Canon PowerShot SD790 IS (Digital IXUS 90 IS) review

Started Dec 31, 2008 | User reviews thread
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minuteZERO New Member • Posts: 4
Canon PowerShot SD790 IS (Digital IXUS 90 IS) review

Great shots for the price!!!

I bought this camera after returning a Fujifilm J150w (see my review there for comparison). All I was looking for was a simple camera with a big LCD and good picture quality. This has all of those things, and for the money you can't go wrong.

I went with the 790 even though the 880 and 890 were available. I did this based on the reviews on this website. There were a lot of complaints that the 880 took blurry pictures, and Rick Fuchs review on the 890 scared me away from that one as well. The 790 on the other hand seemed to have mostly great things to be said. So I hoped the dpreview community got it right.

In my opinion, they did. I picked up this camera just under 200.00 on-sale, and so far I am very pleased. There are some great features worth mentioning.

The face detection is fairly quick, and helps a lot with portrait shots to make sure you get the subject's face in focus and not accidentally something in the background. It's tricky with kids because of them moving around most of the time, but still does pretty well. It even has an option to lock onto a face once detected to help with tracking/movement.

The shoot-modes are probably more than I need, but the ones I like in particular are: auto, portrait, kids/pets, and manual. For the most part auto will do just fine, and I am very pleased with the quality of the photos. The portrait softens up the image a bit, and seems to take shots nice and clear at a low ISO. The kids/pets apparently helps to get shots of subjects that are always moving around. From what I have found so far I have not had a blurry image yet. And of course manual, where you can tweak a lot of the settings (flash, ISO, exposure, resolution, compression, etc).

The video mode is average, but what I did notice is the mic picks up sound surprisingly well. Not as good as a camcorder of course, but definitely good for those moments where you want to capture a candid moment and throw it onto your website or youtube.

The battery is quite a good capacity @ 1120mah, which should give great usage times. I have not drained the battery fully yet so I can't exactly say how long it will last, but other cameras I was looking at only had 750mah cells. Common sense tells me this one will definitely outlast that of a lower mah capacity.

Apparently you can add a flash onto this bad boy at the bottom of the camera! I haven't looked into this too much, but I don't know of many cameras that have this ability for being a 200.00 range compact point and shoot.

Another thing to note is the connection to the PC is a standard mini-USB which is very common on mobile phones and other devices so chances are if you're out and about and you don't have your cable and you want to get something of your camera, you will be able to do so at a friend's house. The Fuji I returned had a different style USB connection so you would have to have that cable with you if you wanted to txfer images (or have a card reader handy).

One more nice little feature on this camera is that it has a tilt sensor. This means it will auto-rotate pictures taken vertically (sorry I don't know the actual term, the tall way ) and will also rotate images/videos in playback mode when tilting the camera.

In conclusion, for me, as stated, I was looking for a cheap camera with a big LCD that took great pictures. This camera does that plus with all the added features I am very happy with my purchase.


Wheel navigation takes some getting used to, but comes in very handy once you get the hang of it.

Red eye correction doesn't work great.

Canon PowerShot SD790 IS (Digital IXUS 90 IS)
10 megapixels • 3 screen • 35 – 105 mm (3×)
Announced: Mar 13, 2008
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