Digital Cameras

Canon’s latest compact puts a big zoom in your pocket

Canon’s latest compact puts a ...
The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is aimed at smartphone snappers who want more zoom
The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is aimed at smartphone snappers who want more zoom
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The Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM is designed for use with Canon's APS-C DSLRs
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The Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM is designed for use with Canon's APS-C DSLRs
The two lights on the front of the Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM can be controlled independantly
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The two lights on the front of the Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM can be controlled independantly
The rear monitor on the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS can be tilted upwards for easier selfie shooting
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The rear monitor on the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS can be tilted upwards for easier selfie shooting
The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS uses a 20.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor
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The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS uses a 20.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor
There's a tilting rear monitor on the back of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS 
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There's a tilting rear monitor on the back of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS 
The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS offers the focal range equivalent to a 24-960-mm optic on a full frame camera
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The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS offers the focal range equivalent to a 24-960-mm optic on a full frame camera
The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS  can shoot Full HD 1080p video at 60 fps
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The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS  can shoot Full HD 1080p video at 60 fps
The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is aimed at smartphone snappers who want more zoom
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The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is aimed at smartphone snappers who want more zoom

In a bid to prove compact cameras can still do some things smartphones can't (namely zoom in without sacrificing too much image quality) Canon has revealed the PowerShot SX730 HS. The main attraction of the pocketable shooter is a 40x zoom lens which lets photographers get close to a subject in a way smartphone cameras simply can't. Also announced is a new macro lens for Canon DSLRs which features built-in LED lights around the front element of the lens.

Canon PowerShot SX730 HS

The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS uses a 20.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor
The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS uses a 20.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor

The compact PowerShot SX730 HS appears to be designed for photographers who are generally happy with the image quality from their smartphone, but want the ability to zoom in, too. It offers the focal range equivalent to a 24-960-mm optic on a full frame camera, and uses a relatively small 20.3-megapixel 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor.

As with its SX720 HS predecessor, this big zoom camera is going to let users get close to the action, but isn't without compromise. It has a variable F3.3-F6.9 maximum aperture, which limits the amount of light you can use when at telephoto focal lengths. An ISO range of 80-3,200 is also quite limited by modern camera standards.

There's a tilting rear monitor on the back of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS 
There's a tilting rear monitor on the back of the Canon PowerShot SX730 HS 

That said, use of a DIGIC 6 image processor enables a top shooting speed of 5.9 fps (frames per second) and Full HD 1080p video recording at 60 fps. This means that while the camera isn't going to suit pixel-peeping enthusiasts, it could do the job for a parent who just wants to get a better photo from their kids' sporting event, without having to invest in an interchangeable lens system.

Other factors which will help the PowerShot SX730 HS appeal to these users include the compact 110 x 64 x 40 mm (4.3 x 2.5 x 1.6 inch) size and 300 g (10.6 oz) weight. The camera also boasts a tilting rear monitor, and improved wireless connectivity compared to previous models, which now includes Wi-Fi, NFC, and Bluetooth for quick and easy sharing.

The Canon PowerShot SX730 HS is available in June for US$400.

Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM

The two lights on the front of the Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM can be controlled independantly
The two lights on the front of the Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM can be controlled independantly

Also announced is a new LED-toting macro lens, which goes by the catchy title of Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM. This isn't the first Canon lens we've seen with built-in LED lights (that was the EF-M 28mm f/3.5 Macro IS STM) but the fact that the new optic is designed for use with Canon's DSLRs, and uses the EF-S mount, makes it notable.

When used on the APS-C sensor cameras it's designed for, the 35-mm lens will give the equivalent view as a 56 mm lens on a full frame camera, making it a versatile option for day-to-day use. However, its macro credentials are the more interesting, including the ability to focus as close as 30 mm from the end of the lens, and image stabilization offering up to four stops of shake correction.

There's also those built-in LED lights, or "Macro Lites" as Canon likes to call them. With one on either side of the lens, and with the ability to control them independently, users can turn them on or off, and adjust the intensity, to illuminate small subjects, or minimize shadows.

The Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM lens is also expected to land in June, priced at $350.

Product pages: Canon PowerShot SX730 HS, Canon EF-S 35-mm F2.8 Macro IS STM.

3 comments
Rusty Harris
Excellent idea placing the ring light right on the end of the lens. I use a ring strobe on my dSLR, which works, but is rather bulky. If the smartphone industry could place a 10x optical zoom on a phone, they could almost eliminate the "compact" camera market, which they have almost done to start with.
LarryWolf
Big zoom, terrible low light sensor.
RoyMcCollum
Why not just put a phone in the camera?