Canon PowerShot A490 review

Canon surprises with this sub-£100 compact camera

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  • Good image quality
  • Well-made
  • Cheap!


  • Dull video mode
  • All-plastic
  • AA batteries double-edged sword

The PowerShot A490 is the latest budget compact camera from Canon, and it comes with a surprising twist.

It takes a lot for a digital camera to stand out these days. Things are particularly messy at the £200 mark, where a chokepoint of similar cameras compete for your cash.

And with megapixel counts stalling and new features thin on the ground, for once the most interesting developments are happening much further down the line.

canon powershot a490

Sub-£100 digital cameras have never been terribly tempting. Dodgy performance, poor images and no features to speak of have long meant that the only people buying cheap cameras were estate agents and people with the most cursory interest in taking pictures.

But the A490 offers a 10MP sensor and the same processing engine as some of Canon's top-end DSLRs.

canon powershot a490

And yet a bit of looking around reveals an astonishing price tag for a camera from one of the world's leading manufacturers - even shortly after its release it was selling for less than £70 from some top retailers.

Where's the catch?

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedAA
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Effective Camera Resolution10 Megapixel
Product FamilyPowerShot A
HD Movie ModeNo
Memory Card SupportedMMCplus, HC MMCplus, MultiMediaCard (MMC), Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Optical Zoom3.3x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesFace Detection
Screen Size6.4 cm (2.5")
Video FormatsMotion JPEG (AVI)
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)175 g
Maximum Image Resolution3648 x 2736
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height61.7 mm
Width93.5 mm
Depth30.6 mm
Product SeriesA
Focal Length6.60 mm to 21.60 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelA490
Product NamePowerShot A490 Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number4258B011
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

Affordable, easy and fun, the PowerShot A490 uses Canon know-how to let everyone take great 10 Megapixel photos. Its compact, lightweight design slips easily into any pocket. A 10.0 Megapixel sensor gives you the detail for superb, large-scale prints, or creatively cropping shots to perfection.

Package Contents
  • PowerShot A490 Compact Camera
  • 2 x AA Alkaline Batteries
Limited Warranty1 Year