Snap Your Best Shot with Canon PowerShot A490: Review and Specs

Looking for a compact, easy-to-use, and affordable camera that delivers high-quality images? Look no further than the Canon PowerShot A490! In this blog post, we'll take an in-depth look at this fantastic camera, including its features, pros and cons, and specifications.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Canon PowerShot A490 article cover photo

Key Features

Jan 05 2010


10 megapixels


Sensor Type1/2.3-inch

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Overview of the PowerShot A490

If you are an amateur photographer or just someone who loves to capture life's precious moments, you know that having a great camera is essential. However, choosing the right one can be a daunting task, with endless options available in the market. That's why we want to introduce you to one of the best cameras out there- Canon PowerShot A490! With its simple design and excellent image quality, Canon PowerShot A490 is a top-rated camera in its category. It offers outstanding value for your money, boasting a 10-megapixel sensor and 3.3x optical zoom. Moreover, it's compact, lightweight, and easy to use, making it the perfect companion for any photography enthusiast. So, let's dive into the world of Canon PowerShot A490 and explore what makes it an exceptional camera.

Canon PowerShot A490 Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Canon PowerShot A490 camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


Affordable camera
Simple to use
Compact and lightweight
Decent image quality in good lighting
Optical image stabilization
3.3x optical zoom
Acceptable battery life
Compatible with SD/SDHC memory cards
High-speed USB 2.0


Poor low light performance
No manual control options
Limited video recording capability
Only 10MP resolution
No viewfinder
No image stabilization for video
LCD screen is small and low resolution
No HDMI output
Limited customization options

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Canon PowerShot A490

Weather sealed
Dimensions94 x 62 x 31mm

Weather Sealing

The Canon PowerShot A490 is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderNone
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution115k dots
Body typeCompact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 2.50" screen, with a display resolution of 115k dots. This makes the Canon PowerShot A490 not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


Canon PowerShot A490 does not include a viewfinder. The lack of a viewfinder on the PowerShot A490 camera may make it less suitable for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Canon PowerShot A490 has a 10MP sized CCD sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 10 pixels. Canon PowerShot A490 has a native ISO range of 80 - 1600 which can be boosted to null - null.

Key Features

Jan 05 2010


80 - 1600

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution3648 x 2736 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Canon PowerShot A490 camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the PowerShot A490 is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: 1/2.3-inch



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSC/SDHC/MMC/MMCplus/HC MMCplus
Battery Life
Battery Model2 x AA
Wireless Connectivity


The Canon PowerShot A490 supports SC/SDHC/MMC/MMCplus/HC MMCplus with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Canon PowerShot A490 uses the 2 x AA model of undefined. This is rated for undefined shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Canon PowerShot A490 has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. However it lacks an external flash shoe, which limits you to using the built-in flash.


The Canon PowerShot A490 boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/2000s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Canon PowerShot A490 includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 5 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

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What is the sensor size of the Canon PowerShot A490?

The Canon PowerShot A490 features a CCD sensor

Is the Canon PowerShot A490 weather sealed?

No the PowerShot A490 does not have weather sealing.

When was the Canon PowerShot A490 announced?

The Canon PowerShot A490 was announced on Jan 05 2010

Does the Canon PowerShot A490 have in-body image stabilization?

No the PowerShot A490 does not have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Canon PowerShot A490?

The PowerShot A490 has a native ISO range of 80-1600, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

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