Canon Powershot A85 Review

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Canon Powershot A85




Record Mode Screens & Menus



Canon Powershot A85

The screen display in the Automatic record mode. Icons across the top and left indicate that metering is Evaluative, single frame drive, auto red-eye reduction flash, Auto exposure mode. The image size is Large, quality is Superfine and there's space left on the CF card to take 857 more pictures.



Canon Powershot A85

The Auto mode recording options:

    (from the Function menu):
    Drive Mode - Single frame, 2 or 10 sec self-timer
    Image Resolution 2272x1704, 1600x1200, 1024x768, 640x480, Postcard(1600x1200) this is a special 3:2 ratio mode for making 4x6 in. prints.
    Image Compression Superfine, Fine, Normal

    (from the regular Menu):
    Red-eye Red-eye reduction lamp: On or Off
    AF Assist Illuminator On or Off
    Digital Zoom On or Off
    Review Time Off, 2 or 10 secs
    Date Stamp Off, date, or date&time (only works when in Postcard mode.)





Canon Powershot A85

Program AE exposure mode is like Auto in that the camera selects both the shutter speed and aperture for a correct exposure but you now have access to a multitude of Function and Menu options and color effects.



Canon Powershot A85

In Tv (Shutter-speed priority AE) mode you select the shutter speed (from 1/2000 to 15 seconds) and the camera automatically selects the proper aperture value. Faster shutter speeds will "freeze" fast-moving subjects, slower speeds will let you pan with a fast-moving object and blur the background, or hold the camera steady and give moving objects that "motion blur" look.



Canon Powershot A85

In Av (Aperture priority AE) mode you select the aperture value (from F2.8 to F8.0) and the camera will automatically select the proper shutter speed. Selecting the aperture allows you to control depth of field (focus range), smaller numbers yield less depth of field, larger numbers yield more.



Canon Powershot A85

Program AE, Tv, Av and Manual mode Function options:


    Exposure Compensation - Override the metering +/- 2.0EV in 1/3 steps
    White Balance - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom one-push WB set
    Drive Mode - Single, Continuous, 2 or 10 sec selftimer
    ISO Sensitivity Auto, 50, 100, 200, 400
    Effect - Off, Vivid, Neutral, Low Sharpening, Sepia, B&W
    Image Resolution 2272x1704, 1600x1200, 1024x768, 640x480, Postcard(1600x1200) this is a special 3:2 ratio mode for making 4x6 in. prints.
    Image Compression Superfine, Fine, Normal




Canon Powershot A85

In Manual mode you select both the shutter speed and the aperture value manually. All the same menu options are available in Manual mode as Program AE, Shutter-speed AE and Aperture AE and all the same Function options plus the addition of a Flash Output adjustment.



Canon Powershot A85

Program AE, Tv, Av and Manual mode MENU options:

    AiAF - 9-point automatic AF point selection On or Off
    Red-eye Red-eye reduction lamp: On or Off
    AF Assist Illuminator On or Off
    Digital Zoom On or Off
    Review Time Off, 2 - 10 secs
    Date Stamp Off, date, or date&time (only works when in Postcard mode.)




Canon Powershot A85

When the color LCD is turned on and you half-press the shutter you will see which of the nine AF points (green rectangles) where used for the focus lock.



Canon Powershot A85

The A85 also has manual focus with this onscreen distance gauge. It would have been nicer if the center portion was enlarged for critical focusing.



Canon Powershot A85

As you can see, the A85 has a very respectable macro focusing mode too. The coverage is 2 inches to 1.5 feet in wide angle and 10 inches to 1.5 feet in telephoto.



Canon Powershot A85

On the Mode Dial you'll also find positions for Portrait, Landscape, Night, Fast, Slow as well as Stitch Assist (see next frame). Found under the SCN (Special Scene mode) are Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, and Indoor. These modes are pre- programmed to give you the best possible pictures for particular shooting situations.

Portrait is for taking someone's picture and blurring the background. Landscape is for expansive landscape scenes. Night is for people against a night scene or evening sky and uses the flash for the close subjects and a longer shutter speed to get the background detail. Fast is used to freeze fast-moving subjects. Slow is used to blur objects in motion. Under the SCN mode Foliage is for shooting around nature, Snow is used to capture snowy scenes (duh!), Beach is appropriate for shooting by reflective sand and water, Fireworks is used for shooting a show of fireworks, Underwater is for shooting images with the optional WP-DC30 underwater case, and Indoor is best used for shooting under fluorescent and tungsten lighting.



Canon Powershot A85

The StitchAssist Panorama mode aids you via on-screen prompts to achieve the proper overlap of sequential photos for later "stitching" with the PhotoStitch program. You can capture up to 26 images in either left-to-right or right-to-left orientation. After the first picture is taken the white balance and exposure is locked until you exit the StitchAssist mode.   Use of a tripod is required.



Canon Powershot A85

The A85 can record movie clips with audio at 15 frames per second in 640x480 resolution for up to 30 seconds, 320x240 or 160x120 resolution can go up to three minutes thanks to Canon's new DIGIC processor. Movie clips are recorded in Motion JPEG format and saved as AVI files.

Both the video and audio portion of movies can be replayed on the camera thanks to the built-in speaker. Full audio-video playback is also possible when connected to a TV monitor or a compatible PC after downloading.



Canon Powershot A85

Movie mode recording options:

    Exposure Compensation - Override the metering +/- 2.0EV in 1/3 steps
    White Balance - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom one-push WB set
    Drive Mode - Self-timer 2 or 10 sec.
    Effect - Off, Vivid, Neutral, Low Sharpening, Sepia, B&W
    Movie Size: 640x480, 320x240 or 160x120


Movie Recording / CF Card Capacity

Movie Size Resolution
(pixels)
8MB 16MB 32MB 64MB 128MB 256MB
Movie / High 640 x 480 6 sec. 14 sec. 30 sec. 61 sec. 124 sec. 249 sec.
Movie / Medium 320 x 240 21 sec. 44 sec. 91 sec. 183 sec. 368 sec. 735 sec.
Movie / Low 160 x 120 58 sec. 118 sec. 242 sec. 486 sec. 973 sec. 1,954 sec.




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