I purchased this camera this past October, nearly stole it for an incredible $199.99 at Sam’s Club. Consumer Reports has it listed with a retail value of $400 and I have personally seen it advertised for up to $349.
I chose the Canon PowerShot A630 for several reasons, including:
* Uses standard AA batteries - 4 of them
* Uses SD card
* Has resolution of 8MP
* Includes Macro feature for detailed close ups like of the butterfly picture that I took and posted in this review
* Has an optical zoom of 4X
* Has a digital zoom of 10X
* Has a really cool 2.5” LCD display that swivels 360 degrees! This allows you to actually see what you are doing if you want to take a picture of yourself and oh, so much more!
* Additional lenses can be purchased for this camera. I am told that if I upgrade my camera in the future the lenses should fit the newer camera as Canon keeps the lenses the same size.
This camera has way more options that I could possibly write in this review so I will share the features that I use the most and am familiar with.
I took this camera with me on vacation, where I took tons of pictures. I used the Energizer Titanium batteries and did not have to change them for 2 whole weeks! I later found out that the Energizer Lithium batteries are preferred and would last longer. Consumer Reports has the number of shots listed per the standard AA batteries at 500 shots. Of all of the cameras rated by Consumer Reports, 500 shots per battery life is the most that is listed. Some have a rating as low as 126 shots before the batteries need to be changed.
While this is not a super slim digital camera and it has a weight of 12 ounces before batteries, I was easily able to carry it in my fanny pack. I really liked that I did not need to carry an additional camera bag with me, however when I carried my video camera I did slip my Canon into that camera bag as it does offer more protection than my fanny pack.
This camera has a wheel of options that you can choose to use when photographing. The wheel has little images that are sometimes self explanatory, sometimes not… but when the display is on it gives more detail as to what option, or mode, you are in. The options that I like the most include:
* Fireworks mode. OMG! I have ALWAYS wanted to take pictures of fireworks and now I can! I used a small tripod for stability and took the most amazing pictures, I will share some in the pictures section of this review so you can see if they are as awesome as I think. ;-)
* Kids & Pets mode. This mode is for shooting anything that might move. I used this mode when I shot photos on the Animal Kingdom safari. On the safari both I and the animals are moving and not necessarily in the same direction. With this mode I managed to get some pretty amazing shots. I’ll dig one up for you to see!
* Macro feature, that I listed above. The detail that I can get on a really close up picture is just incredible!
As to that really cool display that I mentioned earlier. When the camera is not in use I have the display folded in to protect it, which is how I can carry it around in my fanny pack without worry. When I use the display I can pop it out to the side and spin it around and then click it against the camera if I wish… or I can angle it any way that I want. I find this to be most helpful when taking photographs in lower light conditions in which I need to place the camera on a table top or whatever stable surface is handy. At this point I can swivel the display to face me so that I do not have to twist myself to view the display at the angle that my camera is positioned. If you have had to ever do this yourself you can imagine just how handy this is.
What I do not care for….
There is only one thing that bugs me. That is the lag time between shots. Consumer Reports has it listed as being 2 seconds, and I would say that is about right. Now, 2 seconds in a lot of instances is a pretty short period of time unless you are trying to take more than one photo… Like taking pictures of an event that is going on, in motion. Then 2 seconds lasts… a really long time. There are digital cameras that have a lag time of only 1 second, but also there are those that take up to 6 whole seconds! Ack!!! Most of the regular digital cameras rated by Consumer Reports have a lag time of between 3 and 4 seconds.
Overall I really love my camera. I would definitely purchase it again.