Canon Powershot A40 Review

Steve's Digicams

Canon PowerShot A40

Review posted 3/29/02

Click to take a QTVR tour of the A40

The PowerShot A40 has a 2.0 megapixel CCD sensor and incorporates a 3x optical zoom lens and offers features and image quality normally found in more expensive models, such as movie mode (with sound); manual exposure; spot metering; selectable ISO settings; built-in flash with 5 modes and magnified playback up to 10x for convenient image review.

The A40 also includes several new features not found on previous mid-range PowerShot camera models including a 3-point AiAF system with single-point center focus and focus lock; a wider shutter speed range of 15 seconds to 1/1500 second; Evaluative and Spot Metering; ISO ranges including 50/100/200/400 and Auto; Movie mode (with sound); Photo Effect mode; 2x-10x enlarged playback function with scrolling; and Direct Print capabilities with Canon's new CP-100 and CP-10 dye-sub printers.

The PowerShot A40 camera is equipped with a 5.4-16.2mm f/2.8-4.8 (equivalent to 35-105mm in 35mm format) 3x zoom lens which is ideal for a wide range of picture- taking situations from landscapes to portraits. The all-glass lens is designed using 9 elements in 7 groups, including one highly-refractive, glass-molded aspherical element. The aspherical element effectively suppresses distortion and provides high resolution.

The A40 is powered by four AA-size batteries which are relatively inexpensive and much more readily available when compared to other batteries, making their replacement more economical and convenient.

Canon PowerShot A40

The WP-DC200s Waterproof Case is an optional accessory for the PowerShot A40 and A30, with a depth rating of 100 ft. for scuba diving. The WP-DC200s is also an excellent choice for photographing outdoor sports such as snow skiing, water skiing, and whitewater rafting. Other A40/A30 accessories include Wide Converter WC-DC52, 52mm Close-up Lens 250D, the new Tele-Converter TC-DC52, and Lens Conversion Adapter LA-DC52B which is used to mount these supplementary lenses to the cameras with a sturdy bayonet fitting.

Bundled with a comprehensive suite of programs enabling image management, editing, compositing and printing, the PowerShot A40 is compatible with a wide range of both Mac and PC computers, including support for Windows XP and Mac OS X. Each camera comes with Apple QuickTime 5.0, Canon RemoteCapture 2.2, and PhotoStitch 3.1 for both Macintosh and Windows, as well as Canon ZoomBrowser EX 3.2, PhotoRecord 1.2 and WIA and TWAIN drivers for Windows, plus ImageBrowser 2.2 and a Photoshop-compatible plug-in for the Mac.

The Canon PowerShot A40 camera and Card Photo Printer CP-100 will be available at authorized retailers in the second quarter of 2002 with these suggested retail prices:

PowerShot A40 $ 299
Waterproof Case WP-DC200s $240
Tele-Converter TC-DC52 $129
Wide Converter WC-DC52 $ 99
Lens Conversion Adapter LA-DC52B $20

PowerShot A40 Features

  • 2.1 Megapixel CCD for images up to 1600 x 1200 pixels.
  • 3x (35-105mm) F2.8 optical zoom lens, 2x digital zoom
  • 1.5-inch TFT color LCD, approx. 120,000 pixels
  • 3-point AiAF system with single-point center focus and focus lock
  • Low-light focus assist illuminator
  • Exposure modes: Auto, Program, Manual, Stitch Assist, Movie
  • Motion video w/audio @ 20fps, 320x240 10 secs or 160x120 30 secs
  • White balance options: Auto, daylight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, fluorescent H
  • Shutter speeds from 15 seconds to 1/1500 second
  • Evaluative and Spot Metering
  • ISO settings: 50, 100, 200, 400 and Auto (50-150)
  • Photo Effects: Vivid, Neutral, Low Sharpening, Sepia, B&W
  • built in flash with Auto, Red-eye reduction auto, Forced on, Red-eye on, forced off and slow-synchro
  • 2x-10x enlarged playback function with scrolling
  • Direct Print to the CP-100 and CP-10 printers
  • CompactFlash Type I storage
  • USB connectivity
  • NTSC or PAL video output
  • Powered by standard AA type batteries
  • Optional wide angle, telephoto and closeup lenses
  • Small (4.3 x 2.8 x 1.5 in.) and lightweight (8.8 oz)

Physical Views

Canon PowerShot A40 Zoom

Canon PowerShot A40 Zoom

Canon PowerShot A40 Zoom

Canon PowerShot A40 ZoomCanon PowerShot A40 Zoom

Canon PowerShot A40 Zoom

Canon Powershot A40 Zoom

The Canon Powershot team of the A30 and A40 are almost identical. The resolution steps down to 1.2 megapixel in the A30.

Canon PowerShot A40 Zoom

The compact PowerShot A40 and a standard CD for size comparison.

Continue on to
Page Two

PowerShot A40 Specifications

Camera effective pixels : Approx. 2 million
Image sensor : 1/2.7 in. CCD (Total number of pixels: approx. 2.1 million)
Lens :
5.4 (W) - 16.2 (T) mm
(35 mm film equivalent: 35-105 mm)
F 2.8 (W) - 4.8 (T)
Digital Zoom : Maximum 2.5x (Maximum 7.5x with optical zoom)
Optical Viewfinder : Primary imaging real-image optical zoom viewfinder
LCD monitor : 1.5-inch low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD, approx. 120,000 pixels
Autofocus : TTL 3 point AiAF/ TTL 1 point center AF
Focus lock possible
Focusing Range :
(from tip of the lens barrel)
Normal : 76 cm (2.5 ft.) - infinity
Macro : 16 - 76 cm (6.3 in. - 2.5 ft.) (W)
26 - 76 cm (10.2 in. - 2.5 ft.) (T)
Shutter : Mechanical + electronic
Shutter Speed : 15 - 1/1500 sec.
* 15 - 1.3 sec. in manual mode with the flash off or in slow synchro mode.
* Noise reduction processing on speeds slower than 1.3 sec.
Light Metering Method : Evaluative metering (linked to focusing point)/ Spot metering
Exposure Control : Program AE (Auto and Program modes only)
Exposure Compensation : +-2 EV (1/3 steps)
Sensitivity : ISO 50/ 100/ 200/ 400 equivalent and Auto*
* Camera automatically adjusts sensitivity in the range of ISO 50 to ISO 150 equivalent.
White Balance : TTL auto/ preset (daylight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, fluorescent H)
Flash : Auto/ Red-eye reduction auto/ on/ off/ Red-eye reduction on/ slow-synchro
Flash Range :
Normal : 76 cm - 4.2 m (2.5 - 13.8 ft.) (W),
76 cm - 2.5 m (2.5 - 8.2 ft.) (T)
Macro : 26 - 76 cm (10.2 in. - 2.5 ft.) (W/T)
Shooting Modes : Auto/ program/ manual/ stitch assist/ movie
Continuous Shooting : Approx. 2.5 images/sec (Large/ Fine mode, LCD monitor off)
Self-Timer : Shoots after approx. 2 sec. or approx. 10 sec.
PC Connected Shooting : Available (USB connection only. Exclusive software program RemoteCapture is included in the camera kit.)
Recording Media : CompactFlashTM card (Type I)
File Format : Design rule for Camera File system, DPOF compliant
Image Recording Format :
Still Images : JPEG (Exif 2.2)
Movies : AVI (Image data : Motion JPEG, Audio data : WAVE [monaural])
Compression : Superfine/ fine/ normal
Number of Recording Pixels :
Still Images :
Large : 1600 x 1200 pixels
Medium : 1024 x 768 pixels
Small : 640 x 480 pixels
Movies :
320 x 240 pixels (Approx. 10 sec.)*
160 x 120 pixels (Approx. 30 sec.)*
Approx 20 frames/ sec.
* The data in parentheses refer to the maximum movie length per shooting
Replay Modes : Single image replay/ index replay (9 thumbnails)/ zoomed view (LCD monitor zooms images up to 10x)/ auto play/ printing with Card Photo Printer CP-100 or CP-10 (Direct Print Function)
Interface :
USB (mini-B)
Audio/ Video Output (NTSC or PAL selectable, monaural audio)
Power Source :
Four AA alkaline batteries (included)
Four AA rechargeable NiMH batteries (optional)
AC Adapter Kit ACK600 (optional)
Operating Temperatures : 0 - 40 °C (32 - 104 °F)
Operating Humidity : 10 - 90 %
(W x H x D) :
110.3 x 71.0 x 37.6 mm (4.3 x 2.8 x 1.5 in.) (excluding protrusions)
Weight : Approx. 250 g (8.8 oz.)
(excluding batteries and CF card)

Specifications are as represented by the manufacturer.

Canon A40 Package Contents

Canon PowerShot A40 Zoom

  • Digital Camera
  • Wrist Strap
  • AA Alkaline Battery (x4)
  • CompactFlashTM Card FC-8M
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-300PCU
  • AV Cable AVC-DC100
  • Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM
  • ArcSoft Camera Suite Disk (CD-ROM)
  • Camera User Guide
  • Software Starter Guide

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.