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This camera is great for people who just want to be able to take nice pictures without much hassle. It comes with an impressive 7.1 megapixels with 4x optical zoon. It's easy to flick through different picture settings on the dial and doesn't mess around with manually set levels. The display screen allows you to view what you're photography at very nice quality even before you take the picture and features a nice face detection option. This is a nice camera to carry around with you on holidays as it is easy to store and comes with attatchable wrist strap. The camera features a timed shot option which allows you to be in your photos which is always nice on special occasions. Playback features are great, allowing you to zoom in on your photo on-screen, allowing you to check for any blemishes. I would reccomend this camera to the teenage market or people who are not overly keen on taking lots of time setting up their camera options. The camera run on AA batteries and does not drain these very fast so you can use it for extended lengths of time.
I have had my digital camera for about three months now, it was bought as a present for me and costs around £100 - £80 depending on where you buy it, on Amazon you can pay £74 now, so the prices vary. Compared to other digital camera prices this is quite reasonable as cameras are getting more popular the prices are coming down all the time.
The camera is a silver colour and has a thicker end on the right for easy grip.
Although it is a light weight camera it isn't small enough to fit in your pocket, but comes with a small leather camera case.
It takes two AA batteries for the flash and these will take about 140 shots
It also comes with a 16mb memory card and is a 7.1 mega pixel which is quite good for taking clear pictures.
The pictures it takes are clear and sharp, the colours look natural and the inside pictures taken with the flash are good too. If your taking pictures of people then the quality is very good, skin colour is natural and the pictures of outside shots of landscapes or animals are very good and clear with sharp colours.
The zoom is good at close ranges.
It also has a viewfinder which is helpful for those of us that are not to good at taking pictures. When I use an ordinary camera I always seem to manage to get the picture blurred or chop peoples heads off in the shot. With this camera it Is basically point and click for a great looking picture. Although it does take a little time for the flash to go off and the next flash to be ready for taking the next picture, but for me that's not such a worry as the end result of a good picture is good.
You can also choose what size pictures to have there's a widescreen option and you can also decide how much compression to use (normal/fine/superfine).
The flash modes available are Auto, Manual Flash On / Off. Red eye reduction and slow sync speed can be turned on and off. The maximum range of the flash is 3.5m. This falls to around 2.2m when the zoom lens is in use.
It features different picture modes, like most other digital cameras. These are Portrait, Landscape, Night Snapshot, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks and Night Scene. When you select a scene the camera will use preset controls to try and take the best possible shot.
You can even record short movies for up to an hour with sound and zoom to which is fun for recording the grandchildren and watching them on playback on the television.
I like this camera as ithas a good picture quality although it takes a little while to get used to as theres lots of features and modes to get your head around, especially for someone like me who has never owned a digital camera before and I'm sure that its capable of doing more things than I know but by reading the manual and using the camera often I'm sure I'll pick up the relevant knowledge to use the camera to it's best ability. I'm just happy to be able to take good clear pictures that I can load on to my computer or save on the memory card as well as taking little movies of the grandchildren.
The Cano Powershot A550 has a rather plain appearance that is reflected with a rather standard silver colour scheme that does not really give the camera a colour contrast to make it more aesthetically pleasing. However, the body design of the camera is quite ergonomic with the controls and shape of the camera being suited to comfort when gripping the camera and using it.
The camera's lens only has a 35mm to 140mm zoom range, which is not powerful, but the size of the camera justifies its performance. The lens is capable of zooming further than the average lens. Therefore you should be able to capture the odd subject from a reasonable distance without having to struggle too much.
The photo quality of the camera is just average, it does not excel at this or does it disappoint, with a reasonable dynamic range, good colour accuracy and contrast. The LCD display screen is quite small, only measuring 2", which is bearable especially if you are not using the camera for extended periods of time. There is also a viewfinder that can be used if you are not able to view the display screen properly or when you just want to conserve battery.
The camera only has bog standard features which should be enough for mature photography and the occasional creative shot. It does lack on the freedom of manual settings which can be deemed unnecessary for the occasional photographer. Its shuttle delay is quite fast, which means you would be able to capture moving objects without missing an interesting photo opportunity.
The camera's 7 megapixel resolution is enough if you wish to print for photographs in a slightly large format than usual. The camera does come with alkaline batteries, which are useful because they can be purchased at almost any store and it saves you the hassle of saving to charge the camera.