18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
This review is from: Canon PowerShot A630 Digital Camera (8.0MP, 4x optical zoom) (Camera)
Only had this a few days and agonised for weeks over which compact digital to go for. I have had a Nikon Coolpix 2100 for 4 years and have found it to be excellent - light, good on batteries, pocket sized takes good pictures.
The A630 is much cheaper than the A640 (which comes in black rather than silver and has 10mp). 8 mp is more than enough for this style of camera. Don't pay the extra - it would be a waste!
The main improvement on my old Nikon is the better quality pics under zoom and flash. Previously the pics became very washed out but the Canon is spot on. Remember this is a compact and not an SLR so don't expect perfection for £130 (not on Amazon). It has a 4x zoom which is better than 99% of the cameras out there at this price and this proves very welcome in the real world.
I noticed the weight of the camera immediately. It is heavier without batteries than most and quite wide but still OK for a strong jacket pocket. 4 x AAs make it even heavier but then the quality build and photo quality make up for this.
The main problem is coming to terms with the complicated menus!! It reminded me of the good old pre digital days of the Pentax K1000. You CAN set everything from "film speed" to aperuture size to shutter speed but it is not easy to work it all out (the manual is written in gibberish!). you can experiment or go to stevesdigicam.com for a clearer explanation of what evrything does. So saying the auto mode is pretty idiot proof. So if it's a point and shoot you want then the Canon is that. If you want total control it is there though it will take a long time to set up a shot!!
Uses SD memory cards - 1GB which is more than enough for normal use (don't forget you'll have to take 4 spare AA batteries with you everywhere) and can be picked up for around £6 now
Another joy is the swivel lcd screen. Makes taking pictures of yourself and partner a lot better because you can actually frame the shot, rather than guessing as for most cameras
In conclusion: heavy, well built, good lens & zoom, high picture quality (but remember it is not a £500 SLR), easy to use on auto, complicated on manual. Happy I bought it for quality but not a true pocket compact and not SLR quality but a great price for what it is.
Now lived with it for 4 months or so and find the general picture quality great. Have mastered some of the more complicated manual settings but still don't find this intuitive enough.
Rechargeable batteries last ages with this - just make sure that you get 2500 as these are more powerful and therefore longerlasting