Canon A480

Canon PowerShot A480 front
  • 10MP - 1/2.3" Sensor
  • 2.5" Fixed Screen
  • ISO 80 - 1600
  • 640 x 480 video
  • 37-122mm (F3.0-5.8) lens
  • 140g - 92 x 62 x 31mm
  • Launched January 2009
  • Read full specs
  • Alternatives
  • Size Comparison
  • FAQ

Canon A480 summary

Canon A480 is Canon's Ultracompact digital camera initially released on January of 2009. The camera has got a 10MP, CCD 1/2.3" sized sensor and has a max resolution of 3648 x 2736.

The A480 is placed #142 out of 151 in Ultracompact cameras & over-all #1247 out of 1465 for digital cameras in our collection. You should try our Smart camera finder to see camera rankings based on your customized requirements.

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The following is a chart of different factors used in the rating system.

Canon A480 Pros and Cons

Below is a selection of pros and cons of the Canon A480 based on things which are typically considered necessary in a digital camera.

above average minimum ISO (80)
built-in flash
flash sync speed is above average (1/500 seconds)
good zoom range (37-122mm 3.3 x zoom)
cannot use external flash
does not have HDMI socket
does not have headphone socket
does not have mic socket
does not have Time Lapse mode
focusing manually not possible
lack of image stabilization
lack of phase detect autofocus
lack of RAW files
lens is fixed (fixed lens mount)
low fps (1.0 frames/s)
low resolution sensor (10 megapixels)
manual mode not possible
max zoom aperture not good (f5.8)
no aperture priority mode
no articulating screen
no shutter priority mode
screen has low resolution (115 thousand dots)
screen isn't selfie friendly
sensor is small (1/2.3")
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.0)
small screen (2.5 inch)
video quality not great (640 x 480 pxls)
wide angle not great (37mm)
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Canon A480 Sensor details

The sensor spec on the Canon A480 is 6.17mm x 4.55mm (1/2.3"). The 28 mm² sensor can capture 3648 x 2736 pixels and aspect ratios of 4:3 and 16:9.

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The CCD sensor has 10 megapixels and provides a standard ISO range of 80 to 1600. Unfortunately, RAW files are not saved which means that you have less margin for error.

The image underneath illustrates the A480's sensor dimensions compared to other popular sizes. The A480 sensor has a crop factor of 5.8 and is displayed in green.

Canon PowerShot A480 sensor size Sora from OpenAI releases its first ever music video

To get a sense of various aspect ratios, you can refer to the graphic below.

Camera sensor aspect ratios

Canon A480 dimensions

Canon A480 weighs 0.31 lbs (140g / 4.94 ounces) & the measurement of the camera is 92mm x 62mm x 31mm (3.6" x 2.4" x 1.2"). The weight of typical Ultracompact camera is 121g and the Canon A480 is weightier when compared to its rivals.

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Down below is a image of the Canon A480 beside a soda to help you to get a feel for its scale.

Canon PowerShot A480 dimensions scale

The top view under will highlight the button arrangement on the A480.

Canon PowerShot A480 topview buttons dials

Canon A480 Lens specs

The A480 comes with an inbuilt lens featuring a focal range of 37-122mm giving it a 3.3 x zoom which isn't really exceptional but it will definitely be helpful in a few circumstances.

At the widest 37mm, it comes with an aperture of f3.0 which is really slow and not good for low light occasions and you will likely struggle to get a shallow depth of field. You would also need to increase the ISO leading to noisy photos. At the tele end, 122mm comes with f5.8 making it very sluggish and you would need to choose slower shutter speeds.

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Canon A480 Connectivity

The A480 has the following connectivity:

  • USB Yes

Digital cameras that incorporate NFC and / or Bluetooth compatibility can easily be controlled wirelessly via smartphones. You will be able to copy images and usually alter camera settings with no need to connect straight to the camera.

Some applications even allow a Liveview and hit the shutter if you are not close to the camera. If the camera has a HDMI port, it could be connected to an external monitor. The majority of cameras enable you to charge the battery pack with the USB port.

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Canon A480 Video specs

The max video quality on the Canon A480 is 640 x 480 and you can shoot in file format. 480p is low for today's standards. You really should aim for at least 1080p quality for decent video. The camera does not have a microphone and / or headphone jack which means you have little control over the audio. It is probably best to consider an alternative model in case you need good audio for your videos.

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Canon A480 Weather Sealing

Canon A480 does not include environment proofing so wet conditions can damage the camera.

Canon A480 Screen and Viewfinder

The Canon A480 has got a 2.5 inch fixed display supporting a resolution of 115 thousand dots.

Unfortunately the display isn't a touch screen.

Canon PowerShot A480 screen and viewfinder Photography Glossary

The ViewFinder specifications for Canon A480 are the following:

  • ViewFinder None

Viewfinders can be very beneficial during sunny outdoor conditions which can make the camera screen washed out and very difficult to see.

Canon A480 Shutter specs

Canon A480 continuous shooting rate is 1.0 frames/s. The max shutter speed is 1/2000s.

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Canon A480 Flash and Hot shoe specs

Canon A480 comes with only inbuilt flash without external flash support. The highest flash sync is 1/500s.

Canon A480 Autofocus specs

Canon A480 comes with just Contrast Detect AF & does not have Phase Detect AF. Phase Detection autofocusing is a lot snappier & precise when compared to Contrast Detect autofocusing.

The AF system has got 5 focus points to choose from. Canon A480 does not have manual focus. Manual focus option can be useful during low light or you want to have more exact focusing control.

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Canon A480 Battery life

The usual Ultracompact camera battery life is 214. Nikon L32 has the maximum (320) battery life within this group of cameras.

Here is a listing of Ultracompact cameras which have the best battery life:

Canon A480 for different forms of photography

The following graph gives a rundown of the Canon A480 for different forms of photography. To learn more, browse to the specific section underneath.

Portrait photography with Canon A480

The Canon A480 receives a rating of 25 which is low, meaning that it is simply not very good for portrait photography. Taking portrait images favors heavily to sensor resolution, RAW support & capability to use off-camera flash.

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high flash sync speed (1/500 seconds)
no manual focus
manual mode not possible
cannot use external flash
sensor resolution low (10 megapixels)
sensor size is small (1/2.3")
no RAW support

Canon A480 as a Street photography camera

Coming in at a average points tally of 47, the Canon A480 is relatively suited to use in street photography. A good street photography camera offers a good balance of picture quality plus portability.

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screen is fixed
lack of image stabilization
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
lack of RAW format

Canon A480 Sports photography highlights

A low sports photography score of 16 indicates the Canon A480 is simply not very good for photographing sports. A camera really should have very good autofocus and fast shutter speeds for sports photography.

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very slow continuous shooting (1.0 frames/s)
no shutter priority mode
does not have image stabilization
MP count low (10MP)
small sensor (1/2.3")
lack of phase detect autofocus

Canon A480 Travel photography factors

Portability is pretty important when selecting a camera for travel. All round, the Canon A480 gets a average 50 as a travelling camera which is reasonably adequate to buy for your holidays.

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has built in flash
lack of Timelapse recording
low MP (10 megapixels)
does not have a selfie friendly display
wide angle not the best (37mm)
slow maximum aperture (f3.0)

Canon A480 Landscape photography information

If you're planning to buy a camera for landscape photography, the most essential aspect will be image quality. The Canon A480 at it's low grade of 22 for a landscape camera is simply not very good within the current market.

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manual focus not available
fixed lens (fixed lens mount)
wide angle not great (37mm)
slow max aperture (f3.0)
screen is small (2.5 inch)
lack of manual mode
lack of image stabilization
megapixel count low (10MP)
sensor size is tiny (1/2.3")
does not have RAW format
does not have Time Lapse recording

Canon A480 as a Vlogging camera

A vlogging camera preferably should offer a moving display, microphone input and ideally image stabilization. Taking all things in to account, the Canon A480 is simply not very good as a vlog camera as it gets a low rating of 22.

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wide angle not good (37mm)
sluggish maximum aperture (f3.0)
does not posses selfie friendly screen
does not have image stabilization
low video resolution (640 x 480 pxls)
missing microphone socket

Canon A480 Alternatives

If you need replacements to the A480, below is a collection of the top scored cameras which fall in to the category of Ultracompact.

The line chart below shows you a summary of the A480 versus it's top ranking competitors listed previously.

These are various other cameras you might look into as alternatives. To look at a comprehensive comparison, simply click on the "compare" link.

Photography Glossary


General Information
Canon PowerShot A480
Physical type
Sensor Information
Sensor type
Sensor size
Sensor dimensions
6.17 x 4.55mm
Sensor surface area
Sensor resolution
10 megapixels
Anti aliasing filter
Aspect ratio
4:3 and 16:9
Max resolution
3648 x 2736
RAW images
Max native ISO
Min native ISO
Focus manually
Touch to focus
Continuous AF
Single AF
Tracking AF
AF selectice
Center weighted AF
AF multi area
Live view AF
Face detection focusing
Contract detection focusing
Phase detection focusing
Number of focus points
Lens mount
fixed lens
Lens focal range
37-122mm (3.3x)
Max aperture
Macro focus range
Crop factor
Screen type
Fixed Type
Screen diagonal
2.5 inch
Resolution of screen
115 thousand dots
Selfie friendly
Touch screen
Viewfinder Information
Viewfinder type
DXO scores
DXO Overall score
not tested
DXO Color Depth score
not tested
DXO Dynamic range score
not tested
DXO Low light score
not tested
Min shutter speed
15 secs
Max shutter speed
1/2000 secs
Continuous shutter rate
1.0 frames/s
Shutter priority
Aperture priority
Manually set exposure
Custom WB
Image stabilization
Built-in flash
Flash range
3.00 m
Flash options
Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye reduction, Slow Sync
External flash
Auto exposure bracketing
White balance bracketing
Max flash synchronize
1/500 secs
AF area
Center weighted
Video features
Video resolutions
640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
Max video resolution
Mic port
Headphone port
USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environment sealing
Water proof
Dust proof
Shock proof
Crush proof
Freeze proof
140g (0.31 lb)
Physical dimensions
92 x 62 x 31mm (3.6" x 2.4" x 1.2")
Battery model
2 x AA
Self timer
Yes (2 or 10 sec, custom)
Time lapse feature
Type of storage
SC/SDHC/MMC/MMCplus, internal
Card slots
Price at release