Canon Powershot A520 Review

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Canon Powershot A520

Features & Controls

Canon Powershot A520

The A520 features a 4X (35-140mm in the 35mm format) f/2.6-5.5 all-glass aspherical zoom lens. When the camera is 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 - 2.0 in. (5cm) to 1.5 ft. (45cm) in wide angle and 11.8 in. (30cm) to 1.5 ft. (45cm) in telephoto.
  • Manual - 2.0 in. (5cm) to infinity in wide angle and 11.8 in. (30cm) to infinity in telephoto.

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

Canon Powershot A520

To attach auxiliary Canon lenses just press the button and remove the dress ring, attach the optional LA-DC52F Conversion Lens Adapter and then the Canon WC-DC52C 0.7x Wide Converter lens, TC-DC52A 1.75x Tele-converter lens or the 250D 52mm Close-up Lens.

The LA-DC52F adapter also allows the use of any 52mm filters or lenses.

Canon Powershot A520

The built in flash offers Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye Reduction On or Auto. Flash range is 1.5 ft. (45cm) - 11.5 ft. (3.5m) in wide angle, 1.5 ft. - 7.2 ft. (2.2m) in telephoto or 11.8 in. (30cm) - 1.5 (45cm) ft. in macro mode.

This is a new 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 A520

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 A520

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 A520

On the top you'll find the On/Off 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: Manual, Aperture priority, Shutter-speed priority, Program AE, Auto, Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Movie, Stitch Assist, Special Scene, Slow Shutter and Fast Shutter.

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

Canon Powershot A520

The A520 features a 1.8-inch LCD for framing, review and menu operations. Controls on the back: in the upper right is the Play / Record switch. 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 Print/Share button speeds and simplifies printing to Direct Print and PictBridge compliant printers, as well as transferring images. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menu screens, and the FUNCtion button gives you access to many settings (Exposure compensation, white balance, ISO, Color effects, image quality and image size.), it also functions as the image delete button in playback mode. The DISPlay button turns the color LCD on/off and controls the amount of data displayed on it.

Canon Powershot A520 The I/O ports: AV Out handles monaural audio and video to connect to a TV set with the supplied cable.

The DIGITAL port connects USB 1.1 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.

DC INput jack for an optional AC power supply.

A user-replaceable lithium "coin" battery retains time, date and camera settings during main battery changes.

Canon Powershot A520

The Powershot A520 is equipped with a Secure Digital card slot and comes with a Canon 16MB MMC card. It can handle any capacity SD or MMC card.

Storage Capacity Approximate

Large (JPEG)
2272x1704 pixels
Superfine 7 61 237
Fine 13 109 425
Normal 26 216 838
Medium1 (JPEG)
1600x1200 pixels
Superfine 14 121 471
Fine 26 216 838
Normal 50 411 1589
Medium2 (JPEG)
1024x768 pixels
Superfine 25 211 816
Fine 45 372 1438
Normal 80 1438 2517
Small (JPEG)
640x480 pixels
Superfine 56 460 1777
Fine 87 711 2746
Normal 138 1117 4316

Canon Powershot A520

The A520 can be powered by two standard AA-type batteries, alkaline, NiMH (nickel metal hydride), or lithium cells. Canon claims with AA Alkaline batteries you can capture approx. 80 shots (LCD on), 240 shots (LCD off), and 180 minutes of continuous playback time. With NiMH cells Canon clams approx. 300 shots (LCD on), 800 shots (LCD off), and 300 minutes of continuous playback time. Check out our NiMH rechargeable battery page for more info on NiMH battery types.

Canon also offers a battery and charger kit CBK4-200 that includes both a charger unit and four rechargeable AA-size NiMH batteries. The A520 can also be powered by the AC Adapter Kit ACK800 for unlimited runtime from your wall outlet.

Canon Powershot A520

For all-weather protection and use underwater to depths up to 130 feet, the WP-DC60 Waterproof Case is just the ticket for the Powershot A520.

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