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Old Jul 24, 2006, 7:26 PM   #1
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I have had my Canon S80 Powershot for about 6 months now and want to post serious design problems I have encountered with this camera. Whereas the S80 is a capable imaging device, there are many serious ergonomic flaws that are maddening in daily use. Canon did not feel it was necessary to leave any space on the cameras backside for the users fingers to properly grasp (hold) the camera. Wherever you place your thumb during use, there are many numerous key touch buttons that when pressed, can either prevent the taking of a picture or dramatically changes key shooting parameters.The thumb isthe finger that secures the camera in the users hand so this isan important area for designersto provide.One large easily depressed button puts the camera into the review mode which prevents the camera from taking any new pics. Under 'ideal' moments, it is so very easy to unknowingly press these hot buttons and have the camera die, change formats, deactivate the flash, activate the flash, change ISO and so on.... The major rotating control for the mode of operation is a rotating collar that is fully exposed on the top right of the body. It is incredibly easy to accidentally rotate this collar and not know what mode you are in. Additionally, the review button on the back is so very easily depress when the camera is in the Canon soft case, that the camera is often turned on (accidentally) only to run its battery down!

The bottom of the camera has a slide out and flip lid to access the battery and flash card. There is NO interlock on this slide lid. It is all to common to merely handle the camera normally and find the lid opens exposing the vital card and battery. The lid is a flimsey affair that is incredibly easy to break right off. Simply terrible design by Canon engineers. Canon should and can do far, far better.

The camera takes O.K. pictures but it is very clear that Canon takes little care in design for the consideration of the user and the robustness of the parts. This is a flimsey camera with way to many easily activated buttons that populate all the key real estate on the body that must be occupied by the users fingers. Shame on Canon! This is my last 'small' digital camera from Canon until I see major improvements in design and ergonomics.
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Old Jul 25, 2006, 1:06 AM   #2
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I've used some older Canon compact models and had no trouble... but I will definatly bear that in mind when I'm looking at the SD600 I hope to buy and I will make sure I get to hold the camera first.
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