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Canon Powershot A520 | Digital Camera Review | Adjustments
The Canon A520 is a digital camera aiming at those users who require ease of use and user-friendliness. Besides that, the camera offers the possibility to learn and experience the use of manual settings in addition to the enhanced fully automatic settings. A very good combination in itself. One who wants to stick to the simple use can do so, and one who wants to learn more and gets enthusiastic about the possibilities that digital photography has to offer will not easily get enough of the Canon Powershot A520. The camera enables choosing your own shutter speed and also the aperture values may be adjusted to your own requirements. Ad to all this the possibility to enhance the camera with the earlier mentioned accessories and you're holding a surprisingly versatile digital camera in your hands.
Canon Powershot A520 | Digital Camera Canon Powershot A520 | Digital Camera
Canon Powershot A520 - Exposure and Colour rendition
The colour rendition of the images taken with the A520 show a true-to-life rendition. The images might be somewhat bright and in certain circumstances not completely nature-true, but they turn out like pictures, rich of contrast and full of colours, that will make forget the old-fashioned off the role pictures from the past. The colour rendition when taking images under artificial light, like incandescent unfortunately gets influenced and demands for a manual white balance setting. The choice for the incandescent setting is sufficient in this case and if you'd like to work very accurately you can also manually decide the white balance. The colour rendition of the Canon Powershot A520 is very precise! On the whole it just looks fabulous. The camera also offers the possibility of exposure compensation but to be honest, there was no need for using these settings when I was photographing with the A520. The metering works fine, the contrast doesn't suffer in any way. On the contrary, some situations would even ask for less contrast. The exposure is fine and even the high contrast images contain sufficient detail to offer a great result.

Powershot A520 - Noise reduction
Noise is a subject that keeps everybody busy. One person will complain about it but another person won't know what you are talking about. Noise, a phenomenon that still comes forward when for example the sensitivity of a pixel is enhanced. Although the last generations have made major progress, noise still remains a topical issue. Even at this new Canon model. If you watch the images just through the monitor and if you do enlarge the image on the screen, you will definitely encounter noise. Even in the ISO 50 mode you will be able to find some noise, with difficulty that is. But looking at the screen from a normal distance the images up to ISO 200 are excellently to sufficiently free of noise. The ISO 400 images however do suffer from some noise. If you use the Canon A520 to also print the images, you will be able to make smooth prints, noise free up to a size of 13x18cm (if well-exposed). Printing puts the subject noise in a totally different light, keep that in mind when reading reviews. Prints of a standard size or a digital enlargement (up to 100% or even more) on a display are obviously two completely different matters. And you can ask yourself if the user would do such a thing as enlarging the photo on a display. Twilight images are a piece of cake for the Powershot A520. The auto focus system works as it should do and the extra aid of the AF assist illuminator is a welcoming function. The noise values can be arranged neatly: up to ISO 200 no problem, at ISO 400 clearly visible noise.
Canon A520 - Optics and Close-ups
When you get to know the world of 'macro' photography, it is hard to step out of it again. It remains impressive to experience the beauty of nature on a square meter. The Canon Powershot A520 offers the possibility of taking close-ups and bringing alive a whole new world. That's the theory so far, but now the real world. Macro photography is a different case that requires different skills from the photographer, like patience and handiness. For example petals seem to move a lot more and some extra light, like the internal flash might be necessary. This latter one is the great difficulty on digital cameras with macro function and a built-in flash. The flash is usually unable to expose the entire macro image. The A520 is no exception on this field and shows a dark shadow on the right side of the photo and over-exposed other parts due to the internal flash. The quality concerning resolution and sharpness however is excellent; the image towards the edges is somewhat softer as far as sharpness is concerned, but all in all very convincing. If you think of really getting into close-up photography, you'd have to consider external flash units. Besides a distortion towards the edges at a macro image, the 4x optical lens also shows a distortion at wide-angle, and hardly any in telephoto. One subject that the lens scores really well on is chromatic aberration, or in the case of the Powershot A520: the lack of this aberration. You truly have to search well and enlarge the image many times before the distortion is noticeable. We are not criticizing here; on the contrary, we think it's an excellent achievement.

Canon Powershot A520 - Settings
As mentioned before, the A520 is a low-entry digital camera. Many possibilities are based on automatic use of the camera. And for those who want more, they can swap over to shutter or aperture priority. An abundance of effects can be created and the only limit is the user's fantasy. The pre-programmed scenes work like you'd expect them to work: to shoot images simply and effectively. The ease and the friendly way of achieving this, makes the enhanced user look around in despair at times: how is it possible that such a small digital compact camera is able to tackle certain difficult images? It's for a reason that Canon claims that the many years of photographic experience are transformed into a small processor, the so-called DIGIC processor, a small component with a huge responsibility for the end result.
Canon Powershot A520 Canon Powershot A520
   
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