Canon PowerShot A470
- Low price, sharp pictures, speedy operation, good colour
- Chromatic aberration issues, noise perhaps a touch high, boxy design
If you're on a budget you'll be hard pressed to find a better camera for your dollar. It doesn't take the best pictures on earth and it leaves a little to be desired in terms of style, but the Canon PowerShot A470 certainly is good value for money.
Price$ 179.00 (AUD)
It's amazing how good even the most entry-level digital cameras can be these days. Occupying the lowest price point on Canon's latest line-up of compact models, the PowerShot A470 nonetheless offers great value for money. Its pictures, while not the best out there, are perfectly fine for most users and the speedy operation makes it a joy to use. Some may not appreciate the slightly boxy design but with the price of this unit it is hard to pass up.
During our image quality tests the A470 performed above expectation. Its pictures were generally crisp and clear and in line with other 7.1-megapixel units. There was some fairly hefty chromatic aberration, however, this comes as no surprise. Purple fringing was obvious in our outdoor shots and there was a little softening towards the edges of the frame. These issues were slightly more prominent here than on some other units, but they are fairly standard on most compact cameras.
Colour balance was impressive as is typical for a Canon unit. There is no custom white balance but the preset modes do an admirable job both in and outdoors. Colours had a fairly soft, natural look to them on default settings with reds in particular not exhibiting the strong, oversaturated look you'll find on many compacts.
On the whole we felt shots were a little underexposed at times but obviously this can be tweaked easily. Furthermore we were impressed with the amount of detail in dark areas; something many units struggle with.
Image noise was slightly higher than usual but nothing too extreme. At ISO 200 there was a little grain visible but the shots will still be adequate for most print sizes. At ISO 400 and above we'd stick to 4x6in as the graininess increases although it remains quite fine.
In our speed tests the A470 impressed. It exhibited a tiny shutter lag of 0.07 seconds, 1.6 seconds between shots and a 1.7-second power-up time. It was also really speed in terms of general operation, with no slow down or processing lag to speak of.
Features wise this model is fairly lean but that isn't unexpected. It still has all the basics including white balance presets, ISO sensitivities up to 1600 and a variety of colour modes. Face detect has found its way on-board and there is a three-frame per second burst mode for those speedy shooting scenarios as well as 10 scene modes.
Aesthetically, the A470 isn't anything special but again this comes as no surprise. Build quality and style are often some of the first things to go when cutting costs. It is a relatively boxy affair all up, with a fairly plain silver and blue colour scheme. It is narrow but quite long and weighs a reasonable amount thanks to its reliance on AA batteries. The controls are a little stiff at times, particularly the function dial, but everything is intuitively placed and should prove accessible for novices.
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PCW Evaluation Team
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