Canon PowerShot A460 review

Price when reviewed

Those in the market for a digital camera have never had it so good. There are some spectacular models around for less than £100, but don’t be swayed by the headline statistics – lots of megapixels and a big TFT don’t necessarily a good camera make. We’ve tested five models from the top manufacturers, assessing everything from image quality to how they handle. Can you get away with a bargain, or is it always worth paying more?

The PowerShot A460 has been around for some time now, yet continues to resist the march of time. You’ll need to overlook certain things – the unfashionably chunky body, tiny 2in LCD screen and lowly 5-megapixel sensor all mark out the A460. But when it comes to straightforward image quality, the A460 is still king of the hill. Detail resolution is the best here, and chromatic aberrations are kept to an absolute minimum. The lens is a reasonably practical 5.4-21.6mm, which translates to 40-160mm in 35mm terms. There’s also an optical viewfinder, but in practice this is so small and hard to use it makes more sense to simply use the screen.

It isn’t the fastest camera, although the plus side is that its lowly continuous mode of 1.2 frames per second allows the A460 to shoot until its memory card is full. It offers faster shot-to-shot times, though, at just a shade over a second. It isn’t a perfect bundle – like the similarly priced Sanyo, the batteries it comes with aren’t rechargeable, so you’ll need to either continually shell out for AAs, or take the long-term approach and buy a charger. Either way, the A460 is a flawed diamond, but we’d rather forgive the low resolution and basic battery than put up with worse image quality.

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