Canon PowerShot A640 Review
The PowerShot A640, launched in August, just before Photokina 06, replaces the popular A620 at the top of Canon's increasingly well-specified 'budget' A series range. The new model gets a bit of a facelift (and a new coat of black paint) as well as a bigger screen, major pixel boost (up from 7MP to 10MP) and a few feature tweaks. Otherwise it offers pretty much everything the A620 did; 4x zoom lens, tilt and swivel LCD, full photographic control and optional converter lenses. And like its predecessor, the A640 was launched with an almost identical twin, the A630, the only major difference being the sensor (8MP as opposed to 10MP). Therefore much of what is said in this review will also be applicable to the A630 (we will be adding A630 IQ results in the new year). The A620 was one of our favorite cameras of the last 12 months, and is a tough act to follow. So is the A640 up to the job? Let's find out, starting with the headline features...
- 10.0 million effective pixels
- 35-140mm (equiv.) 4x zoom lens
- DIGIC II, iSAPS, 9-Point AiAF, FlexiZone AF/AE
- Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom
- 2.5-inch vari-angle LCD and real-image optical viewfinder
- 21 shooting modes
- 1cm macro mode
- Optional wide and tele converter lenses
Canon PowerShot A640 vs A620 (main differences)
Canon PowerShot A640
Canon PowerShot A620
|Sensor||• 1/1.8" Type CCD
• 10.0 million effective pixels
|• 1/1.8" Type CCD
• 7.10 million effective pixels
|Screen|| 2.5-inch Vari-angle P-Si TFT
| 2.0-inch Vari-angle P-Si TFT
|Max image size||3648 x 2736||3072 x 2304|
|Movie modes||• up to 640 x 480, 30fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
|• up to 640 x 480, 30fps
• 320 x 240, 60fps (up to 1 minute)
|Dimensions||109.4 x 66 x 49.1 mm
( 4.3 x 2.6 x 1.9 in.)
|105 x 66 x 49 mm
(4.1 x 2.6 x 1.9 in)
|Weight (exc. batts)||245g / 8.64 oz||235g / 8.29 oz|
|Continuous Shooting||1.5 fps, limited by card capacity||1.9 fps, limited by card capacity|
|Others||• Playback overexposure warning feature
• 3:2 framing overlay
• Safety Zoom
• Digital Tele-converter
• My Colors in playback mode
The size of the models at the top of the A series tree has been creeping up since the A95, and the A640 is a little wider than the camera it replaces. The biggest physical change (aside from the new paint job) is the larger screen, which has jostled all the main controls over to the right. To compare the A640 and A620 rear views just move your mouse over the image below.
Canon PowerShot A640 Key specifications
|Street Price||• US: $350
• UK: £240
|Body Material||Metal and plastic|
|Sensor|| 1/1.8 " Type CCD
10.0 million effective pixels
|Image sizes|| 3648 x 2736
2816 x 2112
2272 x 1704
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
3648 x 2048
640 x 480 @ 15/30fps
|File formats|| JPEG (Exif v2.2)
AVI Motion JPEG
|Lens|| 35-140mm (35mm equiv)
4x optical zoom
8 elements in 7 groups (2 aspherical elements)
|Digital zoom||up to 4x|
|Focus||• TTL autofocus
• AF illuminator
• 9-point AiAF or 1 point AF (any position selectable)
• Manual focus
• 1cm macro mode (Wide), 25cm (Tele)
|AF area modes|| 9-point AiAF
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Focus distance||Closest focus distance 1cm|
Spot (center or linked to focusing frame)
|ISO sensitivity|| Auto
|Exposure compensation||+/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments|
|Shutter speed|| 15-1/2500 sec
(Available shutter speeds vary depending on the shooting mode)
Shutter Priority AE
Aperture Priority AE
|Scene modes|| Night Snapshot
Kids & Pets
|White balance|| Auto
|Self timer||2 or 10sec, custom|
|Continuous shooting||Approx 1.5fps|
|Image parameters||My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B&W, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Positive Film, Custom Color)|
|Flash|| Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, SLow Sync, Red-eye reduction
Flash compensation: +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
Range: 45cm - 4.2m (wide) / 3m (tele)
|Viewfinder||Real-image zoom, optical viewfinder|
|LCD monitor|| 2.5-inch Vari-angle P-Si TFT
|Connectivity|| USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
|Storage|| SD, SDHC, MMC compatible
32 MB card supplied
|Power|| 4x AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries
Optional AC adapter
|In the box*||• Canon PowerShot A640
• Wrist strap
• 2x AA Alkaline batteries
• AV cable
• USB cable
• 32MB SD card
• Software CD ROM (ZoomBrowser EX / ImageBrowser, PhotoStitch, RemoteCapture)
|Other features||• Spot, Center-weighted & Evaluative metering
• 2, 10 sec and custom time self-timer
• Sound memos (up to 60 seconds)
• PictBridge, Exif Print and DPOF compatible
• Playback Histogram
• Built-in speaker and microphone
• Orientation sensor
• PC-controlled shooting with supplied software
• Autofocus Illuminator
• Optional 0.7x Wide (WC-D58N) and 1.75x Tele (TC-DC58N) converters
• Optional Underwater case (WP-DC8)
• Optional High Power Flash (slave) HF-DC1
|Weight (no batt)||245 g|
|Dimensions||109.4 x 66 x 49.1 mm|
* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.
Photojournalist Pete Souza served as the presidential photographer for both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. In an interview with fellow photographer Marcia Nighswander, he discusses several of his most noteworthy images.
Photographer Michael Wolf has been documenting the crowded conditions of Tokyo's subway trains since the 1990s. The photos have gone viral regularly in the years since he started the project, and he just published the final edition in the series.
The just-launched OnePlus 5 is getting a minor update that should improve camera function.
A Belgian camera shop is showing off an extremely rare, limited 'Rex Edition' Nikon D500. The cosmetic alterations were provided by a customer's German Shepherd Rex, who got ahold of the camera within a day of its purchase.
Adobe says that many of its users have been relying on SkyBox for VR editing and it therefore made sense to make the plug-ins available to all subscribers through Creative Cloud.
The Pictar grip provides a number of customizable physical controls for your iPhone camera, but at its price point we would like to see better materials and build quality.
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not famed as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you look in the right places. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.