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
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