Canon PowerShot A4000 IS review

Canon's flagship A-series compact with 8x optical zoom

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  • Slim metal body
  • Simple to use
  • Good low ISO performance
  • 8x optical zoom


  • Slow shot-to-shot
  • Short battery life
  • No optical zoom for video
  • Poor in low light
  • Some rivals go wider/longer

The Canon PowerShot A4000 IS is a 16MP camera that sits at the top of Canon's A-series of affordable, beginner-level compacts. And It really is a compact camera: viewed from the front, the Canon A4000 is not much bigger than a credit card. It's only around 24mm deep too, but still manages to squeeze in an 8x optical zoom with an equivalent focal range of 28-224mm.

Coming from Canon's PowerShot line, the A4000 IS favours functionality over fashion - although you could be forgiven for missing that detail at first glance. The A4000's minimalist metal body certainly wouldn't look out of place in Canon's more stylish range of IXUS point-and-shooters.

Canon PowerShot A4000 IS

A 3-inch 230k-dot screen swallows up much of the rear of the Canon PowerShot A4000 IS, with a set of small control buttons dotted down its right-hand side. There are no dials here - just push-button controls - which could potentially make it slower to move between settings and make adjustments.

However, there is at least a one-touch movie button for instantly recording HD video. The Canon PowerShot A4000 IS shoots 720p at 25fps, with full-time Intelligent Image Stabilisation to help kill camera wobbles and keep footage smooth.

Canon PowerShot A4000 IS

Newcomers to digital photography will no doubt appreciate the level of hand-holding the Canon PowerShot A4000 IS offers. The Intelligent IS system automatically adjusts the optical Image Stabilizer between six different modes in order to reduce blur.

There's also a dedicated Help button, plus a Smart Auto exposure mode that analyses the scene you're shooting and selects one of 32 different camera set-ups accordingly.

Canon PowerShot A4000 IS at a glance
16.6MP (16MP effective) 1/2.3-inch CCD
Lens: 5.0-40.0mm f/3.0-5.9 (28-224mm equivalent)
LCD Screen: 230k dot, 3.0-inch TFT LCD
ISO range: ISO 100 - 1600
Dimensions: 95.3mm x 56.3mm x 24.3mm, 145g (including battery/memory card)

In a further nod to keeping it simple, the Canon A4000 IS comes with Live View Control. This mode doesn't dirty itself with talk of 'apertures' and 'white balance', but distills camera control into three simple on-screen sliders for brightness, colour and tone.

While it isn't exactly bristling with semi-automatic and manual exposure modes - Program mode is the closest you'll get - the Canon A4000 does at least enable you to set a custom White Balance and adjust exposure compensation up to +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments.

Canon PowerShot A4000 IS

Elsewhere, the Canon A4000 IS's Face Detection system can pick out 35 faces in a scene and adjust focus and exposure appropriately, while Face Detection White Balance automatically optimises the colour for accurate skin tones.

Further highlights on the compact camera - priced at £169 in the UK and $199.99 in the US - include a Macro mode that can focus as close as 1cm, and six creative modes. These include Miniature, Monochrome and retro Poster Effects that can be applied to HD movies as well as stills.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Green CompliantYes
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Wireless LANNo
Effective Camera Resolution16 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyPowerShot A
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom8x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesLive View, Self-timer, Face Detection, Continuous Shooting Mode, Orientation Sensor
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsMOV, MPEG-4
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityRoHS, WEEE, REACH, ENERGY STAR
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4608 x 3456
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height56.3 mm
Width95.3 mm
Depth24.3 mm
Product SeriesA
Focal Length5 mm to 40 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
External FlashNo
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelA4000 IS
Product NamePowerShot A4000 IS Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Exposure Control

Program AE

Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number6148B013AA
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Go wide or get 8x closer with a Canon quality 8x optical zoom lens, Intelligent IS and Smart Auto for great photos and HD movies. The compact PowerShot A4000 IS captures every moment with ease.

Package Contents
  • PowerShot A4000 IS Compact Camera
  • NB-11L Rechargeable Li-ion Battery
  • Charger
Limited Warranty1 Year