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  • Canon PowerShot A490 Review
Technology Articles > Photo, Video & Audio > Digital Cameras > Canon PowerShot A490 Review

The {{http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0032JRRXO/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=uncbwibl-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217153&creative=399349&creativeASIN=B0032JRRXO|Canon PowerShot A490}}, as of the time of this review, is the top 5 best seller on Amazon.com. Why is that? My guess would be the price. This is a $99 digital camera from a reputable manufacturer (well, actually better than reputable...it’s Canon) and from this particular Amazon seller, you can get it for just $79.79. That’s a steal of a deal, even by today’s standards, and certainly a far cry from what we used to have to pay for a digital camera.

But beyond the awesome price, I’m not 100% sure that I’d recommend this camera based on its specs and performance. It’s only 10 megapixels, which isn’t bad. It’s more megapixels than you’ll get from most smartphones, but I don’t the quality will be dramatically better than what you might seem from a high end Nokia phone or iPhone. It does have a nice flash but it takes 5 to 10 seconds to recharge the flash each time. That may not seem like a big deal, but it can get pretty annoying. The camera is definitely of cheaper construction than most Canon digital cameras. And there’s no image stabilization, so low light photos can be blurry.

Those are the cons, and that’s pretty much the extent of them. Other than, this is a great little shooter for slipping into your pocket on the way to a birthday party. It’s a point and shoot camera that runs on AA batteries with a pretty good battery life. It supports SDHC flash cards, meaning you can have SD cards up to 32 GB which is probably more photos than you’ll ever take without a trip to your computer. In settings with decent lighting, the pictures look very good. It even has 3.3x optical zoom, which isn’t amazing, but still very good--especially when you compare to a smartphone, which has 0x opitcal zoom.

As for under the hood software features, there aren’t many. But with a point and camera, that’s really not what you’re looking for. You have 12 shooting modes, e.g. portrait, landscape, low light, sport, etc. But you should probably stick to the auto setting, which detects the shooting conditions and adjusts accordingly.

So, who should you buy this camera for? Anyone who doesn’t already have a digital camera or a smarpthone with a decent camera. This isn’t a workhorse camera--it’s a snapshot camera for taking fun photos--vacations, get togethers, pictures for the Internet. And for that purpose, it’s great. It’s lightweight, extremely portable, and if it gets broken, lost or stolen, no big deal--it barely costs over $70. It’s a great camera for a teenager or an older relative who may not have a camera yet. But if you are buying it for yourself and you can afford to spend $50 extra dollars, do so. If you like everything about this camera except for the entry-level specs, go for another camera from the Canon PowerShot line. Personally, I’ve owned a Canon PowerShot for over 5 years--probably longer. It even broke once and I sent it in and it was fixed under warranty. It’s a great line of cameras from a great company. The Canon PowerShot A490 is sort of on the el cheapo end of the line, but for what it is, it’s a good value.