* Prices may differ from that shown
I was given this point and shoot camera as a present. I'm no expert on cameras, but this seems light and easy to use. It's small enough to go in your pocket or handbag, but is quite robust - I've dropped mine a few times with, as far as I know, no damage. It comes with a wrist strap, memory card, batteries, interface cable, AV cable and discs for the computer.
Batteries are easy to fit and seem to last for a good period of time, I have not replaced the batteries yet after 4 months, but I do not take photos every day with it. You can buy a charging unit for it as a separate item.
The focus is automatic, 10 megapixel resolution, it has a one SD card slot and a slot for the printer, TV, computer, Etc. That's not bad for under £50.00.
It's pretty easy to do the initial set up with language, date, Etc. and, if need's be, comes with an easy to follow instruction book. It can take 'piccys', video and you can play these back to check them out. These can be deleted if required.
Taking photos is simply point and shoot, with a descent quality of picture for the price.
The shutter button is on top with the remaining function buttons at the rear.
This is not for the enthusiast but for people like me who take the odd few pictures, Etc. It's very good quality for the price.
I was drawn to this camera because I wanted something - at a budget price - which could be adapted to perform like a more expensive one.
You see, I was trying to set up a diy book scanner (to create ebooks of my large collection) and I discovered that it is fairly straightforward to add new firmware which greatly expands the camera's abilities.
The firmware is called CHDK and is free to download and it is fairly straightforward to install.
There are many more options available with the new firmware and the one which interested me most was the ability to focus the camera manually...
In fact I even used this at my workplace with the camera on a tripod to photograph very small items which were almost impossible to focus on any other way!
In summary, this is a great little camera and I have no hesitation giving it a five-star review.
** Introduction **
Now what's this, I hear you ask? David reviewing a camera that doesn't look like a refugee from the Ark? Impossible... and yet it is so. This is the Canon PowerShot A480, which is only about two years old. It marked a break with the earlier A4xx models in that the old boxy shape was transformed into... well, another type of boxy shape, but it shows willing on Canon's part, at least. These cameras were frequently sold at heavy discounts by Argos, so a lot of people snapped them up for £50 or so. I think they made a good choice.
** Looks and handling **
The A480 was available in four colours (black, silver, red and blue) which doesn't mean much but it was nice to have the choice. I think the black version looks the best (which is handy!) and it's certainly a fair bit more modern in appearance than the A470, though when you them side by side the family resemblance is still very apparent. There's a minimum of flashy highlighting on the A480: really the only concession to style is a sliver flash on the side stating "10.0 mega pixels". On top, again, the only real change is that the power button is no longer recessed but stands slightly proud of the casing; I'm not that keen on this.
Go around the back, though, and big changes have been made since the A470. Gone completely is the mode dial, and the buttons themselves have been heavily redesigned. Gone too, thankfully, is one particularly awkward feature of the older model - on that camera, the up/down buttons doubled as the zoom control, whereas the A480 provides a straightforward horizontally-orientated rocker switch. It's a little bit small for my liking, but it does have a nice, precise feel. Actually, build quality generally seems to have been improved since the last model: the body's still plastic, of course, but it all feels a little more solidly put together now.
** Lens and screen **
The A480 has a 3.3x optical zoom - down marginally from the 3.4x on the A470, but really you're unlikely to notice the difference. The equivalent range is from 37 to 122 mm, which is a tad more towards the telephoto end than on the previous model. The lens is only averagely fast (f/3.0 at wide; f/5.8 at full tele) but again that's not something that's likely going to worry the sort of people at whom this type of camera is aimed. Zooming is not amazingly fast nor amazingly quiet, and there's a distinct delay if you zoom in then immediately try to zoom out.
Canon stuck with a 2.5-inch LCD for this camera, but since it's a little taller than the A470 that means it's not quite so close to the edge all round; nor is it any longer proud of the rest of the back plate, which should help avoid scratches. Disappointingly no improvement was made in the screen's resolution: 115,000 dots on a 2.5" monitor is really a bit below par, and there's quite a bit of graininess when you look closely. That won't bother you when taking landscape shots, but it might do if you want very precise aiming, for example for macro photographs.
** Features and settings **
The A480 is not intended as a camera for the real enthusiast photographer, and so you don't get all the manual options you might on some other Canons - control of aperture and shutter speed, for example. However, there's still more control available than on a lot of budget digicams, and as well as the usual white balance (including manual) and exposure compensation, there are quite a few other things to play with. (Er... did I say "play with"? I meant, of course, "help you in the serious quest for the perfect photo"!) There aren't many scene modes by modern standards, but there is face detection, and this is worth having as it does seem to work quite well.
There's a fair choice of options for appearance effects: on top of the straightforward quartet of vivid, neutral, sepia, and black and white, there's the "Custom Color" [sic] menu, which allows you to define the level of contrast, sharpness and colour saturation you desire. To be honest, I think you might as well leave them all on the default settings 99% of the time. Sadly the "Positive Film" setting found on some other Canons hasn't made it onto the A480, and neither has the option to darken or lighten skin tones.
I consider user control of ISO to be very important even in a snapshot camera, and thankfully you get it here. As well as the Auto setting you can choose values from 80 to 1,600, which isn't a bad selection at all, even if there is no "Auto Hi" option for low light. I also find it quite handy that Canon still allow you to choose between three different sorts of metering (evaluative, centre-weighted and spot) - spot metering in particular can rescue a backlit photo, something which very few small cameras, including this one, can manage very well on the automatic settings.
In a slight simplification from earlier models, Canon removed the chance to use "Superfine" resolution on the A480, so your only choice is now between "Fine" and "Normal"; you might as well leave it on the top setting. A slightly more irritating continuance from the older A-series cameras is that you can only add a time/datestamp to your pictures in "postcard" mode, which has a lower than optimal resolution. I really can't see why it's not possible in any sizes you desire. Still, the 16:9 widescreen option is very welcome, and extremely useful for landscapes.
The movie mode on the A480 does a reasonable job without being inspired. You won't find HD capability here, but VGA at 30 fps is fair enough for most basic purposes, and there's a Long Play option which compresses the video for, startlingly enough, longer-playing movies. You can take movies of up to 4 GB in size (or one hour) but I really can't see anyone wanting to do that, especially as it's not possible to use the zoom while doing so. (Well, you can use the digital zoom, but those things don't count as you'll find quality plummeting.)
** Consumables **
The A480 remains loyal to AA batteries at a time when even budget models are moving towards Li-ion power. This has its pluses and minuses, and of course means that you need to factor the cost of batteries into the buying equation, but as battery life is really quite good (assuming you use rechargeable NiMH cells, which you should always do) it's not likely to be a make-or-break feature. As this camera gets older, its use of AAs will become more of a positive, since buying old Li-ion batteries is not one of this world's most enjoyable endeavours.
As is almost always the case nowadays, the batteries and the SD/SDHC memory card share the same compartment, whose door has been moved from the side opening on the A470 to the underneath. Unfortunately that door is by some distance the worst made part of the A480: it's lightweight, flimsy and loose, and it's the one part of the camera I really do worry about breaking. In use it has to be admitted that it's held up pretty well, but it doesn't fit perfectly flush with the rest of the camera and rather lets down an otherwise well made unit.
** Performance and photo quality **
The use of Canon's (then) fairly new DIGIC III chip in the A480 certainly brings its rewards when it comes to speed. This is a satisfyingly responsive camera; it's significantly faster to power up (and to shut down) than the A470, and you hardly have to wait at all after taking a photo before it's ready for the next one. As ever with Canons, the exception to this is when you're using the flash; the delay is not as bad as on some of its stablemates, but it is long enough to be slightly irksome if your subjects are fast-moving toddlers or cats!
I've been a fan of Canon A-series cameras for a long time, and so I was both pleased and relieved to find that the A480's results didn't let me down. The pictures I've taken with this camera are just what I'd expect: bright, perhaps a little over-saturated and full of life. You probably wouldn't want to use this digicam if you were after perfect fidelity of reproduction, but then that's not the market it's aimed at. I do think that pictures can turn out slightly soft, but I'd rather have that than an over-sharpened picture that looks unnatural and full of jaggedy bits.
** Buying and verdict **
Almost all remotely recent Canon cameras remain in heavy demand second-hand, so the A480 is not a model you're likely to pick up for absolute peanuts. In point of fact there are some eye-opening prices being demanded (and sometimes obtained!) on eBay: I can't for the life of me see why people are paying £60 and more for refurbished examples when - at the time of writing, anyway - Jessops will sell you a brand new A495 (a lightly enhanced version of this) for a few pence short of £50. However, the A480 remains a pretty good snapshot camera, and if you can find one for about £30-£35 then it can certainly be recommended.
The Powershot A480 is a budget digital camera made by Canon. The A480 is compact and takes good pictures for the price. Unfortunately it does have its problems including occasionaly blurry and grainy images and a poor battery life. I paid £50 for it from Argos, which was a reasonable price for the overall quality product.
The digital camera is quite compact in my opinion, the dimensions being 92x52x31mm. The product is rectangular in shape and comes in a variety of different colours. My A480 is predominantly black, but with some silver plastic trim around the lens, to the right of the product, the capture button and some other function buttons. Apart from the lens and flash, the A480 is entirely made from plastic. On the top of the A480 is a small black on/off button with the text "Powershot A480" in silver font. On the right of the camera is a small flap which functions as both a DC in and USB port. On the back of the camera is a 2.5" LCD screen and to the right of this, numerous silver plastic buttons including zoom, picture viewer, menu, flash, delete, macro, night mode and video recording settings. On the base of the camera is a hole which can allow a tripod to screw in and a plastic catch which opens to allow you to put 2 AA batteries into the product and a small horizontal slot for an SD memory card. On the front of the camera, is a silver grip component made from plastic which reads "10.0 Megapixels" which the font indented into the plastic. There is a lens which can open out depending on the zoom setting and a flash screen on the top right. Overall, the camera looks small and compact with a good sized LCD screen on the back and a sturdy design, although it is one constructed from plastic.
The product features a 3.3X optical zoom which even on the maximum zoom still features good clarity. The camera has face detection in that when taking a picture, a green square appears which locks onto the person's face which is supposed to help with clarity. The image quality is 10 megapixels which is good for the relatively low price tag, and is higher than your average mobile phone camera. Included in the box was a carry case and a battery charger when I bought it for Argos, but from other suppliers this may vary. The A480 has red eye reduction settings, the ability to turn the flash on and off, indoor settings, portrait settings, macro/super macro settings, long shutter settings and a night mode feature. You can also create folders for pictures and set the digital camera to work as a video recorder. To me, this is every setting I could ever hope to have or ever use, I am not a professional photographer so my needs were basic in that I needed it for days out and nights out on the town. I feel for the average consumer, the A480 has a fantastic range of settings for everyday needs.
The durability of the product is quite good, It is very sturdy to hold despite the plastic construction of the camera. I have experienced no glitches or freezing when taking photos and the durability on the whole is pretty good for the price. I have actually dropped my A480 from a medium sized cupboard onto carpet, the camera initially would not turn on. When it eventually did, it quickly turned itself back off again. I tried once more and the lens did not come out fully but was jammed. I forcefully pushed the lens back in so it was fully retracted and after repeating this a few times, my A480 was back in top working order again. Whilst it is now in perfect order again, I can't help but think the plastic construction is a bit of a downfall and was probably implemented by canon to cut costs.
The picture quality of the A480 is really good for the price you pay, the images are clear and whilst they can appear grainy on the LCD screen, once fully sized on a PC they come out very fine and detailed. The video quality is also good and could rival that of more expensive digital camera/recorders although I mainly use my A480 just for taking pictures. However, every so often, a couple of pictures will start to appear blurry even though the lens is clear and dirt free. If you knock the camera off then put it back on again, it is back to taking high quality pictures again, so it is definitely worth bearing this problem in mind although it may just be my camera that is at fault and not a general complaint.
The A480 is very well priced, I paid £50 for my A480 from Argos when it was in a sale. I believe it came with a small warranty as well which I have not had to use even though I've had the camera well over a year now. For £50 the A480 is a somewhat budget low cost camera but for the picture quality (most of the time) and the range of features and ease of use, i find £50 very reasonable bearing in mind it is a Canon product. Currently, Argos sell the A480 for £54.99 which is just under £5 more than I paid a year ago which will probably be down to inflation/VAT increases. The Amazon marketplace sells A480s for around £50-£60 and they are readily available on eBay UK too. They're some online electrical retailers selling the camera for £80+ so even now, I would still recommend Argos if you want to buy the camera cheap.
The camera takes 2xAA batteries and you can use rechargeable ones too. I personally use normal batteries but as the battery life on the A480 is a bit poor in my opinion, I've now recently started using rechargeable ones to save money. I can take around 40-50 pictures and slightly less if I use the flash before I start getting red battery warning messages, before the batteries completely drain. For standard AA batteries I would like to see 100+ pictures before I have to start worrying about the batteries so Canon could certainly improve on this in the future. My advice would be to carry some spare AA batteries whether normal or rechargeable if you plan on using the camera a lot each day.
The A480 is a good overall budget camera for the consumer. I think Canon have done a good job on the product considering you can pick one up for £50-£60 and the picture quality is nearly always brilliant. The range of features are easy to access, the LCD screen at 2.5" is a good size and the zoom is handy too. Unfortunately, the plastic construction of the product is a downfall in my opinion and a recent fall onto carpet from a cupboard nearly permanently damaged my A480 for good. Occasionally I've noticed some of my pictures come out blurry for no reason at all since the lens is clean which shortly after comes back to producing good clarity pictures. This can be annoying and I'm not sure if It is just my A480 or is a common complaint for all A480s. Another problem is the poor battery life which only seems to last around 40-50 pictures before needing either recharged or replaced with new AA batteries. That said for £50 the A480 is a handy, compact and all round good little digital camera. It can fit into my pocket easy and can be quickly brought out to take some good photos which are easily uploaded via a supplied USB lead onto a PC. I don't doubt the A480 has a few annoying problems or that there are better more expensive digital cameras out there, but for the price I would highly recommend the Canon A480 to those on a budget. Thanks for reading my review.
© Revo9 (2011)
*Note, I am both a member of Ciao and Dooyoo.co.uk under the same username of Revo9*
I wanted something cheap, user friendly, durable and trust worthy and that is exactly what I got with the Canon Powershot A480. I was very happy with my purchase and one of the big reasons for this was that I only paid £35 for this camera on Ebay and I bought it from the canon outlet store as refurbished which doesn't bother me because it is as good as new for far cheaper, so I was very happy.
I had been researching what digital camera to buy for ages so I had read a lot of revise about various makes and models, I decided on canon as they seemed the most reliable make for a camera and from my experience this is true. The Powershot range seemed quite popular and this model had mixed reviews, mainly concerns over thickness and battery, neither of which concerned me so I went ahead and bought it. I am very glad I did; now I know I got it very cheap but for the price I paid it is an extremely good camera.
Firstly it is not a slim design camera like so many new modern ones. At its thickest point it is approx. 2cm wide, now I know this will put some people of but for me I prefer it, it makes the camera feel more sturdy and durable and I feel less likely to break it. It also can survive being dropped more than some camera could. It is still very light and in my opinion very easy to take out with you, it works with the design and makes it easier to hold when taking a photo as you have more grip on the camera. So for me thickness is not an issue in fact it is a positive. The camera comes in a few different colours, black, silver, red and blue, I have the red one and thinks it looks great. Though i think the design of this camera looks good in any colour!
Secondly the batteries, yes it does take 2 x AA batteries and unlike most cameras now cannot be charge through a USB cable. This does mean it can eat through batteries but I find if you use rechargeable ones they last longer, and save you money. For me though I again see it as a good thing as you can carry round spare batteries if you want, that way you don't have worry about running out of charge which can be a real issue with USB chargeable camera, so again I sort of see this as a positive thing, however I know others may not.
Something I was very impressed by was the speed of the camera; it turns on almost instantly so in those moments you don't want to miss, this camera is really good to have. It takes pretty clear pictures without the flash, but something that can be quite irritating is sometimes you have to wait for the flash to charge after using. It is 10 mega pixels and takes good quality photos, sometimes on the display screen of the camera they can look a bit grainy but I find that this is just the screen as when I upload them they are always perfectly clear. It has a 3.3 x optical zoom and the zoom is very responsive and adjusts very quickly, though like with a lot of digitals cameras the more you zoom the lower quality your photos becomes.
The on/off button is on top of the camera next to the larger capture button. The rest are neatly arranged next to the display screen, all are easy to use and have symbols or words telling you what they do. It features are all pretty standard do a digital camera now. You can program it to use certain brightness, change the flash, size of image and the fineness or you can just keep it on auto for quick shots. It has a power saving mode for when the battery is low, you can also set a timer if you do not want to take pictures instantly. Also you can record on it, the quality is ok but it does kill the battery so it is not great for doing long clips. The lay out of the menu's is very simple and user friendly, everything is displayed very clearly so the camera is easy to figure out. The display screen is approx. 3cmx4cm so everything is easy to read and you can get a good look at photos you have just taken.
This review is also on ciao :)
I bought my first digital camera when my four year old daughter was born and have never been without one since, I was getting a little annoyed at the time delay on my Finepix so I decided at Christmas to ask for a new camera and this was what I found. My father tends to be the best to discuss technical matters and he advised that he had always found Canon to provide good quality cameras at reasonable prices so this was a make that I was looking out for. At the time I found that the price seemed to vary greatly but did finally find it for £70 which I thought was a good buy for a 10 megapixel camera and looking on the internet I have found that the cameras value hasn't really depreciated in the last 6 months as the cheapest I can find it is £62.
The camera comes in four different colours, red, black, blue and white, I really liked the red but it was out of stock so ended up with the black version instead. The box for the camera is made of sturdy cardboard and was sealed so I knew the camera hadn't been used and returned or anything. Inside the box there was the camera, a wire to allow you to transfer photos onto your computer and a disc with the instruction manual on it along with a very basic sheet of instructions. I find it poor that the main instruction manual is only on disc as I feel that just because someone buys a digital camera does not mean they automatically own a computer.
The camera itself is very compact and I would estimate it to be about 3 inches x 2 inches, the body of the camera is in whatever colour you have chosen and then there are silver accents such as one on the side with 10.0 megapixels engraved on it and surrounding the lens of the camera. The camera is made of plastic and I feel that the black parts feel a little cheap although it didn't in the other colours, the silver accents are nicely polished and don't seem to scratch easily as I have dropped this many times over the last 6 months and there isn't a single mark on it. On the top of the camera are two buttons, a silver circular button to press to capture your photo and a smooth oblong black button which turns the camera on and off. On the rear of the camera is a large LCD display which is a must on any camera for myself as I like to be sure that I have captured a good quality shot, the display is around 2 inches x 1.5 inches which is much bigger than a lot of cameras I looked at. There are also a series of buttons on the back of the camera which I will go into later.
The camera comes set up in a basic point and press mode so it is ready to go as soon as you unpack it but there are also a lot more options on it. On the rear of the camera the buttons are to the right of the screen, firstly there is a oblong silver button which you can either press to the left or the right, The button is used to zoom in and out when setting up your shot and this camera has a 3.3x optical zoom so you can get close in to your subject without losing quality in the shot. The button also moves between the different menus screens when you are setting the camera.
The next button down on the camera is a play button which is a small silver circular button displaying a triangle like you would see on a remote so it is obvious that this button is how you view the photos you have taken. At the bottom on the camera there is a mode button also a silver button which gives you the choices of auto, program, SCN and movie, under SCN you can set the camera to know what type of subject will be in the picture such as children and pets, fireworks, portrait, night shots, indoor, sunset, beach, aquarium, foliage and snow. There are so many options that you can get a great quality picture no matter what the surroundings of the picture, the snow setting it really good and the snow shows up bright white exactly as it should. The movie mode is obviously self-explanatory and allows you to shoot some film on your camera.
Next to the mode button there is a menu button, under this button you find two different menu screens, one gives you frame, digital zoom, AF point zoom (not that I know what this is) flash settings, shooting info and allows you to set how long the picture shows for after capturing. The second screen within the menu allows you to decide if you want any volume on the camera, start up imaging, what memory format, how you want your files numbered, how long for the lens to retract when not in use, date and time and language. The menu is very easy to use and navigate through making this camera good for beginners.
The final button is a circular dial with a button in the centre and four points at which you can press, the centre button is to set any options you select and then the dial is for setting the ISO, quickly accessing the flash options although I find it is best to keep this on auto for the best quality photos, setting a macro and setting a self timer.
I really do love this camera and would go as far to say it is the best camera I have owned, the lens retracts fully into the camera which prevents damage which is good as I have little fingers who like to pretend to take photos and of course have mishaps. The camera is supposed to recognise faces and displays them in a green box outline on the viewing screen although I do often find that it highlights bit of the photos that aren't actually faces. There are15 different shooting modes to the camera although I do only use a couple of these which is how I feel most comfortable, there is also auto correcting for red eye which is great as I find there is nothing to spoil a photo more than when you have the perfect setting and then everyone looks like spawn of the devil. I must admit one of the very best things I find on the camera is that you can set it to take continuous photos and having children this setting is a godsend, I often set it to take 10 photos all at a second apart and get some lovely photos, my eldest screws her face up everytime she smiles and when using this she thinks we are finished after the first flash and relaxes giving me some lovely pictures.
I cannot recommend this camera enough, the only thing that I would change is that when taking continuous photos once you press the button you cannot see what the camera is going to capture between each shot so if you move your hand slightly you sometimes loose your subject.
The camera on a whole is distinctly average the 10 mega pixels photos are quite good but I believe you could achieve more from a lesser known brand name for roughly the same price or even have the same features offered for less than the 99pounds advertised.
The camera itself is quite bulky which is handy on some occasions and not in others for instance If you want a nice light camera which fits nicely in your pocket without a massive bulge then this camera isn't for you, which is also misleading of the fitted description as it states the camera is lightweight and compact neither being entirely accurate. The bulkiness also leads a misrepresentation in a sense as the camera feels durable but in fact isn't as mine broke only a few months after my purchase.
The flash works well but drains the battery in a very short time. The batteries are another aspect I never liked as I believe in rechargeable batteries should have come with the product instead you are left to buy replacements every week or two. In use the camera feels slow and utterly useless if you want to catch a certain moment, with the speed of each picture dramatically slow when it comes to both saving and in attempting to capture the next picture. Definitely not a camera for those on the go. The pictures are of good quality but rarely is possible to capture anything other than a still image.
The actual bodily design being made from plastic is also a poor choice by canon as it feels quite cheap compared to other cameras.
I bought the Canon PowerShot A480 after I broke my last digital camera. It was on offer in Argos at the time for £60.00 and i thought that was a good price for a digital camera. I had also had Canon before so thought that it would be familiar to use.
It has been a great camera so far. It has a nice sleek design and is black and silver all over which i think is really trendy. Whilst i don't think this is the most important thing about a camera it is always nice when you pull a nice looking camera out of your bag.
To switch the camera on is very simple. There is a on/off button on the top of the camera next to the big silver button you press to actually take the photo. When you switch it on you are greeted with a blue screen saying canon which is quickly replaced by the view through the viewfinder. You can easily zoom in or out using the button at the top to the right of the screen. There is also a circular type button next to the screen which you can use to have quick access to your flash settings and the self timer.
Also next to the screen is a mode and menu button. When you press mode it allows you to choose a scene such as indoor,sunset,fireworks, long shutterbeach, aquarium,foliage, snowsuper macro, portrait , night snapshot or kids and pets. As a rule i seem to have mine set on kids and pets- it seems to work well for what i use the camera for which is predominantly pictures of my son! I do change it if i go to the beach though.
It is also in the mode menu that you can choose to switch the camera to movie mode and record a short viedo. I wouldn't recommend doing long videos on here but it is fine for minutes!
When you press menu it brings up your main camera settings and i am not going to pretend i know what all this is about. I have left mine set as they came but i am sure anyone who has real camera knowledge could go in there and change things if required!
The camera has a 3.3x optical zoom, which is plenty in my opinion for this type of camera. The pictures are usually clear and bright though if you zoom in too much they are then fuzzy however i think this is probably a flaw with most digital cameras like this.
The only negative things I have found so far is that it didn't come with a case, though I am sure these can be bought cheaply enough. The other point is that the camera requires 2x AA batteries. My last camera came with a rechargable camera battery and a charger and i have found that this one eats batteries! I solved this problem by just buying rechargable ones and these last much longer!
I actually dropped this camera as well recently and the screen has cracked but it still works perfectly well so all in all i would say it is a really good little camera but on the basic side!
Brought two of these camera's recently for myself and my daughter.
The camera is relatively easy to use and has different modes depending on where and how you are taking photo's such as kids and pets, aquariums, fireworks, and night time.
The camera has face recognition for up to 9 faces and anti blur motion detection and auto ISO. Also in camera red eye removal although I have not yet needed to use this function.
I find the camera very good for general use although I still find the fast moving pictures still cause a blur. My daughter is a horse fanatic and enjoys photographing horses in motion so needs a very steady hand to get good results.
Connecting the camera to pc is very easy and the software provided is easy to use.
On the whole I don't feel this is the best digital camera availible but it is good for teenagers experimenting with photography and learning the basics of good picture taking.
I recieved the Canon Powershot A480 for my birthday. So far it has been fantastic. It is very easy to use, the picture quality is good and I have found the general navigation around the options menu easier to use than other cameras I have tried. To start off with the display of buttons on the back of the camera is very simple and it is obvious what function each button serves. From this it is easy to navigate the menu on the camera, for example to delete a photo all you have to do is slide the wheel at the top to look at the photos you have taken and then shuffle through each in turn to see if you want to delete it. The photo quality I have found good so far, I am not an expert on photography by any means but the photos I have had developed have all been ones I have been happy with. The zoom on the camera is also very good, you can zoom close into things without going anywhere near them! The only down side to the camera I have found so far is the battery life, the batteries don't seem to last too long especially if your flicking through photos so make sure you have lots of batteries to ensure you don't miss those important photo moments!
The new and improved Canon Powershot A480, comes with a new and stylish look that is still packed with the qualities of its predecessors. When you use and feel the camera, you get a sense of good build quality and value for money. The elegant colours and silver accents give the camera a classy feel. Its buttons and controls are ergonomically placed and are sensitive, making it a wonder to use.
The camera is lighter and smaller than its predecessor. As an improvement the camera's lens does not stick out the body of the camera even after the camera is switched off, which means it is more compact and you will not need to worry about the lens being easily damaged whilst carrying it.
Furthermore, the lens goes almost straight into the body, which undoubtedly makes the camera look more aesthetically pleasing.
When you start to get use to the camera, you get the feeling that quite a substantial amount of research and development has been performed, because the previous flaws were worked upon.
The menu structure is even easier to use, and there is even the implementation of new features, such as the special playback button which kind of feels like a revolutionary function but it does make using the camera quite pleasant. Upon activating this feature, the camera immediately turns off and switches on again in playback mode, which makes it easy to view photos.
The camera's lens has a zoom range of 37mm to 122 mm which is quite decent for a camera of this size. It also has a higher resolution of 10 megapixel which is sufficient for printing photos in large formats. The auto focus feature of the camera is quite fast at processing and is able to focus quickly and be able to capture reasonable quality photos.
There is also a handy feature of face detection which helps the camera to recognise faces in an image and automatically change the exposure and focus to suite the particular shooting condition.
In total there are 15 individual scene modes that you can use, which cover a wide range of typical shooting conditions. Upon choosing this, the camera will automatically change the settings to try to achieve the best ones suited for the selected mode.
However, the LCD display screen does not excel in bright sunlight, because there is a noticeable glare which can be strong if the sunlight if intense enough.
The camera has a range of ISO settings from 80 to 1600, this is quite a wide range which can be adapted to suit most shooting conditions. Although the camera does not come with rechargeable batteries, but it does supply 2 AA batteries.
This is another feature of the camera which some might find attractive, which is not needing to constantly charge the batteries before using the camera, since these batteries are standard and can be purchased from any high street store or shops.
Canon are a huge name in the world of photography and they have produced some very fine cameras, including some excellent top end DSLR`s. I have never been their biggest fan when it comes to point and shoot cameras and I almost always find something lacking in theirs when compared with the Cyber shots and Samsungs of this world so when I was handed the Canon Powershot A480 and asked to put it through its paces and give an opinion on it, I have to admit I did not expect to be blown away by it.
Firstly I should say that aesthetically it will satisfy the needs of many as it can be bought in four colours, silver, black, blue or deep red, so that is the "my camera looks better than yours" taken care of but is it any good?
It has a ten megapixel capability, a 3.3X optical zoom and a 2.5 inch LCD screen, so it is pretty much on a par with all the other point and shoots in its price range, which incidentally is around £100. So if Canon are not going for the extra megapixels or a bigger brighter LCD screen or any of the other gimmicks that seem to sell cameras these days then what exactly is their selling point, their reason why people should choose this over any other point and shoot?
Well it seems they are relying on the "Motion Detection Technology" which they say combats blur in photos, Canon have advertised this in a few ways such as people jumping on a trampoline and taking photos of each other and people riding the waltzers at a fair and taking photos of each other and the photos appear blur free. I have not tried the trampoline or the waltzers to test this out but I can tell you that with enough movement I still got blurry photos so if this was the only selling point then I would not be buying this unit on that alone.
Being a Canon camera though there is lots of good points about this camera such as the excellent "face detection" setting, Canon have brought this down from their DSLR`s and they are one of the few companies that have got this function right in point and shoot cameras.
Face detection is designed to pick out faces in the photo being taken and concentrate on them, giving them the right skin tone and keeping them in tack sharp focus. Canons face detection can detect up to 35 individual faces in one photo and unlike most point and shoots in this price range you can see a clear difference when this setting is used.
Another thing I found to be very good about this unit was the quick start up time and its ability to auto focus quickly even if the light was not great, ok it obviously cannot compete with the DSLR`s I am used to using but as far as competing with the many point and shoots I have tested recently it compares very well.
When it comes to what I call real photography (ie) (when you set up the camera yourself rather than just shooting on auto), I found the settings in this camera pretty good. I could set things like ISO settings and white balance as well as the usual apertures and shutter speeds settings which gave me a much better chance of getting the shot exactly how I wanted it rather than how the camera said it should look.
Do not fear though, if you are very much a novice and the auto mode is as far as you care to venture then be assured the auto on this unit is as good as any in the price range and even a little better than some. It seems to be very good at reading a day lit situation and giving you a good final image and it also coped well with most indoor shooting although it did underexpose any shots that I tried to take indoors without flash even though I was in a room with plenty light and both my DSLR and a cyber shot point and shoot were very capable of getting the shot right.
Moving on to the built in flash on this unit and it is very much like any other, it will cause red eye when used in a darkened room, sometimes even when the light is reasonable it still caused red eye. It will cause severe hot spots on faces or light subjects in photos and it will over expose slightly almost every time even although Canon claim their new "Safety FE" avoids blowout when the flash is used.
This cannot really go against the camera because, again almost all point and shoots have the same problems when using flash, you can change settings manually to help avoid the overexposure but if you are not confident of doing so then you have to live with it.
The overexposure will probably never really be a problem to you unless you intend to try and sell your photography as stock or try to charge people for photographing them, which I guess most people looking at this type of camera will not be considering. As a pro photographer the overexposure was very evident to me but as I say, if I had not mentioned it then many an untrained eye would have been none the wiser.
As well as the automatic setting and setting the camera up manually you also have the option of using one of the 15 built in settings devised to help you shoot in certain situations, I am never a fan of these in cameras because to have a "fireworks" setting for instance is assuming that every firework will be pictured in the same light and will be of the same brightness, which obviously they never are but these settings will certainly get you a little bit closer to the right exposure than automatic will.
There are pretty much equal good and bad points when this camera is summed up and although I would not go out of my way to recommend it, I would be quite happy to point it out to someone as, as good a camera as there is in its price range. Today there are so many point and shoots out there that they are all becoming much of a muchness and it takes something really special to make one stand out when it comes to performance so it is often down to which one looks and feels the best to use.
When it comes to looks I guess this one is an ok looker but for me the Sony Cyber Shots are much more aesthetically pleasing and the Samsung cameras in this price range are usually quite stunning. The colour choice will be a good thing for many and the fact that being a Canon they feel very sturdy and good in the hand as opposed to the much lighter and more flimsy feeling Samsungs could go a long way to swinging people in favour of this unit. For me though it is always down to performance and I really do feel that in the £100 price range you can pretty much close your eyes pick one out as a lucky dip and get on with it.
THE MAIN FEATURES.
Compact, lightweight 10.0 Megapixel camera in four colour variations (silver, red, blue or black)*
Canon 3.3x optical zoom
Easy to use, with simple button layout and intuitive user interface
2.5" LCD with Image Inspection Tool for focus checking
People shots made easy with Face Detection AF/AE/FE/WB and
Red-Eye Correction in both shooting and playback
DIGIC III processing delivers high-quality images and intelligent technologies
Combats blur with Motion Detection Technology
Smooth, 30fps VGA movies with Long Play mode
15 shooting modes
Safety FE avoids blow-out when the flash is used
Powered by AA batteries.
There may be something in those features that helps you make this unit your chosen one or maybe when I tell you that it is slightly kinder to batteries than many others using AA`s, that might make your mind up but honestly my best advice to you would be go to a shop where you can feel the camera in hand and maybe even get a play about with it (Jessop's for instance will allow this), you can still then say thanks for your time to the kind shopkeeper and go and buy it somewhere cheaper online but make sure you get a feel for it first because it really can just come down to which camera you feel more comfortable using or which is the easier to use.
A few other things to note with this camera is that, the video shooting is good on it when the light is good but rendered virtually useless as soon as the perfect light drops, the instruction manual for it is very simple to understand and if you read it thoroughly then you should be able to master most things about the camera fairly quickly. The software that it comes with is nothing to get excited about although it is easy to install and very easy to use and the connection of this unit to the PC or laptop of your choice couldn't be simpler.
I could easily have given this unit three stars but because it is a Canon and there are no real reasons why it could not serve an amateur photographer very well I will give it a four out of five.
Thanks for reading,