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>> It's a compact digital camera that fits in your pocket and does everything you want in a point and shoot. I'm Brian Tong for cnet.com and after looking at compact camera after camera, there was just one our Editor's couldn't refuse--the SD850-IS. The Powershot SD850-IS is just another one of Canon's great cameras. It has some real nice curves when you're talking about digital cameras and now I'm not replacing it for a woman but it's pretty sexy. Its compact design fits in about any pocket comfortably and even your shirt if you're that nerdy. Now the 850-
IS is an 8.3 megapixel camera with a 4-X optical zoom when most compact cameras have a 3-X optical zoom. It's one of the fastest point and shoots out there, and the image quality from the 850-IS was impressive in CNET lab tests. They were accurate with colors and had plenty of sharpness especially for a compact camera. What drives all this? The Digic III processor. Now we've talked about the processor that gives you longer battery life, faster startup, auto focus and shutter response. Now it also adds face protection for focusing so if I move around the 850 locks right on for a perfect picture. See, just like that. It also has greater sensitivity for image stabilization at ISO 1600. Now you'll recognize the Powershot control layout here. The four-way control lets you control the ISO settings, flash or no flash on the left over here, we've got the macro or infinity focus and the continuous shot one done here. Now if you rest your finger in any particular direction, a graphic shows what you will do if you press it so that's pretty snappy too. Now our Editors also love the fact that it still has an optical view finder up at the top, and it does come in handy in tight shooting conditions. So what could be improved? Well the placement of the off and on switch is right next to the viewfinder and a lot of times you'll want to turn your camera on real fast even when it's in your pocket, and this placement doesn't make it easy. Now the download on the right hand side can also be a little tricky. Sometimes you select the correct mode, other times you miss it and it just takes some time to get used to. Now sure every camera has a few flaws but this camera just flat out rocks and it can be found for significantly less than the newer SD-870, even though its performance and image quality are about the same. I'm Brian Tong for cnet.com and the Canon SD850-IS range supreme with its quality performance and makes it a no-brainer recommendation for our holiday gift guide.
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