Although the utilitarian-looking Canon PowerShot A590 IS "won't elicit any gasps from friends," CNET's Will Greenwald adds that "Canon put substance over style when it designed the A590 IS, and in doing so it made a great camera." Reviews like the A590 IS for its features and value, and it nabs excellent ratings from a number of sources for its versatility. While on the bulky side -- 2.6 inches by 3.7 inches by 1.6 inches and weighing about 6.2 ounces -- the extra size affords plenty of real estate for roomy and responsive buttons along with a comfortable hand grip. "My aging eyes can see all of the buttons," says one Amazon.com user. Inside, the A590 IS is armed with a decent size 1/2.5-inch, 8-megapixel sensor. The 4x optical zoom lens covers more ground than the typical budget option and has a 35 mm to 140 mm focal range with optical image stabilization. Also on board is Canon's Digic III processor, which comes equipped with red-eye correction plus face detection technology that automatically adjusts focus, exposure, flash, white balance and ISO settings to enhance faces.
The Canon PowerShot A590 IS digital camera's functionality ranges from complete automatic to full manual. It's loaded with 19 programmed shooting modes -- seven of which are for special scenes like foliage, fireworks and aquariums -- movie capture with sound, and an optional lens converter. Its manual mode delivers aperture and shutter priority as well as exposure settings for tweaking white balance, ISO, color, contrast, sharpness and saturation. Shooting speeds are the one place the A590 IS digital camera stumbles. In Greenwald's tests, the power up to shoot time is 1.8 seconds and shot-to-shot 2.3 seconds. With flash, the wait is "an anguishing 5.2 seconds." As one Amazon user says, "The delay makes it a guessing game when attempting to stop action." However, reviews agree that image quality is worth the wait. Like other cameras in its class, the Canon PowerShot A590 IS digital camera suffers from image noise at ISO settings much above 200. Nevertheless, Greenwald says, "You'd be hard-pressed to find better pictures for the price."
CNET, PC World and Imaging-Resource.com provide the most thorough testing and detailed standalone write-ups of budget digital cameras, while ConsumerReports.org and Which? magazine conduct rigorous, comparative testing with easy-to-use rating charts. Rounding out our sources are user reviews from Amazon.com, which help to reveal problems with long-term use.
In rigorous product testing of more than 50 digital cameras, the Canon PowerShot A590 IS receives ratings for versatility, dynamic range, shutter speed and other key performance elements.
Review: Digital Cameras, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
CNET's Will Greenwald states, "Canon put substance over style when it designed the A590 IS, and in doing so it made a great camera." While shutter speeds fall short, image quality is "on par" with pricier cameras. "You'd be hard-pressed to find better pictures for the price," Greenwald says.
Review: Canon PowerShot A590 IS, Will Greenwald, March 3, 2008
3. PC World
Editor Alexa Wriggins sets out to see how well the Canon PowerShot A590 IS will compensate for her "lack of technical proficiency," and she finds that the fully automatic Easy Mode works straight out of the box. The A590 IS also affords plenty of manual features for more advanced shooters and great image quality to boot, earning it a Best Buy designation.
Review: Canon PowerShot A590 IS, Alexa Wriggins, Aug. 19, 2008
Reviewer Stephanie Boozer finds the Canon PowerShot A590 IS's preset shooting modes, along with the face and motion technology, to be well-equipped "for quick handling of common, yet tricky situations." Even though image quality suffers from noise at higher ISO settings, she deems the A590 IS "a classic bargain digital camera."
Review: Canon PowerShot A590 IS, Stephanie Boozer, Aug. 13, 2008
5. Which? magazine
Which? magazine, Great Britain's version of ConsumerReports.org, gives the Canon PowerShot A590 IS a Best Buy designation. Although the magazine does not provide discussion about the A590 IS, the camera scores well in tests for shutter delay and flash. On the other hand, the viewfinder, monitor and focusing abilities earn average ratings.
Review: Digital Cameras: Best Buys, Editors of Which? magazine
With more than 800 owners sharing their experiences with the Canon PowerShot A590 IS, the majority praise its versatility, breadth of features, image quality and value. Complaints include image noise, poor battery life and shutter delay. "The delay makes it a guessing game when attempting to stop action," says one owner.
Review: Canon PowerShot A590 IS, Contributors to Amazon.com