In February this year, Canon launched a range of compact cameras catering to the needs of different audiences. One of the cameras that had been launched was from their A series of compact point and shoot cameras, called the PowerShot A4000 IS. This camera is seated in the above entry level segment of compact cameras and is primarily designed for those interested in casual photography. However, what’s really neat about this model is that it features an 8x zoom lens, a feature that is not usually found on compact cameras retailing in this price range. Read on to know about this offering.
8x zoom found on this compact camera
Design and Build Quality
At first glance, one could easily mistake this camera for one of the higher end offerings from Canon, as it has the classy finish, matching their IXUS models. The A4000 IS is available in four colour options and the review unit we received has the silver finish. The other colours available for this camera are black, blue and red.
The design of the camera is reminiscent of other PowerShot models with its chunky styling and tapered edges. However, this camera looks a lot better than some of the previous PowerShot cameras we reviewed in the past. The face of the camera features the Canon branding, lens that occupies majority of this area, an AF assist and an LED flash. The rear of the camera features a 3-inch LCD display that flushes along the body of the camera. The buttons at the back are featured on a depression, adding to the style of the camera. The buttons found here include the standard ones found on compact cameras, which are a four way navigational pad that is located around a set button, a menu key, playback button, a help button and a dedicated control for video recording.
Matte silver finish on the front
The top of the camera features the shutter release button that is housed next to the zoom trigger and the power button. The build quality of each of the buttons appear sturdy, the brand, however should have made them slightly larger as they are quite tiny overall and someone with large hands would have some amount of difficulty adjusting to the buttons. The connectivity option for this camera is an AV mini USB port that is located under a flap. The battery bay is located on the bottom of the camera and it houses an SD card as well. This flap is sturdy and though it does not feature any spring loaded mechanism to keep it closed; when locked it remains secure, nonetheless.
The overall build quality is good and it can withstand a few accidental knocks here and there. Summing up this part of the review, we feel that the camera is designed well and has a build quality to match.
If one wants a camera that has all the latest features, alongwith the ability to customize their images to a fairly large degree, then this camera may not be an ideal choice. It is designed keeping in mind the needs of a casual photographer, also that of the one who would need an option for social events or general photography. However, there are some neat features that are featured in this point and shoot option. The camera comes loaded with a 16 Megapixel CCD sensor and is powered by a DIGIC 4 processor. With this sensor size, one can capture large format images and the largest resolution of a still image is 4608 x 3456. The most interesting feature of this camera is that it features an 8x zoom in such a compact frame. The focal length found here is 28 - 224mm in respect to a 35mm equivalent lens.
3-inch display is not that great
The interface of the camera is extremely simple to use and most of the operation is done using the set and menu buttons. A first time digital camera user can get familiar with the functionality within a matter of minutes. Ease of use is something Canon has done effortlessly with their cameras. The auto button on the body of the camera also doubles up as the option for switching between the auto mode and various other modes. Since there is no mode dial found here, all operations are done through the interface itself. The program mode is the most customizable option and in it one can adjust settings like white balance, ISO sensitivity, etc. If one is looking to change settings, such as aperture priority and shutter speed, then this camera would not be an ideal option.
The A4000 IS has various presets that allow one to capture artistic images and these include fish eye effect, miniature effect, toy camera, discrete mode, etc. As for video recording, one will have to contend with HD 720p at 25fps shooting and not 1080p video capture as found in some of the higher end cameras. The camera features an inbuilt image stabilizer, which helps in reducing blur during photo capture. Images are captured in JPEG and can be stored on a 4GB SD card that comes bundled with the camera. Alternatively, this camera can also support memory cards such as SDHC and SDXC.