Canon Powershot A520 Review

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Canon Powershot A520




Record Modes & Menus



Canon Powershot A520

The screen display in the Automatic record mode. Icons across the top and left indicate that metering is Evaluative, single frame drive, auto red-eye reduction flash, Auto exposure mode. The image size is Large, quality is Superfine and there's space left on the SD card to take 204 more pictures.



Canon Powershot A520

When the color LCD is turned on and you half-press the shutter you will see which of the nine AF points (green rectangles) where used for the focus lock.



Canon Powershot A520

Program AE exposure mode is like Auto in that the camera selects both the shutter speed and aperture for a correct exposure but you now have access to a multitude of Function and Menu options and color effects. Icons on the left here indicate white balance is fluorescent, ISO speed is 50, color effect is Vivid and metering is center-weighted averaging.



Canon Powershot A520

In Tv (Shutter-speed priority AE) mode you select the shutter speed (from 1/2000 to 15 seconds) and the camera automatically selects the proper aperture value. Faster shutter speeds will "freeze" fast-moving subjects, slower speeds will let you pan with a fast-moving object and blur the background, or hold the camera steady and give moving objects that "motion blur" look.



Canon Powershot A520

In Av (Aperture priority AE) mode you select the aperture value (from F2.8 to F8.0) and the camera will automatically select the proper shutter speed. Selecting the aperture allows you to control depth of field (focus range), smaller numbers yield less depth of field, larger numbers yield more.



Canon Powershot A520

Program AE, Tv, Av and Manual mode Function options:


    Exposure Compensation - Override the metering +/- 2.0EV in 1/3 steps
    White Balance - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom one-push WB set
    Drive Mode - Single, Continuous, 2 or 10 sec selftimer, or Custom timer (set delay 0 - 10 secs., number of shots 1 - 10)
    ISO Sensitivity Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400
    Effect - Off, Vivid, Neutral, Low Sharpening, Sepia, B&W
    Image Resolution 2272x1704, 1600x1200, 1024x768, 640x480, Postcard(1600x1200) this is a special 3:2 ratio mode for making 4x6 in. prints.
    Image Compression Superfine, Fine, Normal




Canon Powershot A520

In Manual mode you select both the shutter speed and the aperture value manually. All the same menu options are available in Manual mode as Program AE, Shutter-speed AE and Aperture AE and all the same Function options plus the addition of a Flash Output adjustment.


Canon Powershot A520

When you half-press the shutter to lock auto focus, the exposure value will be calculated from the current shutter speed and aperture settings, the EV is displayed in the upper left.



Canon Powershot A520

Program AE, Tv, Av and Manual mode MENU options:

    AiAF - Multi-point auto focus: On or Off= Center only
    Red-eye - Red-eye reduction lamp: On or Off
    MF-Point Zoom - On = Enlarge focus point during manual focus
    AF Assist Illuminator - On or Off
    Digital Zoom - On or Off
    Review Time - Off, Hold or 2 - 10 secs
    Date Stamp - Off, date, or date&time (only works in 3:2 Postcard mode)




Canon Powershot A520

When in manual focus mode you'll see this onscreen distance gauge and if selected in the menu, the active focus point is enlarged for critical focusing.



Canon Powershot A520

The camera has a very respectable macro focusing mode with coverage from 2 inches to 1.5 feet in wide angle and 10 inches to 1.5 feet in telephoto.



Canon Powershot A520

On the Mode Dial are positions for Portrait, Landscape, Night, Fast shutter, Slow shutter and Stitch Assist (panorama.) Options for the SCN (Special Scene) mode are: Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, and Night Snapshot. These modes are pre-programmed to give you the best possible pictures for particular shooting situations.



Canon Powershot A520

The StitchAssist Panorama mode aids you via on-screen prompts to achieve the proper overlap of sequential photos for later "stitching" with the PhotoStitch program. You can capture up to 26 images in either left-to-right or right-to-left orientation. After the first picture is taken the white balance and exposure is locked until you exit the StitchAssist mode.   Use of a tripod is required.



Canon Powershot A520

You can record movie clips with audio at 10 frames per second in 640x480 resolution for up to 30 seconds, 320x240 or 160x120 resolution at 15fps can go up to three minutes thanks to Canon's new DIGIC processor. Movie clips are recorded in Motion JPEG format and saved as AVI files.

Both the video and audio portion of movies can be replayed on the camera thanks to the built-in speaker. Full audio-video playback is also possible when connected to a TV monitor or a compatible PC after downloading.



Canon Powershot A520

Movie mode recording options:

    Exposure Compensation - Override the metering +/- 2.0EV in 1/3 steps
    White Balance - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom one-push WB set
    Drive Mode - Self-timer 2 or 10 sec.
    Effect - Off, Vivid, Neutral, Low Sharpening, Sepia, B&W
    Movie Size: 640x480, 320x240 or 160x120


Movie Recording / SD Card Capacity

Movie Size Resolution 32MB 64MB 128MB 256MB 512MB
Movie / High 640 x 480 45 sec. 92 sec. 186 sec. 374 sec. 743 sec.
Movie / Medium 320 x 240 91 sec. 183 sec. 368 sec. 735 sec. 1453 sec.
Movie / Low 160 x 120 241 sec. 486 sec. 973 sec. 1954 sec. 3906 sec.

(640x480 is limited to 30 sec. max., 320x240 / 160x120 up to 3 minutes max.)





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