Canon PowerShot SD 4000 IS/IXUS 300 HS Review
The SD/IXUS range is made up of Canon's 'style-orientated' compact cameras and, as the rest of the market has fragmented into innumerable niches, the range has grown to accommodate an increasing variety of needs. The SD4000 IS tops the current lineup, offering a 3.8x wide-angle zoom and (despite its underlying point-and-shoot disposition) aperture and shutter priority modes. In addition the SD4000 IS is the first of its family to be based around a back-lit CMOS sensor that enables several high speed modes and promises improved low-light performance.
The SD4000 IS's low-key styling belies the fact that it's actually a very well-specified compact camera. In addition to the relative novelty of a back-lit CMOS sensor, it also features a lens that starts at a 28mm equivalent F2.0 - impressive even if it ends up at a rather less noteworthy F5.3 at the 105mm equivalent end of its zoom range. We're curious to see the effect of using a back-side illuminated CMOS sensor in the SD4000 IS, because in our experience the promises made for the low-light capability of these sensors (which gather light from what would be the back of a conventional CMOS design and thus remove all the support circuitry from the light path), are not always obvious compared to some of the most modern CCD designs.
However, the SD4000 IS does capitalize on the CMOS sensor's faster readout compared to CCD, using it to offer 720p HD video, 3.7fps full resolution continuous shooting, 8.4fps reduced resolution images and even 240fps movies which are played back at 30fps to give a slow-motion effect. Being the top of Canon's style compact range, the SD4000 IS also has a selection of extra shooting modes such as fisheye and miniature (mock tilt/shift) modes.
Canon SD4000 IS Key Features
- 28-105mm equivalent F2.0-5.3 image stabilized lens
- 10 million pixel 1/2.3" sensor (0.28 cm²)
- 3.0 inch LCD screen (16:9 aspect ratio, 230k dots)
- 720p 30fps HD video capture
- 3.7fps continuous shooting at full resolution
- ISO 125 - 3200 (6400 at reduced resolution)
- HDMI output
Canon SD4000 IS specifications
|Sensor|| 1/2.3" type back-illuminated CMOS
10 million effective pixels
|Image sizes|| 3648 x 2736
3648 x 2048
2816 x 2112
2272 x 1704
1600 x 1200
640 x 480
320 x 240
|Movie clips|| 1280 x 720 @ 30 fps HD
640 x 480 @ 30 fps
320 x 240 @ 30 fps
Super Slow Motion Movie - 320 x 240 @ 240 fps
|Maximum clip length||Up to 4GB or 1 hour|
|File formats|| Still: JPEG (Exif v2.2)
Movie: MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (stereo) ]
|Lens|| 28-105mm (35mm equiv)
f = 4.9 - 18.6 mm
3.8x optical zoom
Construction: 7 elements in 6 groups (1 double-sided aspherical UA lens, 1 single-sided aspherical lens)
|Image stabilization||Yes (Lens-Shift)|
|Digital zoom||up to 4x|
|Focus|| Auto focus :TTL
Face Detection / 9-point AiAF
1-point AF (fixed to center)
|AF modes|| Single
|AF lock||Yes (on/off selectable)|
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Focus distance||Closest focus distance 3 cm|
|Metering|| Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame)
|ISO sensitivity|| Auto
|Exposure compensation||+/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments|
|Shutter speed|| Auto (1 - 1/2500 sec.)
Shutter Priority AE
|Scene modes|| Portrait
Kids & Pets
Smart Shutter (Smile, Wink Self-Timer, Face Self-Timer)
High-speed Burst (2.5MP)
Low Light (2.5MP)
|White balance|| Auto (including Face Detection WB)
|Self timer|| 2 or 10 sec.|
|Continuous shooting|| Approx. 3.7 shots/sec.
High-speed Burst (2.5MP
Approx. 8.4 shots/sec.
Low Light (2.5MP)
LV: Approx. 6.0 shots/sec. (until memory card becomes full)
|Image parameters||My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Custom Color)|
|Flash|| Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye reduction
Slow Sync Speed : Fastest speed 1/2000 sec.
Face Detection FE compensation
Flash exposure lock
|LCD monitor|| 3.0 inch PureColor II G (TFT)
|Connectivity|| USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
HDMI mini connector
AV out (PAL / NTSC switchable)
|Storage||SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MMCplus, HC MMCplus|
|Power||Rechargeable Li-ion Battery NB-6L|
|Weight (inc. batt)||175 g|
|Dimensions||100 x 54 x 23 mm|
If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).
Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.
Images which can be viewed at a larger size have a small magnifying glass icon in the bottom right corner of the image, clicking on the image will display a larger (typically VGA) image in a new window.
To navigate the review simply use the next / previous page buttons, to jump to a particular section either pick the section from the drop down or select it from the navigation bar at the top.
DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.
This article is Copyright 2010 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.