Canon PowerShot A490 review


A point and shoot camera from Canon

Canon is one of the most famous brands out there. They are well-known for the quality of their products. Their new PowerShot A490 promises to be one of the best cameras available. But does this device rise up to expectations? We invite you to read our review and find out.

CCD sensor

First of all, let’s see what this digital point and shoot camera has to offer in terms of specifications: 2.5-inch LCD, 115K dots/None, 10 megapixels, 1/2.3-inch CCD, 94mm x 62mm x 31mm, 175 g, 3.3x, f3-5.8, 37-122mm (35mm equivalent) lens, 3,648×2,736 pixels/ 640×480 at 30fps highest resolution size (still/video), AA-size alkaline battery (2x), AA NiMH batteries (NB-3AH, x2), Compact Power Adapter CA-PS800, SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards, ZoomBrowser EX 6.5/PhotoStitch 3.1 (Windows), ImageBrowser 6.5/PhotoStitch 3.2 (Mac), Auto/100/200/400/800/1.600 ISO, 4x digital zoom, TTL Autofocus, built-in flash, 10 sec. or less (battery voltage: 3.0 V) recycling time, Hi-Speed USB 2.0 (mini-B jack), NTSC/PAL and Monaural.

Face Detection included

Canon-PowerShot-A490Among the product’s features we find: Face Detection AF/AE/FE/WB, Intelligent Contrast Correction, Red-eye Correction, Smart Auto with 13 predefined shooting modes, Movie Recording at 640×480 and 320×240, PictBridge, Low-Light shooting, Exif Print, Shooting Modes: Auto, P, Special Scene (Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Low Light, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Sunset, Fireworks, Long Shutter), Movie, Smart Flash Exposure, Self-Timer, Wrist Strap WS-800, AV Cable AVC-DC300 and Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM. Canon’s PowerShot A480 was split into the A490 and A495 models, with the former being less expensive than the latter.

Nice looking design

The Canon A490 camera is compact, stylish, comes only in silver and is rather big; the front distinguishes itself by nice rounded corners. When compared to earlier models, the A490 one has good-looking buttons, marked in white on black.

Both the power button and the shutter-release one sit on top of the device; the zoom, playback, shoot and menu keys and the four-way control are to be found on the back, to the left of the screen. During our test we encountered no issues with the controls. The menu features general settings; the select button which sits on the four-way control pad opens the shooting options. The LCD screen presents a problem: it is difficult to see images on it in direct sunlight.

13 scenes type

The Auto option comes with 13 scene types and 11 special scene modes; some of the latter are as follows: Kids & Pets, Foliage, Long Shutter and Fireworks. With the help of the Low Light mode we were able to capture 2-megapixel shots at 500-3.200 ISO. The Program option opens white balance, ISO, metering, color effects and focus.
Taking macro shots is also possible with Canon’s PowerShot A490; the camera can get close to 0.4″ and the focus works great in test.
The movie mode is only VGA and uses no optical zoom when you record something. The quality is not that great, but considerably better when compared to the one on other models.

Lag in camera loading time

When we tested the PowerShot A490 performance, results weren’t what we expected: 2 seconds were necessary for the camera to open and prepare for snapping a photo; also, the shot-to-shot times were somewhere around 2.9 seconds (7.1 seconds with the flash on). Continuous shooting time: 0.6 frames/second. What is more, shutter lag registered 0.6 seconds from the time we pressed the release to the moment we snapped a picture; when lighting conditions aren’t good, shutter lag is 1 second.

Good images taken

We were delighted to see that the quality of photos taken with this device was far better than that offered by more expensive cameras: pictures were detailed and sharp with great colors and noise suppression worked really well; exposure was also very good.
With the AA-size batteries we were able to take 150 pictures and the NiMH AA-size ones gave us the possibility to double that number.

Review conclusions

We have now come to the end of our review of the Canon PowerShot A490. This camera is a great choice for those of you who want good photo quality but don’t have enough money for a more advanced product.

Technical specifications

Sensor TypeCCD
Resolution Width in Pixel3648
Resolution Height in Pixel2736
Viewfinder TypeLCD only
Memory TypeExternal Only
Optical Zoom3
Digital zoom4
Depth in mm30.6
Height in mm61.7
Lowest Focal Length in mm37
Focal Length in mm122
Interchangeable LensNot
Screen Size2.5
Video CaptureVideo + Sound
Secure DigitalYes
Micro DriveNot
Compact FlashNot
Memory Stick / Memory Stick ProNot
Memory Stick Duo / Pro DuoNot
Internal Memory size in MB0
Burst shootingYes
LCD Monitor Resolution in Pixel115000
Max Resolution Mode Video Width640
Max Resolution Mode Video Height480
Ability to save files in RAWNot
Maximum Aperture Tele5.8
Maximum Aperture Wide3
Shutter Speed fastest in Second1 / 2000
Shutter Speed slowest in Second15
Sensor Size1/2.3 “
Battery Type2x AA (LR6/MIGNON)
Image StabilizerNot
DebuggingFace Detection
Shutter PriorityNot
Aperture PriorityNot
Number of frames per second in video mode30