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Canon PowerShot A4000 IS Digital Camera Review

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Digital Camera Review by: Ashley Akers 

 

If you think it’s about time you finally moved into the digital camera market but you don’t want to drop your whole salary on the purchase then the Canon PowerShot A4000 IS is a top notch replacement for your old film camera or upgrade from your mobile phone. The Canon A4000, coming in at about $200 is not the top of the market, full of features camera you can get but it does every dollar proud with it’s effort.

 

Appearance and Functionality


The A4000 has a slim design with the highest quality finish to it. It’s metallic, it’s solid and it’ll certainly make you feel like you’ve spent more than the bargain you did on this camera. All the buttons are easily accessible on the right of the camera, and not just the buttons you’d need, we’re talking all the buttons. If, however, you’re hoping this’ll means you can hold your kids off the road with one hand while still snapping photos with the other hand, the lack of some sort of grip makes one hand holding a little awkward.

There’s no need to miss precious moments while you’re reading through the 35 page manual, because the Canon A4000 IS, powers up instantly and (provided you’ve inserted the battery and memory card) captures instantly.

canon20120501ab.jpgIf you’re keen to start playing with your new toy, all the main settings you’d need are located within simple menus. You might find it a little confusing at times as some menus will only be displayed when other settings are turned off or on; while other menus are in different shapes and designs, with different button controls. I had a little trouble with my ultra manly and large fingers trying to navigate the menus on the ultra tiny and compact buttons. They’re not so bad but when the navigation circle (up, down, left, right) is enclosing, edge to edge the center “function set” button, I couldn’t help but set functions I didn’t want to and change others while trying to set functions I did want. A large handed mans troubles only I’m sure.

The IS is by far one of the main features that jumps the A4000 from a basic, entry level compact camera to the top of it’s classification. Image Stabilization allows this Canon PowerShot to be used well in low light and you can easily take advantage of the 8x optical zoom at your children’s football game with the help of IS. Without this stabilization it’s difficult to handhold and get a still, sharp image at high levels of zoom or low light.

 

Image Quality / Lens Quality


The resolution of the A4000 is quite good at 16megapixels, enough pixels to print A3 photos. If you want those pixels to do the work you’re paying them to do, then your best option might be to take the camera off that nice, green, safe full auto square and pick the preset mode that best suits your scene. While the resolution is high the Canon A4000 IS has a little trouble figuring out the settings to get the most natural colours and quality images. Skin tones seemed to become pasty on the wrong settings and blend into the walls, while other colours didn’t have the right punchiness in saturation. After saying this if you put the A4000 on one of it’s 32 intelligent auto scenes, it’ handles much better. Outside colours are bright and full and skin tones are more natural and clear.

Low ISO ratings are handled well with little to no grain up to ISO400. If you want to photograph at your outside, nighttime, dinner BBQ then you might want to turn on a few lights or the built-in flash because upwards from ISO800 the grain becomes more prominent. The ISO can be pushed up manually to ISO1600 and even further automatically, when in the low light setting, all the way up to an intense ISO6400. This should however only be used as a last resort as the quality of the image diminishes at a ISO rating this high. Yes, you can get an image, but the quality is only good enough for a small, low resolution image to chuck up onto the internet and show off to your friends. The images are quite grainy and blurry when displayed any bigger and have no chance of being printed satisfactorily.

As mentioned earlier the A4000 has an impressive 8x optical zoom and a wide angle of 28mm. This gives you many options from group family photos to closeups of individuals in the school play. It has a handy little macro feature allowing you to focus as close as 1cm from the lens, a feature that, if you haven’t already got a use for it you’ll no doubt invent one just to give it a go.

 

canon20120501ac.jpgLCD


The 7.5cm LCD screen is large and handy enough to make those quick snapshots easy to take. Although slightly low resolution screen, it has enough pixels to be able to give a quick  preview to that worried teenager daughter who may be concerned about her appearance. The colours are vivid but it doesn’t get the chance to show them well in bright light, due to a rather reflective screen.

 

Video


The other plus for the inclusion of IS is it’s use with video. You can shoot 1280 x 720 HD videos with the A4000 IS. With the IS off, it looks like your average, shaky, mobile phone, disaster movie video. With IS on it smooths the shake significantly and takes your average home videos, that none of your relatives ever seem to want to watch, to a cinematic masterpiece of shake-less glory!

 

 

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Conclusion


For $200 anyone would be happy with the features of the Canon A4000 IS digital camera. It’s compact, built well and does a good job handling low light. HD video and the long, 8x zoom range are helped along significantly with the inclusion of Image Stabilization and the high 16mp sensor will allow large, printable images. If you’re looking for the best in the market then you’ll need to fork out a bit more than $200, if you want a decent affordable all round camera good enough for your family snaps then then Canon A4000 IS will certainly do the trick.

 

This camera is highly recommended.

 

 

Accessories Used During Testing:

SanDisk Extreme Pro 95MB/s SD Card 

Tamrac Pro compact digital / 5689 Camera Bag 

 

Recommended Retailer:

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View / Buy The Canon A4000 IS  

 

Appearance rating 3 stars
Functionality rating 3 stars
Image quality
3 stars
Video quality
4 stars
Lens quality
4 stars
View finder (EVF)
4 stars
LCD screen (Rear)
3 stars
Value for money 4 star
RRP (AUD) Body only $199.95
SPACER.GIF  
Effective Pixels 16.0 Megapixels
Sensor Type
1/2.3 inch type CCD / Primary colour filter (Bayer), DiG!C IV
Image Sizes 4 Sizes / (L), (M1), (M2), (S) and (W). Resize in playback (M2, S, 320 x 240)
Lens 5.0 - 40.0 mm (35 mm equivalent: 28 - 224 mm), Optical 8x. Digital Approx. 4x. Combined Approx. 32x. f/3.0 – f/5.9, 8 elements in 7 groups
Lens Mount
-
Resolution Settings - Stills (L) 4608 x 3456, (M1) 3264 x 2448, (M2) 1600 x 1200, (S) 640 x 480, (W) 4608 x 2592. Resize in playback (M2, S, 320 x 240)
ResolutionSettings - Video (HD) 1280 x 720, 25 fps, (L) 640 x 480, 30 fps
Miniature Effect (HD (5, 2.5, 1.25 fps) or L (6, 3, 1.5 fps))
iFrame Movie (HD)
Shooting Modes - Stills
JPEG compression, (Exif 2.3 [Exif Print] compliant) / Design rule for Camera File system, Digital Print Order Format [DPOF] Version 1.1 compliant
Shooting Modes - Video MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (2 channel monaural)]
Face Detection Yes
Manual Focus No
Auto Focus Yes
Aperture Priority No
Shutter Priority No
Shutter Speeds 15 - 1/2000 sec. (Total shutter speed range)
ISO Auto, ISO 80/ 100/ 200/ 400/ 800/ 1600
LCD Monitor 3.0 type (7.5cm) TFT LCD (approx 230k dots) with brightness adjustment (5 levels), aspect ratio 4:3
Viewfinder -
Flash Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro, 50 cm - 3.0 m (W) / 1.0 - 2.0 m (T)
Hot Shoe Yes
White Balance TTL, Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Self Timer Approx. 10sec or 2sec delay, or custom.
Stills Format/s
JPEG Compression (EXIF 2.3 Compliant)
Video Format/s MOV (Image Data: H.264; Audio Data: Linear PCM (2 channel monaural)
Video Recording Time/s HD: 1280 x 720 @ 25fps (49min 18sec), 640 x 480 @ 30fps (1hr 28min 59sec), iFrame
HD: 1280 x 720 @ 25fps (27min 48sec), Miniature Effect HD: 1280 x 720 @ 5fps (4hr
0min 48sec), Miniature Effect 640 x 480 @ 5fps (7hr 34min 51sec)
Storage Type - External SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card
Storage Type - Internal
-
Connectivity USB2.0 Hi-speed (Mass-storage, MTP), HDMI mini connector (Type-C), BRAVIA Sync (link menu), PhotoTV HD
Power Source AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC90
Battery Options Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-11L (battery and charger supplied)
Battery Life Approx. 175 shots
Dimensions 95.3 mm (W) x 56.3mm (H) x 24.3mm (D)
Weight Approx. 145 g (including battery and memory card)
















 


 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

 

 

 

 
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