Canon Digital Ixus 80 IS

      Photo Review 9
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      leadpic_IXUS80IS

      In summary

      A stylish slimline digicam with 8-megapixel resolution and excellent performance.Four desirable characteristics will give Canon’s Ixus 80 IS kudos with style-conscious snapshooters: compact size, stylish appearance, ease of use and excellent imaging performance. The 8-megapixel effective resolution of the Ixus 80 iS is just right for the target audience, who will also be comfortable with the 3x optical zoom lens and 2.5-inch LCD screen. As a bonus, there’s also a small – but functional – viewfinder. . . [more]

      Full review

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      leadpic_IXUS80IS

      Four desirable characteristics will give Canon’s Ixus 80 IS kudos with style-conscious snapshooters: compact size, stylish appearance, ease of use and excellent imaging performance. The 8-megapixel effective resolution of the Ixus 80 iS is just right for the target audience, who will also be comfortable with the 3x optical zoom lens and 2.5-inch LCD screen. As a bonus, there’s also a small – but functional – viewfinder.

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      EC243_20_IXUS

      The five colour options for the Ixus 80 IS.

      Available in five attractive colours (blue, camel, pink, brown and silver), the Ixus 80 IS has a rectangular body has more rounded edges and corners for a softer, more elegant look than last year’s popular Ixus 70. Characteristic of the Ixus styling, a polished stainless steel ring surrounds the lens, The wrist strap/lanyard anchor is still located at the end panel furthest from the lens, where an indentation on the front panel provides a secure and comfortable spot for the middle finger when the camera is in use.

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      IXUS80ISCamel_right_angle

      The 2.5-inch PureColor LCD II screen covers two thirds of the rear panel, leaving the rest for the button controls. It has above-average visibility in bright outdoor lighting and on-screen menus are straightforward and easy to read. The screen also claims to be scratch and dirt resistant, although it fingermarks as easily as other LCDs we’ve reviewed.

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      IXUS80ISBlue_back

      Aside from the on/off switch, shutter release button and surrounding zoom lever on the top panel, the remaining camera controls are located on the rear panel. A sliding mode switch lets users switch from shooting stills to video and playback modes. Beside it is the speaker grille and below that the print/share button.
      The arrow pad has the standard Canon buttons, with a central Func./Set button and surrounding rocker-ring that gives quick-access to the ISO, flash, drive/delete and focus (macro/infinity) settings. Below are buttons for the Display and Menu settings. Pressing the Func./Set button opens a menu that lets users select the shooting mode (auto, manual, stitch assist, digital macro, portrait, night snapshot, colour accent, colour swap or one of nine scene pre-sets).

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      80_IS-Menu-auto

      The Auto shooting mode restricts access to many camera settings.

      In auto mode the only adjustable functions are the image size and quality settings, while in the manual mode you can adjust exposure levels (+/- 2 EV in 1/3 step increments), white balance settings (which include manual measurement), My Colours settings and metering pattern (evaluative, centre-weighted average or spot).
      The Ixus 80 IS comes with the latest DiG!C III image processor, which supports in-camera red-eye correction and an improved face detection facility that includes White Balance adjustment. Other new additions that represent improvements on the Ixus 70 include optical image stabilisation, motion detection and noise reduction technologies.

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      80_IS-Menu-FD

      Face detection functions are engaged by pressing the Menu button and selecting Face Detect from the three AF Frame options (the other two are AiAF and Centre). As in other recent Ixus models, Face Detect includes not only autofocusing but also exposure, flash output and, now, white balance to keep skin tones neutral in most light sources. Motion Detection works seamlessly in the background to detect moving subjects and raise the ISO setting to minimise the risk of camera shake. This operates in conjunction with the optical image stabilisation system.

      Image Capture
      Image files can only be stored as JPEGs and the camera supports five resolution settings with a 4:3 aspect ratio plus a Widescreen setting that records images at 3642 x 1832 pixel resolution. Three compression levels are provided. The additional 1600 x 1200 pixel resolution setting is a special ‘Date Stamp’ mode that records with Fine compression and allows the date to be imprinted on the image. Typical file sizes are shown in the table below.

      Camera
      setting

      Resolution

      Compression

      Superfine

      Fine

      Normal

      L

      3264 x 2448

      3.44MB

      2.06MB

      0.98MB

      M1

      2592 x 1944

      2.50MB

      1.39MB

      0.7MB

      M2

      2048 x 1536

      1.60MB

      0.89MB

      0.45MB

      M3

      1600 x 1200

      1.00MB

      0.57MB

      0.28MB

      S

      640 x 480

      0.25MB

      0.15MB

      0.08MB

      Date

      1600 x 1200

      0.56MB

      Widescreen

      3642 x 1832

      2.60MB

      1.54MB

      0.74MB

      Three resolution settings and two frame rates are provided for movie clip recording. VGA clips can be recorded with standard or long play settings and you can use the colour accent and colour swap settings with VGA and QVGA resolutions.
      Two time-lapse recording settings are also provided. Only two time intervals can be selected – one second or two seconds and the maximum time length for recording is two hours. Playback of time-lapse movies is at 15 fps. Typical recording times for a 1GB memory card are shown in the table below.

      Movie mode

      Recorded pixels

      Frame rate

      Recording time with 1 GB card

      Standard

      Colour Accent
      Colour Swap

      640 x 480

      30 fps

      7 minutes 54 seconds

      640 x 480 LP

      30 fps

      15 minutes

      320 x 240

      30 fps

      20 minutes 58 seconds

      Compact

      160 x 120

      15 fps

      1 hour, 40 minutes, 42 seconds

      Time-lapse 1

      640 x 480

      1 fps

      4 hours, 7 minutes

      Time-lapse 2

      640 x 480

      2 fps

      8 hours, 14 minutes

      Performance
      Pictures taken with the test camera were consistently well-exposed and the balance of flash and ambient lighting in flash shots was well-judged, even for close-ups. The image stabilisation system was effective under most conditions, although we had a few examples where it failed in dim lighting when low ISO settings were used. Test shots taken outdoors appeared sharp and colour accurate.
      Imatest showed the test camera to be capable of the level of resolution expected from an 8-megapixel digicam, with the expected decline in resolution as ISO sensitivity was increased. Interestingly, this decline was greater with the lens at the tele setting than at the wide setting, as can be seen in the graph below.

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      80_IS-res-vs-ISO-graph

      Imatest showed colour accuracy to be reasonably good, with only minor hue drifts in yellow and the lighter skin tone. Saturation was elevated to the normal digicam level, particularly in reds and blues. The test camera’s dynamic range was slightly better than average for a digicam and we were able to see detail in shadows in outdoor shots at normal exposure settings, although the brightest highlights were blown-out.
      Lateral chromatic aberration was low and we only detected slight coloured fringing when test shots were enlarged to 100% (see sample image below). The auto white balance setting had the usual problems with incandescent lighting but produced neutral colours with fluorescent lights. Both the tungsten and fluorescent pre-sets also delivered neutral colours, as did the manual measurement system.

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      80_IS-fringing

      Coloured fringing could only be detected at high magnifications.

      The flash required at least ISO 200 to illuminate an average-sized room. Flash exposures were well-balanced but image noise became apparent at ISO 800 and was obvious at ISO 1600. Close-ups were competently handled. Digital zoom shots had fewer artefacts than we’ve seen with other cameras but were not quite as sharp as shots with the optical zoom. Low-light performance was above average for a digicam, with little noise in 15-secodn exposures at ISO settings up to 400.
      The test camera powered-up ready for shooting within one second and we measured an average capture lag of 0.4 seconds, which changed to instantaneous capture with pre-focusing. It took 3.6 seconds to process and store each high-resolution JPEG file. Shot-to-shot intervals averaged 2.1 seconds without flash and 3.5 seconds with.
      In the continuous shooting mode, high-resolution JPEGs were recorded at intervals of 1.3 seconds, with some slowing after five shots as the buffer memory was emptied to make way for additional images. The Ixus 80 IS appears to process each shot in a burst on the fly, which accounts for the comparatively slow burst speed of the test camera. It took 3.6 seconds to process and store a burst of 10 high-resolution shots.

      IMATEST GRAPHS

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      80_IS-IMG_0221_colorerror
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      80_IS-IMG_0221_colors
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      80_IS-IMG_0220_YBL73_ca
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      80_IS-IMG_0220_YBL73_cpp

      SAMPLE IMAGES

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      80_IS-awb-tung

      Auto white balance with incandescent lighting.

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      80_IS-awb-fluoro

      Auto white balance with fluorescent lighting.

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      80_IS-close-up

      Close-up.

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      80_IS-digzoom

      Digital zoom.

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      80_IS-night_ISO100

      15-second exposure at ISO 100.

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      80_IS-night_ISO1600

      5 second exposure at ISO 1600.

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      80_IS-IMG_0054

      Flash exposure.

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      80_IS-IMG_0009

      An example of the test camera’s dynamic range.

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      80_IS-IMG_0043
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      80_IS-IMG_0029

      Two monochrome modes: B&W and sepia.

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      80_IS-IMG_0121

      Backlighting.

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      80_IS-IMG_0169

       

      Specifications

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      leadpic_IXUS80IS

      Image sensor: 5.76 x 4.29mm CCD with 8.3 million photosites (8.0 megapixels effective)

      Lens: 6.2-18.6mm f/2.8-4.9 zoom lens (38-114mm in 35mm format)
      Zoom ratio: 3x optical, up to 4x digital
      Image formats: Stills ““ JPEG (Exif 2.2); Movies ““ AVI Motion JPEG with sound
      Image Sizes: Stills ““ 3264 x 2448, 3264 x 1832, 2592 x 1944, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480; Movies – 640 x 480 at 30 fps (SP/LP), 320 x 240 at 30 fps, 160 x 120 at 15 fps
      Shutter speed range: 15 sec. – 1/1500 sec.
      Image Stabilisation: Optical (lens-shift type)
      Exposure Compensation: +/- 2 EV in 1/3 step increments
      Focus system/range: TTL auto focus with Face Detect, 9-point AiAF or 1-point AiAF; range 30 cm to infinity; macro to 3 cm
      Exposure metering/control: Evaluative, centre-weighted or spot metering; Program AE plus 15 scene pre-sets and 11 My Colours settings
      ISO range: Auto, ISO 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
      White balance: Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent (x2), Custom
      Flash modes/range (ISO auto): Auto, on, off, slow synchro; red-eye reduction is available; range 0.3-3.5 metres
      Sequence shooting: 1.3 fps (Large/Fine)
      Storage Media: SD/SDHC/MMC card slot (32MB SD memory card supplied)
      Viewfinder: Real-image optical zoom
      LCD monitor: 2.5-inch TFT colour LCD Screen (230,000 pixels)
      Power supply: NB-4L rechargeable lithium-ion battery (approx. 260 shots/charge)
      Dimensions (wxhxd): 86.8 x 54.8 x 22.0 mm
      Weight: 125 grams (without battery and card)

       

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      Rating

       

      RRP: $379

      Rating (out of 10):

      • Build: 9
      • Ease of use: 9
      • Image quality: 9
      • OVERALL: 9

      Buy