As far I remember I have never owned a camera. Taking pictures is something I always relegated to others. That all changed when I bought my first camera a few weeks ago. A 7.1 megapixel Canon PowerShot A620. Welcome to the age of digital photography. Being a gadget luddite, I had resisted all things electronic. Suddenly I found myself immersed in the world of megapixels, SD cards, picture sharing, and digital prints.
In some sense I am relieved that I leap-frogged all other cameras and settled on something that I can use for a long time without the urge to upgrade. At 7 megapixels, I think this camera offers more than enough detail and color depth that I would ever need. Add to that a couple of 1 Gig SD cards and rechargeable batteries, and that puts me well on the way of becoming an avid photographer.
And avid I was in a recent trip to Disney World with my family. I took the camera everywhere and shot everything. This being my first ever camera, I don't really have a basis to judge it by, but I found it to be an excellent camera nevertheless. I toyed with its multitude of options, but finally settled on the Auto mode which allows one to just zoom and click.
The camera takes vivid pictures under all conditions. The flip-out screen is a nice touch that collapses back onto the camera to protect it against scratches. It can also take movies, but naturally that could eat into quite a bit of storage if one is not careful. Reasonable usage can keep the batteries going for a long time. I shot lots of pictures and a number of movies for three days before I had to change batteries. It is small enough to be operated with one hand, and its various functions are pretty intuitive.
I would give the Canon PowerShot A620 good marks for an amateur of my caliber. I am sure more experienced photographers would also find it to be a great camera. At below $400, it is a great product at a decent price.
Finally, the user manual is well-written and easy to follow, but don't lose it. Oddly enough, it is not available online. These days most product manuals can be viewed online, so I was surprised that Canon does not have it on their Web site.