Oct 12, 2005

Canon PowerShot SD550 Digital ELPH review

Consumers who want a good-looking, compact camera and don't care too much about image quality might like the Canon PowerShot SD550. The A very well-designed, 7-megapixel snapshot camera. Just don't look for advanced controls. The SD550 is a fairly minor upgrade to the SD500 it replaces; aside from a larger screen (2.5 inch as opposed to 2.0 inch) and a slight redesign of the body and controls, the majority of the changes consist of tweaks to the user interface.

DPReview.com have reviewed the Canon PowerShot SD550 Digital ELPH and said-
"Okay, so the SD550 hardly breaks new ground, and - coming only six or seven months after the SD500 it replaces - I'd have been surprised if it was. In most respects this is good news; the SD500 was a little gem of a camera (and the best IXUS / ELPH yet), and the SD550 is just that little bit better. Image quality is excellent (for a camera in this class), it's fast, responsive and reliable, and it is one of the few cameras on the market today that has a true 'luxury' feel to it, such is the quality of its build and materials.

Of course it's not all good news - there are still a few image quality issues that pixel peepers will baulk at; the slight corner softness, the purple fringing and the slightly muddy low contrast detail, but the smooth, clean, bright and punchy images will delight the typical user more interested in printing their pictures than zooming into them on-screen and looking for problems. I was disappointed with the new 2.5-inch screen, which has a woefully low resolution (though it's still nice to use for those of us who like to hold the camera at arm's length), and the battery life (when using the screen) could still be better, but overall this is a camera it's hard not to like, and a camera that encourages you to take it everywhere and actually use the thing.

All-in-all, then, the SD550 is everything the SD500 was - and a little more. Maybe not enough for a Highly Recommended (it's still pretty costly and the lack of any real control is unusual at this level), but certainly enough to put near the top of the list for anyone looking for a luxury point-and-shooter."

Canon PowerShot SD550 Features:
* 16 shooting modes including My Color settings for customization while shooting
* 7.1-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality 15 x 20-inch prints
* 2.5-inch LCD display; optical viewfinder; 3x optical zoom
* Shoot high-quality movies at up to 60 frames per second with Fast Frame Rate Movie Mode
* DIG!C II Image Processor for faster processing, vibrant colors, and excellent image quality