Canon A580 Review

 
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Canon A580 Performance


Timing and Performance

Good to average speed for a consumer camera.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

1.4 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy.

Shutdown

1.6 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

1 second
(1 second buffer clearing after Large/Super-Fine 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.

About average startup and shut down, good buffer clearing.

 

Mode switching

Play to Record,
first shot

1.2 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

1.0 second

Time to display a Large/Super-Fine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

1.3 seconds

Time to display a Large/Super-Fine file already on the memory card.

Better than average.

 

Shutter response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.76 second

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

Full Autofocus Tele

1.02 seconds

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

Full Autofocus with Flash

2.09 seconds

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, flash enabled.

Prefocused

0.057 second

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

Shutter response is about average at both wide angle and telephoto. Enabling the flash adds quite a bit of delay. "Prefocus" time (half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure) is quite good.

 

Cycle time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large/Super-Fine JPEG
1.95 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
Large/Fine JPEG
1.65 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640x480 Normal JPEG

1.64 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don'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/Super-Fine JPEG

0.98 second (1.03 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
0.5 second to clear

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

Continuous mode
Large/Fine JPEG

0.82 second (1.21 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
0.5 second to clear

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

Continuous mode
640x480 Normal JPEG

0.70 second (1.44 frames per second);
20+ frames total;
0.3 second to clear

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

Flash recycling

10.82 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*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. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are about average, at about 1.95 seconds for Large/Super-Fine JPEGs, though the camera does capture frames continuously at this rate. (That is, given a fast enough memory card, it doesn't have to pause every few frames to wait for the card to catch up.) The PowerShot A580 is just a little sluggish in its Continuous modes, capturing Large/Super-Fine JPEGs at 1.03 frames per second, though it also captures continuously at this rate. This increases to 1.21 frames per second for large/fine JPEGs, and 1.44 frames per second for small/normal JPEGs. The flash takes 10.82 seconds to recharge after a full-power shot, which is on the slow side.

 

Download speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

3,743 KBytes/sec

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

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are very good.


Bottom line, the Canon PowerShot A580 won't be a good choice for sporting events or very fast-paced action, but is responsive enough for most family photo opportunities.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Very good battery life with NiMH rechargeables.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
AA Alkaline Batteries,
(CIPA standard)
200
AA NiMH Rechargeable Batteries,
(CIPA standard)
500

The Canon PowerShot A580 uses two AA-type batteries for power, and ships with a set of ordinary alkaline cells. 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 Canon PowerShot A580 accepts SDHC/SD/MMC memory cards, and includes a 32MB starter card.

Image Capacity with
32MB Starter Card
Super-Fine Fine Normal
3,264 x 2,448
Images
8
14
29
File Size
3.7 MB
2.2 MB
1.1 MB
2,592 x 1,944
Images
11
21
41
File Size
2.7 MB
1.5 MB
762 KB
2,048 x 1,536
Images
18
33
65
File Size
1.7 MB
966 KB
491 KB
1,600 x 1,200
Images
29
52
99
File Size
1.1 MB
610 KB
322 KB
640 x 480
Images
111
171
269
File Size
288 KB
186 KB
119 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC or SD memory card at least a 1GB card, preferably a 4GB one, to give yourself extra space for extended outings and video. (Check the shopping link above, cards are really cheap these days, so no reason to skimp.)

 

Canon A580

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