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Canon PowerShot A495 review

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.


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 megapixels 10.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 2.5in
LCD screen resolution 115,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 3.3x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 37-122mm
Image stabilisation none
Maximum image resolution 3,648×2,736
Maximum movie resolution 640×480
Movie frame rate at max quality 30fps
File formats JPEG; AVI (M-JPEG)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied none
Battery type 2x AA
Battery Life (tested) 400 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, DC in
HDMI output resolution N/A
Body material plastic
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier 5.6x
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB and AV cables
Weight 175g
Size 62x94x31mm

Buying Information

Warranty one year RTB
Price £111

Camera Controls

Exposure modes auto
Shutter speed 15 to 1/2,000 seconds
Aperture range f/3 to f/5.8
ISO range (at full resolution) 80 to 1600
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 5 presets, manual
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness
Manual focus No
Closest macro focus 1cm
Auto-focus modes multi, face detect
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer