Canon PowerShot SD880 IS review: Canon PowerShot SD880 IS

As for performance, the SD880 IS is fractionally slower than the first-rate SD870 IS. Time to first shot is 1.2 seconds and you can shoot again in 1.9 seconds. Shutter lag was great; just 0.4 second in bright conditions and 0.8 in dim. The only marked decrease in speed is if you're using the flash: the shot-to-shot time extends to 3.2 seconds, which is a generally slow time and nearly a second longer than the SD870 IS. The typical burst speed is a respectable 1.4 frames per second. The 3-inch Canon PureColor LCD II performed well in direct light and has a wide viewing angle.

More impressive than the SD880 IS's speed is the picture quality. Colors were always natural and vibrant. White balance was accurate and pictures showed good detail and sharpness at ISO 200 and below. Also, if you take a lot of landscape photos, note that the SD880 IS is prone to fringing. Video is better than average considering it tops out at 640x480.

Image quality starts to noticeably degrade at ISO 400 showing detail loss, image softening, and noise. The camera goes up to ISO 3,200, but honestly there's so much noise at ISO 1,600 that even at small sizes they wouldn't be useful.

Worth noting, too, is Canon's new Intelligent Contrast setting (i-Contrast) that theoretically just opens up shadow areas. It can be applied either automatically when you're shooting or after during playback. I recommend using it only in playback as more often than not it lightened the entire image, not just dark areas. In playback you can apply the effect in gradual levels as well and create a copy, whereas the camera decides on the level if you shoot with it on.

There's plenty more to talk about with the Canon PowerShot SD880 IS, but it only reinforces how good a pocket camera it is. If the SD870 IS was on your short list, the SD880 IS is definitely worth the small additional investment.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Time to first shot  
Typical shot-to-shot time (flash)  
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Shutter lag (dim)  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Canon PowerShot SD870 IS
Canon PowerShot SD880 IS
Kodak EasyShare M1033
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T70
Olympus 1030 SW

Typical continuous-shooting speed (in frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)

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