Product Type: Canon digital cameras
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Good camera for the price but definitely has its problems!
Canon Powershot A480
Member Name: Revo9
Canon Powershot A480
Advantages: Compact, good picture quality generally, good range of features, very easy to use, cheap to buy
Disadvantages: Battery life a bit poor, durability not great with a plastic construction, sometimes blurry images
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*
Summary: A good camera for the price!
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