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Canon Digital IXUS 800IS
With some immense competition in the ultra-compact segment, it’s a little tough for a brand to make a lasting impression. The last camera I received in Canon’s IXUS series was not really the kind of camera I would normally recommend, and I honestly didn’t have too many expectations from this one either. But I have been surprised before. The IXUS 800IS was a clear winner.
IXUS has always been a stylish ultra-compact series, and the camera’s sleek 90 x 57 x 26 mm metal body looks cute as well as smart. Since it weighs just around 195 grams, it’s also perfect for carrying around in your shirt pocket without making it droop.
The majority of IXUS 800IS’ back is taken up by the 2.5" LCD screen (173,000 pixels), with a few functional buttons to the right. The jog dial that switches between shooting modes is innovatively fitted vertically on the extreme right instead of on the top, where it affects the width of the camera body.
When it comes to the overall build quality, IXUS 800IS gives little to complain about. The body feels very sturdy and comfortable to hold at the same time. The buttons are easy to reach and press and everything that the 800IS offers can be easily used with a single hand.
No points deducted here.
Aimed as a camera that can be easily used by the whole family, the IXUS 800IS compromises on manual control and instead features a plethora of options that make it a great point and shoot as well as a fun party cam.
6 megapixels and 4x optical zoom is pretty good for an ultra compact especially considering that most cams in this category don’t usually go beyond 3x zoom (optical). It comes with image stabilization, which helps reduce blurring in the image caused by shaky hands.
With 16 shooting modes, the IXUS 800IS is prepared to configure itself to handle just about every kind of event. One of my favorite modes, however, was the color swap mode, where (as the name suggests ), you can swap a particular color with another. The mode doesn’t have any practical use but it’s a great party gimmick nonetheless.
The camera startup speed with the starting animation turned off is only around a second and the time it took in between consecutive shots were closer to 1.5 seconds. With great speeds like these, you’re probably not going to miss a good shot because of delay caused by the cam.
The colors produced by the 800IS were excellent for an ultra-compact. Unlike the IXUS 60 we tested earlier, this one produced all the colors pretty accurately in most lighting conditions, including red, pink and orange.
Accurate color reproduction
The image sharpness was excellent and consistent overall. I didn’t notice any blurring around the edges, which is usually common in point and shoot models. In macro mode the IXUS 800IS had no problem focusing on objects placed less than an inch away.
On the negative side, the IXUS 800IS was less than satisfactory when shooting in low light. Even though the first image below was shot using the Night Snapshot mode, its pretty obvious that the camera didn’t really make optimal use of the few (but significant) light sources. The second image is shot by manually setting the camera to a higher ISO , which does help with the visibility but also adds in a lot of noise.
If you’re planning to use the camera in low light, you’ll be better off shooting close subjects with flash than experimenting with night scenes.
The IXUS 800IS shoots video with sound at the resolution of 640x480 at 30fps. The color quality and sharpness are pretty good in the AVI file output. Nothing to complain about here.
The Canon IXUS is an excellent point-and-shoot camera with great looks, features that make it appealing to just about every kind of casual user, and performance that rarely gives you a bad shot. Its small, its fun and rarely disappoints, and that’s what makes it a perfect family cam.
The steep price tag of Rs. 26,800 is quite a downer, considering that as good as the 800IS may be — it’s still a point-and-shoot cam. For anyone in for a regular use camera and doesn’t mind paying the price for quality, you won’t be disappointed with the Canon Digital IXUS 800IS.
Canon Digital IXUS 800IS Technical Specifications
|Battery ||Li-Ion |
|LCD Screen||2.5", 173,000px|
|Alt. View Finder||Optical|
|ISO Modes||Auto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800|
|Shutter Speeds||15-1/1600 sec|
|Aperture||F2.8 - F5.5|
|Scene Modes||Auto, Manual, Digital Macro, Portrait, Night Snapshot, Special Scene, Stitch Assist, Movie, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Color Accent, Color Swap|
|White Balance||Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom|
|Flash||Auto, Manual Flash On / Off, Slow synch, Red eye reduction, Flash exposure lock|
|Video Res.||640x480 @ 30FPS|