PowerShot A75 is an updated version of the immensely popular
PowerShot A70 from last year (see
our review). The differences between the A70 and A75 aren't
earthshaking, but they're still nice. The A75 adds the following
higher resolution LCD display
imprinting on photos
its predecessor, the A75 is a 3.2 Megapixel camera with a 3X
optical zoom, full manual controls, support for conversion lenses,
and more. It's now available for $299.
learn more about the A75 in our review! Do note that since the
cameras are so similar, I will be reusing parts of the A70 review
in the Box?
PowerShot A75 has an above average bundle. Inside the box, you'll
3.2 effective Megapixel Canon PowerShot A75 camera
AA alkaline batteries
featuring Canon Digital Camera Solutions, ArcSoft Camera Suite,
page camera manual + software manual (both printed)
the A70 included a 16MB memory card, the A75 includes a 32MB
card. And a high speed one at that. Not that it really matters,
as the camera doesn't really take advantage of it. Based on my
tests of other Canon high speed cards, it would probably be rated
as an "8X" speed card. Anyhow, the 32MB is a good size
to start with, but you'll want to get a larger card right away.
I'd say that 128MB is the minimum size you should consider. The
A75 uses Type I CompactFlash cards, which come in sizes of up
it comes to batteries, Canon leaves it up to you. The A75 includes
four AA non-rechargeable alkaline batteries in the box, which
won't last long and end up in the trash (or better yet, the recycling
bin). My recommendation is to buy two or more sets of NiMH rechargeables
(2100 mAh or better), plus a charger, which will last longer
and will be more economical too. Canon estimates that you can
take about 850 photos (with 50% LCD use), or spend 6 hours in
playback mode, per charge (using Canon's 2300 mAh batteries).
That's pretty darn good.
A75 has a built-in lens cover. It's a fairly small camera --
it's not Digital ELPH-sized, though.
PowerShot A75 has a lot of accessories considering its price.
If the 35 - 105 mm lens just doesn't cover enough range for you,
Canon offers three conversion lenses. The WC-DC52 ($90) brings
the wide end of the lens down to 26.6 mm. If you need more telephoto
power, the TC-DC52 ($99) bumps the tele end up to 252 mm. For
macro shots, consider the 250D close-up lens, which lets you
get even closer to your subject (especially at the tele end).
All three of these lenses require you to buy the LA-DC52C conversion
lens adapter ($19). This adapter also lets you attach any 52
you're into scuba diving, the WP-DC30 underwater case ($180)
is pretty neat. With it, you can take the A75 up to 40 meters
accessories include an AC adapter ($55), NiMH battery kit with
four 2300 mAh cells and a charger ($50 -- buy elsewhere to save
$$), and a soft case ($9).
A75 supports direct printing to most Canon printers, or to any
PictBridge-enabled photo printer.
ImageBrowser (Mac OS X)
ZoomBrowser (Windows XP)
is now up to version 16.1 of their excellent Digital Camera Solutions
software. Included in this package are ZoomBrowser (for Windows)
or ImageBrowser (for Mac), PhotoStitch (for making panoramic
photos), plus TWAIN and WIA drivers for Windows. Zoom/ImageBrowser
can be used for downloading images from your camera, basic editing
of your photos, and photo printing.
(Mac OS X)
built-in to the "Browser" software is RemoteCapture,
which you can use to control your camera over the USB connection.
Images are saved directly to your computer.
5 (Mac OS X)
included is version 5 of ArcSoft's PhotoImpression software,
which is getting better with each version. Here you can do more
photo retouching and printing. The user interface is quite good,
as well. VideoImpression is also included, for editing those
short movie clips the camera can record.
still better than average, I've found Canon's recent manuals
to be a little more cluttered than they used to be. The information
is all there -- just be prepared for lots of small print and "notes" in
you've seen the PowerShot A70, then you've seen the A75 -- they
look identical (at least from most angles). The A75 is a compact
camera that may not fit in your pocket like the Digital ELPH
cameras, but it's still small and comfortable to carry around.
The controls are well-placed, and it's easy to hold.
dimensions of the A75 are 4.0 x 2.5 x 1.2 inches (W x H x D),
and it weighs 200 grams empty (slightly lighter than the A70).
The camera is made of both metal and plastic, and it feels quite
solid for a $300 camera.
that out of the way, we can begin our tour of the A75 now.
A75 has the same lens as its predecessor. That lens is an F2.8-4.8,
3X optical zoom model, with a focal range of 5.4 - 16.2 mm. That's
equivalent to 35 - 105 mm.
I mentioned, the A75 supports add-on lenses. To use them, you
press the button to the lower-left of the lens, and remove the
plastic ring around it. You then screw in the lens adapter, and
attach the conversion lens to it.
the upper-right of the lens is the built-in flash. The flash
has a working range of 0.46 - 4.2 m at wide-angle, and 0.46 -
2.5 m at telephoto. You cannot attach an external flash to the
the flash is the autofocus illuminator, which is always a welcome
sight. This bright orange lamp helps the camera focus when lighting
is low. All cameras should have this (and they still don't).
other item of interest in the front of the camera is the microphone,
which is located just above-left from the lens.
of the big upgrades on the A75 is in the LCD department. The
A70 had a 1.5" LCD with a measly 78,000 pixels. Forget that!
The A75 has a much nicer 1.8" screen with 118,000 pixels.
It's bright, fluid, and sharp. The brightness is not adjustable,
the LCD is the optical viewfinder, which is decent-sized. There
is no diopter adjustment for those of us with less than perfect
the LCD are two buttons (versus four on the A70). The button
on the left is the Print/Share button, which is new to the A75,
while the display button toggles the LCD and what's shown on
it on and off.
what's the deal with the Print/Share button? When connected to
a Direct Print or PictBridge-enabled printer, pressing this button
will let you print your photos. When connected to a Windows PC,
the following screen will be shown on the LCD:
you can see, you can transfer all images, new images, images
that you've DPOF marked, or you can manually select some. The
wallpaper option sets the chosen image as the background picture
on your PC!
the right of the LCD are two more buttons, for menu and function/delete
photo. Pressing the function button brings up the function menu,
which has the following options:
compensation (-2EV to +2EV, 1/3EV increments)
output (1/3, 2/3, full) - only shown while in "M" mode
Balance (Auto, daylight, cloudy, tungsten, fluorescent, fluorescent
H, custom) - see below
(Single shot, continuous shooting, self-timer [2 or 10 secs])
- see below
(Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400)
effect (Off, vivid color, neutral color, low sharpening, sepia,
black & white)
(Evaluative, center-weighted, spot)
Size/Quality - see chart later in review
custom white balance feature (which is finally becoming more
common) lets you shoot a white or gray card, to get perfect color
in any lighting.
some higher end Canon models have two continuous shooting modes,
the A75 has one. In this mode, you can take pictures at a rate
of up to 2.2 frames/sec I took 8 pictures in a row at the highest
quality setting before the camera started to slow down.
photo effect feature lets you quickly change the color or sharpness
of your photos. You can use photo effects in any mode, including
the right of those two buttons is the newly redesigned four-way
controller, which is much easier to use than the one on the A70.
In addition to navigating the menus, it can also be used to adjust:
- Flash setting (Auto, flash on, flash off) - you turn redeye
reduction on in the record menu
- Macro + manual focus
manual focus feature lets you use the left and right buttons
on the four-way controller to focus the lens yourself. A guide
showing the current focus distance is shown on the LCD. The camera
lacks the useful "focus check" feature, which enlarges
the center of the frame, which you can use to ensure that your
subject is in-focus.
final items on the back of the camera is the mode switch, located
at the top in the above photo, and the DC-in port, at the lower-left.
The mode switch moves the camera between record and playback
mode. The DC-in port, which is kept under a rubber cover, is
where you'll plug in the optional AC adapter.
on top of the A75 are the power button, mode dial, shutter release
button, zoom controller, and speaker.
options on the mode wheel include:
on this later
help making panoramic shots
on the A75. Choose from foliage, snow, beach, fireworks,
mode, many options are locked
chooses shutter speed and aperture. All menu options are
choose the shutter speed and the camera picks the correct
aperture. You can choose from a number of speeds ranging
from 15 sec - 1/2000 sec. The 1/16000 sec shutter speed is
only available above F3.2 at wide-angle and F5.6 at telephoto.
The 1/2000 shutter speed is only available above F4.5 at
wide-angle and F8.0 at telephoto.
pick the aperture, the camera picks the appropriate shutter
speed. The choices range from F2.8 - F8.0 and will vary depending
on the focal range used.
pick the aperture and shutter speed. See above for values.
thing I loved about the A70 were all the manual controls. You
may not need them right away, but when you get more familiar
with photography, you'll grow to love them. The A75 is the same
zoom controller moves the lens from wide-angle to telephoto in
about 1.6 seconds. The zoom moves at one speed only, so it can
be hard to be precise.
is one side of the PowerShot A75. Under a rubber cover, you'll
find the USB (1.1) and A/V out ports.
a somewhat flimsy plastic cover on this side of the camera is
the CompactFlash slot. This is a Type I slot, which means that
you can't use the Microdrive (not that I'd recommend that).
included high speed 32MB card is shown.
here is the bottom of the camera. You can see the plastic tripod
mount, which is located at the center of the camera. The battery
compartment is down here as well, and it holds four AA batteries.
the Canon PowerShot A75
A75 takes just 2.5 seconds to extend the lens and "warm
up" before you can start taking pictures -- pretty snappy.
If you desire, you can change the startup screen and sounds in
the menu system. Or better yet, turn them off.
the shutter release button halfway and the camera generally focuses
in less than a second. It will take a little longer if the AF-assist
lamp is used, or if the AF system needs to "hunt".
The AF illuminator helped the A75 focus well in low light.
camera uses Canon's 9-point AiAF autofocus system (versus 5-point
on the A70). The camera picks one of nine areas of the frame
to focus on (you can't manually select the focus point like on
some cameras). If you want to use the center of the frame to
focus on, you can do that too via the menu system.
A75 had very little shutter lag, even at slower shutter speeds.
speed is excellent. You will wait for just 1.5 seconds before
you can take another shot.
the Function button as the picture is being written to the memory
card, and you can delete it.
here's a look at the image size and quality choices available
on the A75:
images on included 32MB card
(2048 x 1536)
(1600 x 1200)
(1024 x 768)
(640 x 480)
A75 does not support TIFF or RAW file formats.
are named IMG_####.JPG, where # = 0001 - 9900. The file numbering
is maintained even if you replace or erase the memory card.
onto the menus!
already mentioned the Function menu earlier in the review. There's
a regular menu system as well, which is small and easy-to-navigate.
Here's what you'll find in the record menu:
(on/off) - turns on the 9-point autofocus system; if off, camera
focuses on whatever's in the center of the frame
zoom (on/off) - using the 3.2X digital zoom will reduce photo
(Off, 2-10 sec)
stamp (Off, date, date & time) - print the date on your
photos. This feature is new to the A75
note that some of those options are not available in "auto" mode.
is also a setup menu on the A75, so let's take a look at that:
(on/off) - turn off those annoying beep sounds!
volume (Off, 1-5)
volume (Off, 1-5)
volume (Off, 1-5)
volume (Off, 1-5)
volume (Off, 1-5)
power down (on/off)
off (10, 20, 30 sec, 1-3 min)
number reset (on/off) - maintain file numbering
rotate (on/off) - camera will automatically rotate portrait
photos for you
units (m/cm, ft/in)
(English, Deutsch, Français, Nederlands, Dansk, Suomi,
Italiano, Norsk, Svenska, Español, Chinese, Japanese)
system (NTSC, PAL)
addition, there is a "My Camera" menu, where you can
customize the startup screen, beeps, and phony shutter sounds
that your A75 makes, providing your own sounds and pictures if
you want. You can also shut all of that off.
enough about menus, let's do photo tests now.
A75 did a fine job with our macro test subject. Colors are accurate,
and the figurine has a really "smooth" look to it.
The camera has a focal range of 5 - 46 cm at wide-angle, and
26 - 46 cm at telephoto in macro mode. The recordable area is
55 x 41 mm at wide-angle and 92 x 69 mm at telephoto.
the close-up adapter lens will reduce the minimum distance to
4 cm at wide-angle and 13 cm at telephoto.
are all those crazy lines in this image? The one in the sky is
an airplane, and the big thing at the bottom is a container ship.
Adds a little variety to this photo that I'm constantly taking!
this 15 second exposure is pretty nice, though slightly noisy.
There's also a fair amount of purple fringing, which you can
reduce by using a smaller aperture (higher F-number).
full manual controls, night shots like this are easy to take.
Just remember your tripod!
PowerShot A70 didn't do well in our redeye test. Strangely enough,
the A75 did great. Why? I'm thinking it's due to a change in
location. I took the A70 shot in my old apartment, and the A75
shot in my new house. For whatever reason, that affected the
outcome of the test. This should also remind you that this redeye
test is definitelynot scientific!
distortion test shows mild barrel distortion at the wide end
of the lens. There's a bit of fuzziness in the corners, but I
didn't see this in my real world photos.
quality is very good on the A75. Color and exposure are accurate,
and images are fairly sharp. Purple fringing will occasionally
show up, but it's usually not an issue. With 3.2 Megapixels,
you can get very nice prints, including at 8 x 10 inches. Don't
just take my word for it though -- have a look at the photo
gallery and let your own eyes be the judge!
A75 has a good movie mode, but it's not as nice as those on other
2004 models. You can record at three resolutions: 640 x 480,
320 x 240, and 160 x 120. You can record for up to 30 seconds
at the highest resolution, and 3 minutes at the two smaller sizes.
It doesn't matter how big a memory card you put in the camera,
those times are fixed!
are saved in AVI format, using the M-JPEG codec. Sound is recorded
along with the video.
cannot use the zoom lens during filming.
a sample movie for you, recorded at the 640 x 480 resolution.
Be warned, it's a big download.
Click to play movie (11.5MB, 640 x 480,
view it? Download QuickTime.
always has done a great job with their playback modes, and the
A75 is no exception. Image protection, slide shows, DPOF print
marking, and thumbnail view mode are all here.
is the "zoom and scroll" feature. You can zoom into
your images up to 10X, with many steps in between. Scrolling
around in the enlarged area is very snappy.
between images is pretty quick as well -- a little over a second
between high res thumbnails. You can find out almost everything
about your photo (now including a histogram) by pressing the
Does it Compare?
Canon PowerShot A75 has some nice improvements over the already
excellent A70. This includes a larger, high resolution LCD, PictBridge
support, data imprinting, and more. Photo quality is very good,
and so is the camera's performance. I continue to appreciate
the full manual controls on the A75 -- something rarely seen
on an entry-level camera. You may not need them now, but as you
gain experience, you'll become a fan. The camera has even more
scene modes than the A70, which helps you get the best shot possible
without having to tweak any manual settings. For those folks
who want additional lens power, Canon offers wide-angle, telephoto,
and close-up conversion lenses. If you're a fan of the water,
there's also an underwater case. While the A75 won't win any
awards for its movie mode, it's good enough for those making
short clips. All-in-all, the A75 is a great entry-level camera
for both beginners and amateurs, and I highly recommend it.
good photo quality
of manual controls for a cheap camera
for conversion lenses, underwater case
of scene modes
I didn't care for:
diopter correction knob
rechargeable batteries included
mode not so hot in 2004
list" of other 3 and 4 Megapixel cameras to consider includes
the Canon PowerShot A80 and S410, Casio
Exilim EX-Z40, Fuji
FinePix F700, Kodak
Easyshare DX6440, Minolta
DiMAGE Xg, Nikon
Coolpix 3200, Panasonic
Lumix DMC-LC50, Pentax
Optio S40, and the Sony
Cyber-shot DSC-P73. For additional cameras, please visit
our Reviews & Info section!
always, I recommend a trip down to your local reseller to try
out the PowerShot A75 and its competitors before you buy!
to see how the photo quality turned out? Check out our PowerShot
a second opinion?
out a review of the A75 over at Steve's
Feedback & Discussion
you have a question about this review, please send them to Jeff.
Due to my limited resources, please do not e-mail me asking
for a personal recommendation.
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