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It's looking dangerously possible that we may finally catch up with Canon. With this review of the PowerShot A470, there are now only three remaining currently available models in the PowerShot, IXUS or EOS ranges of digital cameras that we haven't reviewed (excluding the EOS-1 professional cameras, which I never intended to review anyway, being far outside the consumer-oriented remit of this column).

Perhaps I should have left the A470 until last, since it is replacing the A460 at the bottom of the of the PowerShot range, a lowly 7.1-megapixel, 3.4x zoom cameras with a plastic body and a couple of AA batteries for power. Priced at just £75 it is competing in the bottom sector of the market, along with models such as the 8MP 4x zoom Fuji A82 (£72), the 8-megapixel 5x zoom Olympus FE-310 (£85), the 7.1MP 3x zoom Nikon L12 (£90) and 8MP 3x zoom Pentax Optio E50 (£92). It's a telling sign of how far digital cameras have progressed that you can buy such powerful cameras so cheaply. Not so long ago a 7.1-megapixel camera would have cost as much as a four-bedroom house in the Home Counties, but now it's barely the price of a litre of petrol.

Considering its low price it's perhaps not surprising that the A470 lacks some of the impressive build quality that typifies Canon's compact cameras. The plastic body has more than a few creaks and groans when squeezed, and in places feels quite flimsy, especially the hatch over the card and battery compartment.

The A470 is quite a chunky camera, measuring 104.8 x 55.1 x 40.7mm, nearly twice the thickness of some of the IXUS range. It's also surprisingly heavy, weighing 165g minus batteries, or around 210g including a couple of AA alkalines. However its corpulent dimensions do make it easy to hold securely, with the raised detail on the front providing a comfortable finger grip.

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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-re... 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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