The Good Lots of manual controls; flip-out LCD; accepts accessory lenses.
The Bad Noisy at ISO 800; no image stabilization.
The Bottom Line It's not great in low light, but the A640 has plenty of features photographers will love.
Canon PowerShot A640
With lots of manual settings and a reasonably low price tag, Canon's PowerShot A640 looks quite appealing. Though it lacks the flexibility of higher-end cameras and the stylish portability of more compact shooters, the 10-megapixel PowerShot A640 is a smart, full-featured camera with some surprising benefits.
The A640's most striking feature is its pivoting 2.5-inch LCD. You can flip and twist it to help frame odd-angled shots or fold it against the camera for a more traditional feel. It's a handy feature, as the screen can tilt up for shooting at chest level, tilt down for shooting over crowds, or even flip all the way around for taking self-portraits. Canon has equipped several of its cameras with this type of pivoting screen, including the A640's lower-end versions, the A630 and A620. The flip-out screen has also been seen in many of Canon's high-end, sub-SLR cameras such as the PowerShot G6 and S3 IS. Curiously, the latest iteration of the PowerShot G series, the G7, lacks the pivoting display. If the display isn't sufficient, the A640 also has a standard optical viewfinder for framing shots the old-fashioned way.
Besides its flip-out screen, the A640 looks like a fairly typical midsize point-and-shoot camera. At 1.7 inches thick and weighing 12 ounces, the A640 is a bit too bulky to just slide into a pocket, but it's perfect for a bag or a jacket. It runs on four AA batteries that fit into a grip on the right side of the camera, giving it a slightly more pronounced curve than most cameras of its shape. The controls are a standard but comfortably placed combination of mode dial, control pad, zoom rocker, and extraneous buttons. The various buttons feel reasonably responsive and easy to find with the thumb, though the tiny record/playback toggle switch's flat shape makes it awkward to manipulate.
The 12 best Black Friday camera deals we've found so far
Rather than dump every available Black Friday discount on you, we've hand-picked the seasonal deals we think are actually worth your money.
Get a Canon EOS Rebel T6 dSLR kit for $279.64
That's the lowest price to date on this widely loved model. It's a refurb, but a good-as-new refurb. Plus: Own "Logan" for just $6.
Get a GoPro Hero action camera for $63
Wait, what? Yep, it's the real deal -- but you'll have to wait a few weeks to get it, and there are more capable cameras for the same price.
Google Clips uses AI to capture life's spontaneous moments
The $249 smart camera brings together the best of AI, software and hardware, says Google.
Get a Canon EOS Rebel T6 dSLR kit for $344
Your phone's camera may be good, but it's nowhere near this good. This top-rated model would normally run you at least $100 more. Plus: a speaker that fits in your pocket and plays FM radio.
Monday mishmash: Great new deals, plus some updates and reruns
For example: the cheapest 1TB portable hard drive I've ever seen, and an unbeatable price on a lifetime of guided meditation.
Want to photograph rockstars? This $13K camera will let you
Leica releases a new special-edition camera as a tribute to late rock-n-roll photographer Jim Marshall.
GoPro has a new 360 VR camera that you can't have
The spherical camera, called Fusion, is small and wearable, but a lot of other details are a mystery.
GoPro will give you $100 for your old Hero, sort of
A new trade-up program lets you send in your old GoPro for money off a new Hero5 camera.
Nikon bails on advanced compacts and that's not good
Opinion: The company announced that it was dropping the attempt to produce its ill-fated series of enthusiast-targeted fixed-lens models and it doesn't sound like it plans to try again.
This crazy camera could be a boon to VR filmmakers
Researchers have found a way to build a 360-degree camera that's compact but shoots high-quality video. It could be just the thing for virtual reality.
GoPro lays off 200 people, shutters its aspiring media arm
The action-camera maker, struggling with weak sales, makes cuts to save more than $650 million in costs next year.