A detailed review of the Canon Powershot A720 IS was just posted on Neocamera. This 8 megapixels camera is one of the most feature-rich compact digital cameras currently available. This particular model packs a stabilized 6X optical zoom lens, full-manual controls including manual focus, custom white-balance, exposure-lock, flash-lock pre-flash TTL metering, plus many flexible setup options.
With the A720, Canon’s A-series Powershot range keeps getting more refined without straying from their winning formula of delivering quality cameras with good performance and plenty of useful features. Indeed the A720 is nearly identical to the excellent Canon Powershot A570 IS. Unlike the A720, the A570 uses a 4X optical zoom (still stabilized) and a 7 megapixels image sensor. There is also a higher-end mode, based on its specifications, the 12 megapixels A650 IS. Aside from its resolution, specifications for these cameras are very similar. The main differences are that the A650 IS uses 4 AA batteries and its LCD is not fixed. Using 4 AA batteries, the A650 IS has a battery life of 500 shots-per-charge, although 4 AA batteries would give 800 shots on the A720! One advantage of using 4 batteries is that flash-recharge time is usually faster. The A720’s fixed LCD is more sturdy and less of a liability for accidental damage.
The closest competitor to the Canon Powershot A720, and perhaps the only one currently worthy, is the 9 megapixels Fuji Finepix E900. This is an excellent camera with good image quality, great speed, a powerful flash and very good battery-life. The E900 has a wider-than-average 4X optical zoom lens, features full-manual controls, custom white-balance and even a RAW mode, something that is quite rare in a compact camera.