Customer Reviews: Canon PowerShot A4000IS 16.0 MP Digital Camera with 8x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom 28mm Wide-Angle Lens with 720p HD Video Recording and 3.0-Inch LCD (Pink)
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on May 8, 2012
I purchased this camera to replace a PowerShot SD780 IS ELPH that I have had for 3 years. The A4000 has decent reviews on other sites, so I bit. I wish I would have paid more and bought another Canon SD/ELPH.

One thing the A4000 only takes 720p video at 25fps. My old SD780 did at 30fps.

For my review, I am almost directly comparing the A4000 to my old SD780 which is 3 years old.

A4000 Pros:
1) Taking video with the steadyshot works very well.
2) Miniature effect and other modes are fun
3) Takes fast photos
4) Zoom is phenomenal. 8x optical + 4x digital.
5) View screen is large and sharp
6) Construction feels really solid

A4000 Cons:
1) Video seems choppy and heavily compressed (blocky) compared to the SD780
2) 720p is only at 25fps when most other models are 30fps
3) Photos don't seem as sharp as the SD780
4) Sound recording quality isn't as clear as the SD780
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on October 20, 2012
This is my fourth or fifth Canon digital P&S, over the years I've worn all the others out. This one has lived up to my expectations of Canon quality. All the controls do take a bit of experimentation to figure out, but you can leave it on AUTO and let the camera do all the work. The only disadvantage for me, there is no manual control of shutter speed and F-stop. However, in P mode you can index the exposure (+/-) and set the ISO speed for some creativity. The pre-programed modes have a good variety and they all basically work giving you the desired effects. Image quality is excellent IMHO for any P&S camera in this price range. There is almost no difference in image quality between ISO 100 and 200. ISO 400 begins to show a tiny bit of noise or artifacts. ISO 800 and 1600 do show some noise but it looks to me like the camera automatically despeckles the picture, which eliminates most of the noise but noticeably softens the focus. Close focus mode works accurately. A couple of hints: First, set the camera to ISO 100 (rather than AUTO ISO) and you will get great pictures in most lighting conditions. Second, learn to use the white balance for the appriate lighting conditions (sunlight, cloudy, tungsten, etc.) Although the auto white balance works, it often won't work as well as setting it for the proper balance. Also, learn to set the flash functions. You often don't need flash to get a great picture and with the flash off you'll save battery charge. You can certainly preview your pictures to get the best results. Need to get that quick picture with no time to set the adjustments? Just hit the AUTO button!

Very small and compact, fits in shirt pocket when turned off.
Excellent image quality with very adequate zoom range.
Large easy to see LCD screen.
Easy to use AUTO-mode with plenty of pre-defined creative modes.
Rechargeable Lithium Ion battery.
Camera can be set for personal preferences, like sound volume and LCD brightness.
Rapid downloading of pictures to your computer.

No optical view finder.
Controls are small and a bit cramped.
Zoom control is in an awkward position.
No case or SD card included.
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on November 7, 2012
The little camera is a charmer. The picture quality is color perfect. Has a big LCD display. The response time of the controls and zoom are very snappy. It has 8x optical zoom and if you keep your finger on the zoom it continues after a slight warning pause onto digital zoom for 32x. Yeah, the pic will get a bit grainy at that level but you've got lots of pixels to work with. What I really like is the light weight and it fits into my shirt pocket. Or, get the Case Logic case and snug it into your pants pocket or a purse. It's so light, you will actually take this one with you and use it. The price is great for the quality and I love the blue color. Yes, the purist will say there are compromises with a super small camera like this but it's not a concern for the average person taking snapshots and the occasional movie. I've had larger Canons but I like this one the best because it's usable and has plenty of features. Macro photography (closeups) is automatic and really easy. Canon did a great job on this camera.
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on November 21, 2012
When my pocket Sony camera died, I thought I wanted a little bigger camera with more features, but friends with bigger, "real" cameras convinced me to look for another pocket-sized camera for ease of carrying. I compared at a lot of cameras in this "class" and am very happy with my decision to go with this Canon PowerShot.

First, for such a little camera, it has so many cool features that I've had a hard time remembering they are all available, including many features that before now were only available in photo editing software such as fisheye and monochrome. I will be honest that it's unlikely that I'll be able to use features like this "on the fly" for quick shots of the kids. But if you are setting up a nice shot, it's fun to run through these features to see what you can get. Probably the nicest thing is that even with a whole slew of manual modes available, it has a very nice and effective fully automatic mode which pretty much fixes any shot so it's good. The automatic mode does create a bit of a lag in the time to take the photo, but the results are worth it.

Second, the zoom quality is awesome. It has 8x optical zoom, then up to 30x digital zoom. While playing with it around my house, I was amazed at the clear, close up shots I was able to get of small items on a dresser 18 feet away and even further shots of items BEHIND ME taken in the mirror of the dresser!

The controls are easy use and fairly intuitive. Getting to some of the features has taken a little getting used to since some of them are layered and I could not remember how to find them again, but after a while it all makes sense. My old Sony had a touch screen, but I don't miss it at all. Having actual buttons has been a nice change with being able to feel the buttons as well as see them. Also, seeing the photos that have been taken is MUCH eaiser than on the touch screen which required moving from photo taking mode to viewing mode, then back to photo taking mode to continue. THis Canon has a simple button that takes you right to viewing mode and back. No multiple steps necessary.

I've given it 4 stars rather than 5 only because I had a hard time finding features. The manual could be more complete with regard to exactly how to USE some of these cool features and how to get to them, rather than just listing that they are there.

Over all, I've been very happy with this camera and would recommend it whole heartedly.
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on June 2, 2012
Good solid camera, high quality built and looks, nice LCD screen and easy user-friendly functions. Takes good pics and records HD movies.....only one problem, HD movie mode DOES NOT HAVE Optical Zoom. Which means, if you do zoom (digital zoom) while making HD movies, it'll start blurring. So that's the only big downside, other than's a great camera, just not a good camcorder.
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on September 5, 2012
I was very happy with this camera, it was exactly what I expected, exactly as advertised and I have taken well over 1000 photos with it. Of a sudden, for no apparent reason, it developed a fine line that runs vertically through every image, dividing the image exactly in half. This is clearly not a lens scratch or other bump or drop type of damage, this is some electronic gremlin that decided to pay a visit and won't go away.
Unfortunately, my return window is closed and I am sending it off to Canon today in the hopes of getting the camera back functioning as it was 3 months ago.
Keep you posted.

Update: Contacted Canon and within a week I had a replacement. It was refurbished but looks new to me. Canon could not have been more accomodating and polite. They did not want the accessories returned and so as an added bonus I now have an extra charger and battery. Add another star to this review.
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on June 25, 2012
I purchased this camera actually for work so that we would have a camera to keep in the job truck. The boss used it first time out and he's not one to pick up technology easily so when he had no complaints on the camera, I knew it was a good buy. The pictures turned out great even in the shade under the roof. There is some noticeable camera shake in shady pictures but nothing that couldn't be overcome with some more use and practice.

The only major thing I have against this is that in pictures lit by full sun, there is noticeable vignetting. I notice it since my other camera is a DSLR but for the typical user of this camera, it's not a big deal. Just be sure to leave some space around your subject so that it doesn't detract when you're processing the pictures.
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on January 31, 2013
I bought this camera last night. I'll be returning it tonight or tomorrow. The picture quality is great and the zoom worked very well. The buttons were slightly hard to use because they were so small, but that's not a major issue for me.

My first concern was the ridges on the cover for the lens. My current powershot is smooth and I carry it in my purse everywhere. (I have an 8mp camera on my phone but they have nothing on a canon!) I am afraid to carry this one in my purse because the ridges will catch and open and possibly scratch my lens.

My second concern, the main reason I'm returning it, is because it takes so long to take a picture. I have two kids, 6 & 7, and they don't want to wait 5 seconds while the camera "thinks" about it! It took considerably longer to take multiple shots, also. My current p&s is a SD1100IS Elph. I've carried it around in my purse and my back pocket for a couple years and was planning on passing it on to my mother-in-law when I got this new one. However, I will keep my 1100 for a while longer until I find something that seems as durable as this one is!

If you're using this camera for non-time sensitive shots, I'm sure this is a wonderful camera (I currently have a Rebel T3i, a 5D, the 1100 Elph and my husband has 2 p&s canons). I zoomed all the way in and took a photo of an olive oil bottle. The words were clear, the IS technology worked very well. It's simply not a camera that will work for what I need.
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on February 5, 2013
I am replacing a c. 2005 Olympus point-and-shoot digital camera. Anything newer would be vastly superior.

I was considering the Canon PowerShot G15 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Wide-Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom as a do-it-all camera, but I take a lot of action photos. I need a *fast* camera--a DSLR. So I went all the way up to a Canon EOS Rebel T4i 18.0 MP CMOS Digital Camera with 18-135mm EF-S IS STM Lens, but I am not going to keep that in my purse!

Why miss a great shot simply because I don't have my camera with me? This little cutie will always be with me wherever I go.

I could hardly wait for the battery to charge! Being familiar with digital cameras, I figured out the interface within minutes. I ran the camera through all its combinations. Fun! An 8x zoom and all the cool auto settings--including "toy camera" and fisheye--are fun to play with.

Image stabilization means that I can do hand-held shots in less-than-perfect lighting and get a good image on the first try most of the time. Saves a lot of time when processing images.

If you don't plan to read the user manual on CD, you'll be missing out on a lot of great information about the features. IT IS WORTH THE TIME TO LEARN HOW YOUR CAMERA WORKS. Look at the CD. More than once. Until you learn what all the controls do.

The battery charger is small -- no cord! :-) The prongs flip out and then back in again. The charger lies flat against the wall when it is in use. There is an indentation so you can use the second electrical socket at the same time.

The automatic lens cover is very delicate. Do not quickly lay the camera lens-side down as it is still closing. I got something caught in there, but the camera seemed OK after I opened and closed it a few times to check.

I am very pleased with this choice for a "purse camera." When I need a better image, or ability to shoot rapid fire, I'll have the "big girl" DSLR.

When I use the cable to connect the A4000IS to my Win 7 PC, I get the option of deleting the images off the camera right after they're downloaded to the PC. Saves me a step later. You can also mark certain images as "protected," so that they will not be deleted except when you format the camera's memory card. Maybe take a photo of your contact information, and protect that?

The cable also works with my Canon Rebel, so right after I empty one camera, I stick the cable into the other and download off that one as well.

UPDATE - JUNE 2, 2013: Within two months, this camera started to lose its ability to focus on something close in bright sunlight. It progressively got worse. The lens cannot focus and the shutter does not fire. The shutter will fire for long-range subjects, but the image is blurry. I did some online research. I'm not the only one who has experienced this.

I CAN SEE DUST BEHIND THE FRONT LENS ELEMENT when I go out into natural sunlight and move the camera back and forth to give me some 3D perspective.

I contacted Canon via e-mail. The recommended solution is to send in the camera for cleaning. Will this be a permanent fix? Am I better off just returning this camera, and starting all over? I'll be back for an update.

UPDATE - JULY 5, 2013: I sent the camera to Canon. As soon as it arrived at their repair shop, they sent me a message by e-mail. Within 24 hours, they wrote back again to tell me that the camera could not be repaired for lack of parts. Really? It's relatively new. They sent me a reconditioned replacement. By FedEx. Faster than I was expecting. So I'm back in business, with only about a week of downtime. I'll watch this new camera for the same problem, but I'm happy to have my little purse camera back again!

I appreciated Canon's fast response and their willingness to do what it takes to make me love this camera again. Canon sent a follow-up e-mail to ask how I liked their repair service. I think they are trying hard to make their customers happy.

UPDATE - NOVEMBER 20, 2013: I am now on the THIRD camera. And I think that the auto focus is starting to go. Again. I assume that if the problem is a one-time fix, the reconditioned cameras that Canon has been sending me should stay fixed. But they haven't. I probably have time to return it two more times for replacements before the warranty is up. But will I bother? What's the point? I need a purse camera that will last for more than the one-year warranty period. So I have to downgrade my rating from 4 stars to ... two? One? Maybe one is all I can rate this camera. Pitiful. I wanted so badly to love it.

UPDATE - JANUARY 14, 2014: I am approaching the end of the one-year warranty. I will return the camera one last time for a replacement. But I will not be able to let it rattle around loose in my purse. The dust eventually kills it. A local Canon dealer recommended I go with a sealed-lens camera such as the Canon D20. I'm not all that excited about giving up some of the image clarity for the durability. So I'm really on the fence. And the tops of the fence slats are poking me in the butt. I guess I'll keep the A4000 in my purse, but also put it inside a camera case to reduce the amount of dust it encounters while it's in there waiting for me to whip it out for a quick snapshot.

I LOVE THIS CAMERA! It feels so wonderful in my hand. It takes decent photos for a camera of its size. I only wish it didn't succumb so easily to dust in the lens.

UPDATE - JULY 8, 2014: Despite my care in keeping this fourth A4000 in a case when not actually using it, the dust returned after a few months, the same length of time as the last three cameras. So this is the end. I gave the camera to my husband to see if he could clean it. Everything was so tightly assembled that there was no way to take it apart without destroying the components. So that explains why Canon would simply give me a new camera each time. There is no way to repair an A4000.

I am off in search of a "purse camera" that won't slowly die from internal dust. A waterproof camera such as the Canon D20 or D30 seems to be my only option now. I simply ask too much from a camera. Out of focus snapshots are not going to make me happy. I still have my Canon Rebel 4Ti when I need a really good, clear image.
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My wife loves to shoot photos and sometimes the iPhone just isn't good enough. She likes taking photos of family gatherings and holidays and also of nature and animals. I use a Canon 7D and she will not take the time to learn how to use it. I purchased her this camera for Mother's Day and she just loves it. It is a great point and shoot camera and it does everything she needs it to do. This camera is extremely powerful and has many features in it. I put together a video (I am sorry that it is so long) that covers only a few of the key features, such as:

* 16 Megapixel camera
* Shoots photos and videos
* Simple one button access to take a video.
* Able to zoom in on a subject in a video
* Takes fast and easy photos
* 8 times optical zoom and 32 times digital/optical zoom when combined
* Small and light weight construction but solidly build
* Image stabilization build in to eliminate hand and body motions and allow you to take better photos and videos
* Nice 3 inch LCD color display with great resolution and clarity
* Records movies in MOV format so my wife can automatically put them into iMovies
* Good sound on the movies and very good resolution and video quality
* Smart Auto AI that selects one of 32 preset shooting settings to take the right photos based on the conditions the camera sees. My wife loves this feature.
* Very nice AC wall battery charger that has foldable plugs and operates on 100 to 240 VAC and 50/60 Hz for international use. Don't forget to take your wall plug adapters.

Some weaknesses are:

* No optical view finder and you have to use the LCD display in all conditions.
* For my big hands the controls are a bit close together
* I would have preferred a rocker switch for the zoom control
* We had to buy a camera case

What my wife liked was the ease of use without having to do a dozen settings to get a reasonable photo. She was shooting Macro shots of flowers and zooming in on nature shots and animals instantly and having fun doing it. She wants to take good photos and not have to learn to be a camera expert. For her she also loved the dark blue color as it reminded her of her beloved Indianapolis Colts. She finds the autofocus easy to use and she has taken some great photos already.

I installed a WIFI SD card and she can transfer the photos and videos to her iPhone and iPad without removing the SD card and she loves that. I loved that it came with a lanyard as with my huge hands I was afraid that I would drop it all the time.

This is good solid camera and we got it at a GREAT price at well under $100 and for that reason alone my wife loved it as she loves a bargain. She rates it as a 5 star item and she is fascinated with it. I glad I got it for her.
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