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Nic Rossmüller : February 17th 2007 - 03:50 CET

Canon PowerShot A640 review


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CanonCanon PowerShot A640 review : Canon decided to introduce their new range a month before the start of Photokina 2006. As well as several printers and other equipment, a new series of digital cameras was introduced, including the Canon PowerShot A640. The Canon PowerShot A-series has been around for several years. The A-series has a reputation for being accessible, reasonably priced and fully equipped to appeal to a broad public. The Canon PowerShot A640 also has a ten Megapixels CCD image sensor and 4x optical zoom. The previous model, the Canon PowerShot A620, had 7 Megapixels and anticipated good sales figures. Whoever thought that the increase in resolution would not prove popular was soon taught better by the Canon A640 camera.
Canon PowerShot A640 reviewCanon A640 - 4x optical zoom lens
The Canon PowerShot A640 has a 4x optical zoom lens which realises a focal distance of 35-140 mm (equivalent to a 35 mm). Despite the comparatively large zoom range, the Canon PowerShot A640 has been kept reasonably compact. The lens has 8 elements in 7 groups, including two aspherical elements to maximise sharpness over the entire picture. The camera doesn't have an optical image stabiliser and has to rely on high ISO settings to achieve a short shutter speed in order to avoid movement blur. Of course, this model also has a fast image processor; de DIGIC II. Although the last models and probably future generations of digital Canon cameras have and will be fitted with the new DIGIC III image processor, version II is still more than good enough. The reaction times while taking photographs are particularly fast and we soon noticed during the trial period that the ten Megapixels in resolution was not a burden.

Canon PowerShot A640 - SDHC support
The Canon A620 has a card lock in the handgrip, but now there is just the hand grip with a small flap covering the interfaces like Video and USB. The Canon PowerShot A640's handgrip feels a bit stiff, but does what it's supposed to - it gives you a good grip. Underneath the handgrip is a compartment for the AA batteries and space for the flash memory card. Like nearly all Canon digital cameras, the Canon A640 supports Secure Digital. A new feature is the support of the SDHC platform, a Secure Digital format with a minimal storage capacity of 4GB which could in the future go up to a possible 32GB! The underside also has a universal tripod connection.

Canon PowerShot A640

Canon PowerShot A640 - Large command dial
If you look at the top of the Canon PowerShot A640 you'll see a large command dial that covers half the top and can be operated with the thumb on the back of the camera. It has the familiar main functions like Auto, P (Program), Av (Aperture), Tv (Shutter speed) and M (Manual), but automatic programs like portrait and action and the video clips function can also be approached directly. The C function (Custom) with which the button can be programmed for settings like white balance and ISO is very handy. The wheel doesn't turn very easily, which means you are not likely to choose the wrong setting. A clear click confirms the choice. The shutter release button is on top of the hand grip and has a ring that can be pressed to the left or right. There is also an on/off switch and an inbuilt amplifier.

Canon A640 Review
The Canon PowerShot A640 digital compact camera is a typical camera from the PowerShot A-series and gives users lots of convenience and user friendliness as well as a host of settings options. We tried the Canon A640 out for a while. You can read whether it is a worthy successor to the A620 and can live up to the high expectations in the following Canon PowerShot A640 review.





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