Features & Controls
This image sensor is mated to an 8x optical zoom lens, which also boasts Canon's proven Optical Image Stabilization system. The zoom lens offers a 35mm equivalent focal range of 28mm (W) - 224mm (T), giving you a great deal of versatility for framing shots. This lens retracts into the camera body when powered down, and is protected by a built-in lens cover.
Canon's Optical Image Stabilization (IS) allows the user to shoot handheld images at 2-3 stops slower than normal, increasing the abilities of this camera to capture usable photos indoors and when using the telephoto capabilities of the 8x zoom.
The A4000 IS utilizes a 9-point TTL contrast detection autofocus system to focus on your subjects, even when they are not centered.
- Normal: 2.0 in. (5cm) - infinity (W), 3.3 ft. (1m) - infinity (T)
- Auto: 0.4 in. (1cm) - infinity (W), 3.3 ft. (1m) - infinity (T)
- Macro: 0.4 in. - 1.6 ft. (1-50cm) (W)
The A4000 offers a small built-in flash to help illuminate subjects indoors, or to add some fill when shooting outdoors. Canon claims the effective range is from 1.6 - 9.8 feet at wide angle, or 3.3 - 6.6 feet at full telephoto; using ISO Auto. The available modes include: Auto, Flash On, Flash Off; and Slow Synchro. There is a Red-eye Reduction feature that can be enabled via the menu, which will help reduce red-eye in your portraits.
The controls on the top of the A4000 IS are minimal. First we have the power button, with the built-in microphone located under the On/Off label. Next is the shutter release with the zoom controls mounted around it. This makes zooming the 8x lens effortless. In playback mode the zoom control activates the Index and Magnify options; the blue symbols indicate the Playback controls. To the far right is the built-in speaker.
The back of the camera is dominated by the 3.0-inch LCD screen. Used for framing images and video, accessing the menu, and playing back images, this display offers typical resolution at approx. 230k pixels. It has 100% frame coverage, meaning that what you see in the screen is what you will capture when you press the shutter release. You have 5 brightness settings to choose from in the Setup menu.
Here is a close-up of the controls on the back of the camera. First you will see the Movie mode record button, which allows you to start capturing 720p HD video at any time. Next is the "?" button, which enters the help menu. Underneath these two buttons is the 4-way pad, which is used for navigating the menus, playback, etc. In record mode, if offers shortcuts for Exposure mode when pressed up to the Auto position, Flash mode (Right), Display options (Down), and Macro focus (left). In the center is the FUNC./Set button, which accepts selections and also enters the function shortcut menu. The FUNC. menu gives you quick access to various settings, depending on the exposure mode currently in use. More on that can be found on the next page of this review.
Lastly we have the menu and play buttons for entering either the camera's menu or playback systems.
The A3300 IS only has one I/O port. This high speed USB 2.0 (mini-b Jack), not only allows you to connect the camera to a computer for transferring files, or to a printer for direct printing. It also allows you to playback files on your TV with optional A/V cables. There is no HDMI output for sharing HD video files on your HDTV.
The A4000's card slot is located under a port door on the bottom, which is right next to the battery port. It accepts SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MMC+, and HC MMC+ memory cards. We show the camera with a SanDisk Extreme Pro, 45MB/s, 8GB SDHC memory card.
Shown to the left is the camera's NB-11L 3.6V, 680mAh (Li-ion) battery pack. Canon notes a battery life of up to 175 shots or 4 hours of continuous playback in a single charge. The battery is charged with the supplied AC power adapter, which has fold-out prongs and plugs directly into any AC outlet. Being an external charger, you can easily charge a spare pack.
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