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You are hereHome > Best Digital Cameras > Canon SD550

Canon Digital Cameras


Canon PowerShot SD550 Review

Review Date: Mar 27, 2006

Canon PowerShot SD550

Category: Point-and-Shoot

The Canon PowerShot SD550 Digital ELPH is an ultracompact JeansPocket™ Certified digital camera that keeps the sleek “Perpetual Curve Design” stainless steel body of the SD500 that it replaces. It continues Canon’s tradition of providing top-tier imaging technology in a ultra-slim, ultra-compact, easy-to-use package.

Shooting modes include AUTO, Manual (Programmed Auto) and 9 Scene Modes that automate exposure settings for different shooting situations.

The Canon SD550 maintains 7.1 megapixels resolution, 3x optical zoom, a F2.8 maximum aperture, and a shutter speed range of 1-1/2,000 sec. Take night pictures with manually selected long shutter speeds of 1 to 15 sec.

The LCD monitor is now extra large at 2.5 in. with a Night Display Function that automatically brightens the subject in order to make framing a shot in dusk, night or other lowlight situations easier.

The Canon SD550 allows you to shoot a clip of 640x480 movie at 30fps until the SD memory card is full (max. size 1GB); or shoot 1 min. clips of 320x240 at 60fps!

The Canon SD550 has an AF Assist Illuminator to aid in obtaining focus in low-light conditions. Canon’s new “My Color” technology allows colors to be enhanced in camera and you can save both the original still image and the enhanced color versions as separate files on the Canon SD550 Memory Card.

If you are looking for a high resolution ultra-compact, take-anywhere and easy-to-use digital camera, check out the Canon Powershot SD550 Digital ELPH -- now with an extra large 2.5 in. LCD monitor.

Read our Canon PowerShot SD550 review...
Canon PowerShot SD550
QuickFact™ Sheet
Canon PowerShot SD550Home Page
Camera Effective Pixels Approx. 7.1 million
Image Sensor 1/1.8-inch CCD (Total number of pixels: Approx. 7.4 million)
Lens 7.7 (W)–23.1 (T) mm (35mm film equivalent: 37 (W)–111 (T) mm) f/2.8 (W)–f/4.9 (T)
Optical Zoom 3x
Digital Zoom Approx. 4.0x (Up to approx. 12x in combination with the optical zoom)
Optical Viewfinder Real-image zoom viewfinder
LCD Monitor 2.5-inch, low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD, approx. 115,000 pixels (Picture coverage 100%)
AF System TTL autofocus
Focusing frame: 9-point AiAF/1-point AF (fixed to center)
Shooting Distance
(From the front of the lens)
- Normal: 50 cm (1.6 ft.)–infinity
- Macro: 5–50 cm (W)/30–50 cm (T) (2.0 in.–1.6 ft. (W)/1.0–1.6 ft. (T))
- Infinity: 3 m (9.8 ft.)–infinity
Shutter Mechanical shutter + electronic shutter
Shutter Speeds

1–1/2000 sec.

1.6 sec. Fireworks scene mode

Long Shutter Speed (available in Manual mode): 1, 1.3, 1.6, 2, 2.5, 3.2, 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, 13, 15 sec.

The shutter speed varies according to the shooting mode.

Slow shutter speeds of 1.3 sec. or slower operate with noise reduction.

Metering System Evaluative, Center-weighted average or Spot (fixed to center)
Exposure Compensation ± 2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
ISO Speed Auto (camera automatically sets the optimal speed.), ISO 50/100/200/400 equivalent
White Balance TTL auto, pre-set (available settings: Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent or Fluorescent H) or custom
Built-in Flash Auto, auto with red-eye reduction, flash on with red-eye reduction, flash on, flash off, slow synchro
Flash Range - Normal: 50 cm–5.0 m (1.6–16.4 ft.) (W), 50 cm–3.0 m (1.6–9.8 ft.) (T)
- Macro: 30 cm–50 cm (1.0–1.6 ft.) (W/T) (When sensitivity is set to AUTO.)
Shooting Modes - Still Image
: Auto, Manual*1, Digital macro*2, My Colors*2, Stitch assist*2, Special Scene*3
- Movie
: Standard, Fast Frame Rate, Compact, My Colors
*1 Long shutter mode available
*2 Selectable in Manual mode.
*3 Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids&Pets, Indoor, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater
Continuous Shooting Approx. 2.0 shots/sec. (Large/Fine mode)
Self-timer Activates shutter after an approx. 10-sec./approx. 2-sec. delay, Custom Timer
Recording Media SD memory card*5/MultiMediaCard This camera has been tested with SD memory cards through 2GB. All memory card functions cannot be guaranteed.
File Format Design rule for camera file system and DPOF compliant
Data Type Still images: Exif 2.2 (JPEG)*4
Movie: AVI (Image data: Motion JPEG; Audio data: WAVE (monaural))
*4 This digital camera supports Exif 2.2 (also called “Exif Print”). Exif Print is a standard for enhancing the communication between digital cameras and printers. By connecting to an Exif Print-compliant printer, the camera's image data at the time of shooting is used and optimized, yielding extremely high quality prints.
Compression Superfine, Fine, Normal
Number of Recording Pixels (Still Images) - Large: 3072×2304 pixels
- Medium 1: 2592×1944 pixels
- Medium 2: 2048×1536 pixels
- Medium 3: 1600×1200 pixels
- Small: 640×480 pixels
- Postcard Date Imprint Mode:1600×1200 pixels
Number of Recording Pixels (Movies) - Standard, My Colors:
640×480 pixels (30 frames/sec., 15 frames/sec.)
320×240 pixels (30 frames/sec., 15 frames/sec.)
Recording can continue until the memory card is full*5
(can record up to a maximum of 1 GB at one time).
- Fast Frame Rate: (can record for 1 min.)
320×240 pixels (60 frames/sec.)
- Compact: (can record for 3 min.)
160×120 pixels (15 frames/sec.)
*5 Using super high-speed SD cards (SDC-512MSH recommended).
Playback Modes Single (histogram displayable), Index (9 thumbnail images), Magnified (approx. 10x (max.) in LCD monitor, advance or reverse through magnified images possible), Jump (jumps to every tenth or hundredth image, to the first image of those sharing a certain shooting date, to movies, or to the first image in a folder. In index playback mode, it displays 9 images at once.), Sound memos (up to 60 sec.), Slide show or Movie (edit/slow motion play back possible).
Direct Print PictBridge compliant, and Canon Direct Print and Bubble Jet Direct compatible
My Camera Settings Start-up image, start-up sound, operation sound, Self-timer sound, and shutter sound.
Interface USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B), PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) Audio/Video output (NTSC or PAL selectable, monaural audio)
Power Source Battery Pack NB-3L (Lithium-ion Rechargeable battery) AC Adapter Kit ACK900
Operating Temperature 0–40 °C (32–104 °F)
Operating Humidity 10–90 %
Included Accessories - SD Memory Card SDC-32MH (32MB)
- Battery Pack NB-3L
- Battery Charger CB-2LU
- Wrist Strap WS-700
- AV Cable AVC-DC300
- USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU
- Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM
Dimensions (W x H x D) 89.5× 57.0×27.4 mm /
3.52×2.24×1.08 in.
Weight (camera body only) Approx. 170 g /
6.00 oz.
MSRP US$499.95 / CDN $800

Product technical specifications (including MSRP and Included Accessories) are as represented by the manufacturer and subject to manufacturer's change without any notice or obligation on the part of the manufacturer. Product color availability and included accessories may also differ by country or area. Please verify the latest specs from the appropriate manufacturer's site.

Before you buy, do your homework and verify a seller's reputation. One source you may want to check with is Resellerratings.com. And remember, if a price seems to good to be true, it probably is.


Though we make every effort to strive for accuracy in reproducing these specs, we do occasionally make mistakes, so verify with the manufacturer's site for the latest specs. Also, in the early stages of a product introduction, you can almost guarantee there will be some errors from the manufacturers themselves as they update their sites. If you see any mistakes, please contact us. We do appreciate your writing in with the corrections and thank you in advance!

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