Canon PowerShot A530 review
I picked one up last week at BestBuy for $150. Never had a Canon camera, and wanted to see if the PowerShot A series was as good as the reviewers made them sound. This camera is certainly reasonable compact, given that it uses two AA batteries for power. Other than that it is very similar to the Canon SD450, whish uses a proprietary battery.
Side-byside shots with my other digital cameras indicate that the image quality of the A530 is about as good as a 5 Mpixle camera should do these days, which is plenty for a 8 x 10 inch print.
Very fast handling camera with the Digic II processor, which is on many recent Canon cameras, including the 350D DSLR. Fully Automatic, Program and fully Manual modes and some other scene modes.
When entering manual focus a bar calibrated in meter shows on the LCD, but the default (starting) position is 50 cm! I would prefer it to default to infinity (like my Nikon). Excellent automatic white balance. Full image info including histogram, but in review mode only. 35mm to 140 mm effective X4 zoom. Shoots in highest jpg quality at 2.2 fps using a standard speed SD card. Exposure compensation is a direct button! Very convenient.
ISO400 is very good, ISO800 is usable after NeatImage noise filtering.
One feature I really like on the A530 is that it can create a new directory from the menu, or every hour, or every day automatically. Very niice when dealing with 100 shots per day during vacation trips.
The camera can shoot a up to 10 shots with selectable spacing in seconds from the self-timer menu. Great for seltimer group shots.
Like most Canon's there is an optical view finder. For me this is a "must have" feature for outdoors photography.
Revisit after 2000 shots.
Excellent autimatic white balance.
With the LCD turned off I get over 200 shots with regular AA Alkaline batteries. With 2000mA*H NiMH batteries and heavy use of the LCD for composing and reviewing I get about 200 shots per charge.
In manual mode the suggested exposure is not shown, but when the shutter is pressed half down, the camera shows the recommended EV from -2EV (in red) to + 2EV (in white).
No technical prblems, but some rough spots in the firmware:
- The camera remembers the last setting, except for continuous mode.
- No way to store a set of personal settings.
-The ISO in the EXIF header uses non-standard format: In my EXIF viewer it shows ISO with a 16384 offset, so iso100 shows as "16484 (other)".
- flash recycle time is slow (about 8 seconds).
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