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Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review

The Canon Powershot A4000 IS is a compact camera with an 8x optical zoom lens and a slim metal body available in a number of colours.

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Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review: Canon PowerShot A4000 IS

The Canon Powershot A4000 IS is a compact camera with a 16 megapixel sensor, 8x optical zoom lens and 3 inch screen on the back. It's available in a number of colours and features a metal body.

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Features

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review: Canon PowerShot A4000 IS

Key Features

  • 16 megapixel sensor
  • 8x optical zoom lens, equivalent to 28-224mm (in 35mm terms)
  • Optical image stabilisation
  • 3inch screen, 230k dots
  • Smart Auto (32 scenes)
  • Built in help button
  • 720p video with sound
  • ISO100 to ISO1600
  • 1cm macro mode
  • Available in blue, silver, red, and pink
Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review: Canon PowerShot A4000 IS

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Handling

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review: Canon PowerShot A4000 IS

- The camera fits easily into small pockets and has a two toned metal body. The camera also has dedicated video and help buttons. There is little front or rear grip so use of the hand-strap is recommended. The buttons felt a little small at times, but build quality feels good with a solid metal body.

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review: Canon PowerShot A4000 IS

Menus – The menus are well designed and easy to use with each section being colour coded. Pressing the Func button lets you choose what mode you want, then all the photo options are overlaid on the screen. Pressing the menu button brings you to the Record/Setup/Playback/Print menus. 

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Review: Canon PowerShot A4000 IS

Battery life - Battery life is rated at 175 shots according to CIPA standards, we managed to take 130 photos as well as 27 minutes of video before the battery went flat. If you like taking a lot of shots, then a spare battery is recommended.

Speed - We tested each camera's performance at focusing, shutter response, shot-to-shot time, continuous shooting etc. and have posted the results below. To test this we took 6 or more shots and calculated the average, so that consistent results were produced.

  Canon A4000 IS Panasonic TZ25
Shutter Response 0.05 <0.05
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response 0.4 0.15
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response 0.3 0.3
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo 2.0 1.6
Shot to Shot (without flash) 2.5 0.6
Shot to Shot with Flash 4.7 1.2
Continuous Shooting (JPEG) 0.5fps 10fps (4 shots)
Continuous AF Shooting (JPEG)
Continuous 3 megapixels
Continuous 2.5 megapixels
N/A 5fps (5 shots)
40fps (40 shots)
60fps (30 shots)
Continuous Shooting (with Flash) 2.8 2fps (5 shots, 3m)

Focus speed and shutter response is quick, however the other features tested are quite slow.

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Performance

Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review and product ratings.

Canon PowerShot A4000 IS Sample Photos

Sample Photos - The camera has good flash performance, although there is some red-eye visible. Colour is good, with good skin tones.

Canon PowerShot A4000 IS Lens test images

Lens test images - There is very little barrel and pincushion distortion, with no vignetting noticed. There was some purple fringing in the shot of the trees above and some chromatic abberation (CA) in the shots of Thoresby Hall at both wide and telephoto zoom. The macro mode lets you shoot with the subject roughly 1cm from the front of lens, it's also possible to zoom slightly to get even closer. Detail is good, particularly in the centre of the image. Exposure is very good, and colour is excellent.

Canon PowerShot A4000 IS ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - At ISO100 noise is visible but not excessive, with more being noticeable at ISO200. At ISO400 noise becomes much stronger with black and white dots appearing and at ISO800 detail and colour are lost. Again at ISO1600, detail is further lost, and this setting is best avoided. A low light scene mode is available that reduces the resolution and allows higher ISO settings, this can be useful in very poor light.

Canon PowerShot A4000 IS White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto white balance (AWB) produces warm results under tungsten light with the tungsten preset giving very good performance. AWB under fluorescent light gives very good results with the fluorescent preset producing good results. Under mixed light the AWB performs well with neutral results.

Canon PowerShot A4000 IS Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are a number of scene modes and creative modes, including low light, fish-eye, miniature, toy camera, monochrome, super vivid, poster effect, snow, fireworks, long shutter (up to 15 seconds), discreet, as well as live view control allowing you to change between dark/light, neutral/vivid and cool/warm. A panoramic mode isn't available.

Video - The camera records 720p videos with sound, but optical zoom is not available while recording. 

Value For Money

The Canon Powershot A4000 IS is available for £139, this makes it reasonable value for money - however alternatives are available for less, including the Olympus VR-340 with 10x zoom for £105, the Panasonic Lumix SZ1 with 10x zoom for £144, and the Olympus SH-21 with 12.5x zoom and Full HD video for £159. You'll also need to buy a memory card and a case or bag to keep your camera safe and protected - have a look at our complete guide to camera bags.

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Verdict

The Canon Powershot A4000 IS is a stylish compact camera, with an 8x optical zoom lens and image stabilisation packed into a very compact metal body.

The Canon Powershot A4000 IS' strengths lie in its image quality, with excellent colour, exposure, and good levels of detail. Macro performance is also very good for a compact camera. Although chromatic abberations and purple fringing can be seen in areas of high contrast.

However, it's in the finer details where the camera starts to disappoint, particularly as you can't use optical zoom on videos, it also lacks an automatic panoramic mode which is now the norm on a lot of cameras, the screen resolution is low at 230k dots, and generally there is very little to make this stand out compared to the competition.

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Pros

8x optical zoom lens
Compact metal body
Excellent macro mode
Excellent colour

Canon Powershot A4000 IS Cons

Optical zoom not available on videos
Lacks panoramic mode
Low resolution screen


Canon PowerShot A4000 IS Specifications

Max Aperturef/3 - f/5.9
35mm equivalent28mm - 224mm
Optical Zoom8x
Image Sensor
Pixels16Mp (Megapixels)
Pixels (W)4608
Pixels (H)3456
Sensor TypeCCD
Sensor Size1/2.3 inch
Sensor Size (width)No Data
Sensor Size (height)No Data
Aspect Ratio
  • 4:3
  • 16:9
LCD Monitor
LCD Monitor3in
Screen resolution230k
Touch ScreenNo
Min Focus1cm
Focusing modes
  • Autofocus
  • Face Detection
Exposure Control
Shutter speeds shortest1/2000sec
Shutter speeds longest15sec
Bulb modeNo Data
Exp modes
  • Program
  • Scene modes
  • Centre-weighted - Average
  • Multi Pattern
  • Spot
ISO sensitivity100 - 1600
White balance
  • Auto
  • Manual
  • Outdoors/Daylight
  • Cloudy
  • Incandescent
  • Fluorescent
Exposure Comp+/-2
Shooting Options
Continuous shooting0.8fps
Movie modeYes
Video Resolution
  • 1280x720 HD 720p
  • 640x480 VGA
Video FPS25
Stereo SoundNo
Optical Zoom with VideoNo
Other Features
Image StabilisationYes
Card Type
  • SD
  • SDHC
  • SDXC
File Type
  • JPG
Power Source
Battery TypeLithium-Ion
Battery Life (CIPA rating)175shots
Box Contents
Box ContentsNo Data

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Photographs taken using the Canon PowerShot A4000 IS

Shades of green..Branching OutMonarch Butterfly

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Dante1991 Avatar
10 Dec 2012 7:53PM
I want to correct you. Sorry,, but you haven't tried all the features correctly. As a matter of fact, there is optical zoom while recording. Smile the trick is, you have to set the zoom before you record. and then you have only digital zooming.
YoBellzaa Avatar
11 Dec 2012 8:18AM
We do say "while recording". Most cameras let you set it before, but not all do during, which is important to some users.

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