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Canon PowerShot A2000 IS review

Ben Pitt
25 Feb 2009
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
127
inc VAT

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Specifications

1/2.3in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 6.0x zoom (36-216mm equivalent), 190g

Canon's PowerShot brand has a superb track record in Computer Shopper reviews. These reasonably priced, no-nonsense cameras ignore flashy extras and instead concentrate on genuinely useful features.

The A2000 IS is the successor to the A720 IS (reviewed in What's New, Shopper 243), which was an ideal camera for artistically minded photographers on a tight budget. Both models have a 6x zoom, which gives a massive boost to your ability to frame shots creatively compared to the 3x zooms usually found on compact cameras. Both also have lenses that include highly effective optical image stabilisation for minimising blur at slow shutter speeds, and are also capable of focusing on subjects just 1cm away.

However, we were disappointed to discover that manual exposure and manual focus have been removed from this new model, making it less suitable for enthusiasts. Few competitors offer these features at this price, so it was one of the key benefits of the A720 IS. The optical viewfinder has also been removed, which is a real blow for long-sighted people who struggle with cameras' LCD screens.

The A2000 IS offers some improvements, though. The LCD screen has increased in size from 2in to 3in, and the number of pixels has doubled to 230,000 - a rare treat at this price. The body is lighter and smaller, although this is partly because the A720 IS's ergonomic handgrip has disappeared. Meanwhile, the sensor resolution is up from 8 to 10 megapixels. This may sound like an improvement but it caused us to despair, because 10-megapixel, 1?2.3in sensors such as this usually suffer serious noise problems.

Another disappointment is that the maximum aperture has narrowed from f/2.8 to f/3.2. To compensate, the camera has to use slower shutter speeds or higher sensitivities, increasing the likelihood of blur or noise respectively. Performance is slower, too, but delays of two seconds between shots in the single drive mode and 1.3fps in continuous mode are still excellent at this price. One weak area in the A2000's performance is the five-second flash recycle time - an inevitable side-effect of using AA batteries.

Image quality is well above average for the price. Colours were excellent and, when shooting in bright light, details were marginally better than with both the A720 IS and our long-term favourite budget camera, Samsung's NV8. It lost its advantage in diminishing light as higher ISO speeds boosted noise, no doubt exacerbated by the extra two million pixels packed on to its small sensor. However, it can certainly compete with other current models and turned in usable results at ISO 400.

This camera misses out on an award because it takes too many steps back compared with the A720 IS. However, if a big screen is more important to you than manual controls and low-light performance, it's an excellent choice at an impressively low price.

Basic Specifications

Rating*****
CCD effective megapixels10.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
Viewfindernone
LCD screen size3.0in
LCD screen resolution230,000 pixels
Optical zoom6.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent36-216mm
Image stabilisationoptical, lens based
Maximum image resolution3,264x3,736
Maximum movie resolution640x480
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotSDHC
Mermory supplied32MB SD
Battery type2x AA
Battery Life (tested)500 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV, DC in
Body materialplastic
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight190g
Size64x102x32mm

Buying Information

Price£127
Supplierhttp://www.jessops.com
Detailswww.canon.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesprogram
Shutter speedauto
Aperture rangeauto
ISO range (at full resolution)80 to 1600
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness
Manual focusYes
Closest macro focus1cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, centre, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer