Sep 25, 2005

Canon PowerShot SD550 Digital ELPH review at Steves

Steve's Digicams have reviewed the Canon PowerShot SD550 Digital ELPH. You really want to check out the whole review for yourself, but here is a small portion of what is said-
"The Canon 3x optical zoom lens is an excellent piece of glass. It has a flexible zoom range of 37-111mm in 35mm equivalence, providing a moderately wide field of view for interior and scenic shots, and telephoto coverage useful for portraits and to bring your distant subjects closer. The lens exhibits noticeable barrel distortion at wide angle, but no pin cushioning at telephoto. Chromatic aberrations are well controlled, with only the slightest amount of purple fringing detectable in high contrast areas. The lens produces sharp results from corner to corner, and is a good match for the SD550's 7.1-megapixel imager.

Image quality when using Large SuperFine mode is excellent. Just about every image we captured was sharp with almost perfect exposure every time. Colors are nicely saturated and when shooting people shots, skin tones are very natural. The ISO sensitivity is adjustable from 50, 100, 200, 400 or the camera can control it Automatically. Noise is absent from ISO 50 shots. At ISO 100, only a slight amount of noise is detectable in shadow areas, and at ISO 200 shadow noise becomes more noticeable. At ISO 400 noise becomes noticeable in highlight areas, but the images are quite usable. If you shoot night pictures you'll appreciate the "Long Shutter" option that gives you access to shutter speeds ranging from 1to 15 seconds. To insure the best possible image, Noise Reduction is automatically applied when the shutter speed is 1.3 second or longer. In addition to an excellent automatic white balance there are presets for sunny, cloudy, incandescent, fluorescent, fluorescent H (daylight temperature) and a one-push custom setting for use with a white or grey card. The AF system is as robust as its image processing and is enhanced by a focus assist lamp that insures proper focus lock even in total darkness. It employs a very accurate 9-point system that does its job quickly, even when the subject is not in the center of the frame. If the LCD is on you'll see which of the nine AF points were used for the focus lock, indicated by a green box. Like past models, its Macro mode has excellent coverage from six inches to about one and a half feet and "throttles down" the flash well to ensure the subject is not overexposed.
...
The Canon PowerShot SD550 is a welcomed addition to the Digital Elph line. It's sure to make an excellent choice for the family, business, or tourist user. Its compact size allows it to be carried almost anywhere, taking up about the same amount of space as a deck of playing cards. If you want a durable ultra-compact camera that produces outstanding photos and is a robust performer, the SD550 is definitely for you. And, at a street price of around $500, it offers a great overall value for a 7-megapixel digicam."


Canon PowerShot SD550 Features:
* 7 Megapixel CCD sensor for up to 3072x2304 pixel images
* 3x optical 37-111mm f/2.8-4.9 zoom w/digital Macro
* Large 2.5" color LCD with Night Display function
* Ultra-compact and durable stainless steel body (3.4 x 2.2 x 1.04 in.)
* Advanced TTL AiAF 9-point autofocus system with focus-assist lamp
* Program AE automatic and Manual exposure modes
* Continuous 2fps shooting until memory is full
* Movie mode w/sound 30/15fps 640x480/320x240 unlimited length
* Fast Frame Rate Movie recording, 320x240 at 60fps
* Evaluative metering on focus point or Spot
* Exposure compensation: +/-2EV in 1/3-step increments
* White Balance: Auto, 5 presets or Custom
* Photo Effects: Low Sharpening, Vivid Color, Neutral, Sepia and B&W
* My Colors - customize your colors while shooting
* Shutter speeds of 15 seconds to 1/2000 second
* Auto noise reduction with 1.3 sec or longer shutter speeds
* Selectable ISO settings from 50 to 400
* Voice memo (up to 60 secs) can be attached to images
* Built-in microphone and speaker
* Lithium rechargeable battery and charger included
* Direct print and PictBridge Compliant
* High-speed USB 2.0 connectivity for PC and Mac
* Secure Digital (SD) card storage, 32MB supplied
Accessories
Canon DIF-100 Direct Interface Cable for Various Powershot Digital Cameras
Digital Concepts Universal Digital Camera Screen Protectors
Canon Metal Neck Strap 1 for All Elph Cameras
Canon ACK-900 AC Adapter for Powershot SD100, SD110, SD550 & SD500
Canon
PSC-50 Soft Leather Case for Canon SD400, SD450, SD550, SD500, SD300,
SD200, SD100, S500, S410, S400, S230 and S200 Digital Cameras


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