Canon PowerShot A2000 IS
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The Canon PowerShot A2000 ($229) is an entry-level camera with a pretty nice point-and-shoot feature set. The A2000 features a 6X optical zoom, image stabilization, a 3-inch LCD display, face detection, and plenty of scene modes. It also comes in a slimmer, more attractive body than its predecessor, the PowerShot A720.
Here's a comparison between the two:
You take a few steps forward on the A2000 (larger/sharper screen, better battery life, redeye removal), but take even more back compared to the A720. The A2000's lens is slower, there are fewer manual controls, the optical viewfinder is gone, and conversion lenses are not supported.
Is the PowerShot A2000 IS a good choice for an entry-level, midzoom camera? Find out now in our review!
What's in the Box?
The PowerShot A2000 IS has an average bundle. Inside the box, you'll find:
Canon includes a 32MB Secure Digital card with the PowerShot A2000. That holds just six photos at the highest quality setting, so you'll want to buy a larger memory card right away. The A2000 supports a myriad of memory card formats, including SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus, and HC MMCplus. I'd suggest sticking with SD and SDHC, and I recommend getting a 2GB card to start with. While buying a high speed memory card doesn't hurt, you certainly don't need to go overboard.
Like all the cameras in the PowerShot A-series, the A2000 uses AA batteries for power. You'll find two alkaline batteries in the box, which will quickly find their way into your recycling bin. I suggest buying a set or two of NiMH rechargeable batteries (2500 mAh is good) plus a fast charger. You'll save money, and the environment. Here's how the A2000 compares to other cameras in its class in terms of battery life:
As you can see, the PowerShot A2000 wins the battery life competition fairly easily. It, along with the Panasonic LZ10, are the only two cameras that use AA batteries. The Kodak Z1085 can use lithium AA and CR-V3 batteries, neither of which are rechargeable. As you know, I'm a fan of cameras that use AAs, as they're cheaper than their proprietary counterparts, and you can buy regular alkaline batteries in emergencies.
The PowerShot A2000 IS has a built-in lens cover, so there's no clunky lens cap to deal with.
The A2000 is a bit of a departure from previous A-series models, in that it doesn't support many accessories. And that's a disappointment to this long-time A-series fan. Here's what is available:
If you go back and look at my PowerShot A720 review, you'll see just how much things have changed in the accessories department -- and not for the better.
CameraWindow in Mac OS X
Canon includes version 35 of their Digital Camera Solution Disk with the PowerShot A2000 IS. The first part of the Browser software that you'll probably encounter is Camera Window (pictured above), which is used to download photos from your camera.
ImageBrowser in Mac OS X
Once that's done you'll find yourself in either ImageBrowser or ZoomBrowser, which are for Mac and Windows, respectively. The Browser software lets you view, organize, e-mail, and print your photos. If you categorized any photos on the camera (more on this later), then this information is transferred into the Browser software.
ImageBrowser edit window in Mac OS X
Double-click on a thumbnail and you'll bring up the edit window. Editing functions include trimming, redeye removal, and the ability to adjust levels, color, brightness, sharpness, and the tone curve. There's also an auto adjustment option for those who want a quick fix.
PhotoStitch in Mac OS X
A separate program called PhotoStitch can combine photos you've taken side-by-side into a single panorama. While the A2000 lacks Canon's Stitch Assist function, if you line up your photos carefully, you should still be able to get some nice panoramas.
Canon includes a good-sized, printed manual with the PowerShot A2000 IS. It seems a bit more user friendly than previous manuals, with a handy "What Do You Want to Do?" section at the beginning, to quickly guide you to the camera's most important functions. There's still some fine print here and there, but it does seem better than it used to be. Manuals covering software installation and direct printing (via PictBridge) are also included.
Look and Feel
The PowerShot A2000 IS has a much sleeker look than its predecessor, the A720. It no longer has the protruding grip of that camera, though it results in a camera that's more difficult to hold. Despite being made entirely of plastic, the A2000 is well put together, with sturdy doors and a metal tripod mount. Ergonomics are pretty good overall, though I found that my thumb often ended up resting on the LCD display, thus leaving fingerprints. The button layout is a bit cluttered, as well.
Unlike its little brother -- the PowerShot A1000 -- the A2000 IS comes in just one color scheme. I rather like the two-toned gray look, don't you?
Okay, here's how the A2000 compares to similar cameras in terms of size and weight: