Wednesday, February 6, 2008

SD850 - customizable button

The SD850IS does have one nice customization option. There's a button for making your photos print when the camera is connected to a printer, but it is (or was) useless while taking photos.

Canon now lets you assign a function of your choice to the button. The function I was most excited about was turning on or off the LCD, but it turns out to work very poorly for that. You see, whenever you do something that would change one of the status lights on the LCD, the camera helpfully turns the LCD on again. One of the status lights on the LCD tells you which way the camera is oriented. So, if you turn of the LCD with this button, all you need to do is rotate the camera a little, and back on it comes. Also, the button doesn't work in all situations - such as during the 2-N second review of each snapshot you take.

There are other options you can assign the button - such as, start taking a movie, turn on a grid for composing your shot, open up a menu to let you set the EV, or change the white balance. None of which turn out to be that helpful, however.

In a related note, however, turning off the LCD is rather quick on this camera. There is a "DISP" button, which cycles between showing the current settings on top of the current image / just a bare image / LCD off. Which is to say like every other camera's "DISP" button. Except that a quick double click of the button will turn off the LCD (you don't have to wait at all between clicks), which makes it almost as good as having a dedicated button to turn off the LCD.

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