Last month we bought the Canon Powershot A80 online for about $325 including shipping after looking at digital cameras for about a month. It had all the features we were looking for in our price range and the stylish gleaming metal case didn't hurt either. We looked at a few other cameras, notably the Fujifilm FinePix S7000, but settled on the Powershot and we are glad that we did.
The Canon Powershot A80 is a 4-megapixel compact digital still camera with a high quality, swiveling, flip-out LCD; built-in flash and a 3x Optical / 3.6x Digital /11x Combined Zoom. It has a Shutter Speed of 15 - 1/2,000 seconds, and a variety of shooting modes and photo effects built in. It stores photos on a Type I compact flash (CF) Card and is powered by non-proprietary AA batteries
The camera can be used in a simple point and click manner that is trivial for novice users but is expandable with optional lens adapter's and full manual control. Its ready to use after a very short power up, the zoom lever is very smooth, and the menuing system is easy to use. Photoshop found the camera's USB connection right away and we were downloadig photos within minutes of plugging it in.
On the downside it does have a noticeable shutter lag and it does not do a great job capturing video, small quibbles that do not detract from the overall usefulness and quality of the camera.
Even though the Powershot A80 is a joy to use, the real value is the photo quality. Indoor and outdoor photos are exposed well and have excellent saturation. Our biggest problem with previous digital cameras was jpeg artifacting - with the Canon A80 this is not even an issue. Family and friends raved about the quality of the photos that we posted online and with very few exceptions we have been exceedingly happy with the image quality of the photos taken with Powershot A80. We've used it in every type of lighting situation imaginable and have come away impressed in every single instance. The strong flash is a big plus in low light situations.
In conclusion we think that the Canon Powershot A80 is an excellent value for the money. Forget the numerous features - it's worth the money for the picture quality alone. If you are in the market for a small digital camera priced under $500, you could do a lot worse than this Canon Powershot A80.
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