Canon is gradually refreshing its PowerShot and IXUS series of digital cameras. Depending on the models, the updates include better optics, inclusion of image stabilization, new DIGIC V image processor, Full HD video recording, Wi-Fi connectivity, improved design, and more. The PowerShot A2300 and A2400 IS are updates to the A2200. Both the new models share the same specifications, the only difference being the A2400 IS features an optical image stabilizer, which is apparent from the suffix ‘IS’. We received a retail unit of the PowerShot A2400 IS for evaluation and here’s our take on it.
Easy to use
Design and Build Quality
The PowerShot A2300 and A2400 IS sport exactly the same design. Weighing in at 125 grams, they are lighter than the A2200 by 10 grams and also slimmer by a few millimetres. The A2400 IS is available in brown, silver, blue and pink body colours. The coloured portion is the metal face of the camera, which has a matte finish. The remainder of the shell is black and made of plastic. The overall build quality of the camera is very good.
The design of the control panel is kept simple to make operating the camera easy. The top has only the power button and the shutter release button with the zoom rocker around it. The control panel to the right of the 2.7-inch LCD comprises of a 5-way d-pad, playback and menu buttons and dedicated buttons for video recording and Help. The Help button takes you to a separate section which explains how and when to use certain features, such as ISO speed, continuous shooting, self-timer, movie shooting, EV and so on. Certain topics have shooting tips, such as using the flash even in backlit scenes or when there are shadows on people’s faces. The d-pad has hotkeys for focus modes (macro, normal and infinity), flash modes (auto, forced, slow sync and off), info display and Auto. Provision of shortcuts for self-timer and EV would have been very useful. The Auto button switches between the Auto mode and the last selected shooting mode.
16 MP point and shoot camera
A common mini USB port for transferring photos and AV output is housed under a flap on the side and the package includes an AV cable and a 4 GB SD card.
The A2400 IS is equipped with a 16 megapixel sensor and a lens with 5x optical zoom. The focal length at the widest end is 28 mm, which extends up to 140 mm. The aperture of F2.8 is acceptable for low light shooting, but with F6.9 at the farthest end, you’ll either need a very steady hand or the ISO will have to be boosted to get blur-free shots in low light conditions.
The shooting modes include standard modes, such as Portrait, Landscape, Snow and Fireworks, plus creative filters, such as Fish Eye effect, Miniature effect, Toy Camera effect, Monochrome, Super Vivid and Posterized effect, which give you leeway for creativity. The most advanced mode is Program which allows manually setting the EV, ISO, white balance and image size. Videos can be shot either at 640×480 at 30 fps or at 1280×720 (720p) at 25 fps. Unfortunately optical zoom is not supported while shooting videos, but you have the option to use digital zoom, which goes up to 4x.
The camera fared well in the ISO test. At up to ISO 400, the camera handles noise extremely well after which the image quality deteriorates significantly, due to graininess and slight deviation in colour and contrast. ISO 800 and 1600 should be considered as a last resort to get steady shots in low light as the level of noise present is too high. However, it can be treated to some extent using noise removal filter in Adobe Photoshop or LightRoom. When resized to 40 percent or lower for sharing on social networking websites or online photo galleries, images shot at high ISO speeds look fairly decent.
ISO sensitivity test
The overall performance of the A2400 IS is good. We liked the reproduction of colours and the overall exposure of the photos we shot both indoors and outdoors. The camera does stutter when you’re shooting subjects against very bright backgrounds. Such frames tend to have over-exposed regions and colour fringing along the borders of dark objects.
We also noticed the presence of compression artefacts in the form of grains, which impact details to some extent. However, it’s only visible when photos are viewed in original size or 100 percent zoom. When fitted to screen, they appear quite crisp. Macros can be shot from as close as 3 cm and the reproduction of details is very good.
5x optical zoom featured here
The Canon PowerShot A2400 IS is priced at 7,995 and its younger sibling without image stabilization, the A2300 costs 1,000 less. Unless you’re restricted by budget, it’s wiser to go in for the A2400 IS because image stabilization yields steady hand-held shots at low shutter speeds. Also, panning and movement while recording videos is a lot smoother with IS activated. Considering the feature set and the overall performance, the A2400 IS is good value for money.
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