While some corners may have been cut on the A2000’s construction, at least the internal components are up to the usual standard, which means that overall performance is well up to standard. The camera starts up in comfortably under two seconds, and in single shot mode at maximum picture quality the consistent shot-to-shot cycle time is approximately 1.9 seconds, which is pretty quick for a 10MP camera. In continuous shooting mode it can maintain 1.25 frames per second, although it doesn’t focus between shots in this mode.
The autofocus system is well up to Canon’s usual standard, focusing accurately and extremely quickly in good light, and barely slowing down in lower light conditions. Low light focusing is not as reliable as some other recent cameras, but it is by no means a problem, and usually gets it on a second attempt.
Also matching Canon’s traditional high standard is the A2000’s picture quality. The lens is excellent, producing virtually no barrel distortion at wide angle and only a little pincushion distortion at the telephoto end. There was also no visible chromatic aberration and only a little purple fringing around some highlights.
Exposure metering is very accurate and reliable, and colour rendition is superb, with visible detail even in very saturated bright colours. The overall level of sharp detail is fantastic, and the low JPEG compression ratio means that artefacts are not a problem. Average file is nearly 5MB, which is large for a 10MP camera.
Image noise is also very well handled, with good picture quality and plenty of fine detail up to 400 ISO, and reasonable printed quality at 800 ISO. Even at the full-res maximum of 1600 ISO the colour balance is good, and the noise has that usual Canon granular quality, looking a little like film grain. All in all an excellent performance.
The Canon PowerShot A2000 IS is a little expensive for a mid-level compact, and the overall build quality and low-angle monitor may cause some disappointment. The lack of the usual A-series manual exposure options and optical viewfinder may also put off some potential buyers. However the camera is extremely easy to use, the wide zoom range is very versatile and the performance and picture quality are well up to the high standard we’ve come to expect from Canon.