Product Type: Canon digital cameras
Newest Review: ... have the whole front the same colour, which I think looks more tasteful than the 'bolted-on' feel of the Powershot. Weight is a slight is... more
Canon Powershot does the job
Canon Powershot A460
Member Name: Drifter_2000
Canon Powershot A460
Advantages: User-friendly, easy and fun to use
Disadvantages: Size and weight, poor quality zoom
The Canon Powershot A460 is the only digital camera I've ever owned and it's been a loyal servant on several holidays and special occasions. Luckily for me, Canon designed it specifically with ease of use in mind making it perfect if you simply want to point and shoot. At the same time however, beneath its user-friendly appearance the Powershot is packed with features and shooting modes to help you take better pictures.
The boxy shape of the A460 might have you instinctively reaching for your 35mm film, and it's nothing like as streamlined as its Kodak or Nikon equivalent. I have the red model, and personally I'm not wild about the coloured section at the front, preferring the 'gun metal' grey version. Models like the Kodak EasyShare M1073 have the whole front the same colour, which I think looks more tasteful than the 'bolted-on' feel of the Powershot. Weight is a slight issue and combined with the size, means that the camera won't comfortably fit in your pocket. The case is hard-wearing enough except for the battery casing, which feels slightly flimsy.
I received the Powershot as a gift along with a brand new memory card as the inbuilt memory is nothing to speak of, allowing you to store only about 12 photos. The original pricetag of £99 seems a little archaic today, seeing as you can now get a 12 megapixel camera for half that price, and the Powershot is only 5 megapixels. You get all the usual features: a tripod mount and DC and AV connections (the latter lets you watch film recordings on your TV). Downloading images to your PC is done through the DC cable either directly via the camera interface or through handy software from the CD-ROM that the camera comes with. Battery life is not great, so take plenty of spare AA batteries with you.
The camera's interface is very user-friendly and easy to grasp. If you want to simply point and shoot then you hardly even need to consult the instructions. For the slightly more adventurous the camera has special modes for close-up or landscape shots and a Movie Mode that allows you to record VGA quality films (with audio) of up to 60 minutes in length. The close-up mode is perfect for 'macro' shots where you need to pick up tiny details of an object- the bumpy surface of a basketball, the petals of a rose etc. The film quality was a little grainy and I found that the audio quality suffered if you made films outdoors.
As I was a pretentious wannabe photographer at the time, I used the landscape mode to take pictures of the industrial suburbs of Paris where I was living. While I was no David Hockney, the Powershot allowed me to take photos that I'm really proud of. The 'My Colours' mode lets you apply colour effects directly from the camera, and I found the Black & White setting ideal for photos of buildings, while the Sepia setting gave photos a lovely timeless feel. A brief comment on the zoom- while the camera lets you zoom to 16x, objects taken with anything more that 4x tend to look very faded and two-dimensional. If you're desperate to photograph a pigeon sitting atop Nelson's Column then it might be worth spending a little more.
While the digital camera industry has moved on since the Powershot's heyday, it remains a good basic camera for everyday use.
Summary: A good basic digital camera
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