Canon Powershot A710 IS Question
I am going to the Grand Canyon this summer. What would be the most helpful lens or accessory to have?.

I own a Canon A710 IS...

Comments (6)

An understanding of what you want to photograph, and the experience to do it well. Look at photo's others have taken well, study their composition and technique, then practice..

You've asked a complex question and there is no simple, correct answer..

If you're into landscape's a good circular polarizer may help in some circumstances. The better answer is recognize and look for good light...

Comment #1

Compacts become so unwieldy when you attach a lens...worse than an SLR because theyre not as tough and the lens mount doesnt feel nearly as solid as an SLR. People that get add-on lenses without having a specific purpose for them tend not to use them. Then the lenses end up on ebay..

For landscapes youll need the wide. For wildlife youll need the tele. And for those desert critters that youd rather not get within 1cm, a macro lens is useful too..

A polarizer will give a deeper blue sky. It's also nice for shooting fish in a pond. At the very least, the lens adapter with a polarizer will be helpful in keeping your lens mechanism clean..

With so much bright sunlight, a fill flash will be helpful..

I use a Vanguard VGP-3201 hard case to carry my camera, wide/tele/macro lenses, filters, extra memory card, and cleaning cloth and fluid (no flash.) It works well and everything fits perfectly. I have a Canon PSC-65 on the strap to hold the camera for quick access (I think the PSC-85 is the current case.) Vanguard makes a slightly larger case. That will probably hold everything I have plus a flash and extra lens adapter..

That makes it easy to carry everything you need, but it's still a pain to setup a lens. It's much easier to screw the adapter onto the lens, rather than screw the lens on the adapter while it's on the camera. So you dont just unscrew one lens and screw on really should removing the adapter from the camera. Its more time consuming, but definitely safer...last thing you need is to drop your converter while trying to screw it on. That said I find that unscrewing the lens while it's facing down is the safest (drops into your hand.) To screw a lens on I find that holding the camera vertically and first setting the lens on the threads is a good way to avoid cross threading..

One nice thing is that it's easy to just pop the lens off and use the camera one handed if you suddenly need a wide or tele shot that's within the range of the camera..

The Canon wide is the more versatile of the two lenses because you can leave it on and use the full range of the camera. It gives you a 24.5mm-147mm zoom..

The Canon tele takes you to 367.5 mm. It certainly takes a better moon shot than 210, but its still somewhat lacking. Still, having nearly a 400mm zoom can be handy..

The front of Canon converter lenses are not threaded, so you cant use filters. Ive found that I can use a 58mm Hoya Pro 1 Digital polarizer with the Canon tele converter screwed onto it and it works fine. I get a small amount of vignetting with the Canon wide converter. Ive been meaning to get a second adapter and cutting it down a few millimeters to try to eliminate the vignetting. Well see how that goes..

You can screw the Hoya Pro 1 Digital polarizer filter onto the lens adapter and the lens will not hit the glass. However, I can't vouch for other filters. The glass on the Hoya polarizer happens to sit past where the threads end. However that is not the case with my Hoya Pro 1 Digital UV filter. When I use the UV filter I must also use the front portion of the lens adapter (it's a two piece adapter.).

There are many other lenses made by other companies, and some have threaded fronts for filters. If not using a Canon lens then I recommend turning the IS off. If the lens magnification matches Canon's (tele/1.75, wide/0.7) then test the IS to make sure it's working. Don't forget to set the Converter option appropriately..

Information on A710 with non-Canon lenses seems to be hard to come by, so I personally stick with Canon. It's no question that the Canon lenses are some of the best quality converters you can get, but some people want filter threads or more magnification on the tele. Unfortunately I don't have any info on other lenses..

Good Luck!.

Vanguard VGP-3201.


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Comment #2

An extra battery! ... or two. When your battery's out, you're done..


Comment #3

Wow. My DSLR traveling kit is smaller than that. I do appreciate your case and it's ruggedness but it's not my idea of a vacation kit with a compact camera..

If you're going on a social vacation emphasize the social aspect and take memorable snapshots..

My DSLR light traveling kit is a Pentax K100d, a 21mm pancake prime, and a 43mm prime. I can put a spare set of AA's, a set of underwear, cell phone, plus sunglasses in the camera bag and take it as a carry on in case my luggage gets lost....

Comment #4

Most important: make sure to put the camera away occationally. It is very hard to put a frame around a landscape like this, so nothing will really come close to the reality there. Give you some time to just enjoy... thsi will also help taking better ( not more ) pictures..

For the camera:The A710 is a perfectely fine camera..

So bring enough batteries and SD-cards. You might take more photos then expected..

Invest time to really learn what you camera can do (e.g. play with white balance and exp. compensation at sunset or other difficult light). Have a look at the photostich software (see below)..

Consider a mini-stative, it helps with tele shoots at sunset with timer, or when you actually want to be in the picture yourself as well..

For other things: You do not have a good wideangel.. Options:.

- learn to use the stich option on you camera (photostich comes with the camera...) This will help to cover the panoramas....

Less realistic:.

- get a wide angle adapter from canon... likely the same money than the camera .

- get a 2nd camera with 28 mm or wider equivalent ( cheapest could be the nikon p50), would be a backup as well. Drawback: likely the same money as you camera.

Be carefull with aditional kit when hiking, you do not want to carry to much...

Comment #5

Maybe a tripod especially if you want to do those stitched photos...

Comment #6

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