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It’s been several months since I last reviewed anything from Canon’s popular PowerShot A-series of mid-level compact cameras, and that was only the lowly A470, the base model in the range. Fortunately Canon has recently announced two new A-series models, and today I’m taking a look at the PowerShot A2000 IS, a 10.0 megapixel, 6x zoom camera currently available in the UK exclusively from Jessops, priced at £199.99.
The A2000 is a bit of a new departure for the A-series. Previous models in the range have been popular with hobbyists and more experienced photographers, thanks to their robust construction, excellent handling, limited but useful range of manual exposure controls and optical viewfinders. The A2000 has none of these things, and appears to be aimed at less ambitious photographers looking not for manual versatility but for a simple, easy-to-use general-purpose compact. If this represents a new direction for the A-series then there will be some disappointed customers.
The A2000 is an undemanding camera. It has large, clearly labelled controls that operate a range of simple automatic settings. Even the body shape is simpler than previous models, a rounded wedge shape thicker at the right-hand end where the two AA batteries live. The body is made of plastic, and although the camera does feel solidly weighty, the body panels seem to be thinner than previous A-series cameras and creak alarmingly when squeezed. There’s nothing really wrong with it, but it does feel more cheaply made than some previous models in the range.
The A2000 has no optical viewfinder, but it does have an enormous three-inch LCD monitor. However this too is not up to the high standard of previous A-series models. It has an extremely narrow viewing angle of only about 30-odd degrees vertically, making it difficult to use for over-the-head shots, and it is also highly reflective. It’s the first Canon monitor in a long time that I’ve actually had difficulty using outdoors.