Last update: Review & Sample Photos @ DigitalCameraTracker (added on 03.10.06)
Canon PowerShot A540 is a point-and-shoot digital camera (released on 21.02.06), featuring a 6.0 megapixels (CCD sensor) with 4x Optical Zoom lens (35-140mm equivalent), a 2.5″ LCD screen, optical viewfinder. It measures 3.6 x 2.5 x 1.7″ (90.4 x 64.0 x 43.2mm), weighs 5.9 oz (170.0 g), and it runs on 2 x AA Alkaline, NiMH Batteries. Canon PowerShot A540 will be available in stores from march 2006 with an estimated retail price of $299.99.USD.
>> REVIEWS (last update: 03.10.06)
PCworld reviewed the Canon PowerShot A540. They rated the camera 9/10 and wrote;
“Pros:Very good photo quality, 4X optical zoom gives you a bit more telephoto power than most entry-level cameras, Large 2.5 inch LCD display is usable in low light, Full manual controls, unusual for an entry-level camera, Peppy performance, AF-assist lamp, good low light focusing, Support for add-on lenses, external slave flash, underwater case, very good battery life, USB 2.0 High Speed support. Cons: Poor LCD resolution, Reflective LCD, Some redeye, Can only record about 8 minutes of VGA video due to 1GB file size limit, Plastic tripod mount, No rechargeable batteries included; small memory card included. “
PCworld reviewed the Canon PowerShot A540. They rated the camera 80 and wrote;
“The image quality of the 6-megapixel images is about average (though the A540’s scores match those from many more-expensive models): Colors were accurate (though they lacked the vividness of the Olympus FE-120) and the camera accurately judged exposure (it also offers auto exposure bracketing). The images were a little soft, however: Some fine details were lost in the blurriness, and the edges of objects sometimes lacked definition. And like a growing number of point-and-shoots offering higher ISO settings than past models, the A540 is lets you can crank up the ISO setting to 800; previous models peaked at ISO 400. However, the A540’s images got rather noisy; at anything above ISO 200, the noise pattern was noticeable and distracting, and the colors become flat and dull…”
DPinterface reviewed the Canon PowerShot A540 and wrote;
“The PowerShot A540 also has good battery life though competition is getting better. The LCD is at its largest size as well (for an entry-level camera), being a good 2.5 inches with nice visibility. Despite that, the resolution is not at all high. Got a problem with the LCD resolution? At least there’s an optical viewfinder.”
ImagingResource reviewed the Canon PowerShot A540 and wrote;
“I was also happy to see a broadcast quality Movie mode on the Canon A540. That’s 30 frames per second at 640×480-pixel resolution. Not all Movie modes are the same these days, with some digicams offering no more than 20 fps at VGA resolution. Canon, to its credit, is not taking any of the fun out of one of the biggest digicam advantages. You can zoom with sound, too (and not pick up much motor noise). Nicely done.”
TrustedReviews reviewed the Canon PowerShot A540 and wrote;
“Finally we come to picture quality, and here the A540 really shines. Canon’s DIGIC II image processor is arguably the best on the market, and produces perfect exposure and colour reproduction time after time. I was a little disappointed by the noise levels at 800 ISO, however at 400 ISO the image quality was much improved. The lens on the A540 is also very good, although I noticed some slight softness in the corners at wider aperture settings, and at wide angle it does produce very noticeable barrel distortion. However the camera is versatile enough to work around these minor problems, and is certainly capable of producing excellent results.”
Cameras.co.uk reviewed the Canon PowerShot A540 and wrote;
“Overall the Canon Powershot A540 produced an impressive set of images. The camera works well both indoors and outdoors and I was unable to unearth any real weaknesses… I was impressed by the outdoor portrait. It has a pleasant warm feel to it despite the fact it was taken under an overcast sky. I set the white balance to cloudy and the result looks like one of the best of the current batch of digital cameras I am testing.The indoor portrait is another that works well. In terms of brightness and sharp focus this is one of the better results. The only drawback is the on going problem of red eye. It is hard using the set up I have to eliminate red eye.”
Popular Photography reviewed the Canon PowerShot A540 and wrote;
“Like other models in the PowerShot line, the A540 is still very ergonomic, but it is a bit boxier than other models in its class. While it is small enough to fit in a coat pocket, it’s still large enough to offer a comfortable fit in your hands. The larger handgrip makes the option of one-handed shooting easy, although we recommend using both hands when shooting for steadier images. The intuitive menus are very easy to navigate and allow for quick changes to camera settings via the Function menu. As with most models in the Canon A-series, the controls are well placed throughout the body — all within the reach of either your thumb or index finger.”
DCRP reviewed the Canon PowerShot A540 and wrote;
“Overall I was very impressed with the photos I took with the PowerShot A540. They were well-exposed with accurate color, low noise, and a nice “smooth” look. The ISO 400 cat photo in the gallery was a bit grainy when printed at 4 x 6, but after a little noise reduction (in software) it looked a lot better. While purple fringing annoyed me a bit in the night test shot, it wasn’t a major problem in any of my gallery photos. “
Steve’sDigicams reviewed the Canon PowerShot A540 and wrote;
“When it comes to image quality, Canon’s models are almost always at the top. And, the A540 is no exception. We were very pleased with its Large SuperFine 6-megapixel images. Our sample images were sharp, well exposed, and showed accurate color balance. As you can see from our kayak shots, the exposure system of this model does an excellent job of capturing sky detail. Imager noise is an issue we touch with just about every model we test, and the A540 showed very little, if any, when using ISO 80 and 100. As the ISO sensitivity is increased, so does the noise; a common problem with almost all consumer cameras. Unlike the usual cut off at ISO 400, the A540 (and 530) allow you to use an ISO speed as high as 800. This will allow the use of higher shutter speeds in marginal lighting conditions, which helps reduce the effects of camera shake (blurring.) While noise levels are very noticeable at ISO 400 and 800, I still feel the usefulness of being able to capture images when you just can’t use the flash is much more important. Sure you don’t want to make large prints with these images, but your typical 4×6’s will still be usable.”
>> SAMPLE PHOTOS (last update: 03.10.06)
– Canon PowerShot A540 Sample Pictures @ DigitalCameraTracker
– Canon PowerShot A540 Sample Pictures @ DPInterface
– Canon PowerShot A540 Sample Pictures @ Steve’sDigicams
– Canon PowerShot A540 Sample Pictures @ DCRP
>> PRESS RELEASE
Except for its retractable 4x optical zoom lens with a focal length of 35-140mm (35mm equivalent); the PowerShot A540 digital camera is virtually identical to the PowerShot A700 model. Like the PowerShot A700 digital camera, the PowerShot A540 model features six-megapixel resolution and a 2.5-inch LCD screen. It also accepts Canon’s optional wide and tele converter lenses as well as a close-up lens and wireless flash. An optional waterproof housing system (with a depth rating of 40m/130 feet) is available expressly for the PowerShot A540 camera, making this model a natural for underwater photo enthusiasts, SCUBA divers and even snorkelers. Replacing 2005’s top-selling PowerShot A520 model(1), the PowerShot A540 digital camera will be available in March for an estimated selling price of $299.99
DIGIC II Image Processing Technology- Hi-Speed USB 2.0
True to the PowerShot tradition, the A-series cameras have many of the latest advances in Canon technology including the proprietary DIGIC II imaging processor. The processor enhances picture definition, vibrancy, and quality, while helping increase the speed of the cameras’ startup, autofocus, shutter response, playback, and image processing speed while reducing power consumption by 35 percent compared to the original DIGIC chip. Consumers benefit from accelerated image transfer speed (when used with a USB 2.0 compatible computer, printer, or other peripheral), thanks to the inclusion of a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port(3). The USB 2.0 port is backwards compatible (at no increased speed) with computers featuring standard USB 1.1 connections.
New Features and Special Effects
All of the new models offer a new widescreen 16:9 ratio resolution setting that facilitates creating panoramic-style prints. Additionally, all PowerShot models support 23 languages (now including Thai and Arabic). The new cameras have an improved direct printing function that permits greater flexibility in print settings, including a face brightener setting for backlit photos.
Canon also enhanced the ‘My Colors’ mode found in the new PowerShot line. Where previously, users could only enable ‘My Colors’ while shooting, the current iteration permits captured images to be retouched as well, without the need for special software applications or tools. Available My Color playback modes include Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, and Vivid Red; lighter and darker skin tones, as well as options for creating black & white, sepia, neutral and positive film effects. A color accent setting turns all colors but the one selected by the user to monochrome and the color swap mode enables users to alter specific colors in an image by sampling another color from the same image or any other image on the camera’s memory card. So, ‘My Colors’ provides PowerShot users with an incredible range of creative photo effects that can be accessed directly in the camera with no need for post-processing in a computer.
Like all PowerShot digital cameras, these newest additions to the A-series work seamlessly with Canon’s petite SELPHY Compact Photo Printers – an essential PowerShot accessory. Consumers simply connect their PowerShot digital camera to a SELPHY printer – such as the SELPHY CP510 and CP710 models. Press the lighted Print/Share button, and within seconds(4), images emerge. Presto! It is that simple. Canon’s SELPHY Compact Photo Printers are PictBridge compatible. They work with PictBridge enabled digital cameras and offer excellent image quality and ease-of-use, especially when paired with a Canon digital camera. At 28 cents-per-print(5), printing photos directly from a digital camera is both easy and affordable.
Canon will debut it latest PowerShot A-series digital cameras in its booth (#3509) during the Photo Marketing Association (PMA) exhibit in Orlando, Fla., from February 26th – March 1st, 2006.