Excerpt: Even if Canon A550 does not come with Image stabilization and no Exposure bracketing, it has a real-image zoom optical viewfinder, Pictbridge, USB 2.0 Hi-Speed Connectivity and A/V output (PAL/NTSC switchable). Furthermore, the performance of this robust and ergonomic compact digicam is impressing: responsive, easy to use, good metering and natural colour, sharp and noise free photos at low ISO, some noise at high ISO.
Excerpt: What do you look for in a budget camera? User-friendly interface for one, and most importantly good picture composition. Now here is a camera that doesn't complicate things for users. An apt entry-level camera is what it aims to be. We ran it through a thorough check. Let's analyze them. Design The make is similar to many of the other Canon cameras in the A-series. The A550 comes in an L-shaped body, which makes gripping the camera quite easy.
Excerpt: The PowerShot A550 ($199) is one of the entry-level cameras
Canon's A-series. Replacing the PowerShot A530 from last year, the A550 adds
a larger LCD (2.0" vs 1.8") and, naturally, more Megapixels. Other features
on the camera include a 4X optical zoom lens, point-and-shoot operation, a
VGA movie mode, and support for SDHC memory cards.
Pros: Very good photo quality, noise levels low through ISO 400 (in good light), Well built (for the most part) for the price, Very good performance, LCD visible in low light, Some manual controls, AF-assist lamp, good low light focusing, Good movie and continuous shooting modes (though see issue below), Impressive software bundle, Uses AA batteries; great battery life, USB 2.0 High Speed support
Cons: Some corner blurriness, Redeye remains a problem, Small, low resolution LCD, Can only record about 8 minutes of VGA video due to 1GB file size limit, Flimsy door over memory card / battery compartment; plastic tripod mount, Small memory card included
Summary: The PowerShot A550 is a very affordable 7.1 megapixel model with a 4x optical zoom lens and a 2.0-inch LCD screen. It features Canon's DIGIC II image processor for crisp, vibrant images, responsive performance, and low power consumption. Replacing last year's popular , this new model offers not only higher resolution and a bigger LCD screen, but also better battery life and compatibility with SDHC memory cards.
Conclusion: As prices fall and you can pick up digital cameras by named brands for around £70 this is one of the more expensive cameras towards the lower end of the market. In my opinion though the Canon Powershot A550 underlines the fact that if you are prepared to pay a bit more for your digital camera you will be well rewarded when it comes to picture quality. Recommended.
Pros: Picture quality, Indoor shots, Solid design, Value for money, Viewfinder
Cons: Shutter lag with flash on, Smallish LCD screen
Summary: Another great compact camera from Canon, the PowerShot A550 won't compare to some more high-end units, but considering the price tag and the features on offer, it's an excellent value-for-money product.
Pros: Great colour capture, Low price tag, 4x zoom, Fast operation, Sturdy design
Cons: Pictures perhaps not quite as sharp as they could have been
Summary: : The Canon Powershot A550 7.1 megapixel digital camera with a 4x optical zoom lens and a 2" display is not especially exciting, but it does its job well in a very wide range of situations. The camera has a good range (ISO 80-800) of ISO settings. It has excellent responsiveness and a good selection of manual options, and is capable of taking good photos.
Pros: Sharp screen shows the resulting photos with clarity., Good price, Quick and responsive., Useful options in manual mode., Excellent quality images from ISO 80 to 200., Good battery life and they're AA size., Optical Viewfinder.
Cons: Auto produces slightly overexposed photos., Highest ISO setting isn't necessarily useful., No panorama assist., AiAF not always reliable