The photo quality from the A495 is excellent for its price 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 discernible 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 excellent from the A495. Blues are a touch light, 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.
If you're interested in the A495's creative scene modes, here's an idea of what they can do. The top photo was taken using the camera's standard Auto mode. The middle shot uses the new Super Vivid option, and the bottom one was taken with Poster Effect, which creates coloring banding where there would normally be smoother gradations.