Canon Powershot A590 IS Review

High Specification Compact Digital Cameras

Canon Powershot A590 IS Ease of Use 7
Features 9
Movie Mode 8
Build Quality8
Colours 9
Photo Quality 9
Style 7
Lowlight 9
Macro 9
Value for Money 9
8 Megapixels
4x Zoom
2.5 inch LCD Screen
94.3 x 64.7 x 40.8mm


The Canon Powershot A590 IS is an 8 megapixel digital camera with a 4x optical zoom lens. Running through the features it has to offer it is a clear step up from a typical point and shoot camera.

Why Buy The Canon Powershot A590 IS

As mentioned above the Powershot A590 IS digital camera has more features than you find on a typical point and shoot camera. These include manual exposure modes. Therefore if you are looking to learn about photography these controls aligned to the camera's price tag make it a good choice for anyone who is just starting out and is looking to take up photography as a hobby.

Main Features

LCD Screen:

2.5 inches
94.3 x 64.7 x 40.8mm

HD Movies:
Manual Controls:
Memory Cards:


Image Quality - See Sample Images Below

Outdoor Scenic Shots in Good Light

In my first test shot the Powershot A590 IS ticks most of the right boxes. Sharpness is certainly above average. There is also no noticeable drop off in focusing towards the edges of the shot. As with other digital cameras, some detail is lost from shady areas in the picture. This is not to any level where I would be too concerned.

The sun is handled well and colours are true.

The point that struck me when I first looked at this shot was the sharpness at the edges of the picture. Maybe this Canon digital camera is helped by a slightly larger lens, but the overall quality is a better than that found with many smaller compacts.

This is another photo where the results are good. The only negative point I could see was a tendency for a sheen to develop around brighter objects in the photo. This should not prove to be a problem except maybe on very large prints. Overall focusing is good and the colours are accurate again.

The Powershot A590 IS does a good job here and I can pick out individual bricks in the building. This result is above average for this test. Some very minor purple fringing shows around some of the windows where they are caught by the sun.


This photo has a bit of a lackluster feel to it. I put this down to the colours. Personally I would like to have seen more warmth in the shot, with a more vivid look to the colours. This is disappointing as I had tried to boost the colours using the cloudy white balance setting.

This is my favourite of my three portrait test shots. By way of contrast with the outdoor portraits I like the colours in this shot. This Canon digital camera has balanced the flash levels well too.

Without the flash turned on the Powershot A590 IS still manages to produce a decent effort. Even so I prefer the test taken with flash. This suggest though that when flash is not an option you should still be able to take a good photo as long as the light is not too low.

Macro, Colours and Noise

Canon digital cameras have consistently proved to be the best when it comes to macro shots. When you take into account the price of this camera the macro shot is very impressive indeed.

Aside from the outdoor portrait test the colours are about right for me. As with other Canon digital cameras when it comes to the strength of the colours the Powershot A590 IS sits somewhere in the middle rank. There is a natural feel to the colours this camera produces.

I think over the last year or so there has been an improvement in the quality of photos produced at ISO 400 by a number of digital camera brands. This camera produces a successful shot without too much noise creeping into the photo. It is a different story at ISO 1600 and most of the picture quality is buried under high noise levels.


Overall the Powershot A590 IS proves it is able to take a good photo in most situations. It is above average all round.

See sample images link arrow


In terms of appearance the Powershot A590 IS is designed along the lines of a cut down digital SLR camera. It has a grip on the front to help hold the camera steady. It is too large for a pocket and is available in gunmetal grey.

Shutter Lag Times

Shutter Lag Rating Par

Single Shot
Five Shots
Single Shot With Flash
Five Shots With Flash

0.35 seconds
8.85 seconds
1.15 seconds
20.1 seconds

Shutter Lag Table link arrow

Ease of Use

Ease of Use - Par As you would expect it will take longer to get used to a digital camera with extra features than it does a simple point and shoot model. Hang on in there because time taken to master the Powershot A590 IS is well worth it in the long run.

Points I Like

Features - value for money - conversion lenses available

Where it Could Improve

Shutter lag times with flash


I like the Canon Powershot A590 IS digital camera. It offers something different to the run of the mill pocket cameras. You get a good selection of controls and features at a very reasonable price.

Product Shots

Front View

Canon Powershot A590 IS Front View

Back View

Canon Powershot A590 IS Back View

Top View

Canon Powershot A590 IS Top View

Sample Menus

menu  playback

setup functions

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Related Pages

Canon Powershot A590 IS Review Canon Powershot A590 IS Specification Canon Powershot A590 IS Sample Images Canon Powershot A590 IS Features Canon Digital Cameras

Review Date

April 2008

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