Digital Camera Home > Digital Camera Reviews > Canon Digital Cameras > Canon PowerShot A80
"Picky Details" for the Canon PowerShot A80 digital camera
(Timing, Power, and Storage Info)

Timing
I measure both cycle times and shutter delay times, using a test system I designed and built for the purpose. (Crystal-controlled, with a resolution of 0.001 second.) Here are the numbers I collected for the A80:

 

PowerShot A80 Timings
Operation
Time
(secs)
Notes
Power On -> First shot
2.25
Time is for lens to extend fully. Moderately fast.
Shutdown
2.64
Lens has to retract. Average to a bit faster than average.
Play to Record, first shot
2.04
Time until first shot is captured. About average.
Record to play
1.52/1.37
Time to display a large/fine file after capture. Second time is for second display after processing has been completed. About average.
Shutter lag, full autofocus
0.83/1.24
First time is for wide angle, second for telephoto. Average to slower than average. (Average ranges from 0.8 to 1.0 second.)
Shutter lag, prefocus
0.100
Time to capture, after half-pressing Shutter button. Very fast.
Cycle Time, max/min resolution
1.43/1.45
First numbers are for large/fine files, second number is time for small/basic images. Fairly fast. Buffer memory holds 4 frames at large/fine, a hundred or more at small/basic quality setting.
Cycle Time, continuous mode, max/min resolution
0.67/0.68
1.49fps
First pair of numbers is for large/fine, second set for small/basic files. Number beneath is corresponding frames per second. Fairly fast. Regardless of image size/quality, the first shot takes a bit longer than subsequent ones. (0.82 second for large/fine images, 0.77 for small/basic.)


Overall, the A80's shooting speed is best described as "average," that is, neither better nor worse than the general run of competing models on the market. It's a little faster on startup, and has a very short shutter lag time in prefocus mode, but shutter lag with full autofocus is slower, stretching to times longer than average at telephoto lens settings. All in all, a decent performer, if not a stellar one.

Power
The PowerShot A80 uses four AA-type batteries for its power source, or the optional AC adapter. The table below shows the A80's power consumption in various modes, and approximate run times for each, based on four 1.2v NiMH batteries with a combined (true, not advertised) 1600 mAh capacity. (I use 1600 mAh capacity cells as my benchmark for these measurements, to maintain compatibility with earlier reviews. Given that AA cells are currently available with capacities of 2000 mAh and higher, you'll likely be able to achieve longer run times than those shown, if you use the best current batteries. See my Battery Shootout page for ratings of current NiMH AA cells.):

 

Operating Mode
Power
(@4.8 volts on the external power terminal)
Est. Minutes
(Four 1600 mAh NiMH cells)
Capture Mode, w/LCD
563 mA
170
Capture Mode, no LCD
90 mA
18 hours(!)
Half-pressed shutter w/LCD
618 mA
155
Half-pressed w/o LCD
453 mA
212
Memory Write (transient)
711 mA
n/a
Flash Recharge (transient)
1,059 mA
n/a
Image Playback
281 mA
342


As you can see from the numbers above, the A80 has excellent battery life. I still strongly recommend that you purchase two complete sets of the highest-capacity NiMH cells you can find, and keep one pair charged and ready as a backup, but the A80 does a good bit better than average in the battery-life department.

 

Storage Capacity
The PowerShot A80 stores its photos on CompactFlash memory cards, and comes with a larger-than-average 32MB capacity card. Still, I strongly recommend buying at least a 64MB capacity card (or larger) to give you plenty of space for the camera's highest resolution setting. The chart below shows how many images can be stored on the included 32MB CompactFlash card at each size/quality setting.

 

Image Capacity vs
Resolution/Quality
32MB CompactFlash Card
Superfine
Fine
Normal
Full Resolution
2,272 x 1,704
Images
(Avg size)
15
2,065 KB
27
1,148 KB
55
575 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1 10:1 20:1
1,600 x 1,200
Images
(Avg size)
30
1,036 KB
55
580 KB
109
294 KB
Approx.
Compression
6:1
10:1
20:1
1,024 x 768 Images
(Avg size)
54
593 KB
95
335 KB
174
184 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1
7:1
13:1
640 x 480
Images
(Avg size)
120
265 KB
196
163 KB
341
94 KB
Approx.
Compression
4:1
6:1
9:1

 

Download Speed
The PowerShot A80 connects to a host computer via a USB interface. Downloading files to my Sony VAIO desktop, 2.4 GHz Pentium IV, running Windows XP ("VAIO"), I clocked it at 510 KBytes/second. This is a fairly fast performance for a USB v1.1 camera. (Cameras with slow USB v1.1 interfaces run as low as 300 KB/s, cameras with fast ones run as high as 600 KB/s. Cameras with USB v2.0 interfaces can transfer data at anywhere from 600 KB/s to several megabytes/second.)

 

A80 Review
A80 Test Images
A80 Specifications
A80 "Picky Details"
Up to Imaging Resource digital cameras area

 

Reader Comments!
Questions, comments or controversy on this article? Click this link to see what other Imaging Resource readers have had to say about Canon PowerShot A80, or add comments of your own!


Follow Imaging Resource:

Purchase memory card for Panasonic Lumix DMC-XS3 digital camera
Top 3 photos this month win:

1 $300 Adorama Gift Certificate

2 $200 Adorama Gift Certificate

3 $100 Adorama Gift Certificate