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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Canon PowerShot A620

Canon Digital Cameras

   


Canon PowerShot A620 Review

Review Date: Jan 5, 2006

Category: Beginner to Serious Amateur

Canon PowerShot A520

Photoxels Editor's Choice 2006  Canon PowerShot A620 wins DIWA Gold Award

IMAGE QUALITY

The Canon PowerShot A620 is a digital camera targeted to beginner and serious amateur photographers. It has 7.1 megapixel resolution on a 1/1.8 in. CCD image sensor.

We find the overall image quality of the Canon PowerShot A620 to be excellent, with excellent image detail and low noise at ISO 50.

4x Optical Zoom Range
Wide-angle 35mm Tele 140mm
Wide-angle 7.3mm [35mm] Tele 29.2mm [140mm]

In the above pictures, we show the coverage for 35mm and then 140mm (35mm equivalent). The Canon A620 provides 4x optical zoom compared to 3x for most cameras in this entry-level category.

Macro
Macro
Macro

The Canon A620 lens allows you to focus as close as 1cm (0.4 in.) at wide-angle and 45cm (18 in.) at max. telephoto. If you have AiAF on, the camera will select one of nine AF frames. If you find that the Canon A620 is selecting to focus on a different part of your macro subject than what you intended, we suggest that you turn AiAF off and use the center AF frame to ensure focus locks in the center of the frame. AF locks precisely and fast, even in low-light (using the AF-assist Illuminator). I used the AF FlexiZone to move the AF Frame to the eye.

Auto White Balance
AWB Custom (Manual) WB
AWB WB = Custom

As the above pictures show, the auto white balance gives warm colours indoors under artificial light [I have those special white light fluorescent]. Best results are obtained with Custom WB; being able to set White Balance manually guarantees true colour reproduction under artificial light. You won't find this feature in most entry-level models. Outdoors, under natural light, the AWB works extremely well.

ISO Comparisons
ISO 50
ISO 50
ISO 100 ISO 200
ISO 100 ISO 200
ISO 400  
ISO 400  

The 100% crops above (area delimited by the white square) demonstrate the noise at the available ISO Speeds of 50, 100, 200 and 400. At ISO 50 and 100, noise is very low. At ISO 200 noise is visible but is still acceptable. Noise is noticeably present at ISO 400.

Chromatic Aberrations
CA (Purple Fringing)

There is little to no CA in everyday shots. In the high contrast shot above, there is some CA at the corner delimited by the red square at top left (reproduced at 100% crop at bottom right).

Long Shutter Speed
Long Shutter Speed
7.3mm, Manual, Evaluative, 15 sec., F4.0, ISO 50
Custom WB, Macro ON, Self-Timer (10 sec.), Tripod Used, 100% Crop

The Canon A620 allows the use of a long shutter speed of up to 15 sec. but only in Shutter Priority (Tv) and Manual (M) modes. This allows you to take some very nice night shots. Generally, with CCD image sensors, noise usually becomes more prominent at slow shutter speeds. The Canon A620 has special noise reduction (NR) algorithms that automatically kicks in at shutter speeds slower than 1.3 sec. and you'll notice a slightly longer processing time before the next picture can be taken.

To test this noise reduction algorithm, we take a low-light indoors shot using a long shutter speed of 15 sec. The NR works quite well, though noise is slightly visible in the background. The AF worked very well in low-light, and the AF-assist Illuminator made for precise and fast focus lock.

The Canon A620 has a flash that is effective up to 4.2m (14 ft.) at max. wide-angle and 3.0m (10 ft.) at max telephoto. For closeup, the flash range is from 25cm (0.8 in.) to 45cm (1.8 in.). You can dial in a flash exposure compensation of -2EV to +2EV when using the flash for portraits and close-ups.

The last feature we will mention is the histogram. The histogram is in Playback Mode only. You can see the histogram by pressing the DISPLAY button until the histogram displays. The histogram is invaluable to give an indication of under- and over-exposure (don't rely on the LCD/EVF since the brightness is adjustable and may be misleading).

Overall, excellent image quality for a 7.1MP digital camera: sharp pictures, great image detail, vibrant colours, well-exposed.

The pictures in the Canon A620 Photo Gallery page provide a good sample of what the Canon A620 is capable of. I have provided samples at 800x600 pixels (compressed to Quality 60/100 in Photoshop Elements). Remember that this version is of slightly lesser quality than the original 3072x2304 version.

You can safely assume that most macro shots and slow shutter speed shots required the use of a tripod. Any image that is adjusted for levels in Photoshop has "_adjusted" appended to the file name.

I have defaulted the image size to 800x600 pixels. For those who have their monitor resolution set to 1024x728 pixels, everything should snugly fit and you should not have to scroll to see the whole image. If your monitor is set to 800x600 pixels resolution, start the slide show and then scroll to the right to position the image within your screen width. Then, press F11 (if you are using Internet Explorer) to switch to full screen mode, and the image should fill your screen nicely. Press F11 again at any time to switch your monitor display back to normal mode.

To return to this page from the Photo Gallery, click on the animated graphics of the camera.

Please open and download the original size version only if you need to and only once to your hard drive -- and save me some precious bandwidth. Thanks!

 

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