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Review: Canon PowerShot SD880 IS

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Canon PowerShot SD880 IS Compact Camera

    Macworld Rating

Canon’s PowerShot SD880 IS is a compact point and shoot digital camera. Part of Canon’s Digital Elph family, the camera shoots 10-megapixel photos, has 4x optical zoom, and supports ISO settings up to 3,200. The “IS” designation at the end of the name refers to the camera’s optical image stabilization mode.

Easy-as-pie to use, the SD880 IS includes 11 special shooting modes, including Aquarium, Fireworks, and Snow. There’s also a high ISO setting for shooting action in low light situations without flash, though noise in the images becomes more noticeable as you use the higher ISO settings. The camera also includes macro modes that allow you to focus on objects as close as 0.8 inches away from the lens.

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Canon's PowerShot SD880 IS
Canon's PowerShot SD880 IS

This small, sturdy camera fits easily into a shirt pocket is attractively designed; the one I tested has a silver front and black back. It’s also available with a gold-colored front instead of silver. The SD880 has a large and vivid 3-inch LCD with a wide viewing angle. The photos looked great both on my display and in prints, with our standard test prints showing the camera able to capture both excellent colors and lots of detail.

I found that the camera performed well in low light situations, and along with the image stabilization, I was able to forgo the flash in many situations-I found the camera’s flash to be a bit harsh in many shots. I was also able to go a few days between charges with the camera’s rechargeable lithium ion batteries.

The SD880 IS also records video at 640 by 480 resolution, up to 30 frames per second. The movies look good, though nobody would mistake them as being from a decent camcorder. The movies are imported into and can be watched in iPhoto, and you can bring the movies into iMovie without needing a third-party QuickTime plug-in.

PowerShot SD880 IS LCD and camera controls

Macworld’s buying advice

If you’re looking for a good quality point-and-shoot camera. consider Canon’s PowerShot SD880 IS. It’s easy to use and small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, while delivering high-resolution photos with great color and detail.

[James Galbraith is Macworld‘s lab director.]

PowerShot SD880 IS test results

Image Clarity Very Good
Color Quality Superior
Flash Quality Good
Battery Life 718 shots

Scale = Superior, Very Good, Good, Fair, Poor

How we tested: The image-quality rating of the camera is based upon a panel of judges’ opinions in five categories: exposure, color, sharpness, distortion, and overall. Battery-life testers follow a precise script, including shots with and without flash, until the battery dies.—Macworld Lab testing by James Galbraith

Specifications

Resolution 10 megapixels
Zoom/Focal Length (35mm equivalent) 4x/28-112mm
Battery Type Lithium ion
Media Slots One (SD, SDHC, MMC)
Size (W x H x D) 3.7 x 2.2 x 0.9 inches
Weight 5.5 oz
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At a Glance
  • Macworld Rating

    Pros

    • Optical image stabilization
    • Sturdy and compact design
    • Very good photo quality

    Cons

    • No optical viewfinder
    • Flash a little harsh
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