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Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS | Digital Camera Review | Adjustments
The optical zoom of the Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS camera has a range equivalent to 28-105mm on a 35mm camera. In other words; the camera is capable of bringing the object 3.8x closer to you. The performance of the optical zoom is fine. We noticed some blur in the corners at 28mm but not enough to feel disturbed by. The detail of the image is sharply rendered. More striking is the visible distortion in some test images in wide angle. Still this is not unexpected and distortion is only visible in wide angle. Same goes for chromatic aberration. The purple fringing around contrast rich details of an object is hardly present in tele mode but in wide angle unfortunately it is.
Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS | Digital Camera Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS | Digital Camera
Canon IXUS 860 IS - Optical zoom & Tele range
It's not that the optical zoom performs badly but it looks like Canon have to do their utmost to enable the optical zoom perform to the optimum. Tele range of the optical zoom does not show any distortion but wide angle is experiencing some difficulties. As far as resolution and detail are concerned the lens performs well. The distortion we see is visible blur in the corners in wide angle, distortion and chromatic aberration. The Canon IXUS 860 IS camera does have a lot to offer on the field of macro photography. Make sure that you don't have to use the internal flash; it is not possible to evenly expose an object when photographing close to it. Using an external flash under sufficient light circumstances you will be able to capture fine macro images.

Canon 860 IS - Fast digital compact camera
The speed of the Canon Digital 860 IS is extremely well. The camera starts up within the second. Hardly any shutter lag is noticeable and focussing is carried out very fast too. The Canon 860 IS could gain some speed when processing the pictures though. When you capture high quality JPEG images the camera takes more than 2 seconds to process these and also the speed when shooting sequentially is an average speed with 1.4 frames per second. I would have expected more from this camera to be honest. But it is capable of shooting continuously with 1.4 fps which is excellent.

Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS - ISO values
Digital SLR cameras are controlling high ISO and the noise that comes with it very well; the compact camera is still struggling to reduce the noise and to minimize it as much as possible. The Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS compact camera has an ISO range of 80 - 1600 ISO.
Up to 200 ISO noise is not a problem and is not worth mentioning. But, unexpectedly, we see loss of detail at 400 ISO because of the noise reduction of the camera. At 800 ISO the grainy noise effect is significant and you don't get the quality picture that you had in mind. 1600 ISO should be looked upon as an emergency value. With it you can capture a special moment that you would probably not have been able to capture without high ISO. But from a quality point of view I would not recommend using ISO 1600.

Canon IXUS 860IS - Good colour reproduction
The colour reproduction of the test images I took with the Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS camera is excellent. Nice colour saturation and never exaggerated colours; very good performance! I come across many compact cameras with different results and more often than not the colours are too saturated. Canon obviously chose to render colours on a natural base. Skin tones are neutral and very natural.

Canon IXUS 860 IS - Automatic white balance
The white balance of the Canon IXUS 860 IS does a very good job. Reproduction under incandescent light is not completely neutral but still in balance. The auto white balance shows a somewhat warmer colour on the monitor which can be adjusted through the manual white balance setting. Personally I prefer the auto white balance. The Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS camera offers excellent exposure. Outdoor pictures come out natural and they are an exact copy of the reality, hardly needing any manual adjustments through exposure compensation. The camera performs very well indoors and outdoors.
Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS
   
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