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Canon PowerShot A590 IS

Over the past few weeks we've seen some budget-priced compact cameras that have been short on features but low on cost. However for just a few pounds more you can get a well-made and easy-handling camera that offers 8.0 megapixels, 4x zoom, manual exposure options and impressive performance. I'm talking about today's review camera, the new Canon PowerShot A950 IS.
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The A590 IS and its non-stabilised twin the A580 are the new mid-range models in Canon's popular A-series of advanced compacts. Like the other cameras in the range it offers a range of features designed to meet the needs of the more creative photographer. It has an 8.0-megapixel 1/2.5-inch CCD backed by the DIGIC III image processor, a relatively fast f/2.6-5.5, 4x zoom lens with a focal length range equivalent to 35-140mm and equipped with Canon's optical image stabilisation technology, a 2.5-inch 115k monitor and an optical viewfinder. It has a range of manual exposure controls and automatic scene modes, a useful selection of image customisation options and a maximum sensitivity of 1600 ISO.
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With the recent expansion of Nikon's P-series Canon no longer has the advanced compact market all to itself, but it's certainly not giving up without a fight. The A590 IS has a similar specification and overall design to the Nikon CoolPix P60 which I reviewed last month, but with a current price of under £120 it beats its rival by around £40. The other main alternative is another Canon model, the £155 A720 IS, which has a similar specification but is fitted with a longer f/2.8-4.8 6x zoom lens. Oddly, the non-stabilised A580 is currently selling for around the same price as the A590 IS, so I can't see it doing terribly well.

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