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Canon PowerShot A640 | Digital Camera Review | Control
Many consumers just want a digital camera where you just press a button, zoom in a bit in advance and the rest is done automatically. At least this still seems to be the prevailing philosophy. Now, the Canon A640 meets these criteria, but the digital life of a photographer can be simplified in many ways, so the Canon PowerShot A640 offers diverse options for producing high quality 10 Megapixels photos fully automatically. The Canon PowerShot A640 scores well in ease of use and user friendliness and is very accessible for beginners. Still, there's a lot more going on inside the A640.
Canon PowerShot A640 | Digital Camera Canon PowerShot A640 | Digital Camera
Canon PowerShot A640 - Controls
On the top of the camera is the command dial containing the main programs. In practise, the dial is very functional and is a standard feature in many digital compact and DSLR cameras. The advantage of this sort of operation is being able to directly approach the most important programs. The dial can be operated simply and accurately and announces every setting with a clearly audible click. There is a limited number of buttons on the Canon A640, which makes it easier to operate. It means, however, that you have to approach the menu more quickly and that several buttons have more than one function. You'll soon learn all this with a bit of practise. You will recognise the Canon PowerShot A640's menu if you have ever used another Canon digital compact camera, but beginners will also like it. The structure has been well thought out and gives quick access to creative setting options.

Canon PowerShot A640 - LCD Screen
The tilting and swivelling LCD screen is one of the most luxurious elements that a camera from the lower segment can have. The ease with which you can take photos even from the most difficult angles speaks volumes. I don't think that Canon is very likely to abandon this system. The 'disadvantage' is that the camera can't be made very compact, as in thin, but its ease and flexibility compensate for this. Still, there is room for improvement. Although the 2.5-inch format is nice the screen's resolution is a bit backwards at 115.000 pixels. The reproduction looks less clear and this causes limitations while taking photographs in bright sunlight. The Canon PowerShot A640 has an optical viewfinder in addition to the LCD screen. Although an optical viewfinder doesn't do much for me personally, there are still a lot of consumers out there who swear by it. I can imagine this, but the loss of picture coverage and the lack of information mean that it's not much fun to use.
Canon PowerShot A640 - Shutter release
The shutter release button is placed on top of the handgrip. It is really typical of the Canon A640; it flies in the face of all the trends by not being compact, but clearly shows that features like the handgrip bring a lot of additional value. The shutter release button lies conveniently under your finger and gives exactly the right pressure when you press it half-way in to focus. A ring with a zoom function has been placed around the shutter release button. The camera can zoom in 4x optically (35 - 140mm). Zooming in could be a bit more accurate and leads to a slightly shakily made composition.

Canon Digital Imaging Products
In the summer of 2006, Canon introduced a whole range of digital products, including the PIXMA series of printers. To complete the picture, the Canon PowerShot A640 compact camera has a Print/Share button which supports the transport of pictures to a printer or computer. If the Canon A640 is connected to a PictBridge supporting printer, a menu is automatically activated in the camera with which you can print the saved pictures directly from the camera. During this procedure, it is easy to select a picture and make single or multiple prints of it. This means that a computer or notebook is no longer necessary.

Canon PowerShot A640 - FUNC button
One press of the menu button, directly under the back of the camera, activates the Canon A640's menu. The menu is shown clearly on the large format display. The PowerShot A640's predecessor, the A620, has a 2-inch screen. Navigating the menu is easy. It is conveniently arranged, has no unnecessary visual trimmings and is divided into tabs. Many common functions can be found behind the FUNC button. Settings like ISO, white balance, light metering and resolution can be approached directly via FUNC. You many have to get used to this at first, as Canon has clearly forged its own path with this construction, but you will soon get the hang of this camera.
Canon PowerShot A640 Canon PowerShot A640
   
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