Canon PowerShot A40 Discussion
See the Imaging Resource's review for the Canon PowerShot A40 here...

Comments (12)

This quote from the reivew appear in-accurate, or at least not supported by the evidence. "Images framed with the optical viewfinder were slanted toward the lower left corner, possibly indicating a shifted CCD inside the camera." If the images are slanted when using the viewfinder, that would generally indicate a non-level viewfinder. If the camera & tripod were level, and the images framed where slanted, then it would be a mis-aligned CCD. In the article, it does not say wheater the camera is leveled or not, and in assumption from using the optical viewfinder I would say the camera was not leveled. At this link,, you can see a series of Images I made with my A40 that show the error is directly related to a mis-aligned viewfinder, and not the CCD...

Comment #1

Adam - Thanks for the note on that. Actually, I think you're right on one front, partially right on another. I think you're right in that the "slant" in the wide angle optical VF image is actually more due to parallax than to a rotated chip. I'm going to try reshooting the optical VF tests on the A40, see what I come up with. I think you're only partially right on the issue of chip alignment, although I guess it's a matter of interpretation. There are in fact two ways the viewfinder and chip need to line up.

Often neither alignment is correct, but more commonly, the optical VF is aligned with the camera body, but the CCD inside is (apparently) rotated very slightly with respect to the optical VF. (FWIW, I've seen this quite a bit, most often on prototype cameras.) For consumers, I think most really won't care whether the chip and camera bottom are aligned, since they'd rarely rely on that to get their photos framed correctly. What they *do* rely on is the optical VF, so if it shows something different than the chip is seeing, you have a problem. That's why I don't worry about whether the tripod is level or not: I'm looking through the viewfinder, the same as a consumer would be, and setting the framing based on what I see. I guess if there's a structural issue (eg, in terms of how the camera is constructed), it'd be helpful to the mfr to know that, so they could change their manufacturing to get everything in proper alignment.

On the A40 images though, I *think* there is a problem with my test - I should have checked the shot more carefully. - The telephoto shot is pretty square, but the wide angle one is off. - And the reason the wide angle is off is partly because the target is slightly to the right of center from the camera. This causes a parallax error, with the pattern on the right of the target being smaller than it is on the left. The top of the target is parallel with the edge of the frame, but the bottom "slants".

The edge of the frame as well, also making it look like there's a tilt. I'll reshoot that shot, see what I find. OH - one other thought: I've found that this sort of thing sometimes varies from unit to unit of a camera, even within the same model, due to manufacturing variations.....

Comment #2

Dave, Thanks for the great reply. Im sure many people will find this information helpful. I think you are correct in that many people rely on the alignment between the optical VF and the CCD, and I think that is where this problem is most apparent. Either way this seems to be a concern for some owners & potential owners. Looking forward to see what further developments you find in your testing. Thanks again,.


Comment #3

I noticed that the A40's CCD is 2.0 megapixel, but it's supposed to be the replacment for the A20, which is 2.1 megapixel. (In fact, these numbers are painted in large text on the front of each camera). Any idea why this number dropped in the newer model, and maybe you can tell me whether I should or shouldn't care?..

Comment #4

That change just represents the new industry-wide practice of reporting resolution in *effective* megapixels. I'm not sure what the difference between effective Mp and the previous standard was, but I do know that the CCD on the A40 has the same resolution as that of the A20, it's just a difference in terminology...

Comment #5

Hi All,.

Im very surprise at this "slant" problem in Canon A40 /VF/. I want to buy this camera this week, but now I must think again about it. question for all of you:.

Please tell me, it is hard problem or not? A40 will be my first digital camera and I want to be contented with him. Thank you for all answers. Thanks...Im so sorrry over my english.

(im from beautiful Czech Republic /europe/ and I must study yet)..

Comment #6

Everything about this camera points to a great value. However, they seem to have missed the boat for new Mac owners. It does not work with Mac OS X or iPhoto. The A10 and A20 do. I don't understand why their successors are not compatible...

Comment #7

QUestion about the alignment.....everything shold be fine if I only rely on the LCD viewfinder right? Because the CCD will output whatever it will see stright to the LCD, and if it is indeed slanted, I could just use my hand to adjust. thanks!..

Comment #8

Reply to Martin: I am also holding off from buying Canon A40/VF until CANNON addresses problem. Suggest replying to canon directly..

Comment #9

Question for canon a40 users? How do I shoot in raw file mode/format? It is supposedly a possibility with this camera but no documentation in manual. Thanks for any info..

Comment #10

Tim, The A40 does not support raw mode, it's Jpeg or nothing I'm afraid. As to the viewfinder slant problem, it only appears to be a problem with some cameras. The majority of users seem to be happy with their cameras. My own A40 does not have any alignment problem and I am more than happy with it's performance so far...

Comment #11

Anyone having any focusing problems with the A40? Got a new one. Seems to work great overall. Indoor shots (even in lower light) seem fine, and sharp, however, about 20% or more of my outdoor shots are blurry to some degree or another. These are outdoor shots in both hazy, and cloudy days, but still plenty of natural light. Not "dusk" shots. This seems to happen more when using the zoom, but at only 3X, and since I have a very steady hand, I can't imagin this is "camera shake".

Same results - about 20% or so of them blurry. Just wondering if anyone else has had this happen?..

Comment #12

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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