Canon A80l, some specific points

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Anthony Buckland, Dec 16, 2003.

  1. I've gone through the detailed reviews of the A70, and have some
    specific questions
    about the A80 (for which a similarly detailed review (from, say,
    Digital Photography)
    doesn't yet seem to be available).

    There was concern about the brightness of the AF assist light, and about
    the A70's
    ability to AF in near darkness. Does the A80 show improved AF performance?

    Does the A80 have an improved shutter release speed?

    Is the noise level at different ASA settings any different in the A80
    than in the A70?

    Are there comparisons available between the A70 and the A80 concerning:
    - white balance?
    - macro focus?
    - cleanliness of night exposures?
    - detail in night exposures?
    - barrel and pincushion distortions?
    - vignetting?

    The A70 seems to have lacked an orientation sensor. Does the A80 have one?

    Some people say the superfine setting makes up for the lack of RAW as an
    option;
    do people agree with this?

    Is there an accessory usable as a lens hood (one of my failings is
    trying to shade
    the lens from direct sunlight and taking a picture of my fingers :) )?

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Lots of questions; but if you have comments on one or two or even more of
    them, I and I suspect other PowerShot comparers would be grateful to read
    them. Thanks.
    Anthony Buckland, Dec 16, 2003
    #1
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  2. Anthony Buckland

    VT Guest

    On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 10:30:01 -0800, Anthony Buckland
    <> wrote:


    >There was concern about the brightness of the AF assist light, and about
    >the A70's
    >ability to AF in near darkness. Does the A80 show improved AF performance?
    >


    No there does not appear to be any improvement - see this thread:

    A80 Power/LowLight/Focus Info/White Balance/Screen
    http://forums.powershot-a.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=6999

    However since I have been vocal about A70's deficiency in low light
    focussing - let's put this into context - I do a lot of live music
    photography - and although most stages are well lit - there are always
    some musicians in the shadows further back - and the Canon A70 will
    often indicate that it has failed to lock-focus. However often after
    trying about 3 times I will force the shot anyway and have found that
    often the shot will be in focus. I have found that the AiAF will lock
    focus in just a shade lower light than the central spot focus zone
    alone - to about -1/3 to -1/2 stop better.

    dpReview reports the ability to focus as low as +1.4LV/EV - my own
    experiements using a black + on white paper and a regular dimming room
    light the lowest light level that I could manage was about +3LV/EV (or
    about 1sec f/2.8 ISO100) at the widest lens setting - any slight zoom
    will then fail to lock-focus.

    To be fair this is pretty demanding - and for a lot of people all this
    is moot, since the normal photographic conditions are under less
    demanding lighting.

    ....and obviously although frustrating for me - the other aspects of
    the A70 makes me keep using the A70 - despite of there are (few) low
    light situations when I want to throw it through a wall.......


    >Does the A80 have an improved shutter release speed?
    >


    Actual shutter lag is from the half-depression ie: after the
    focus-lock has been confirmed - this is pretty fast for the A70 and
    reported for the A80 -

    BUT if you mean total lag - INCLUDING time to lock focus -
    that's another story - that depends on the lighting and situation and
    can be up to 1.8secs for the A70 - I have not heard that is any faster
    with the A80.

    >Is the noise level at different ASA settings any different in the A80
    >than in the A70?


    Reported "better" - but I strongly suspect that it is really noticable
    at ISO400 in practice, and I don't think ISO400 quality is that good
    for even the A80 anyway...... so it is moot for me - but as always
    YMMV - and some may disagree (violently)..........

    >
    >Are there comparisons available between the A70 and the A80 concerning:
    >- white balance?
    >- macro focus?
    >- cleanliness of night exposures?
    >- detail in night exposures?
    >- barrel and pincushion distortions?
    >- vignetting?
    >


    see link above
    you could ask these questions on the Canon A-series forum for possible
    better response.

    http://forums.powershot-a.com/
    --
    Vincent
    remove CLOTHES for e-mail

    http://UnknownVincent.cjb.net/
    VT, Dec 16, 2003
    #2
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  3. VT wrote:

    > ... a lot of informative stuff, soon after being asked ...
    >

    Thanks for the response!
    Anthony Buckland, Dec 16, 2003
    #3
  4. Anthony,

    note that the A80 has a larger sensor chip than the A70. I think this should
    account for much better picture quality in the circumstances you are worried
    about. This chip is used in the Canon G3 and other models too and is well
    regarded.

    Guenter Fieblinger
    Guenter Fieblinger, Dec 17, 2003
    #4
  5. On Tue, 16 Dec 2003 10:30:01 -0800, Anthony Buckland <> wrote:

    >There was concern about the brightness of the AF assist light, and about
    >the A70's ability to AF in near darkness. Does the A80 show improved AF performance?


    In near darkness, it is going to be hard for either of the two cameras to
    auto-focus. At least I know that it is with my A80 to focus very low light
    situations.


    >Does the A80 have an improved shutter release speed?


    If you are referring to the situation where you just press the shutter button
    the full distance to get a shot, then it is about 1 to 2 seconds. If you press
    it half way, letting the camera do its thing with the focus, then the release
    after full press is almost instantaneous.


    >Is the noise level at different ASA settings any different in the A80
    >than in the A70?


    I have used ASA-200 on a couple of shots and I have noticed it being more grainy
    than at ASA-50. I cannot comment on the difference between the A70 and A80 as
    far as ASA levels are concerned, because I have not used the A70 first hand.


    >The A70 seems to have lacked an orientation sensor. Does the A80 have one?


    My A80 is pretty good at determining which direction you have it turned. There
    is a small icon that you see when using the LCD that shows the camera direction.
    I can turn the camera vertical and it automatically senses it and changes the
    icon to show you the orientation of the camera.


    >Some people say the superfine setting makes up for the lack of RAW as an
    >option do people agree with this?


    I have been taking all of my shots at the Large/Superfine settings. The camera
    shows 61 shots available on a cleanly formatted 128 meg CF card. I had read
    about the RAW option on the S50. I was really thinking about the S50 for a
    while, but it finally came down to money. The superfine setting really makes
    some excellent pictures.


    -----
    Kerry Sanders
    http://photos.pshack.com/
    Kerry Sanders, Dec 20, 2003
    #5
  6. Anthony Buckland <> writes:

    >Is the noise level at different ASA settings any different in the A80
    >than in the A70?


    It should be better, since the A80 has the same larger CCD that is used
    in the G2 and S400 and S45. Though the A80 has 4 MP rather than 3,
    the sensor size increased enough that each pixel is larger in the A80
    than the A70.

    >The A70 seems to have lacked an orientation sensor. Does the A80 have one?


    Yes, it does.

    >Some people say the superfine setting makes up for the lack of RAW as an
    >option;
    >do people agree with this?


    No. Anyone who says the one is a substitute for the other either (a)
    doesn't understand what RAW is useful for, or (b) is using a camera
    whose highest-quality JPEG output still has visible artifacts, so they
    have to use RAW to avoid compression entirely.

    With something like a G2, you can select either large/superfine or
    RAW. Most of the reasons for selecting RAW are not related to
    JPEG compression, they are related to deferring choices (white
    balance, saturation, contrast, sharpening) until later, and retaining
    more bits of information longer in the image processing pipeline.
    If you need RAW for any of these reasons, superfine JPEG is just not
    equivalent, and a G2 or G3 would be a better choice than the A80.

    On the other hand, superfine is very good for not having visible
    compression artifacts. If that's all you are trying to avoid, you
    don't need RAW and the A80 is fine. If you shoot in RAW but then just
    use all the default settings in the raw converter, you might as well
    have shot large/superfine instead - the JPEG image will look just about
    identical. The majority of images I shoot with my G2 are done in
    large/superfine, not RAW.

    >Is there an accessory usable as a lens hood (one of my failings is
    >trying to shade
    >the lens from direct sunlight and taking a picture of my fingers :) )?


    The LA-DC52D adapter gives you a standard 52 mm filter thread. It's not
    much of a lens hood itself, since it projects only a short distance
    beyond the end of the lens, but you can screw a standard lens hood into
    it.

    Dave
    Dave Martindale, Dec 20, 2003
    #6
  7. Dave Martindale wrote:

    > ... good informative stuff ...
    >

    Thanks.
    Anthony Buckland, Dec 20, 2003
    #7
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