Canon A430 Review

 
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Canon A430 Operation

While the Canon A430's user interface may seem slightly cryptic at first, it's actually quite efficient. Pick an exposure mode, press the Menu button to modify it, navigate to the setting and use the Function Set button to make the change. The "Function" menu, which became standard on Canon digital camera models in the 2003 model year, is particularly nice. Combined with the instruction manual, the A430's user interface shouldn't take more than an hour to get comfortable with.

Record Mode LCD Display: In Record mode, the PowerShot A430's LCD reports various exposure settings, including camera modes, the resolution and quality settings, number of available images, ISO, white balance, photo effect, etc. Pressing the Display button cycles through the available display modes, including the image with information, no display at all, and the image only. You can add a grid overlay via a menu item.

Playback Mode LCD Display: In Playback mode, the LCD reports the file number, image series number, resolution and quality setting, and the date and time of image capture. Pressing the Display button once pulls up an enhanced information display, showing mode, EV, white balance, and flash settings but no histogram. A third press cancels the information overlay entirely. The telephoto side of the zoom toggle lets you zoom in on a portion of the image on the PowerShot A430, while the wide-angle side backs you out again.

Canon A430 Modes and Menus

Record Mode: Marked on the Mode switch with the red camera icon, this mode sets up the PowerShot A430 for capturing still and moving images. The following exposure modes are available:

  • Auto: The camera controls everything about the exposure, except for Flash and Macro modes, and image size and quality settings.
  • Manual (M): Provides some control over exposure via exposure compensation, ISO, white balance, and settings other than shutter speed or aperture.
  • Scene: Offers the following options:
    • Portrait: Uses a large aperture setting to blur the background while keeping the primary subject in sharp focus.
    • Night Snapshot: For snapshots of people against twilight or night backgrounds, this mode also reduces the effects of camera shake even without using a tripod.
    • Kids & Pets: Captures moving subjects without blurring them.
    • Indoor: Prevents camera shake while capturing natural color under fluorescent or tungsten lighting.
    • Foliage: Vivid capture of new growth, autumn leaves or blossoms.
    • Snow: Avoid blue tinge and underexposure of people against a snowy background.
    • Beach: Avoid underexposing people near water or sand where reflected sunlight is strong.
    • Fireworks: Optimizes camera settings to capture fireworks displays.
  • Movie: Provides the following options for recording up to three minutes of video with digital zoom but no audio capture.
    • Standard: 640 x 480 at 10 frames per second or 320 x 240 at 30 fps.
    • Compact: 160 x 120 at 15 fps.
    • Color Accent: 640 x 480 at 10 frames per second or 320 x 240 at 30 fps rendered in black and white except for one selected color.
    • Color Swap: 640 x 480 at 10 frames per second or 320 x 240 at 30 fps rendered with one selected color swapped for another.

Record Menu: Pressing the Menu button in Record mode pulls up the following options (not all options are available in all modes):

  • AiAF: Turns the AiAF system on or off. If on, the camera judges focus based on the subject's proximity to nine focus areas arrayed in the center of the image. If off, the camera bases focus on the very center of the frame.
  • Light Metering: Selects between Evaluative, Center-Weighted Average, or Spot metering options.
  • AF Assist Beam: Turns the AF Assist light on or off. If on, the light automatically illuminates in dark shooting conditions.
  • Digital Zoom: Turns the 3.2x variable digital zoom on or off.
  • Review: Turns the instant image review function on or off, with available image display times from three to 10 seconds in one second steps.
  • Grid Lines: Turns display of a set of grid lines on or off to help align and compose images.
  • Date Stamp: Specifies whether the date and time are overlaid on the image. (Only available in Postcard mode.)

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 on the PowerShot A430 displays the following options:

  • Auto Play: Automatically plays all captured images in a slide show.
  • Protect: Marks the current image for write-protection, or removes write-protection. Protected images cannot be deleted or manipulated, except through card formatting, which erases all files.
  • Rotate: Rotates the current image 90 or 270 degrees clockwise.
  • Erase All: Erases all files on the memory card, except protected ones.
  • Sound Memo: Appends image with up to 60 seconds of audio.
  • Transfer Order: Marks images to be transferred to a computer later.

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.

  • Print: Sends images tagged for printing to the printer.
  • Select Images & Quantity: Allows you select images for printing and set the number of prints for each image selected.
  • Select All Images: Selects all images on the memory card for printing.
  • Clear All Selections: Clears all print selections.
  • Print Settings: Brings up a menu of these options:
    • Print Type: You can specify whether to print one image per page, an index of the images, or both.
    • Date: Set printing of the date and time on or off.
    • File No.: Set printing of the file number on or off.
    • Clear DPOF data: Set the option to clear the DPOF tag on or off.

Setup Menu: This menu is available in all exposure modes, simply by pressing the Menu button and selecting the Setup tab.

  • Mute: Turns the camera's sounds on or off.
  • Volume: Adjusts the speaker volume to one of five steps for Start-up, Operation, Self-timer, Shutter, and Playback sounds.
  • LCD Brightness: Adjusts the LCD's brightness to one of 15 steps.
  • Power Saving: Accesses the camera's Auto Power Down and Display Off settings. Power Down can be enabled or disabled, and Display Off can be set to 10 / 20 / 30 seconds, or 1 / 2 / 3 minutes.
  • Date/Time: Sets the camera's internal calendar and clock.
  • Format: Formats the SD/MMC card, erasing all files (even those marked for write-protection).
  • File Numbering: Resets file numbering with each new SD/MMC card or continues numbering in sequence, regardless of memory card.
  • Create Folder: Specifies whether to capture new images in a new folder or to create a new folder for new images after a certain time.
  • Auto Rotate: Specifies whether images appear vertically in the LCD monitor when the camera is held vertically.
  • Lens Retract: Specifies whether or not to retract the lens after one minute.
  • Language: Sets the camera's menu language to one of 23 choices. English is the default setting.
  • Video System: Designates the camera's video-out signal as NTSC or PAL.
  • Print Method: Specify either Auto or PictBridge as the print method.
  • Reset All: Resets camera settings to their default values.

 

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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.

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