Next up in Canon's new camera frenzy is the Digital IXUS 860 IS, successor to the IXUS 850 IS. If you live in North America that sentence should read: 'Next up in Canon's new camera frenzy is the SD 870IS Digital ELPH, successor to the SD800 IS'. Confused yet? You should be. The new model shares its predecessor's 28-105mm wideangle zoom but ups the sensor resolution to 8.0MP and the screen size to a massive 3.0" (it almost fills the rear of the camera).

  • European name: Digital IXUS 860 IS (replaces Ixus 850IS)
  • US name: SD 870 IS Digital ELPH (replaces SD 800 IS)
  • Not to be confused with: SD 850 IS (aka IXUS 950 IS, which is different to the SD 950 IS of course). Canon, please sort out your naming of IXUS/ELPH/IXY cameras?

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Press Release (European):

Wide-angle Digital IXUS 860 IS: the photographer’s IXUS

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Amstelveen, The Netherlands, 20 August, 2007 - Canon today introduces the latest evolution of the IXUS range of digital cameras for style-conscious photographers: the Digital IXUS 860 IS. Equipped with a 28mm (35mm equivalent) 3.8x wide-angle zoom lens with optical Image Stabilizer, the 8.0 Megapixel Digital IXUS 860 IS is the successor to the hugely popular Digital IXUS 850 IS. The Digital IXUS 860 IS offers a range of enhancements over its acclaimed predecessor. These include a 3.0” PureColor LCD and improved Face Detection Technology*. The camera’s high ISO capabilities work in tandem with an optical Image Stabilizer lens* to significantly reduce the risk of image blur.

“A winning combination of style, compactness and wide-angle capabilities made the Digital IXUS 850 IS one of our most popular models of the last two years,” said Mogens Jensen, Head of Canon Consumer Imaging, Europe. “With extensive improvements introduced in this upgrade, we are confident that the Digital IXUS 860 IS will follow on from its predecessor as the designer compact of choice for photographers everywhere.”


  • 3.8x (28mm) wide-angle lens with optical Image Stabilizer
  • 8.0 Megapixels
  • High ISO 1600 and Auto ISO Shift
  • DIGIC III* with Noise Reduction technology and Face Detection AF/AE/FE
  • Improved Red-Eye Correction in playback
  • 3.0” PureColor LCD
  • Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom* for extra telephoto reach
  • 17 shooting modes and My Colors photo effects
  • Extensive movie options including VGA 30fps, Long Play and Time Lapse movie modes

*See Technologies Explained

Wider views, better results

Helping the photographer capture more from group shots, landmarks and landscapes, the 3.8x wide-angle lens of the Digital IXUS 860 IS has a focal length of 28-105mm (35mm equivalent). The lens system incorporates Canon’s lens-shift type optical Image Stabilizer (IS) – first developed in EF lenses for Canon’s market leading EOS system of professional D-SLR cameras and lenses – to counteract camera shake. The lens also incorporates Canon’s aspherical lens technology (UA)* for maximum sharpness and clarity.

The Digital IXUS 860 IS features a range of ISO features that work in combination with optical IS to virtually eliminate the risk of image blur. A second line of defence against camera shake is Auto ISO Shift, which can be selected by the user to boost the ISO setting just enough to reduce blur. Two further ISO features – manually selected high ISO settings up to ISO 1600 and High ISO Auto – combat the blur caused by typical subject movement, as well as camera shake when poor light would normally require a longer exposure.

Classic curves

The Digital IXUS 860 IS combines enhanced photographic capabilities with luxurious style. The classically curved Digital IXUS 860 IS has a two-tone body that contrasts simple silver lines with bold black elements. The inward curve of the top surface allows a comfortable grip and easy access to the new square button controls. A newly developed 3.0” PureColor LCD screen provides a crisp 230,000 pixel display, with enhanced colour reproduction and a new coating for protection against knocks and scrapes. Offering an increased viewing angle, the
PureColor LCD enables easy group viewing and retains visibility when taking shots from unusual angles.

Enhanced Face Detection Technology with DIGIC III

The DIGIC III image processor powers Face Detection AF/AE/FE for significantly better results when photographing people. Using data from the iSAPS image database and advanced face detection algorithms, Face Detection AF/AE/FE detects up to 9 faces in the frame and optimises focus, exposure and flash settings to achieve in focus, well-exposed faces. Face Detection Technology is also key to the accuracy of Canon’s improved Red-Eye Correction in playback, which automatically identifies and corrects red-eye in captured images. Unlike other red-eye removal systems which can sometimes alter non-facial areas of the picture, Canon’s system uses Face Detection Technology to ensure that only red-eye is corrected. Users also have the option of manually adding or removing Red-Eye Correction frames.

Creative options

Adaptable to almost any situation, the camera’s 17 shooting modes include a manual mode for selection of exposure settings such as White Balance and ISO. Along with a dedicated ISO button, the camera’s customisable Shortcut button can be configured for one-touch access to settings such white balance and exposure compensation. The Digital IXUS 860 IS also offers a range of movie options with sound at VGA (30 fps) and QVGA (30 fps). The new VGA LP (Long Play) mode allows users to record movies at half the file size but with the same resolution and frame rate, using less memory and enabling quicker downloads. The camera also features Time Lapse Movie mode, for capturing changing scenes – such as drifting clouds, a blooming flower or a bustling city street – for accelerated playback. The mode takes 1 frame of footage per 1 or 2 seconds for up to 2 hours, and replays them as a smooth VGA movie at 15 fps.

Ease of use enhancements

The Digital IXUS 860 IS introduces a range of enhancements designed to improve the user experience. A new three level battery indicator gives users improved awareness of how long they can shoot. For greater flexibility, two different auto focus frame sizes can now be selected: ‘normal’ and ‘small.’ The small size AF frame makes it possible to identify particularly small details as the focal point of the image – particularly useful for close-up shots. The convenient Image Resize function gives users the option to save a smaller version of the file, ready for uploading to a personal blog, auction site or online photo gallery.

Additional Information


The Digital IXUS 860 IS features a dedicated Print menu for quick access to direct print options. Full PictBridge support means users can print directly to any PictBridge compatible printer without the need for a PC. A Print/Share button allows one-touch printing and easy uploads to Windows or Mac systems.

Memory card support

In addition to SD, SDHC and MMC memory cards, the camera supports the new MMCplus and HC MMCplus formats for storage of up to 32GB. The Digital IXUS 860 IS comes supplied with a 32MB memory card.


The Digital IXUS 860 IS comes bundled with the following Canon Software:

  • ZoomBrowser EX 6.0 (Windows), ImageBrowser 6.0 (Mac): For organising and editing images, movies and slideshows, or creating and printing digital photo albums.
  • PhotoStitch 3.1 (Windows), PhotoStitch 3.2 (Mac): For creating panoramic photos from multiple images.

The bundled software supports Windows 2000 (SP4), XP (SP2), Vista and Macintosh OS X v10.3-10.4. Purchasers of the camera are eligible for membership of CANON iMAGE GATEWAY*, 100MB of online ‘personal gallery’ space for sharing stills and video with family and friends.
*CANON iMAGE GATEWAY is not available in all European countries. Please see for available countries. Movie upload requires users to download and install the movie upload task, available after registration from the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY site.


A range of optional accessories includes:

  • Waterproof Case (40m) (WP-DC17)
  • High Power Flash (HF-DC1)
  • Soft Leather Case (DCC-70)
  • AC Adapter Kit (ACK-DC30)
  • Digital IXUS Metal and Leather Straps

Canon PowerShot SD870 IS specifications

  PowerShot SD870 IS

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

Image sizes • 3264 x 2448
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
• 3264 x 1832
Movie clips • 640 x 480 @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
• Time Lapse (640 x 480 @ 0.5/1fps, playback @15fps)
Maximum clip length • 640 x 480, 320 x 240: 4GB or 1 hour
• 160 x 120: 3 mins
• Time lapse: 120 mins
File formats • JPEG (Exif v2.2)
• DPOF 1.1
• AVI (Motion JPEG + WAVE)
Lens • 28-105mm (35mm equiv)
• 3.8x optical zoom
• F2.8-5.8
Image stabilization Yes (Lens-Shift)
Conversion lenses No
Digital zoom up to 4x
Focus TTL
AF area modes • Face Detection AiAF
• 9-point AiAF
• 1-point AF (center)
AF lock Yes (on/off selectable)
AF assist lamp Yes
Focus distance Closest focus distance 3cm
Metering • Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame)
• Center-weighted average
• Spot (center)
ISO sensitivity • Auto
• High ISO Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
AE Lock Yes (on/off selectable)
Exposure compensation +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
Shuttter speed 15-1/1600 sec
Modes • Auto
• Manua
• Digital Macro
• Color Accent
• Color Swap
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
• Special Scene
Scene modes

• Portrait
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Indoor
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Aquarium
• Underwater

White balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Custom
Self timer 2 or 10sec, custom
Continuous shooting Approx 1.2fps until card is fullApprox 1.3fps until card is 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
• Face Detection FE compensation
• Flash exposure lock
• Range (Auto ISO): 30cm - 4.0m (wide) / 2m (tele)
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 3.0-inch Vari-angle P-Si TFT
• 230,000 pixels
• 100% coverage
• 15 levels of brightness adjustment
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out (PAL / NTSC switchable)
Print compliance PictBridge
Storage • SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus , HC MMCplus compatible
• 32 MB card supplied
Power • Li-Ion battery pack NB-5L
• Optional AC adapter ACK-DC30
Weight (no batt) 155g (5.5 oz)
Dimensions 92.6 x 58.8 x 25.9 mm (3.7 x 2.3 x 1.0 in)

Technologies Explained


Canon’s DIGIC III (DIGital Imaging Core) image processor manages all of the camera’s primary functions to optimize operating efficiency. Advanced image processing algorithms deliver superb image detail and colour reproduction with accurate white balance. High-speed processing results in outstanding responsiveness, rapid auto focus and extended continuous shooting ability.
DIGIC III also powers advanced Noise Reduction Technology and Face Detection AF/AE/FE.

Face Detection AF/AE/FE

Canon’s Face Detection AF/AE/FE system automatically detects up to nine faces within a frame before adjusting the focus, exposure and flash to ensure optimal results. It is able to determine which faces are intended to be the subject, instantly reverting to the partnering 9-point AiAF system if no face is detected as the primary subject.


iSAPS (Intelligent Scene Analysis based on Photographic Space) automatically optimises key camera settings before every shot. Each scene is analysed and cross-referenced against Photographic Space – a vast in-camera library of photographic data. This enables the camera to make optimal adjustments to auto exposure, auto focus and auto white balance before image capture occurs.

Ultra-High Refractive Index Aspherical (UA) lens technology

Canon's UA lens was the world's first ultra-high refractive index glass molded aspherical lens. Made from glass with a higher refractive index than other aspherical lenses, it allows for an exceptionally slim and compact lens unit. The glass molded aspherical shape delivers remarkable image quality and helps avoid the image aberrations that can occur with spherical lens designs.

Optical Image Stabilizer

The Digital IXUS 860 IS uses a lens shift-type Image Stabilizer (IS) system to detect and correct slight camera shakes that can cause image blur. Minute vibration gyros detect lens tilting caused by hand shake. These signals – 4,000 per second – are processed by a single-chip IS controller, which discriminates between hand shake and intentional camera movements. Shake signals are sent to the IS unit, which moves one of the lens elements accordingly to deflect the light rays and cancel out the effects of shake. For improved accuracy and responsiveness, the moving lens element is supported on tiny ceramic spheres. In addition to minimising friction, ceramic spheres avoid some of the problems that can affect metal systems, such as thermal expansion and magnetism. The optical IS of the Digital IXUS 860 IS allows photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower with no perceptible increase in image blur due to camera shake.

Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom

Similar to placing an accessory lens on the front of the camera, Canon’s Digital Tele-Converter adds a constant zoom to every shot – 1.5x or 1.9x, depending on the image size selected. While optical converter lenses cause a reduction in aperture and consequently require a slower shutter speed, the Digital Tele-Converter maintains aperture size, reducing the risk of image blur.

Safety Zoom protects the image from interpolation at high levels of digital zoom, allowing users to extend zoom magnification without sacrificing image quality.

Level of Safety Zoom possible at each image size setting without loss of image quality:

Medium 1
Medium 2
Medium 3
A870 IS