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Canon PowerShot A640


Canon’s PowerShot A640 was announced in August 2006 alongside the PowerShot A630. Each model replaces the popular A620 and A610 models respectively and like their predecessors, share essentially the same specifications with resolution as the main difference.

Sporting 10 Megapixels, the A640 becomes the highest resolution PowerShot A-Series model so far, although the A630 follows close behind with 8 Megapixels. Beyond resolution, the A640 is bundled with a larger 32MB memory card compared to the 16MB of the A630, although both will need to be replaced with something much bigger straightaway. The A640 additionally allows remote capture through software control on a PC or Mac, a feature which is not supported on the A630. Finally, the A640 has a black finish, while the A630 is in silver.

Apart from the above though, both cameras are identical. They also share the same 4x zoom lens and virtually the same body shape as their predecessors, along with a decent level of both automatic and manual control.

The big difference between the new cameras and last year’s models, beyond higher resolution of course, is a larger 2.5in screen. Unlike several recent cameras which have sacrificed tilt and swivel capabilities for a larger screen though, we’re pleased to see Canon’s retained this flexibility on the new A640 / A630; indeed they now have the largest tilt and swivel screens on the market. The maximum sensitivity has also been increased from 400 to 800 ISO.

Click here for the Canon A640 video tour

So once again it’s a case of evolution with the new PowerShots delivering higher resolutions, faster ISOs and bigger screens than their predecessors. The previous models may have been ideal for beginners wanting to grow or enthusiasts wishing to compliment a DSLR, but the big question as always is whether the increased resolution really offers any benefit or worse, comes at the cost of compromised noise levels? We’ll reveal all in our full review of the Canon PowerShot A640 and compare it against key rivals. For an overview of its headline features, check out our Canon A640 video tour.

NEW: Canon PowerShot A640 vs A630 – Canon’s PowerShot A630 is a slightly cheaper version of the A640 with the main difference being 8 rather than 10 Megapixels. We tested both models side by side to compare their resolving power and noise levels – and you may be surprised by the result…

Testing notes

Following our convention of using default factory and best quality JPEG settings to test cameras unless otherwise stated, the A640 was set Large SuperFine quality, Auto White Balance, Evaluative Metering and with ‘My Colours’ switched off (the default setting for contrast, saturation and sharpening).

In this review we’ve tested the PowerShot A640. As stated above though, the A640 is identical to the A630 other than resolution, body colour, bundled memory and support for remote capture. As such any remarks on build quality, lens coverage, menus and features equally apply to the A630. Similarly most of the comments made about its predecessor, the A620, equally apply to its sister model, the A610.

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