Canon is probably the next largest recognized name in photography next to Kodak. I have bought two other digital cameras from Canon and been very happy with them. When it came time for my wife to purchase one for her day care through a recycling program, Funding Factory, I didn’t even consider other brands. Canon has a good reputation and good warranty for their cameras. I found the A430 in the list of available cameras and of course looked up the specs and opinions of others. Here are some things I found out.
Canon A430 Specifications:
4x optical zoom
3.6x digital zoom
TTL Auto focus
5.4 – 21.6mm f/2.8-5.8 focal length (35mm film equivalent 39-156mm)
1.8 inch LCD screen
Optical zoom viewfinder
SD memory card multimedia card
Still image sizes 640 x 480 1,024 x 768 1,600 x 1,200 2,272 x 1,704 2,272 x 1,80
Movie sizes 640 x 480 320 x 240 160 x 120
USB mini B jack
2 AA battery power
Weight 5.64 oz not including batteries and memory card
Dimensions 4.06 x 2.04 x 1.58 inches
Okay, you may not know what any of this is but I will explain and help you figure out what this stuff really means. The basics of the camera are that it is a 4 Megapixel camera with a total 7.6 zoom. This means it will have 4 million little dots of color on each picture when you press that shutter button. The more individual little dots or pixels the better and sharper the image will be when you print it out. The 7.6 zoom means the camera will increase the size of objects by 7.6 times both optically using the lens and digitally with the cameras electronics.
Much of the other things in the specifications like the focal length and image sizes are not a big worry. Focal length is the length of the lens from the sensor that takes the pictures. In an older 35mm camera this relates to the length of a regular sized lens to one that is for a decent telephoto or one that takes pictures of things at a little distance away from you. The higher the lens length the better the pictures will be away from you. The lower it is the better close up images will be. The pictures sizes are just the sizes of the images not in inches but in pixels. This is handy when using a computer program that has these sizes as standards for image editing like Photoshop Elements.
The other main things to take note of are the memory card type that the camera uses and the fact that it uses two regular AA batteries instead of some special type of more expensive batteries. You can buy some decent rechargeable batteries for ten dollars a four pack and twenty dollars for the charger.
The memory type is SD or Multimedia card. The multimedia card is the first one of this size of media card to come out on the market. The cards do not have encryption and that is why the SD card came about. The SD or Secure Digital card came out with encryption to prevent unauthorized tampering with the data on the card. Programs that are not the ones that wrote the information on the card are not authorized to do anything with the data other than read it. These cards are the smaller data cards about the size of a postage stamp. You need to make sure you get the correct card reader if you’re purchasing a reader to download images. You can also use the USB hook up to download images which is the small B jack on the side of the camera.
The Canon A430 is a decent camera without many fancy features. It has a unique color feature mode but that is about the only special mode or feature for shooting pictures. It takes decent images from small to large size in regular mode. Including the flash, zoom and macro features there is not many settings to take into account. But this is a great first time digital camera or a good quick and easy point and shoot camera. That is what my wife wanted for her day care. The point and shoot camera with such a large pixel size is a good camera to use for vacationing if you want some good pictures with out the fuss of having to worry about all kinds of settings.
The color swapping is a handy feature, you choose a color in a picture you have taken and the camera will swap out that color with one you choose on the screen. With some quick settings you can do a couple of different things with the color. I have enclosed an example of these features using a couple of my buddies that hang around while I work. The penguins are colorful and have red beaks with a colorful tuft of yellow on them. I first took a picture and using the Color Swap settings told the camera to swap out the beak color with the feet, giving them flesh colored beaks to match their feet. I then chose the color accent mode and changed the picture to a Black & White except for their colorful tufts of yellow hair. This can be a fun setting to play around with and get a feel if you would be interested in other features like this on future cameras.
Overall the Canon PowerShot A430 is a good inexpensive point and shoot camera. It has the usual auto focus, auto flash and other automatic features with a very good zoom setup. The camera uses regular AA batteries so no hunting for those special ones at stores. You can purchase SD memory cards that hold tons of pictures for a reasonable price, I bought a 1 Gigabyte card for my other Canon Camera a couple of months ago for $30. There are settings like turning off the flash, macro or close up and a super macro, the color swap and color accent, a timer for shooting pictures when everyone wants to be in the scene and movie mode. The movie mode is pretty good, much better than my two tear old PowerShot A60 camera. For a comparison see my video Comparison of Canon’s PowerShot Cameras.
I am very happy with the PowerShot line of Canon digital cameras. I have two others, one is two years old and my newest I have had for a couple of months. I take good quality pictures and have been playing with this newest one for two weeks now and am quite pleased with it. Opps, I guess I’ll have to give it to the day care now and let them use it, after all they bought it through recycling with Funding Factory, see my article on them on my page.