The IXUS 800 IS's quick and responsive performance hits the right note. A shutter lag of 0.5 seconds in bright light and 0.8 seconds in dim light are about average for an ultracompact, but its 1.5-second time to first shot and 1.6-second shot-to-shot time definitely rise above the crowd. Even with the onboard flash enabled, shot-to-shot time rose to only 1.9 seconds. And it keeps up the pace in continuous-shooting mode -- about 2.1fps in burst mode for an effectively unlimited number of shots.
Though it's the first IXUS-series to use Canon's optical image stabilisation system, the 800 IS does a very good job of minimising blur. Zoomed-in photos look crisp and clean with image stabilisation, and wide-angle, low-light photos suffer less blur than usual.
Like performance, the image quality rates as excellent. The 800 IS reproduces colour very well, and images are clean with few processing flaws. Photos remain consistent and noise-free at low-to-moderate ISO speeds and are acceptable even at ISO 400. At ISO 800, we noticed some distinct noise in our photos, but it was a clean, grainlike noise that left the images very usable. Furthermore, lens sharpness remains relatively consistent around the edges, unlike with some similar cameras. This helps keep fringing to a minimum.
The Canon Digital IXUS 800 IS is a very strong, compact digital camera that produces great pictures. Its price is a bit high compared to that of its little siblings, the IXUS 60 and IXUS 65, but its great image stabilisation and subsequent blur-free photos are worth the extra few quid.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
||Typical shot-to-shot time||
||Time to first shot||
||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Edited by Lori Grunin
Additional editing by Kate Macefield