Canon PowerShot A80 Review
Date: Nov 1, 2003
Handling & Feel
Canon PowerShot A80 is a compact digital
camera with dimensions of 103.1W x 64.6H x 34.7D
mm (4.1W x 2.5H x 1.4D in.) and weighs 250g (8.8
oz.) without the battery and recording media card.
It is constructed from a mixture of plastic and
aluminum and feels very solid. The two tone color
and handgrip are distinctive design elements of
the camera and, besides giving it an attractive
and stylish look, the handgrip also provides a
good and comfortable grip.
When holding the camera, the forefinger and thumb
naturally falls on the shutter release button
and Shooting Mode Dial, respectively. The Shooting
Mode Dial is almost flushed on top but projects
out just enough at the back for the thumb to rotate
it. Each selection clicks in place securely.
I personally like the Zoom lever around the shutter
release button, finding it easier and more natural
to control the zoom this way than using a thumb
lever at the back. Canon has listened to consumers'
concern about the slight jiggle of the A70's Zoom
lever: the Zoom lever of the A80 does not
door is at the bottom of the camera, and the CompactFlash
I memory card goes through a door in the grip.
The rubber terminal cover housing the USB, AV
and DC connectors now wraps around the bottom
left of the camera. [I have stopped worrying about
the rubber terminal covers breaking off any digital
cameras: I have yet to hear of a case.]
PowerShot A80 feels well balanced with the 4 AA
batteries providing the weight. Included in the
box are 4 AA Alkaline batteries, which you throw
away once they run out of juice. This means that
if you wish to use rechargeable NiMH batteries,
you will have to purchase the optional battery
recharger. I recommend you factor the extra cost
of 2 sets of rechargeable NiMH batteries (4 inside
the camera, and 4 recharging), a battery recharger,
and an A/C adapter when you purchase your A80.
The A/C adapter is convenient when you're transfering
your images to your PC; you don't want to run
out of battery power in the middle of a transfer.
A80's 1.5 in. LCD is 67,000 pixels resolution,
which is slightly less than the A70's 78,000 pixels
-- but it does not show. The one major advantage
is that the LCD now swivels, a very convenient
feature usually available only on more expensive
cameras. And, the reflective strip around the
LCD on the A70 is gone in the A80, hurrah!
11.4mm, Program AE, Evaluative, 1/250 sec., F3.2
and ISO 50
Mode Switch (with Shooting and Playback modes)
which was circular in the A70 has morphed to a
sliding switch in the A80. I like that the mode
switch is separate from the Shooting Mode Dial
(too many digital cameras have these two modes
on the same control dial) because I review my
picture after each shot and do not have to keep
rotating the Shooting Mode Switch back to Program
AE (my default shooting mode).
PowerShot A80, though not ultra compact in size,
still fits in a large pants pocket. I would not
recommend you carry it in a tight jeans pocket,
for you may end up inadvertently turning the Shooting
Mode Dial. If you close the LCD before putting
it away, there is never the danger of scratching
it. Carrying the PowerShot A80 in a coat pocket
or in a case hung on the belt is the recommended
way to go. A soft pouch is recommended.
the PowerShot A80 is superbly designed, looking
and feeling like an expensive camera. The handling
is improved over the A70. The control dials and
menu system are intuitive to use.