Sliding easily to the head of Canon's A-series line, the 7-megapixel PowerShot A620 (and its 5-megapixel sibling, the PowerShot A610) steps comfortably into the large shoes worn by the wildly popular PowerShot A95. With a 4x optical zoom that spans a useful 35mm-to-140mm (35mm-equivalent) range, the A620 keeps up the A95's tradition of packing full manual controls and a solid list of scene modes into an easy-to-use, moderately sized camera that will meet the needs of a broad spectrum of photographers.
Given the A620's improved performance, higher-quality movie clips, larger LCD, G-series lens and high resolution, some current PowerShot A95 users may even want to consider an upgrade.
From the front, other than its battleship-grey body (in contrast with the A95's silver styling), it's unlikely you'll see much difference between the Canon PowerShot A620 and its predecessor. It's about the same size and weight (325g with four AA batteries and SD card) and has a nice-size handgrip, which means that those with larger hands will find it more comfortable to hold than the many ultracompact models on the market today.
However, the vari-angle LCD now measures 51mm (2 inches) and because of its increased size, Canon has moved some of its buttons. A small mode switch sits horizontally to the upper right of the LCD, so toggling between playback and capture takes little effort. Below, four control buttons surround the four-way controller. One does multiple duties by deleting images during playback, adjusting exposure compensation and, in full manual mode, jumping between aperture and shutter-speed settings. A display button cycles through three LCD options: off, no information and full information. The A620 also has a Menu button and a Print/Share button for transferring images to a computer or a compatible printer.
In the centre of the four-way controller is one of the camera's most convenient features: the Function button. It brings up a menu of the most frequently changed settings, including resolution, compression, white balance, ISO, drive mode, effects, flash intensity and metering. While you're operating any of the controls, the camera feels responsive and the menus are clear, bright and easy to read.
Regardless of whether you choose program or full-manual mode or a scene mode, the user-friendly A620 generally won't trip you up with confusing icons or menu references.