Canon PowerShot A540
- Low chromatic aberration, Good noise performance, Strong colour reproduction
- Some slight softness around edges
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.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
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.
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 10 Pro Review: A solid winter flagship that cribs from the best
- 2 Google Pixel 2 review: not quite 'pixel perfect' but damn close
- 3 Huawei Nova 2i review: Flagship features get smuggled into the mid-tier
- 4 Moto X4 review: This is what a world without MotoMods looks like
- 5 Giabyte Aorus X9 Gaming Laptop review: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Panasonic Announces Compact, Lightweight ultra-telephoto LEICA Lens
- Panasonic announce still-shooter flagship G9
- Sony Announces Development of New G Master Super-Telephoto Full-Frame E-Mount Lens
- Sony Expands Full-frame E-mount lens lineup
- Sony’s New Full-Frame α7R III Interchangeable Lens Camera promises to delivers both resolution and speed
PCW Evaluation Team
Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.
The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.
The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.
The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic
I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.
It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.
- Huawei Mate 10 Pro review
- Dell Inspiron 5675 Gaming Desktop review
- Hands On: Our first impressions of Sony's a7R III
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
Product Launch Showcase
- FTProgram Director - ieMROther
- TPIT Sourcing SpecialistQLD
- FTBroker Support/ Applications SupportOther
- FTInfrastructure Migration EngineerOther
- FTStorage & Backup Engineer x2 - EMCOther
- FTSAP Data AnalystOther
- FTData AnalystOther
- FTBusiness Process Improvement SpecialistNSW
- FTMySQL Database Administrator- Meadowbank locationOther
- TPProject OfficerVIC
- TPJava DeveloperWA
- FTJunior Business AnalystACT
- FTSenior Business Analyst - WealthOther
- FTProject ManagerACT
- FTClient Delivery DirectorACT
- CCSystems Analyst / Consultant ? SAPQLD
- FTSenior Software EngineerOther
- CCAxway DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness Intelligence SpecialistNSW
- CCSenior RF Engineer - OptimisationVIC
- FTNetwork EngineerOther
- CCBusiness Improvement Specialist (Six Sigma Green belt) - Contract - North SydneyNSW
- FTJava Software Engineers wanted (Melbourne CBD location)VIC
- FTData ModellingACT
- CCData AnalystQLD