Canon PowerShot A640 and Canon PowerShot A630
The new Canon A640 and Canon A630 replace the A620 and A610 cameras, with 10 and 8 megapixels respectively. The other main improvement is a larger 2.5 inch LCD screen. The Canon A630 and Canon A640 will be available September 2006 for £269.00 (€389.99) and £329.00 (€479.99) RRP inc. VAT respectively.
UPDATE: I’ve now added some images from this morning’s UK press conference to the end of this article.
Canon UK Press Release
Canon today launches two PowerShot A-Series compact cameras with the highest resolution in the range to date - the 10.0 Megapixel Canon PowerShot A640 and 8.0 Megapixel Canon PowerShot A630. Replacing the highly popular PowerShot A610 and A620, both cameras feature a rotating 2.5” vari-angle LCD, 4x optical zoom lens and a vast array of creative shooting modes. “These two new cameras epitomize everything the A-Series stands for,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging Europe. “Combining user-friendly design with advanced functionality, they will appeal equally to novice users and serious photo enthusiasts.”
The PowerShot A640 and PowerShot A630 pack a number of advanced features into a remarkably compact space:
- 10.0 Megapixels (PowerShot A640) /8.0 Megapixels (PowerShot A630)
- 2.5” vari-angle LCD screen and real-image optical viewfinder
- 4x optical zoom
- DIGIC II, iSAPS, 9-Point AiAF, FlexiZone AF/AE
- Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom1
- 21 shooting modes
The 10.0 Megapixel (PowerShot A640) and 8.0 Megapixel (PowerShot A630) sensors allow for creative cropping while providing enough detail for large, high quality prints. A new Safety Zoom takes advantage of the cameras’ Megapixels to offer extra zoom magnification without affecting image quality – up to 16x zoom when shooting Small size images. Users can also activate the Digital Tele-Converter to add extra telephoto reach on all shots, similar to adding a tele-converter lens to the camera.
The 4x optical zoom lenses achieve a 35-140mm focal length (35mm equivalent) while allowing the cameras to maintain a compact size. The lens construction incorporates 8 elements in 7 groupings, including two aspherical elements to maximise sharpness across the whole image. With a maximum aperture range of f/2.8 (W) to f/4.1 (T), the lenses are remarkably bright at the telephoto end.
ISO 800 mode improves results when shooting in low light settings and enables flash-free photography indoors. The cameras’ High ISO Auto setting prioritises fast shutter speeds by automatically using the higher range of ISO sensitivities, reducing the risk of unwanted image blur.
Improved LCD and playback
A larger 2.5” vari-angle LCD screen enables accurate framing from unusual angles, such as those encountered when using the 1cm Macro mode. The enhanced user interface (UI) retains a selectable Grid Line display to assist with rule-of-thirds compositions, while users can also enable a new 3:2 ratio overlay during shooting to view the printable area for standard photo prints. Playback is enhanced with an overexposure warning feature, which indicates overexposed areas in captured images.
The PowerShot A640 and PowerShot A630 offer users a range of versatile features for creative photography. A choice of 21 shooting modes includes Program, Aperture priority, Shutter priority and full Manual modes for complete exposure control. A Second Curtain Sync function on both cameras allows for creative flash exposures, such as light trails. Artistic photo effects can be applied in-camera during and after shooting with My Colours.
Filming is also possible at a high standard – VGA quality movies can be captured with sound at a smooth 30 fps. The AV Out connection and supplied cable allows for full screen playback on a TV.
Full range of accessories
A comprehensive range of optional lenses and accessories includes Wide (0.7x) and Tele (1.75x) converter lenses. The optional High Power Flash offers further flexibility for night time photography, while an optional waterproof case allows full control at depths of up to 40 metres.
Availability and reader enquiries
The PowerShot A630 and PowerShot A640 will be available September 2006 for £269.00 (€389.99) and £329.00 (€479.99) RRP inc. VAT respectively.
The PowerShot A640 and PowerShot A630 feature a dedicated Print menu for quick access to direct print options. Full PictBridge support means users can print directly to any PictBridge compatible printer without the need for a PC. The cameras’ ID photo and movie stills features are also available when connected to a SELPHY compact photo printer such as the SELPHY CP730. A Print/Share button allows one-touch printing and easy uploads to Windows or Mac systems.
Additions to the PictBridge functionality include contact sheet printing with 35 images on one A4 page and 20 image index prints with shooting information, allowing the user to compare images with the settings used to take them.
Memory Card Support
In addition to SD and MMC memory cards, both cameras support the new SDHC format for storage capacities of 4GB and upwards. A 32MB memory card is supplied with the PowerShot A640 and a 16MB memory card is supplied with the PowerShot A630.
The camera’s menu system now features support for the Ukraine and Romania, bringing the total number of supported languages to 25.
The PowerShot A640 and PowerShot A630 come bundled with the following Canon Software:
- ZoomBrowser EX 5.7 (Windows), ImageBrowser 5.7 (Mac): For organising and editing images, movies and slideshows, or creating and printing digital photo albums.
- PhotoStitch 3.1: For creating panoramic photos from multiple images (Windows and Mac).
The bundled software supports Windows 98 SE, Me, 2000 (SP4), XP (SP1/2) and Macintosh OS X v10.2-v10.4. The PowerShot A640 and PowerShot A630 support PTP for driverless transfer to Windows XP and Mac OS X.
Purchasers of the cameras are eligible for membership of CANON iMAGE GATEWAY , 100MB of online ‘personal gallery’ space for sharing stills and video with family and friends.
- Conversion Lens Adapter (LA-DC58F)
- Wide-Converter 0.7x lens (WC-DC58N)
- Tele-Converter 1.75x lens (TC-DC58N)
- Battery Charger Kit (CBK4-300)
- High Power Flash (HF-DC1)
- Soft Case (DCC-300)
- Waterproof Case (WP-DC8)
- Waterproof Case Weights (WW-DC1)
- NiMH Batteries (NB4-300)
- AC Adapter Kit (ACK600)
Canon’s purpose-built DIGIC II (DIGital Imaging Core) image processor links all primary camera functions for maximum efficiency. DIGIC II processes signals at high speeds, resulting in outstanding responsiveness, rapid auto focus and extended continuous shooting ability. Advanced image processing algorithms deliver superb image detail and colour reproduction with accurate white balance and minimal noise. DIGIC II operates efficiently to extend battery life, for longer shooting on a single charge.
iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) automatically optimises key camera settings before every shot. Each scene is analysed and cross-referenced against Photographic Space – a vast in-camera library of photographic data. This enables the camera to make optimal adjustments to auto exposure, auto focus and auto white balance before image capture occurs.
Canon’s 9-point AiAF (Artificial Intelligence Auto Focus) automatically scans and selects subjects from a set of nine focusing areas across the scene. This ensures accurately focused images even when subjects are not in the centre of the frame.
FlexiZone AF/AE lets users manually select the focus point from almost any point in the frame by moving the auto focus window in the viewfinder. Exposure can be linked to the focus point to ensure that the chosen subject is accurately focused and the scene correctly exposed.
Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom
Similar to placing an accessory lens on the front of the camera, Canon’s Digital Tele-Converter adds a constant digital zoom to every shot (PowerShot A640: 1.4x /2.3x, PowerShot A630: 1.6x /2.0x). While optical converter lenses cause a reduction in aperture and consequently require a slower shutter speed, the Digital Tele-Converter maintains aperture size, reducing the risk of image blur.
Safety Zoom protects the image from interpolation at high levels of digital zoom, allowing users to extend zoom magnification without sacrificing image quality.
Level of Safety Zoom possible with various size images:
Large Medium 1 Medium 2 Medium 3, Postcard date Imprint Small
PowerShot A640 4.0x 4.0x 5.6x 9.1x 16x
PowerShot A630 4.0x 5.0x 6.4x 8.2x 16x