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Canon PowerShot A800 Overview

Posted: 01/05/2011

The Canon PowerShot A800 is based around a 10-megapixel, 1/2.3"-type CCD image sensor coupled to a 3.3x optical zoom lens that offers focal lengths ranging from a rather tight 37mm wide angle to a moderate 122mm telephoto. Maximum aperture varies from f/3.0 to f/5.8 across the zoom range. Images on the Canon A800 must be framed and reviewed on its 2.5-inch LCD panel, as there's no true optical viewfinder on this camera. The PowerShot A800's display has a resolution of 115,000 dots (~38,000 pixels, with three dots per pixel).

The Canon A800's sensor allows sensitivities ranging from ISO 100 to ISO 1,600 equivalents, extending to ISO 3,200 in Low Light mode. Exposures are determined using Evaluative, Center-weighted Average or Spot metering, and direct control of shutter speed or aperture isn't possible on this camera (except for a "Long Shutter" mode which lets you choose shutter speeds between 1 and 15 seconds). 2.0EV of exposure compensation is available, in 1/3EV increments. Seven white balance modes are available on the Canon A800 - Auto, Manual, or five presets. The PowerShot A800's built-in flash strobe has a range of only 9.8 feet at wide angle, dropping to 6.6 feet at telephoto, and recharges in around ten seconds.

The PowerShot A800 offers Canon's Smart Auto mode, which intelligently selects optimal settings automatically for you based on 19 predefined shooting situations. Thirteen manually selected scene modes are also available, consisting of: Blur Reduction, Portrait, Kids & Pets, Face Self-timer, Low Light, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Sunset, Fireworks and Long Shutter.

As well as still images, the PowerShot A800 can capture video clips at VGA (640x480) and QVGA (320x240) resolutions, both at 30 frames-per-second. The Canon PowerShot A800 stores images on SD / SDHC / SDXC / MMC / MMC Plus / HC MMC Plus cards, and draws power from two AA batteries. Battery life is rated at 500 shots on a charge, to CIPA testing standards using NiMH rechargeable batteries. Connectivity options include USB 2.0 high-speed data and NTSC / PAL standard definition video.

The Canon PowerShot A800 ships from mid-February 2011, priced at around US$90. Available colors are black, silver and red.