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Decent Digital Point And Shoot Camera

Reviewing: Canon Power Shot Sd870 Is  |  Rating:
Cameron Eittreim By Cameron Eittreim on
Badge: Publisher | Level: 5 | Cameras Expertise:
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Cannon is constantly always ranked high in quality, both by professionals and ordinary people. Companies like Kodak and countless others promise to pack extraordinary image quality into pocket sized stylish packages, while maintaining a relatively affordable price. Certainly the SD870s price tag of almost $300 bucks is not inexpensive, with many refurbished digital point and shoot cameras available on uBid as low as $70 bucks, but the Cannon name is equated with quality so the price is definitely worth admission. This camera is an update of the previous 7-megapixel SD850 and SD800 models in the Digital Elph series, and I have to say that this camera delivers on its claims of quality spectacularly. Some of the new features this camera offers are a 3-Inch LCD screen, face detection, and a excellent quality 28mm-to-105mm, f/2.8-to-f/5.8, 3.8X optical zoom lens. One particular item this Camera is lacking is the optical zoom finder, which was replaced by the larger screen apparently. Other then these features this camera closely resembles last years SD850, but with the excellent image quality I think this camera will still continue it's sales success, and with a competitive price of almost $300 bucks this is definitely a better camera then that found in the $500 buck iPhone (har).

the Hardware :

The Cannon SD870 is definitely not a bad looking camera, it's not available with any custom colors or items of that nature, but it's certainly on par in terms of style with rival Cyber-shot DSC-T2. The SD870 is very well constructed and solid, this camera is sturdy and you wouldn't expect less from cannon, as this camera carries their always sturdy and excellent body designs. This SD870 weighs in at 6.2 ounces with battery and SDcard both installed, while I've been able to fit this in my jeans pocket it is rather bulky so I usually just Carrie it around my neck. And how could I forget the exact details, duh the camera is exactly 2.3 by 3.7 by 1.0 inches. The 3-inch LCD is definitely a welcome upgrade in my opinion, as opposed to the previous 2.5-inch, of course cannon opted to get rid of the optical view finder for this model, which is of course a real draw back for a lot of people. When using the previous models the view finder came is useful like if I was shooting in the dessert or on the beach, anywhere that there is bright light, but I really enjoy the larger LCD as opposed to the 2.5-inch. Cannon has also switched around some other features in terms of design, in the previous model the power button was located next to the view finder, I never found it hard to press but some of my family members did. Now the power button is located on the top of the camera, where it is much more accessible for most people, and really this is where it belongs just from a design stand point. The zoom and recording mode switches have also been moved around, they are now placed next to the power button for easy access, this is great for those special moments in the park or at a family gathering when you need to start recording quickly. Some other switches next to the LCD are ISO, flash, Marco and timer settings, this feature is similar to the iPod click wheel from the iPod mini, where you can circle your finger around the dial to browse the appropriate menus and such. This is a feature I haven't seen in a camera yet but I do enjoy it, as opposed to sifting through menus with a button or five. I found this click button especially useful when I was shooting at a wedding and I needed to change the settings quickly, as we all know life cannot wait and this made that little task a breeze.

Cannon has adding a boat load of outstanding features to the SD870 to help the ordinary photography produce outstanding photos, on the rear of the SD870 you will find numerous buttons to the right of the improved LCD. These buttons trigger playback, printing, Menu, and display settings (which is used to customized the screen and what not), plus the click wheel and function button are also there. The SD870 also has four main shooting modes (auto, video, manual, and scene), which are easily accessed on the top of the camera using a slider switch. Manual mode is a great feature for when you need to adjust white balance or exposure to certain lighting effects and metering settings. The scene mode is actually pretty cool, it offers ten different presets (Portrait, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Beach, Aquarium, Indoor, Kids & Pets, and Night Snapshot), and this is a tool I use often because it optimizes the shot for a specific scene. Now where the lens is concerned this is definitely one of the SD870s strong suits, it features a wide-angle setting, which is usually found on common cameras, this is usually found in high end cameras. The usual Camera starts at 35mm so this wide-angle lens is defiantly a treat, and it comes in very handy for landscape or nature images. Cannon has also improved the face detection, thanks to a stronger Digic III processor, this seemed to work better with this camera then with the Cyber shot I own. Cannon claims that the SD870 can recognize up to nine faces, which makes this camera excellent for shooting family portraits.

ISO shooting is also much improved over the previous models, ordinarily point-and-shoot cameras doing produce high-quality lower-light images; this is basically because they lack the quick shutter speed of the D-SLRs. I wasn't really expecting anything different with the SD870, image quality is excellent up to about 400 or 500 ISO, and then the picture starts to become noisy and blurred. The maximum setting is 1600 but then it becomes to where you can't even see the image, which isn't very helpful now is it? Basically Sony is the way to go if you want high speed ISO consumer based cameras, but even Sony can't match the quality of a cannon D-SLR camera. The antiglare LCD is excellent in sun light, I was shooting pictures in Capitol Park in Sacramento, California and I could see the screen with great ease. Of course in direct sunlight it is impossible to see any screen, this is where I wished the SD870 had the optical viewfinder. The boot up time on this camera is also much faster then the previous models, 2.7 seconds, and the recycle time are 3.3 seconds, I'm sure this depends on certain circumstances also because my camera was not fully charged. The shutter time I got was 0.43 seconds, which I though was pretty good, obviously better then other digital cameras I've owned in the past. The quick boot times are great for me because I'm constantly whipping this bad boy out to take pictures; it's actually a curse when you live in a beautiful state like California, with Sonoma and the gorgeous bodega beach areas. The shutter performance is also quick enough that I can get most of those amazing shots without having to worry about the next one, and the video recording also went very well. Video is shot at 640-by-480-pixel resolution, with is perfect because you are only limited to the size of your SDcard, and the video shoots at 30 frames per second, and you have the option to zoom in or out while recording. This camera is great for shooting those quick you tube videos, or just filming a video blog.

final Opinion of the SD870 :

The Cannon SD870 is one of the best point-and-shoot digital cameras you can get, even without the optical view finder the cannon boasts exceptional image quality, and has a beautiful 3.0-inch LCD screen. Plus stand out features like a wide-angle lens which is great for those must have nature shots, the SD870 is an unbeatable value with its affordable price and boasts better quality then the competition, namely the Cyber shot models. I love this camera and I look forward to many more years of solid use with it, this is definitely not your average point-and-shoot digital camera.

~Thanks for Reading~