32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2008
This is an excellent camera for the money! It is small enough to carry in a pocket but still large enough to feel good and have a viewfinder so that you can turn the viewing screen off to save the battery. We have taken several hundred photographs so far and are still on the first set of batteries. The photos are excellent quality and the camera is easy to use but sophisticated enough to allow a wide variety of individual priority's such as aperture or timing. It also has the image stabilizer so that unfamiliar people can take photos without blurring them. I would buy it again without hesitation.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on July 27, 2008
Just a short note to let you know that I had some reservations about this item because of the claims of short battery life. I looked at a lot of other cameras and was hoping for some great features without having to go to the fancy schmancy cameras. For the price, I think it's a great buy. It is easy to use, it has a lot of great features and you can use manual functions but I haven't needed to yet because of all of the options including "night scene", "kids and pets", "foliage" and so on. The camera came with two basic alkaline batteries and I've literally taken a couple hundred pictures and they're still working. I don't use the flash very often, so this may contribute to the longer battery life, but I generally use rechargeable Ni-MH batteries, so I'm not too worried about the future battery life once these freebies wear out.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on April 11, 2008
I bought the A590 as our first digital camera. We just came back from a trip to England where we took more than 300 pictures. We haven't printed them yet, but they look great on our computer. We even took some action shots during a soccer/football match, and most of those look great also. We took all our shots in the auto mode.
When we were considering buying this camera, it was a bit confusing to read all the reviews about the more exotic features of this camera. I suppose it's nice to have all those features available on this camera, but I'm not sure those features are relevant to someone like me who is simply looking for a good "point and shoot" camera. I'm glad I bought the A590, and would recommend it to my friends.
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2008
I really like this camera. It is easy to use, takes great pictures, and has plenty of zoom. I looked at so many cameras before purchasing this one. This one had the best features and quality of all the cameras in this price range. I was really impressed with the quality of the video it produced, as I didn't expect very much from a digital camera.
I am glad I got a camera with a view finder as I have found on very sunny days at the ballfield, the LCD can be a little difficult to see details of what you are capturing. The viewfinder, though, shows you enough of what you are shooting and comes in handy.
The night scene mode really is a blessing as I have taken night shots with and without this mode, and it makes such a huge difference in night photography.
Speed is not an issue as well. I took a picture of my son jumping into the pool and I caught him just as he was entering the water. There was relatively no blur and it looks as if he is standing on top of the water!
I also took pictures of him throwing a baseball and there was no blur in those photos as well.
Again, this camera exceeded my expectations and I doubt that anyone would be disappointed in purchasing this camera. Plus it's hard to go wrong with Canon's quality.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2008
I bought this camera to take with me when my DLSR or my super zoom is just too heavy or too bulky to take along. The old saying is that the best camera for the job, is the camera you have!! I did not wish to spend a lot of money but wanted to still have image stablization, control over exposure and aperture, and decent image quality, all while using SD memory cards since I have many. This camera is a reasonable compromise. The images are acceptably crisp and can be made even sharper in post processing, the manual controls work great, and the size certainly allows me to put it into my pocket. If you are looking for a snapshot camera the Canon A590 can certainly produce the goods. I haven't found the slow recycle time of the flash to be a problem and and the rechargeable NiMH batteries I'm using are still going strong after a couple of hundred pictures with about a third being taken with flash. You can adjust the vividness of the color along with the sharpness and the contrast to taste. The exposures seem accurate and exposure conpensation can be used to help with "blown" skies, a problem with many digital cameras, it seems.
Having the memory card located with the batteries certainly saves in manufacturing cost (only a single door) but when I remove the card, sometimes the batteries also fall out, but this isn't really a serious issue - I just have to be careful.
I do wish that this camera had a wider angle lens (maybe 24 mm equivalent in 35 mm camera terms) since there are times I want effects that these wide angle lenses produce. Of course I knew that the camera did not do this when I bought it and many casual users would probably not miss this feature unless they previously had a camera that a lens of this type.
In summary, given this camera's price point, it's an excellent value.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2009
I would rate this camera only as average at this time because of the battery problems outlined below. Have not used the camera enough to rate the quality of the photos, features, and general operation at this time. Also, the included SD card with the camera was a measly 32 MB, basically nothing in this day and age of large image files and cheap memory. To get decent photos capacity and a spare, I bought two on-sale Kingston 2 GB SD cards, one from Meritline.com for ca. $7 (free shipping) and one locally at Inkspot for ca. $5.
My advice to others is that if you suspect your camera has a problem not due to your use/handling and the camera is still under warranty; return it ASAP to Canon for repairs.
I bought camera early last December as a Christmas present, from Amazon since it seem to have the best price at the time including free shipping. Selected this camera model based on Consumer Reports' recommendation, mostly favorable user reviews on Amazon and some ther websites, and the camera price and features. I was a bit concerned about some reviewers complaining of low battery life, but thought perhaps they were a small minority, maybe their problems were due to the way some used thier cameras/settings, and there's always a few lemons sold in any product line.
2. The camera out of the box seemed to be functional for all the features I tested, but after playing with the camera to learn how to use it, and a few dozen shots, the low battery inidcation came on. after a few number more shots (est. a few dozen), the battery replace indication came on and the camera shut down. These were the Panasonic alkaline AA batteries that came with the camera. At this time my voltmeter measured the batteries at ca. 1.35v.
3. To reduce power use, changed some settings to turn LCD off after a short time, and the IS (Image Stabilization) from always on to on only during shots. Put in new Berkley & Jensen (BJ's) alkalines, same low battery indication after a few dozen shots. After about a dozen more shots, the replace battery indication came on and the camera shut down. After checking the battery contacts, letting the camera sit for a while, etc., no change in behavior, i.e. camera can be turned on for a few shots with low battery indication on, then change battery indication comes on and camera shut down. The BJ's batteries voltage was 1.45v at this time.
4. A friendly camera repair place person told me about the Canon website online repair setup and gave me an Internet address, but even then it was not easy to find page, the website search did not find it for me. Go to any consumer camera model support; look at the bottom part of the page for links to "Repair Request" or "Repair & Tracking. Gee, I wonder why Canon doesn't make it obvious, could it be that they really don't want to hear from us, especially for warranty stuff... ?!?!
So I decided to return camera to Canon for warranty repair (no cost except my shipping camera to them). I mailed the camera (included 2 sets of batteries I used) to Canon's Elk Grove Village, IL facility by US Mail, insured and with post office deliver confirmation. Canon received it in a few days, confirmed receipt to me via E-mail, and I received it and my batteries back by FedEx ca. 3 days later. Factory documentation returned with the camera noted that:
- Low batteries was cause of problems, said nothing about any adjustments ("Unit has battery shortage. Check all functions, repair to good working order."), but since the camera behaves differently after getting it back, I suspect they adjusted both the battery low and the battery replace indicators' voltage threshold settings even though nothing was said about it.
- "...found the optical assembly was inoperative and the focus did not operate properly. Adjustments were carried out on the optical assembly." I did not notice any wildly out of focus photos by the out-of-the-box camera using the Auto focus mode; perhaps they're addressing the manual focus mode that I did not test.
5. After I received the camera back from Canon, I put in the original used Panasonic and BJ's akalines (approx. 1.35v and 1.45v, respectively, similar to as previously measured), and still got the low battery indication with both sets.
6. Decided to put in a new set of BJ's alkalines, measured at ca. 1.59V. Camera set for AUTO mode, IS on only during shots, face detection on. Occasionally used the zoom feature, once or twice for every 25 set of shots.
- After 100 shots in succession, most with flash used, battery voltage checked to be ca. 1.43v.
- After 32 more shots, low battery indication came on, did 12 more shots, turned camera off, batteries checked at ca. 1.35v
- When camera turned back on, low battery indication not on, but came on again after 5 shots. When got up to 191 shots total, camera to off, batteries checked to be ca. 1.38v.
- Turn camera back on, low battery indication on again after 13 shots, camera off, checked batteries at ca. 1.34v.
- At 204 total shots with the set of new BJ's alkalines, the battery replace indication came on, and the camera shut down shortly after. Can turn on camera again of 2-3 shots before the replace indication/shutdown occurs again. The number of shots here appears to match the camera manual specification page that list ca. 200 shots for akaline batteries.
7. For the second set of testing, I used a fully charged set of Ultra Pro NiMH 2500 mAH-rated AA batteries (ca. 1.43v - 1.45v measured). Made all shots indoors, those where flash used were of house interior, those without flash used was through window (daylight).
- Erased all the previous 217 images from the SD card.
- After 150 shots, half with flash, half without, no low battery indication, turned camera off for ca. 45 min. for lunch.
- When camera turned back on, low battery indication showed, camera off, checked batteries at ca. 1.33v.
- When camera turned on, no low battery indication showed, but indication showed again after 23 shots using flash, continued to 25 shots using flash.
- Continued shooting 25 shots at a time alternating between flash and no flash, for 175 more shots. After a total of 350 shots (half with flash) have been taken with the NiMH batteries, batteries measured ca 1.27 - 1.29v.
- Continued shooting 25 shots at a time alternating between flash and no flash, for 150 more shots. After a total of 500 shots (half with flash) have been taken with the NiMH batteries, batteries measured ca 1.26 - 1.27v now. At this point, I gave up test shooting, as I have not seen the battery replacement indication after 500 shots. The number of shots here appears to in line with the camera manual specification page that list "approx. 450 images" for NiMH batteries. Fooled around for few more test photos, and the battery replace indication/camera shutdown occurred after ca. dozen flash shots past 500.
8. Some observations about the camera:
- It looks like I'll have to accept the low battery indication on most of the time. My guess is that there some kind of design and/or manufacturing defect where the camera electronics/software does not accurately detect how much of the battery capacity is remaining. Judging from the various user reviews, it may not be present in all sold units of this model, as not everyone sees this problem. However, if the camera can perform OK for several hundred shots until the battery replacement indication/shutdown (esp. with NiMH which I want to use), I can live with that.
- The flash can take more than 5 sec. to recover for the next flash shot.
- The camera seems to work differently on alkalines vs. NiMH 2500 mAH-rated rechargables, as it continues working at lower voltage for rechargables. I know that the discharge curves, and capacity and voltage ratings for the alkalines and NiMH batteries are different, the alkaline are rated at 1.5v (actual ca. 1.6v new), and rated capacities numbers can be similar to the NiMH (over 2500 mAH). The NiMH batteries are rated at 1.2v (actual ca. 1.4v new), capacities can be vary (typ.1000-2800 mAH). The initial voltage of both battery types drops fairly quickly from their nominal ratings during use but after the initial drop, the NiMH types tend to have a flatter voltage vs. use time curves than the alkalines.
- Since battery monitors typically can only see voltage as an indirect measure of capacity remaining, why should the camera decide that the lower NiMH battery voltage is still OK, while a higher voltage on the alkalines is not? If the alkalines and NiMH rated capacities can be simialr, why don't they perform similarly, or are the alkaline capacity ratings done differently than the NIMH? Canon's camera documentation implies the camera treats the battery types differently as it explicitly notes the performance difference in their camera spec. for nominal number of shots for alkalines vs. NiMH batteries. My Internet research also seems to indicate that the battery rating numbers may or may not all be done via a standard method, and different manufacturers' batteries can perform significantly differently under the same conditions, so as to make the capacity ratings less than useful.
12/31/12 Batteries Update:
See my 6/25/12 and 12/31/12 updated post in the Comments to this review.
115 of 146 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2008
I wanted a small camera that took decent photos in available light and had high ISO sensitivity. Image stabilization and a wide range of manual setting were also high on my list. This camera delivers all of that. I was pleased with the quality of the shots even up to ISO 800. ISO 1600 was roughly equivalent to what ISO 400 was on my previous small Canon camera so the A590 IS can cover a lot of range in lighting situations. What caught me almost totally by surprise was the extremely poor battery life. Even without using the flash it seems abysmal. I have taken approximately 60-70 test shots and gone through 2 sets of alkaline and one charge from a pair of NiMH rechargeables. Admittedly this was using the flash about 30% of the time but that's still totally unacceptable. I realize that AA batteries don't have the life of a proprietary lithium ion, but this camera's battery life is so bad it makes it almost unusable to me. Seemed like whenever I turned around it was telling me that the batteries were low and needed replacement. I used a battery tester to check them and found that they still registered pretty good so I'm wondering if the camera's battery level sensitivity is just wrong. Either that or this thing sucks power worse than any camera I have ever owned. Whatever the case, I am truly sorry I purchased this otherwise fine camera. I would much rather have decent battery life than the dubious "convenience" of replacing AA cells all the time.
Update: With freshly charged 2500 mAh Ni-MH cells I am seeing an improvement in battery life, at least initially. So far I've taken 36 pictures and no low battery message yet. My previous usage was more intermittent so we'll see if these higher capacity rechargeable bring the camera up to what I consider reasonable battery life. My experience with alkalines is still totally unacceptable in my opinion.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on September 14, 2008
So allow me to start by saying i'm just your average "joe-user" who enjoys snapping photos while on vacations and out with friends. Recently i owned an Olympus Stylus 810 and was very, very pleased with it. Unfortunately i dropped it damaging the entire lens assembly and it was going to cost $140 to repair. With a week at the beach coming up i didn't have time to research a lot. On a friends recommendation i made this purchase.
Now my goals are to have a smaller sized camera that will allow nice point and shoot photography but has some manual (even minimal) controls as i do enjoy photography and if i decide to go further, i'll be familiar with the manual controls and such. So after getting this camera i did a few test runs to get it all working w/ my MacBook Pro laptop. Here's my experience thus far:
Install on Windows Vista and Mac OS X Leopard were both absolutely flawless. Software went right in, once connected downloading the images and viewing them was a one click event. The software bundled is actually quite nice. I no longer have iPhoto (thanks Leopard) so i was unsure what to use for basic photo management. Not to worry Canons bundled software, "ZoomBrowserEX" does a fantastic job of that.
Now as far as options go i'm by no means skilled in the realm of cameras, however from my limited experience i can say this camera packs quite a large array for such a small price tag. The auto modes work very well, not to mention having the ability to just pop it into "Manual" mode and tweak by hand! All it takes is 20-30min of reading on the internet and you can be messing with the settings and taking some great low light, artistic, etc... photographs. I also found it's quite easy to use single handed. A lot of times on my beach trip i was holding onto a rock to balance myself and only had my right hand available. Switching into say "Macro" mode is very simple. Same goes for things like zoom, flash, etc... overall very user friendly design.
Picture quality has been absolutely stunning! I truly did not expect it from a camera under $160. As with most "point and shoot" cameras when upping the ISO level to take dim light shots without a flash it does tend to get grainy. Although this camera does counter balance that a little, and does a good job, it's still noticeable. That's where the "Manual" mode came in for me. Being able to adjust shutter and aperture etc... really allowed me to take some exceptional low light shots that are not grainy at all.
So my overall impression is absolutely pleased! For the money i doubt you'd find a better camera with as many features that can produce the quality of photos this can. I was impressed to see how small it is in person and exactly just how well constructed it feels. Also the thing i loved is there's a huge wealth of accessories like extra lenses such as telephoto, macro, lens filters, etc... Amazon has a "kit" that looks like a fantastic deal that comes with most of those things including a tripod. That is definitely going to be my next purchase.
So if you're looking for a great camera that can "point and shoot" and has the manual controls if you think you may be interested in getting into photography, this is my recommendation hands down. I posted 11 photos in the "Customer Photos" section. Feel free to check them out to hopefully get an idea of what this camera can do with "default" settings, i was blown away. Lastly as i'm finding out photography is all about your "eye" and knowing enough about your hardware to capture what you "see." I'm not much for taking pictures of people i really enjoy closeups and different angles, so that's what i'm learning to capture with this camera. Hopefully my pictures will be a decent display of what this camera can do. Just remember if you don't like your photos it's probably not the cameras fault! There will never be a one stop solution, but overall this one is fantastic!
Hope it helps,
Happy picture taking,
Frank L. Morales II
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2008
I purchased this camera to replace my 3-year-old Konica/Minolta Dimage 6. The Konica had a 12X optical zoom, one of the reasons I purchased it in the first place. But the 12X optical zoom made the camera a little bulky. Too bulky to slip into my coat pocket or a small carrying case. Because of that, I found myself taking fewer and fewer photos. Enter the Canon PowerShot A590 IS. So far, I am totally happy with this camera. First of all, its size is perfect for me. It fits neatly into a coat pocket, or sometimes into even my pants pocket. Though it only has a 4X optical zoom, its 8MP ability allows me to PhotoShop the scenes I can't zoom in on enough with very little loss of resolution. I take the majority of my photos at the 5MP setting. At this setting, with a 4 Gb card, I can store over 2700 photos. The color settings are great too. I have the options of B/W, sepia, neutral, vivid, and custom. And the vivid setting lives up to its meaning; the colors just pop! I also chose this camera because of the shutter and aperture priority settings; I like to make my own settings on occasion. Most of the compact digitals out there now no longer allow that. But it still has enough presets for those who don't want to fiddle...full auto, easy, program, portrait, landscape, night snapshot, kids & pets, indoor, sunset, and video. Since I haven't taken any video with it yet, I can't comment on that feature. The view screen doesn't have as many pixels as some of the other compact digitals. So if you compare what you see on the view screen with those having more pixels, it won't be as sharp and clear. But don't think that will take away from the actual finished photo...it doesn't. The view screen image on most digitals is very hard or next to impossible to see in bright sunlight. That's why this camera is great. It has a viewfinder; something else one doesn't see much any more. It may seem a bit old-fashioned, but when the sun is at your back and you're trying to frame your subject, and the view screen becomes useless, you'll be very glad you have a viewfinder. All in all, a great little camera; well worth the money. I absolutely recommend this camera. I've heard a rumor that Canon has discontinued this model, so get one while you still can.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on May 31, 2008
I bought this camera as a gift for my girlfriend because it satisfied my two main requirements: 1) it could be operated by someone who is not interested in learning the basics of camera design and features, and still produce reliable, quality photographs and 2) be capable of doing much more if one should so desire.
Apparently, the model one step down (the 580, I believe) is void of manual override controls, so for a small amount more one can get that capability in the 590. After using the camera for a few weeks I have determined that it actually does produce very sharp, nicely color toned pictures if you simply put it on AUTO or P, point, remember to hold the shutter half way down for a second to focus, and shoot. Perhaps learning when to force the flash to provide fill would be a handy, not too complicated step to learn, one which would greatly improve most backlit shots. I'm still trying to teach that :-) (it's only one button, hey!!)but I think I will eventually succeed. All in all, you can carry it anywhere and use it quickly and easily and without any real knowledge or skill manage to eke out a decent (if not really lovely) exposure.
If you understand something about how modern cameras are programmed, the manual controllability of this little demon will delight you. In bright light situations, it's a good thing to be able to use the traditional viewfinder which is not always provided these days in many other point and shoots. And if you wanted a quality shot, understanding how to use the many features intelligently, I think you will be amazed that the file produces such a high quality photograph. Five years ago it would have cost many hundreds more to achieve this quality, and now it's available for a pittance. Progress.
I haven't delved into the technical aspects of this camera here because I am assuming that most people who are looking for this kind of one would not be that interested. Suffice to say, this little camera does lots of stuff and it does it all with ease and grace and for a low price. Sounded good to me, and I'm glad I bought it. You could do different for the price, but not, I don't think, better. Highly recommended.