Canon PowerShot A540
- Low chromatic aberration, Good noise performance, Strong colour reproduction
- Some slight softness around edges
Another great Canon advanced camera, the PowerShot A540 is a great choice for those looking to move up to more manual photography as it combines a strong feature set with great pictures.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
Sporting full manual features in a relatively compact and affordable bundle, Canon's PowerShot A540 is another strong entry into the advanced camera category. While it only has a six megapixel sensor, the pictures are still up to the usual Canon standard and those looking to take the next step with their photography should be pleased with this model.
Typically Canon cameras impress in our image tests, and the A540 was no exception. We ran our usual array of subjective trial shots and objective Imatest tests to see how this model stood up to the competition.
In our sharpness test, the A540 scored 1380, which is about what we expect from a six megapixel sensor. Our test shots exhibited good clarity with smooth edges and nice levels of detail. Some edges were a little soft, as seen in our motherboard test shot, but this won't be problematic at small magnifications. We wouldn't recommend this model if you're interested in more sizeable enlargements (say 8in x 10in or above), but as an entry level advanced camera we don't consider it a problem.
The clarity is also assisted by the camera's low chromatic aberration. Our software gave it a score of .71% in this area, which is an excellent result and far below what most, comparably priced models score. It was clearly reflected in our pictures which had minimal blurring towards the edges and almost no visible haloing.
In our colour tests, the A540 performed exceptionally, scoring 6.35. Anything below 7.0 is a brilliant result and indicates superior colour representation. As is common with consumer cameras, reds are slightly oversaturated, but aside from that most other colours are extremely accurate.
The excellent performance continued in our final test for image noise. Its score of .69% in this test at ISO 100 is a great result that is slightly better (lower) than the competition (most cameras score around 0.8-0.9%). Furthermore the noise scales quite well with higher ISO settings. Even at ISO 800 the pictures are perfectly usable. A fine grain is the only sign of the increased sensitivity. We'd be comfortable using them at small to medium magnifications.
As the A540 is an advanced camera, it has all the usual bells and whistles. There are aperture, shutter and program priority modes along with a manual mode, for those wanting to try their hand at more advanced shooting. Meanwhile there are 21 preset scene configurations for novice users, and they will also appreciate the 30 frame per second, 640 x 480 video mode. White balance can be set manually or using presets, and ISO sensitivities extend from 50 to 800.
There is a three frame per second burst mode, which is quite good for a camera at this price point, as well as Canon's nine point auto focus. Do note that we had mixed responses using the auto focus. Some of our test shots came out quite strongly under sharpened, with soft edges that detracted from their clarity, even at smaller magnifications. This wasn't a regular occurrence, but it did rear its head occasionally during testing.
It performed moderately during our speed tests. Its shutter speed of .05 of a second is up there with the fastest units on the market. However it exhibited a 1.8 second shot-to-shot time and a 1.8 second power-up time, both of which are more on par with competing units.
Aesthetically, the A540 follows the same trend as past PowerShot models. It is quite compact for an advanced camera, although the shape is still fairly chunky and it sports the trademark silver colour scheme and jutting right hand grip. It is fairly heavy for its size, weighing in at 180g, and it feels quite sturdy. The controls are comprised of the typical combination of a function wheel on top and a directional pad with buttons scattered around next to the 2.5in display. The function wheel is a little stiffly, making it difficult to rotate, but this is a minor concern.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Surface Pro 4
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- Boom: SanDisk just dropped the world's largest SD card
- Camera app makers tap into RAW power with iOS, and look forward to dual lenses
- Google Camera 3.2 lets you snap pictures while recording video
- CES 2016: Top 10 trends
- Sony α7S II aimed film-makers and low light photographers
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- The top 10 best and worst tech gadgets and products of 2016
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- TPFunctional AnalystVIC
- FTData Conversion LeadNSW
- TPLinux Desktop Support SpecialistWA
- FT.Net DeveloperNSW
- FTStorage Solution ArchitectVIC
- CCProject Scheduler-Port MacquarieQLD
- TPTechnical Support Resource-Skype for BusinessVIC
- CCSenior Life 400 DeveloperNSW
- CCTechnical Business Analyst - Infrastructure - VirtualizationNSW
- CCDemand/ Resource AnalystVIC
- CCDevops EngineerNSW
- CCFullstack .Net DeveloperNSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperNSW
- CCSenior Technical SpecialistNSW
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- CCManager AnalyticsNSW
- TPHRIS Business AnalystQLD
- TPe-Learning Developer (Captivate 8)VIC
- TPProject Manager to manage two concurrent ProjectsQLD
- TPLead Change Manager - ERPVIC
- TPMicrosoft Analyst ProgrammerSA
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectNSW
- FTSAP BOBJ ConsultantACT
- CCWindows System EngineerNSW
- FTSenior Network AdministratorNSW