The Canon Powershot A4000 IS is a cheaper pocket camera. It has 16 megapixels and an 8x zoom lens. Compared to a lot of other digital cameras available for a similar price that is quite a generous amount of zoom.
Other features are roughly what you would expect at this price point although you do get a 3 inch LCD inch screen and Image Stabilisation that works for video clips as well as still photos. The Powershot A4000 IS is also one of the few low budget cameras with a metal body.
Compared with other pocket digital cameras at this price point the Powershot A4000 IS has the following:
There are two big attractions this camera has over other cameras available for around the same price. The first is the sharpness of the pictures it takes. The second is the 8x zoom gives you more power than most low budget digital cameras.
Megapixels and Zoom
The Powershot A4000 IS has 16 megapixels and an 8x zoom lens. The lens has a focal length equivalent to 28 - 224mm in 35mm format.
You can use SD, SDHC and SDXC memory cards to store images.
Power comes from a lithium ion battery. Canon provides a battery and charger with the camera. They estimate the Powershot A4000 IS can take up to 175 shots in between charges.
You can shoot High Definition Movies with a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels. The top recording speed is 25 frames per second. The maximum length of a movie is 29 minutes and 59 seconds unless the size of the recording reaches 4GB in size before that time limit.
The LCD screen is 3 inches in size.
Canon have equipped the camera with a number of predefined shooting modes. These are Portrait, Face Self-Timer, Low Light (4.0MP), Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter and Discreet.
For close up shots you can focus from 1cm away from your subject.
Image Stabilisation has been built in to help avoid any unwanted picture blur. It works for movies as well as for still images.
Picture Quality Summary
The Powershot A4000 IS performs very well in all the tests and has very few weaknesses. When it comes to picture quality it is a fairly safe option. The levels of sharpness it produces are some way above expectations.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 1
The big test for a camera in this shot is the power of the sun beating down. This means the camera finds it hard to show all the detail in the lightest areas of the boats, but the Powershot A4000 IS handles this fairly well. Picture sharpness is very impressive. Sharpness shows right across the shot from the brickwork in the centre of the picture right out to the edges.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 2
One of the most noticeable features of this picture is the building on the left hand edge. With a lot of cameras this building leans in as the cameras finds it hard to keep vertical lines upright at the edges of the shot. Part of the reason for this is that Canon have not been overly ambitious with the minimum focal length of the lens. This means you cannot squeeze quite so much width into a picture, but it is preferable to have that bit of extra quality.
Outdoor Scenic Shot 3
A couple of big plus points for this picture are the overall sharpness of the shot and the level of detail the camera is capable of picking out in areas of low contrast. An example of one of those areas is where you have very similar coloured roof slates. Good levels of detail also show in the bushes and trees.
If pin sharp pictures are something that are really important to you then you can't go far wrong with the Powershot A4000 IS. The main difference between this and most other digital cameras available at around this price point is how sharp the pictures are away from the centre. Even if you look right into the bottom corner of this test shot you will see extremely high levels of sharpness. One camera in this batch of tests is available for almost exactly twice the price of this camera, but in terms of sharpness this camera wins hands down.
Once again the Powershot A4000 IS has no problems with focusing and produces a sharp photo. Perhaps the skin colours could look a little warmer.
Indoor Portrait With Flash
This shot has more or less the perfect amount of lighting. There is just enough to reach all corners of the shot and light the hair too. The other side of the coin is that lighting levels are controlled so that there is still natural colouring of the skin.
Indoor Portrait Without Flash
As long as lighting levels are quite bright you should be able to take indoor portrait shots that are free of noise. In this shot the level of detail showing is good.
For a camera in this price bracket the macro shot is sharp and clear. The test picture is also bright. This is a good effort from a snapshot camera.
Colours are not as saturated as some other brands produce. This is especially true if you compare the Powershot A4000 IS to some similarly priced cameras from Panasonic. Colours are a matter of personal taste. Therefore you may feel that the colours produced by this camera have a natural look to them or you may think they could do with looking more vivid.
Noise levels are no better and no worse than the majority of cheaper pocket cameras. Noise is only likely to show up in shady areas of your photos or when you are taking photos in lowlight without flash.
Panasonic DMC S5 Rating 84/100
If you are looking for a cheap pocket sized digital camera it is difficult to find one offering better picture quality than the Panasonic Lumix DMC S5. It is such a small camera and very easy to use. It is almost the ideal snapshot camera if you do not want to spend a great deal of money.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC S5 Review
Panasonic DMC S3 Rating 84/100
The Panasonic Lumix DMC S3 is an excellent value for money pocket camera. It is very hard to beat when compared alongside its direct rivals. Picture quality and features have an edge over many of its competitors while the rapid response times are also a big plus point. If you are looking for a cheaper compact digital camera then you can’t go far wrong with the Lumix DMC S3.
Read Review: Panasonic DMC S3 Review
Canon Powershot A2400 IS Rating 83/100
The Canon Powershot A2400 IS gives you a clear choice between a camera that has the edge when it comes to picture quality and ones with the latest bells and whistles. Picture quality is likely to be hard to beat at this price point.
Read Review: Canon Powershot A2400 IS Review
Review Date: August 2012
You get quite a lot for your money with the Canon Powershot A4000 IS. If you only plan to make small sized prints or share your photos on the Internet you may not see a great deal of difference between the photos taken with this camera and those taken with other models available at around the same price. What you might notice is that the pictures have a touch more clarity. This is likely to become more evident if you make larger prints. To sum up, if you are looking for a handy compact camera, at a reasonable price, that can cope very well with most photo opportunities this camera is hard to beat.
Ease of Use:
Value for Money:
95.3 x 56.3 x 24.3mm
SD, SDHC, SDXC
Single Shot With Flash:
Five Shots With Flash:
Turn on Time:
Although this is a small digital camera there is enough room for your fingers and thumbs. This allows you to take a comfortable hold of the camera. You should have no problems holding the camera steady to take a photo.
The biggest issue with the layout of the camera is the positioning of the flash. High up in the right hand corner as you look at the camera it is quite easy to block out some of the light with a finger. Therefore a little extra care is required.
LCD Screen Quality
There is not a lot to say about the quality of the LCD screen. The only time you are likely to have any trouble with viewing is if direct light is shining onto it.
Turn on Time and Shutter Delay
When flash is not being used the camera is fast enough in its responses. When flash is turned on response times are noticeably slower.
Design and Build Quality
The Powershot A4000 IS looks like a lot of other pocket cameras. Canon have rounded off some of the edges, while the lens dominates the front of the camera. Build quality appears to be good and there are not too many digital cameras available at this price with a metal body.
On the top of the camera are the on / off button, the shutter button and a ring for zooming in and out. On the back are buttons to control the following: shooting movies, accessing help, accessing the menu and reviewing images. There is also a circular control section. This has controls for selecting the shooting mode, setting flash, changing the information shown on the LCD screen, activating macro mode, accessing the main camera functions and confirming a setting.