Canon PowerShot A630 

This is probably just too big to fit in most pockets but the lack of a case is not vital as the lens is covered and the screen is capable of being rotated 180 degrees as with a lot of camcorders.
Canon A630 Digital Camera

The Canon PowerShot A630 is 11.5x6.5x5cm and weights around 350grams. This is an 8mega pixel unit with 4x optical zoom. The SD card supplied is only 16MB (down probably to pressure from retailers) but I was very surprised to find it comes only standard with (4) AA batteries.

The TFT screen is all but 5x4cm and is described as a 2.5 inch LCD. The lens is 7.3-29.2mm giving the 4x optical.

Doing a quick 360 degree tour of the camera finds the front with the outlet for the viewfinder, the flash and the lens. The top has the shutter release with the wide-angle telephoto toggle as well as the on/off button and the twelve position wheel for all the shooting modes etc. The right side has a rubber bung covering DC input, AV out and Digital connectors. The left side has nothing and the base has the battery and SD card compartment and standard tripod anchor point.

This leaves the back, centrally mounted at the top is the viewfinder, below this is the 2.5 inch LCD display and to the right of this four buttons a slider to move between taking and viewing images and a five position wheel to control the camera.

I say the TFT can be rotated by 180degrees but it is actually 270degrees meaning some images can be taken around corners, the camera obviously needs to be looking at the object but you can be 90 degrees off pitch.

Images can be 3264x2448, 2592x1944, 2048x1536, 1600x1200 and 640x480 with the addition of postcard also 1600x1200 and widescreen 3264x1832. There are also superfine, fine and normal compression modes. Not all compression modes are available for all sizes but 2048x1536 certainly gives a perfectly acceptable A4 image.

The first thing you will need is a decent sized SD card as the 16MB card supplied could take as few as 4,5,9,14,56,26 or 5 images using superfine compression in the size order given in the paragraph above. Fine mode would basically double the number of images.

I rarely get the chance to mention the various shooting modes so Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Colour Accent, Colour Swap, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets and Indoor are the ones supplied with this unit. As always they are an experts opinion of what certain settings should be for various conditions. Things like Fireworks you probably have to take their word for it as you probably do not come across them that often. However for other modes why not take the same shot with several modes - remember the order - and then when you can view them on a screen see which gets closest to what you were after.

As always the Auto mode does a good job for the novice user but the intermediate user will want to experiment just to see what can be got. I doubt that action scenes can really be taken with several modes but landscapes and buildings can give a very sound starting point.

I am really searching my memory and I doubt that I have ever looked at a poor or bad Canon camera this certainly would be a perfectly good buy, not - in my opinion - quite as good as the Canon Ixus800iS reviewed 9/8/06 that got the coveted 5x5 award but still a perfectly acceptable unit. 

Doing my searches found it at a best price of £124.99 from the first link below.

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