Canon Digital IXUS 800 IS Review
Review Date: August 15th 2006
Author: Gavin Stoker
The Canon Digital IXUS 800 IS is a 6 megapixel digital camera with a 2.5 inch LCD screen and optical viewfinder. For the first time ever on a Canon compact, the IXUS 800 features image stabilizer technology to help combat camera-shake. Canon have also extended the optical zoom lens to 4x, giving an effective focal length of 35-140mm. Under the surface, the Canon Digital Ixus 800 IS uses the same advanced DIGIC II processor as the company's digital SLR cameras for fast performance and image processing. There are 14 different scene modes on offer for beginners and a more advanced Manual mode for those who desire greater control. VGA movies at 30fps, a My Colors mode that allows special in-camera colour effects, and PictBridge and USB 2 support complete the specification. So does the Digital IXUS 800 IS carry on the good name of previous IXUS compacts? Read our latest review to find out.
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The Canon Digital IXUS 800 IS has a 6.2 megapixel, 1/2.5 inch CCD that delivers 6.0 effective megapixels. There are 3 image quality size settings available (Superfine, Fine and Normal) and 6 image size settings ((L)2816 x 2112, (M1)2272 x 1704, (M2)1600 x 1200, (S)640 x 480, (W)2816 x 1584, (Postcard Date Imprint) 1600 x 1200) which are recorded as JPEGs. There are no RAW or TIFF formats. The camera's 4x optical zoom lens is equivalent to a 35-140mm lens on a 35mm format camera. There is also a 4x digital zoom should you feel the need to use it. It also features Canon's optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology to counteract camera shake. The camera is supplied with a 16Mb Secure Digital (SD) Card and also supports MultiMediaCard (MMC) memory cards.
The Canon Digital Ixus 800 IS offers Auto and Manual exposure modes plus 14 different scene modes (Digital Macro, Portrait, Night Snapshot, Stitch Assist, Movie, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Color Accent, Color Swap). The maximum aperture is f2.8 (wide) – f5.5 (tele), and the shutter speed range is 15 secs. – 1/1600 sec. There are 4 ISO speeds ranging from 80 to 800 and an Auto option. There are 5 different White Balance presets to choose from (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H), plus Auto and Custom settings. The camera offers exposure compensation in ± 2 in 1/3 EV stops. The Canon Digital Ixus 800 IS offers 3 different auto-exposure metering options - Evaluative, Centre-weighted average and Spot (centre).
The Canon Digital Ixus 800 IS has a normal shooting mode, Self-timer (2 secs. 10 secs. or Custom) and a Continuous mode, which allows you take up to 2.1 frames/sec until the memory card is full. There are a number of different My Colors photo effects on offer (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color). The Macro setting allows you to focus on subjects that are as close as 2cms. The camera offers 2 auto-focusing systems - 9-point AiAF and 1-point AF (Fixed centre). The built-in flash offers 5 different modes (Auto, On, Auto Red-eye Reduction, Slow Synchro and Off). The flash range is 50cm-3.5m (W) / 2.0m (T). An AF assist beam and Flash Exposure Lock are also available. Noise reduction is automatically applied to exposures greater than 1.3 seconds.
To compose your images, you can use the LCD monitor or the optical viewfinder. The Canon Digital Ixus 800 IS has a 2.5 inch colour TFT LCD monitor which has 173,000 pixels and which offers 100% scene coverage. Brightness is adjustable to one of fifteen levels. The Canon Digital Ixus 800 IS can record movies with sound at (L)640 x 480 at 30/15fps, (M)320 x 240 at 60/30/15fps and (S)160 x 120 at 15fps. Video is recorded in the AVI Motion JPEG format. The length of the video is limited to 1Gb memory card. You can also attach a 60 second or less sound clip to an image. A histogram is available in playback mode. The Canon Digital Ixus 800 IS supports the DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) and PictBridge printing standards, and it connects to a computer via USB 2.0.
The Canon Digital Ixus 800 IS's dimensions are 90.4 (W) x 56.5 (D) x 26.4 (H) mm, and it weighs 165g without the battery and storage card fitted. The camera is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion Battery which allows you to take up to 240 shots before needing to be recharged. There is a metal tripod mount in the center of the bottom of the camera.
Finally, the standard box kit contains a rechargeable Li-ion Battery, Battery Charger, AV Cable, USB Cable, Wrist Strap, 16Mb SD Memory Card and a CD-ROM containing Canon software (ZoomBrowser EX, ImageBrowser, PhotoStitch, TWAIN Driver, ArcSoft PhotoStudio). Note that you can only store 6 images at the highest quality setting on the supplied 16Mb memory card. You will therefore need to invest in some more memory cards to store your images on.
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