Canon Powershot S80 Review

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Canon Powershot S80

Record Mode Screens & Menus

Canon Powershot S80

A typical AUTO record screen display. Icons indicate "AUTO" record mode, evaluative metering, automatic flash mode, red eye reduction, single frame drive mode (single box on left), Fine Large image, and 441 pictures remaining at current image quality.

Canon Powershot S80

Now in Program AE mode with quite a few advanced features enabled. Icons on the left side indicate white balance set to Cloudy, Vivid Color effect, we have adjusted the Flash Output, Evaluative metering, and the image mode is SuperFine Large. The white rectangle in the center is the focus area, it turns green when focus lock is achieved or turns yellow if it is unable to focus. Across the top from the left, icons indicate the ISO is locked on 50, Continuous drive mode and Auto flash. On the bottom, exposure compensation is set at -1/3EV and there are 267 shots remaining. A menu option overlays grid lines on the live viewfinder image for help with shot composition.

Canon Powershot S80

A menu option displays a live histogram on the LCD viewfinder.

Canon Powershot S80

When the shutter release is half-pressed the active AF area used to achieve the focus lock will turn green. Single or multiple AF points will be automatically selected depending on the subject content in the frame. The shutter speed and aperture value will also be displayed, along with a flashing red camera shake icon if the shutter speed is slow.

Canon Powershot S80

When in P, A, M and S modes you can press the SET button and use the 4-way selector to select auto AF point selection (large green guide), or to manually select the desired focus point area; by default it uses the center point. There are many AF points available in a 21-column by 11-row matrix.

Canon Powershot S80

In Manual exposure mode the user selects both the shutter speed and aperture. The color LCD image will give you a realtime view of the exposure changes. The Multi Control Dial adjusts both shutter speed and the aperture values; depressing the button switches between aperture and shutter speed. When you half-press the shutter the current exposure value is indicated to the right of the aperture and shutter speed settings. In Manual mode, flash output can be adjusted within the range of 1/3 to full power.

Canon Powershot S80

Shutter speed (Tv) priority mode lets the user select the desired shutter speed and the camera will automatically select the appropriate aperture value. The aperture value will be highlighted in red if the shutter speed is outside the range necessary for a good exposure. Fast shutter speeds will "freeze" a subject in motion, slower shutter speeds will give a motion-blur to moving subjects.

Canon Powershot S80

Aperture (Av) priority mode lets the user select the desired aperture for depth of field control and the camera automatically selects the appropriate shutter speed. The S80 will warn you if it selects a low shutter speed with the camera shake icon.

Canon Powershot S80

Pressing the FUNC button displays this menu:
    White Balance - Auto (AWB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, FluorescentH, Flash, Custom1 or Custom2.

    Photo Effect - Off, Vivid, Natural, Low Sharpening, Sepia, Black & White or Custom (weak, normal or strong for Contrast, Sharpness and Saturation)

    Auto Bracketing - Camera automatically changes exposure within a set range to take three shots after you press the shutter button once. You can adjust AEB settings in 1/3EV steps within the range of -2EV to +2EV of the standard exposure setting. When set to Focus Bracketing, the camera fires three frames in a row; one a little in front of the locked AF distance, one at the locked AF point and a third focused a little behind it.

    Flash exposure compensation - Vary the output of the flash +/-2EV in 1/3 steps, or between 1/3 and full output in Manual mode.

    Metering Mode - Evaluative, Center-weighted average, or Spot using the selected AF point or center og the frame

    Image size - Large JPEG (3264x2448), Medium1 JPEG (2592x1944), Medium2 JPEG (2048x1536), Medium 3 (1600x1200), Small JPEG (640x480)

    Quality (compression) - Superfine, Fine or Normal

Canon Powershot S80

With the Mode dial in My Colors, the FUNC menu presents an additional row of settings: Positive film, Lighter/Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue/Green/Red, Color Accent (one color with the rest B&W), Color Swap, and Custom Color.

Canon Powershot S80

Record MENU options in P, A, M and S modes:

    Flash Synch - Flash fires on: 1st Curtain or 2nd Curtain

    Slow Synchro - Slow synchro flash mode: On, Off

    Red Eye - Red-eye reduction flash mode: On, Off

    Self Timer - 2 secs., 10 secs., or Custom

    Spot AE Point - Spot auto focus on: Center or AF Point

    MF-Point Zoom - Manual focus enlarged view: On, Off

    AF Assist Beam - Auto focus assist lamp: On, Off

    Digital Zoom - Digital zoom option: On, Off

    Review - Image review after capture: 2 to 10 secs. or Off

    Grid Lines - Display, or not, grid lines on the LCD viewfinder to aid in composition

    Histogram - Display, or not, a live image histogram on the LCD viewfinder

    Intervalometer - Time-lapse recording: Interval:1-60 minutes, Number of frames: 2-100

    Set Shortcut button - Assigns your choice of Resolution, White Balance, Photo Effect' AE Lock, Create New Folder, Frame Rate, My Colors, Metering, or AF lock to the Shortcut button

    Save Settings - saves current Rec and FUNC menu settings to the Mode dial's C mode.

Several Rec menu options present themselves only when the S80 is in an appropriate shooting mode:

    Flash Adjust (Av & Tv modes) - Select Auto or Manual adjustments

    Safety Shift (Av & Tv modes) - Enable auto adjustment of exposure settings if unsuitable for current exposure requirements

    Save Original (My Colors) - Save original image, or not

Canon Powershot S80

Here's an animated look at all the S80s various exposure mode screen icons.

Canon Powershot S80

An animated look at all the scene modes, changed by turning the Multi Control dial while the Mode dial is in SCN mode. The 12 Special Scene modes include Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Night Snapshot and Digital Macro.

Canon Powershot S80

In the Stitch Assist mode the user is aided on the LCD when creating multi-image panorama pictures. Five types of assistance are available:

  1. Horizontal - Capture images from left to right
  2. Horizontal - Capture from right to left
  3. Vertical - Capture from bottom to top
  4. Vertical - Capture from top to bottom
  5. Clockwise - Capture starting at top left

Canon Powershot S80

Movie mode records motion video at in one of four modes:

  • Standard - 640x480 or 320x240 at 15 or 30 fps, max size 1GB
  • High Resolution - 1024x768 at 15fps, max size 1GB
  • Compact - 160x120 at 15fps, max clip length 3 minutes
  • My Colors - Image colors can be changed, 640x480 or 320x240 at 15 or 30 fps, max size 1GB
The lower right of the viewfinder indicate the recording time remaining on the SD card. Grid lines can be superimposed on the live viewfinder image to help with composing the video.

Canon Powershot S80

The FUNC menu options available in Standard Movie mode:

    White Balance - Auto (AWB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, FluorescentH, Underwater or Custom.

    Photo Effect - Off, Vivid, Natural, Low Sharpening, Sepia, Black & White or Custom (weak, normal or strong for Contrast, Sharpness and Saturation)

    Frame rate - 30 or 15 fps

    Movie size - 640x480, 320x240

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