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.