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Canon PowerShot SD550 Digital ELPH (Digital IXUS 750) Review

October 2005 | By Simon Joinson
Buy on From $699.99

Review based on a production Canon Digital IXUS 750

Announced August 2005 (only 6 months after its predecessor), the SD550 (which goes by the names of Digital Ixus 750 in Europe and IXY DIGITAL 700 in Japan) is the latest in a long line of ultra-compact 'ELPH' or 'IXUS' cameras stretching back to early 2000 (and a lot farther back than that in the film camera world). The SD550 is a fairly minor upgrade to the SD500 (Ixus 700) it replaces; aside from a larger screen (2.5 inch as opposed to 2.0 inch) and a slight redesign of the body and controls, the majority of the changes consist of tweaks to the user interface. Let's take a look at some of the SD550's key features to whet your appetite;

  • 7.1 megapixel CCD
  • 2.5-inch color wide viewing angle TFT monitor
  • 37-111mm (equiv.) F2.8 - 4.9, 3x optical zoom
  • 640 x 480 movies at 30fps
  • Fast frame rate movies (320x240 pixels @ 60fps)
  • Print/Share button
  • Custom white balance
  • Spot, center-weighted and evaluative metering
  • DIGIC II and iSAPS
  • 9-point AiAF
  • Nine scene modes

Canon PowerShot SD550 Key specifications

Street price • US: $480
• UK: £300
Body Material Metal
Also known as European name: Canon IXUS 750
Japanese name: Canon IXY Digital 700
Sensor • 1/1.8" CCD, 7.4 million total pixels
• 7.1 million effective pixels
Image sizes

• 3072 x 2304
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480

Movie clips

• 640 x 480 @ 30 / 15 fps
• 320 x 240 @ 60 / 30 / 15 fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15 fps
• Up to 1GB (640x480, 320x240, 30/15fps) (depending on memory card speed and capacity)
• Up to 3 mins (160x120) (depending on memory card speed and capacity)
• Up to 1 min (320x240, 60fps) (depending on memory card speed and capacity)
• AVI (Motion JPEG / mono soundly)


• 37 - 111 mm (35 mm equiv) 3x optical zoom
• F 2.8 - 4.9

Shutter speeds 15 - 1/2000 sec
Focus • TTL autofocus
• 9 point AiAF
• 1-point AF (fixed to center)
• 5cm macro mode (Wide), 30cm (Tele)
Shooting mode

• Auto
• Manual
• Digital Macro
• Portrait
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Underwater
• Indoor
• Kids and pets
• Night snapshot
• Stitch assist
• AE compensation -2.0EV to +2.0 EV in 1/3EV steps

Sensitivity • Auto
• ISO50,100,200,400
White Balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Custom (manual)

Image parameters

• Vivid
• Neutral
• Low sharpening
• Black and white
• My colors (9 settings)

Continuous 2 fps until memory card is full

• Built in
• Modes: Auto, on, off, red-eye reduction, slow sync, flash exposure lock
• Range: 0.5 m - 5.0 m (W) / 3.0 m (T)

Storage • SD Memory Card
• 32MB SD supplied*
Viewfinder Real Image Optical
LCD monitor • 2.5" TFT LCD
• 115,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• A/V out
Power • Rechargeable lithium ion NB-3L battery
• Charger included
• (Optional AC adapter KIT ACK900)
In the box*

Canon PowerShot SD550 Digital ELPH (IXUS 750, IXY DIGITAL 700)
Wrist strap
• Lithium Ion battery
AV cable
USB cable
32MB SD card
Software CD ROM (Canon Digital Camera Solutions & ArcSoft PhotoStudio)

Other features

Spot (center), Center-weighted & Evaluative metering
PictBridge, Exif Print and DPOF compatible
Playback Histogram
• Orientation Sensor
• Autofocus Illuminator
Optional High Power Flash HF-DC1 (slave)
Optional Waterproof Case

Weight (inc batt) 192 g (6.8 oz)
Dimensions 90 x 57 x 27 mm (3.5 x 2.2 x 1.1in) Excluding protrusions

* Supplied accessories may differ in each country or area

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.

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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 2005 and may NOT in part or in whole be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author.

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