Canon PowerShot A590 IS review:

Canon PowerShot A590 IS

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4

Canon PowerShot A590 IS

(Part #: 2462B001)
See all prices
Compare These

The Good Great picture quality; fast shutter speed; broad manual feature set.

The Bad Chunky appearance; slow shot-to-shot time with the onboard flash enabled.

The Bottom Line The Canon PowerShot A590 IS's manual exposure controls and surprisingly sharp pictures make it a great choice for almost anyone looking for a sub-$200 shooter.

CNET Editors' Rating

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

Canon put substance over style when it designed the PowerShot A590 IS, and in doing so it made a great camera. While the clunky-looking 8-megapixel shooter looks bland when compared with colorful, ultraslim, style-minded cameras, its impressive insides help produce some of the nicest photos you'll shoot for less than $200.

The chunky, practical design gives the A590 IS a functional and easy-to-handle feel at the expense of aesthetics. A large protrusion houses the camera's two AA batteries on the right side of the body and also provides a steady grip. The 2.5-inch LCD screen leaves enough room for an optical viewfinder, a convenient sliding mode switch, and several large, responsive buttons. While it won't slip as easily into a pocket as an ultracompact camera, and won't elicit any impressed gasps from your friends, the A590 IS simply feels comfortable to use.

As with previous PowerShot A-cameras, Canon built the A590 IS around a large, bright, flexible lens. The 35-to-140mm-equivalent, f/2.6-to-f/5.5 lens offers a slightly longer reach and wider aperture than the 3x, f/2.8 lenses found in most compact cameras. It incorporates Canon's Optical Image Stabilization system, which shifts lens elements to help reduce image shake. The camera can also accept conversion lenses with an optional adapter that fits over the base of the original lens. Unfortunately, the adapter retails for about $25, and conversion lenses retail for $100 or more, so outfitting your A590 IS with wide and/or telephoto conversion lenses can cost almost as much as the camera itself.

Skilled photographers will appreciate the camera's myriad controls and options. Like other PowerShot A-series cameras, it offers program, aperture priority, shutter priority, and full-manual exposure control modes. Of course, if you don't want to use any of those features, you can still shoot in the automatic mode, or with the camera's several scene presets. Finally, the camera adds a new "Easy" mode, which further simplifies and automates the interface.

  • Nikon D7200

    Starting at: $996.95

    It's a lot like its predecessor, but for the most part, that's okay.

  • Nikon D500

    Starting at: $1,599.00

    Fast and flexible, the Nikon D500 is one of the best dSLRs you can buy for under $2,000.

  • Sony Alpha A6000

    Starting at: $548.00

    Sony's follow-up to its NEX-6 laps the field with its 11fps burst and comfortable design.

  • Sony Alpha A7

    Starting at: $998.00

    This compact interchangeable-lens model is a great step-up from APS-C models, as long...

  • Nikon D3300

    Starting at: $369.00

    The company's latest entry-level model delivers the speed and photo quality you expect...

This week on CNET News

Discuss: Canon PowerShot A590 IS

Please log in to CNET to comment
Post Comment As...