So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Canon PowerShot S80
- A full feature set; wide-angle zoom lens; big 2.5-inch LCD; great image quality and some clever design elements
- A tad bulky for your trouser pockets
Although it's quite bulky, the S80 offers an excellent list of features for a compact digital camera.
Price$ 849.00 (AUD)
If you're looking for more features in a slightly larger package then Canon's new PowerShot S80 might suit. The new top-of-the-line model in the S range, the S80 offers 8 megapixel resolution with a 3.6x zoom lens that boasts a useful 35mm equivalent range of 28-100mm. On the back is a large 2.5-inch LCD and you also get a simple optical viewfinder, should bright sunlight prove too much for the LCD.
Like Canon's entire range that sports the DiG!C II processor, the S80 is very fast to start up. There's a comprehensive set of shooting options, including manual, shutter and aperture priority, program and auto modes, plus scene modes and movie mode. There is also a large 2.5-inch LCD display and a wide angle zoom lens - both quality features that we really appreciated.
We particularly liked the four-way switch that is also a scroll wheel, a consumer-level version of the scroll wheel found on Canon's expensive digital SLRs. What the wheel does depends on the mode you're in and it's certainly a useful control device. We'd like to see more advancements to it, because it really is very easy to use and makes adjusting the S80's settings a breeze.
The mode dial is,unusually mounted on the side of the camera, but this actually works well - especially considering that the various modes (M, Av, TV and so on) are annotated around the edge of the dial where you can see them easily. Also, its side positioning means it takes up less valuable real estate on the rear surface of the camera, meaning the controls are well spaced out and not squashed into one area.
The image quality of the S80 is excellent and although you'll need fairly big pockets if you want to carry this one with you on your travels, the unit remains fairly compact considering the amount of features it offers.
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