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Canon PowerShot A810 Overview

Posted: 03/08/2012

The Canon PowerShot A810 is--at the time of writing (March 2012)--the cheapest of Canon's 2012 model year digital camera lineup. In fact, the only lower-cost camera in the line is last year's PowerShot A800. As such, the A810 is aimed at the photographer who wants the Canon name and reputation, but isn't willing to spend over the odds to get it. The A810 is near-identical to the A1300, with the only differences relating to the removal of the optical viewfinder. (The A810 is just ever so slightly lighter and smaller than its sibling, although you'd be hard-put to notice the difference even with both cameras in hand, and since there's no optical viewfinder you're reliant on the LCD for shooting.) Those changes let Canon sell the A810 for $10 less than the A1300, just missing the magic $100 mark with a pricetag around US$110.

Unfortunately, the A810 makes a tradeoff also present in the A1300, and its one that may be too much for many: there's no optical image stabilization, despite a relatively limited ISO sensitivity range and a fairly dim optical zoom lens.

The Canon A810's lens has a 35mm-equivalent focal range from a useful 28mm wide angle to a moderate 140mm telephoto. Maximum aperture falls from f/2.8 at wide angle to a decidedly dim f/6.9 at telephoto, and that will likely make the lack of stabilization a step too far for many purposes. There is, of course, digital image stabilization, but there's only so much to be saved by raising ISO sensitivity and noise levels in an attempt to raise your shutter speed and freeze motion.

Images and video are recorded using a 16 megapixel CCD image sensor. The ISO sensitivity range is fairly narrow, though, encompassing everything from ISO 100 to 1,600 equivalents. The maximum image dimensions are 4,608 x 3,456 pixels, and movies can be recorded at up to 1,280 x 720 pixel resolution, with a rate of 25 frames per second for high-def video, or 30 frames per second for standard-def.

On the rear panel of the Canon PowerShot A810 a 2.7-inch LCD panel with 230,000 dot resolution. That equates to about a QVGA (320 x 240 pixel) array, with each pixel comprised of separate red, green, and blue dots.

Images and movies are saved on Secure Digital cards, including the higher-capacity SDXC and SDHC types. Power comes courtesy of two AA batteries, and the A810 has a rated battery life of 500 shots, when using the 2,500mAh NB-3AH cells that come in packs of four under the NB4-300 model number. Connectivity includes USB 2.0 High Speed data, and a NTSC / PAL standard-def video output.

The Canon A810 ships from April 2012 in the US market, in three different colors: black, silver or red.