Some time ago, a reader of this site suggested that we were taking bribes from Canon, because every single review of a Canon camera was full of glowing praise. I can assure you that we are utterly incorruptible, but I’m afraid this is going to be another good review for Canon. The reason is very simple. With only one or two rare exceptions, Canon’s digital cameras are all excellent, although they do tend to be a bit pricey. Unfortunately it makes for a pretty boring review, but what am I going to do?
Canon now has no less than 27 models in its digital compact range, filling every possible niche in the market. The five models in the S series are aimed at users who are looking for something more capable than a snapshot camera, but not as complex as a semi-pro or SLR model. The new S80 is the top of the S range at the moment, and offers eight megapixel resolution, a useful range of creative features, the latest DIGIC II image processing engine and a superb 3.6x optical zoom lens.
Despite its power and creative potential, it still manages to be stylish, compact and easy to use. However all these good things come at a price, and the S80 will set you back a not inconsiderable £498.99, which is an awful lot of money for a compact camera.
When you first get the S80 out of the box, you know at once where that money went. The initial impression is of sleek style and superb build quality. It’s quite a chunky camera, and surprisingly heavy for its size. It measures 104 x 57 x 38.8mm and weighs a hefty 225g minus the battery and card, so you’re not going to be carrying it in your shirt pocket, unless your shirts are made out of Kevlar.