Canon IXUS 980 IS review: Canon IXUS 980 IS

CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Great image quality. Optical viewfinder.

The Bad VGA video. Fiddly controls.

The Bottom Line The 980 IS is a competent 14.7-megapixel compact with manual controls, even if it does lack HD video and a big screen like some of its competitors. That said, we much prefer the Canon's image quality and overall package.

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Design
Comparing the 980 to other models in Canon's IXUS line-up, one thing is clear — the normally diminutive camera has put on a bit of weight. It's not actually that much heavier than the other models in the series, but it certainly looks it, all bulging corners and figure-eight profile curves.

The Canon only has a 2.5-inch LCD screen, though it does have an optical viewfinder.(Credit: Canon)

Surprisingly, the curves actually make it easier to hold the camera with one hand, as the gentle recessed mid section provides a perfect space to put your finger. Turning the camera around, the back shows no real differences from the Canon configuration, except that there are a few more buttons and toggles to get used to.

At the top right sits the mode dial which can easily be flicked from automatic, through to program/manual, quick shot, movie and scene settings. The power button is, unfortunately, recessed too far into the top of the body which makes it quite difficult to press, killing any spontaneity of the moment.

One boon is the optical viewfinder. Though this means Canon has sacrificed some real estate of the screen (it's still only 2.5-inches), we like being able to have the choice in how we frame and compose our shots.

Features
Just like its predecessor, the 960 IS, the 980 features program and manual modes. These are a great addition on a compact camera for those photographers willing to go beyond the simple automatic point-and-shoot settings.

The scroll wheel, which was implemented more successfully on some of the earlier models from the new Canon range, seems a little fiddly here — it frequently skips options you try to select, even with the lightest touch.

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Where to Buy

Canon IXUS 980 IS

Part Number: CNETCanon IXUS 980 IS

Typical Price: $599.00

See manufacturer website for availability.