"For the money, you'd have a hard time finding a better snapshot camera," says CNET's Will Greenwald, who calls the Canon PowerShot A470 one of the "best solid budget models," even though it isn't the prettiest and lacks flashy features. Likewise, Which? magazine awards the camera its Best Buy designation, and Consumer magazine recommends it. Compared to the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS, the A470 isn't nearly as pocket friendly: at 2.17 inches by 4.13 inches by 1.60 inches, its girth is wider than the chunky Canon PowerShot A1100 IS, although it only weighs a bit more. The design "leaves room for large, simple controls that even big thumbs can comfortably manipulate," says Greenwald. The most notable difference is the lack of an optical viewfinder and image stabilization for the smaller 3.4x zoom lens. And with 7.1 megapixels, it offers the lowest resolution, albeit its sensor is the same size (1/2.5 inches).
For the price, the Canon PowerShot A470 delivers plenty of features, including a Digic III processor equipped with red-eye correction and face and motion detection technology -- rare features for cameras in this price range, according to Greenwald. The 2.5-inch, 115,000-pixel LCD automatically changes orientation when snapping vertical shots, the 14 shooting settings have 10 special scene modes plus movie mode with sound, and the 400-shot battery life is nearly double that of other cameras in its class. However, this is strictly a point-and-shoot model; manual settings are absent. Even so, shooting performance excels, with high ratings for minimal shutter delay and good image quality. Stephanie Boozer of Imaging-Resource.com says "overall color is bright and vibrant, yet still natural," while a user at Amazon.com says picture quality is "better than you have a right to expect," given the price tag. But if you ask other owners, they'll say you get what you pay for. Several users at Amazon.com lament major mechanical breakdowns within the first year, such as the lens not retracting. Overall, such setbacks are few and far between. The A470 is "almost impossible to beat when looking for quality and affordability," say editors at Steves-Digicams.com.
CNET and Steves-Digicams.com provide the most detailed write-ups for the Canon PowerShot A470 IS, while the rigorous testing and easy-to-read charts at ConsumerReports.org, Which? magazine and Consumer magazine make for easy product comparison. User reviews at Amazon.com help to verify expert findings and to reveal problems with extended use.
Although the Canon PowerShot A470 doesn't place in CNET's top 10 budget digital cameras, it nonetheless earns a very good review rating. Editor Will Greenwald says the A470 isn't the prettiest and lacks flashy features, but he still considers it one of the best solid budget models.
Review: Canon PowerShot A470, Will Greenwald, March 19, 2008
Editors at StevesDigicams.com consider the Canon PowerShot A470 a great deal for an entry-level digital camera. In addition to its affordable price tag, the A470 is easy to use and produces excellent images, making it "almost impossible to beat when looking for quality and affordability."
Review: Canon PowerShot A470 IS, Editors of Steves-Digicams.com, Feb. 29, 2008
The Canon PowerShot A470 is the least expensive out of 16 compact models tested. Ratings are given for versatility, next shot delay, dynamic range and more.
Review: Digital Cameras, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
4. Which? magazine
The Canon PowerShot A470 nabs a Best Buy designation from the editors of Which? magazine. In tests, the camera earns high scores for shutter delay and flash, although the viewfinder and focusing abilities are average.
Review: Digital Cameras: Best Buys, Editors of Which? magazine
5. Consumer magazine
Consumer magazine recommends the Canon PowerShot A470, with the camera garnering respectable scores for ease of use, versatility and battery life. Setbacks include the lack of an optical viewfinder and less-than-stellar movie quality.
Review: Digital Cameras, Editors of Consumer magazine, Updated Feb. 26, 2009
Nearly 200 owners weigh in on the Canon PowerShot A470. The majority praises its ease of use and performance, and consider the A470 a great value. Several users cite mechanical problems within the first year of use, such as the "fatal lens error" that renders the camera useless.
Review: Canon PowerShot A470, Contributors to Amazon.com