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Camera Reviews > Canon PowerShot A520
Canon PowerShot A520 Review
Date: June 25, 2005
to Serious Amateur
HANDLING & FEEL
- Thin Ice
...on a sign barely visible to the naked eyes
@ 5m up in the air???
23.2mm, Program AE, Evaluative, 1/500sec., F5.5
and ISO 50
The Canon PowerShot A520 is elegant in
its two-toned rugged plastic body with an ergonomic
handgrip. Its construction feels solid and, with
dimensions of 90.7 x 64.0 x 38.4 mm (3.57 x 2.52
x 1.51 in.) excluding protrusions and weighing
180g (6.35 oz), it is in fact just a bit smaller
(in width) and lighter than the Canon
A85 that it is replacing.
While the Canon A85 uses CompactFlash (CF) card,
the Canon A520 uses the smaller Secure Digital
(SD) or Multimedia (MMC) card. The use of the
smaller memory card helps in achieving the compact
dimensions of the camera and it should be easily
carried in a large coat or even trousers pocket.
The 16MB MMC card included in the box will hold
only about 7 SuperFine Large images; a 256MB SD
card will hold about 120. We recommend you get
a 512MB SD card.
The Canon A520 uses only 2 AA batteries and gives
excellent power consumption with approx. 300 shots
per full charge. It uses a small flat coin lithium
battery to retain the time even when the main
batteries are removed. The Canon A520 comes standard
with 2 AA Alkaline batteries, and we recommend
that you purchase the optional rechargeable battery
kit which includes a charger and 4 rechargeable
NiMH batteries (2 in the camera and 2 spare).
The LCD monitor is still at 1.8 in., though resolution
is slightly less at 115,000 pixels. However, it
gains up just a little in low-light, enough to
allow you to compose your shot when it gets a
bit dark, but not in extreme low-light situations.
There is an AF-assist Beam to help achieve focus
in low-light, though it does tend to hunt quite
a bit to achieve focus.
Startup is about 3 sec. There is no practical
shutter lag. Autofocus is also fast, except at
the long end of the zoom when it can take a couple
of seconds to lock.
The Canon A520 has a new flash that actually
zooms with the lens to provide a more focused
beam of light at the telephoto end. Be aware that
there can sometimes be a slight delay between
pressing the shutter release button and the flash
firing, especially if you turned the Red-Eye feature
on. Flash recycle time is quite slow.
Unlike many entry-level digital cameras, the
Canon A520 comes with a number of optional useful
accessories. There is a wide-angle converter (24.5mm,
35mm equivalent) and a tele converter (245mm,
35mm equivalent); a close-up lens; a waterproof
case that can work at depths of up to 40 meters
(130 feet); and a High-Power Flash that approximately
doubles the camera's flash range.
The feel and construction of the Canon PowerShot
A520 is excellent for this budget-priced digital
camera despite its plastic body, and the camera
handles very well.