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Canon PowerShot A2200 review: Canon PowerShot A2200

Canon PowerShot A2200

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Joshua Goldman
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Joshua Goldman

Senior Editor / Reviews

Joshua Goldman is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering laptops and the occasional action cam or drone and related accessories. He has been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 2000.

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7 min read

Editors' note: Several of the design, features, and shooting options are identical between the Canon PowerShot A2200 and the PowerShot A1200 we reviewed earlier, so readers of the earlier review may experience some déjà vu when reading the same sections below.

canon-powershot-a2200-digital-camera-compact-14-1-mpix-4-10-optical-zoom-silver.psd
7.0

Canon PowerShot A2200

The Good

The <b>Canon PowerShot A2200</b> is a simple, reliable, and affordable compact camera that produces nice photos and movie clips.

The Bad

The camera's shooting performance is slow.

The Bottom Line

The Canon PowerShot A2200 is a solid point-and-shoot for basic snapshot needs with just enough extras to make it worth its price.

The Canon PowerShot A2200 is basically filler in Canon's A-series PowerShot lineup. It's a step-down from the A3300 IS, getting a shorter lens, smaller LCD, and no optical image stabilization. (It's also lower resolution: 14 megapixels compared to the A3300's 16-megapixel resolution.) Below the A2200 is the A1200, which is basically a 12-megapixel version of the A2200. It has the same shooting options, LCD, and lens, but the A1200 has an optical viewfinder and AA batteries.

That's not to say the A2200 is a bad camera because it's not. It has a nice f2.8 28mm-equivalent wide-angle lens with a 4x zoom, captures 720 HD-resolution movie clips, and is smaller and lighter than the A1200 since it's powered by a rechargeable battery pack.

Like most cameras in its price range, though, the A2200 is slow, so I wouldn't recommend it for regularly shooting active kids and pets. But that's my main reservation with it, so if all you need is a reliable automatic snapshot camera keep reading.

Key specs Canon PowerShot A2200
Price (MSRP) $139.99
Dimensions (WHD) 3.7x2.3x0.9 inches
Weight (with battery and media) 4.8 ounces
Megapixels, image sensor size, type 14 megapixels, 1/2.3-inch CCD
LCD size, resolution/viewfinder 2.7-inch LCD, 230K dots/No
Lens (zoom, aperture, focal length) 4x, f2.8-5.9, 28-112mm (35mm equivalent)
File format (still/video) JPEG/H.264 (.MOV)
Highest resolution size (still/video) 4,320x3,240 pixels/ 1,280x720 at 30fps
Image stabilization type Digital
Battery type, CIPA rated life Lithium ion rechargeable, 280 shots
Battery charged in camera No
Storage media SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MMCplus Card, HC MMCplus Card
Bundled software ZoomBrowser EX 6.7/PhotoStitch 3.1 (Windows); CameraWindow DC 8.4 transfer utility; ImageBrowser 6.7/PhotoStitch 3.2 (Mac)

Photo quality is very good to excellent for snapshots. Fine detail and sharpness are very good up to ISO 200 (though a little sharpening with photo-editing software improves things). Photos get noticeably softer at ISO 400 because of heavier noise reduction. Pixel peepers will see there's image noise at all ISO sensitivities, but it's not visible at reduced sizes until you get to ISO 800. As long as you don't mind increased softness and noise--including faint yellow blotching--ISO 800 is usable for small prints and Web sharing. The camera's highest full-resolution sensitivity is ISO 1,600, and I'd stay clear of it unless you really need to take a low-light photo. On the other hand, because of consistent color at higher ISOs, the photos are better than from other cameras at this price; they just get slightly washed out at and above ISO 400.

There is slight barrel distortion at the wide end of the A2200's lens and maybe a hint of it with the lens in telephoto, too. Center sharpness is very good, and though it softens a touch as you move out, it was still remarkably consistent edge to edge and in the corners compared with other budget cameras I've tested. Also, there is little fringing in high-contrast areas of photos.

Color performance is excellent from the A2200--bright, vivid, and accurate. Exposure is also very good. Highlights will blow out on occasion. The auto white balance indoors is a little warm, but otherwise it's good and you can always take advantage of the presets or manual white balance if you're not happy with the results.

Video quality is on par with a basic HD pocket video camera; good enough for Web use and nondiscriminating TV viewing. Panning the camera will create judder that's typical of the video from most compact cameras and you'll notice motion trailing on fast-moving subjects. The zoom lens does not function while recording, but you do have a digital zoom; I suggest not using it as the results are not pleasant.

General shooting options Canon PowerShot A2200
ISO sensitivity (full resolution) Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1,600
White balance Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Recording modes Program, Live View Control, Auto, Easy, SCN, Creative Filters, Discreet, Movie
Focus modes Normal AF (Face, Tracking, Center), Macro, Infinity
Macro 1.2 inches to 1.6 feet (Wide)
Metering modes Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot
Color effects Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Custom (contrast, sharpness, and saturation)
Burst mode shot limit (full resolution) Unlimited continuous

Shooting modes are geared for point-and-shoot use, so no semimanual or full manual modes. The most control you get over settings is in Program mode, letting you select things like white balance, ISO, and metering. It's also the only mode with access to the camera's My Color options like Vivid and Sepia, as well as a Custom option with adjustments for contrast, sharpness, and saturation. On the other hand, you have the new Live View Control mode, which enables you to adjust brightness, color, and tone with onscreen sliders and see what the photo will look like as you make the changes.

If you just want to point and shoot, there's Canon's Smart Auto, which determines the appropriate settings based on the scene you're shooting. An Easy mode works similarly, but heavily limits settings. There's a new Discreet mode, too, that shuts off all sound and and lights so you can shoot without accidentally disturbing the subject or those around you.

The Scene mode has all the usual suspects: Portrait, Landscape, Kids & Pets, Low Light, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, and Long Shutter (exposure settings from 1 to 15 seconds). Oddly, there's no panorama option, which is a pretty popular option these days. Canon does include its Smart Shutter option in the Scene mode, though, providing a smile-activated shutter release and Wink and Face Detection self-timers. Wink allows you to set off the shutter simply by winking at the camera and with the Face Detection option the camera will wait until it detects a new face in front of the camera before it fires off a shot. Both work well. Also, since there is no optical image stabilization, there is a Blur Reduction mode that captures 3.5-megapixel photos using a high ISO sensitivity to keep shutter speed as fast as possible.

Canon's Creative Filters are now all located under a spot on the mode dial, where you can select Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Fish-eye Effect, and Miniature Effect. While some may find these to be a bit goofy, they can be a lot of fun to play with, if only to add some interest to what would otherwise be a boring shot. I particularly liked the results from the Toy Camera Effect, which has Standard, Warm, and Cool settings.

If you like to shoot close-ups, the A2200 can focus as close as 1.2 inches from a subject. The 14-megapixel resolution allows you to inspect fine details, but they're still a little soft and could use some sharpening with photo-editing software. Also, the f2.8 aperture is does create a shallow depth of field in macro, which can make for some nice photos.

Shooting performance is overall slow. From off to first shot takes 1.7 seconds. The wait between subsequent shots averaged 3.6 seconds; using the flash increase the wait to roughly 6 seconds. Shutter lag--the time from pressing the shutter release to capturing a photo--is 0.5 second in bright lighting and 1 second in low-light conditions. The continuous shooting speed is pretty slow, too, at 0.6 frames per second with focus and exposure set with the first shot. The performance might not be a problem if most of your photos are of stationary subjects. But if you're trying to capture active children and pets or sports, it'll be tricky to get the shot you want with this camera.

Canon has improved the fit and finish of the A-series cameras for 2011. For as inexpensive as the camera is and being made almost entirely of plastic, the A2200 still looks good. While not as slim as Canon's higher-end Elph cameras, the small rechargeable battery allows for a smaller, lightweight design. The 2.7-inch LCD is bright with good color, but you still may struggle to see it in direct sunlight.

The controls and menus are straightforward, too. The buttons are somewhat flat, but they're big and easy to press. The shooting mode dial on top makes changing modes quick and easy; you will need to dive into the menu system to access all of the shooting modes, however.

On the right side is a Mini-USB port for connecting to a computer as well as an AV output for an optional AV cable. The battery and SD memory card compartment is in the bottom of the camera behind sliding door; it doesn't lock so there's a chance it might pop open if the camera is left to bounce around a handbag or something. Along with slimming down the camera, the other big benefit to the rechargeable battery is shot life. On a single charge the A2200 can get up to 280 shots.

Conclusion The Canon PowerShot A2200 is a very good option for those just looking to take a good snapshot at a reasonable price. It's certainly easy to use and its auto mode is consistent. Canon didn't strip it of all shooting options, either, in case you want a camera to experiment with a bit. The big issue with it is shooting performance; it's a slow camera, which is typical at this price.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(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)  
Canon PowerShot A1200
2.4 
5.9 
3 
0.9 
0.5 
Nikon Coolpix L22
2.6 
4 
2.3 
1 
0.4 
Canon PowerShot A2200
1.7 
5.9 
3.6 
1 
0.5 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-S2100
2.3 
3.9 
2.1 
1 
0.6 

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

Find out more about how we test digital cameras.

canon-powershot-a2200-digital-camera-compact-14-1-mpix-4-10-optical-zoom-silver.psd
7.0

Canon PowerShot A2200

Score Breakdown

Design 7Features 7Performance 6Image quality 8