Canon PowerShot A640

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.

Editors' Rating
  • Design 8.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 6.0
  • Image quality 7.0
7.6 Overall

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Design
8
8
9
7
8
Features
8
9
8
8
8
Performance
6
7
8
6
7
Image quality
7
8
8
5
8

Review

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.

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Specs / Prices

  • Brand Canon
  • Digital Camera Type compact
  • Weight 8.64 oz
  • Sensor Resolution 10 pixels
  • Optical Sensor Size (metric) 14.1 mm (1/1.8")
  • Optical Sensor Type CCD
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