February 16, 2009 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Got a Canon PowerShot A590 IS, and am interested in what add-on lenses are available for it. Looking ideally for something with the physical turn-to-focus-or-zoom like on an SLR, but honestly I'm just looking for any information that can point me in the right direction.
posted by DoctorFedora to Shopping (10 answers total)
Some quick google-searching finds... well, nothing. Nor are there references on Canon's site to their low-end A* line having any add-ons.

In general, you can't just add manual focus to a point-and-shoot, and obviously you can't *remove* the existing lens. Physically looking at it, where would the contacts go to communicate with the camera, since a point-and-shoot definitely isn't going to have a fully-manual accessory? I'm pretty sure you're looking for something that doesn't exist, unfortunately.

Many higher-end point-and-shoots will have, say, a macro lens add-on for closer focusing, or a simple fisheye, but you're not going to find anything like what you're looking for - even a pricier point-and-shoot, though it may have those features built-in.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:17 AM on February 16, 2009

Wait! Sorry, I missed something. This is Canon's own info on the A590 - there's a wide adapter, a telephoto adapter, and a macro adapter. In each case it looks like it just slips over the lens and provides the effect... that said, for the cost of the required adapter plus even one of these add-ons, you can get a long way toward buying a low-end SLR like the Nikon D40 or Canon EOS XS, or just a much better point-and-shoot like the Panasonic LX-3.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:22 AM on February 16, 2009

Amazon lists a variety of lenses for the A590. I suspect Torrowful is correct in that there's no way to override the automatic focus.
posted by Nelson at 8:24 AM on February 16, 2009

Sorry, not hardware, but if you want to squeeze much more functionality out of your a590, install CHDK. It also lets you assign the zoom control to manual focus.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:58 AM on February 16, 2009

My (now pretty old) Canon A80 accepts a tubular plastic adaptor which lets me screw on 52mm filters. I think the equivalent part for your camera is part "LA-DC52G", costs about $20.

I mostly use a close-up filter which allows me to focus on things very close to the camera.
posted by Mike1024 at 9:05 AM on February 16, 2009

Cat Pie Hurts wrote:

Sorry, not hardware, but if you want to squeeze much more functionality out of your a590, install CHDK. It also lets you assign the zoom control to manual focus.

This is interesting but what is this? If I install this will it void my warranty? Will it allow me to take videos that don't end up 100mb?
posted by any major dude at 9:45 AM on February 16, 2009

any major dude:

CHDK is a firmware -addon- for many Canon cameras that extends functionality. Here's the FAQ. It's not a replacement, as it makes no modifications to the onboard firmware. That addon only lives on your memory card. Read this for more info.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:54 AM on February 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

To add, myself and many others (including a Canon Tech support specialist quoted in my above link) do not feel that CHDK voids the warranty, as it is non-destructive and non-permanant (residing ONLY on your memory card). It's kind of like booting up a live cd on a computer. You get different functionality which the option to return to the original configuration without modification.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 9:57 AM on February 16, 2009

I'm with CatPieHurts. Definitely check out CHDK. Right now I'm playing with a specialized version named SDM for connecting two cameras together for stereo photography.

CHDK is an alternate firmware for your camera. It's a soft hack, where you install it on the SD card, and it loads from there. If you put in a different SD card without the software, you will boot into the camera's normal operating system. Since it's soft, the chances of it voiding your warranty are pretty slim.

Here's some more info. The "biggie" features that it adds to the point'n'shoot are -- Shoot in RAW format, live histogram, zebra mode, the ability to write and run scripts, time lapse mode, as well as more control over iris, shutter speed, and more.
posted by mattybonez at 10:04 AM on February 16, 2009

Response by poster: Oh yes, CHDK is truly lovely. I was just wondering if anyone knew anything about the add-on lenses available, as it clearly supports some sort of external lens. I've seen all sorts of Optimax lenses, two out of three of which are apparently not truly awful, although I can't seem to find any true consensus on the matter.
posted by DoctorFedora at 3:23 PM on February 16, 2009

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