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47 of 47 people found the following review helpful
on 6 February 2006
I had been debating for a while whether to invest in a digital camera or stick to my good old Pentax 35mm - I am glad that I chose to go digital. Many of you will be a bit flummaxed about what make/model to buy - I know I was. After many hours spent reading up on cameras (instead of studying for my exams!) I finally settled on the Canon A620. My housemates both have older 'A' series versions and the pictures were always good. The A620 is great to hold - not too small but not very practical unless you have a little travel bag or fairly big pockets. I took my first pictures while in Prague under very many light conditions ie. snow, candlelight, night-time, bright sunshine, indoors (churches etc). I even took a couple of movies (if you want to do this I suggest you get a bigger SD Card which has a speed greater than 66x). All the pictures were superb - I kept amazing myself everytime I took a photo as the clarity and detail was almost perfect every time even when using a high zoom but naturally the photo will get a little pixellated if the zoom is on the max.
The movies were in focus and could pan across the room etc without 'shaky' effects. Complaints - well make sure you have steady hand to take nightshots using the night-time mode as any shake will be visible and also avoid using the zoom at night as much of the detail will be lost. It is a suberb camera for the price and it is important to play around with it until you find the best settings for you. I am only giving it 4 stars because of the problems taking photos at night - perhaps that is a bit harsh of me but I have high expectations from Canon. If your budget is about £250 then this is the camera for you. One last point - many digital cameras only have 3x optical zoom and this has 4x. A higher optical zoom is better than a high digital zoom.
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34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 30 January 2006
The A620 is somewhere in between a compact digital camera and a DSLR. It offers some of the more advanced features of a DSLR but in a more compact size, and for a great price.
It takes fantastic quality photos.
Pros:
- it has a good solid feel to it, not too heavy, and with a decent right-hand grip which compacts don't have. It may not be a pocket-sized compact, but it's not exactly a dead-weight either. A good mid-size.
- a 4x optical zoom, conveniently located around the shutter release button.
- very good focussing, and the facility to do your own spot focus. The focussing is faster than many cameras I've seen.
- shutter and aperture priority modes for those who like to experiment, along with a perfectly adequate point and shoot auto mode.
- it has a view finder, albeit just for centering shots. You can't expect the full viewfinder functionality of a DSLR in such a small camera, but it makes a difference to those of us used to looking through a viewfinder, even if you can't see how well focussed it is through it.
- it takes high-speed SD memory, which is necessary for fast photo and video writing.
- the video mode is also very impressive, and you can use the zoom whilst videoing.
- it has a good selection of semi-auto picture modes, including night-time shots, self-timer, and continuous shutter modes. All very easy to set up.
- takes no time to get itself into a ready state.
- picture access is very fast, especially with a high-speed SD card.
- the swivel screen is a huge bonus for when you can't take pictures at head height. It is very clear in poor light and in bright light.
Cons:
- the supplied 32meg SD card is woefully inadequate, although it does get you started.
- the Adapter plug cover is very flimsy, and is difficult to shut with the wrist-strap on. For a solid camera, this is a bit surprising.
- the supplied alkaline batteries will quickly get used up, so invest in a set of 2300 mah batteries with a fast charger.
- as usual, there is no case supplied so you'll have to cough up yet more money.
- the red-eye reduction isn't all that good, but most software can get rid of that.
There is a very comprehensive review on this camera (and others in its range) on [...] which helped me decide on the A620. I am extremely pleased with this purchase and would recommend it to anyone who wants a versatile, quality camera without having to splash out on a larger and more expensive DSLR.
Nearer 5 stars than 4 for this, so 5 it is.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on 12 August 2006
Excellent camera. Startling results.

Pros:

Many modes, and easy to use (even program/aperture/shutter speed priority etc)

Excellent flash

Very quick/accurate focussing.

Most adjustments that a DSL have (e.g. focus method etc)

Adjustable rear screen (twist and turn) useful.

(Found that almost every aspect of the camera can be remotely controlled by the PC - not seen this in the spec, and not sure why this is - remote webcam?, but maybe someone can use it..)

Cons

It's big (treat it like a DSLR. If you want a shirt-pocket camera, this is not for you)

Plastic casing (but seems OK so far)

Flimsy covering for USB cable (not really a hassle, but could have been better thought out)

No sports mode and some curious 'colour modes' (if this camera is aimed at the more experienced photographer, most will modify photos on the PC?)

Takes 4 AA batteries (NiMH rechargable are better - last a very long time, but that means weight and size, plus another 4 to carry for spares)

In the end, excellent camera, quick to use. Just don't expect if to fit in your short pocket (unless you have a big shirt;-)

(Excellent delivery time from Amazon as usual)
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful
on 5 February 2006
If you want a compact 'snappy camera' look elsewhere: there is huge competition in that market and this camera is too chunky to compete (try the smaller Canon IXUSs for example).
If you want full control and top quality photos, buy a D-SLR: you will get far better quality photos.
However, if you want a bit of both worlds: a relatively small 'budget' camera that can fit in a large pocket which snaps picture that look great out of the camera (many more 'pro' cameras need significant amounts of post processing in Photoshop to sharpen and enhance colours) AND which lets you take control of the camera; then this is definitely for you.
Pros:
Full control when you want it, excellent snaps when you don't.
Quick processor makes camera feel very fast.
AA batteries (buy 2500mAh for HUGE battery life) and can run on normal 'consumer' batteries if they ever run out.
Excellent photos right out of the camera.
Manual focus.
4x zoom
Software that comes with it is well rounded.
Good movie mode for occassional video.
Has panorama stitch mode.
Minuses:
Quite chunky and heavy (mainly due to 4xAA batteries)
Manual poor (ubt when aren't they).
Zoom only has 7 or so steps.
Lovely camera you can throw in a bag, take great snaps, but when you see something interesting you can take a bit more time to compose the perfect photo. I've had mine for several months now and am liking it more and more. Maybe one day I'll buy a DSLR, but I would still keep this camera.
PS. Takes particularly great portrait shots.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 7 October 2006
This is my second Digital Compact Camera. My previous was a Toshiba 3 Mega Pixel.

I agree with what's been said below, so won't bother repeating it, but my main observations using fast x133 2Gb SD card;

Positives:

Excellent photos!

Simple `Auto' point and click mode.

It focuses quickly.

Hardly and shutter lag (time between pressing the button to taking the photo is fast).

Fast continuous shooting features (good for photographing my puppy playing!).

Very good movie modes which convert very well to DVD.

Good battery life.

From switch on it starts up in just 1.2 seconds.

Good flash power/distance.

Many features and modes for the more adventurous photographer, or budding photographer to mess about with.

Underwater mode - I scuba dive, and with the WP-DC90 housing, it takes excellent underwater photos and videos down to 40 meters utilising the white balance settings.

Negatives:

LCD smaller than some models.

Not the smallest of cameras.

Camera modes can be over complicated, and sometimes I need to switch the camera off and back on to get back to home turf.

For me the negative points below are quite minor.

I'm very pleased with this camera, and highly recommend it.
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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on 25 April 2006
I already have a Canon EOS300D SLR but I bought this as it's easier to carry around. My wife has a digital Ixus but I find that too small to hold comfortably. Overall, I'm very impressed so far.

Positives :

- Great design ergonomically. It's nice to hold

- Full manual control is good

- It is quite responsive - especially if you pre-focus

- Excellent photo quality

- Folding LCD is quite handy

- Great price compared to my DSLR

- Battery life with 2500 NiMh batteries is excellent

Negatives :

- Image noise at higher ISOs

Thoroughly recommended.
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57 of 58 people found the following review helpful
on 29 November 2005
A very good digital camera. I have been using it for a week now.
I used to have a Canon G3 before it was stolen. This time I wanted a smaller camera with similar capabilities so I took the plunge with this one.
The autofocus is accurate and fast. You get x4 zoom lens and a flash which charges quickly. You get enough settings to satisfy the serious/learned photographer. For the layman photographer you have preset settings for specific situations (night time, beach scene, underwater... please buy and use the underwater protective case accessory for this setting!) or you can set to auto and shoot. Red eye reduction works everytime for me, very good.
There is also a video mode which I have not gone into much depth but it does record video up to the capacity of the memory card.
Unfortunatly the camera body is made of plastic, not metal like similarly priced rival cameras. Just lacks that extra strength and quality feel like others I have held. The battery flap underneath the camera feels a little flimsy, I am wary when I open it to remove the batteries.
But the most important thing is the quality of the photos! They are excellent. Set the camera to highest quality to allow you to crop the final image as you wish (no need to use the digital zoom really, just crop on your PC).
Canon do not supply you with a power adapter, you do not get a memory card which is adequate (only 32MB, some kind of joke!?!) and you get 4 alkaline AA batteries, which is not enough capacity to power this camera seriously. So, you should get 4 NiMH rechargeables and at least 512MB SD memory card (I got 1GB). So now you can see the realistic cost of this camera goes up! I have not bothered with the AC adapter, images download quickly to the PC or you can use a SD memory card reader meaning the camera need not be powered on while you download.
So, it gets 4 stars due to lack of higher quality materials and accesories. £35 for an AC adapter, pull the other one Canon!
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2006
I initialy bought this camera as a Xmas gift for my partner but fell instantly in love with it and kept it for myself. My partner got a freeview box and webcam instead. The Canon Powershot A620 is very simple to use. Takes beautiful pictures and videos. I must admit it's not as trendy looking as the slim line credit card size cameras that are now on the market but I guess that's the trade off for stunning prints. My only gripe would be the red eye reduction is not at all great, but hey, just down load your pics to your computer and with just a simple click of the mouse, the red eye can be removed. I guess this would only cause a problem if you want to get prints straight from the memory card. The swivel out lcd screen is great for taking self portraits or taking pics over heads in a crowd as it also tilts backwards and forwards. The lcd screen powers up beautifully in low light conditions. The battery life is fab and the fact that the camera uses 4 x AA battery's, if you do get caught short and they run low, you can just pop into your nearest shop for a replacement. The four batteries do make the camera slightly heavy but then you feel like you're holding a substantial piece of equipment.
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91 of 93 people found the following review helpful
on 6 November 2005
I brought this camera to replace an old fixed focus olympus digital camera.
How technology has moved on, this camera has no perceived shutter lag, the response when moving around the menu's or viewing pictures on the LCD is extremely fast.
The swivel LCD is great and makes taking pictures at funny angles a breeze, it's 2" in size and very clear when viewing pictures or composing pictures.
Pictures seem to come out perfect when using Auto mode, this is good for point and shoot people but the camera has full manual controls as well if you wish to experiment with different effect, Auto is good for when the missus wants to take snaps as 9 out of 10 come out good which keeps her happy !!!
The colours are sharp, focusing is quick and the macro mode is amazing as it will focus down to 1cm.
Movie mode is good, much better than I thought it would be, you will need a big fast SD card though as it uses a lot of memory.
If I had to pick a fault with it I would say the zoom is quiet noisey, but not having used a digital zoom camera before I don't know if they are all like that or not.
Also don't forget this is not a super compact camera, I checked out some different cameras in a shop and there are much smaller cameras available, I prefered the slightly larger size of the A620 as it was easier to hold and felt right to me.

I'm sure a professional photographer could find faults with this camera but for me it is a great purchase, I highly recommend it for mr average who wants to take great pictures.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 16 April 2006
Yes, it's everything people say - an incredible amount of camera in a very small package. I can't overstate how useful the swivelling LCD is - it makes candid photography possible. No more strained and overposed family photos!

True the USB port cover is a little "soft", but a more solid cover (like the one on the card) would make the camera bigger. If you make sure you press it well into place when you close it, it seems to stay secure.

I'm amazed with the battery life on alkalines - I have a set of NiMH standing by, but haven't got to them yet! Obviously you need to budget for a "real" memory card, and I'd recommend a fast one to get the most from the camera's amazing continuous and movie modes.
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