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Canon Digital IXUS 870IS / PowerShot SD 880IS ELPH Gordon Laing, November 2008

Canon IXUS 870IS / PowerShot SD 880IS Gallery

The following images were taken with a Canon IXUS 870IS / PowerShot SD 880IS. The IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS was set to Large Super-Fine JPEG quality, Auto White Balance and Evaluative metering. The sensitivity was set to Auto for the first three images, but set manually for the remaining five. Image Stabilisation was enabled for all these handheld shots.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset. The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Note: you may wish to open a number of galleries for direct comparison of detail and noise: Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX35 sample images.

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Landscape: 3.70MB, Program, 1/500, f5.6, ISO 80, 5-20mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  This first shot was taken with the IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS under bright conditions with the lens zoomed-out; the Auto sensitivity selected its lowest 80 ISO setting.

As you'll see throughout this gallery, the new DIGIC 4 processor delivers natural-looking results which are punchy without going over-the-top. The 28mm coverage also captured a wide view here.

The crops viewed at 100% are sharp and detailed with only slight sharpening artefacts.

Landscape: 5.33MB, Program, 1/500, f5.6, ISO 100, 5-20mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Another shot taken under bright conditions with the Canon zoomed-out to its widest angle view.

We shot at a low angle, and while a flip-out screen would have been preferable, the monitor on the IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS remained visible thanks to a decent viewing angle.

In Auto sensitivity, the camera's selected 100 ISO here, and pixel peepers may notice subtle textures in areas of flat colour - nothing to worry about yet though.

Landscape: 4.94MB, Program, 1/640, f5, ISO 100, 5-20mm at 15mm (equivalent to 84mm)

  This third shot of an approaching boat was taken with the lens zoomed-into its three-quarter length at an equivalent of 84mm.

Looking closely at the 100% crops again reveals a little texture from noise in shadow areas or those with flat colour, and a small amount of fringing in the high contrast lifeboat supports towards the edge of the frame.

But again this is serious pixel-peeping and most would be very happy with the results here.

Portrait: 4.31MB, Program, 1/1000, f5.8, ISO 200, 5-20mm at 20mm (equivalent to 112mm)

  For this portrait shot we zoomed the Canon into its longest focal length at an equivalent of 112mm, activated face detection and manually set the sensitivity to 200 ISO.

The camera easily locked-onto the subject's face, but even with the largest aperture, the background remains almost as sharp as the foreground.

The crops also reveal an increase in noise due to the boost in sensitivity. This is sadly par for the course on most of today's 10 Megapixel compacts, but is hardly noticeable on prints.

Macro: 4.74MB, Program, 1/60, f2.8, ISO 400, 5-20mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  For this macro shot we increased the sensitivity to 400 ISO and positioned the camera as close at it would focus. The IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS will focus down to just 2cm, although you'll have to watch out for shadows at that distance.

There's some geometric distortion here with the lens zoomed-out, but the field is fairly flat with sharp results across most of it.

The increase to 400 ISO hasn't been too detrimental in this example, but the subject matter is quite forgiving.


Indoor: 4.48MB, Program, 1/100, f2.8, ISO 400, 5-20mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our first indoor shot was taken with the IXUS 870IS / SD 880IS at 400 ISO under artificial light.

Face detection once again locked-on easily despite the subject's face turning to profile.

Detailed areas of the image, such as the magazine covers look good, but where there's flat areas of colour or shadow regions, the noise textures are quite apparent.

The result still looks acceptable for most prints though.

Indoor: 4.37MB, Program, 1/20, f2.8, ISO 800, 5-20mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our second indoor shot was taken with the sensitivity increased to 800 ISO. The f2.8 aperture allowed a shutter speed of 1/20 under these conditions, and any shake easily stabilised.

The increased sensitivity has unsurprisingly brought a noticeable reduction in quality here with quite visible noise and in this particular image, a slight loss of saturation.

The crops do still contain a reasonable degree of detail though, but like most compacts, 800 ISO is best reserved for smaller prints.

Indoor: 4.37MB, Program, 1/125, f2.8, ISO 1600, 5-20mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our final indoor shot was taken with the sensitivity at 1600 ISO.

Here's there's a significant reduction in quality with undesirable artefacts through noise and noise reduction.

So again, like most compacts, 1600 ISO should be avoided unless for emergency use or small emailed images.

The Canon also offers a 3200 ISO mode, but as a scene preset operating at just 2 Megapixels. You can see an example of it in our High ISO Noise results.

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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