Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Canon A-series

At lunch today I went over to the nearby Best Buy to see which Canon A-series cameras they had in stock. The only carried the A590. I could see from the cameras on display that the market is saturated at either end, but the Canon A-series is the sole useful compact camera. Best Buy stocks lots of subcompact fully automatic cameras (the Canon SD series, for example); and at the other end, they stock lots of digital SLRs for the enthusiast.

The salesman asked me if I was looking for anything in particular. I said I was looking for Canon A-series cameras, but they only had one on display, the A590.

He asked, "Is there a reason you're looking at the A-series?"

So I said, "You tell me why I would want an A-series camera." Because, I thought anyone who knew anything about cameras and photography would know why someone would be looking at those cameras. Instead, he told me that the big drawback of the A-series is that they take AA batteries, and that you'll get a lot more shots per charge out of the lithium-ion batteries that come with the Elphs. Yes, that's true. So he does know a little bit about the products, he sells; he just doesn't understand the market for the A-series, because he's not a part of that market.

I looked at two things on the A590.

1) Some of the reviews mentioned that the battery door hinge on the A570 is a little flimsy. Did you notice anything like that on your A560? The A590 looked fine, but not particularly rugged.

2) I flipped through the menus, which are very similar to those on my S2. I couldn't find auto exposure bracketing -- does your camera have that?

I also noticed that on in the Auto mode, you have the choice between "normal" ISO equivalent and "high" ISO. I thought that was clever. In Program mode, you can actually select which ISO you want.