Canon PowerShot A480 review
The PowerShot A480 is the cheapest of the three Canon cameras in this group and it doesn’t feel as swish as the others. It’s cheerful plastic body is chunky at 30mm thick, although its width and height mean it’s still pocketable.
You get a 3.3x optical zoom, a 10-megapixel sensor and the same sub-two-second startup time of its more expensive Ixus peers. But the camera lacks image stabilisation, plus its 2.5in screen is lower resolution and grainy compared to the other Canon models. Probably the biggest drawback is the fact it uses alkaline AA batteries.
Those disadvantages are almost forgotten when you start using the A480. In use it’s quick and fuss-free and, from the front at least, it won’t shame you when you take it out in public, though controls round the back do look and feel a bit toy-like. It’s just as swift and sure in its focus as more expensive models, and a shot-to-shot time of three seconds isn’t shabby at all. Canon’s expertise in getting the essentials right shows; we never found ourselves becoming frustrated or missing shots. The menu navigation is a subset of the same system the Ixus models use, and you get manual controls including the likes of spot-metering and even a histogram facility to check exposure.
In fact, the impression you get of the A480 is of a high-end engine wrapped up in a cheap body. Image quality is similar to the more expensive Canons, with clean shots and good detail undermined only by more chromatic aberration than we’d like, especially in the corners. Low-light performance is acceptable: images are noisy, but just about pass muster. Amazingly, all this places the A480 third overall in our image quality rankings.
If you’re the sort of person who wants a techno-fetish gadget, you’ll need to spend more than this on your compact. The lack of a lithium ion battery, and thus poorer battery life and less convenience, are also minus points. But if you’re after a pocketable, cheap and capable camera, the A480 is a cute little bargain.
|Camera megapixel rating||10.0MP|
|Camera screen size||2.5in|
|Camera optical zoom range||3.3x|
|Camera maximum resolution||3,648 x 2,736|
Weight and dimensions
|Dimensions||92 x 30 x 62mm (WDH)|
|Battery type included||Alkaline AA|
|Battery life (CIPA standard)||200 shots|
|Aperture range||f3 - f5.6|
|Camera minimum focus distance||1.00m|
|Shortest focal length (35mm equivalent)||37|
|Longest focal length (35mm equivalent)||122|
|Minimum (fastest) shutter speed||1/2,000|
|Bulb exposure mode?||no|
|Exposure compensation range||+/- 2EV|
|ISO range||80 - 1600|
|Selectable white balance settings?||yes|
|Manual/user preset white balane?||yes|
|Progam auto mode?||yes|
|Shutter priority mode?||no|
|Aperture priority mode?||no|
|Fully auto mode?||yes|
|Burst frame rate||0.8fps|
|Secondary LCD display?||no|
|Tripod mounting thread?||yes|
|Data connector type||Mini-USB|
Manual, software and accessories
|Full printed manual?||no|
|Software supplied||Canon ZoomBrowser EX, PhotoStitch|
|Accessories supplied||Strap, USB cable, 32MB SD card|