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Canon Digital IXUS 980 IS
If you're under the impression that size matters, Canon's all set to change that notion with the Canon Digital IXUS 980 IS. This ultra compact has left quite an impression on us, and here's why.
For starters, this bundle of joy boasts of a small and sturdy frame (98 x 62 x 28 mm to be precise) and weighs a measly 205 grams, making it incredibly convenient to carry along. The form of any portable device - not just ultra compact cameras - is of utmost importance since a single flaw in design and a protruded button or sharp edge can make life miserable by latching on to the rim of your pocket every time you unsheathe it.
At first glance the IXUS 980 IS' body appears rectangular and rigid, but on closer observation you'd notice how both - its corners and the main frame - are slightly curved ensuring that no jutting edges bar it from gliding in and out of your pocket with ease. Even the buttons are placed with convenience in mind - they're all shallow and placed on the indented side of the camera's curvature, ensuring that they never extend outside the camera's profile and get pressed by accident while in your pocket.
Apart from just being placed to encourage portability, the buttons are also really easy to access. The power button and trigger are placed on the top, with a movable ring around the trigger to help zoom in and out without using another finger. On the backside of the camera are two dials - one that's switch based and is used to toggle between the camera's primary modes (i.e. Auto, Scene etc.) and a free moving ring below it that allows you to swap between secondary modes in Scene mode, and can alternately be used to increase and decrease values in Program and Manual mode. Most of your needs are taken care of by the lower dial, which hones a navigation D-pad in its center that allows you quick access to a few integral features such as ISO, Flash, Timer and Burst mode settings at a single touch.
Besides the two dials is a high quality 2.5 inch screen that works brilliantly in day light too. Overall - the solid frame, aesthetically pleasing compact design, and well though of button placement - not only makes the Canon Digital IXUS 980 IS a really travel friendly companion, but after using it for a while you truly begin to respect Canon for their attention to detail where design is concerned.
The IXUS 980 IS is loaded with enough features to put other ultra compacts to shame. For starters, apart from the huge 14.7 megapixel images the camera allows, you get access to a motherlode of presets besides the the standard modes. To list it out for you, the Scene mode includes the following - Portrait, Landscape, Night Snapshot, Indoor, Sunset, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Aquarium, Underwater, ISO 3200, Digital MacroColor Accent, Color Swap, Stitch Assist - forming an overwhelming amount of options. While a lot of these sub-modes seem unnecessary,modes like Color Swap and Color Accent quite a lot of fun to use, if not too useful.
This plethora of features extend to please both - the casual user who just picks one of the scene modes to fit his shot, as well as those who wish to dabble with Program and Manual mode to get that perfect picture. The camera's ISO settings go up to an impressive 1600, while producing usable images. It also features the ever-so-handy image stabilization, and a maximum Optical Zoom that goes up to 3.7x, which is commendable for an ultra compact. As you can see, where features are concerned there's no beating the IXUS 980 IS.
The IXUS 980 IS passed all our tests with flying colors. To begin with, its color reproduction is vivid as well as accurate, forming a solid start for this champ. Its auto-white balance is spot on too, and gave us nothing to complain about.
Image quality was top notch, and the camera managed to capture details really well even in relatively low light conditions and at full resolution.
What really impressed us was the Digital Macro mode, that produced great results and allowed us to focus on objects as close as 2.5 inches.
The shutter lag was minimal and the power-up to shot timer (i.e. the start up time) was close to 2 seconds, which is respectable. The shot-to-shot timing was close to a respectable 2fps (without flash).
The Canon Digital IXUS 980 IS gave us nothing to complain about, and is undoubtedly amongst the best of its kind. With a sturdy frame, great design, a multitude of features, and such great performance, you can't really go wrong by investing in this baby. I recommend this to anyone who has deep pockets, and is looking for a ultra compact, feature-rich powerhouse.
|Dimensions||98 x 62 x 28 mm|
Lithium-Ion NB-5L battery & charger
|LCD Type||2.5", 230,000 pixels|
|View Finder||Optical (tunnel)|
|Effective Pixels||14.7 Megapixel|
|ISO Sensitivity||Auto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600|
|Shutter Speed||15 - 1/1600 sec|
|Aperture||F2.8 - F5.8|
5 positions plus manual
|Flash||Auto, On, Off, Slow, Manual (Red Eye On/Off)|
|Self Timer||2 or 10 sec|
|Video Resolution||640 x 480 @ 30 fps, 320 x 240 @ 30 fps, 160 x 120 @ 15 fps|