Canon Powershot A640 Review

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Canon Powershot A640

Features & Controls

Canon Powershot A640

The A640 features a 4X optical (35-140mm in the 35mm format) f/2.8-4.1 all-glass aspherical zoom lens. When powered down the lens is retracted inside of the body and a built-in shutter closes to completely protect the lens.

An advanced TTL AiAF 9-point autofocus system permits the camera to automatically select the primary subject even when off-center. The focusing range is:

  • Normal AF - 1.5 ft. (45cm) to infinity
  • Macro - 0.4 - 18 in. (1-45cm) in wide angle and 9.8 - 18 in. (25-45cm) in telephoto.
  • Manual - 0.4 in. (1cm) to infinity in wide angle and 9.8 in. (25cm) to infinity in telephoto.

In low light conditions the focus-assist lamp helps to illuminate the subject for accurate focusing.

To attach auxiliary Canon lenses just press the button and remove the dress ring, attach the optional LA-DC58F Conversion Lens Adapter and then the Canon WC-DC58N 0.7x Wide Converter lens, TC-DC58N 1.75x Tele-converter lens, or 250D 58mm Close-up Lens.

The LA-DC58F adapter also allows the use of 58mm filters or lenses.

Canon Powershot A640

The built in flash offers 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 at ISO Auto is 1.5 ft. (45cm) - 14 ft. (4.2m) in wide angle, 1.5 ft. - 9.8 ft. (45cm - 3.0m) in telephoto or 9.8 in. (25cm) - 1.5 (45cm) ft. in macro mode.

This is a Light-guide zoom flash that changes its angle according to the lens' focal length. The AF-assist lamp also serves as a red-eye reduction lamp.

Canon Powershot A640

Compact and elegantly designed, the optional High-Power Flash HF-DC1 complements your PowerShot perfectly and requires no accessory shoe. With a strong light output (guide number 59 ft.) and wide angular field (28mm), it delivers proper illumination up to approximately 30 feet and in all zoom positions. The flash fires in synchronization with the main flash, and output is adjusted accurately and automatically. A "Manual" mode prevents others from firing your flash.

Canon Powershot A640

You can frame your pictures with the color LCD or to save precious battery power you can use the optical finder. This is a coupled viewfinder with approx. 80% to 85% coverage. It has no dioptric adjustment. Next to the finder are two LEDs that indicate the flash and focus status.

Canon Powershot A640

Canon Powershot A640

Canon Powershot A640

On the back is a 115,000 pixel 2.5-inch color TFT LCD monitor that can be put in just about any position you need to frame your shot. It can even be turned to face forward for self-portraits and closed with the face inward to protect the screen when it's not being used.

Canon Powershot A640

Controls on top: the On/Off power button, the shutter release with the zoom lens control mounted around it. In playback mode the zoom lever functions as the index and magnified image control. The Mode Dial with positions for: Custom, Manual, Aperture priority, Shutter-speed priority, Program AE, Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Special Scene, MyColors, Stitch Assist and Movie. Next to the mode dial is the speaker.

See the next page for more information about the various Record modes.

Canon Powershot A640

Controls on the back: in the upper left is the Play / Record switch. The Exposure Compensation button (Delete image in playback). The Print/Share button speeds and simplifies printing to Direct Print and PictBridge compliant printers, as well as transferring images. The 4-way controller lets you navigate menus and select images during playback, the SET button accepts menu selections, In record mode you press "Up" to change flash modes and press "Down" to change the focus mode. The FUNCtion/SET button gives you access to the Function shortcut menu, which has many settings (white balance, ISO, Color effects, image quality and image size), it's also used to accept menu settings. The DISPlay button turns the color LCD on/off and controls the amount of data displayed on it. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menu screens.

Canon Powershot A640 The I/O ports:
DC INput jack for an optional AC power supply.

The DIGITAL port connects USB 2.0 (high-speed) to the computer for download and camera control with the RemoteCapture software. It also allows for Direct printing to any PictBridge compatible printer, Canon Card Photo Printer or Bubblejet Direct photo printers.

AV Out handles monaural audio and video to connect to a TV set with the supplied cable.

Canon Powershot A640

The Powershot A640 is equipped with a Secure Digital / MultiMediaCard slot and comes with a Canon 16MB MMC card. It can handle any capacity SD or SDHC card up to 4GB.

16MB Storage Capacity Approximate

3648 x 2736 pixels
Superfine 7
Fine 12
Normal 25
2816 x 2112 pixels
Superfine 10
Fine 18
Normal 38
2272 x 1704 pixels
Superfine 14
Fine 27
Normal 53
1600 x 1200 pixels
Superfine 30
Fine 53
Normal 102
640 x 480 pixels
Superfine 114
Fine 177
Normal 278
3648 x 2048 pixels
Superfine 9
Fine 16
Normal 34

Canon Powershot A640

The A640 is powered by four standard AA-type batteries, alkaline, NiMH (nickel metal hydride), or lithium cells. Canon claims with AA Alkaline batteries you can capture approx. 280 shots, or approx. 500 shots with NiMH cells (using CIPA standards.) They claim 1,200 minutes of continuous playback time with both types of cells.

Check out our NiMH rechargeable battery page for more info on NiMH battery types.

Canon offers an optional NiMH Battery & Charger Kit CBK4-300 that includes a charger and four rechargeable AA-size NiMH batteries. The A640 can also be powered by the AC Adapter Kit ACK800 for unlimited runtime from your wall outlet.

Continue on to
Record Features

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