Canon PowerShot SD700 IS (Digital IXUS 800 IS / IXY Digital 800 IS) review

Started Apr 26, 2007 | User reviews thread
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stlcox New Member • Posts: 2
Canon PowerShot SD700 IS (Digital IXUS 800 IS / IXY Digital 800 IS) review

My criteria was a thin pocket camera with excellent, professional photo quality that I
could easily carry in a front pants pocket while backpacking across Southeast Asia
for a month. I'm picky and demanding. I want National Geographic quality images
from something the size of a credit card. I originally purchased a Panasonic Lumix
FX-9, but just couldn't get good quality photos out of it, so I went back to my tried
and true brand and purchased the Canon SD700IS.

I simply couldn't be happier with the results I got from this camera. I took 1800
photos over the course of a month-long trip and didn't get a single bad shot. In
terms of battery life, I took about three quarters of those shots on a single battery
charge. Granted, I rarely used the flash, but with the image stabilization, I rarely
needed it (and preferred not to use it, simply to capture the natural lighting, even
well after dusk). With the IS on and ISO-HIGH setting, I was able to get some
pretty remarkable well-post-dusk shots of some Ankorian ruins deep in the jungle of
Cambodia. I was certain they'd be so full of noise that they would be entirely
useless when I returned home, but was amazed to see that they really look pretty
darn good.

Midday light in that part of the world is a photographer's nightmare, with a harsh
bright sun directly overhead, I was sure that a point and shoot camera was going to
give me poor exposures and washed-out shots, but again, the Canon proved me
wrong. Colors were rich, intense, yet a natural representation of the subject matter.
When I deliberately fiddled with the auto-exposure (exposing for the sky, then
refocusing on my subject matter), I got some really amazing results. I even got
some great one-handed snaps while clinging for life to the back of a motorbike
bouncing across the dirt-roads of Laos.

As testament to the image quality of this camera, nearly everyone who viewed the
photos from this trip commented that it must have been a bear to carry a bulky
professional camera and requisite lenses around throughout my trip.

Overall, I wanted a great, super-portable camera that would be up to the task of
capturing my trip in vivid detail while doing justice to the experience, and this
camera entirely exceeded my expectations. I never thought I'd be so effusive about
a point and shoot camera, but this one disappeared once I slipped it in my pocket,
and did a magnificent job every time it emerged from there.


Over the course of a month riding around, unsheathed, in my front pocket, the LCD
screen has a slight weird abrasion to it -not scratches per se, but it looks like it has a
film over it. I thought it was sunscreen and sweat, but after cleaning it upon my
return, that didn't come off. It's an entirely minor thing, and only noticeable when
the display is turned off, but I figure I have to find at least one drawback to add to my

Canon PowerShot SD700 IS (Digital IXUS 800 IS / IXY Digital 800 IS)
6 megapixels • 2.5 screen • 35 – 140 mm (4×)
Announced: Feb 21, 2006
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