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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Canon PowerShot A520

Canon Digital Cameras


Canon PowerShot A520 Review

Review Date: June 25, 2005

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

Canon PowerShot A520
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Photoxels Editor's Choice 2005 Award

Executive Summary

This Canon PowerShot A520 Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.

Store Display: 1/25 sec., F2.6 and ISO 50
Store Display
5.8mm, Program AE, Evaluative, 1/25sec., F2.6 and ISO 50

The Canon PowerShot A520 is an attractive, compact and affordable digital camera perfect for an aspiring photographer. It improves upon the hugely popular PowerShot A85 with 4 megapixel resolution and 4x optical zoom. It has the image quality Canon is famous for, its 4.0 megapixels resolution allows 11x14 in. prints, and, more importantly, it provides the features and exposure flexibility that allow a beginner amateur photographer to start with point-and-shoot simplicity and then switch to the other exposure control modes to experiment, learn and grow in digital photography.

The Canon PowerShot A520 can be used as a point-and-shoot camera in Auto or Program AE mode, but it's attractiveness lies in the flexible exposure control it allows: Shutter-Priority, Aperture-Priority, full Manual, plus easy to use scene (Image Zone) modes. Operation is fast and control is intuitive.

The Canon A520 is just slightly smaller and lighter than the A85 it replaces, and you can carry it in a coat or large pants pocket. The LCD at 1.8 in. is average and could do with a bit more resolution. Battery life is excellent, with the use of only 2 AA batteries.

There are many things to like about the A520: 4x optical zoom, F2.6 maximum aperture, 15-1/2,000 sec. shutter speed range. Canon also has one of the best panorama feature: Stitch Assist helps the positioning of overlapping images on the LCD monitor (though the images are not transparent anymore) and PhotoStitch software allows you to finetune the points to line up your panorama shots perfectly.

As far as optional accessories go, the A520 has wide-angle, telephoto and close-up lenses, an external High-Power Flash, and there is even an underwater marine case for those who fancy underwater photography.

With its ease of use, advanced features in an entry-level camera, Canon quality optics, DIGIC image processor, and extremely affordable price, the Canon PowerShot A520 continues the A85 tradition of being one of the best value for money.

See if you fit the Canon PowerShot A520 User Profile below:

Canon PowerShot A520
User Profile
Desire a quality 4 MP resolution point-and-shoot digital camera capable of producing prints of up to 11x14 in.
Want more exposure flexibility than provided by a point-and-shoot digital camera.
Have a desire to learn about photography.
Just starting out into digital photography.
Want one of the best value for money in the entry-level Beginner to Serious Amateur category.
Want a well-rounded digital camera for general family use.


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