Canon powershot a800

Sixty quid will barely cover a get-together meal in a pub these days, so at this price the PowerShot A800 is a great little family camera. It takes consistently good pictures from the box, and while nigh foolproof if you shout in Auto mode, the camera also offers some manual control over the final images.

There's also a good choice of Scene Modes for specific photo situations too, and the whole process of using this camera is relatively straightforward. We say relatively as some of the key menu functions are needlessly tricky to locate, and the icons could be more obvious.

So the PowerShot 800 is a no-brainer budget choice, right? Yes and no. While we've established its many virtues, shop around and you can get the Nikon S3100, for instance, at a similar price. This 14Mp head-turner is slimmer, looks better in black and offers 720p video recording.

We liked

Smart Auto mode makes it hard to take a bad picture, and there's a good choice of Scene Modes. While very much a point and click device, the PowerShot A800 offers a reasonable amount of manual adjustment and has a decent built-in flash.

Battery life's been boosted too.

We disliked

Canon should make it easier for newcomers to figure out the icons and menu settings. The camera's dumpy, dated looks won't win you any cool points, and the lens can feel a bit restricted. You can't record movies in high definition, either.