Canon PowerShot A80

in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
Well I did it, I pulled the trigger. Getting an A80 because they came down to 283 shipped on wow! That's insane considering it can control shutter speed, aperture, manual focus, has an AF assist lamp, and can take add on lenses. The coolest thing hands down that won me the first second I saw it was the flip out LCD, which is like what DV Camcorders have. Wow. Had to have it. So I waited. I like how it feels too. 4 megapixels. Good enough for me. Screen is a bit small but that's the tradeoff for the flip-out I expect. I bet the A90 will increase screen size. Read some reviews and it looks like the only downside is that it can't take external flashes. Also has a purple tinge to highlights at night but oh well nothing's perfect. Anyone else have one of these, care to share any insights or tips and tricks? It looks like hands down the best point and shoot camera for someone who knows about photography but doesn't have the money or space for a digital SLR but wants to be able to control things like aperture, shutter, and focus. The flip-out display is just awesome!


  • Reply 1 of 18
    optiopti Posts: 1member
    Yes, I've had the A80 since February. I'm not a huge photo buff so I haven't taken more than 200-250 photos with it (mostly on special occasions), though perhaps I will take more starting in September, when I will be studying in Japan.

    It is a very nice camera; after extensive research I decided it was definitely the best combination of price, size, features, and image quality for my needs.

    Anyway, for tips and tricks, this is by far the best reference I've come across: Canon A80 "Useful" Review. It has tips for controlling purple fringing, which depends largely on aperture. It's not relegated to (or even primarily) at night; it mostly occurs along the edges of highly contrasting areas, especially noticeable in the branches/leaves of a tree. I got the link at the forums, another good resource. This is my first camera and as I said, I don't have much experience with it, so you're best just referencing those for further insight and advice. And your manual! Be sure to read that.

    Anyway, on an unrelated subject, this is my first post here. I am patiently awaiting a 15" PowerBook that I have on order, which will be my first Apple ever (the last one in the household was my dad's Apple II). I'm buying it to use on the aforementioned study in Japan; I just didn't see the sense in waiting any longer, since I had the cash ;-)
  • Reply 2 of 18
    splinemodelsplinemodel Posts: 7,311member
    I picked up an S500 a few weeks ago. It's very nice. I have a friend with an S400. I would guess that it uses the same sensor as the A80. Both do a pretty good job, though my flash is a LOT better. Somehow the tonality of the flash doesn't make people look awful, even though they are straight-on. (I've only tested it on white and oriental folks though)

    For the 5 megapixel cam, it was a very good idea to pick up a 256MB card. I imagine the case is the same for a 4 megapixel cam.
  • Reply 3 of 18
    powerdocpowerdoc Posts: 8,123member
    This thread belong to Digital hub, like any thread discussing digital photography.
  • Reply 4 of 18
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    My bad I had a feeling it was out of place! Hey great first post opti, that was a helpful review! I'll see if I can control the fringing.
  • Reply 5 of 18
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Well it came yesterday. Pictures on automatic even outside are a bit blurry. The "AiAF" isn't too intelligent at focusing either, though it is nice that it indicates where ti will be focusing but still doesn't seem to do a good job. Taking a picture of my sister in a corner using the computer there were purple halos around everything white, papers, even the CheezIt title on the box. However this isn't a point and shoot camera so I will be experimenting with manual modes to get good phtos and reading that review.
  • Reply 6 of 18
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member

    Originally posted by Aquatic

    Pictures on automatic even outside are a bit blurry.

    That doesn't sound good at all. I've been contemplating an upgrade from my 3 year-old A20 to the A80. But I was expecting the A80 to take even better P&S pictures out of the box, without any fiddling on my part.

  • Reply 7 of 18
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Yup without flash it's almost worse than my older camera. Attempted some beautiful sunsets yesterday fiddling with manual controls, and everything was underexposed, noisy (cause of iso) and out of focus. This camera has appalling focus. I may return it.

    What I want is simple: a camera that can autofocus, rather quickly, and take pictures at night withOUT a flash OR tripod, that aren't blurry. Apparently this isn't possible though, unless you turn the ISO up waaay too much? When it's like 400 the noise is so bad the picture is useless. So is this possible, in a 3 digit price range?

    Even using this camera on a rail (and using two-second timer so I'm not shaking it--that's a good tip I picked up in that review!) results in things out of focus and grainy. Will play with manual settings much more. There is still a lot I don't know about this camera. It is very powerful, and I am willing to bet I just don't know how to use it adequately yet. Tripods seem like a necessary evil at night! Grr. AiAF just isn't that artificially "intelligent" I guess.
  • Reply 8 of 18
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member

    Originally posted by Aquatic

    What I want is simple: a camera that can autofocus, rather quickly, and take pictures at night withOUT a flash OR tripod, that aren't blurry. Apparently this isn't possible though, unless you turn the ISO up waaay too much?

    My hunch is that you'll need a camera with a faster lens. Return the A80 and get at least a PowerShot G5, if not a Digital Rebel, instead. Of course that'll blow your budget. \

    You might also consider the PowerShot S50. Sure it doesn't have the foldout LCD and doesn't take ubiquitous AA batteries like the A80. But it has the more powerful mechanics and flash of the G5.

    I'm in the same boat, except that I can't make up my mind. So I've been sticking with that old A20. While it doesn't take the very best pictures (it often overexposes in bright sunlight), I paid for it three years ago. So it doesn't cost me anything to keep using it.

  • Reply 9 of 18
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Faster lens...? I'm a shutterbug you're saying with a faster lens it'll take clearer pictures at night without flash or a tripod?

    Another thought occurred to me to solve this problem. You know how DV Camcorders all have "image stabilization" now? Perhaps that could be applied to still cameras? I hear some have them. I have played with them at Sears and it doesn't seem to do much, but it was a thought.
  • Reply 10 of 18
    escherescher Posts: 1,811member

    Originally posted by Aquatic

    Faster lens...? I'm a shutterbug you're saying with a faster lens it'll take clearer pictures at night without flash or a tripod?

    Yes, a "faster" lens will let more light through. Thus you won't have to turn up the ISO/sensitivity of the sensor (as much). You can recognize faster lenses by their lower "f-number." The A80 has f2.8 to 4.9 (2.8 at wide angle, 4.9 at tele), while the G3/G5 have something like f2 to 3.5. Everything else being equal, the lower f-number/faster lens will let you shoot with less light.

    But for dark sunsets and night shots, nothing beats a tripod, or even a monopod.

    Real shutterbugs, please correct my vocabulary above. I'm not sure whether I've used the technically correct terms.

  • Reply 11 of 18
    regreg Posts: 832member
    If you are shooting night pictures without a flash you need the tripod. If you decide to return that camera you might want to look into the Canon Powershot S1. It is about $100 more than what you spent and has some good reviews.

    I lucked out and my wife got me a Canon 10D as a present last year. Now it is hard not to campare the quality of that with other cameras. If you can wait and save, the better cameras are worth it.

  • Reply 12 of 18
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member

    The Canon Powershot S1 IS ($500) is an excellent choice.

    The imager in this one is pretty tiny for a camera of its size...


    Panasonic Lumix FZ-10 ($600) also has an IS system, as well as a 12x optical zoom! This is the perfect camera for voyeurs.

    Same goes for this camera. The incredible zooms are a result of increasing focal lengths will smaller and smaller sensors. As for being the ultimate voyeur's camera...what about this thing?


    If you want to spend more, you can go for the 8 Mega-Pixel Konica-Minolta Dimage A2 ($1000).

    The 8 mp cameras look great on paper, but they sacrifice noise, light sensitivity, and color accuracy for pure resolution. They rock at taking pics of resolution charts, but for real life photos people might find the quality of the photos are not really better than those of their 5 mp counterparts.

    Still, the best 8 mp consumer digicam on the market is the Olympus C-8080.
  • Reply 13 of 18
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Damn that PowerShot S1 is incredible looking! just doesn't have the flip out LCD. Man...and image stabilization! I'll have to get in to a store and look at this guy.

    So, what is the real world deal with these numbers. And thanks by the way, I'm still new at photography but looking to get in to it this summer. What's the average lens speed and what is a good speed. Is the A80 average or better than average? Seemed like a high-end camera in terms of everything else, when compared by other things. Also what's the deal with "Depth of Field" and what's average/good on that.
  • Reply 14 of 18
    eugeneeugene Posts: 8,254member
    More DoF means more of a photo will be in focus. ... landscapes

    Less DoF means things other than the subject will be blurry. ... artsy fartsy photos / portraits.

    You can change DoF by using different apertures (F1.8, F4, F8, F22, etc.) The smaller the F-stop value, the larger the aperture (size of the lens opening). With larger apertures, you increase the exposure at any given shutter speed, but you lose DoF. Larger apertures require faster shutter mechanisms so you rarely see consumer cams with low F-stops.

    Having a camera that can stop down to F2.8 or lower is great for narrow focus artsy-fartsy stuff and taking candids in low-light.
  • Reply 15 of 18
    aquaticaquatic Posts: 5,602member
    Thanks eugene that was really helpful! the A80 is f2.8-4.9 and 7.8 to 23.4mm. So that's why you'd want a very fast fast lens, so you can have the aperture open a lot and still get good DOF? And so you'd have to pay a few hundred more for that I assume? I guess I got what I paid for and I'll have to live with the A80 for a few years and do the best I can, get a steady hand a tiny tripod or something!
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