Canon PowerShot SD450 Digital ELPH / Digital IXUS 55 Review
Operation and controls
One of the joys of reviewing a Canon compact is that there is almost absolute consistency in controls and menus across its ranges, with each generation an evolution, not a re-invention of the wheel. And this is not without good reason; the combination of plentiful external controls and the 'FUNC' menu, which offers single-screen access to virtually every other aspect of the camera's operation, makes mastering a PowerShot simple and using it remarkably fluid. Of course this is a fairly simple camera - a true 'point and shoot' model, with very limited manual control. What you do get is most of the important stuff; control over metering, flash, ISO, white balance, file size/quality and so on. What you don't get - aside from a handful of subject modes - is any meaningful control over apertures and shutter speeds.
Rear of camera
The rear of the SD450 is dominated by the new, larger 2.5-inch screen, with all the main controls arranged around the ubiquitous four-way controller on the right of the body. Although you need to use the 'one stop shop' FUNC menu to change stuff like white balance, file size/quality etc, external controls are supplied for metering, flash, macro, continuous (burst) and self-timer modes and - new for this model - ISO. As is now standard on PowerShots, the SD450 sports a print/share button (when connected to a Windows computer with Canon's software it lights up to indicate the camera is ready to transfer. It also lights up when connected to a PictBridge printer). Note that there is now an external ISO control.
Top of camera
Display and menus
Canon's menu and on-screen display system has - despite minor appearance tweaks here and there - remained admirably consistent across camera ranges and generations. The SD450 sports the news playback functions seen on the SD550 and S80, but otherwise it's almost identical to the SD400 before it.
|Pressing the DISP button cycles between three preview settings; off (use the optical viewfinder), preview image only (no information displayed) and - as shown above - full information. There's plenty of information ranged around the edge of the preview image. You can also activate a useful 'grid' overlay (visible in the next screenshot).||Half press the shutter and the camera will set the focus and exposure, indicating the focus point chosen (in AiAF mode the SD450 chooses from one of nine focus points). Unlike the SD400 before it, the SD450 displays the shutter speed, but only if it is 1/60 sec or below (and therefore there is a danger of camera shake).|
|A nice new touch is a dedicated ISO button (first seen on the SD550).||The ubiquitous FUNC menu has two modes of operation. The default (shown here) is 'auto'. All you can change here is the file size and quality. You also get direct access to the six scene modes (digital macro, portrait, night snapshot, kids and pets, indoor and underwater).|
|Selecting the 'manual' option gives you additional access to AE compensation, white balance, ISO sensitivity, picture/color effects. As always, the FUNC menu is fast and easy to use.||Selecting the 'My Colors' option brings up several extra options, allowing you to boost certain colors, swap colors in the scene, remove all but one color (all other colors come out black and white) or set custom colors. It's not Photoshop, but it's a nice novelty.|
|Pressing the menu button in record mode brings up a list of less-commonly accessed functions; AiAF focus on/off; self-timer (2/10 secs and custom); AF illuminator on/off; digital zoom on/off; review (2-10 secs); date stamp on/off and long shutter on/off. The last option on the list activates Canon's excellent stitch assist panorama mode.||In playback mode you get the option of full screen images with no information overlay or basic information (file number, date and time). A final option is a playback histogram. What you can't see - as in record mode - is any exposure information. The playback menu also offers the option to move from image to image using a fancy dissolve or push transition, which looks cool but slows things down a tad. Finally, a new 'intelligent orientation sensor' rotates playback images as you turn the camera from horizontal to vertical, which is a small thing, but we like it.|
|Pushing the zoom lever to the left (wide) changes the display to nine (3x3) thumbnails. As is usual with Canon, moving the zoom lever to the left a second time changes the thumbnail display to 'jump' mode, allowing you to quickly move through a page of thumbnails at a time.||The zoom lever is also used to zoom into (magnify) images - up to 10x in 10 steps.|
|The SD450 has lots of neat new interface effects, including a new slide show function, which features very professional-looking TV-style transition effects and is unusually customizable. Nice if you like to hook your camera up to the television.||The playback menu has the usual options for protecting (locking) and deleting files, as well as rotating images, viewing a slide show, adding a voice memo and tagging images for printing using DPOF.|
|The setup menu (accessible from both playback and record modes) is where you find more general camera settings, including sounds, power saving, date and time, LCD brightness, card formatting, language and video output format.||Finally, as is now standard on Canon's consumer models, the 'My Camera' screen allows you to customize the camera with your own start-up screen and sounds.|
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
The Moto Z2 is Motorola's first dual-camera smartphone and, compared to its predecessor, comes with a number of improvements and new camera features.
Researchers at Stanford have revealed a new '4D camera system' built for robots. The system is based on the same light field tech that allowed Lytro cameras to refocus images after they were taken.
If you want 'beautiful rendition' from your lenses, follow this simple rule: only buy classic low-element prime lenses with lead glass elements—everything else is junk.
In an interview with CNBC, Leica Chairman Andreas Kaufmann said he dreams of a 'true Leica phone,' and hinted at what's next for the Leica and Huawei partnership.
Wildlife and nature photographer Peter Mather tells the story behind this exceptional shot of a mama grizzly and her cub searching for salmon in Yukon, Canada.
Popular YouTube channel TastyTuts has put together this 33-video Beginner's Guide to Adobe Photoshop—a godsend for anybody who wants to learn Photoshop from scratch.
The long anticipated replacement for the popular Rode VideoMic Pro is almost ready for shipping. The price of the upgraded VideoMic Pro+ will be £290/$300 when it goes on sale in mid-August.
A new iOS app called Explorest wants to help you find new locations to shoot. It's limited to Singapore for now, but the app is packed full of useful location scouting features.
Nikon's D850 development announcement is extremely light on details, so we assembled a wish list of upgrades and features we'd love to see.
Nikon has announced the development of the long-awaited replacement to its full-frame D810: the D850. Nikon says that the D850 will build on the strengths of its predecessor and offer 'new technologies, features and performance enhancements.'
Lens manufacturer Voigtlander has introduced a 65mm F2 macro lens for Sony E-mount that it says "rates as one of the finest in the history of Voigtländer."
The UK released a preview of their upcoming drone safety regulations, and it looks like drone pilots will have to both register their device and pass safety awareness tests.
National Geographic photographer Bob Holmes talks about light, and why you need to learn how to 'see' and not just 'look' at your subject.
Photographer Alessandro Barteletti shares the story behind his National Geographic Italia cover, shot with a 10-year-old DSLR and an iPhone flashlight.
Fashion catalog photographers in China have some next-level models to work with. In this video, you see one model hitting 30 poses in 15 seconds as the photographer snaps away.
Photographer Paul Adshead breaks down 11 photography-related smartphone apps he couldn't live without—from a pocket light meter to a lighting diagram app.
Fast-growing Chinese flash brand Godox is teasing a brand new flash trigger... for smartphones. The Godox A1 is a 'phone flash system' that can act as both flash and 2.4GHz trigger.
On July 12, Canon opened its newest Technology and Support Center, designed to serve the motion picture industry, in Burbank, CA. DPReview got a sneak peak and takes you behind the scenes.
The Sigma 14mm F1.8 Art is truly one-of-a-kind. It offers the fastest aperture of any lens that shares its focal length, produces beautiful sunstars and is incredibly sharp to boot. If you're in the market for a fast ultrawide prime, this looks to be the one to get.
In this article, expert macro photographer Thomas Shahan shares advice for successful closeup photography of bugs, insects and small animals.
DJI's new firmware makes it difficult to fly in restricted airspace, even when you have proper clearance. Is DJI placing themselves between professionals and the FAA?
Go behind the scenes with National Geographic photographer Renan Ozturk and see what it takes to capture a dangerous, harrowing, stunning Nat Geo photo essay.
Erez Marom tells the story behind this ominous photo of the sand 'reaching up' towards the mountains at Skagsanden beach in Norway. He calls this photo 'Torment.'
DPReview staffer Carey Rose has taken the Panasonic Leica DG 15mm F1.7 along for everything from a city-side boat ride to a bachelor party across the mountains. Find out how the little Leica fared.
Canon just unveiled the largest 12-ink printer on the market. The new imagePROGRAF PRO-6000 printer can make prints from 17 all the way up to 60 inches wide.
"Standing in one of the holiest places on earth, I felt uneasy," writes Wired's Jason Parham. "Most of my fellow visitors, I realized with a brief bloom of nausea, were taking selfies."
Christopher Nolan's Dunkirk has been receiving great reviews, but it's a challenge to see it in its full glory. This handy infographic reveals the aspect ratio chaos that is wrought as the industry retreats from film.
Anti-bullying organization Ditch the Label's Annual Bullying Survey 2017 reveals yet again that Instagram, more so than any other social network, has the worst effect on youth mental health.
It's been a crazy day for innovative patent news. Apparently Sony is thinking of developing a medium format curved sensor camera.
An update to the Silkypix Raw converter fixes some bugs and adds support for several popular new cameras.