In most respects, the Canon PowerShot A510 and A520 are nice upgrades to two of my favorite cameras from 2004. However, two things have changed for the worst (low light focusing and redeye). Even so, these two cameras are still arguably the best entry-level digital cameras on the market.
First, the good news. Despite being smaller than their predecessors, the A510 and A520 offer a bigger zoom lens. Where most cameras have 3X zoom lenses, the A-series models offer a 4X zoom. Not satisfied with that? The cameras support wide-angle, telephoto, and close-up conversion lenses. A new optional feature on these models is an external slave flash, which attaches to the side of the camera. For people who take a lot of flash shots, this may be worth the $100 price. While the A-series cameras offer a new “zoom flash” feature, that doesn’t necessarily translate into better flash range. It does, however, focus the light on the subject while you’re shooting at the telephoto end of the lens.