Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Review

The popular SD 700 IS (IXUS 800 IS), one of the finest ultra-compact models released last year, is a sister model to the Canon PowerShot SD800 IS (IXUS 850 IS) was revealed shortly before Photokina 2006 back in September.

A 28-105mm (Equiv.) zoom lens makes the new model one of the few cameras in this market segment with wide-angle capability and the extra million pixels it boasts.

Other updates include a DIGIC III processor with face detection focus mode, an ISO 1600 option, and a sharper screen. We enjoyed the SD 700 IS, and the SD 800 IS appears to stand out on paper. So let’s start with the headline specification to see if it can deliver the goods.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Design

Although there are many subtle and some not-so-subtle variations, it is strikingly similar to the SD700 IS and most other current IXUS models.

The primary power button has been moved to the top of the camera (and is now lit), the rear controls have gotten wider (and the mode dial is no longer set into the body), and the design has become ever so slightly boxier.

Like its predecessors, the SD800 has a high-quality appearance and feel. Its silky stainless steel finish is almost indulgently tactile. Moreover, as it befits a camera at the higher end of the ultra-compact price range, it is admirably constructed with attention to detail.

The main drawback to the finish is that it appears prone to dents and scratches (so keep it in a case when not in use). You get external controls for the Flash, focus (macro or infinity), self-timer, and drive ISO, just like the other more current models in the IXUS/Elph line. Everything else is controlled through the fantastic FUNC menu.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Display/Viewfinder

With 207,000 pixels, the 2.5-inch LCD of the Canon SD800 has a little lower resolution than the SD900’s. However, it is large enough to display information in widescreen 16:9 images and sufficient to indicate whether image stabilization captured a clear image even while employing digital zoom.

However, an optical viewfinder is also included with the SD800 IS. There is no denying the optical viewfinder’s benefit. An optical viewfinder allows you to take a picture in broad sunlight when you can’t see what’s on the LCD or in dimly lit areas when a bright LCD is unwelcome.

The optical viewfinder on the Canon SD800 offers a very constrained and slightly distorted vision, as Luke saw while taking the test images, but having one is better than not having one. The sensor can only capture around 80% of what is visible, but that is still enough to center the subject and take the picture. Remember that the image is more complex than seen, and you can always trim it afterward.

The LCD is intelligent enough to turn the image upright if the camera is rotated while it is being played back. So, instead of displaying the idea as tall as the widescreen, a quick wrist flick can fill the screen with a portrait shot.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS a Performance

The SD800 IS performs better than average (and significantly better) in download speed, cycle time, autofocus shutter latency, and prefocus shutter lag.

It only has average ratings in three categories: flash cycle time, weight (which I feel favorable), and 3.8x zoom (a bit better than the standard 3x zoom ratio). For a 15x overall zoom ratio, the Canon SD800’s 3.8x optical zoom is supported with a handy 4x digital zoom. At a recent college football game, that allowed me entry onto the field.

Given how potent it is, the Flash’s average cycle time is a wonder. Of course, the entire tale is told in Luke’s flash testing, but during my impromptu shooting throughout the home, I was astonished by how brilliantly the Flash lit up even vast rooms.

But since there was image stabilization, I took no flash photos. I didn’t turn off IS unless I was conducting a comparison test. You switch it off completely when the camera is set up on a tripod.

When taking a 15x digital zoom picture in direct sunshine, IS helped reduce camera shake, which was unavoidable (I took many). In addition, it maintained moderate shutter speeds in low light, enabling me to capture what I saw accurately. The Canon SD800 never had to use an ISO sensitivity boost above 100 while using IS because it performed well.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Shooting

The Canon SD800’s image stabilization allows you to take images more confidently. For instance, the only illumination source for two dolls waiting to be restored in the garage is a tiny window with diffused glass on the shady side of the house. Since I can hardly see them, I wouldn’t bother turning on most cameras to snap pictures of them.

However, the SD800 IS didn’t budge from ISO 100 to shoot them at f/2.9, 1/30 of a second. The photograph is sharp enough at one-third of a double shutter speed to show the painted eyelashes on the bottom doll’s face while noise is at a minimum of ISO 100. No tripod, always.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Specs

Naming• US name: Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH
• European name: Canon Digital IXUS 850 IS
• Japanese name: IXY Digital 900 IS
Body MaterialMetal and plastic
Sensor• 1/2.5 ” Type CCD
• 7.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes• 3072 x 2304
• 3072 x 1728
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
Movie clips• 640 x 480 @ 30 / 15fps
• 320 x 240 @ 60 / 30 / 15fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
File formats• JPEG Exif 2.2
• AVI Motion JPEG with WAVE monaural
Lens• 28-105mm (35mm equiv)
• F2.8-5.8
• 3.8x optical zoom
Image stabilizationYes (lens shift-type)
Conversion lensesNone
Digital zoomup to 4x
AF area modes• AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point)
• 1-point AF (fixed center)
AF assist lampYes
Focus distanceClosest 3cm
Metering• Evaluative
• Center-weighted average
• Spot
ISO sensitivity• Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
Exposure compensation• +/- 2EV
• in 1/3 stop increments
Shutter speed15-1/1600 sec
Modes• Auto
• Manual
• Digital Macro
• Color Accent
• Color Swap
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
• Special Scene
Scene modes• Portrait
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Indoor
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Aquarium
• Underwater
White balance• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Custom
Self-timer• two or 10secs
• Custom
Continuous shootingapprox 1.7fps until the card is full
Image parametersMy Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B&W, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)
Flash• Auto
• Manual Flash on / off
• Slow sync
• Red-eye reduction
• Range: 50cm-4.0m (wide) / 2.0m (tele)
ViewfinderReal-image zoom optical viewfinder
LCD monitor• 2.5-inch P-Si TFT
• 207,000 pixels
Connectivity• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out
Print compliance• PictBridge
• Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photo Print, Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP printers only)
Storage• SD / SDHC / MMC card compatible
• 16 MB card supplied
Power• Rechargeable Li-ion battery NB-5L
• Charger included
• Optional AC adapter kit
Other features• Optional High Power Flash HF-DC1
• Optional Waterproof Case (WP-DC9)
Weight (No batt)150 g (5.3 oz)
Dimensions89.5 x 58 x 25.1 mm (3.5 x 2.3 x 1.0 inch)

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS the Final Conclusion

The SD 700 IS, despite complaints about Canon’s hegemony in this market, was perhaps my favorite point-and-shoot camera of the previous year because it checked all the right boxes (compact, stylish, dependable, sound output, easy to use).

On paper, its new stablemate, the SD800 IS, is the product of a photographer’s dreams for anyone who recognizes the significant benefits of a zoom lens that begins at 28mm rather than 35 or 38mm.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll repeat it: switching back to the “tunnel vision” of a “regular” 3x zoom is complex because the additional field of view provided by a 28mm above even a 35mm wide-angle has so many practical and artistic advantages. It is impossible to emphasize the wider lens’ increased versatility and creative potential for group photographs, interiors, and landscapes.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS FAQs

When was the Canon PowerShot SD800 IS released?

The Canon PowerShot SD800 IS was first made available to consumers in 2006.

Is a Canon PowerShot SD800 a professional camera?

It is important to note that the Canon PowerShot SD800 IS is not a professional camera but a high-end portable digital camera intended for more experienced hobbyist photographers.

Is Canon PowerShot SD800 the best camera?

Whether or not the Canon PowerShot SD800 IS is the finest camera for you depends on the specific requirements and inclinations you have in that regard. For example, even though the camera has sophisticated features like image stabilization and manual settings, it is possible that it is not the best choice for specialized photography, such as sports or wildlife photography, which typically requires specialized tools.

In addition, given that it is an earlier model, there may be more recent and competent cameras currently on the market that you could purchase instead. If you want to discover the camera most suited to your needs, it is essential to research and studies some reviews.

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