Canon PowerShot A540

  • Review
  • Specs
  • Images
  • User Reviews
  • Buy Now 2
Canon PowerShot A540
  • Canon PowerShot A540
  • Canon PowerShot A540
  • Canon PowerShot A540

Pros

  • Low chromatic aberration, Good noise performance, Strong colour reproduction

Cons

  • Some slight softness around edges

Bottom Line

Another great Canon advanced camera, the PowerShot A540 is a great choice for those looking to move up to more manual photography as it combines a strong feature set with great pictures.

Would you buy this?

  • Buy now (Selling at 2 stores)

  • 16gb + Battery + Canon Powershot S110 12.1 Mp D... 275.00
  • 32gb + Battery + Canon Powershot S110 12.1 Mp D... 309.99
See all prices

Sporting full manual features in a relatively compact and affordable bundle, Canon's PowerShot A540 is another strong entry into the advanced camera category. While it only has a six megapixel sensor, the pictures are still up to the usual Canon standard and those looking to take the next step with their photography should be pleased with this model.

Typically Canon cameras impress in our image tests, and the A540 was no exception. We ran our usual array of subjective trial shots and objective Imatest tests to see how this model stood up to the competition.

In our sharpness test, the A540 scored 1380, which is about what we expect from a six megapixel sensor. Our test shots exhibited good clarity with smooth edges and nice levels of detail. Some edges were a little soft, as seen in our motherboard test shot, but this won't be problematic at small magnifications. We wouldn't recommend this model if you're interested in more sizeable enlargements (say 8in x 10in or above), but as an entry level advanced camera we don't consider it a problem.

The clarity is also assisted by the camera's low chromatic aberration. Our software gave it a score of .71% in this area, which is an excellent result and far below what most, comparably priced models score. It was clearly reflected in our pictures which had minimal blurring towards the edges and almost no visible haloing.

In our colour tests, the A540 performed exceptionally, scoring 6.35. Anything below 7.0 is a brilliant result and indicates superior colour representation. As is common with consumer cameras, reds are slightly oversaturated, but aside from that most other colours are extremely accurate.

The excellent performance continued in our final test for image noise. Its score of .69% in this test at ISO 100 is a great result that is slightly better (lower) than the competition (most cameras score around 0.8-0.9%). Furthermore the noise scales quite well with higher ISO settings. Even at ISO 800 the pictures are perfectly usable. A fine grain is the only sign of the increased sensitivity. We'd be comfortable using them at small to medium magnifications.

As the A540 is an advanced camera, it has all the usual bells and whistles. There are aperture, shutter and program priority modes along with a manual mode, for those wanting to try their hand at more advanced shooting. Meanwhile there are 21 preset scene configurations for novice users, and they will also appreciate the 30 frame per second, 640 x 480 video mode. White balance can be set manually or using presets, and ISO sensitivities extend from 50 to 800.

There is a three frame per second burst mode, which is quite good for a camera at this price point, as well as Canon's nine point auto focus. Do note that we had mixed responses using the auto focus. Some of our test shots came out quite strongly under sharpened, with soft edges that detracted from their clarity, even at smaller magnifications. This wasn't a regular occurrence, but it did rear its head occasionally during testing.

It performed moderately during our speed tests. Its shutter speed of .05 of a second is up there with the fastest units on the market. However it exhibited a 1.8 second shot-to-shot time and a 1.8 second power-up time, both of which are more on par with competing units.

Aesthetically, the A540 follows the same trend as past PowerShot models. It is quite compact for an advanced camera, although the shape is still fairly chunky and it sports the trademark silver colour scheme and jutting right hand grip. It is fairly heavy for its size, weighing in at 180g, and it feels quite sturdy. The controls are comprised of the typical combination of a function wheel on top and a directional pad with buttons scattered around next to the 2.5in display. The function wheel is a little stiffly, making it difficult to rotate, but this is a minor concern.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Be the first to comment.

Post new comment

Users posting comments agree to the PC World comments policy.

Login or register to link comments to your user profile, or you may also post a comment without being logged in.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?