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Canon SD700 IS Digital ELPH (IXUS 800) Concise Review

July 2006 | By Simon Joinson

Review based on a production Canon Digital IXUS 800 IS (SD700 IS)

Announced just before PMA 2006 in February, the 6 megapixel SD700 IS is the new flagship model in the long-running and very successful IXUS / Digital ELPH range. The SD 700 IS is the first Canon ultra-compact ever to feature optical image stabilization, and the first to sport a 4x zoom lens, though in most other respects it is very similar to the previous 'top of the range' SD550. Ostensibly a 'point and shoot' fully automatic model, the SD700 IS nevertheless has a fairly comprehensive feature set packed into its slim metal body. Let's start, as usual, with the headline features:

  • 6.0 million effective pixels
  • 4x (35-140mm equiv.) zoom
  • ISO 800 and optical IS for flash-free indoor shooting
  • Canon's DIGIC II image processor, iSAPS and 9-point AiAF
  • Wide viewing angle 2.5" LCD screen
  • 16 shooting modes
  • My Colors photo effects
  • Widescreen (16:9) stills recording
  • 30fps VGA movies

SD700 IS / IXUS 800 specifications

Street price • US: $440
• UK: £290

SD 700 IS Digital ELPH (US)
Digital IXUS 800 IS (EU)

Body Material Metal and plastic

• 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 6.0 million effective pixels

Image sizes

• 2816 x 2112
• 2816 x 1584
• 2272 x 1704
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480

Movie clips

• 640 x 480 @ 30 / 15fps
• 320 x 240 @ 60 / 30 / 15fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
• AVI (Motion JPEG compression)
• WAVE audio

File formats • Still: JPEG (Exif 2.2)
• Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG compression)

• 35-140mm equiv
• F2.8-5.5
• 4x Optical zoom

Image stabilization Yes (lens shift-type)
Conversion lenses None
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus • TTL
• 9-point AiAF
• 1-point AF (Fixed center)
AF area modes • Normal
• Macro
• Infinity
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance • Normal: 1.5 ft./45cm-infinity
• Macro: 0.79 in.-2.0 ft./2-60cm (WIDE), 1.3-2.0 ft./40-60cm (TELE)
• Digital Macro: 0.79 in.-2.0 ft./2-60cm (WIDE)
Metering • Evaluative
• Center-weighted average
• Spot
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• High ISO Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
Exposure compensation • +/- 2EV
• in 1/3 stop increments
Shuttter speed 15-1/1600 sec
Aperture F2.8-5.5
Modes • Auto
• Manual
• Digital Macro
• Portrait
• Night Snapshot
• Special Scene
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
Scene modes • Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Underwater
• Indoor
• Kids & Pets
• Color Accent
• Color Swap
White balance

• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Custom

Self timer • 2 or 10secs
• Custom
Continuous shooting approx. 2.1fps until card is full
Image parameters • My Colors (Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B&W, Positive film, Lighter skin tone, Darker skin tone, Vivid blue, Vivid red, Custom color)
• Saturation: 5 levels
• Contrast: 5 levels
• Sharpness: 5 levels
• Red, Green, Blue, Skintone: 5 levels each
Flash • Auto
• Manual Flash On / Off
• Slow synch
• Red eye reduction
• Flash exposure lock
• Range: 50cm-3.5m (wide) / 2.0m (tele)
Viewfinder Real-image zoom optical viewfinder
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch P-Si TFT
• 173,000 pixels
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out
Print compliance • PictBridge
• Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers and PIXMA Printers supporting PictBridge (ID Photo Print, Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP printers only)
Storage • SD / MMC compatible
• 16MB card supplied
Power • Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery NB-5L
• Optional AC adapter
Other features

• Optional High Power Flash HF-DC
• Optional Waterproof Case (WP-DC5)

Weight (No batt) 165 g / 5.8 oz (approx 192g / 6.7 oz with case and battery)
Dimensions 90.4 x 56.5 x 26.4 mm (3.56 x 2.22 x 1.04 in)

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 2006 Simon Joinson / and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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This was my first real serious attempt at a camera.

God rest her soul. She was amazing.