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You are hereHome > Digital Camera Reviews > Canon PowerShot SD550

Canon Digital Cameras

   


Canon PowerShot SD550 Review

Review Date: Mar 27, 2006

Category: Point-and-Shoot

Canon PowerShot SD550
Click for a larger version

EXCUTIVE SUMMARY

This Canon PowerShot SD550 Digital ELPH Review is based on a production model. All sample images are unretouched, except where specified.

This review has been submitted to DIWA Awards [Total: 74%].

Toronto Harbourfront
Toronto Harbourfront
[Note: we flipped this picture and cropped it to create the Navigation image above]

The Canon PowerShot SD550 Digital ELPH is elegantly simple yet beautiful in its "Perpetual Curve" design, and the metallic body is built solid with an unmistakable feeling of quality all around. Despite its ultracompact dimensions (JeansPocket™ Certified), it handles well and controls are intuitive.

This camera is targeted to Point-and-Shoot photographers with 7.1MP resolution and a 3x optical zoom. It gives very good to excellent image quality. AUTO and Scene Modes simplify shooting, but more advanced photographers can also switch to the Manual (M) mode (essentially a Programmed Auto mode with manual long shutter speeds) for more control. In fact, M mode provides control over ISO, WB (can be set manually), exposure compensation, light metering and other cool Image Effects. Exposure (AEL) and focus (AFL) settings can be locked independently. Long shutter speeds go from 1 sec. to 15 sec. to permit Night Photography.

The extra large 2.5-in. LCD monitor has an average 115,000 pixels resolution, is clear and has a fast refresh rate in bright situations, a bit choppy in low light. It gains up in low-light to permit easier composition. There is also a small real-image zoom optical viewfinder.

Startup and shot to shot times are fast at about 1 sec., and there is no practical shutter lag. AF is precise and fast, with an effective AF-assist Illuminator to help achieve focus lock in low-light.

Image quality is very good to excellent and ISO 50 and 100 produce very low noise images. Chromatic Aberration is not a problem in everyday shots. A histogram can be displayed in Playback.

Standard movies can record 640x480 pixels at 30fps until the memory card is full (when using a super high-speed memory card).

As far as optional accessories go, the Canon SD550 has an external High-Power Flash and an underwater marine case for those who fancy underwater photography.

The Canon PowerShot SD550 produces very good to excellent image quality -- and that is the main criteria that users would (should) be mostly concerned with. Add in fast operations with no practical shutter lag, fast and precise AF that works in low-light, accurate exposure metering, and one of the most elegant and beautifully designed body on a digital camera -- and you can't go wrong if you are looking for a take-anywhere ultra compact digital camera.

See if you fit the Canon PowerShot SD550 User Profile below:

Canon PowerShot SD550
User Profile
Desire a quality 7.1 MP resolution point-and-shoot digital camera.
Want an ultra compact, JeansPocket™ Certified digital camera (small fashion purse, jeans pocket).
Have no problem with small buttons and dial as long as they are precise and responsive.
Able to hold a small camera steady and gentle with shutter release.
Like the WOW! Factor: this camera makes a fashion statement and will be as well (or even better) elegantly dressed than you'd ever be at formal dress occasions.
Want more exposure flexibility than usually provided by a point-and-shoot digital camera.

 

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