Canon A530 Review

 
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Canon A530 Performance


Timing and Performance

Canon PowerShot A530 Timing
Overall good speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown
Power on
to first shot
1.5 seconds
Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy
Shutdown
1.9 seconds
How long it takes to retract lens
Buffer clearing time
~1 second
Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.
Mode switching
Play to Record,
first shot
1.5 seconds
Time until first shot is captured
Record to play
2.4 seconds
Time to display a large/fine file immediately after capture
Display
recorded image
1.2 second
Time to display a large/fine file already on the memory card.
Shutter response (Lag Time):
Full Autofocus Wide
0.73 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.
Full Autofocus Tele
0.88 second
Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.
Prefocused
0.066 second
Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.
Manual focus
0.37 second
For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused"
Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
1.62 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Single Shot mode
640x480 JPEG
1.59 seconds
Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots
Early shutter
penalty?
No
Some cameras won't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer
Continuous mode
Large Fine JPEG
0.46 second (2.15 frames per second);
buffer clears between shots
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Continuous mode
640x480 JPEG
0.47 second (2.14 frames per second);
buffer clears between shots
Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first
Flash recycling
9 seconds
Flash at maximum output
Download speed
Windows Computer, USB 2.0
1709 KBytes/sec
Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-770=USB 2.0 Low;
771-4000=USB 2.0 High

The Canon A530's performance is pretty good here, though in some cases it ranks among average. It starts up fairly quickly, but has an average shutter response with the lens at full wide angle, a little faster than average at telephoto. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure, results in a fast time of only 0.066 second. Shot to shot cycle times are a little above average, at about 1.62 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, and it can capture 20 shots or more this quickly. Continuous-mode speed is about average, at a bit over two frames/second, and the buffer clears between shots. The flash takes about nine seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, a little slower than average. Connected to a computer, download speeds are quite fast, so you shouldn't feel a need for a separate card reader. Bottom line, the Canon A530 is zippy enough for most family and travel shooting situations, and can easily handle most average action shots with its Continuous shooting mode.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Short battery life with the LCD on, very good when LCD is switched off.

Test Conditions
Number of Shots
AA alkaline batteries, LCD on
90
AA alkaline batteries, LCD off
600
AA NiMH rechargeable batteries, LCD on
360
AA NiMH rechargeable batteries, LCD off
1000

The Canon A530 uses two AA type batteries for power. The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of, based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions. Given the short run time with the LCD enabled (especially with alkaline cells), you should definitely consider purchasing a set of rechargeable batteries and keeping spares freshly charged and on hand for extended outings.

Storage
The Canon A530 accepts SD/MMC cards, and comes with a 16MB starter card.

Image Capacity with
16MB Memory Card
Fine Normal Basic
2,592 x 1,944 Images 5 10 20
File Size 2.7 MB 1.5 MB 762 KB
2,048 x 1,536 Images 9 16 32
File Size 1.7 MB 966 KB 500 KB
1,600 x 1,200 Images 14 26 49
File Size 1.1 MB 610 KB 322 KB
640 x 480
Images 55 85 134
File Size 288 KB 186 KB 119 KB

I strongly recommend buying at least a 256MB card for the Canon A530, preferably a 512MB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings.

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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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