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Canon Digital ELPH Series Review

Updated on August 16, 2013

Canon Digital ELPH SD800

Canon Digital ELPH SD900

Canon Digital ELPH SD1000 video review

Canon Digital ELPH SD1000

Canon Digital ELPH SD800, SD900 and SD1000 review

From the first Canon Digital ELPH it was obvious that this was a new and innovative digital camera. I remember thinking that one of the most striking features was its size. It was touted to be not only tough and compact enough to wear as a necklace but stylish enough as well. Since then an entire series of Digital ELPH cameras have emerged, each an improvement over the previous one. More megapixels, larger LCD screens and a longer battery life are just a few of the envious improvements.

Several members of the Digital ELPH series include many of the same features. Each have a built in flash, most have a 3x zooms, later models have an SD memory card slot-unlike the early models that used compact flash memory cards and the DIGIC III Image Processor is a staple. Actually, it seems strange to me that as the new models emerge some improvements are dropped as others are added. For example, the Digital ELPH SD900 has 10 megapixels and the SD1000 has 7.1 megapixels, the same as the SD800.

The Canon Digital ELPH SD series continues to be successful due to their many useful and creative features. Even if your intension is to simply snap a few pretty pictures, chances are you will use features once considered useless. You may not even know what some of them are and what they should do for you.

I do not consider myself a professional photographer by any means, but I have taken some great shots with my own Canon Digital ELPH SD550. Many of those great shots were the result of trial and error. There are many features that I still do not know how to use, but the ones that I use most often are really appreciated such as the ease of turning off the flash, the stitch assist mode, and the red eye reduction setting. If you have taken pictures of children you understand.

Some of the features included on the SD800, the SD900 and the SD1000 are so automatic that they are rarely noticed - but without them the pictures would not be as good as they are.

  • The proprietary DIGIC III Image Processor allows for faster photo processing speeds while saving on the power consumption - hence the longer battery life. Depending on whether the LCD is turned on it is possible to shoot 270 - 600 digital pictures on a single battery charge.

  • Even in low light the built in flash, the 1600 ISO setting and the image stabilizer makes clear photos possible.

  • Catching the action is easy by using the movie mode. Two options are available with two different resolutions- 60 fps for QVGA and 30 fps for VGA.

  • Large wide LCD screen gives a clear and decisive review of stored pictures or video.

  • At least one of the many automatic shooting modes will correct most issues that arise when shooting digital pictures.

  • Push the shutter button half way down and the Face Detection feature puts a focus target on the closest face it sees.

  • A Print/Share button seamless connects the camera to a compact printer including the SELPHY CP730 as well as other compact photo printers

  • Compatible with multiple operating systems - including Windows XP and MAC OS 10.2 and 10.4.

Digital ELPH SD800

The features that set the SD800 apart include:

  • Nice shape. It has a curved stainless steel body that measures approximately - 3.52W x 2.28H x 0.99D and weighs 5.29 ounces
  • 7.1 megapixels
  • 2.5 inch LCD screen
  • Wide angle 3.8x Optical Zoom - 4x digital zoom - combined 15 Wide-angle 28-105mm which is equivalent to a 35MM film camera

This is one of my favorite features of this camera. A 3.8x optical zoom is higher than most compact cameras.

  • Dimensions (W x H x D) - 3.52 x 2.28 x 0.99 in. / 89.5 x 58.0 x 25.1mm; 5.29 ounces

Digital ELPH SD900

The features that set the SD900 apart include:

  • Compact-perpetual curved body shape measures approximately 3.6" x 2.35" x 1.1" inches and weighs approximately 6.5 ounces. The body is wrapped in titanium and is designed to allow one handed operation with improved dial and button placement
  • 10 megapixels which is to date the highest of any Digital ELPH
  • 2.5 inch LCD screen
  • 3x optical zoom - 4x digital zoom
  • Ability to manually set exposure time up to 15 seconds
  • An ISO range of 100 to 1600 with a special low light mode with the equivalence of 3,200
  • Pictures can be organized into categories right inside the camera. This feature works either before or after you shoot the picture
  • Improved startup, shutdown, autofocus, cycle time as well as download time
  • HDTV is achieved at the resolution of 1024 x 768

Digital ELPH SD1000

The features that set the SD1000 apart include:

A new-old design. Stainless steel with clean lines and squared off edges are combined with a flat body in a choice of silver or dual tone matte black and silver

  • 2.5 inch anti-reflective PureColor LCD - a protective coating that protects it from scratches.
  • Auto corrected red eye
  • Correction of images can be made while viewing the LCD screen
  • Efficient
  • Five movie modes including Time Lapse and Fast Frame
  • Auto ISO Shift - a new features the increases the ISO up to 800 (compensates for camera shake) by simply pushing a button
  • Microsoft Vista certified
  • Widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio - allows for HDTV display
  • Considered ultra-compact measuring approximately 3.38"W x 2.11"H x 0.76"D
  • 17 shooting modes
  • Detects faces, focuses in faster and auto adjusts flash exposure

I believe that anyone wanting a compact point and shoot digital camera would be happy with most any of the SD series. They are easy to use, the menus are fairly straight forward and the shape and weight of each is comfortable for most users. The features are high end so numerous pictures can be taken in numerous conditions with most of them being keepers. Of course, if you take an unsatisfactory photo you can either correct it or delete it. Oh yea, the beauty of digital photography.


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    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I have an old canon g2, and it has served me well, but the newer models for professional movie making by canon I think are much better.

    • profile image

      Kevin Lucas 

      9 years ago

      Canon Digital ELPH SD1000 camera is a danamic camera but Canon have unlimited verieties are there.

    • profile image

      canon A720 

      10 years ago

      canon elph digicams are really great but i personally like canon a720 and g9 digital cameras


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