Conclusion: The Canon PowerShot A640 is the same nice camera you get with the A630. It has 10 megapixels, a rotating 2.5 inch LCD and full manual controls. The A640 has great battery life, a nice grip with easy one hand operation, very good performance, even a custom option on the mode dial and now, remote shooting via your PC. Then the A640 also shares the same quibbles as the very similar A630: low LCD resolution, no live histogram and a plastic tripod mount.
Pros: Excellent value for money, Long battery life with rechargeable batteries, Good ergonomics; custom option on mode dial, Large rotating LCD with good visibility, Full manual controls, Remote shooting via USB, Unlimited continuous shooting and great movie mode, Fast operation, Above average image quality with low noise
Cons: Low LCD resolution, No live histogram and plastic tripod mount, No movie focus or optical zoom, limited to 1 GB (about 8 minutes) per clip, Larger memory card and rechargeable batteries not included
Conclusion: Canon is one of the few companies still producing solid photographic feature-rich compact cameras like this, offering a genuine alternative for the serious photographer on a budget wanting SLR-level control. The A620 was one of the most capable 7MP cameras on the market, and offered perhaps the best 'bang for your buck' without requiring serious compromises in either performance or image quality. The A640 is, without a doubt, cast from the same mould.
Pros: Very good resolution, very clean results at lower ISO settings, Bright, but natural colors, Excellent handling, Decent edge-to-edge lens performance, Useful 35-140mm equiv. 4x zoom lens with decent F2.8-4.1 max aperture range, Reliable focus in most situations, Sophisticated and comprehensive range of features and controls, Superb build quality / construction, Very little purple fringing, Reliable flash exposure, Big vari-angle screen, Excellent battery life, Good mov...
Cons: Clipped highlights in bright, contrasty conditions (not helped by high default contrast), Focusing at tele end in low light can hunt, Zoom is not very smooth - only 7 steps from wide to tele, No ISO button - WB, drive, metering etc only accessible via menus, Flash recycling could be faster, Screen resolution a bit low, and can be difficult to see in bright direct sunlight, ISO 800 very noisy in low light (just usable for small prints)
Conclusion: Canon PowerShot A640 Conclusion I think that Canon's success with its digital camera range is set to continue thanks to the excellent quality of the Canon PowerShot A640. I really liked this camera when I tried it out. The handy format with good grip, and more importantly, the settings options gave me lots of freedom to take a successful picture. This camera certainly contributes to Canon's continuing success as a camera manufacturer.
Conclusion: The Canon PowerShot A640 is a great do-it-all compact digital camera. There's very little to find fault with, especially with the small price tag. The image quality is excellent for a compact, the size is a good compromise between pocket-sized and super-zoom cameras, and it's got modes and controls to meet almost any photographic need. The ISO 400 and ISO 800 image quality are good enough that most people won't miss having image stabilization.
Pros: Minimal shutter-lag, Great image quality, Usable ISO 800, Rotate and swivel LCD, Real manual exposure controls, Digital tele-converter, SDHC memory card compatibility, Great battery life, AA batteries
Cons: Get flash and exposure compensation buttons mixed up, Batteries fall out when accessing SD card, No image stabilization
Summary: Canon PowerShot A640 verdict
Like many new compacts this year, the PowerShot A640 is basically an enhanced version of an earlier model. Since its predecessor was the award-winning A620 though, this is no bad thing. Essentially Canon’s taken the A620, enlarged its screen to 2.5in, popped in a 10 Megapixel sensor and increased the maximum sensitivity to 800 ISO.
Taking each enhancement in turn, the bigger screen is welcome and puts it in line with other compacts.
Pros: Very high resolution images at low sensitivities, 4x optical zoom slightly longer than rivals, Large flip-out screen and optical viewfinder, Full manual controls and decent grip
Cons: Relatively large and heavy for a compact, Screen is low resolution for its size, No live histogram facility, Rechargeable batteries not included