Canon Powershot S80 Review

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Canon Powershot S80

Features & Controls

The Canon 3.6x wide angle UA (Ultra High Refractive Index Glass Aspherical) zoom lens, 5.8-20.7mm (28-100mm 35mm equivalent) boasts a maximum aperture of f/2.8-5.3, and is constructed with 8 elements in 7 groups.

Focus range is 44cm (1.4 ft) to infinity in normal mode. Macro autofocus range is 4cm (1.6 in.) (wide-angle) / 30cm (1.0 ft.) (telephoto) to 44cm (1.4 ft.).

Auto focus is accomplished via a 9-point TTL system with user-selectable AF points visible on the LCD monitor. The S80 also features an AF assist illuminator for accurate focusing in dim to dark environments.

Canon Powershot S80

Canon offers an optional TC-DC10 Tele-converter that doubles the telephoto focal length to 200mm and the WC-DC10 Wide-converter that gives you a super-wide angle ~22.4mm coverage. The LA-DC20 Conversion Lens Adapter is required to mount these lenses on the camera.

Canon Powershot S80

The Manual focus option is enabled by pressing and holding the "MF" button while using the Up or Down on the 4-way switch. The manual focus range is 4cm (1.6 in.) (wide-angle) / 30cm (1.0 ft.) (telephoto) to infinity. While manually focusing, the subject area covered by the active focusing point is digitally enlarged on the LCD to aid in critical focusing. (This function, MF-Point Zoom, is not displayed on the S80's video-out port, and therefore not illustrated in the above photo.)

Canon Powershot S80

To save battery power or when outdoors in the bright light, switch off the LCD and frame your shots with the eyelevel optical viewfinder. There is no diopter adjustment. The LEDs on the side indicate recording, autofocus and flash status. The eyelevel finder shows approximately 80% of the captured image.

Canon Powershot S80

The builtin speedlight has 5 modes: Auto, Redeye reduction, Slow-sync (1st and 2nd curtain), Fill and Off. The flash coverage with ISO set to AUTO is 55cm to 4.2m (1.8 ft. - 13.8 ft.)(W), 55cm to 2.0m (1.8 ft. - 6.6 ft.)(T).

Canon Powershot A620

Compact and elegantly designed, the optional High-Power Flash HF-DC1 works wirelessly with PowerShot cameras and requires no accessory shoe. With a strong light output (guide number 59 ft.) and wide angular field (28mm), it delivers proper illumination up to approximately 30 feet and in all zoom positions. The flash fires in synchronization with the main flash, and output is adjusted accurately and automatically. A "Manual" mode prevents others from firing your flash.

Canon Powershot S80

Controls on the back: Upper left are the Print/Share button used for printing and transfering images to the computer, and the Drive mode button which is used to add a voice annotation during playback. Upper right is the T-W zoom buttons, in play mode they operate the zoomed (magnified) and Index view functions. Next to that is the Mode Dial (see below). The Play button switches the camera to review mode or if the camera is powered down with the lens barrier closed, you can turn it on in Play mode by pressing this button.

The 4-way controller gets something new, an inner ring dial which is used to select menu options and navigate menu screens, when pushed in the center it's the SET button. When in Record mode the center button becomes the FUNCtion button and gives you access to settings for Shooting Mode, WB, My Colors, Photo Effects, Bracketing, Flash Exp Comp, Metering and Image Size / Quality. The four buttons around the 4-way controller let you set the focusing point, adjust exposure compensation, change the LCD display mode and call up the menu system. And the 4-way controller changes the ISO, Flash mode, Macro focus and Manual focus settings.

And let's not forget that large 2.5-inch TFT color LCD monitor, it has 115,000 pixels and offers a 100% picture coverage when used as a live viewfinder.

Canon Powershot S80

On the side is the Mode Dial, it has positions for:

  • Custom - Save settings from any P, Tv, Av or M exposure mode for rapid recall. Also saves zoom position and focus distance if MF is used.

  • Manual - you set both the shutter speed and aperture. Exposure value is displayed when shutter is half-pressed.

  • Av (Aperture priority) - the camera automatically selects a shutter speed to match the aperture you set. Aperture settings available are:
    Wide F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0
    Telephoto F5.3, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0

  • Tv (Shutter priority) - camera automatically selects an aperture setting to match the shutter speed you set. Available shutter speeds are: 1/2000, 1/1600, 1/1250, 1/1000, 1/800, 1/640, 1/500, 1/400, 1/320, 1/250, 1/200, 1/160, 1/125, 1/100, 1/80, 1/60, 1/50, 1/40, 1/30, 1/25, 1/20, 1/15, 1/13, 1/10, 1/8, 1/6, 1/5, 1/4, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, 0.6, 0.8, 1, 1.3, 1.6, 2, 2.5, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15 seconds. Noise reduction is enabled for shutter speeds of 1.3 seconds or longer. The fastest shutter speed for flash synchronization is 1/250 second.

  • Program AE - camera automatically set the shutter speed and aperture settings like AUTO but the user can change many options like white balance, exposure compensation, saturation, sharpness and more. You can "shift" the selected shutter/aperture combination manually.

  • AUTO - camera sets almost everything automatically, this is "point and shoot" mode. You can set flash mode, macro focus and image size.

  • SCN - Special Scene modes:

    • Portrait - Sets a large aperture value to have a minimum depth of field so your subject is sharp but the background gets blurred.

    • Landscape - Sets the focus to infinity and uses a small aperture

    • Night Scene - Uses slow shutter speed (tripod recommended) to capture night backgrounds and synchronizes the flash to illuminate foreground subjects

    • Night Snapshot - Allows you to take snapshots of people against twilight or night backgrounds by reducing the effects of camera shake even without using a tripod.

    • Kids & Pets - Allows you to capture subjects that move around, such as children and pets, without missing photo opportunities.

    • Foilage - Shoots trees and leaves - such as new growth, autumn leaves or blossoms - in vivid colors.

    • Snow - Shoots without a blue tinge and without making people appear dark against a snowy background.

    • Beach - Shoots without making people appear dark near water or sand where reflected sunlight is strong.

    • Fireworks - Captures fireworks in the sky sharply and at an optimal exposure.

    • Underwater - Appropriate for shooting images with Waterproof Case WP-DC1 (sold separately). This mode uses an optimal white balance setting to reduce bluish tones and record images with a natural hue. The exposure is regulated to use the flash as little as possible.

    • Digital Macro - Allows you to take magnified shots of subjects close-up. Use this mode when the subject is 4 to 44 cm (1.6 in. to 1.4 ft.) from the front of the lens.

  • My Colors - Allows you to change the image colors easily with 9 modes. Change the colors in an image, such as by altering the balance between blue, green and red, transforming pale or tanned skin, or changing a specific color before shooting.

  • Stitch Assist - The user will be aided by the LCD when creating multi-image panorama pictures.

  • Movie - capture full motion video and sound clips at 1024x768, 640x480, 320x240 or 160x120 pixels

Canon Powershot S80

The I/O ports are on the side:

On top is the USB 2.0 hi-speed data port. It is PictBridge compatible for direct printing without a computer.

On the bottom is the A/V OUT port which handles both the audio and video (NTSC or PAL selectable).

Canon Powershot S80

Located on the bottom, in the battery compartment is the Secure Digital card slot. The S80 is supplied with a 32MB SD card and can use any capacity card up to 2GB.

Approx. Still Image Capacity with 32MB Card

3264 x 2448 pixels
Superfine 8
Fine 13
Normal 29
2592 x 1944 pixels
Superfine 11
Fine 20
Normal 40
2048 x 1536 pixels
Superfine 17*
Fine 32
Normal 63
1600 x 1200 pixels
Superfine 28
Fine 51
Normal 97
640 x 480 pixels
Superfine 109
Fine 168
Normal 265

Movie Storage Capacity with 32MB Card

High Resolution

1024 x 768 pixels
15 frames/sec. 14 sec.


My Colors

640 x 480 pixels
30 frames/sec. 14 sec.
15 frames/sec. 30 sec.

320 x 240 pixels
30 frames/sec. 42 sec.
15 frames/sec. 1 min. 24 sec.


160 x 120 pixels
15 frames/sec. 3 min. 26 sec.

Canon Powershot S80

Powered by the Canon NB-2LH 7.4V 720mAh lithium rechargeable battery pack. A fully charged battery is good for approximately 200 images when using the LCD or up to 700 images when you use only the optical viewfinder. Or a playback time of approximately 5 hours. The lower capacity NB-2L battery pack can also be used. The NB-2LH pack is charged out of the camera in the included CB-2LT Compact Charger (100-240VAC). Charging time is approx 90 minutes or less.

(Battery test conditions: Normal temperature (23°C ±2°C/ 73°F ±3.6°F), normal relative humidity (50% ±20%), alternating wide angle end and telephoto end shots at 30 second intervals with the flash fired once every two shots and the camera power turned off after every tenth shot. Power is left off until battery returns to normal temperature, then the power is turned back on and the testing procedure is repeated.)

Canon Powershot S80

The optional WP-DC1 waterproof case allows the S80 to go to almost any sporting activity, from boating to snow skiing to scuba diving (40m/130 feet max depth.) The S80 features a special preset White Balance setting specifically for underwater use that produces properly color balanced images.

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