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Freshly dipping your toes in the deep and expansive world of photography can be an exciting endeavor. But choosing the right device to properly baby-step into this new realm can be daunting. Most fresh new photographers go for the point-and-click variety of beginner cameras. If that’s where you choose to start, then Canon’s PowerShot A4000 IS 16-megapixel digital camera is a very fine device, through which beginners can effectively hone their craft. For more great cameras, check out this review of the best digital camera.
The Canon PowerShot A4000 IS is significantly compact, though not as discreet as its more expensive sister clicker – the Canon PowerShot Elph line of entry-level cameras. At 3-inches long and an inch thick, the PowerShot A4000 IS is quite portable. It fits nicely in my jeans or khaki pockets (though I suspect skinny jean wearers will be less fortunate). So transport via purse, tote bag, backpack, or laptop bag is all viable and handy.
I also enjoy the modestly showcase-worthy construction. The metal casing and solid compact-feel, set it apart from other less distinguished entry-level cameras. Moreover, the PowerShot A4000 IS comes in an assortment of colors including black, blue, pink, and silver… This one is a nice candy-apple red.
Related: Check out the Canon EOS 4000D review
In truth, the feature set for this one is rather modest. What’s notable is the 16-megapixel image sensor, which trumps that of the Nikon V1’s 10-megapixel capabilities. Other features include a 2-inch LCD touch-screen and its modest 230k dots screen, powerful 8x zoom, impressive optical image stabilizer for correcting undesirable shaky hands, 720p video recording, intuitive help button, and a 28mm wide-angle zoom lens. Again, the feature set isn’t amazing, but it is more than enough for a novice to feel accomplished with their point-and-shoot results.
In addition, that 8x zoom is a powerhouse. It blankets an area, equal to 35mm. Users can capture wide shots like several party goers, classroom photos, or those necessary wide shots needed to capture your young one’s entire sports team. It also works considerably well for retaining sharpness and clarity when zooming in from substantial distances.
Just press the On/Off at the top of the camera to begin your photo shoot. The unit boots to ready in 2.2 seconds. Pressing the green “Auto” button to the right of the LCD screen accesses the automatic shooting mode. This mode performed admirably for most of my shoots. Auto “determines scene and chooses optimal settings”. But you can also access the Live mode which is an “Easy picture adjustment to create desired effects.
Some sub-features of this range from cool to cute to completely unneeded. They are portrait-face self-timer, low light mode, the infamous fish-eye, miniature effects, monochrome, super vivid, fireworks, long shutter, discreet, and iFrame movie modes. The latter is handy for those looking to quickly format video for mobile devices such as iPhones. From the main Live and Auto modes, you can elect to use the built-in flash or leave it off when light is readily abundant. With the Smart AUTO modes that optimize image stabilization on the convenient rear 3.0-inch LCD display, the Powershot A4000 IS Digital Camera will save you many headaches trying to get those clear shots.
For more models that offer clear photos, check out the Canon 90d, Canon EOS 5Ds, and the Canon EOS 2000d.
The lack of more intricate hands-on controls paints a picture the beginner can easily digest and appreciate. Simplicity and efficacy in shooting are the orders of the day here. The Canon PowerShot A4000 IS serves up those orders nicely, with an extra large helping of eye candy.
Looking to try your hand in the little director’s chair? The PowerShot A4000 IS’s dedicated movie feature can shoot 720p HD video at 25fps. Not bad! But you can lower the video capture resolution to 640 x 480 and achieve a smoother 30 frames per second. Recording video is a synch. But the quality supersedes the simplicity. The results are sharp rich and very smooth, albeit for the modest 720p HD resolution, which is the same res you’d find on the Nikon Coolpix L340.
Related: Read the Canon PowerShot ELPH 190 review
As for speed. Canon understands its target market. The novice should have little concern for the speediest camera. Fast-moving objects require a speedy camera as well as some fine-tuning of options, lighting, and more. This is the technical minutia best saved for the savvy photographer. But what the PowerShot A4000 IS lacks in speed it makes up for in handy time options. The custom timer settings can be dialed in for a delay of up to 30sec for the first shot, giving you and your subject/s ample time to get in position and strike a pose. Each photo snapped after that initial delay is taken every 1-second.
As you’d find on the Nikon D3500, the color reproduction is vibrant and completely accurate to the naked eye. By mine, I would say the sharpness and clarity surpass that of the Nikon V1 for less than 1/4th the cost. Sure you don’t get the ability to swap other various powered lenses in and out, you can’t add aftermarket accessories such as flashes and flood lights (though you can attack tripods/stands) and there is no fancy GPS application embedded to tag your photos with location-based intel.
Refusing to be overshadowed by glitzy feature sets, the PowerShot A4000 IS is a handsome tool to sharpen your photography. It’s elegant and compact, a snap to function, and notably empowering to use–leaving the most uninitiated feeling skilled and accomplished with their photography. Note that the A4000 uses SD/SDHC/SDXC memory cards for storage.
The Bottom Line: The Canon PowerShot A4000 IS cuts out most of the fluff and grants the novice a powerful tool that skillfully thrust them into the world of accomplished photography.