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Canon PowerShot A495 review

Ben Pitt
13 Mar 2010
Canon PowerShot A495
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
111
inc VAT

A competent budget snapper, but the price isn’t as low as the basic design suggests.

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Specifications

1/2.3in 10.0-megapixel sensor, 3.3x zoom (37-122mm equivalent), 175g

With most cameras at this price using 12-megapixel sensors, Canon deserves praise for bucking the trend with this 10-megapixel camera. That’s more than enough detail for a compact camera, and should result in less noise in low light.

This model was announced in January 2010 and is only just appearing in the shops. However, other than its support for SDXC cards (for capacities over SDHC’s 32GB limit), the design seems dated.

It’s small but quite chunky, thanks in part to the use of AA batteries. These are cumbersome compared to a Li-ion rechargeable battery, and they’re slow to recharge the flash – we measured around six seconds between shots when illuminating subjects at close distance, and over 12 seconds when using the flash at full power.

The 2.5in screen is the smallest we’ve seen for many months. The lens lacks optical stabilisation or the wide-angle shooting that’s increasingly common among compact cameras. Its 1cm macro mode is impressive, capturing details that are smaller than the eye can see.

We’re also pleased to see that there’s an orientation sensor for detecting when photos have been shot in portrait orientation – a rarity at this price. As well as tagging photos for correct orientation on a PC, it’s used to rotate shots during playback on the camera. When a portrait-shaped photo appears, turning the camera on its side makes it fill the screen.

Image quality in most of our tests was excellent, with well-judged automatic exposures and sharp focus into the corners at all zoom positions. Details fell away sharply in low light at high ISO sensitivities but noise wasn’t excessive, and nor were the surreal splodges of noise-reduction artefacts suffered by most 12-megapixel compact cameras.

There’s nothing wrong with the A495, and if the price falls well below £100 we’d have no reservations recommending it. However, by the time you’ve budgeted for AA batteries and a charger, for the same money you could buy Panasonic’s vastly more capable Lumix DMC-FP8.

Basic Specifications

Rating***
CCD effective megapixels10.0 megapixels
CCD size1/2.3in
Viewfindernone
Viewfinder magnification, coverageN/A
LCD screen size2.5in
LCD screen resolution115,000 pixels
Articulated screenNo
Live viewYes
Optical zoom3.3x
Zoom 35mm equivalent37-122mm
Image stabilisationnone
Maximum image resolution3,648x2,736
Maximum movie resolution640x480
Movie frame rate at max quality30fps
File formatsJPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)

Physical

Memory slotSDXC
Mermory suppliednone
Battery type2x AA
Battery Life (tested)400 shots
ConnectivityUSB, AV, DC in
HDMI output resolutionN/A
Body materialplastic
Lens mountN/A
Focal length multiplier5.6x
Kit lens model nameN/A
AccessoriesUSB and AV cables
Weight175g
Size62x94x31mm

Buying Information

Warrantyone year RTB
Price£111
Supplierhttp://www.lambda-tek.com/componentshop
Detailswww.canon.co.uk

Camera Controls

Exposure modesauto
Shutter speed15 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture rangef/3 to f/5.8
ISO range (at full resolution)80 to 1600
Exposure compensation+/-2 EV
White balanceauto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controlscontrast, saturation, sharpness
Manual focusNo
Closest macro focus1cm
Auto-focus modesmulti, face detect
Metering modesmulti, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flashauto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modessingle, continuous, self-timer