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Canon Powershot A490 10MP Budget Compact Review

Its been a year since Canon released their Powershot A480 budget compact camera, and now they have updated the line with Powershot A490, with a curvier body and supporting the upcoming SDXC format memory card. So lets take a picturesque tour to find out more about this new Powershot baby.

Canon PowerShot A490 Box

Over the years Canon’s PowerShot A-series compact cameras have been their choice of tool to capture the budget market and the A490 is seemingly aimed for the entry level ‘point and shoot’ audience. Another notable feature of the A-series are the use of AA batteries instead of the proprietary batteries.

The A490 and the older A480 is similar in that both are a 10 megapixels camera with 3.3x optical zoom without IS (Image Stabilizer) and DIGIC III, Face Detection, AiAF image processor. While the similarity ends, the difference starts with the A490 using a smarter auto mode aptly named Smart Auto (ok maybe cheesy too) and a Low Light Mode.

Canon PowerShot A490 Full range of accessories


Image Sensor (CCD)   
Camera Effective Pixels Approx 10.0 Million pixels
Focal Length (35mm film equivalent) 3.3x zoom: 37(W) – 122(T)mm
Focusing Range 5cm (2in.) – infinity (W), 25cm (9.8in.) – Infinity (T)
Marco: 1 – 50cm (W), 25 – 50cm (T)
(0.4in. – 1.6ft. (W), 9.8in. – 1.6ft. (T))
Imaging Processor DIGIC III
LCD Monitor   
Type TFT color (with wide viewing angle)
Display size 2.5inch type
Effective Pixels Approx. 115,000 dots
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Control System Auto focus: Single (Continuous when in Auto)
AF Frame Face AiAF (5 points)/Centre
Metering System Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot
ISO Speed (Standard Output Sensitivity, Recommended Exposure Index) Auto, ISO 80/100/200/400/800/1600
White Balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Shutter Speed 1 – 1/2000sec.
15 – 1/2000sec. (Total shutter speed range.)
Type Circular
f/number f/3.0 – f/4.5 (W), f/5.8 – f/9.0 (T)
Flash Modes Auto, On, Slow Synchro, Off
Flash Range 30cm – 3.0m (W), 30cm – 2.0m (T)
(12in. – 9.8ft. (W), 12in. – 6.6ft.(T))
Shooting Specifications   
Shooting Modes Auto, P, SCN*, Movie
* Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids&Pets, Indoor, Low Light, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Sunset, Fireworks, Long Shutter
Digital Zoom Still images/Movies: Approx. 4.0x (up to approx. 13x in combination with the optical zoom), Safety Zoom,
Digital Tele-converter
Continuous Shooting Normal: Approx. 0.9 shots/sec.
(approx. 2.5 shots/sec. in Low Light)
Number of Recordable shots (approx.)
(CIPA compliant)
Approx. 150 images
Recording Specification   
Recording Media SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus card, HC MMCplus card
File Format Design rule for camera file system, DPOF
(Version 1.1) compliant
Data Type Still Images: Exif2.2 (JPEG)
Movies: AVI type [Image data: Motion JPEG,
Audio data: WAVE (monaural)]
Number of Recording Pixels Still Images: Large: 3648 x 2736
Medium 1: 2816 x 2112
Medium 2: 2272 x 1704
Medium 3: 1600 x 1200
Small: 640 x 480
Widescreen: 3648 x 2048
Low Light: 1600 x 1200
Movies: Standard: 640 x 480 (30fps*/30fps LP*),
320 x 240 (30fps*)
* Actual frame is 29.97fps
Display Languages 26 languages
Interface Hi-Speed USB*1
Analog audio output*2 (monaural)
Analog video output*2 (NTSC/PAL)
*1 Mini-B jack
*2 3.5mm jack (dedicated connector with unified type of audio and video)
Power Source 2x AA alkaline batteries (AA NiMH batteries NB-3AH)
AC Adapter Kit ACK800
Dimensions (excluding protrusions) 93.5 x 61.7 x 30.6mm (3.68 x 2.43 x 1.20in.)
Weight (camera body only) Approx. 175g (6.17oz.) (including battery & memory card)
Approx. 130g (4.60oz.) (Camera body only)

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