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Canon PowerShot A470 - Canon PowerShot A470

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


While the A470 may look like a cheap budget camera on the outside, in terms of overall performance it's well up to the usual Canon standard. Start-up time is exceptionally quick at just over 1.5 seconds, and it shuts down again just as quickly. In single-shot mode at maximum image quality its shot-to-shot time is an impressive 1.5 seconds, and in continuous shooting mode it rips along at nearly two frames a second, although as you might expect it doesn't focus between shots in this mode.

The autofocus system is also typical of Canon compacts, in that it is very quick and reliable in almost any lighting conditions, although also typically the AiAF setting tends to miss the main subject from time to time. There is a good AF assist lamp so the camera can focus in complete darkness at a range of at least a couple of metres.

Picture quality, like the rest of the camera, has both good points and bad. On the positive side the lens performs well, producing very little distortion at wide angle with good overall sharpness right into the corners of the frame. Exposure metering is also very good, coping well with high contrast, deep shadows and backlighting without a problem. Colour rendition is also generally good, although it is let down by the camera's main flaw. For some reason the image processing involves a lot of sharpening followed by very destructive compression, resulting in visible JPEG artefacts all over the image and a significant reduction in detail definition. It also affects the appearance of very bright colours, with bright reds and yellows appearing as featureless blobs. This is a pity, because apart from this the A470 represents a real bargain, and exceptionally good value for money.


Despite its very low cost the Canon PowerShot A470 acquits itself well. The build quality could be better, the control layout has a couple of major problems and it's a lot larger and heavier than it really needs to be, but it makes up for these faults with extremely fast performance, excellent autofocus especially in low light, and even pretty good image quality, although it does have a few problems in this area. In general though the A470 is a genuine bargain and you won't find much better for the price.

Cristian Bejan

September 1, 2008, 12:16 am

I think it's worth to notice that A470 is worse than its predecesor A460 from the optical standpoint. Zoom is actually 3,6x instead of 4x (38-132mm at A470 compared to 32-158mm at A460) while aperture starts at 3 (2.8 at A460).

Alastair 1

September 25, 2008, 3:10 pm

We had two A460's fail 'just' outside the warranty period - the processor failed in both cases. Cannon were great and replaced both with A470's - I much prefer the A460. Not having an optical viewfinder is a step backwards. I've just purchased the G7 (fabulous!) and so had arranged to sell my A470 to my sisters, but now they've seen the Pentax S10...I've no hope. It'll cost them double but they just don't want the bulk of the A470. Anyone want to buy a camera?


February 12, 2009, 4:28 pm

I bought this Canon Digital camera for my 16 year old son to take it on his school trips after I checked various reviews on the internet including the http://best-digital-cameras... His previous Sony camera from lasted barely 8 months and took really mediocre photos. This Canon camera however is amazing! The pictures are very sharp, perfectly exposed and this Canon Camera is totally simple to use.

It seems that the menus are really designed for ordinary people, very easy to understand!. Son appreciated that very much.

The conclusion is that he had 24 hours to learn how to use this digital camera and then spent a week in New York with his class. The photos were great and his total camera experience was excellent. And one more important thing, I didn't break the bank for the purchase it!


February 15, 2010, 3:02 pm

Also worth noting this PowerShot does not include the stitch assist mode for taking images to stitched into a panorama on your PC or Mac which I consider to be quite handy.

Worth mentioning too the follow ups to this model-the A490/490/495 have a 3.3x lens instead of 3.4x (38-122mm on the follow up models compared to 38-132mm on the A470).

I agree with the use of the center button to zoom in or out to be quite couteractive.

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