Canon PowerShot A520 review

Started Dec 2, 2009 | User reviews thread
Flat view
Simon Daneault New Member • Posts: 2
Canon PowerShot A520 review

This camera is for beginners, and this is why I will aim my review to people who are interested in going a first step forwards in "serious" photography.

With the A520 you will be able to have a cheap, solid and reliable camera that has some elements even pricier cameras have. There are many options within this camera and when you actually acknowledge their existence ( you must really READ the MANUAL to fully grasp what's available to you ) and use them, you will see that this wonderful piece of technology is an amazing friend. The more you will use it, the more you will discover its abilities along with your *own* abilities. You will develop skills easily with this camera for it only guides you halfway through a great picture, just enough to let you do some work and learn.

On my side I have been making mostly nature photography with the Canon Powershot A520. I brought it with me while riding ATVs, canoes and kayaks and while hiking ( of course, always safe in a "case logic" bag or something similar! ). It never failed me after many years and never broke. I made tens of thousands of pictures with this. It is very sturdy and if you take care of it well enough, it will last forever. It also offers a great first encounter with macro photography ( the smallest things you can get a great image out of are about the size of bees ). I still use it from time to time even if I have cameras who possess greater technological attributes, so I also recommend it for photographers who are searching for a backup camera.

I do not recommend this camera for the followings:

- Pictures after the sunset. This camera is no good when it comes to dark lighting and will only give blurry images. Of course, there is a flash, and a very good one at that, but I am refering to the flashless pictures here.

- High motion shots. Although the camera has some power to recollect an action shot ( riding on the highway, for example ), it is not fast enough ( there is a delay between the moment you click the button and the picture ). You will find frustration if you are aiming to use this camera under high movement ( from you or from the subject ).

- Movie making. Although this camera offers the possibility of making movies to transfer to your computer, you will quickly find out that it will devour the two AA batteries needed to operate ( even if you have rechargeables, it will be frustrating ). Also, the recording stops after 3 minutes. The quality of the video image is relatively high for a camera of that price and age, but this is the only good side as for the movie making.

This camera requires two AA batteries and thus you must make sure to have spare AAs as a backup because it can feed very quickly on them if you use flash, movie making or if you leave the LCD monitor opened for a certain period of time. I have also found out after a couple of months that when the two AA batteries are relatively low, the automatic plastic cover that closes before the lens in order to protect it sometimes opens up only halfway after you re-open it. I have been frustrated by this at first because I did not notice it until the pictures had been made.

Besides these bad points, this camera is an extremely good one if you compare its abilities with its price. I highly recommend it to whoever is interested in discovering photography as a beginning student or just for simple personal entertainment. I can guarantee you that once you have tried this camera for a while and used its full power, you will not only be much more interested in photography, but you will also become a Canon fanboy.


- Has some problems making a clear image under lack of normal lighting.
- Some red eyes from time to time ( not always, but still ).
- Auto-cover protective plastic over lens has been known to open only half way when batteries are low.
- Devours the two poor AA batteries when making a movie clip.

Canon PowerShot A520
4 megapixels • 1.8 screen • 35 – 140 mm (4×)
Announced: Feb 1, 2005
Simon Daneault's score
Average community score
Flat view
Post (hide subjects) Posted by
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum PPrevious NNext WNext unread UUpvote SSubscribe RReply QQuote BBookmark MMy threads
Color scheme? Blue / Yellow