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Canon PowerShot SD800 IS

Ilse Jurrien
Photokina report
Thursday 14th, September 2006
Posted by: Ilse Jurrien

America's love affair with Canon's Digital ELPH cameras is heating up once again as a new streamlined sister joins the PowerShot Digital ELPH family - just in time for the popular camera line's tenth anniversary. Reprising the discrete, petite profiles, curved bodies, smooth lines, and lustrous eye-catching allure that defines the outer-design of the Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH camera model, the 7.1 Megapixels takes the marriage of style and substance to a new level. The SD800 IS features an array of new user-friendly features, innovations and enhancements ranging from a dramatically faster response time to a new face detection autofocus system that keeps subjects in focus no matter where in the frame they appear.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS - Design
"The PowerShot Digital ELPH line of cameras has always been characterized by the sleek contoured look, the full array of features and the extraordinary picture quality they deliver," states Yukiaki Hashimoto, senior vice president and general manager of the consumer imaging group at Canon USA, Inc. "With the PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH camera Canon continues that tradition of innovation, eye appeal, ease of use and imaging excellence, and will no doubt continue to delight our users and confound our competitors."

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS - Optical Image Stabilizer
The 7.1 megapixel SD800 IS Digital ELPH camera is the second and newest Optical Image Stabilized Digital ELPH model in the PowerShot line, and is now the top-of-the-line Digital ELPH IS entry. Canon based the optical image stabilization system on advancements made in the development of the company's EF and video lenses, and then scaled it down to fit the diminutive Digital ELPH camera profile. Unlike electronic or "digital image stabilization systems" that typically degrade image quality, Canon's lens shift-type stabilization system preserves maximum optical quality while providing up to three stops of shake correction in shutter speed equivalent.

Canon PowerShot SD 800 IS ELPH - ISO 1600
This new SD800 IS model features a number of significant advancements, including improved low-light performance due to the combination of optical IS and a top ISO speed of 1600, and for the first time in the Digital ELPH series, an optical 3.8x wide range zoom lens (28-105mm equivalent), which employs Canon's UA lens technology that permits a longer zoom capability in a smaller amount of space.

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Canon SD800 IS Digital ELPH - Digit III processor
The brain behind this beauty is the DIGIC III, the newest iteration of Canon's ultra-efficient (and proprietary) image processor. Shared thus far only with Canon's new flagship PowerShot G7 model - it is the DIGIC III chip that accounts for the cameras' higher performance levels including faster start up, autofocus and shutter response times; improved maximum processing speed; and of course, enhanced image quality and more efficient power consumption; resulting in extended battery life under typical shooting conditions. What's more, thanks to the DIGIC III chip's more aggressive noise reduction, the PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH camera is able to shoot at ISO equivalent speed ratings from 80 to as high as 1600. This increased sensitivity at the top-end allows the use of faster shutter speeds, significantly reducing camera shake and subject blur during hand held low-light photography.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH - Face detection
With Canon's new Face Detection AF/AE technology (working in concert with Canon's 9-point Autofocus system), the PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH can detect, lock on and track up to nine human faces in a scene simply by pressing the shutter button halfway. The face detection algorithm automatically prioritizes and selects the optimum subject and not simply the closest face (based on Canon's Intelligent Scene Analysis/iSAPS technology). It will then optimize the focus and exposure to ensure the best possible results for easy picture taking moments.

Canon PowerShot SD-800 IS ELPH - Innovations
The Canon SD800 IS Digital ELPH digital camera makes taking and sharing better pictures simple, thanks to such onboard innovations as:
• Expanded special scene modes that include ISO 3200 and Aquarium settings. The extremely high-speed ISO 3200 mode enables shooting without a tripod and flash were previously required, while Aquarium mode reproduces vivid images of swimming fish inside an aquarium without blurring;
• A widescreen 16:9 ratio resolution setting that facilitates creating panoramic prints or image "slide shows" viewable on widescreen format televisions;
• There's even a convenient 3x2 composition guide which displays horizontal gray bars at the top and bottom as an overlay on the LCD screen so that users can compose and shoot their images in the proportion best suited to the size print they wish to make (typically 4x 6-inches);
• A new My Category feature to streamline the categorizing of still and movie images for quicker and easier printing or playback;
• A Safety zoom function allows users to comfortably explore digital zoom without sacrificing image quality while a new Digital Tele-converter digitally emulates traditional optical tele-converters.

Canon SD800 IS ELPH - 2.5 inch LCD screen
The camera's large, 2.5-inch high resolution LCD screen has been enhanced to approximately 207,000 pixels with a bright, wide, easy to read viewing area and is set attractively into the Digital ELPH's rugged, stainless steel shell with its iconic perpetual curve design. In keeping with a decade of ELPH philosophy that proclaims, "great things come in small packages," this pocket-sized photo powerhouse measures just under an inch thick with lens retracted, 2.28 inches high and 3.52 inches long. The Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH carries an estimated selling price of $399.99. The Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Digital ELPH will be available in stores from October 2006.

Canon 10 Years of Iconic Style
2006 marks the 10th Anniversary of Canon's ELPH brand. Canon pioneered the stylish camera concept in 1996 with the first ELPH camera, an APS film model designed to take great pictures and fit stylishly into the consumer lifestyle. With each PowerShot Digital ELPH camera that Canon introduces, the company continues to focus on style, fashion and the distinctive look and feel of the ELPH line, a look that many competitors have often imitated, but never duplicated. Canon's new PowerShot Digital ELPH camera honors the ELPH heritage of ultimate style while incorporating the latest imaging technologies, such as the DIGIC III image processor.

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