When I got my first digital camera, I was enthralled to get into the digital age. That camera was the Canon Powershot A510. Now three years later, its photo quality is starting to lag against modern cameras, however, I certainly can recommend the Canon Powershot A510 for this review, especially if found used.
The Powershot A510 is the successor to the now discontinued Powershot A75, largely using its body and basic functions but only requiring two AA-size batteries. It does not improve from the A75 in megapixels -- both max out at 3.2 megapixels -- but that still is good for beginners and amateurs looking for an easy point-and-shoot camera.
What I've found with the A510 is that it is good for its time and especially its price range (it is a "budget" digital camera) but I've now found better.
In general, the A510 is great for outdoor shots and okay for indoor shots. The more light, the better. It lags in its ability to work with low light shots, but party photos still come out fine (what else would you use to blackmail your friends?)
I also have read that it lags in the time it takes to take pictures, meaning you need your shot to stay still for a few seconds for the camera to take the picture. I don't do fast shots or moving-object shots, so I cannot speak to this.
What I do know is that it has some issues with fuzzy appearances for slightly moving shots, and the zoom can introduce pixelation to pictures. Not as good as it could be compared to today's newest cameras.
Ergonomically, the camera is pretty good. It is a little large to stick in your pocket, creating a bulge, but it is not as large as most 35mm film cameras. I also have found it has a good interface, but I've been weaned on Canon digital cameras so what can I say for this review?
Overall, it still holds some bang for the buck for amateurs and beginners. It almost seems like a good camera to give to a child, but I never treated mine roughly and I've read elsewhere that it breaks apart easily. The camera is made of metal and plastic but doesn't seem hardy like it could withstand too many drops.
Nonetheless, it is worth considering for purchase. As an aside, as this is basically a previous-generation camera now, the digital window when taking photos is smaller than modern pieces, but I always use the viewfinder anyway.
Also, watch out for the original memory card it comes with, as that's a bit small now that memory prices have come down.