If you are looking for an affordable and easy-to-use first camera for a child, grandparent or for yourself, the Canon PowerShot A Series digital cameras are a good choice for the budget-conscious consumer. The Canon PowerShot A490 is the cheapest of the A Series. It features 10MP resolution (1/2.3-in. CCD), 3.3x optical zoom (37-122mm equiv.), a 6.4-cm (2.5-in.) LCD display screen, and uses 2 convenient-to-find AA batteries. You can either use 2 Alkaline batteries (included) or optionally go Green with 2 rechargeable NiMH batteries.
For general purpose photography, Smart AUTO shooting mode analyzes your scene and automatically selects the appropriate setting. For more challenging shooting situations, match the scene yourself to the appropriate Scene Mode. For example, Night Snapshot scene mode sets the camera so you can take a night picture where the main subject (lit by flash) and the background (long exposure) are both recorded. Low Light scene mode extends the high ISO up to 3200 when photographing without flash in dimly-lit situations. Long Shutter scene mode extends the shutter speed range from 1 sec. to 15 sec. for creative night photography.
For those who desire a bit more control, switch to Program AE (P) mode and dial in an exposure compensation to compensate for scenes that are too bright or too dark. Custom White Balance allows you to obtain the correct colors under artificial lighting situations.
For artistic photo effects, My Colors can record your pictures more Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White — or use Custom Color to adjust the contrast, sharpness and saturation to your taste.
You can shoot VGA movie 640×480 pixels at 30fps with monaural sound for up to 1 hour or 4GB per clip.
There are two software applications that are included on the CD ROM that you’ll have to install on your computer: ZoomBrowser allows you to upload your pictures and videos from camera to computer, then view and edit them. CameraWindow allows you to easily upload your videos to YouTube directly from the camera or from your computer.
The Canon PowerShot A490 is a very basic entry-level point-and-shoot digital camera that is ideal for a first-time user. It is easy-to-use and, at about US $110 (CAD $130), is very affordable, too.
Here is how the four A Series models compare. They are basically the same except for MP resolution, optical zoom power, whether there is built-in image stabilization or not, display screen size, and a couple of scene modes.
|A490||A495||A3000 IS||A3100 IS|
|Max. Aperture||f/3.0(W) – f/5.8(T)||f/3.0(W) – f/5.8(T)||f/2.7 (W)- f/5.6(T)||f/2.7(W) – f/5.6(T)|
|Shutter Speed||1/2000 – 1 sec., 15 sec.||1/2000 – 1 sec., 15 sec.||1/1600 – 1 sec., 15 sec.||1/1600 – 1 sec., 15 sec.|
|Macro||1 cm / 0.4 in.||1 cm / 0.4 in.||3 cm / 1.2 in.||3 cm / 1.2 in.|
|Face Detection Self-timer||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Price (US $)||109.99||129.99||149.99||179.99|
|US | CA | UK|
|Image Sensor||10.0 Megapixel, 1/2.3-in. CCD|
|Optical Zoom||3.3x (37-122mm equiv.)|
|Max. Aperture||f/3.0 (W) – f/5.8 (T)|
|Media||SD / SDHC / SDXC, MMC / MMC Plus / HC MMC Plus|
|Shooting Modes||Auto, P, Scene Modes|
|Shutter Speed||1/2000 – 1 sec. (1 – 15 sec. in Long Shutter scene mode)|
|Continuous Shooting||0.9 fps|
|Exposure Metering||Evaluative, Center weighted average, Spot|
|ISO sensitivity||Auto, ISO 80-1600|
|Macro||1 cm / 0.4 in.|
|White Balance||Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom|
|Display Monitor||2.5 in. LCD, 115k-dot|
|Movie||640 x 480 @ 30fps, Monaural, Clip 4GB or 1 hr|
|Battery||2 AA Alkaline (150 shots) included; NiMH (400 shots) optional|
|Dimensions (W x H x D)||93.5 x 61.7 x 30.6 mm / 3.68 x 2.43 x 1.20 in.|
|Weight (body only)||175g / 6.17 oz.|
|MSRP||US $109.99 / CAD $129.99 / UK £ / €|
*Specifications and equipment are subject to change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Please consult manufacturer’s site for latest specifications.
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