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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 A620

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

User's Experience

Friday, Dec 16, 2005 - Here's what I receive in the box:

  • PowerShot A620
  • Wrist Strap
  • 4 AA Alkaline Batteries
  • 32MB Secure Digital (SD) Card
  • Interface Cables: A/V; USB
  • Documentation (English and French): User Guide Basic, User Guide Advanced, System Map, Direct Print User Guide, Software Starter Guide
  • Software CDs: Digital Camera Solution 26.0

The Canon PowerShot A620 is targeted to beginner and serious amateur photographers, providing full exposure flexibility. First impressions when you first pick it up is that this is a "chunky" camera. It has a nice big handgrip for a comfortable hold.

It is well built and in spite of the plastic construction, there is an overall feeling of quality. The only disappointment is the Terminal cover that seems too thin and never seems to want to close properly because of the wrist strap that gets in the way.

One great thing about this versatile digital camera is that it uses AA Alkaline batteries. I would recommend that you purchase 4 rechargeable AA Ni-MH batteries and an optional battery charger.

There is an optical viewfinder but you'll use the 2 in. LCD monitor most of the time. It flips out and rotates to allow you to take images from above your head, close to the ground, around the corner, etc. without having to adopt arkward and compromising poses. A fast refresh rate makes viewing images smooth, though I've noticed that it does get choppy in extreme low-light. One feature I was glad to see is that the LCD gains up very well in low light to permit composing.

In the Menu, you can obtain a Framing Guide of horizontal and vertical lines overlayed on the screen by setting Grid Lines ON. This is very helpful if you take lots of pictures of buildings or pictures with lots of horizontals and/or verticals.

There is a very effective AF Illuminator and the AF is quite fast and precise at all times. Even in extreme low-light, at wide-angle focal length, it locks focus quickly and accurately without hunting.

In the field, the Canon A620 performed extremely well. There was no fumbling with the controls, no frustration trying to set the functions you want, and the camera was point-and-shoot simplicity. Even though most of the functions are accessed thru the FUNC. menu, I found it well implemented and fast.

You can even zoom during movie recording though it is not displayed as a smooth zooming in Playback. Sound is recorded.

The zoom definitely needs improvement. There is just not enough intermediate steps; I counted 6 steps, so it's challenging to stop exactly where you want to.

Another feature I really like is AF Frame FlexiZone. To access it, you must first have set it in the Menu. Then, whenever you want to use it, press the Exposure Compensation button until the AF Frame turns green; then use the Right and Left arrows to move the AF Frame on screen.

Transferring images to your PC is simply a matter of connecting the USB cable and either using the Canon ZoomBrowser EX to index the images or simply drag-n-drop in Windows Explorer.

Canon ZoomBrowser EX

The ZoomBrowser EX software is very user-friendly and complete. Each image's filename is clearly visible and you do not need to launch another window to view the EXIF info. You can do basic image editing, re: Red Eye Correction, Auto Adjustment, Color/Brightness Adjustment, Sharpness. In the above image, we selected the Preview Mode. Another included software is PhotoStitch which allows you to stitch images taken as a Panoramic shot.

There are 2 User Guides: a Basic and an Advaced one. They are both well illustrated and written, and the print font is easy to read.

The Canon PowerShot A620 is excellent value for money: excellent image quality with lots of detail, fast operations with no practical shutter lag, fast and precise AF that works in low-light, intuitive operation, full exposure flexibility, accurate exposure metering, an immensely practical flip-and-rotate LCD.... if you're not sure which digital camera to buy, you can't go wrong with the Canon A620.

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