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4.4
23 reviews
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Canon
Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera

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Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera
 
4.4

(based on 23 reviews)

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  • 5 Stars

     

    (13)

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100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Most Liked Positive Review

 

excellent quality pictures

**About:** **Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera**

Canon's SD series, also known as the Digital Elph line, is an exercise in slow evolution. Since the...Read complete review

**About:** **Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera**

Canon's SD series, also known as the Digital Elph line, is an exercise in slow evolution. Since the company has hit on a very successful design, these compact point-and-shoots typically see only minor tweaks from year to year. This year's follow-up to the popular SD700 IS is the new PowerShot SD850 IS. The main differences between the two include a jump up to 8.3 megapixels (from 6.2 megapixels) and the new Digic III image processor, which brings with it face detection and a higher top sensitivity of ISO 1,600 (up from ISO 800). The SD850 sports nearly everything you'd want in a point-and-shoot.



The only thing you might want to change would be the 4x optical zoom lens. The SD850 IS's lens starts at an equivalent of 35mm and ends at 140mm. For a compact camera such as this, I prefer a lens that starts wider, such as the 28mm-to-105mm lens found on the PowerShot SD800 IS. The wider lens lets you fit more people into those group photos, or get closer to your subject, such as in a nightclub. Of course, we can't really hold this against Canon in this case, since the SD800 IS basically offers everything the SD850 IS does, but with a different lens. So if you side with me in the lens debate, check out the SD800 IS. Both cameras include Canon's very effective optical image stabilization to help keep your images sharp even if your hands aren't very steady.



Designwise, the SD850 IS is almost identical to the SD700 IS. The only real difference is the colors that adorn its body. That means that Canon hasn't fixed the wacky on/off button that irked us on last year's model. It sits to the right of the tiny viewfinder above the 2.5-inch LCD screen on the camera back. The button is in an awkward place and is also rather small and completely flush with the camera back. We've never had much of a problem with positioning the power button atop the camera and aren't sure why Canon decided to put it here in the first place. Maybe they'll move it next year. We also found that the mode dial, embedded into the right side, felt a bit flimsy and occasionally skipped a couple of notches when we were trying to move only one. Once we got used to it, though, it wasn't much of a problem.



Compared to last year's multicontroller pad, which was perfectly fine, the SD850 IS's pad is an improvement. A raised ring around the pad gives it better tactile response. Plus, when you rest your thumb in any particular direction, a graphic appears on the LCD to show you what you'd do if you press fully. This came in handy, since you don't have to move your eyes away from the screen when changing settings. Plus, it makes it easier to discern the controller's multiple functions, since the onscreen graphic only shows the function that is active in the mode you're currently using.



For the most part, the PowerShot SD850 IS turned in a performance that is equal to, or faster than, that of the SD700 IS, despite the increase in megapixels. The SD850 IS took 1.2 seconds to start up and capture its first JPEG. Subsequent JPEGs took 1.7 seconds between shots without flash but slowed significantly to 3 seconds between shots with the flash turned on. This is one area where the SD700 IS outperformed; it took 1.9 seconds between shots with its flash enabled. The SD850 IS's shutter lag measured 0.5 second in our high-contrast test and 0.7 second in our low-contrast test, which mimic bright and dim shooting conditions, respectively. The other area where the SD850 IS lags behind its predecessor is continuous shooting. The SD850 IS yielded about 1.4 frames per second (fps) regardless of image size, while the SD750 IS was able to churn out a more impressive 2.1fps.



Images from the SD850 IS are very impressive. Colors look accurate, there's plenty of sharpness, especially for a compact camera, and at its lowest ISO settings, we saw no appreciable noise. In fact, noise doesn't even begin to encroach until you reach ISO 200. Even then, it's just a very light covering of off-color splotches that's barely visible on computer monitors and won't show up at all in prints. Noise remains similar at ISO 400, with a just-perceptible increase that still won't mar your prints much, if at all. At ISO 800, noise becomes more pronounced, robbing some finer image detail, and adding filmlike grain to prints. Surprisingly, while darker colors become washed out at this point, there's still a fair amount of shadow detail. At its highest sensitivity setting of ISO 1,600, most finer detail is obliterated by noise, and lots of shadow detail is lost. Rather than a fine grain, the noise becomes larger and causes a nasty blotchy look overall. We recommend staying below ISO 1,600 if you plan on making prints and below ISO 800 if you plan to make prints larger than 8x10 inches.



There's very little to complain about on the SD850 IS. Fans of ultracompacts, such as Sony's T-series, might complain that this Canon isn't small enough, but given its excellent image quality and speedy performance, I'm not complaining. Also, unlike those Sony cameras, this one includes an optical viewfinder, for situations, such as concerts, in which an LCD might annoy those around you. Bargain hunters will likely balk at this camera's price, but again, its features and performance make it worth the premium over a bargain-basement camera.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Good camera for the money.

I am loyal to Canon brands after having tried others. I wasn't as impressed with this Canon as I have been previous models at lower megapixels. I do like the fact that it is...Read complete review

I am loyal to Canon brands after having tried others. I wasn't as impressed with this Canon as I have been previous models at lower megapixels. I do like the fact that it is 10MP and the optical zoom is great. It does record good quality videos as well. Some of the images come out grainy or fake looking at times. I've tried adjusting the settings but it still happens on occasion.

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5.0

excellent quality pictures

By 

from Arlington Heights, IL

Comments about Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera:

**About:** **Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera**

Canon's SD series, also known as the Digital Elph line, is an exercise in slow evolution. Since the company has hit on a very successful design, these compact point-and-shoots typically see only minor tweaks from year to year. This year's follow-up to the popular SD700 IS is the new PowerShot SD850 IS. The main differences between the two include a jump up to 8.3 megapixels (from 6.2 megapixels) and the new Digic III image processor, which brings with it face detection and a higher top sensitivity of ISO 1,600 (up from ISO 800). The SD850 sports nearly everything you'd want in a point-and-shoot.



The only thing you might want to change would be the 4x optical zoom lens. The SD850 IS's lens starts at an equivalent of 35mm and ends at 140mm. For a compact camera such as this, I prefer a lens that starts wider, such as the 28mm-to-105mm lens found on the PowerShot SD800 IS. The wider lens lets you fit more people into those group photos, or get closer to your subject, such as in a nightclub. Of course, we can't really hold this against Canon in this case, since the SD800 IS basically offers everything the SD850 IS does, but with a different lens. So if you side with me in the lens debate, check out the SD800 IS. Both cameras include Canon's very effective optical image stabilization to help keep your images sharp even if your hands aren't very steady.



Designwise, the SD850 IS is almost identical to the SD700 IS. The only real difference is the colors that adorn its body. That means that Canon hasn't fixed the wacky on/off button that irked us on last year's model. It sits to the right of the tiny viewfinder above the 2.5-inch LCD screen on the camera back. The button is in an awkward place and is also rather small and completely flush with the camera back. We've never had much of a problem with positioning the power button atop the camera and aren't sure why Canon decided to put it here in the first place. Maybe they'll move it next year. We also found that the mode dial, embedded into the right side, felt a bit flimsy and occasionally skipped a couple of notches when we were trying to move only one. Once we got used to it, though, it wasn't much of a problem.



Compared to last year's multicontroller pad, which was perfectly fine, the SD850 IS's pad is an improvement. A raised ring around the pad gives it better tactile response. Plus, when you rest your thumb in any particular direction, a graphic appears on the LCD to show you what you'd do if you press fully. This came in handy, since you don't have to move your eyes away from the screen when changing settings. Plus, it makes it easier to discern the controller's multiple functions, since the onscreen graphic only shows the function that is active in the mode you're currently using.



For the most part, the PowerShot SD850 IS turned in a performance that is equal to, or faster than, that of the SD700 IS, despite the increase in megapixels. The SD850 IS took 1.2 seconds to start up and capture its first JPEG. Subsequent JPEGs took 1.7 seconds between shots without flash but slowed significantly to 3 seconds between shots with the flash turned on. This is one area where the SD700 IS outperformed; it took 1.9 seconds between shots with its flash enabled. The SD850 IS's shutter lag measured 0.5 second in our high-contrast test and 0.7 second in our low-contrast test, which mimic bright and dim shooting conditions, respectively. The other area where the SD850 IS lags behind its predecessor is continuous shooting. The SD850 IS yielded about 1.4 frames per second (fps) regardless of image size, while the SD750 IS was able to churn out a more impressive 2.1fps.



Images from the SD850 IS are very impressive. Colors look accurate, there's plenty of sharpness, especially for a compact camera, and at its lowest ISO settings, we saw no appreciable noise. In fact, noise doesn't even begin to encroach until you reach ISO 200. Even then, it's just a very light covering of off-color splotches that's barely visible on computer monitors and won't show up at all in prints. Noise remains similar at ISO 400, with a just-perceptible increase that still won't mar your prints much, if at all. At ISO 800, noise becomes more pronounced, robbing some finer image detail, and adding filmlike grain to prints. Surprisingly, while darker colors become washed out at this point, there's still a fair amount of shadow detail. At its highest sensitivity setting of ISO 1,600, most finer detail is obliterated by noise, and lots of shadow detail is lost. Rather than a fine grain, the noise becomes larger and causes a nasty blotchy look overall. We recommend staying below ISO 1,600 if you plan on making prints and below ISO 800 if you plan to make prints larger than 8x10 inches.



There's very little to complain about on the SD850 IS. Fans of ultracompacts, such as Sony's T-series, might complain that this Canon isn't small enough, but given its excellent image quality and speedy performance, I'm not complaining. Also, unlike those Sony cameras, this one includes an optical viewfinder, for situations, such as concerts, in which an LCD might annoy those around you. Bargain hunters will likely balk at this camera's price, but again, its features and performance make it worth the premium over a bargain-basement camera.

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5.0

Super User Friendly

By 

from Rexburg, ID

Comments about Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera:

I just love my cannon power shot camera. Straight out of the box it was so easy to use. I love all the different functions of this camera. One of my favorite functions is that you can change the mode of the camera, i.e. you can change it so when you are in the snow it takes pictures in the snow the lighting is correct and you don't end up with really bright pictures or blue snow, like i have had with other cameras. There are various modes like this that make for some really great pictures. I also love the video function of this phone. I am able to take quick videos of my babies and the quality is excellent. I also really love how easy it is to upload all my videos and pictures to my computer to share with the rest of my family. I just love how easy this camera is to use and the quality of pictures is fantastic!

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5.0

Great camera

By 

from Brooklyn, NY

Comments about Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera:

I been a proud owner of the Canon Powershot SD 790 IS Digital Camera since the summer of 2009. I originally brought the camera for school projects and also for social events.The Canon Camera was one of the cheapest and most popular cameras on the amazon website.The price and look had me choose the camera. The camera comes in many different colours; therefore you can choose the best camera for you. I have to say the Canon PowerShot camera is the best personal camera; I ever used. The camera is small; it looks good. The Canon doesn't weight alot. It can easly fit into a bag or pants/jeanspocket. The camera provides great quality pictures. In which seem like it came from your own eyes. A beginner photographer will have no problems using this camera' since it is so easy to use. Not only the camera takes pictures, it also takes great quality video. Depending on the size of your memory card, you can take a good sizable video.

The Canon Powershot SD 790 IS Digital Camera is a camera in which, a person wants a good size personal camera.

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4.0

Great Camera

By 

from Alexandria, VA

Comments about Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera:

This camera is great at taking pictures and easy to learn and use. I have even managed dropp it a couple of times and it still luckly manages to work great. The features on the camera are also great. You have a wide variety of options to choose from. Also, it comes with a video feature which is also pretty good. The focus on the camera is pretty good when you zoom into things that are pretty far. The  camera is small and petit and is able to fit in your pocket and/or purse. The only problem is that when you have it on night setting the picture may not come out as great as you would want it. The picture may come out blurry sometimes. Also, if you do not have the flash on the picture may come out a little blurry. Other then that the overall product is great. The battery life is also pretty good. Great for first time camera users and graet to give out as a gift. It is pretty cheap and affordable and does not damage much.

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5.0

Fantastic camera. Love it!

By 

from Smithfield, UT

Comments about Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera:

I got this camera to replace an aging Canon PowerShot A95 camera.  My wife really wanted something smaller that is easier to fit into her purse.  I was hesitant on the Elph series, but decided to give it a shot.

 

Pros:Canon quality - Canon makes some of the best digital cameras in the world.  They use the same technology (Digic III processor) to power this as some of their high end digital SLR cameras.Size - The camera is very compact and easy to carry wherever you are going.Image Stabilization - The image stabilization is a nice addition.Battery - The battery life is fantastic.  It also retains it's charge over long periods of no use. (This is my wife's favorite feature of the camera)Picture quality - The image sensor is great.  Images come out crisp and clear.Ease of use - The camera interface is straight forward and easy to use.Face Detection - The camera detects faces and will focus on those.  Showing little boxes around them.

Cons:Video quality - Video could be shot at a higher resolution.

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4.0

The Canon Powershot SD 790 IS is a great camera!

By 

from Troy, MI

Comments about Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera:

This is a great point and shoot camera.  It takes great, clear pictures.  I have two young boys so I take this camera with me wherever I go.  I don't want to miss a moment and I don't have to!  There are some things that I don't really like about the camera, that's why I gave it 4 stars.  When I take pictures without the flash in somewhat dull lighting, the pictures come out blurry often.  In order to get a great picture witout the flash it must be extremely well-lit.  The metal casing on the camera scratches very easily.  Mine looks terrible, with two boys taking it and playing with it.  Also the automatic lens cover doesn't work very well anymore.  Other than the scratches and the automatic lens cover, it still works great!  In my opinion, the camera is a little heavy, but that could be taken either as a pro or a con.  The best pictures are the ones taken outside with natural light.  Overall, it is a great camera that isn't very expensive to own. 

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5.0

Really Great Camera

By 

from Chesterfield, MO

Comments about Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera:

If you need a good camera for video or just still pictures that is also very portable, then buy this. I carried this camera to china and back, and i took pictures almost every other minute. This thing was always there when i needed to capture a moment. It is very easy to turn on, snap something, and turn off. The picture and video quality is amazing for such a little device. I would recommend this for anyone who needs a good still camera and video camera. 

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4.0

This Canon PowerShot Digi Cam captures gorgeous images

By 

from San Francisco, CA

Comments about Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera:

Canon has never ceased to disappoint me, at least not yet. I've owned this camera for around two years now and I must say all the special features it possesses are very helpful in capturing an image whether it is moving, super small, or in a specific setting. You can just simply adjust the settings to capture the moment or the image of whatever it is you want it to. The images come out great as long as you know how to use the camera and adjust the settings. When I first got this camera as a gift from my parents, I did not know how to use it and was dissatisfied with how some pictures would usually come out. When I finally was educated by a good friend of mine on how to use it, it captured images as I saw them with my eyes. It was absolutely incredible. Aside from capturing fantastic images, I love how it has a charger that you can simply plug to a power outlet. This definitely saved me lots of money on batteries. Another feature I love about this digital camera is how it stores pictures on a flash memory card that you can simply plug into your laptop or computer to load the pictures on. Although it possesses all these wonderful features, it has one simple flaw. This flaw involves the body of the camera. It possesses some metal body, which leaves dark marks from your fingertips. The good thing is that you can wipe this off with a soft cloth, but it makes the camera look dirty even though its just the metal absorbing the warmth/cold temperature from our fingertips.

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3.0

Nice camera for the price.

By 

from North Las Vegas, NV

Comments about Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera:

I purchased the Cannon SD 790 in February of 2008 for 200.00.  I have been pleased with it considering the price.  I in no way would ever describe myself as something that has an eye for a good picture and feel that this camera doesn't compliment my photo ability at all.  The stand still pictures always turn out great, but anything where someone is moving is hard for me to get something that turns out, which is reasonable considering the camera.  I feel like the flash does a good job if you are in total darkness, but does not work too well if there is some light comming in some places.  I also feel like the zoom doesn't give a good close-up picture.  If you are in need of a camera to just take snap shots here and there of your kids, I would recommend this camera to you, particularly if you are on a budget, because I felt that while looking this camera had the best megapixels and zoom for the price.

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4.0

great camera

By 

from Warner Robins, GA

Pros

    Cons

      Best Uses

        Comments about Canon - PowerShot SD 790 IS Digital Camera:

        The Cannon Power Shot SD 790 IS is a great camera to go out and buy it is very durable and it is very scratch resistant, trust me ive thronw it against every thing i possibly could. The quality of the picture isnt perfect but for the price you pay you cant complain. Over all its a good buy

        • Affiliation:
        • I received a sample

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