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The A470 has the same familiar function menu system found on all of Canon's recent compact cameras, although here it is somewhat simplified. The camera has two basic shooting modes; an auto mode in which virtually all the function menu options are disabled apart from picture size and drive mode, and a "manual" mode in which exposure compensation, ISO setting, white balance and the custom colours option are available. As well as these modes there is a scene mode option with ten scene programs.
The range of features available on the main menu isn't great. There the usual three metering mode options, three autofocus options including face detection, and a small selection of flash mode options, and that's pretty much your lot.
The LCD monitor isn't one of Canon's best. It has a diagonal size of 2.5 inches, nut it only has a resolution of 115,000 dots, and the angle of view is distinctly limited, being approximately 45 degrees in either direction vertically, and only slightly more horizontally.
I have to say that I'm not massively impressed by the control layout either. The mode dial protrudes above the line of the body and is easily jogged, meaning that when you come to take a picture you inevitably find that the camera is in playback mode. As well as this the zoom control is located on the up and down directions of the D-pad, possibly the most awkward and counter-intuitive position it could possibly be. I also found that the D-pad has a slight delay when selecting some menu options, which can be a bit irritating if you're changing things in a hurry.