Canon Powershot A640 Review

By Movable Type Admin



Click for our main menu

Canon Powershot A640

Review posted 9/29/2006



Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Canon Powershot A640
Click to take a QTVR tour of the A640


The PowerShot A640 and A630 digital cameras are equipped with high resolution 10.0 and 8.0 Megapixel CCDs respectively. Both cameras feature the same body design, high-quality Canon 4x Optical Zoom lens, optical viewfinder as well as a 2.5-inch Vari-Angle LCD screen.

Both cameras are equipped with a 9-point AiAF "Smart" autofocus system and 21 shooting modes. The standard Shooting Modes are Full Auto, Program, Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, Manual, and Custom with additional modes including Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Special Scene (10 varieties), Stitch Assist and Movie. Both models are capable of recording 30 fps VGA movies with sound for up to 36 minutes when using an optional 4GB SD memory card.

Two new shooting features for the A-Series line are Safety Zoom and Digital Tele-converter. The Safety zoom function allows users to comfortably explore digital zoom without sacrificing image quality while the new Digital Tele-converter digitally emulates having a traditional tele- converter attached.

Canon's enhanced (from previous models) "My Colors" mode provides PowerShot users with an incredible range of creative photo effects, which can be accessed directly from the camera with no need for post-processing in a computer. Consumers can adjust a specific color within an image to modify the look and feel of their picture. Available My Color playback modes include Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, lighter and darker skin tones, as well as options for creating black & white, sepia, neutral and positive film effects. Where previously, users could only enable "My Colors" while shooting, the updated My Colors mode lets users retouch captured images as well, without the need for special software applications or tools.

Because of Canon's proprietary DIGIC II (Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) image processor, consumers can enjoy long battery life, smooth operation, accurate color reproduction, and excellent image quality. The DIGIC II chip combines the roles of image processing and camera function control into one chip, resulting in faster display and write times for each image and lower power consumption, which extends battery life.

Whether it is raising your camera above your head to get a shot of your child at her first dance recital or dropping your camera below your knees to watch your baby crawl for the first time, the large 2.5-inch vari-angle color LCD screen increases the ability to get those hard to view, but essential shots. The A640 and A630 digital cameras use four AA batteries, while providing more shots (up to 500 with LCD screen on, based on CIPA standards when using rechargeable NiMH batteries) than previous models, thanks to reductions in power consumption made possible by improvements in key components and circuit design.

Optional accessories include NiMH Rechargeable Battery & Charger Kit CBK4-300, AC Adapter Kit ACK900, Underwater Housing WP-DC8, High Power Flash HF-DC1, Conversion Lens Adapter LA-DC58F and the choice of wide-angle, telephoto and macro supplementary lenses. (These are the same supplementary lenses used by Canon's high-end PowerShot G6 digital camera.)


Powershot A640 Features:

  • 10 Megapixel CCD imager for up to 3648x2736 pixel images
  • 4x optical 35-140mm f/2.8-4.1 zoom, 4x digital zoom
  • 2.5" vari-angle color LCD with up to 10x playback zoom
  • Advanced TTL AiAF 9-point autofocus system
  • Program AE, Shutter-speed priority, Aperture priority and Manual modes
  • Pre-programmed creative scene modes for beginners
  • Movie mode w/sound, 640x480 30fps up to 1GB
  • 1.5fps Continuous burst capture of Large/Fine images
  • Evaluative metering on focus point, Center-weighted or Spot options
  • Stitch Assist mode for perfect panoramas
  • Exposure compensation: +/-2EV in 1/3-step increments
  • White Balance: Auto, 6 presets or Custom
  • Orientation sensor that automatically detects vertical or horizontal shooting
  • Low-light focus assist illuminator
  • Light-guide zoom flash, angle changes with focal length
  • Shutter speeds of 15 seconds to 1/2500 second
  • Selectable ISO settings from 80 to 800
  • Built-in microphone and speaker
  • Powered by four standard AA type batteries
  • Direct print and PictBridge Compatible
  • USB 2.0 high-speed connectivity for PC and Mac
  • Secure Digital/MMC memory cards, 16MB supplied
  • Optional wide angle and telephoto lens adapters
  • Optional High-Power Flash HF-DC1
  • Optional Waterproof Housing


The PowerShot A-Series digital camera kit includes a USB cable, audio and video cable, wrist strap, 16MB MultiMediaCard and AA-size alkaline batteries as well as the Canon Digital Camera Solution Disc Version 2.9, featuring the latest versions of Canon's powerful software. The Canon PowerShot A640 and A630 Digital cameras will be available in October for estimated selling prices of $399.99 and $299.99.



Physical Views



Canon Powershot A640

Canon Powershot A640

Canon Powershot A640 Canon Powershot A640

Canon Powershot A640

Canon Powershot A640





Canon Powershot A640

The A640 compared to an average CD disc.





Canon Powershot A640

Canon Powershot A640

The Powershot A640 and the 8-megapixel Powershot A630.



Continue on to
Features & Controls



Powershot A640 Specifications
Image Capture Device


Type


10.0 Megapixel, 1/1.8 inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD)


Total Pixels


Approx. 10.40 Megapixels


Effective Pixels


Approx. 10.0 Megapixels


Lens


Focal Length


7.3-29.2mm f/2.8-4.1 (35mm film equivalent: 35-140mm)


Digital Zoom


4x


Focusing Range


Normal: 1.5 ft./45cm-infinity
Macro: 0.39 in.-1.5 ft./1-45cm (WIDE), 9.8 in.-1.5 ft./25-45cm (TELE)


Autofocus System


TTL Autofocus


Viewfinders


Optical Viewfinder


Real-image optical zoom viewfinder


LCD Monitor


2.5 inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD


LCD Pixels


Approx. 115,000 pixels


LCD Coverage


100%


Aperture and Shutter


Maximum Aperture


f/2.8 (W) - f/4.1 (T)


Shutter Speed


15-1/2500 sec. (settable in Tv and M)


Exposure Control


Sensitivity


Auto, High ISO Auto, ISO 80/100/200/400/800 equivalent


Light Metering Method


Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot** Metering frame is fixed to the center or linked to the AF frame


Exposure Control Method


Program AE, Shutter Speed-Priority AE, Aperture-Priority AE, Manual


Exposure Compensation


+/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments


White Balance


White Balance Control


Auto, Preset (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Underwater), Custom


Flash


Built-in Flash


Auto, Auto w/ Red-Eye Reduction, Auto w/ Slow Synchro, Flash On, Flash On w/ Red-Eye Reduction, Flash On w/ Slow Synchro, Flash Off


Flash Range


Normal: 1.5-14 ft./45cm-4.2m (W), 1.5-9.8 ft./45cm-3.0m (T)
Macro: 9.8 in.-1.5 ft./25-45cm (W/T) (when sensitivity is set to ISO Auto)


Recycling Time


10 sec. or less (battery voltage=6.0V)


Flash Exposure Compensation


+/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments


Shooting Specifications


Shooting Modes


Auto; Creative: P, Av, Tv, M, C; Image: Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Special Scene (Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Night Snapshot, Color Accent, Color Swap), Stitch Assist, Movie


Photo Effects


My Colors
Vivid, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Custom Color


Self-Timer


Activates shutter after an approx. 2-sec./10-sec. delay, Custom


Wireless Control


Not available


Continuous Shooting


Approx. 1.5 fps


Image Storage


Storage Media


SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard


File Format


Design rule for camera file system, DPOF Version 1.1


Image Compression


Still Image: Exif 2.2 (JPEG)
Movie: AVI (Image: Motion JPEG; Audio: WAVE (Monaural))


JPEG Compression Mode


Normal, Fine, SuperFine


Number of Recording Pixels


Still Image: 640 x 480 (Small), 1,600 x 1,200 (Medium 3), 2,272 x 1,704 (Medium 2), 2,816 x 2,112 (Medium 1), 3,648 x 2,736 (Large), 3,648 x 2,048 (Widescreen)
Movie: 640 x 480 / 320 x 240 (30 fps/15 fps) available up to 1GB or 60 minutes, 160 x 120 (3 min. at 15 fps))


Number of Recordable Images





Small/N

Small/F

Small/SF

Medium3/N

Medium3/F

Medium3/SF

Medium2/N

Medium2/F

Medium2/SF

File Size

84KB

150KB

249KB

 

278KB

558KB

1,002KB

445KB

893KB

1,602KB

SDC-16MB

278

177

114

102

53

30

53

27

14

SDC-128M

1,118

711

460

411

217

121

217

109

61

SDC-512MSH

4,317

2,747

1,777

1,590

839

471

839

425

237

Medium1/N

Medium1/F

Medium1/SF

Large/

N

Large/

F

Large/

SF

Wide-screen/N

Wide-screen/F

Wide-screen/SF

File Size

695KB

1,395KB

2,503KB

980KB

2,060KB

3,436KB

736KB

1,540KB

2,601KB

SDC-16MB

38

18

10

25

12

7

34

16

9

SDC-128M

156

75

45

103

50

29

139

66

40

SDC-512MSH

603

292

176

402

194

116

539

257

157



Time of Recordable Movies





Movie/
Low

Movie/
Medium

Movie/
High

Movie/

Compact

File Size

 

330KB/sec.

 

660KB/sec.

1,920KB/sec.
120KB/sec.
SDC-16MB

43 sec.

22 sec.

7 sec.

107 sec.

SDC-128M

355 sec.

181 sec.

64 sec.

869 sec.

SDC-512MSH

1,373 sec.

702 sec.

249 sec.

3,357 sec.

Note: N=Normal F=Fine SF=SuperFine
Storage Capacity varies depending on camera settings. This data is estimated from Canon's standard shooting conditions. Figures for Movie Mode represent total capacity of the particular media.

Note: N=Normal F=Fine SF=SuperFine
Storage Capacity varies depending on camera settings. This data is estimated from Canon's standard shooting conditions. Figures for Movie Mode represent total capacity of the particular media.



Playback Specifications


Playback Modes File


Still Image: Single, Magnification (approx. 2x-10x), Jump, Auto Rotate, Rotate, Histogram, Index (9 thumbnails), Sound Memos, Auto Play, Resume Playback
Movie: Normal Playback, Special Playback, Editing


Erasing Specifications


Erase Modes


Still Image: single image, all images
Movie: part of movie, all of movie


Interfaces


Computer Interface


USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B jack)


Video Out


NTSC/PAL


Audio Out


Monaural


Other


Memory card slot; direct connection to Canon CP and SELPHY Compact Photo Printers, PIXMA Photo Printers and PictBridge-compatible printers via camera's USB 2.0 Hi-Speed cable


Power Supply


Power Source


1. AA-size Alkaline Battery (x4)
2. Rechargeable AA-size Ni-MH Battery (x4)
3. AC Adapter Kit ACK600


Shooting Capacity


Still Image: approx. 280 shots (AA-size Alkaline Battery), approx. 500 shots (AA-size Ni-MH Battery) *


Playback Time


Approx. 1,200 min. (AA-size Alkaline Battery), approx. 1,200 min. (AA-size Ni-MH Battery)

* LCD screen on. The above figures comply with CIPA testing standards and apply when fully-charged batteries are used.


Physical Specifications


Operating Temperature


32-104°F/0-40°C


Operating Humidity


10-90%


Dimensions (W x H x D)


4.31 x 2.60 x 1.93 in. / 109.4 x 66.0 x 49.0mm


Weight


Approx. 8.64 oz. / 245g (camera body only)






Continue on to
Features & Controls


Return To Our
Reviews Menu



Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

Buy related cameras and accessories from Amazon.com
Related Product Description Price
Sony DSC-WX300/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera with 20x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) + Sony 16GB SDHC Memory Card + Sony Camera Case + Accessory Kit Sony DSC-WX300/B 18.2 MP Digital Camera with 20x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-Inch LCD (Black) + Sony 16GB SDHC Memory Card + Sony Camera Case + Accessory Kit $339.95
PowerShot SX700 HS 16.1MP HD 1080p Digital Camera Black Ultimate Kit Includes Camera, memory card, battery, gadget bag, HDMI cable, card reader, memory card wallet and mini tripod PowerShot SX700 HS 16.1MP HD 1080p Digital Camera Black Ultimate Kit Includes Camera, memory card, battery, gadget bag, HDMI cable, card reader, memory card wallet and mini tripod $339.00
Nikon COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black) + 16GB Memory Kit + Standard Large Digital Camera Case + Accessory Kit Nikon COOLPIX AW120 Waterproof Digital Camera (Black) + 16GB Memory Kit + Standard Large Digital Camera Case + Accessory Kit $339.00
Nikon Digital Camera COOLPIX P520 BK Black P520BK Nikon Digital Camera COOLPIX P520 BK Black P520BK $338.89
Nikon 1 J2 10.1 MP HD Camera with 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (White) Nikon 1 J2 10.1 MP HD Camera with 11-27.5mm f/3.5-5.6 Lens (White) $338.49
Canon TC-DC58N Tele Converter Lens for Canon A710, A700, A630, A640, A610, A620, A720IS, G3, G5 & G6 Digital Cameras Canon TC-DC58N Tele Converter Lens for Canon A710, A700, A630, A640, A610, A620, A720IS, G3, G5 & G6 Digital Cameras $149.99
VIVITAR DEDICATED E-TTL SPEEDLIGHT BOUNCE ZOOM SWIVEL FLASH FOR CANON POWERSHOT G7 G9 G10 G11 G12 A640 A650 S5 IS S3 IS SX20 IS SX20 SX1 IS SX Includes Flash Diffuser + Free Mini Tripod + BP MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth VIVITAR DEDICATED E-TTL SPEEDLIGHT BOUNCE ZOOM SWIVEL FLASH FOR CANON POWERSHOT G7 G9 G10 G11 G12 A640 A650 S5 IS S3 IS SX20 IS SX20 SX1 IS SX Includes Flash Diffuser + Free Mini Tripod + BP MicroFiber Cleaning Cloth $119.89