Canon PowerShot A2200 review: Canon PowerShot A2200

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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good The Canon PowerShot A2200 is a simple, reliable, and affordable compact camera that produces nice photos and movie clips.

The Bad The camera's shooting performance is slow.

The Bottom Line The Canon PowerShot A2200 is a solid point-and-shoot for basic snapshot needs with just enough extras to make it worth its price.

7.0 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 6.0
  • Image quality 8.0

Editors' note: Several of the design, features, and shooting options are identical between the Canon PowerShot A2200 and the

The Canon PowerShot A2200 is basically filler in Canon's A-series PowerShot lineup. It's a step-down from the A3300 IS, getting a shorter lens, smaller LCD, and no optical image stabilization. (It's also lower resolution: 14 megapixels compared to the A3300's 16-megapixel resolution.) Below the A2200 is the A1200, which is basically a 12-megapixel version of the A2200. It has the same shooting options, LCD, and lens, but the A1200 has an optical viewfinder and AA batteries.

That's not to say the A2200 is a bad camera because it's not. It has a nice f2.8 28mm-equivalent wide-angle lens with a 4x zoom, captures 720 HD-resolution movie clips, and is smaller and lighter than the A1200 since it's powered by a rechargeable battery pack.

Like most cameras in its price range, though, the A2200 is slow, so I wouldn't recommend it for regularly shooting active kids and pets. But that's my main reservation with it, so if all you need is a reliable automatic snapshot camera keep reading.

Key specs Canon PowerShot A2200
Price (MSRP) $139.99
Dimensions (WHD) 3.7x2.3x0.9 inches
Weight (with battery and media) 4.8 ounces
Megapixels, image sensor size, type 14 megapixels, 1/2.3-inch CCD
LCD size, resolution/viewfinder 2.7-inch LCD, 230K dots/No
Lens (zoom, aperture, focal length) 4x, f2.8-5.9, 28-112mm (35mm equivalent)
File format (still/video) JPEG/H.264 (.MOV)
Highest resolution size (still/video) 4,320x3,240 pixels/ 1,280x720 at 30fps
Image stabilization type Digital
Battery type, CIPA rated life Lithium ion rechargeable, 280 shots
Battery charged in camera No
Storage media SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus Card, HC MMCplus Card
Bundled software ZoomBrowser EX 6.7/PhotoStitch 3.1 (Windows); CameraWindow DC 8.4 transfer utility; ImageBrowser 6.7/PhotoStitch 3.2 (Mac)

Photo quality is very good to excellent for snapshots. Fine detail and sharpness are very good up to ISO 200 (though a little sharpening with photo-editing software improves things). Photos get noticeably softer at ISO 400 because of heavier noise reduction. Pixel peepers will see there's image noise at all ISO sensitivities, but it's not visible at reduced sizes until you get to ISO 800. As long as you don't mind increased softness and noise--including faint yellow blotching--ISO 800 is usable for small prints and Web sharing. The camera's highest full-resolution sensitivity is ISO 1,600, and I'd stay clear of it unless you really need to take a low-light photo. On the other hand, because of consistent color at higher ISOs, the photos are better than from other cameras at this price; they just get slightly washed out at and above ISO 400.

There is slight barrel distortion at the wide end of the A2200's lens and maybe a hint of it with the lens in telephoto, too. Center sharpness is very good, and though it softens a touch as you move out, it was still remarkably consistent edge to edge and in the corners compared with other budget cameras I've tested. Also, there is little fringing in high-contrast areas of photos.

Color performance is excellent from the A2200--bright, vivid, and accurate. Exposure is also very good. Highlights will blow out on occasion. The auto white balance indoors is a little warm, but otherwise it's good and you can always take advantage of the presets or manual white balance if you're not happy with the results.

Video quality is on par with a basic HD pocket video camera; good enough for Web use and nondiscriminating TV viewing. Panning the camera will create judder that's typical of the video from most compact cameras and you'll notice motion trailing on fast-moving subjects. The zoom lens does not function while recording, but you do have a digital zoom; I suggest not using it as the results are not pleasant.

General shooting options Canon PowerShot A2200
ISO sensitivity (full resolution) Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,600
White balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Recording modes Program, Live View Control, Auto, Easy, SCN, Creative Filters, Discreet, Movie
Focus modes Normal AF (Face, Tracking, Center), Macro, Infinity
Macro 1.2 inches to 1.6 feet (Wide)
Metering modes Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot
Color effects Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Custom (contrast, sharpness, and saturation)
Burst mode shot limit (full resolution) Unlimited continuous

Shooting modes are geared for point-and-shoot use, so no semimanual or full manual modes. The most control you get over settings is in Program mode, letting you select things like white balance, ISO, and metering. It's also the only mode with access to the camera's My Color options like Vivid and Sepia, as well as a Custom option with adjustments for contrast, sharpness, and saturation. On the other hand, you have the new Live View Control mode, which enables you to adjust brightness, color, and tone with onscreen sliders and see what the photo will look like as you make the changes.

If you just want to point and shoot, there's Canon's Smart Auto, which determines the appropriate settings based on the scene you're shooting. An Easy mode works similarly, but heavily limits settings. There's a new Discreet mode, too, that shuts off all sound and and lights so you can shoot without accidentally disturbing the subject or those around you.

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