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Camera Reviews > Canon PowerShot A620
Canon PowerShot A620 Review
Date: Jan 5, 2006
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
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.
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
||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.
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.
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).
|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
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
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