Canon PowerShot SD850 IS Digital ELPH (IXUS 950 IS) Concise Review
The SD850 IS (IXUS 950 IS in Europe) was first announced in May 2007 as a replacement for the Powershot SD700 IS. It constitutes only a relatively subtle upgrade. Visually the SD850 is virtually indistinguishable from the older model (only the color of the camera back has changed, from black to gray), and there are only a handful of modifications to the specification of the camera. Most notably the sensor now records 8MP images instead of 6 and the resolution of the 2.5" screen has been increased to 230,000 pixels. The 'digital heart' beating in the SD850 is now the latest generation of Canon's imaging processor, the DIGIC III. With the new processor there come a couple of new features too: Face Detection and the useful Auto ISO shift option.
The long standing tradition of the very successful series of IXUS/ELPH cameras started in 1996 when the first APS (Advanced Photo System) model was introduced. Every new generation got its innovations and found its followers but has the IXUS/ELPH series finally matured to perfection? Let's find out in our review, starting, as ever, with the headline features:
- 8.0 million effective pixels
- 4x (35-140mm equiv.) zoom
- ISO 1600 and optical IS for flash-free indoor shooting
- Canon's DIGIC III image processor, iSAPS, 9-point AiAF and Face Detection
- Wide viewing angle 2.5" LCD screen (230,000 pixels)
- 16 shooting modes
- My Colors photo effects
- Widescreen (16:9) stills recording
- 30fps VGA movies with time lapse mode
Note: Some sections of text in this review are taken directly from the Canon SD 700 IS review as in many respects the cameras are functionally identical. All test images are from the SD850 IS.
SD850 IS / IXUS 950 IS specifications
|Street price|| US: $250
SD 850 IS Digital ELPH (US)
• 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 3264 x 2448
|Aspect ratio||4:3 and 3:2 (3264 x 1832)|
• 640 x 480 @ 30 / 15fps
|File formats||• Still: JPEG (Exif 2.2)
• Movie: AVI (Motion JPEG compression)
• 35 - 140mm equiv
|Image stabilization||Yes (lens shift-type)|
|Digital zoom||up to 4x|
|Focus||• AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point)
• 1-point AF (Fixed center)
|AF assist lamp||Yes|
|Focus distance|| • Normal: 1.6 ft./50cm-infinity
• Macro: 0.79 in.-1.6 ft./2-50cm (WIDE), 1.3-1.6 ft./40-50cm (TELE)
• Digital Macro: 0.79 in.-1.6 ft./2-50cm (W)
|Metering||• Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF)
• Center-weighted average
|Exposure compensation||• +/- 2EV
• in 1/3 stop increments
|Shutter speed||15-1/1600 sec|
• Digital Macro
• Color Accent
• Color Swap
• Stitch Assist
• Special Scene
|Scene modes||• Portrait
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Creative Light Effect
|Self timer||• 2 or 10secs
|Continuous shooting||Approx. 1.3 fps 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)|
• 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 TFT
• 230,000 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, Fixed Size Print and Movie Print supported on SELPHY CP & ES printers only)
|Storage||• SD / SDHC / MMC compatible
• 32 MB card supplied
|Power||• Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery NB-5L
• Optional AC adapter
|Languages||English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Chinese (traditional), Japanese, Russian, Portuguese, Korean, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Thai, Arabic, Ukrainian, Romanian|
• Playback red-eye correction
|Weight (No batt)||165 g|
|Dimensions||90 x 57 x 26 mm|
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