

The SX720 HS is equipped with image stabilisation which shifts the lens elements to compensate for camera movement. To test it I took a sequence of shots at progressively slower shutter speeds with the lens zoomed to its maximum 960mm focal length. As you can see from the crops below, the SX720 HS can take sharp hand-held shots at speeds down to 1/25, that’s a very impressive five stops of stabilisation over what I needed to handhold the same result without stabilisation.

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Image Stabiliser off / on


Above left: 100% crop, 4.3-172mm at 172mm, 1/25, 400 ISO, IS off. Above right: 100% crop, 4.3-172mm at 172mm, 1/25, 400 ISO, IS on

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS movie modes

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS retains the same movie options as the earlier SX710 HS. It can record Full HD movies with stereo sound and control over the optical zoom while you’re filming. The best quality mode is 1080/60p with 1080/30p 720/30p and VGA also at 30fps. There’s a dedicated movie mode on the dial, but you can actually start recording video from any mode by simply pressing the red record button on the back. This may sound like it renders the movie mode position on the dial redundant, but selecting it puts the screen into 16:9 mode for more accurate framing, unlocks the 60p option, and also allows selection of Short Clip and iFrame modes from the Func. Set menu. Canon recommends using an SD memory card rated at Class 6 or quicker for movies. The maximum recording time is when the file reaches a second shy of half an hour or 4GB in size, or of course if the battery runs out first.

Note that slow motion options available on earlier models were dropped on the earlier SX710 HS, presumably due to a limitation of the higher resolution sensor; if you want slow motion on a 2016 30x super-zoom, the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 will give them to you.

Moving on, once you start filming the exposure control is fully automatic, although if preferred, you can lock the exposure or adjust it in a +/-2EV range prior to filming. Some of the Creative Effects can also be applied to movies, although others are ignored. Press the movie record button while Fisheye, Toy Camera or Soft Focus are selected and the camera will just ignore them and film as normal, but it will apply the Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster or Miniature effects to video.

In a bizarre approach inherited from earlier Canon compacts though the Miniature mode ignores whatever movie quality you’ve previously selected and uses the still photo shape to dictate the video format. With the photos set to the default 4:3 shape for the best photo quality, Miniature movies will only be recorded in VGA resolution. If you want widescreen HD Miniature movies, you’ll first need to set the photo shape to 16:9, and even then the Miniature mode will only record video at 720p, not 1080p. This remains a very odd way of doing things, when Canon should simply apply the desired movie format to any mode, or offer Miniature effects direct from the dedicated movie mode.

A Dynamic IS mode improves stabilization although with a slight crop of the field of view. If you’d like to capture the same field of view as stills, you should change the IS mode in the menu and accept slightly reduced stabilization performance. I used the default Dynamic IS mode 1 which applies a crop for my hand-held sample videos below and as you’ll see it proved very effective even when panning handheld with the camera zoomed all the way in.

Here’s a selection of clips to demonstrate the SX720 HS’s video performance in various conditions.

Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only) Above: For this hand-held panning shot, and the others below I set the mode dial to the movie position enabling the best quality 1080 / 60p mode. Stabilisation was enabled and, as you’d expect, it does a great job when zoomed out. Any stabilisation system is going to struggle at 960mm but the SX720 HS actually does a pretty good job, but if you’re planning to zoom to the full extent like this it’s probably a good idea to find a wall to lean against, or some other way to steady the camera.

Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only) Above: For this panning shot I mounted the SX720 HS on a tripod and disabled the stablisation. The SX720 HS has a two-speed zoom and for this and the previous clip I used the slower of the two speeds which is pretty much inaudible. The quality is quite nice, but of course the Canon can’t match the 4k mode available on the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60.

Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only) Above: This low light interior scene looks a little on the noisy side, but the SX720 HS copes well with the changing light, particularly the windows at the beginning.

Download the original file (Registered members of Vimeo only) For this final clip I zoomed the SX720 HS in a little and panned from the glass of beer in the foreground up to the bar and back again. The SX720 HS responds pretty quickly going from glass to bar, but its very slow in the other direction. With its depth by defocus technology, the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60 is more responsive, plus its touch screen allows you to tap to focus.

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS shooting experience The PowerShot SX720 HS is comfortable to hold and, at wider focal lengths, framing and shooting is something you really don’t have to think about too much. The challenges, as with any compact super-zoom, come when you zoom into longer focal lengths. Then it becomes more difficult to keep the camera steady to avoid camera shake, but also to keep your subject in the frame, especially if it’s alive and moving about. With only the screen to compose your images and with a longer zoom than the viewfinder equipped Lumix TZ80 / ZS60, this is something you really need to think about if you’re hoping to get, say, great wildlife or sports shots.

Holding down the Framing assist seek button temporarily zooms out so you can get your bearings before releasing the button and zooming back to exactly where you were; it’s particularly useful for keeping track of moving subjects.

A short press on the button activates Seek assist auto mode; if you lose track of a subject while zoomed in and move the camera to re-acquire it, the SX720 HS automatically zooms out to help you locate it. Once you find your subject and stop moving, the camera zooms back in. You can also use Seek Assist Auto to keep moving faces the same size in the frame, the SX720 HS zooms in or out (in steps, not smoothly) as your subject moves towards or away from the camera.

These features are invaluable when you’re shooting moving subjects when zoomed in and without them framing at the full extent of the SX720 HS’s zoom is a pretty challenging task. But they’re no substitute for an electronic viewfinder. When shooting fast moving sports, for example, I found it a lot easier to keep the subject in the frame using the Lumix TZ80 / ZS60’s viewfinder.

The PowerShot SX720 HS has a fastest continuous shooting speed of 5.9fps with the focus locked on the first frame which slows a little to 4.6fps with continuous AF. I tested it with a fast freshly formatted SD card and it fired a burst which I timed at a little faster than 6fps. Had I held the shutter down I’m fairly sure it would have continued at that speed until the card was full.


So the PowerShot SX720 HS matches the quoted continuous shooting speed, and for short bursts of relatively close subjects, like kids playing, or pets, it’s great. But for faster moving action further away composing with the screen and the lag between the display and reality (the SX720 HS displays the previous frame, and sometimes the lag is longer) makes keeping the subject in the frame as much down to luck as judgement.

Assuming you can successfully frame your subject the PowerShot SX720 HS does a good job of quickly acquiring focus when you half-press the Shutter release. In good light and with the right subject it’s near-instantaneous at wide angle zoom settings. In failing light and when fully zoomed in, however, the SX720 HS let me down on numerous occasions. I’m not talking about trying to shoot street life at night, even shooting stationary subjects like buildings in the ‘blue hour’ after the sun had set, but it was still light, the SX720 HS sometimes took several seconds of back and forth hunting before it was able to acquire focus and on some occasions it failed altogether.

Another issue I have with the AF system on the SX720 HS as well as many other Canon compacts is the inability to reposition the single AF area manually. If you choose single area, then it’s permanently locked to the middle of the frame. If you’d like the camera to focus elsewhere on the frame, you’ll have to switch it to Face / AiAF mode and hope it recognises the desired subject. To be fair the SX720 HS does a good job at subject recognition in the auto modes, but there are times when I like to reposition the AF area manually and sadly it’s not possible here.


At this point it’s worth noting the difference in sophistication between the SX720 HS and the Lumix TZ80 / ZS50. While the Lumix is happy to do everything for you if you want, it unlocks far more control for those who want greater involvement, whereas the Canon is much more aimed at those who literally wish to point-and-shoot. The presence of a built-in viewfinder, customisable buttons, touchscreen, twin control dials and support for RAW files all set the Lumix apart.

So if you want the greatest control in this form factor, then the Lumix is for you. But the Canon fights back with simplicity and a lower price tag in some regions and of course the longer 40x zoom. It’s enormously liberating to spot a distant subject and know it’s within reach even with a camera that fits in your pocket and the SX720 HS’s maximum 960mm equivalent zoom means there’s almost no subject too distant to capture.

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Wifi

Moving on, the SX720 HS is equipped with Wifi which lets you wirelessly remote control the camera, transfer images or tag them with GPS positions logged by your phone. You’ll first need to install the free Camera Connect app then register your phone with the camera; you can then select the phone via the Wifi menus, or simply by pressing the dedicated Wifi button on the camera. Like most Wifi implementations, the camera sets itself up as an access point which you then connect to with the phone. The presence of NFC eases the process on compatible Android phones, but the entire process isn’t as slick as Sony’s where a single touch between camera and phone will fire-up both device’s Wifi, connect them, transfer an image or remote control, before then disconnecting and turning Wifi off again, all automatically. As it stands you’ll need to turn Wifi on yourself on the Canon, and depending on your luck with NFC, you may need to initiate the connection too. This is similar to how the Lumix worked in my tests too – only Sony has managed to make the process seamless.

Once you’re connected, the smartphone app presents four options: Images on Camera, Remote Shooting and Location Information. The first option presents a series of thumbnails which you can examine before copying over if desired. The remote control option presents a live view of the scene with the chance to zoom the lens, adjust the exposure manually if desired, along with choosing various AF and drive options. It’s great to find manual exposure control here – introduced on the earlier SX710 HS – but sadly there was no chance to tap to reposition the AF area using your smartphone. In contrast, the Lumix Image App not only lets you tap to reposition the AF area using your handset, but also lets you do it while filming a video to pull-focus without ever touching the actual camera.


The third option lets you record a location log with your handset before syncing the co-ordinates later. Having to log then tag images with positions isn’t as easy as simply having a GPS receiver built-into the camera to start with, but it does at least work and judging from current rivals, few if any have GPS hardware anymore.

Finally the fourth option allows you to remotely copy the date and time settings from your phone to the camera. At first I thought ‘why would anyone one want to do that remotely’, but it’s a lot less of a faff that having to navigate through the camera menu to set the date and time, and particularly useful if you find yourself travelling to different timezones.

The PowerShot SX720 HS inherits the same shooting modes as its predecessor, including of course the traditional PASM modes, (or P, Tv, Av and M as they’re denoted on all Canon cameras) and Smart Auto with scene detection.

The Live position on the mode dial provides a simple interface for novices to experiment with exposure compensation, saturation and white balance via three sliders labelled Dark/Light, Neutral/Vivid and Cool/Warm. It’s a small step from here to switch to Program mode and use the exposure compensation button, or press the Func. button and alter the white balance setting from the Func. menu. Canon’s Hints and Tips feature provides some explanation of these more advanced settings.

The Creative filters on the SX720 HS are selected from the Scene mode menu and include Fish-eye, Miniature, Toy camera, Soft Focus, Monochrome, Super-vivid and Poster Effect; most offer several variants. The Miniature mode is one of the most versatile ’tilt shift’ effect filters around and allows you to flexibly position the focus zone in the frame in either landscape or portrait orientation.


Along with the Monochrome, Super-vivid and Poster Creative filters it can also be used for movie shooting. However you need to take care with this; as noted above, the Miniature mode ignores whatever movie quality you’ve previously selected and uses the still photo shape to dictate the video format. With the photos set to the default 4:3 shape for the best photo quality, Miniature movies will only be recorded in VGA resolution. If you want widescreen HD Miniature movies, you’ll first need to set the photo shape to 16:9, and even then the Miniature mode will only record video at 720p, not 1080p. This remains a very odd way of doing things, when Canon should simply apply the desired movie format to any mode, or offer Miniature effects direct from the dedicated movie mode.

Creative Shot mode is an extension of the filter effects which automatically applies a selection of them to a shot to produce six variations. The SX720 HS uses scene detection to determine which effects to apply and it also crops some images to produce new compositions. All six versions are then displayed for a couple of seconds and if you press the Func Set button you can review them individually though, of course, you can play them back at any time just like other shots. The SX720 HS also includes the Smart shutter modes which automatically fire the shutter when a smile is detected or start the self time when you wink or when a new face enters the frame.

Canon PowerShot SX720 HS - PowerShot and IXUS digital compact cameras

A pocket-sized, connected travel zoom camera for those who want a versatile lens and powerful features to take on every trip

Travel light and capture every moment

Everything you need for excellent movies

Connect, share and backup easily

Jesse & Sam’s trip with PowerShot SX720 HS

Travel light and capture every moment

Travel light with a pocketable camera that’s easy to carry wherever you go

Get closer to faraway subjects using the huge 40x optical zoom lens; get even closer without any loss of quality with 80x ZoomPlus

Capture dramatic landscapes or include everyone in group shots with 24mm ultra-wide angle

Enjoy sharp, detailed images thanks to an optical Image Stabilizer, which intelligently adapts to the scene and includes a specific Powered Image Stabilisation mode for steady shooting when using the long zoom

Everything you need for superb Full HD movies

Effortlessly shoot realistic Full HD 60p movies in MP4 format with one touch of the Movie Record Button

Capture 4, 5 or 6s clips with slow and fast motion playback options using Short Clip Movie

Left Right Left Right

Simply tap the PowerShot SX720 HS via NFC to the Connect Station to easily store your photos and movies and share with others on an HDTV or with social media or via online albums.

Shoot group shots, selfies or wildlife remotely from your smart device with creative control and live image displays

Keep track of your travels using GPS via Mobile, which synchronises location data logged from your smart device with your pictures

Perfect for your proudest moments - day or night

Enjoy beautiful, crisp and clear shots in any light thanks to HS System, which combines a 20.3 Megapixels CMOS sensor with powerful DIGIC 6 processor

Capture every spontaneous moment with fast, accurate 0.11 s autofocus and high speed 5.9 fps sustained continuous shooting

Frame, view and share with ease using the 7.5 cm (3.0”) high resolution (922k dots) LCD with accurate sRGB colour reproduction

As simple or advanced as you want

Take your next step in creative photography with full manual exposure control

Left Right

Creatively capture the same subject in different ways using Creative Shot, which automatically creates 5 additional and unique images of your original shot

* Wi-Fi connectivity and features vary by model and region. 

A collection of inspiring images shot on the PowerShot SX720 HS


40x wide-anlgle ultrazoom in a compact body

Zoom to 80x with great quality

Steady images and movies in every situation

Intelligently edits a video album with one touch

Share and backup images wirelessly

NFC simplifies smartphone sharing

Simple access to Wi-Fi functions

Find your subject easily at full zoom

Record short clips with playback effects

Fast focusing and continuous shooting

View full specification What's in the box


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Canon PowerShot SX720 HS Review - Image Quality | Photography Blog

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 20.3 megapixel SuperFine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 8Mb.

Colours directly from the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS are bright and punchy, with a lovely degree of saturation when you’re shooting in good light. Blues are well represented, being accurate and not displaying a cyan tinge.

The overall impression of detail is very good, especially at low ISOs. If you step up to ISO 1600, the impression of detail at A4 is pretty good, but you will see some reasonably severe image smoothing if you examine at 100%. On the plus side, noise is pretty well controlled because of the image smoothing, and unless you like to print out your shots at very large sizes - reasonably unlikely for a camera like this - you should be pleased with how images look.

At ISO 3200, image smoothing is a little more problematic in A4 shots, but again it’s fine if you’re sharing at much smaller sizes - such as online.

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS’s all-purpose metering system struggles a little with high contrast situations, but it’s what we would expect from a sensor of this size, and in normal shooting scenarios, exposures are pleasantly rendered.

Automatic white balance copes well with a variety of different lighting conditions, erring ever so slightly towards yellower tones under artificial lighting. If this isn’t to your liking, it’s worth switching to an appropriate white balance preset, such as Tungsten or Fluorescent. Remember that you can’t shoot in raw format, so getting things right in camera is a little more important.

The amount of detail displayed in images taken at the full stretch of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS’s 40x optical zoom is great and roughly matches the detail displayed in images taken at the wide angle end of the zoom. You can use the whole zoom range with confidence. Optical image stabilisation also does a great job of keeping images blur free at the telephoto end of that massive zoom, too.

If you need to go even further than 40x, there’s two digital zooms you can use. This is basically a crop of your image, so naturally there’s a loss in quality. The first digital zoom (80x) is OK if you really need it, and are sharing at reasonably small sizes, while the second digital zoom (120x) is best avoided unless you’re really desperate.


The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS has seven sensitivity settings at full resolution. Auto mode uses a range between ISO 80 and ISO 3200, or you can switch to one of the creative shooting modes to manually select these settings.



We found that the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS images are already sharp, but do benefit from a little touch-up in post processing.


Focal Range

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS' 40x zoom lens achieves a maximum wide-angle focal length equivalent to 24mm, and is capable of a telephoto reach of 960mm (in 35mm-camera terms).

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon PowerShot SX720 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.


The close focusing of the Canon PowerShot SX720 HS at wide-angle is a mere 1cm. It does mean that there's little light getting in when you do that and the edge definition drops off leaving around 50% of the image in focus.


The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS' flash can only manage a relatively weak 4m range and hence there's some fairly obvious vignetting in our wide-angle test shot taken at a distance of 1.5m. The flash has four modes: Auto, On, Off and Slow Synchro, plus a separate setting to enable or disable red-eye reduction. Whether this is active or not, the camera successfully avoids any trace of red-eye.


And here are some portrait shots.

Flash Off (100% Crop)
Flash On (100% Crop)


The Canon Powershot SX720 HS's maximum shutter speed is 15 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 80.

Special Effects

The Canon PowerShot SX720 HS offers several special effects modes, accessible via the dedicated shooting mode.


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Canon PowerShot SX720 HS - PowerShot and IXUS digital compact cameras - Canon Spain

Una cámara de bolsillo, con zoom y conectividad , ideal para aquellos que buscan un objetivo versátil y funciones potentes para sus viajes

Viaja ligero y fotografía cada momento

Todo lo que necesitas para obtener vídeos excelentes

Conecta, comparte y haz copias de seguridad fácilmente

El viaje de Jesse y Sam con la PowerShot SX720 HS

Viaja ligero y fotografía cada momento

Viaja ligero con una cámara de bolsillo que puedes llevar allá donde vayas

Acércate a motivos lejanos con el gran objetivo con zoom óptico 40x; y acércate todavía más sin perder calidad con el ZoomPlus 80x

Fotografía fantásticos paisajes o incluye a todos en la foto de grupo con un ultra gran angular de 24 mm

Disfruta de imágenes nítidas y claras gracias al Estabilizador Óptico de la Imagen que se adapta inteligentemente a la escena e incluye un modo específico para estabilizar el disparo al usar el zoom al máximo

Todo lo que necesitas para grabar excelentes vídeos Full HD

Graba sin esfuerzo vídeos realistas Full HD a 60p en formato MP4 con tan solo tocar el botón de grabación de vídeo

Graba clips de video de 4, 5 o 6 segundos con opciones de reproducción a cámara rápida o lenta con el modo de Clip corto de video

Left Right

Solo tienes que tocar la PowerShot SX720 HS mediante NFC con una Connect Station para compartir fácilmente tus fotos y vídeos, y compartirlos con otras personas en un televisor HD, redes sociales o álbumes en línea.

Haz fotos de forma remota desde tu dispositivo inteligente a grupos, selfies o de la naturaleza, con control creativo e imágenes en directo en la pantalla

Sigue la pista en tus viajes con el GPS a través del móvil, que sincroniza los datos de ubicación registrados en el dispositivo inteligente con tus imágenes

Perfecta para tus mejores momentos, tanto de día como de noche

Disfruta de imágenes nítidas y claras en cualquier condición de iluminación gracias al HS System, que combina un sensor CMOS de 20,3 megapíxeles con el potente procesador DIGIC 6

Capta momentos espontáneos con el rápido AF de 0,11 segundos y los disparos en serie de alta velocidad a 5,9 fps

Encuadra, mira y comparte fácilmente con la pantalla LCD de 7,5 cm (3 pulg.) y alta resolución (922.000 píxeles) con reproducción precisa del color sRGB

Tan sencilla o avanzada como desees

Da el siguiente paso en la fotografía creativa con el control totalmente manual de la exposición

Izquierda Derecha

Fotografía de forma creativa el mismo motivo de diferentes formas con el Disparo Creativo, que crea automáticamente 5 imágenes adicionales y únicas de la toma original

* Las funciones y la conectividad Wi-Fi varían en función del modelo y la región. 

Una colección de imágenes inspiradoras realizadas con la PowerShot SX720 HS


Ultra zoom gran angular 40x en un cuerpo compacto

Zoom hasta 80x con gran calidad

Sensor CMOS de 20,3 megapíxeles

Imágenes y vídeos estables en todas las situaciones

Edita de forma inteligente un álbum de vídeo con un solo toque

Comparte tus imágenes y realiza copias de seguridad de forma inalámbrica

NFC simplifica la forma de compartir con smartphone

Acceso sencillo a las funciones de Wi-Fi

Encuentra el sujeto con facilidad con el zoom al máximo

Grabar clips breves con efectos en la reproducción

Enfoque y disparos en serie rápidos

Ver las especificaciones completas Contenido del embalaje


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