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
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 Handling
Handling - 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.
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.
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
Wide - Focus / Shutter Response
Full zoom - Focus / Shutter Response
Switch on Time to Taking a Photo
Shot to Shot (without flash)
Shot to Shot with Flash
Continuous Shooting (JPEG)
10fps (4 shots)
Continuous AF Shooting (JPEG) Continuous 3 megapixels
Continuous 2.5 megapixels
5fps (5 shots)
40fps (40 shots)
60fps (30 shots)
Continuous Shooting (with Flash)
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.
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
Canon Powershot A4000 IS Cons
Optical zoom not available on videos
Lacks panoramic mode
Low resolution screen
A super wide-angle zoom aimed primarily at landscape and architecture photographers with a more affordable price and a slightly wider range than the camera makers' own models...is there a catch? We aim to find out.
3 Aug 2009 11:34AM