Conclusion - Pros

  • Good resolution
  • Clean and detailed results across the frame and zoom range
  • Effective image stabilization
  • Fast, reliable focus
  • Reliable exposure and white balance and accurate color
  • Clear and understandable menu and control layout
  • Good feature set
  • Good range of in-camera tonal and color adjustments
  • Little purple fringing
  • Big, fairly bright (though low res) screen
  • Good balance of noise reduction and detail retention at higher ISO settings
  • Excellent movie quality
  • Optional add-on lenses, filters, 40m underwater case and slave flash
  • Good value for money

Conclusion - Cons

  • Occasional highlight clipping
  • Combined card / battery compartment can make changing cards without losing the batteries fiddly
  • Slow flash recycling (especially when batteries are weak)
  • Low screen resolution
  • Images a bit soft viewed at 100% - benefit from a little sharpening
  • ISO 800 and above only suitable for emergency use
  • Battery Life not brilliant (it's useful to always carry a spare set of batteries)

Overall conclusion

Canon's A series PowerShots were originally designed as 'entry level' cameras but since have quite clearly moved out of their original market segment. A series PowerShots have improved with each generation and - thanks to the inclusion of comprehensive manual controls and technologies such as the new DIGIC III imaging processor and image stabilization - have become a viable weapon of choice not only for beginners but also the more advanced photographer with limited resources.

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The A570 IS takes the succesful formula of previous cameras such as the A530/540 - well-priced, compact cameras with a useful zoom range and extensive photographic control - and adds the one thing that was missing, an effective optical image stabilization system. Image stabilization is certainly the most important new feature introduced with this new camera; the increased megapixel count or a larger screen will almost certainly not have any significant impact on your shooting.

The A570 IS offers a lot of camera for what is a very low price. The camera is very responsive, the output quality very good, exposure and focus reliable, and the amount of photographic control on offer is superb. The ability to further expand the camera's abilities with add-on lenses and a flash is also a definite plus point.

There are only a couple of points that merit some criticism, the most crucial one being the flash recycling times. In a typical 'social' shooting situation having to wait up to 10 seconds (with weak batteries) to take the next picture can be fairly frustrating, not only for the photographer but also his subjects. We found the battery life in general quite disappointing (with AA batteries), it is therefore recommendable to always carry a spare set of batteries, the battery warning icon will come on rather sooner than later.

Image quality issues are almost negligible, there is some minor evidence of CA, color blooming and highlight clipping but all these 'problems' occur on a very small scale and almost certainly won't have any negative impact on your prints (unless you print at poster size).

So in conclusion, with the Canon A570 IS you get a nicely designed, responsive camera with more than enough features to keep most users - especially those wanting a little more manual control than is normal at this price point - happy. If you don't mind it not being the fastest 'social' snapshot camera in the world (the flash recycling puts paid to that), this is a perfect camera for anyone wanting real photographic control without paying through the nose. Its well balanced combination of image quality, functionality and handling (and not to forget value for money) means the A570 IS just about deserves our highest award.

Detail Rating (out of 10)
Build quality 7.5
Ergonomics & handling 8.0
Features 7.5
Image quality 7.5
Optics 8.0
Performance (speed) 7.5
Value 9.0

Highly Recommended

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