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Canon PowerShot SX410 IS Hands-on, First Impressions: Tiny Camera, Ridiculous Zoom

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We go hands-on with Canon’s PowerShot SX410 IS!

While point-and-shoots are essentially extinct, there’s still a market for small, pocketable shooters. Cameras like Sony’s RX100 series are proof that there’s still demand for point-and-shoots but only if said device offered something more than just being able to shoot photos. Canon’s PowerShot SX410 IS is one such camera, and while it’s relatively small compared to other prosumer cameras out in the market today, it has an ace up its sleeve – a ridiculously long zoom lens that few cameras can match.

Canon PowerShot SX410 IS

  • 20-megapixel resolution, CCD sensor
  • 1/2.3-inch sensor size
  • 40x zoom lens, 24-960mm equivalent
  • 3-inch LCD display, non touch, fixed
  • 15 sec min shutter speed, 1/4000 max

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Initial impressions: impressive zoom for such a small camera

The PowerShot SX410 IS is small and unassuming. While it’s a point-and-shoot at heart, the PowerShot SX410 IS is shaped much like an SLR, and is easy to hold and use. The shutter button is easily pressed, and the zoom can be manipulated quickly. While there’s no manual controls to speak of, the PowerShot SX410 IS has a few shooting modes that you can take advantage of, including low-light shooting modes.

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But the real draw of the PowerShot SX410 IS is its insane 40x zoom capability. It’s like having a 24-960 lens on your DSLR, if your DSLR was half the size, and could easily fit in your bag or purse. It’s almost ridiculous really, and if you were willing to take a hit on picture quality, you could further extend that to 80x via digital zoom. It’s insane.

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Obviously there’s a trade-off, and that’s picture quality. The PowerShot SX410 IS has a 20-megapixel resolution, but uses a CCD sensor instead of a CMOS sensor. Because of the limitations of CCD tech, you can’t have fast continuous shooting, which may be an issue if you’re shooting fast-moving subjects. The PowerShot SX410 IS is also a barebones camera, and doesn’t have WiFi or Bluetooth connectivity that other cameras enjoy.

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We actually don’t have a good indicator as of yet of actual image quality, though we’ll be taking the PowerShot SX410 IS along with us covering events and using it as our backup camera. We’ll be reporting back to you once we have sample photos to see if the PowerShot SX410 IS really is a good deal.

John Nieves

John is a veteran technology and gadget journalist with more than 10 years of experience both in print and online. When not writing about technology, he frequently gets lost in the boonies playing soldier.

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