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Canon A640 Operation

While the Canon A640's user interface may seem a little strange at first approach, it's easy to master. Things you set once (like sounds or instant review) are accessed by pressing the Menu button in the lower right corner. Settings that might change for a particular outing (like image size, ISO settings, etc.) are accessed by pressing the Function button in the center of the navigator. Options you might change from shot to shot have their own buttons, like EV, Flash mode, Macro mode. The left and right arrow buttons are reserved for changing the value of a setting. There's a Mode switch to toggle Record and Playback and a Mode dial to select among Record modes. It's very efficient, once you learn your way around. Give yourself an hour to do that and you'll be fine without the manual.

Record Mode LCD Display: In Record mode, the Canon A640's LCD reports various exposure settings, including camera modes, the resolution and quality settings, number of available images, etc. Half-pressing the Shutter button reports the aperture and shutter speed settings, in all modes except Manual. (Aperture and shutter speed are displayed continuously in Manual mode, whether the Shutter button is pressed or not.) Pressing the Display button cycles through the available display modes, including the image with no information, the image with information, and no display at all. Through the settings menu, you can enable a gridline or 3:2 aspect ratio display guide.


Playback Mode LCD Display: In Playback mode, the LCD reports the image sequence number on the card, resolution and quality setting, file name, and the date and time of image capture. Pressing the Display button once calls up an enhanced information display, with a histogram for checking the exposure. A third press cancels the information overlay entirely. The Canon A640 remembers your preference, too. The telephoto side of the zoom toggle lets you zoom in on a portion of the image, while the wide-angle side backs you out again, and lets you step out to an index view of captured images, displayed as nine thumbnails at a time. Zooming out one step past the point at which the index display appears adds a jump bar to the bottom of the screen, letting you jump forward or back nine images at a time, rather than scrolling from each image to the next individually. (You can control the behavior of Jump mode by pressing the Jump button, or up arrow, and adjusting the settings.)

 

Canon A640 Modes and Menus

Record Mode: Pressing the Canon A640's Menu button in Record mode pulls up the following options (not all options are available in all modes):


Playback Mode: This mode lets you review captured images and movies on the memory card, as well as erase them, protect them, or tag them for printing and transfer. The traditional green Playback symbol denotes this mode on the Mode switch. Pressing the Menu button displays the following options:
Print Menu: This menu is available in Playback mode, simply by pressing the Menu button and selecting the Print tab. The bottom line of the display shows how many images are selected for printing and the print method that is active.
Setup Menu: This menu is available in all exposure modes, simply by pressing the Menu button and selecting the Setup tab.
My Camera Menu: This is the third menu tab on the menu screen, and appears in every mode.