Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH
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The Canon PowerShot SD1000 Digital ELPH ($299) is an ultra-compact camera with a throwback design resembling the original film-based ELPH. Despite its high model number, the SD1000 isn't the top-of-the-line ELPH: the SD900 still holds that title (though some SD800 owners may disagree with that).
The SD1000 is the replacement for the PowerShot SD600, which was introduced in February 2006. New features on the SD1000 include:
Those are some nice improvements! Other features on the SD1000 include a 3X optical zoom lens, an AF-assist lamp, a VGA movie mode, and point-and-shoot operation. If you're looking for a larger LCD then you may be interested in the SD1000's sibling, the PowerShot SD750. It gives you a 3-inch display, though you'll lose the optical viewfinder.
I've long been a fan of Canon's Digital ELPHs. Does the SD1000 continue the tradition? Find out now in our review!
The PowerShot SD1000 is known as the Digital IXUS 70 in some countries.
What's in the Box?
The PowerShot SD1000 has an average bundle. Inside the box, you'll find:
Canon includes a 32MB memory card with the PowerShot SD1000. That holds just nine photos at the highest quality setting, so you'll want to pick up a larger memory card right away, if you don't have one already. The camera supports Secure Digital and MultiMedia cards, as well as the new high capacity SDHC format. I'd recommend a 1GB card for this 7 Megapixel camera. A high speed card (60X or above) is worth the extra bucks.
While the SD1000 uses the same NB-4L lithium-ion battery as the SD600 before it. Canon's engineers have managed to squeeze more juice out of this 2.8 Wh battery -- 31% more to be exact. Here's how the SD1000 compares to other ultra compact cameras out there in terms of battery life:
While the improvement in battery life is welcome, the SD1000's numbers are still 15% below average. Thus, it may not be a bad idea to pick up a spare one. As with all proprietary batteries, the NB-4L is on the pricey side (they start at about $34), and you can't use an off-the-shelf battery to get you through the day as you could with a camera that uses AAs. You'd be hard pressed to find an ultra compact that uses those, though.
When it's time to charge up the NB-4L, just snap it into the included charger. This is my favorite type of charger: it plugs directly into the wall. It takes around ninety minutes for the battery to fully charge.
Like all ultra-compact cameras, the SD1000 has a built-in lens cover. As you can see, it's pretty tiny.
There are just a few accessories available for the PowerShot SD1000. The most interesting is probably the WP-DC13 underwater case ($170), which lets you take the camera up to 40 meters below sea level. More useful is the AC adapter (priced from $47), which lets you power the camera without draining your battery. Last, but certainly not least, is the HF-DC1 external slave flash (priced from $91). This attaches to the tripod mount and fires when the onboard flash does, giving you more flash range and less redeye.
ImageBrowser (Mac OS X)
Canon includes version 30 of their Digital Camera Solution software package with the SD1000. The main applications are the ImageBrowser/ZoomBrowser "twins" that come with all PowerShot models. ImageBrowser is for the Mac, while ZoomBrowser is for Windows PCs. The Mac version is not Universal, so it doesn't run as fast as it could on Intel-based Macs.
After you download photos via the CameraWindow application, you'll end up with the screen above, which has a standard-issue thumbnail view. Photos can be organized, printed, and e-mailed from this screen.
Double-click on a thumbnail and you'll bring up the edit window. Editing functions include trimming, redeye removal, and the ability to adjust levels, color, brightness, sharpness, and the tone curve.
ImageBrowser - MovieEdit Task (Mac OS X)
The MovieEdit part of Image/ZoomBrowser lets you edit videos, complete with transitions, effects, text overlays, and much more.You can also downsize the videos, which makes them easier to share with friends via e-mail or your website.
PhotoStitch (Mac OS X)
A separate program called PhotoStitch can, well, stitch together separate photos into one giant panorama. The interface is simple, the process takes minutes, and the results are impressive, as you can see. You can use the SD1000's Stitch Assist feature to line up the photos side-by-side with just the right amount of overlap.
The SD1000's documentation comes in several parts. There's a basic manual to get you up and running, plus an advanced manual for understanding more complex camera features. There are also separate manuals for the bundled software and for direct printing (via PictBridge). While the manuals aren't what I'd call pleasure reading, they will answer any question that may come up about the camera.
Look and Feel
The PowerShot SD1000 is a boxy, ultra-compact camera made of a mixture of metal and plastic. It bears more than a passing resemblance to the original film-based ELPH, too:
Now that's what I call retro! Build quality on the SD1000 is a mixed bag. While most of it is well put together (read: the metal parts), some of the plastic parts are especially flimsy. I've noticed that newer ELPHs have a lot more plastic than the older ones, and that's not a good trend. Ergonomics are generally good, though I'm not a fan of the "flush" buttons on the back of the camera. The camera is easy to hold and operate with just one hand.
While most cameras these days come in more than one color, Canon has done something a bit different with the SD1000. The body of the camera is always silver, but the trim can be silver or black. I like the retro black look, myself.
Now let's see how the SD1000 compares to other ultra-compacts in terms of size and weight: