Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Canon A630 Digital Camera

Price: Rs. 20,195

The good: Lots of manual controls; flip-out LCD; accessory lenses are available.

The bad: Noisy at ISO 800; no image stabilization.

The bottom line: Though it's not a great choice for low-light shooting, the Canon PowerShot A630 is a solid, feature-rich digital camera.

An 8-megapixel version of the 10-megapixel PowerShot A640, the Canon PowerShot A630 is otherwise identical to its higher-resolution sibling. Both share the same sturdy, chunky body; 35mm-to-140mm-equivalent lens with accessory lens mount; and broad feature set with PASM exposure controls. Both cameras even turned in nearly identical performance results in our tests. (For more, read the PowerShot A640 review.)

Aside from the approximately INR 3315/- street price differential, the real distinguishing element between the two is the photo quality. In general, both produce colorful and crisp photos, with relatively little fringing or distortion. Fine details showed up clearly in our test shots, though colors tended to appear slightly muted and cool. The A630 displays a bit less noise, however. Artifacts start to appear at ISO 400 and become a fine but visible grain at ISO 800. Images are still usable at ISO 800 for 4x6 prints but aren't as sharp as photos taken at lower sensitivity settings and display problems with color banding.

Though the A640 continues the PowerShot's history of less-than-stellar low-light shooting, it's otherwise a great camera for users who want a solid point-and-shoot with photographer-friendly manual capabilities. But unless you really need the A640's extra pixels, save yourself a few bucks and get the A630 instead.

No comments: