Canon Powershot SD430 - Performance and Image Quality
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The camera's performance isn't too bad. Its operation is controlled by Canon's Digic II processor, which is a bit out of date but still runs the camera's function at sufficient levels. It takes just over 2 seconds to turn the SD430 on and snap your first shot, which is a respectable time. The shot-to-shot times were just over 1.5 seconds, so it snaps pictures relatively quickly. The performance numbers are not bad for this camera, but you can definitely find a faster camera for less money if performance is the main factor in your next digital camera purchase. The newer Canon models have the Digic III processor which improves performance times over the Digic II processor.
Performance of the rechargeable battery was also quite impressive in terms of battery life. Under normal shooting conditions, you can expect well over 700 shots before the battery will need to be charged. This is very impressive, as some other comparable cameras will only get half that many shots before needing a charge. Keep in mind that using the WiFi options on this camera may run the battery down a little bit more, so it is smart to use the AC adaptor, if possible, when using the WiFi features. The battery performance is significant, because it can save you from having to buy a back-up battery which can run you upwards of $50.
Although the performance of the SD430 is sufficient, the image quality is not. I would describe the image quality of this camera average at best. You would expect a lot more from a 5 megapixel camera. This camera is only capable of ISO 400 levels, which is very low in comparison to other 5 megapixels that can reach levels of ISO 3200. At the ISO 400 level there is evidence of image noise that you would not expect to see at this ISO level (see sample images for comparison of ISO 50 and ISO 400, night shots).
In tests of this camera, colors weren't very accurate and features like the red-eye reduction didn't work very well. I guess it would be possible to get by with this camera with normal day-to-day use, where only 4x6 picture were printed and nothing larger. If you require larger prints, this camera would not get the job done, because the image quality flaws would be evident on these larger prints. Overall, I would say that this camera is quite good in the performance category, while it is only average in image quality.
The Canon Powershot SD430 is probably not a good camera for the average buyer. For the cost of purchasing this camera, you can buy a camera with better performance and image quality. The SD430 seems to basically be average in every aspect, except for the WiFi ability it possesses. The look of this camera is average, the image quality is average, and the performance is a little above average. If it wasn't for the WiFi capability of this camera, this camera would be totally boring!
This camera was made for the digital camera user who has to have the latest technology in their hands. WiFi has a bright future with digital cameras, and this camera showcases that very well. So if you're a WiFi freak and image quality and performance don't mean much to you, this camera could be perfect for you. If image quality and performance are important to you and you don't care about WiFi, I would take your $400 and spend it elsewhere.
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