The Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 IS packs 20-megapixels of resolution into a tiny 1/2.3-inch image sensor (6.2 x 4.6 mm). It's a CCD image sensor, which isn't included in digital cameras very often anymore, as most models use a CMOS image sensor these days.
The unit's lens offers a 10x optical zoom setting with a focal length equivalent of 24 to 240 mm. It's nice to find a decent optical zoom lens in such a small camera, something which was rare several years ago. The maximum aperture ranges from f/3 to f/6.9, depending on the focal length setting.
When the camera is powered down, it measures a little less than 1 inch in thickness. After pressing the power button, the ELPH 190's lens extends from the camera body, and the camera measures about 1.75 inches in depth. And with the lens at the full optical zoom setting, the camera measures about 2.5 inches in thickness. The lens moves through its full zoom range in a speedy 1.5 seconds.
You'll find Canon's DIGIC 4+ image processor inside the PowerShot 190. This processor is a couple of generations behind Canon's newest image processors, which may in part explain the ELPH 190's pedestrian performance in burst mode and when using the flash.
The "IS" in the ELPH 190 IS name refers to Intelligent Image Stabilization (IS), which is Canon's brand name for its optical image stabilization feature.
The autofocus range for the PowerShot SX610 is:
- Normal: 2.0 in. (5 cm) - infinity (W); 3.3 ft. (100 cm) - infinity (T)
- Auto: 0.4 in. (1 cm) - infinity (W), 3.3 ft. (100 cm) - infinity (T)
- Infinity: 9.8 ft. (3 m) - infinity (W and T)
- Macro: 0.4 in. - 1.6 ft. (1 - 50 cm) (W)
Canon embedded the unit's flash into the upper right corner of the camera body (when looking at it from the front). Such a design doesn't necessarily yield the best flash photography options, as the flash is off center to the lens, and you could block its light with your fingers or with an extended lens housing when using the zoom.
In Auto mode you'll have two flash control setting options, Auto or Off. In Program mode you'll have four options, Auto, On, Off, and Slow Synchro. To change the flash mode in either shooting mode, press the right side of the four-way button.
The flash range for the PowerShot ELPH 190 IS is poor at:
- Wide: 1.6 - 13 ft. (50 - 400 cm)
- Tele: 3.3 - 6.6 ft. (100 - 200 cm)
As with many basic point-n-shoot cameras, the PowerShot 190 has very few buttons on the top panel. The power button is on the left, and the shutter button is on the right, surrounded by a zoom ring. On the far right is a hole for the speaker.
These buttons are really small and embedded tight to the camera body, which makes them difficult to press comfortably -- a common theme with this camera.
In today's market the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190's 2.7-inch LCD screen is of a below average size. It also has a below average resolution at 230,000 pixels. Screen glare is a significant problem with this model when being used outdoors, so you'll want to increase the LCD brightness to the highest of the five available levels to counteract this problem. There's no touch screen option with this camera's display screen.
The primary control buttons are on the right side of the Canon 190's back panel. These buttons are really small and are set tight to the camera body, making them difficult to press. The four-way button is also very difficult to use because it's so tight to the camera.
Toward the top of the collection of buttons is the Playback button on the left and the movie recording button (with the red dot) on the right.
The four-way button is in the middle. You'll use the four-way button to navigate through the camera's menus. Or just press an edge of the four-way button to activate the setting associated with it.
The Func/Set button in the middle of the four-way button will select a menu setting, or it will open a popup menu when you're shooting that gives you access to various camera settings.
- Top - In shooting modes this button toggles between fully Auto shooting mode and Program shooting mode. In Playback mode the top button is the delete button.
- Right - Use the right side of the four-way button to see the flash settings menu across the top of the screen
- Bottom - The Info button changes the data displayed on the screen in Playback or shooting modes.
- Left - This auto zoom button activates is a feature where the camera will move the zoom lens back and forth for you as the person in the frame moves around. Although this feature isn't perfect, it works reasonably well much of the time for tracking a moving subject.
At the bottom of the set of buttons is the Wi-Fi button on the left and the Menu button on the right.
The right side of the PowerShot ELPH 190 contains the USB port behind a soft, flexible plastic cover in the upper portion of the right side of the camera. The lower portion has no ports behind the cover. The PowerShot 190 IS has no HDMI port.
This Canon camera's battery and SD memory card compartments are accessible through the bottom panel of the unit. The hard plastic hinged door slides outward and then flips upward to provide access to the compartment.
The thin battery only allows 190 shots per charge, according to Canon's estimates. My tests showed the actual number is closer to 150-170 shots per charge under real world conditions, especially because you'll need to use the highest LCD brightness setting much of the time..
Canon did include the battery charger pictured here, which plugs directly into an outlet and is a better option than charging the battery inside the camera. No USB cable is included.