Despite this bargain price, very few corners seem to have been cut in the C875’s design. Build quality is of a very high standard, and the camera feels strong and solid. It’s quite a large camera by compact standards, measuring 90.5 × 63 × 36.6mm, and weighing around 225g including two AA batteries it feels quite heavy as well. This bulk, and the handgrip sculpted into the front panel makes it a very comfortable camera to hold, and the position of the controls on the rear panel leaves plenty of room for your thumb.
The control layout is nice and simple. The main shooting modes are controlled via a large dial on the top plate with the shutter button at its centre. As well as “off” there are six settings on this dial. The standard full-auto mode turns the camera into a simple point-and-shoot snapshot camera, with limited manual control. ISO, white balance, metering and AF mode are all set to automatic or default settings, and only picture size, flash mode, self timer and burst mode can be manually altered.
Alternatively the camera can be set to PASM mode, which opens up a wide range of manual options. Program, aperture priority or shutter priority exposure can be quickly selected via on-screen controls, and adjusting the exposure values is also very simple. ISO (64-800) can be manually adjusted using the same on-screen one-touch system. Menu options in PASM mode include white balance, exposure bracketing, three metering options (multi-pattern, centre-weighted and spot), multi-zone or centre-zone AF in either continuous or single mode, a range of colour options including high and low saturation, sepia and monochrome, and three sharpness settings.
Other settings on the main dial include a scene mode with 21 options, although they are all fairly standard, and a decent movie mode offering the standard 640 x 480 resolution at 30 frames per second with mono audio. Commendably the zoom lens can be used while recording video, although the sound of the zoom motor can be clearly heard on the soundtrack.
The C875 isn’t exactly a semi-pro camera, but it offers a wider range of creative control than most compacts, and more than anything I can think of for the same price.