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Camera Reviews > Canon PowerShot SD550
Canon PowerShot SD550 Review
Date: Mar 27, 2006
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Canon PowerShot SD550 Digital ELPH Review is based
on a production model. All sample images are unretouched,
except where specified.
review has been submitted to DIWA
Awards [Total: 74%].
[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
Certified), it handles well and controls are
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
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
||Desire a quality 7.1 MP
resolution point-and-shoot digital camera.
||Want an ultra compact,
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