The Movie mode is VGA only with no use of the optical zoom while recording. The video quality is good, on par with a standard-definition pocket video camera. It's fine for a quick clip to post online, but not much else.
Performance, though not dreadfully slow, is still pokey. It takes 2 seconds for the camera to go from off to first shot captured. Shutter lag is a little long in bright lighting conditions: 0.6 second from pressing the release to capture. In dim lighting, the shutter lag is 1 second. Shot-to-shot times are mediocre at 2.9 seconds without flash and jumping to lengthy 6.7 seconds with it on. Lastly, its continuous shooting time is only 0.6 frames per second. Basically, if you're hoping to catch shots of an active toddler, an athlete in action, or fast-moving pet, this camera isn't a good option.
The photo quality from the A495 is excellent for the money and actually better than some more-expensive models. Of course, it produces the best results below ISO 200, sharp with plenty of fine detail. But even at ISO 800, noise and noise suppression are well balanced making 4x6 prints possible. When photos are viewed at 100 percent, you will see noise, particularly in darker areas of photos. However, it's nothing that would keep me from recommending this model.
The lens has minor barrel distortion at its widest position and no discernable pincushion distortion when zoomed out. Center sharpness is very good, though there was some softness in the very corners. The amount of purple fringing in high-contrast areas is average for its class: visible when photos are viewed at full size, but not likely to destroy a photo.
Colors are great from the A495. Blues are a touch lighter than they should be according to our tests, but others are close to accurate along with being bright and pleasing. Exposure is generally very good, though clipped highlights aren't out of the question.
Canon's PowerShot A3000 IS is $20 more than the A495 and may have a better lens, a rechargeable battery, and image stabilization, but honestly, I'd rather save the money and get the A495 or the A490. The shooting performance was comparable, but the photo quality was better from the two less expensive models in my tests
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Time to first shot||Typical shot-to-shot time (flash)||Typical shot-to-shot time||Shutter lag (dim)||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Find out more about how we test digital cameras.