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Canon PowerShot S80
Canon PowerShot S80

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Ultra Compact Digital Cameras category.

Canon PowerShot S80

Editor's Review

Canon's new ultracompact flagship. The PowerShot S80 is loaded with features. Though Canon has made the S80 almost 8% smaller than previous models, they haven't skimped on the quality. A large 2.5" LCD screen offers vivid previews and a variety of shooting modes ensures the proper settings in any condition.


  • 8.3 megapixels
  • 3.6x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom
  • manual and auto focus
  • manual and auto exposure
  • JPEG file format
  • ISO 50-400
  • lithium ion battery
  • movie mode with sound
  • Release Date: Aug 24, 2005

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Canon PowerShot S80 Reviews

Canon PowerShot S80 Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 4.0 out of 5
overall great but ... (sam romilly — 11/20/2006)

I sadly lost this camera recently. However I was already starting to think of replacing it due to a few drawbacks I feel stop this from being rated5 Stars. 1) Macro length is very poor. Getting in close to a subject is difficult, 2) the LCD screen is not so bright and scratches easily - if you do not take care from the start to always have it in a case (and I prefer to use my pocket 3) manual focus is very difficult - especially when combined with the previous two issues. 4) Very easy to press the button controlling the image quality by mistake. This means your great shots when looked at suddently turn out to have been shot with just 4 MP or less instead of 8. 5) LCD viewer is not moveable which restricts candid shots (and would also better protect from scratches)

Apart from those grips it is a great camera and I did take some excellent pictures with it. I plan to replace it with the new Canon A640.

  • 5.0 out of 5
fantastic (russell carlson — 11/02/2006)

I needed a small "wide angle" camera with options but ease of use.
This camera never fails, I have driven by a subject and just pointed out the window in the general direction. After loading into my mac pro you would have thought I stood analizing the shot for 10 min. I use this as a back up to my Sony H3 movie and I can recomend it without hesitation.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Very Pleased (Rich — 08/09/2006)

My first digital camera, and I am in my forties. I have always been afraid to go digital, and was concerned that the picture quality would not be as good as film. However, upon using this wonderful camera, that concern has subsided to the point where I can't imagine going back to film. I have taken thousands of pictures already, and not developed one yet—I have found enough enjoyment in looking at them on the large screen provided on the back of the camera. I am looking forward to learning more about how to use this camera, but so far, it has been pure enjoyment. I recommend that you buy screen protectors (plastic stick-on covers) for the screen which can scratch easily. I wish I had know about these before I started to use the camera. The camera must be handled carefully, and has minor quirks that you will notice, but get familiar with, and won't bother you too much. The camera FEELS like such a quality item, and gets a lot of feedback from others along those lines. I understand that this camera has been discontinued, or is not currently available. I think I made a GREAT decision to buy this one as my first digital camera. It's a bit pricey, yet not so expensive that I would have to worry about it all the time, as I would a more expensive model. I suggest a nice soft case that goes on your belt to carry it in. Careful when taking it out of the case. All in all, very pleased with this camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent point and shoot (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I wanted a small point and shoot that had wide angle and I could put in my pocket. I tried the Panasonic Lumix FX-01. I wanted a small P and S with wide angle that I could take anywhere and the S-80 seemed a little large. I took the Panasonic back because of excess noise at high ISO and low light levels. I had read about this and wanted to give it a try. In daylight, no problem, the FX-01 is a great camera, Leica lens is probably a little better than Canon and actually operating the camera (esp video!) is sweet. But you have to leave it at ISO 80 and always shoot with flash or the pictures look like terrible. The whole point of the Point and Shoot (forgive the pun) is to take it everywhere to get that short notice picture, which is usually indoors. you need wide angle for indoor shots, 35 mm equiv doesn't cut it and you can't lug your SLR along everywhere you go. You also can't take it hiking in the Rockies or on bike trips. You need a point and shoot that can do this. The S-80, is great. The Canon imaging chip is excellent, even at ISO 200. ISO 400 is a little noisy but still much better than the Panasonic. Both have an F 2.8 28 mm equiv lens. The Panasonic takes better video, the Canon, has time lapse. Canon is bulkier but you can still fit in your pants pocket. LCD screen on the Panasonic is a little better and you can choose your aspect ratio, 16:9, 4:3 or 3:2 but images on a TV set with the Canon and printed out at a photo finisher blow the Panasonic away, esp at low light levels and high ISO. One other thing, the S-80 is a fully controllable, has aperture priority, shutter priority, program, manual, and lots of "scene modes" if you're not terribly photographically inclined. Most outdoor shots, I leave it at ISO 50 and program mode. Indoors, shutter priority at 1/30th and if the light is low, jack up the ISO. One thing to remember with the SLRs, ISO 200 on an SLR is not a problem, in fact on some it's the best ISO setting and you don't need to go any lower. On P and S cameras, you always need to shoot at the lowest ISO if you can. Lenses are usually 2.8 or worse and at Tele settings, 5.0 or worse. This is one thing about digital photography that is much different from film. An 8 MP SLR at ISO 200 gives superb images. the S-80 can compete but you have to accept a little lower lens quality, lower flash output, and lower ISO speeds.

It's a neat little camera and if you've ever used a Canon, you get the hang of it pretty quickly. Powershot G-series users will like it as will Rebel XT and 20D 30D. I got a warranty, my own personal thing. I love this cam er and I'm glad I took the Panasonic back. the S-80 is much more versatile. And has 8 MP.

  • 5.0 out of 5
AMAZING CAMERA. DON'T HESITATE. JUST BUY (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

What can I say...superlatives high enough, I cannot come up with. This is the best camera I have owned, in terms of results and ease of use. It is portable, but provides SLR-quality results (within its focal range). I have previously owned a Nikon Ultracompact and Kodak, and they DO NOT stand a chance against this bad-boy! I have coupled this camera with my Canon Digital Rebel XT, which make an ideal pairing, as the XT has more versality, as an SLR. For family vacations, fun outings, and situations in which an SLR would be to large to lug, the S80 is the camera for you. It provides professional quality results, get can be learned and used readily by a novice seeking startling results. I think it is also an ideal camera for an individual looking to learn manual functions and the nuances of shutter speeds and aperture priority modes. This camera has both a multitude of programable, manual, and automatic modes, making it ideal for nearly any use. Nighttime shooting, portrait, and telephoto uses are great. The camera also comes equipped with a wide angle lense, making it great for landscapes and group photo shots. Build quality is fantastic, and the user interface is intuitive. I have not had the same problem as otheris in getting mode switches while using my zoom. I think the interface is terrific and would not change it. Having the mode dial set on the side of the camera allows you to see and adjust which modes you are shooting in, as well as to half click to preview results, before you even take a shot! Great idea, Canon. This camera is chalk-full of innovative design elements. It is user friendly, and capable of satisfying both a novice and advanced amateur. It is a Must Buy. You will not go wrong in purchasing this camera, so in the words of a famous shoe maker, JUST DO IT!

  • 5.0 out of 5
The best camera I've owned! (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I've had this camera for a month and I'm very impressed with its solid yet compact design, and great pictures. It allows enough manual tweaking to inspire the budding photographer in all of us. :)

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent camera, U cannot expect more than that in a small size camera like the S80 (Hoang Cong Thanh — 04/16/2006)

Yes I have owned it for 3 months and found out that it's an excellent camera within such a portable size, both for picture and video. The only constrain is when video is set up at high solution, it can only record at 15fps, if it were 30fps, this one could be perfect!

  • 2.0 out of 5
mode wheel moved when focusing (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Very unhappy with this purchase. The camera has a lot going for it except a BIG design flaw in my opinion. When I look through the view finder and adjust the focus my finger also moves the mode wheel. Well changing the mode wheel means that I may be shooting in shutter, aperture or movie mode rather than the selected program mode. This make a huge difference in the quality of the picture. The screen on the back is 2.5" but because of the size of the camera will get finger prints on it and in sun light is hard to see what the pictures look like. Digic II and 8mp made me think that this would be a great camera, instead the physical design has made this a very big disappointment. Don't make the mistake I made.. Buy something else!

  • 5.0 out of 5
A high-end digital camera that does everything well. (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Eight megapixels does not insure great results unless it is coupled with top-notch optics and the Canon S80 has both! Fantastic photographs:
razor sharp and well exposed. This is the perfect camera for someone that does not want the bulk of a digital SLR yet wants similar results. The S80 has a 28mm to 100mm zoom which should satisfy most photographic situations. The color balance is very good, long battery life, almost no shutter lag, good flash coverage and exposure and a big 2.5 inch LCD. I bought a 1 GB flash card giving 290 pictures when the camera is set to it's highest resolution. This compact digital is a 'take anywhere' camera. One has to be careful in holding the S80 as it is quite easy to partially cover the flash window or jar the front sliding cover shutting the camera down. The S80 may cost about $100.00 more than other high-end compact digital cameras but on balance it is worth the difference. The S80 is a solid well made camera that I have become very fond of and to end this review feel it also a good looking camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Performance (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera has great performance. Less than one second from turning on to taking pictures. The esssential camera controls are available with just one touch (no multiple menu levels). It also includes a shortcut button for other options. Overall, great camera and happy with purchase.

  • 5.0 out of 5
One major fault (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The style wheel is too close to the magnification dial, so changing the focal length will change the style )program, aperature,etc.) unintentionally. This happens very often. The camera has the ability to deliver great pictures IF it is set correctly.

  • 4.0 out of 5
good colors (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

Just bought this camera couple of weeks back and took various shots including taking to a local museum. Everything is good except "indoor portrait" shots are not as good as sony. The objects' faces were little yellowish instead of white with flash. May be I need to fiddle with settings more.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Professional Touch (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

This camera requires some basic photo knowledge and for thoes who do not own a SLR this camera will inspire you to purchase one.-

  • 5.0 out of 5
Canon lives upto reputation (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

The camera is great, great quality, great fetures, XGA filming puts it above the comp.
Lots of manual funtion,probably one or two step below a SLR(i mean in function & price).
Only point i would raise is that if your looking for a basic Point and shoot maybe this will be abit to much(although it does have an excellent Auto function)as you really need to learn a little about photography to take adv of the manual functions. Also the 32MB SD card that it cames with is not enough you will need at least a 512MB card, hence factor this into the cost.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Nice improvements (anonymous — 07/18/2006)

I have owned the S80 for 2 days and have run it through a gauntlet of tests. Color and clarity are second to none in this class and the big screen is enjoyable. Slight soft corners at 28 as was the case with the S70 also. All in all FANTASTIC!