Canon PowerShot A590 Review

In today’s product review we’ll take a look at another digital camera that’s beginning to show up in closeout and refurb retail channels this month, the Canon PowerShot A590. Canon is a respected name in digital cameras and while this camera is sort of “last year’s model” it’s still a good basic camera that you can find at a great price. But will this digital camera meet your “point and shoot” needs? Let’s find out…

Review Continued Below…

A quick look at the specs for the Canon PowerShot A590 reveals that it has 8.0-megapixels, probably the bottom figure for a digital camera today, 4x optical zoom with optical image stabilization and a decent sized 2.5-inch LCD. It has eight shooting modes ranging from a manual override to an easy mode automatic. The plethora of photography settings include a dozen different scene presets as well as face detection focusing. The camera doesn’t have any internal memory so purchasing a SD or SDHC card with the camera is a must. It uses 2 AA batteries for power.

Aesthetically, the Canon PowerShot A590 isn’t thin but distinctly camera like. This isn’t a digital camera you’ll slip into your pocket or purse with ease. On the flip side, the camera shape and grip are comfortable and ergonomic, especially for someone like me who used to use analog cameras a lot. Another plus for the old-fashioned photographer is a real viewfinder, something most other cameras in this price range don’t have. So far as operating digital functions, I have to say that I like the user interface on the Sony and Casio digital cameras I reviewed recently better although if you’re used to the Canon way to doing things I’ve heard it’s pretty intuitive.

The photo quality of the Canon PowerShot A590 is good, I’d rate it above average for the price range. The flexibility in the shooting modes really helps in this regard, especially in low light and situations where there is a lot of glare or other odd lighting. The optical zoom and image stabilization work quite well and are a cut above some other cameras you’ll find in the same general price range. If you push it hard it will show a few warts typical of lower priced digital cameras but for the average photo taking consumer it does a great job.

There are 3 weak points of the Canon PowerShot A590 I noticed. First, I thought that there was a lot of lag time between shots, especially with flash shots. It reminded me more of digital cameras from 3-4 years ago than today’s cameras in this area. The next area is the batteries. I found that it would quickly eat a set of standard alkaline AA’s. I’d recommend getting a set of high performance mAh NiMHs rechargeables for the best results. The last weak point is kind of subjective but I can’t help but get the feeling that this camera is a bit dated.

The bottom line is that the Canon PowerShot A590 is a very good digital camera for the price. It is lacking some of the up-to-date bells and whistles and stylistic flourishes that some people might want but it’s a good solid workhorse of a lower priced digital camera. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed with the photographic performance of this camera but you may find yourself wishing for newer features it doesn’t have.


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Comment by Best CSS Gallery
2009-03-18 03:50:14

Canon is the best

Comment by Typhoon
2009-03-23 05:48:23

Yup, Canon is the best company in Selling Cameras..

Comment by Used Tires
2009-04-01 05:59:23

Yup cannons are great for sure, a buddy of mine just bought one of those “really” expensive ones, hes pretty much a geek when it comes to photography, hehe.

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Comment by RNB Love Songs
2009-04-14 14:50:53

Do you have any recommendations for digital slr’s? I go back and forth between canon and nikon, but don’t really know who’s better in that realm.

Comment by jfc
2009-04-15 09:45:04


I’ve got my eye on a Canon but, for now, I’m still using my old fashioned film Minolta SLR for high quality photography. It’s 30 years old but it still works great. I wonder about a modern digital SLR being around after 2 years, much less 30.

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Comment by RNB Love Songs
2009-03-18 08:25:05

Canon’s are solid and I highly recommend them. However, I warn people not to take the lag time between each shot too lightly. I have a nikon that does this and it gets really frustrating when you get a bad shot and have to wait 5-10 seconds to retake it. People don’t get happy sitting around waiting.

2009-04-06 06:42:48

You’re not even kidding. I think my father must have the same Nikon. It’s a chore to get your picture taken with his camera because you have to maintain a forced smile despite your aggravation with having to wait for so long lol.

Comment by Typhoon
2009-04-20 04:54:52

I think the new cameras with smile detection should be purchased rather than these.

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Comment by Web Marketing
2009-03-19 08:09:18

It is getting a bit long in the tooth, isn’t it? Having said that, the viewfinder is definitely an advantage over most of its contemporaries, and if you get it at the right price it will still be a useful acquisition.

Comment by RNB Love Songs
2009-03-26 13:36:30

Can you believe that? I don’t understand why so many cameras are moving away from the viewfinder. It’s still crucial in many situations.

Comment by bluetooth gps
2009-03-21 03:49:15

Canon PowerShot A590 is an excellent camera really! Canon is truly one of the best brands.

Comment by Setai miami
2009-04-08 04:44:05

I know, everyone says that yet every time I get a canon camera there’s something wrong with it. Sure it might be because of the fact that I usualy choose cheaper products but still.

Comment by funny videos
2009-03-22 17:59:00

I’m sorry, but I ended up taking this camera back. It had tons of trouble with any motion

Comment by Typhoon
2009-04-07 07:49:46

Ohh that’s a sad thing..

Comment by Chris
2009-03-25 13:54:17

Wow, they have an A590?? I feel so behind the times because I still have my A90.

2009-04-06 06:41:32

LOL, I hear you. I remember buying my SD500 about 3-4 years ago now, and even that too is soooo out of date in comparison to whats out there.

Canons, though, are excellent cameras.

Comment by Anon
2009-03-31 10:08:31

Canon PowerShot A590… of the best cameras for basic use.
It’s features are wonderful & the price is also fair. I would consider it a fair deal.

Comment by RNB Love Songs
2009-04-01 09:34:12

These can be great for basic use, though the amount of options on them can be overwhelming for VERY basic use. Not the ultimate casual camera but definitely an easy camera to use with a few options to get you moving towards the more complex ones.

Comment by The Blogger Source
2009-04-02 13:22:49

Wish I would have gone with a Cannon instead of Sony, although I didn’t buy it.

2009-04-07 19:37:44

I like these lightweight cheap cameras like the Canon PowerShot A590 for travelling I think the fact that it uses AA batteries is an advantage because you can buy them anywhere- or use rechargeable batteries - I will have to look into buying the Canon PowerShot A590

Comment by RNB Love Songs
2009-04-08 09:14:27

Yea, rechargable AAs is great when you go abroad. It means you don’t have to worry about your batteries dying and having the a converter for the outlets

Comment by Jack
2009-04-11 12:14:43

Great little camera.
I read many reviews for this camera and decided to try it for myself. I bought it on special and have to say it is the best camera I’ve owned so far

Comment by Typhoon
2009-04-13 11:36:06

So what is your personal review about it Jack.

Comment by Donald
2009-04-12 08:52:52

This is new model I warn people not to take the lag time between each shot too lightly. I have a nikon that does this and it gets really frustrating when you get a bad shot and have to wait 5-10 seconds to retake it

Comment by RNB Love Songs
2009-04-14 14:49:43

Wow… you wrote my earlier comment word for word. Unbelievable lol

Comment by jfc
2009-04-15 09:41:58


Notice that Donald’s name doesn’t have a link. ;)

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Comment by Alien talk
2009-04-14 17:07:49

I have a wonderful digital camera, a canon PowerShot S5IS. I bought it in part, because it could use rechargeable batteries. I bought some really nice energizer ones just for that purpose. But I used the free batteries (non-chargeable) first, and now I cannot get it to recognize the recharacable batteries. I know they work because I’ve tested them in other devices? Any help? I can’t afford more batteries, and they died within an hour during the inauguration. Very frustrating.

Comment by jfc
2009-04-15 09:41:18

Hi Alien,

I’ve had this happen with a camera once. Anytime I used a rechargeable battery with it, it wouldn’t work. What I eventually figured out was that the rechargeables I had did not output enough power for that particular camera although they did put out enough for some other devices. Look for batteries that are certified for use with digital cameras and have a stated output level that matches the camera’s needs.

Comment by Donald
2009-04-15 11:30:07

Actually I ve same thoughts about this cam as you mention :)

Comment by Tim
2009-04-29 17:53:40

My wife has owned this camera for 2 months, and loves it. Her pics are the best she’s ever taken!

Comment by DoFollow - Chris
2009-05-09 14:36:29

I have a digital camera that’s 2 years old and don’t think I’m upgrading until they improve the zoom past 3 or 4X

Comment by best protein powder
2009-05-12 15:50:06

Cannon is my camera of choice. It’s silly not to have one. A Cannon and a FlipCam that’s all you need. :)

Comment by melayublog
2009-05-16 02:59:47

Good review and make me want to buy one! Still in doubt whether I should choose Sony or Canon.

Comment by Online Shopping
2009-05-21 08:06:57

The Powershot A590, when set on Auto, will take care of the ISO setting for you when you use the flash, and will often adjust it down. If it doesn’t, that means you really didn’t have enough light. Manually adjusting the ISO down would lessen the “noise”, but the image would be too dark.

Comment by photo
2009-05-22 01:47:16

Nice review. Can’t go wrong with a canon camera!

Comment by Keyword Service
2009-05-25 19:20:45

I was looking at looking to buy a camera for a girlfriend a while back. I looked at bulkier models like this, but decided against it. For our purposes a thinner camera was a much better choice. Still we may consider a larger slr camera eventually.

Comment by customer ratings
2009-05-29 13:52:07

Tough to decide between a Cannon, Sony, and Nikkon :/

Comment by consumer reviews
2009-05-29 13:53:13

Which to buy… Cannon or Sony? Sony usually more trendy but tend to run higher in price :/

Comment by Typhoon
2009-06-04 09:36:30

Go for Canon.

Comment by stock coupons
2009-05-30 04:54:00

I bought this camera a while back and although it is acceptable i found that the brightness was a little low for my taste

Comment by Used Tires
2009-06-02 02:36:26

Hi Frank, it’s been a while since you’ve given us a new product review, I hope everything is well with you, looking forward to another review when we get one =D

Till then,


Comment by jfc
2009-06-03 20:39:24

Hi Jean,

I’ll be doing some new posts soon. I’ve had some other projects I’ve been working on recently.

Comment by Typhoon
2009-06-04 09:35:22

Ya I also hope to see you back. And also best of luck on your project on which you are working.

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Comment by Used Tires
2009-06-06 07:51:11

Thanks for the update frank :) Glad to see you are busy, are doing well.

Till then,


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Comment by Saiful
2009-06-08 02:17:49

I bought it before 6 months!
But it has fall down on water before some days, I will buy now another 12 MP canon.
What about that?

Comment by Jogos de Meninas
2009-06-08 18:28:38

Great review. I’m considering buying one these days. Thanks for the advices.

Comment by E.......... Trainer
2009-06-12 12:20:07

I have one of these. But mine is 590IS i.e it has optical image stabilisation. This model of mine bridges the gap between an entry level and a DSLR. so I am happy with the best of both worlds viz price and usability.
I have a a very sad feeling about the under water casing for the model. Actually it costs as much as the camera itself.
So in my view canon should reduce the cost for under water shooting.
I am out of breath.

Comment by london hotels
2009-06-15 00:59:36

Great insights!
I have seen canon PowerShot A590 result, it is really outstanding result. Excellent review.

2009-06-17 00:22:59

I have had this camera for about a month now and thoroughly love the fact that I can throw it in my purse and go. It’s a perfect

camera for those times where you wish you had one. I own a Nikon Digital SLR (which is amazing) but it is not easily carried

around for when you are out to dinner or at the bar etc. Those are times where the Canon camera is perfect…just toss it in your

purse and go. I wanted a point & shoot that was easy to use and had a good flash for something so small…the Canon PowerShot

SD1100IS does the trick. My pictures are clear, the flash works well, the size is great…overall I am satisfied for what I use it for

Comment by Kristina
2009-07-06 09:15:04

I love this series camera. I had one of the first models and I’ve always upgraded into the next generation. ;)

Good recommendation.

Comment by SirNicolaus
2009-07-10 18:25:41

I have a rebel xsi and it is worth every penny I paid with it was a refurb deal 699.00 with 16 gb card and 5 year extended warranty.

Anyways, I bought off ebay a refurb kodak something that was broke called and they said if I send the old camera in I could upgrade for $125.00 for at the time a 399 camera… catch it was a refurb but I counldn’t find a refurb anywhere online for under 200 so I made out :)


Comment by A.PhotoScanner
2009-08-07 00:57:37

I am a fan of Canon. I still have an old Canon that I still can’t let go of. In a few years, I can probably donate it to a museum for the next generations to gaze in awe at.

Two of my team members have canon digital cameras that deliver according to its promise. If I were to buy another Canon digital, it would have to be better than 8MP.

2009-11-11 12:45:36

I am a great fan of Canon cameras. I have had a number of other brands over the years and I still always come back to Canon in the end.

Comment by Laptop Reviews
2009-11-17 01:18:42

canon cameras are the best, now the newer rang of DSLRs are some amazing gadgets, looking fwd to get one this Christmas

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