Canon IXY Digital 800 IS

11:38 pm PHT

One nice thing about Japan is that they have unbelievably affordable consumer electronics here. And the Akihabara district in Tokyo is definitely the place to go to if you want digital cameras, portable media players, mobile games consoles, cellphones, and computer parts and accesories. In fact, most of the PSPs, digital cameras, MP3 players and 3G cellphones owned by people in my company were bought in Japan.

So I definitely budgeted my allowance to buy myself and my family a digital camera. (We’ve been too long without any form of still-shot camera.) And what camera did I buy? Nothing else but the newly-released (as in just last Friday) Canon IXY Digital 800 IS (otherwise known as the Powershot SD700 IS in the United States and the Digital IXUS 800 IS in Europe and Southeast Asia). I got this baby for only ¥42,000, which when converted into pesos is approximately only 18 grand! This same camera would probably sell for around 25 to 32 thousand pesos retail back home.

This beautiful compact digicam has 6.0 megapixels, 4.0x optical zoom, 4.0x digital zoom, 2.5″ LCD screen, ISO up to 800, PictBridge technology, and has the noted Canon IS or Image Stabilizer technology (the major reason why I got this particular camera). This is the first of the IXY/IXUS line that has the IS technology built-in. Previously, only the Powershot S1 IS and the Powershot S2 IS have it, and those were the bulky compact digital cameras that slightly resembled their DSLR cousins. (But those beasts do have the 10x and 12x optical zoom to their credit.)

The Image Stabilizer technology makes it possible to capture sharp still photos even if your hand moved while pressing the camera button. I’ve tried it and believe me, it helps. It won’t eliminate all shakes though, but if you keep your hand reasonably still, you should expect to get good sharp photos. It gets extremely hard though when you go into higher zoom values.

Below you can see the results of a completely unscientific experiment of the IS in action. I’ve zoomed into the 4.0x range to really see how the IS performs. The right panel is a detail of a shot without IS and the picture on the left side has IS enabled.

Yes, I still get motion-blurred photos even with IS enabled, but I almost never get sharp photos with IS off. (Of course, having a tripod helps a great deal more than IS, but you can’t always use that.)

I’m having quite a bit of fun taking pictures left and right. Hehehe. You should probably expect that many of my personal future posts will be illustrated. Maybe.  =)

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