Battery life is good. The CP-8660 is powered by a fairly hefty 1250mAh Lithium-ion rechargeable battery. Acer makes no specific claims for its duration, but I took around 100 shots and several video clips with it and the battery indicator was still registering as 2/3 full. Assuming it is accurate I would estimate that it’s good for at least 250-300 shots. The battery is charged in the camera by a supplied mains adapter.
Another major plus point is the excellent 2.8 inch LCD monitor. It has a quick response time, and with 230k pixels it is nice and sharp.
Picture quality is of course the most important criteria, and here the CP-8660 can provide good results under the right circumstances. Colour rendition is very natural, and in good light and normal conditions the exposure system produces generally nice shots. Oddly the ‘vivid’ colour mode didn’t appear to make any difference to colour rendition at all.
Unfortunately, the camera’s sensor seems to have very limited dynamic range, so any image with both shadows and highlights tends to lose detail in both. However with 8-megapixels of resolution pictures are well detailed and there were no obtrusive visible compression artefacts. There was some purple fringing around very bright highlights, but I’ve seen worse from more expensive cameras. Image noise control was also good, with noise and colour speckling only really a problem at the maximum 400 ISO.
Like most long compact zooms, the 7.8-46.8 mm (37-222mm equiv.) unit on the Acer is an optical compromise, but it does actually perform quite well. It has significant but not catastrophic barrel distortion at the wide end, but overall sharpness is good and there is no significant corner blurring under normal conditions. The super-macro shots were a little distorted, but in focus and accurately exposed.
As with the CU-6530 the flash is underpowered, with a maximum range of just 2.5m, and is inclined to over expose at close range, but at medium range it does produce nice results.
The CP-8660 is, as I said at the start, an audacious camera but as it turns out, overly so. It does offer a unique combination of features but performance is slow and the anti-shake system is largely ineffective. However, picture quality is generally adequate and the 6x zoom range is very useful. The problem is that there are better cameras on the market that can beat it in every respect, and for about the same price.
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