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Those of you with longish memories and nothing better to do than to read the crazed ravings I put up on my profile page may remember that, a few months ago, I made mention of the fact that I'd bought a job lot of old digital cameras for what Paul Daniels would doubtless refer to as "not a lot". Of course, the main reason for my buying them was because I find the things fascinating (to use, naturally, not just to stick on a display shelf) but having done so I thought I might as well review the darn things. This two-megapixel camera, which dates from early 2002, is one of the more interesting examples.
The Canon PowerShot A-series range (still in existence today, albeit in considerably changed form) began life with relatively simple cameras which, though well built and reasonably feature-rich, did not have the photographic control for which the series was later to become famous. The first entry to have a *full* range of such controls was the slightly later A60, but the A40 I'm reviewing here began the move and was the first to offer a manual mode. Unlike the later model, however, it did not boast aperture- or shutter-priority options; it is very unusual to find a digicam which jumps straight from auto/program AE mode to full manual as the A40 does, but here it is!
The A40 is not a very attractive camera, being rather bulky and old-fashioned in design - though that, along with its moderately weighty nature and large protruding grip, does make it feel very secure in my hand. Although the 3x optical zoom lens is nicely placed right in the centre of the front of the body, when it is fully extended there is more than a hint of ye olde bellows camera about it! The barrel is surprisingly large, and I keep nearly knocking it - though that's probably at least in part down to my personal clumsiness. Being a Canon lens, it is of quite good quality. It's acceptably fast (f/2.8 to f/4.8) and is straight down the middle as far as focal length is concerned, equating to a useful range of 35 to 105 mm.
The controls on the back are, I'm afraid, a bit of a mess; it was a relief to see ergonomics improved significantly when the A60 appeared. As well as the 1.5-inch LCD screen (which although small is a bit sharper than those on even some more recent cameras) you get a rather vague-feeling zoom rocker switch - not a shutter button collar as on later PowerShots - no fewer than seven separate buttons (but no four-way pad) and a mode dial. Why on earth the mode dial couldn't be put on the top of the camera where there's plenty of room (and where it did indeed migrate after this) is beyond me, as I certainly find it less comfortable here. At least the limited number of settings mean that you don't need to twiddle it too often.
The big thing with the A40 was the introduction of a true manual mode, and this does indeed work quite well, though it's rather less flexible than you'd expect from using later A-series cameras. The reason for this is that at any given focal length the aperture control consists of only two options. At the wide end of the zoom, these are f/2.8 and f/8.0, which is fairly standard. However, at the telephoto end the options are f/4.8 and a remarkably narrow (for a compact) f/14! Don't get too excited, though: at an (equivalent) focal length of 105 mm when fully zoomed in, you're going to need a very bright day to be able to choose the f/14 option and still get sharp results hand-held. On the shutter speed front, with plenty of points between 1/1,500 second and 15 seconds, though again the realistic range will be restricted by light conditions.
As befits an A-series PowerShot, you get a fair amount of other control over your images. ISO can be set to 50, 100, 200 or 400, or left on Auto. You should bear in mind that (as the manual states deep in the Specification section at the back) when you choose Auto the camera will not go higher than about ISO 150, which is good in terms of keeping image noise to a minimum but bad in terms of avoiding blurriness in dim conditions. I'd advise setting ISO yourself in anything worse than averagely cloudy daylight. There are several white balance options (though no custom manual setting) and you can adjust exposure compensation in the usual 0.3 stop jumps. You don't, however, get any of the fancy tricks that more recent Canons have boasted, such as contrast and saturation control.
There is a movie mode of sorts, but these days it should be considered strictly for emergencies only. Canon often lagged behind the competition on this score, preferring to concentrate on improving the still picture-taking experience, which to my mind was the right thing to do but which did leave some people a bit frustrated. You can record at 320 x 240 pixels, for a maximum of ten seconds. Yes, that's right: *ten*. Unless you're pointing the camera at Usain Bolt doing the 100 metres, it's not going to do you much good! You can manage a mighty 30 seconds at 160 x 120 pixels, but that resolution brings back memories of using "Video for Windows" on early editions of Microsoft Encarta in about 1995...
Other bits and bobs for your consideration: the macro mode is decidedly uninspiring, and bordering on downright poor, with a minimum focus distance of 20 cm. It works okay if you can live with that limitation, though. There are two fixed-focus modes for quick shooting if your subject is at a predictable distance: the common "Landscape" mode for distant hills etc, and a less common "Snapshot" option for subjects around two metres from the camera. This works rather well, and it's a bit of a shame it wasn't seen in more digicams. Oh, and the A40 takes CompactFlash cards and a set of four AA batteries, so nothing too startling there. (Usual nudge: please do use NiMH rechargeables and a card reader. Your wallet will thank you for it in the long run, especially in a four-battery camera like this one.)
And so to photo quality. It's not bad at all, actually. Of course you shouldn't expect a 2mp camera to measure up to today's far more powerful models, and indeed it doesn't, but if you're careful with how you shoot - and realistic about *what* you shoot - then you can get some very pleasing results. The main problems brought out by the low resolution occur when you have a thin, curving line against a strong background - for example, a pylon line against a bright sky - as these do look rather blocky at anything above quite a small size. However, more general landscapes, portraits, buildings etc look absolutely fine at 6 x 4 inches, and not too bad up to about half as big again. A4 size is really pushing it, though, and the discerning probably won't like results at that size. Colour, though, is very good: as is practically always the case with this series, reds are a smidgen over-saturated sometimes, but that's about it: delicate blue skies (when we get any!) are reproduced particularly nicely.
One final point before I sum up: the A40 did in fact have a little brother, the excitingly-monikered A30. This had only a 1.2mp resolution, but otherwise it had very nearly the same specification. The only other really significant difference was that the A30 could only record silent movies; I don't consider the slightly lesser digital zoom facility important, as digital zoom is generally a waste of space in any case. It also had a slightly different paint job, looking (to me, anyway) a bit more childish and toy-like, though I can only go on photos as I've never actually seen one in the flesh. The A30 seems to be quite rare, certainly so in Britain, but there is no real reason to buy it unless that fact alone attracts you. The A40's extra resolution is very noticeable, and as such it is by some distance the better of the two cameras.
Not only is it the better of those two cameras, it is also a capable camera in its own right. For an eight-year-old digicam it holds its own pretty well, and excepting the few problems I've touched on above its results are perfectly acceptable to most at standard print size. Although the manual setting is a little bit restrictive, especially in terms of aperture control, it's still well worth having, and you would probably miss it if you went from the A40 to something like the A20, which lacks this feature. Don't pay too much for an A40: Canons command a slight premium on the second-hand market, but there really isn't any point in going much above £12-15 for one of these. If one does turn up at a keen price, though, you'll be getting a pretty nice old thing.
This is a great little camera. I have been using it for over two years now, so while it is positively prehistoric in megapixel terms, it still holds its own against newer offerings. It would be an excellent ebay purchase for a beginner. (My son is waiting for me to upgrade so he can get his mits on it full time!) They are retailing for around £40-£50 at the moment.
The canon lens is excellent and gives 3.0x zoom, enhanced to 7.0x digital zoom. This is very much a snapper of a camera, so paparazzi style long-shots are not possible. ( Even so, every year I try to take a picture of the Red Arrows with it!)
Like most cameras, it comes with several modes but in reality you mostly use "auto" which will take a good picture of pretty much anything within range.
Occasionally I also use the panoramic option which allows you to take several overlapping shots and then stitch tem together on the computer with some supplied software. This works fairly well and probably would be even better if you used the tripod they recommend. It is certainly a nice way to get a panorama of a beach or a great view.
The video mode will record short video clips (30 seconds with a 256mb cf card) which play back on a pc at a reasonable quality. No good if you are shooting your first feature film, but perfect for capturing "happy birthday to you...".
There are settings for macro (close up), portrait and landscape photos, which optimise the picture. I have to admit to forgetting they are there and rarely using them. I still take quite good pictures (I like to think).
The integral flash can be switched off, or can be used in redeye reduction as well as standard mode.
My only major moan about this camera is there is no battery power indicator, so you don't know your battery is low until the camera suddenly tells you nanoseconds before it switches itself off. It takes 4 AA batteries and I use rechargeables, always keeping a spare set in my bag.
The lcd display is small by current standards, but plenty good enough to compose pictures and play them back. The camera has a nice solid feel and is easy to hold.
All in all, this camera is easy to use and takes good shots, my 6 year old has no problems using it, in fact some of his pictures are better than mine!
When I purchased my Canon Powershot A40 at the tail end of 2002 it was the very best the digital camera market could offer, which rather goes to show how far digital cameras have come. What was considered at the time to be a top end piece of equipment is now very much a basic model as megapixels have increased and prices have come down. Nevertheless this is still a very competent camera which should not be resigned to the scrapheap just yet, it is also selling at giveaway prices on sites such as ebay and Amazon which means that digital photography with the Powershot A40 is well within most peoples budget.
Whats in the box?
If you buy the A40 new you will get a plethora of extras to ensure the very best use of the functions on the camera. Apart of course from the camera itself there is an 8MB compact flash memory card to slip into the camera and store pictures on. Four AA batteries ensure you wont need to pop to the shops before you can try out your new toy while a USB Interface cable ensures simple connectivity between Camera and Computer. An AV cable enables the stored pictures to be shown on a television that boasts the required sockets and a wrist strap can be attached or not depending on your preference. 2 CD-Roms hold the Canon Digital Solutions Software and Arcsofts Camera Suite which are both needed to install the camera and the relevant drivers to work it. Finally a selection of manuals in varying sizes tell you about the camera in as detailed or brief a way as you are comfortable with.
The A40 is an all singing all dancing digital camera with numerous features to keep the average user occupied for days, and yet if you prefer a simple aim and shoot approach to photo taking the A40 is more than capable of that, it can be as simple or as complex to use as you want it to be.
2.0 megapixel CCD - Without getting too technical a megapixel is a measure of an images resolution. 2 megapixels is approximately 2 million pixels and this shows the depth of detail a camera can capture. 2.0 megapixel is the bare minimum a digital camera should have nowadays with some new top end models boasting up to 10.0 megapixels.
1.5 inch colour LCD viewfinder and real image optical viewfinder - The LCD viewfinder is a great way to size up your picture subject while seeing what it may look like on a computer or television screen. It is also used to view previously taken pictures in a slide show format as well as listing menus for the more advanced options the camera boasts. It also gives information such as the space available on the memory card, shutter speed and exposure settings. If you prefer the traditional way of photography then the optical viewfinder is waiting for you to put your eye to it, this method is an advantage if battery power is low as it saves using the LCD screen.
3 x Optical zoom and 7.5 x digital zoom The 3 x optical zoom is equivalent to 35 - 105mm on a 35mm camera, which is really the minimum zoom you would want. In addition to this there is the digital zoom which simple enlarges the pixels on the LCD display rather than physically zooming in on the picture subject. The optical zoom is fast and produces a crisp image while the digital zoom does appear a little grainy when used to its full capability.
Autofocus and fixed focus modes The autofocus works by finding three focus areas at the middle of the picture and using them as a guide, if it is turned off the camera switches to fixed focus which simply concentrates on whatever is in the middle of the frame.
3 resolution settings Depending on the clarity of picture and detail required the cameras resolution can be set to 1,600 x 1,200, 1,024 x 768 or 640 x 480 pixels. The higher the resolution the larger the pictures overall file size will be. In movie mode there are 2 resolution options, with 320 x 240 and 160 x 120 available.
Self timer Which can be set to either 2 or 10 seconds.
Movie mode In movie mode the A40 can capture up to 30 seconds of moving images with sound, although this is a fairly small amount it is good enough to capture important or sudden occurrences. You can keep filming in 30 second segments for as long as you have space on the compact flash memory card.
Multi function controls With a function rich camera like the A40 the controls need to multi task, and they perform well at their designated functions. Most buttons simply scroll through what they can do one at a time with many of them telling the user their function on the LCD screen.
Compression This function sets the quality of the photograph to superfine, fine or normal with superfine being the most detailed. This increases the overall file size of the photograph.
The look and feel of the camera
The A40 comes in silver grey livery with the casing made predominantly of plastic. A little too large to fit in the pocket the camera is also on the heavy side when loaded with the 4 AA batteries needed to power it. That aside the camera has a solid feel to it with no loose or flimsy parts ready to snap off or break, the controls are positioned well so that the user does not have to move hands too much to call up the various functions. The viewfinder is large and clear while the LCD screen is sharp, the zoom lens moves in and out with very little noise while the sockets required to connect the A40 to a computer or television are well protected from dirt with a rubber cover.
The bundled Software
As mentioned above the camera needs the drivers on the Canon Digital Solutions Software disk to enable it to work effectively. This software also allows an amazing amount of manipulation to uploaded pictures or film clips. Simply selecting the panoramic picture master stitches images together seamlessly for that full 360° look to landscape photography. Other more standard features include red eye reduction sections as well as cropping, rotating and distorting any given picture. Arcsofts Camera Suite is more of the same although it does include Video Impression software for editing movie clips captured with the A40. Personally I installed both programs but rarely use them, preferring instead to use Windows XP`s Scanner and Camera wizard to upload pictures and Paintshop Pro 9 to manipulate and edit. Users of computers not running Windows XP will still need to use the bundled software for the main part, which is compatible with Macintosh and early Windows operating systems.
For the more experienced camera user
For those who take their photography seriously the A40 is capable of providing a host of tweaks and functions to keep budding David Baileys happy. The shutter button sets focus and exposure when semi depressed and fires the shutter when pushed completely. The flash set button gives six options - Auto, Red-Eye Reduction Auto, Forced, Suppressed, Red-Eye Reduction Forced, and Slow Synchronised. A removable lens ring means that standard lenses can be added to the A40 with the use of an adapter which retails at around £20. The macro / snapshot / infinity button lets the user toggle between three settings which adjust the way the focus works depending on the proximity of the photograph subject and the light conditions. A built in ISO speed sensor determines the cameras sensitivity to light conditions with five settings to obtain the perfect look to a photograph.
So how good are the photographs?
This is what we really want to know, it is no good having an all singing all dancing camera if the photographs taken are not of suitable quality. Luckily the A40 delivers well whether you are a novice aim and shoot photographer or an experienced user. The pictures at the bottom of this review show the picture quality under various conditions with and without the use of zoom, when looked at on a computer screen the images are crisp and clear when taken at 1,600 x 1,200 resolution. If you prefer to print your photographs they hold up well to traditional film prints at a size of 8 x 6 inches although printer quality and paper used will affect the result. Printing at any larger size starts to affect the quality although I found you could get away with printed photographs of 12 x 8 inches before the image started looking pixelated and blocky. All in all colours were true and details easy to pick out.
So we have a decent digital camera that can still hold its own amongst the newer competition. The Canon Powershot A40 is currently selling on Amazon or ebay for around the £50 mark which makes it a bargain introduction to digital photography. The controls are well laid out easy to master while the LCD display is clear and accurate. The 8 MB compact flash card supplied is hardly worth bothering with (it would only hold eight pictures of the quality below!) but with new 1GB cards retailing at under £45 you can fit well over a thousand photographs onto it before uploading it. On the subject of uploading, the software is fast and easy to understand and photographs take about 1 second each to transfer once this is done the memory card is wiped in seconds and ready to use again. The camera is a little on the heavy side and battery use is not great, especially with the flash and LCD screen in use but the purchase of a rechargeable battery adapter will reduce costs considerably.
I brought the Canon A40 a couple of years ago after returning from a holiday. My motor in my old camera had died and I was left without photographic evidence of my athletic achievement of staying on an inflatable shark in to Villas pool. I did a little research but when the Canon A40 PowerShot caught my eye that was me sold.
I have never been so happy with a purchase in my life. The quality of the photographs is exceptional (especially when you consider it is only 2.0 mega pixels). I have compared photos taken on a new Sony 8.0 mega pixel camera and you would be hard pushed to say which the better picture is. The additional lenses that can be brought are also excellent (if not a little on the expensive side), you can easily turn this relatively compact camera in to a serious piece of photographic equipment. Battery life is also very good and tacking x2 Rechargeable AA batteries it is easy and cheap to carry a spare set.
The best thing about this camera for me is that due to it being only 2.0 mega pixels you can fit hundreds of photos on a fairly small 256mb Compact flash card.
I've had my Canon PowerShot A40 for 2 years. I've captured more than 5,400 shots in this time. This is an EXCELLENT camera. It is quite durable. The lens is quite good. The LCD display is very clear (full color), and is highly resistant to scratches. We now use a 256mb Flash Card (only $40 at Sam's Club), and we can get everything we need with this camera to publish ads at 300dpi. Our magazine is "digest sized", so this camera's "Large" (high res.) image is more than adequate for most photos of persons and objects to be integrated into multi-layered ads (in PhotoShop). The A40's high res. mode is 1600x1200, which equates to a 300dpi image of 4" x 5.33". We have used our camera every week for 2 years and nothing has failed, or needed adjustment.
The only recommendation I have for A40 users is:
(1) purchase two sets of four (4) RayoVac Rechargable, NiMh batteries. This will be a total of eight (8) RayoVac Rechargable batteries. Wal-Mart sells this brand battery for about $9 for four (4) of them. Total cost: $18 (for 8). These eight batteries will be your best investment. And they will last for a very long time if you purchase:
(2) The RayoVac NiMh recharger. This device is available at WalMart for around $25.
(3) Lexar Media 256mb Compact Flash card ($40 at Sam's Club).
I would recommend purchasing some kind of comfortable "Fanny Pack" to place this camera in. Rationale: The Canon A40 is so convenient to use, you'll want to have it READILY available for on-site capture - versus using some sort of fancy-prancy camera case.
Cheers to Canon for an absolutely superior design and an excellent product for home based business publishers!
The Kids' Directory of Knoxville
P. O. Box 31453
Knoxville, TN 37930
(865) 455-0398 (c)
My man picked this camera for me. A Christmas gift - my first digital camera. It's probably a great camera for the photo buff who likes lots of techi features. A 'Man' Camera? Confusing jargon in the book, menus, alarms!, sub menues, weird icons, sub-sub, menus and neither I nor the staff at the store could make it talk to my computer. (Windows XP was blamed by several parties) Down loading drivers, re-reading the book - No. Never got it to do what I wanted. Shop agreed to take it back at beginning of March. Now have a much simpler (Ladies Camera?) - Olympus C-120 That talks to my PC and does nothing but take pictures - but that's all I ever wanted really!
In terms of technical detail there is very little to be added to Regeants comprehensive review, but I thought I would add some practical aspects. I acquired my A40 as a replacement for an older Fuji. The downside of the aquisition is that there was no case supplied, so it is a definite that a case must be acquired. Try to make it as small as possible, as the camera is quite tubby. I installed big batteries immediately, and using the 1800mAH NiMH batteries I had, I have done a week's holiday, with about 200 shots. The other clue is that I did not even contemplate using the 8MB Compact Flash card supplied, and immediately added a 128MB card, which, as I said, held 200 images no problem with the camera set at maximum resolution. Image size at that setting is about 600k'ish as jpeg format images. Whilst the software supplied works, I immediately also installed a compact flash card reader on my computer. This is much more convenient and faster to deal with. It also means that there is less risk of wrecking to somewhat flimsy looking USB port. As was stated on the other review, the instruction manual is big, but is not complex. A lot of what goes on in the camera is only semi-intuitive, as some functions don's work on every camera setting. If you have used Canon EOS cameras before, some of the controls will look very familiar, and if you go for the simple green point and shoot facility, it is a good starting point. It is difficut to remember that this camera, whihc looks like a simple point and shoot job has the classic Canon zone focussing, with the audible warning, and a satisfactory zoom of up to x7 with the electronics. I don't know what that translates into in terms of SLR zoom lens characteristics, but obviously this does not replace a proper slr. Once set up (I have mine emulating a 400asa film) it is dead simple to use, and the result are beyond my expectations, and certainly beyond the results of my old fuji. (Ha
d to junk the smartmedia cards) I had resisted going to 4Megapixels, as I thought that this would need so much more memory and computing power. 2 mega is satisfactory for my needs, and only shows up its faults on full size A4 prints. One of my best discoveries was forced on me by my wife who dislikes the fiddling about with manipulating and inkjet printing of the photo's. I chose the best looking 40 pictures on my CF card, and deleted the rest. Without touching them up. I took the card to HappySnaps, and one hour later, and £12.50 I had 40 first rate 6x4 prints of photo quality. You cannot tell they are not from an SLR. The colours are good, focussing is fine, and there is satsifactory gradations of colour and contrast. Brilliant! The only comment I would make is that some of the zoomed shots using the electronic zoom look a bit flat, with loss of perspective. I have tried the movie facility, which is a bit of fun, when something moves. It produces quicktime movies, which play fine on either windows media player or quicktime, as supplied with the camera software. Resolution is crap, but they are just a bit of fun, and you also get the sound. I would say that for the money, this has been a very good buy. I recognise that the world has moved on, and 4MP will be the base measure in few weeks, and the prices will drop. I would say that if you got your hands on one of these, and spend time working out the best facilities, you will have a lot of fun, and produce some good pictures. I have put some of mine up in the members section of webshots.com - which is a free and excellent way to share your digital photos.
The Canon Powershot A40 is getting old in digital camera terms, but this only turns it into a bargain as prices fall. At only £184 (ex VAT) this camera is excellent value for money. The camera comes in a box containing the camera, a driver CD, "Arcsoft Camera Suite 1.1" CD, wrist strap, 4 AA alkaline batteries, a USB cable, AV cable for plugging the camera into a TV, 8MB CompactFlash card and various pieces of paper. Supplied literature is a 'Software Starter Guide', manual, 'System Map', warranty, a leaflet for Canon's internet printing service ("Fotango") and a leaflet for Canon's "Direct Printing Device". The 'System Map' indicates all the different accessories that may be attached to the camera. These include various lenses, photo printer and waterproof case (all sold separately). The manual for both the software and hardware are surprisingly and reassuringly thick. In these days of "Online Help" (i.e. providing the manual on CD) this is a refreshing change. Furthermore, the thickness of these books is not because thirty-odd languages have been crammed into it, but because they are well detailed, explaining how to operate all aspects of both the camera and the various supplied software. To cap it all, the camera manual is just about pocket-sized, meaning that you can always carry it with you, for example on holiday, as you learn to use it. Learning to use it is an average learning curve; neither too steep nor particularly easy. Previous users of digital cameras will soon be snapping merrily away as most functions and symbols are very similar to other digicams. The beginner will be content just to use the factory defaults and "Auto" mode at first, but once comfortable and having referenced the manual, will soon be able to progress away from complete automation. That's not to say that the fully automatic settings are bad - indeed they will pro
vide great pictures most of the time - but as the user becomes more proficient he/she will want to override the defaults to produce more controlled images. One particular strength of the camera is the ease of focusing on subjects, with three focus boxes placed on the LED screen indicating which parts of the image have been focused upon. The A40 has all the standard digicam features of Auto and manual shooting modes, as well as rapid fire, photo-stitch and movie modes. The photo-stitch mode is quite fun, with the camera helping the user take a series of images that can be joined together on a PC using the supplied "Photostitch" software to create long chains of photos - for example a scenic panorama. The software is fairly automated and if the photos are correctly taken, the images should merge together pretty well. Movie mode is fairly limited and the camera only produces clips around 10 seconds; certainly not for anyone wanting to make the next Hollywood blockbuster although entertaining nonetheless. Supplied software is the standard digicam fare: album software, transfer software, twain/wia driver and image editing. In addition to that, Canon provides the aforementioned photo stitching software and a remote capture utility. The remote capture utility can control most of the camera's settings and be used to perform timed interval photography. Unfortunately the A40 does not allow the viewfinder to be seen on-screen. Connecting the camera up is standard USB fare. Plug it in and Windows should prompt for the drivers CD. It's not necessary to install all the software and for users who already possess a photo-editing app. only the TWAIN/WIA driver is necessary, although the Photostitch and Remote Capture are pretty useful too. Image quality from the A40 is never going to be outstanding, since the camera is only a 2 megapixel unit. But for most purposes it will produce some richly coloured and fairly-s
harp image s that can be printed either on an inkjet or processed professionally. The main criticism here is that the images aren't always as sharp as would be liked, but most of the time they are good. However, at 1600x1200 the images are more than large enough for any online purposes, although users will certainly want to upgrade the memory card. 128MB CompactFlash cards can be found at around £32, allowing for 200 images at maximum quality. Eagle-eyed readers who read through the box inventory will have noticed that there is no method for recharging the batteries provided. Furthermore, the provided standard AA's don't last particularly long. However, sling in the rechargeable batteries with charger supplied separately from the camera and it'll be a long time between battery charges provided that judicious use is made of the flash. Users may find themselves turning the flash off more often than with other cameras anyway. If you already have a digital camera with rechargeable Ni-MH batteries, (e.g. Olympus) that charger will function fine as the Canon model is just a rebadged generic Ni-MH charger. Overall the A40 is a great buy for those who have some basic experience of photography and are looking to enjoy the additional benefits afforded by digital technology. Just don't forget to buy the charger and a bigger CompactFlash card. The low price makes it a bargain. Footnote: Dabs.com is displaying a notice indicating that the A40 is temporarily out of stock. This may mean that it's the end of the line for this camera. Nonetheless, some superb bargains may be available. Added 20 September 2002: Personal Computer World (PCW) magazine announced in its November 2002 issue that the Canon Powershot A40 is the winner of Best Digital Camera in its "Awards 2002". July's PCW had the original review in a "Camera Group Test". Added 27 October 2002: PC Pro magazine
have added the Canon Powershot A40 to their A-list of best products in the November issue following a digicam supertest. The product was originally reviewed in the July 2002 issue and is rereviewed in this issue. They say "just go and buy it". Find the original July review here: http://www.pcpro.co.uk/labs/labs_story.php?issue=98&id=33812
The PowerShot A40 is packed full of features and offers excellent value for money. This camera features a high quality 35-105mm (35mm equivalent) 3x optical zoom lens, with a bright maximum aperture of f2.8. Its 2.0M pixel CCD sensor captures even the finest details, and Canon's latest intelligent three point focusing system AiAF (Artificial intelligence Auto Focus) ensures the subject is always in focus. PowerShot A40 images are ideal for postcard size photo prints. The PowerShot A40 also supports Canon's Direct Print printers - The Card Photo Printer CP-100 and CP-10. Direct printing is the quickest and easiest way to get photo quality prints without a PC. Simply connect the camera to the printer, select the image on your camera, and print. The CP-100 allows up to 10 x 15cm photo quality prints and the CP-10 is ideal for credit card size photos. With the A40's movie mode, it is possible to capture movie clips up to 30 seconds with sound and, by making use of the video lead supplied, the camera can be connected to a standard TV set, to view and share photos and movies. The PowerShot A40 incorporates additional features to allow more adventurous photography. The Manual Mode, allows users to select the aperture and shutter speeds, exposure compensation, and white balance setting from the auto or pre-set choices. The Photo Effects option allows images to be taken in vivid color, neutral, sepia and black and white. There is also a Stitch Assist mode for taking panorama shots that can be merged using the supplied PhotoStitch application. Going digital means easy connectivity between the camera and your PC's USB port opening up the whole new world of digital imaging. This camera uses standard AA-size alkaline or rechargeable batteries. The PowerShot A40 is supporting Exif Print.
The PowerShot A40 brings affordable digital photography to everyone. With it's extensive feature set it offers great value for money for those looking for a great quality zoom lens digital camera. Suitable for first-time users and those wanting to switch to digital photography, it is ideal for any occasion.