Once in a while it would be nice to have a digital camera handy. I still have my old casio exilim, but I hate using it. Since I sold the Digital Rebel to Steve and bought all sorts of film gear, I was left without anything digital. What I wanted was something small enough to take everywhere, but not so small that it’s hard to handle. I wanted a simple point and shoot but with manual options, just in case. After much research, I settled on the Canon A80.

After about 6 hours with the camera, here’s what I like…

  • Solid construction. They actually used metal to make this thing, and it’s heavy enough to feel like it won’t fall apart if I squeeze it too hard.

  • Reasonable shutter lag. I can live with the lag, especially if prefocussing.

  • Controls are nicely arranged. I don’t expect to accidently push the wrong button too often.

  • The lens is pretty fast – f2.8 at the wide end.

  • The rotatable LCD has already come in handy

What I don’t like so far…

  • The LCD is way too small. This won’t always be a problem, since I usually use the optical viewfinder anyway.

  • Highest ISO is 400, although I’ve heard that it’s actually more like 800.

  • Lotsa noise at higher ISO settings. The Rebel blows this outta the water

  • After a few test shots, it’s showing a tendency to blow out highlights easily, and there is evidence of “purple fringing” – see below.

Shot of Zim against bright sun

Fringin’