Canon Digital IXUS 800 IS Review

August 17, 2006 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 11 Comments | |

Canon Digital IXUS 800 ISThe Canon Digital IXUS 800 IS is currently Canon’s flagship compact digital camera. An image-stabilized, 4x zoom lens equivalent to 35-140mm, 2.5 inch LCD screen and fast Digic II image processor are just a few of the features on offer. With Photokina just around the corner, the IXUS 800 IS will undoubtedly be replaced, so it could also become a bit of a bargain. But is it worth considering, whatever the price may be? We take a look in our latest review.

Website: Canon Digital IXUS 800 IS Review

Tracker Pixel for Entry

Your Comments

11 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 Forest Wander

I recently purchased a digital rebel xt that has the same digic II processor. I have to say that I am very impressed with canon line of camera's. I had a powershot A50 that fell off the roof of my car at 40 MPH and hit the ground and still worked for the whole rest of the vacation and then some!

Check out some of my shots.

2:13 pm - Wednesday, August 16, 2006


A very nice (and I am assuming) first review for PhotographyBLOG. I
hope, Gavin, we can expect to see many more from you on this site.

Now that we've gotten the niceties out of the way, I must admit, I was
a bit confused by your camera ratings in your Conclusion section. For
example, you rated the camera a 4.0 (out of 5) for Features, but your
Introduction/Features section had only one negative comment, lack of
RAW/TIFF formats (which even you admit in your Ease Of Use section
is to be expected). I can think of one or two other missing features, i.e.,
a more powerful flash and in-camera red-eye removal; however, for a
camera in this class with 6 megapixels, 4x zoom, optical viewfinder, an
abundance of scene modes, a 2.5" high-resolution LCD, USB 2.0 High
Speed mode, and last but not least, Image Stabilization, I wonder what
it takes to get a Features rating above 4.0?

Another confusing example was your 4.0 rating for Design, considering
there were no comments at all in your Design section. The one negative
design comment I saw was in your Ease Of Use section regarding small
buttons and controls; however, considering the fact that this is one of the
most attractive and well-built cameras available, again, I wonder what it
takes to get a Design rating above 4.0?

Our regular readers will surely recognize that I actually own this camera
and I've recommended it 'highly' by its US name, the Canon PowerShot
SD700 IS, which should have been mentioned in your review (the name,
not the fact that I highly recommended it). One other thing you missed is
the camera's unusually high susceptibility to red-eye.

I've read some of your reviews for other websites, including your previous
review of the IXUS 800 IS, and have found them to be interesting, as well
as illuminating. My two suggestions would be: (1) read other reviews on a
camera before submitting yours (but definitely after writing yours), and (2)
don't be intimidated by readers' comments of your reviews. :)

4:19 pm - Wednesday, August 16, 2006

#3 Gavin Stoker

Many thanks for the feedback, and glad the review has raised interest.

To respond to Gary's lighthearted (but I'm guessing heartfelt) questions about why the camera has been awarded 'only' 4 out of a possible 5 for features and the same for design, I guess, for starters, us UK-based reviewers tend to be slightly more critical than our American colleagues.

In other words, I consider a rating equivalent to 80% to actually be very good.

Secondly, awarding the full 5 stars would assume the camera to be faultless, when it isn't.

Sure my quibbles may have been fairly minor for some - and overall I enjoyed using it much more than the hyped Fuji F30 - but, neither us reviewers nor you buyers would like Canon to get too complacent now would we? :)

5:24 pm - Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Okay, I'll buy your first argument that you are more critical, and that an
80% rating is actually very good. That jives with the fact that Mark gave
the Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ1 '4.5' stars, but you only gave it '4.0' stars
in your Computeractive review.

As for your second argument that '5' stars would assume the camera to
be faultless, while I would agree that the Canon Digital IXUS 800 IS has
its faults, it also begs the question, what about '4.5' stars?

I guess the bottom line is, however you wish to look at it, you would not
highly recommend the camera and I guess that's where I'd disagree, but
for that matter so would all the other reviewers whose reviews I've read.
(Actually, it was only two others besides yours. :))

BTW, I'd totally agree with your third argument about NOT letting Canon
get too complacent.

6:19 pm - Wednesday, August 16, 2006

#5 nick in japan

"Jive-talk". Mr. Stoker's eval jibes with Gary's continual high marks for this camera!
Be warned Mr. Stoker, this could go on, and on forever!

12:13 am - Thursday, August 17, 2006


Thank you, Nick, for those kind words. What kind, I don't know.

Gavin, there is one other thing about this camera (besides the a.k.a.)
that should be mentioned in your review, namely, the very misleading
labeling of the camera's Manual mode on the mode dial. While you did
list all the things the Manual mode provides, I think you explicitly need
to state, and in several places because it is SO misleading, that it does
NOT provide any manual exposure control.

1:40 pm - Thursday, August 17, 2006

#7 nick in japan

Sorry Gary, I was confused with your use of the word "jive" vs "jibe"

2:26 pm - Thursday, August 17, 2006


Thanks, now I understand. Too much sailing. Way over my head. :)

2:39 pm - Thursday, August 17, 2006

#9 Andy

After much humming and hawing I bought this model a fortnight ago, £248, without having read this review. It had to be a Canon, as hardly any other manufacturer uses optical viewfinders for p&s cameras. I can only say I am seriously impressed with it in all respects, and have no doubts at all that I did the right thing.

WRT value for money - saving a few quid doesn't interest me, - so you miss out on a few features like IS, or a 28 mm lens, then after a while you realise you should have spent a bit more and got the right camera in the first place.

8:36 pm - Sunday, December 3, 2006

#10 Gary's Parries

Andy, correct me if I am wrong, but I think you just bought the Canon
IXUS '850' IS (a.k.a. Canon PowerShot SD800 IS, in the US), which is
different from the Canon IXUS 800 IS (a.k.a. Canon PowerShot SD700
IS) reviewed here. The IXUS 800 does not have the 850's 28mm lens.

If that is the case, I am glad to hear that you are very happy with your
purchase, as I just recommended the very same camera to a reader in
today's Gary's Parries column.

9:32 pm - Sunday, December 3, 2006

#11 Howee

This information makes buying a digital camera a much easier process.They are complicated wee beasts now very daunting for the beginner.

5:26 am - Thursday, April 12, 2007