Canon Powershot SD630 Review

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Canon Powershot SD630

Review posted 4/24/2006



Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Canon Powershot SD630 Digital ELPH
Click to take a QTVR tour of the SD630


The 2006 lineup of six-megapixel Digital ELPH cameras includes the PowerShot SD700 IS, PowerShot SD630 and PowerShot SD600. These cameras maintain the petite profile that has characterized the line since its inception while adding big new features designed to make these the easiest to use Digital ELPH cameras to date.

The PowerShot SD630 camera maintains the classic trim, thin, linear design aesthetic that is the line's hallmark. Despite a body thickness of less than an inch, the PowerShot SD630 Digital ELPH camera accommodates a retractable 3x optical zoom with an equivalent focal length of 35-105mm.

The PowerShot SD630 features an ultra large 3.0-inch wide viewing angle type 173,000-pixel LCD screen with adjustments for 15 levels of brightness. What's more, the camera also features an innovative new touch control dial - similar to those found on many popular MP3 players - that allows users to easily scroll through captured images or change the camera's menu settings. In order to accommodate the larger LCD screen, the PowerShot SD630 Digital ELPH camera does not include a real-image optical viewfinder, which Canon offers on most other Digital ELPH models.

The new Digital ELPH cameras have many of the latest advances in Canon technology including the proprietary DIGIC II imaging processor. The processor enhances picture definition, vibrancy, and quality, while helping increase the speed of the cameras' startup, autofocus, shutter response, playback, and image processing speed while reducing power consumption by 35 percent compared to the original DIGIC chip. Consumers benefit from accelerated image transfer speed of a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port.

All of the new models offer a new widescreen 16:9 ratio resolution setting that facilitates creating panoramic-style prints. Additionally, all new PowerShot models support 23 languages (now including Thai and Arabic). The new cameras have an improved direct printing function that permits greater flexibility in print settings, including a face brightener setting for backlit photos.

Canon also enhanced the 'My Colors' mode found in the new PowerShot line. Where previously, users could only enable 'My Colors' while shooting, the current iteration permits captured images to be retouched as well, without the need for special software applications or tools. Available My Color playback modes include Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, and Vivid Red; lighter and darker skin tones, as well as options for creating black & white, sepia, neutral and positive film effects. A color accent setting turns all colors but the one selected by the user to monochrome and the color swap mode enables users to alter specific colors in an image by sampling another color from the same image or any other image on the camera's memory card. So, 'My Colors' provides PowerShot users with an incredible range of creative photo effects that can be accessed directly in the camera with no need for post-processing in a computer.

For those who consider the ocean depths part of the Digital Elph camera line's "go anywhere" promise, Canon offers individual optional waterproof housing systems. With a depth rating of 40m/130 feet for the PowerShot SD700 IS Digital ELPH, the PowerShot SD630 Digital ELPH and the PowerShot SD600 Digital ELPH cameras, these models are a natural choice for underwater photo enthusiasts, SCUBA divers and even snorkelers.

Like all PowerShot digital cameras, these new Digital ELPHs work seamlessly with Canon's petite SELPHY Compact Photo Printers - an essential PowerShot accessory. Consumers simply connect their PowerShot digital camera to a SELPHY printer - such as the SELPHY CP510 and CP710 models. Press the lighted Print/Share button, and within seconds , images emerge. Presto! It is that simple. Canon's SELPHY Compact Photo Printers are PictBridge compatible. They work with PictBridge enabled digital cameras and offer excellent image quality and ease-of-use, especially when paired with a Canon digital camera. At 28 cents-per-print, printing photos directly from a digital camera is both easy and affordable.


Powershot SD630 Features:

  • 6 Megapixel CCD sensor for up to 2816x2112 pixel images
  • 3x optical 35-105mm f/2.8-4.9 zoom w/digital Macro
  • Super large 3.0" color LCD with Night Display function
  • New Widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio for HDTV display
  • Ultra-compact and durable stainless steel body (3.39 x 2.11 x 0.85 in.)
  • Advanced TTL AiAF 9-point autofocus system with focus-assist lamp
  • Program AE automatic and Manual exposure modes
  • Continuous 2fps shooting until memory is full
  • Movie mode w/sound 30/15fps 640x480/320x240 unlimited length
  • Fast Frame Rate Movie recording, 320x240 at 60fps
  • Evaluative metering on focus point or Spot
  • Exposure compensation: +/-2EV in 1/3-step increments
  • White Balance: Auto, 5 presets or Custom
  • Photo Effects: Vivid, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Custom Color
  • Shutter speeds of 15 seconds to 1/2000 second
  • Auto noise reduction with 1.3 sec or longer shutter speeds
  • Selectable ISO settings from 80 to 800
  • Voice memo (up to 60 secs) can be attached to images
  • Built-in microphone and speaker
  • Lithium rechargeable battery and charger included
  • Direct print and PictBridge Compliant
  • High-speed USB 2.0 connectivity for PC and Mac
  • Secure Digital (SD) card storage, 16MB supplied


The PowerShot SD630 Digital ELPH camera will be available in April for an estimated selling price of $399.99.


Physical Views



Canon Powershot SD630 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD630 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD630 Digital ELPH Canon Powershot SD630 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD630 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD630 Digital ELPH





Canon Powershot SD630 Digital ELPH

The SD630 compared to a standard CD disc.





Canon Powershot SD630 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD630 Digital ELPH

The Powershot SD630 and the Fujifilm F470





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Features & Controls


PowerShot SD630 Specifications

Camera Effective Pixels Approx. 6.0 million
Image Sensor 1/2.5-inch CCD (Total number of pixels: Approx.6.2 million)
Lens 5.8 (W)-17.4 (T) mm (35mm film equivalent: 35 (W)-105 (T) mm) f/2.8 (W)-f/4.9 (T)
Digital Zoom Approx. 4.0x (Up to approx. 12x in combination with the optical zoom)
Optical Viewfinder Real-image zoom viewfinder
LCD Monitor 3.0-inch, low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD, approx. 173,000 pixels (Picture coverage 100%)
AF System TTL autofocus
Focusing frame: 9-point AiAF/1-point AF (fixed to center)
Shooting Distance
(From the front of the lens)
Normal: 30 cm (1.0 ft.)-infinity
Macro: 3-50 cm (W)/30-50 cm (T) (1.2 in.-1.6 ft. (W)/1.0-1.6 ft. (T))
Infinity: 3 m (9.8 ft.)-infinity
Shutter Mechanical shutter + electronic shutter
Shutter Speeds 15-1/1500 sec. The shutter speed varies according to the shooting mode. Slow shutter speeds of 1.3 sec. or slower operate with noise reduction.
Metering System Evaluative, Center-weighted average or Spot (fixed to center)
Exposure Compensation ± 2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
ISO Speed Auto, High ISO Auto, 80/100/200/400/800 equivalent
White Balance TTL auto, pre-set (available settings: Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent or Fluorescent H) or custom
Built-in Flash Auto, auto with red-eye reduction, flash on with red-eye reduction, flash on, flash off, slow synchro
Flash Range Normal: 50 cm-3.5 m (1.6-11 ft.) (W), 50 cm-2.0 m (1.6-6.6 ft.) (T)
Macro: 30 cm-50 cm (1.0-1.6 ft.) (W/T) (When ISO speed is set to AUTO.)
Shooting Modes Auto, Camera M, Portrait, Special Scene (Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Color Accent, Color Swap), Night Snapshot, Digital Macro, My Colors, Stitch Assist, Movie
Color Effects Vivid, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Custom Color
Continuous Shooting Approx. 2.1 shots/sec. (Large/Fine mode)
Self-timer Activates shutter after an approx. 10-sec./approx. 2-sec. delay, Custom Timer
Recording Media SD memory card/MultiMediaCard. This camera has been tested with SD memory cards through 2GB. All memory card functions cannot be guaranteed.
File Format Design rule for camera file system and DPOF compliant
Data Type Still images: Exif 2.2 (JPEG)
Movie: AVI (Image data: Motion JPEG; Audio data: WAVE (monaural))
This digital camera supports Exif 2.2 (also called "Exif Print"). Exif Print is a standard for enhancing the communication between digital cameras and printers. By connecting to an Exif Print-compliant printer, the camera's image data at the time of shooting is used and optimized, yielding extremely high quality prints.
Compression Superfine, Fine, Normal
Number of Recording Pixels (Still Images) Large: 2816×2112 pixels
Medium 1: 2272×1704 pixels
Medium 2: 1600×1200 pixels
Small: 640×480 pixels
Wide: 2816×1584 pixels
Number of Recording Pixels (Movies) Standard, My Colors:
  640×480 pixels (30 frames/sec., 15 frames/sec.)
  320×240 pixels (30 frames/sec., 15 frames/sec.)
Recording can continue until the memory card is full
(can record up to a maximum of 1 GB at one time).
Fast Frame Rate: (can record for 1 min.)
  320×240 pixels (60 frames/sec.)
Compact: (can record for 3 min.)
  160×120 pixels (15 frames/sec.)
Using super high-speed SD cards (SDC-512MSH recommended).
Playback Modes Single (histogram displayable), Index (9 thumbnail images), Magnified (approx. 10x (max.) in LCD monitor, advance or reverse through magnified images possible), Jump (jumps to every tenth or hundredth image, to the first image of those sharing a certain shooting date, to movies, or to the first image in a folder. In index playback mode, it displays 9 images at once.), Sound memos (up to 60 sec.), Slide show or Movie (edit/slow motion play back possible).
Direct Print PictBridge compliant, and Canon Direct Print and Bubble Jet Direct compatible
My Camera Settings Start-up image, start-up sound, operation sound, Self-timer sound, and shutter sound.
Interface USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B), PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) Audio/Video output (NTSC or PAL selectable, monaural audio)
Power Source Battery Pack NB-4L (Lithium-ion Rechargeable battery)
160 shots / 210 min. playback time (CIPA)
AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC10
Operating Temperature 0-40°C (32-104°F)
Operating Humidity 10-90 %
Dimensions 3.39 x 2.11 x 0.85 in. / 86.0 x 53.5 x 21.7mm
Weight Approx. 140 g (4.94 oz.) (camera body only)
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)




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Features & Controls





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