Canon A560 Review

 
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Canon PowerShot A560 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to average 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

1.6 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens and stow in your pocket.

Buffer clearing time

2 seconds
(Large/SuperFine JPEG)

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

2.4 seconds

Time until first shot is captured

Record to play

1.7 seconds

Time to display a large/superfine file immediately after capture

Display
recorded image

0.7 second

Time to display a large/superfine file already on the memory card.

Shutter response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.44 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.79 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Prefocused

0.079 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large SuperFine JPEG
1.59 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 Normal JPEG

1.60 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras refuse to snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large SuperFine JPEG

0.74 second (1.35 frames per second);
1.5 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
640x480 Normal JPEG

0.60 second (1.65 frames per second);
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Flash recycling

10.5 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

2,677 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a Kingston Ultimate 133x SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode.

The Canon PowerShot A560's performance ranges from quite fast to just average, though its flash recycle time is quite slow, at 10.5 seconds. Shutter lag is very good at wide angle, about average at telephoto, and very fast when the camera is "prefocused" by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure. Shot-to-shot cycle times are on the good side of average, at about 1.36 seconds for large/superfine JPEGs, and the camera captures frames continuously at this rate with a fast enough memory card (no pause for buffer memory to empty). Continuous-mode speed is a tad slow at 1.35 frames/second, though again, the camera captures frames continuously at this rate until the card is full. Flash recycling time is definitely on the slow side of average at 10.5 seconds after a full-power shot. Connected to a computer, however, download speeds are very fast, so you won't feel a need for a separate card reader. Bottom line, the A560 is responsive enough for most family photo opportunities, but its standard continuous shooting mode may be a bit slow for sports or wiggly kids. Those issues aside, overall performance is pretty good.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Shorter battery life with standard AA alkaline cells, but much better life with NiMH rechargeables.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
AA alkaline batteries
Rear-panel LCD
140
AA alkaline batteries
Eye-level viewfinder
800
AA NIMH rechargeable cells
Rear-panel LCD
500
AA NIMH rechargeable cells
Eye-level viewfinder
1,200

The Canon PowerShot A560 uses two AA batteries for power, and a set of ordinary alkaline batteries are included with the camera. Though runtimes are increased with the NiMH batteries over alkalines, we strongly recommend you pick up a couple of sets of good-quality NiMH rechargeable batteries and a good-quality charger, as they'll save you many times their cost over the life of the camera.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on either a fresh set of disposable batteries or a fully-charged rechargeable battery as appropriate), based on CIPA battery-life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The A560 accepts SDHC/SD/MMC memory cards, and a 16MB card is included with the camera.

Image Capacity with
16MB Memory Card
SuperFine Fine Normal
3,072 x 2,304
Images
4 7 16
File Size
3.3 MB 2.0 MB 984 KB
2,592 x 1,944
Images
5 10 20
File Size
2.7 MB 1.5 MB 763 KB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
9 16 32
File Size
1.7 MB 966 KB 491 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

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC/SD memory card at least a 512 MB card, preferably a 1 GB or 2GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

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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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