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Canon Powershot A490 10MP Budget Compact Review

Photographic Test

Canon’s photographic quality has never been questionable, and even in their budget series such quality has never disappointed anyone. But, there is no way to prove ones worth (in this case one camera) than to put it to the test.

ISO Comparison

Details are very much present through the various ISO with the exception of ISO 1600. At ISO 1600, image is washed out with delicate details missing, but passable is what most would say. At ISO 80, image is slightly underexposed compared to the rest.


Marco at widest (37mm equiv) with focus distance within 1cm

Macro at tele (122mm equiv), with a focusing distance of at least 50cm


Slight barrel distortion can be observed wide angle (37mm), which is common for most compact cameras

Almost perfect lines with little pincushion distortion observed with lens fully extended to 122mm

Battery Life

In the PowerShot A-series cameras, what makes it the most endearing to customers is the use of AA batteries instead of proprietary batteries. Using AA batteries allows customers to virtually not worry about not having the enough juice during the most precious moment.

With the provided batteries, we were able to achieve roughly 200 shots before the ‘low batt’ warning was shown. But in any case, it is still advisable to purchase some lithium rechargeable batteries for better battery life.


Granted that the PowerShot A490 is targeted at the budget-conscious group of people, it is no wonder that while the overall camera is usable, it shines particular at nowhere. The auto-focus isn’t the fastest nor exactly the fastest. The ISO 1600 is of limited use and Face detection AF/AE and Timer while good, still isn’t the best we have seen.

The other complaint that one may have is the not wide enough wide lens. Standing at 37mm, narrower than conventional 35mm, with the fact that nowadays everyone are looking at 28mm or less, may just place itself at a slight disadvantage. But still, the price point coupled with the overall package for a beginner is the saving grace.

Finally, for readers out there, if you are looking for a reliable and decent quality camera and a really no-frills one at that, look no further, the PowerShot A490 will get your finger snapping in no time.


The Canon A490 being in the budget range is made entirely of plastic, but the feel and quality is unquestionably Canon.


Performance has never been an issue for Canon, and in the A490, it is definitely above average.


Simple features that is common through out any budget compact camera.


Simple and easy to use. Beginners will have no problem operating.


At S$189, it is even cheaper than its predecessor. One of the best budget camera under the price tag of S$200.



Availability Details



Product Name

PowerShot A490
Manufacturer WWW


Available now

Suggested Retail Price

from S$189

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