Reviewers have a hard time recommending any camera that costs near the $100 mark, but Canon's PowerShot A400-series has generally been an exception. The latest, the PowerShot A490, is seen as a worthy (if not revolutionary) upgrade to the well-liked PowerShot A480. The PowerShot A490 boasts a 10-megapixel sensor, a 4x optical zoom and 13 Smart Auto scene settings, which reviewers say allow even the rawest novices to take good-quality shots. However, critics caution that value and image quality come with significant catches. First, the PowerShot A490 is a slow shooter, especially when using the flash, since it recharges between shots. The camera also has a bulky, cheap-feeling casing and a small, mediocre LCD screen. New for this model generation, Canon also offers a more feature-rich variant of the silver-styled PowerShot A490, the PowerShot A495, which comes in red and blue, as well as silver.
We found the best reviews of the Canon PowerShot A490 at technology publications and photography enthusiast sites, including CNET, Steves-Digicams.com and TrustedReviews.com. All three look at the camera in the context of other low-budget cameras, especially its immediate predecessor, the PowerShot A480. Amazon.com also has a few user comments on the PowerShot A490.
Joshua Goldman says "photo quality from the A490 is excellent for the money and is actually better than some more expensive models." While he critiques the "pokey" performance and lack of features, Goldman adds that the Canon PowerShot A490 is a better value than other, slightly more expensive Canon models.
Review: Canon PowerShot A490, Joshua Goldman, March 22, 2010
Steves-Digicams.com gives the Canon PowerShot A490 a lengthy review, enthusiastically declaring that it's "a great entry-level model, perfect for someone looking for their first digital camera." Performance is described as sluggish, and the LCD screen attracts some criticism, but image quality is very good, all things considered.
Review: Canon Powershot A490 Review, Editors of Steves-Digicams.com, Feb. 22, 2010
Editor Cliff Smith calls the Canon PowerShot A490 a bit of a "throwback" -- its sparse feature set was more common in cameras five years ago. He concludes that it is a good budget camera (in a class with many models "that frankly aren't worth buying"), though he says you can get a better camera for not much more money.
Review: Canon PowerShot A490 Review, Cliff Smith, April 1, 2010
Just over a dozen users rate the Canon PowerShot A490. One owner compares it with the earlier PowerShot A480, and says that while build quality and price aren't as good, the new camera has more features.
Review: Canon PowerShot A490 10.0 MP Digital Camera with 3.3x Optical Zoom and 2.5-Inch LCD, Contributors to Amazon.com