back to article Canon Digital Ixus 980 IS compact camera

There’s an ‘R’ in the month, so it must be time for another Canon camera. Okay, we exaggerate a little, but you have to admit, Canon does churn out new models at a rate of knots. At the time of writing, the 980 IS is the top-of-the-range Ixus, so what does it offer to earn this position? Canon Digital Ixus 980 Canon's Digital …

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Tom
Jobs Halo

Spooky

Spooky reading a camera review and you know the location of the example photos! In fact I can look out of my window and almost see Burghley house, well the entrance at least!

Its a small internet isn't it!

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Paris Hilton

Aperture

I have one of the older Ixuses, and it's very nice from a pocketability point of view. I have to wonder what ISO 3200 from a tiny sensor looks like; not pretty, I imagine.

As for the aperture, as far as I know the Ixuses don't have a proper aperture mechanism. Instead, they have a neutral density filter that flicks into place when there's too much light for the shutter to cope with. It mimics the light-dimming effect of stopping down but won't have any impact on the depth of field. It's a shame Canon couldn't include a graduated neutral density filter as an option (or perhaps they could design the filter so that it only flicks down half-way).

It's a shame the wideangle starts at 37mm. That's not very wide. I can't really think of a reason to have a 14mp compact with a small sensor; the sharpening halos and noise reduction would mitigate against extreme cropping, and 14mp is massive overkill for a A4-sized print. I would prefer lower noise, finer tonal graduations, more control over JPG processing, a built-in RAW mode that doesn't require fiddling with CHDK firmware hacks.

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Silver badge
Thumb Up

Wide Angle

You wrote: "We were a little disappointed with the camera’s wide angle setting, which is equivalent to a 36mm lens on a 35mm camera."

Too right. However, I suppose Canon will eventually notice how many sales they are losing to Panasonic and their rather tasty Lumix DMC-TZ/FX/FS compacts, won't they?

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Boffin

Pixel counts

Don't forget that pixel counts are a square measure while resolution is a linear measure. So, to double the resolution of my ancient 3.1Mp Fuji I need to get a 12Mp camera. So the difference between 8 and 10 is insignificant, especially given that I can sell nice A3 framed prints of my 3.1Mp shots without anyone noticing or caring about the relatively low resolution.

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Boffin

ISO3200

If it works the same as my 900Ti - the ISO3200 setting only shoots at half resolution - so it uses multiple sensor pixels to produce a single pixel in the final image. Yes, it's a little grainy - but a lot better than you'd expect for a small camera.

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14mp on a small sensor - thank the marketing department!

"I can't really think of a reason to have a 14mp compact with a small sensor" .... totally agree with Ashley here, it sounds impressive but there's no way the lenses will be up to it. Pointless overkill and only there to compete for the attention of the average consumer. Even the Canon DSLR's with small sensor's couldn't take advantage of this resolution ....

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Alert

ARGHHH!

"We were a little disappointed with the camera’s wide angle setting, which is equivalent to a 36mm lens on a 35mm camera."

So what s that then? too many formats.. so by 35 mm you mean full frame digital not an APS-C size sensor ? cos 36mm on a c is a 50mm lol...

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Silver badge
Unhappy

It's getting silly

The continued drive for mega pixels in the battle of the numbers for the benefit of joe average has gotten silly. They should all take a leaf out of Panasonic's book and cut off the count at 10 mega pixels - they openly stated that the trade-off in image quality after this point is not worth it. These things have tiny sensors with massive pixel densities - 34 MP/cm2 for this little fella compared with just 2.4 MP/cm2 for the 21 MP Canon EOS 5D mark II.

Imagine how much better the image quality could be with the digic 4 processor and more development of a 10MP sensor but then the simpletons with their number-love would go elsewhere (never doubt the volume of idiots in retail markets). Personally, being an owner of a little Ixus, a G9 and the 5D I can't wait until the smaller cameras start coming out with larger sensors. The G9/10 is perfect for an APS-C sized sensor as the target market is mainly as an SLR owner's second camera or as a bridge camera.

As for needing the extra pixels - you don't. 10MP is all a compact needs. Quality, however, is a different matter. I've printed A3 from an 8MP camera with fantastic results (that's around 200 pixels/inch resolution). However that was from an SLR and it's the image quality and lack of noise that make the difference.

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Re: Wide Angle

The wide angle models are the 8XX models, which are 28mm equiv. Saying that the 980 is the top of the range is a little misleading imho, the line up is a little confusing, but they seem to bring out 8XX and 9XX models around the same time. I bought my g/f an 870 for Christmas which seems pretty good.

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Paris Hilton

Try the equivalent 870 for wide angle.

Whenever Canon release a 9xx camera they also release an 8xx camera as well which is equivalent in technology but has a wider rather than longer lense. I have an 870 (weirdly this is the equivalent to the 980) which is a superb camera and has the far more useful wide angle.

Paris as she prefers wide to long.

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Same chippery as the 5D

Counts for buggery when the only option is to save the images as JPEG. Surely a RAW option is long overdue?

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A

Sample images

Thanks for providing some 100% crops. I would find it even more useful if you could add some information about the camera settings at the time; particularly which ISO setting the camera chose.

Easy to do with the original pictures, just install EXIFER:

http://www.friedemann-schmidt.com/software/exifer/

It's getting a bit long in the tooth, but it does work under Vista.

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Joke

@ac - Try the equivalent 870 for wide angle

she prefers wide to long.

Apparently likes them small both ways from the videos

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J

Hm...

Yeah, thanks for the 100% crops.

The ones here did not convince me at all. I wonder what the ISO was when those were taken, because even the seemingly well-lighted shots look noisy. And except for the macro example, they are also a bit blurry/lacking detail -- in my DSLR (Pentax K10D) experience, that's the noise reduction's fault, for which RAW is the answer (and you later choose how much, if any detail you want to trade for lower noise). So I guess noise reduction must be the culprit here too, what with the stupid 14 Mpix count. Useful for crops, in my opinion, but what goods are crops that look crap?

My Canon SX100 IS (8 Mpix) @ ISO 80 or 100 is *very* clear. And it has 10x zoom (36-360 in 35mm), which is the minimum I want. AND for a much lower price. It's maybe a little fatter than the Ixus 980, but still pocketable if you're not too small/wear tight clothes.

I would rather recommend that people buy the SX110 IS that came out recently instead. Still point and shoot if you want, much better manual controls of everything. Only downside I see compared to the Ixus: no optical viewfinder.

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Alien

'scuse me!

Uhhmmm, isn't this a consumer rather than professional or keen amateur photographers camera? From a 'snapper's aspect the images are fantastic - I'd love one of these little beauties to use for 72dpi images of items for sale on my website - I have over 180,000 of them.

Let's get real, if you sell A3 image prints, invest in a professional camera. If what you want is to be able to pop a camera in you pocket, snap the kids on the beach or take a few more than halfway decent pictures, this is a great tool.

Negativity is a curse and there seems to be a fair amount on this thread

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The same consumers who demand 14 megapixels...

...will downsample their pics to 0.8 megapixel to share them on FaceBook.

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Flame

The more pixels, the better

Sheesh, am I tired of the same more-pixels-is-a-marketing-department-ploy rants.

More pixels allow you to :

-increase the focal length (give me a 100Mpixel photo taken at 100mm and I'll make it a 5Mpixel photo at 1000mm -or whatever-) yeah I know not depth-of-field-wise, but also with lower risk of shake

-increase the sensitivity (give me a noisy 100Mpixel photo taken at ISO 3200 and I'll make it a sharp 5Mpixel photo at at ISO 100 -or whatever).

- improve IS capability (use/waste more of the sensor area to allow for shake correction)

So go after small sensor sizes and noise as much as you want, since those should indeed be scrutinised, but I say bring on the 100Mpixels sensors!

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