Canon PowerShot A530 review:

Canon PowerShot A530

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MSRP: $149.99
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CNET Editors' Rating

1 user review

The Good Robust controls and features; logical design.

The Bad Lackluster performance; noisy, high-ISO photos; awkward zoom switch.

The Bottom Line The Canon PowerShot A530 is a solid budget camera that could use a shot of adrenaline.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.8 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 6.0
  • Image quality 7.0

<p>Though the Canon PowerShot A530 is a modest 5-megapixel step down from its 6-megapixel sibling, the <span data-shortcode="link" data-link-text="PowerShot A540" data-asset-type="review" data-uuid="b24701cf-9d89-11e2-853d-0291187978f3" data-slug="canon-powershot-a540"></span>, it still has almost all of the same handy features. Unfortunately, it lacks the zippy performance and the large LCD that help elevate the A540 above the crowd.<br><br> The PowerShot A530's plastic body feels pretty solid and measures 3.6 by 2.5 by 1.7 inches. As on many not-quite-pocketable digital cameras, the AA batteries reside within a comfortable grip on the A530's right side. The camera's 1.8-inch LCD is smaller than most--far smaller than the 2.5-inch screen on the A540--with a low resolution of just 77,000 pixels. Fortunately, the tiny LCD leaves enough room for an optical viewfinder and a relatively comfortable button layout. You traverse the easy-to-navigate menu system with the big, circular D-pad; additional menu, display, print, and delete buttons encircle the main pad. A standard mode dial on the top of the camera sets the A530's various shot modes. The zoom works via a jog dial surrounding the shutter release; it can be a little bit awkward to operate, but the rest of the layout is pretty well done.<br><br> The Canon PowerShot A530 incorporates the same 35mm-to-140mm (35mm equivalent) 4X zoom lens as the A540--with the same slow maximum aperture of f/5.5 at the telephoto end. The combination of 1/2,000-second-to-15-second shutter speeds and sensitivity as high as ISO 800 gives you some latitude with low-light shooting, though the results may disappoint you. In addition to a useful selection of common scene presets, such as low-light, portrait, and sports, the A530 includes Canon's Color Swap and Color Accent modes. These allow you to isolate a specific color in each shot; the camera can then either change or maintain the color while converting the rest of the image to monochrome. The A530 can also record VGA movies at 30fps. <br><br> Speed is really the A530's weakness. After a start-up time of 2.1 seconds--pretty typical for cameras in this class--and a brisk 0.5-second shutter lag in good light, the lag increases to a full second with the lights turned low. The A530 requires a painful 2.8 seconds between nonflash shots and a full 6 seconds between shots with flash. Even its continuous shooting proved surprisingly slow, averaging about 1.8fps compared to the A540's 2.3fps. <br><br> Photos fared better, although here too the A530 had a few problems. At low ISO-sensitivity settings, the camera produced very strong images with little noise, accurate color and exposure, and a low incidence of chromatic aberration. By ISO 400, the noise became quite apparent; beyond that, photos reached the better-than-nothing stage.<br><br> The Canon PowerShot A530 is a decent, inexpensive digital camera that produces very pretty images in well-lit environments, and its various controls and features make it appealing to amateur photographers on a budget. However, if you can stretch your budget just a little farther, the A540 will reward you with better performance and a nice, big 2.5-inch LCD. <br><br><!-- perf chart --></p><div align="center"> <div style="width: 377px; text-align: left" class="u2"><b class="g4">Shooting speed</b><br>(Shorter bars indicate better performance)<br><table cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0" border="0"><tr><td><div style="background: #363; width: 8px; height: 8px"><img src="/b.gif" width="1" height="1" alt=""></div></td> <td><span class="a1">Typical shot-to-shot time</span></td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><div style="background: #696; width: 8px; height: 8px"><img src="/b.gif" width="1" height="1" alt=""></div></td> <td><span class="a1">Time to first shot</span></td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> <td><div style="background: #9C9; width: 8px; height: 8px"><img src="/b.gif" width="1" height="1" alt=""></div></td> <td><span class="a1">Shutter lag (typical)</span></td><td>&nbsp;&nbsp;</td> </tr></table></div> <div style="border: solid 1px #666; background: #FFF; width: 377px; text-align: left"> <div style="padding: 5px; background: #FFf"> <b class="u2"><span data-shortcode="link" data-link-text="Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3" data-asset-type="review" data-uuid="b24703bf-9d89-11e2-853d-0291187978f3" data-slug="panasonic-lumix-dmc-lz3"></span></b><br><div class="m1" style="background: #363; width: 280px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="w">2.6</b>&nbsp;</div> <div class="m1" style="background: #696; width: 312px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="w">2.9</b>&nbsp;</div> <div class="m1" style="background: #9C9; width: 108px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="b">1.0</b>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div style="padding: 5px; background: #FFF"> <b class="u2"><span data-shortcode="link" data-link-text="Fujifilm FinePix V10" data-asset-type="review" data-uuid="b2471ba9-9d89-11e2-853d-0291187978f3" data-slug="fujifilm-finepix-v10"></span></b><br><div class="m1" style="background: #363; width: 215px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="w">2.0</b>&nbsp;</div> <div class="m1" style="background: #696; width: 162px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="w">1.5</b>&nbsp;</div> <div class="m1" style="background: #9C9; width: 54px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="b">0.5</b>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div style="padding: 5px; background: #FFc"> <b class="u2"><span data-shortcode="link" data-link-text="Canon PowerShot A530" data-asset-type="review" data-uuid="b2470ab4-9d89-11e2-853d-0291187978f3" data-slug="canon-powershot-a530"></span></b><br><div class="m1" style="background: #363; width: 302px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="w">2.8</b>&nbsp;</div> <div class="m1" style="background: #696; width: 226px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="w">2.1</b>&nbsp;</div> <div class="m1" style="background: #9C9; width: 54px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="b">0.5</b>&nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div> <!-- /perf chart --> <div align="center"><div style="margin-top: 3px; width: 377px; text-align: left" class="u2"><i><b>Note:</b> Seconds</i></div></div> <br><br><!-- perf chart --><div align="center"> <div style="width: 377px; text-align: left" class="u2"><b class="g4">Typical continuous-shooting speed</b><br>(Longer bars indicate better performance)<br><table cellpadding="1" cellspacing="0" border="0"><tr></tr></table></div> <div style="border: solid 1px #666; background: #FFF; width: 377px; text-align: left"> <div style="padding: 5px; background: #FFF"> <b class="u2"><span data-shortcode="link" data-link-text="Panasonic Lumix DMC-LZ3" data-asset-type="review" data-uuid="b24703bf-9d89-11e2-853d-0291187978f3" data-slug="panasonic-lumix-dmc-lz3"></span></b><br><div class="m1" style="background: #363; width: 339px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="w">2.7</b>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div style="padding: 5px; background: #FFC"> <b class="u2"><span data-shortcode="link" data-link-text="Canon PowerShot A530" data-asset-type="review" data-uuid="b2470ab4-9d89-11e2-853d-0291187978f3" data-slug="canon-powershot-a530"></span></b><br><div class="m1" style="background: #363; width: 226px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="w">1.8</b>&nbsp;</div> </div> <div style="padding: 5px; background: #FFF"> <b class="u2"><span data-shortcode="link" data-link-text="Fujifilm FinePix V10" data-asset-type="review" data-uuid="b2471ba9-9d89-11e2-853d-0291187978f3" data-slug="fujifilm-finepix-v10"></span></b><br><div class="m1" style="background: #363; width: 138px; margin: 1px; padding: 1px; text-align: right"><b class="w">1.1</b>&nbsp;</div> </div> </div> </div> <!-- /perf chart --> <div align="center"><div style="margin-top: 3px; width: 377px; text-align: left" class="u2"><i><b>Note:</b> Frames per second</i></div></div>

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