With an ultra-low price tag the Canon PowerShot A800 is sure to be popular amongst those looking for their first compact. But what exactly does £80 buy you these days? WDC finds out...

Product Overview

Overall rating:

85%
Overall score:85%
Value:95%
Performance:85%
Image Quality:85%
Design:80%
Features:80%

Pros:

  • Extremely low price tag, good performance, impressive image quality

Cons:

  • Sub-standard LCD screen, slightly limited specification

Product:

Canon PowerShot A800

Manufacturer:

Price as reviewed:

£50.00

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With such a low price tag you could forgive the A800 for scrimping on features, although at first glance this isn’t necessarily the case. The model features a 3.3x optical zoom, covering a focal range of 37-122mm, as well as a 10MP CCD sensor. Canon’s DIGIC III processor also features along with Smart Auto technology. The only area of the specification where it feels that Canon has scrimped is the LCD screen, being just 2.5in and with a resolution of just 115k-dots.



The A800 doesn’t feature the most refined design of a compact camera, with the body boasting a wedge-shaped form – this is no doubt due to the space needed to accommodate the two AA batteries which provide the power. The rest of the controls will be familiar to any compact camera user, and allow for easy operation.



There are several niggles in use – the model’s LCD screen struggles in harsh lighting due to the poor resolution, while the zoom features an amount of travel after removing your finger from the button, making accurate zooming difficult. Image quality is generally reliable – colours appear rich while white balance errs to warmer tones. One area where the camera does struggle, however, is with dynamic range and in particular highlights, which have a tendency to blow out.

Full Specification

Video:
640 x 480, 30fps
White Balance:
Auto, 5 preset, custom

Memory Card:
SD, SDHC, SDXC
LCD:
2.5in, 115k-dot

Sensor:
1/2.3in CCD, 10MP effective
Exposure Modes:
Auto, P, Movie, Scene modes

Metering System:
Evaluative, centre-weighted, spot
Weight:
186g

Connectivity:
Hi-Speed USB, A/V output
Flash Modes:
Auto, manual, slow synchro

Power:
2 x AA batteries
ISO Range:
100 – 1600

Lens:
3.3x opitcal zoom, 37-122mm
Dimensions:
94.3 x 61.6 x 31.2mm

Shutter Speeds:
15 – 1/2000 sec
File Formats:
JPEG, AVI