Canon PowerShot SD1400IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 4x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD
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787 of 801 found the following review helpful:
The Canon SD1400IS is Capable & Compact Apr 28, 2010
In short, this is a great camera in a very small package that produces good results! I wanted a small portable camera with HD video capabilities that I could take with me when I did not want to lug around my DSLR (Canon 40D + lenses) and this little gem fits the bill perfectly.
This camera replaced a Canon PowerShot SD780IS (Black) that I returned due to constant audio noise (hum) while recording video. Rather than risk getting another defective SD780IS with the same issue (many seem to report hearing the noise/hum), I decided to upgrade to the latest Canon PowerShot SD1400IS (Black). I am happy to report that this camera has no such issue with audio when video is being recorded.
The picture quality of the SD780IS and SD1400IS is roughly the same and on par with what one should expect from such a small ultra-portable camera. Going from 12MP to 14MP is a wash as the sensor is the same size and results are very similar. I have posted several shots of flowers under the "customer images" section of the Canon PowerShot SD1400IS 14.1 MP (Black) and also uploaded several 100% crops of each image so pixel peepers can see the detail that this camera produces.
Let me be clear, anyone that thinks this camera is going to produce anything close to the quality of a DSLR is fooling himself or herself. There is no way that this small of a package (3.6 x 0.7 x 2.2 inches ; 4.6 ounces) can produce the same image quality as a DSLR. If image quality if paramount, one would be better off considering the Canon PowerShot S90 10MP Digital Camera, but you will lose the HD video capability, some portability and spend more money. When I want extreme quality, I simply take my Canon 40D + lenses with me and shoot in RAW.
The Auto mode is smart and I think there is more happening behind the scenes than one would expect. If one takes the same image (same ISO settings, lighting, shutter etc.) in Auto and then in Program mode, the results are similar, but I think the Auto mode wins nearly every time. I have no way to confirm this, but the Auto mode seems to have different compression algorithms depending on the subject and can produce a less noisy image at higher ISO than Program mode can. Inside shots are good but I wish I could set an ISO range to force the Auto mode not to exceed 400 ISO.
Tip: If you are getting blurry images, remember that the minimum focal length is much less 5cm when at 28mm and significantly more 50cm when zoomed in to 112mm. So, if you are trying to get the camera close to your subject, be sure to gauge your zoom/subject distances properly otherwise your subject will be out of focus. Perhaps this would have helped the 1 star reviewer.
Final items of note:
1. There is no viewfinder and quite honestly, the small viewfinder on the SD780IS was useless so I do not miss having one. The LCD is bright and works great even on bright days.
2. There is no optical zoom while recording video, only digital zoom, so one has to decide on a zoom length before starting to record. This is a non-issue for me as many people overuse zoom and usually would have been better off just recording a static shot rather than making me dizzy with shaky-cam + zooming at the same time.
Bottom line: This is a fantastic pocket camera capable of decent images with HD video recording as a bonus. It is small enough that it will get taken everywhere enabling capturing of all those special moments. I would highly recommend it to anyone, so long as they realize the limitations inherent to ultra compact cameras. I hope this is review is helpful.
Update: I forgot to mention that one should be sure to get no less than a "Class 4" SD card (Class 6 would be even better) to prevent any video recording issues (missed frames etc.)
Update 2: Still loving this camera after six weeks of use, I particularly like HD video capabilities and use it all the time. The .mov video files make for easy import into Apple iMovie for editing and produces great results. At a recent event, I was able to get some very nice pictures in low light without using a flash in AUTO mode. I was really surprised at the quality achieved in such hard shooting conditions. Best results are had by not zooming too much as there is less light available (f-stop changes when zoomed). If you are noticing blurry shots, try to zoom less and get closer to your subject.
Update 3: I just ran across the recent announcement of the Canon PowerShot SD4000IS (Black) 10MP, it was just released and the list price is currently more than the SD1400IS but the new 10MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor looks very promising for decreasing the noise that is common in sub-compact cameras. The SD4000IS also has HD video capabilities with the addition of stereo sound and can be zoomed while recording video along with a new "Super Slow Motion" video function and a faster f/2.0 lens. It will be interesting to see what users think of this new camera in the coming months. I hope this update is helpful.
162 of 168 found the following review helpful:
Best camera for the money!! Get the waterproof case!! Apr 06, 2010
I bought this camera for a scuba diving trip in the Caribbean. This is my first product review, but I was so impressed with this camera, I have to do one!! We bought the underwater case to go with it so we could take it diving with us. The camera was amazing. I am just a recreational photographer (taking pictures of kids, sports and hobbies. The 1400 took amazing photos of fish, eels, and other creatures between the depths of 1 ft- 100ft. Some pics still turned out a little blue, while others turned out so well I think they could be published. Underwater photography is very hard, I have heard because of so many variables. I rarely get blurry pictures on land or underwater. Sometimes if the first is blurry I quickly change setting and the 2nd is not. I took several pictures while chasing fish or stingrays and 99.9% were not blurry. I don't think you can ask more than that out of a point and shoot!
Indoors the colors are very real. I do not find yellow tints to pictures. I was taking pictures of the kids around the dinner table, (which has a big window next too it) and the kids looked great. Usually with past cameras they turned out dark because of the light coming in through the window. Outdoors the pictures are beautiful. Again you may have to change the setting, but it is easy. If the water was not turquoise enough, I changed it to beach setting and the pictures showed every detail. I cannot say enough about this camera, but I think every night on our vacation we just talked about how amazed we were with it. I studied hard before buying this camera. I spent many hours looking between the 780, 940, 1300 and 1400. For a few dollars more you get a lot more cameras.
This camera is very small. It can fit into your front pocket very easy. Love it!!
144 of 150 found the following review helpful:
Produces Consistently High Quality Pictures Apr 04, 2010
By Christopher Mayo
The Canon PowerShot SD1400IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 4x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.7-Inch LCD (Silver) is exactly the kind of camera I have been wanting. I photograph documents a lot, so I am very concerned with the amount of detail that can be captured, especially in relatively low-light conditions. The quality of the pictures is significantly better than any other camera I have tried.
-Produces consistently clear pictures
-Extremely compact, lightweight, and sturdy
-Easy to use (functions are intuitively organized)
-Uses standard USB cable instead of a proprietary one (SONY)
-Uses standard memory instead of a proprietary one (SONY)
-No wheels or toggle switches jutting out to get caught on things and mess up the settings (when I wanted to take regular pictures, I always seemed to be shooting movies, or photographing in a strange light setting with my SONY camera)
-Buttons seem a little less solid than previous CANON models (my CANON IXY from about 8 years ago was designed a lot better)
-Buttons are flush with the body of the camera, so I have to operate it using my fingernails sometimes (again, the buttons on my CANON IXY were much easier to use)
-The door to the digital port for connecting the USB cable doesn't swing out very wide, and I have a feeling that if I am not careful it may not last long (the CANON IXY had a soft rubber cover that was much more flexible)
In short, this is a great product, but I hope that CANON will re-introduce some of their older design features in the new cameras in order to make them a little sturdier and easier to use. I have not noticed any problems with dead pixels--the LCD screen is beautiful. Please note that you will need to buy a memory card separately. It does not come with one.
50 of 53 found the following review helpful:
Good for the size/price, but 14 megapixels way misleading Apr 10, 2010
By Jason Timmes
I bought this for my wife to replace a 5 year old Sony DSC-T7 (5 megapixel point and shoot).
The Canon has FAR superior low light performance, image stabilization works well, great compact size, nice big LCD relative to the size of the camera, and easy intuitive controls (although tiny buttons, if you have big fingers, they're a touch too small in my opinion).
To compare, I took similar shots with both cameras, one outside in full sun, the other inside in low light with the flash on. I left both cameras in full auto mode. On both shots, the Canon outperforms the older camera (with 5 years of improved technology, I expected nothing less). The low light flash shot was dramatically better on the Canon (and taking a low light shot without the flash was even more extreme).
The outdoor shot, although the Canon was better, it wasn't a whole lot better. To be honest, for 14 megapixels I was expecting a little more fine detail/sharpness in the image. Shame on me for thinking a higher resolution sensor would really make that much difference -- when examining fine details, it's really all about optics, and no point and shoot lens is going to measure up to my expectations (I used to do a lot of SLR photography with pro level lenses).
So don't expect anything remotely resembling SLR quality results; remember you're buying a point and shoot. You won't be making any 11x17 prints to proudly hang on the wall. But the portability of this camera is fantastic; you can easily drop it in a pocket and have it ready when the moment strikes, and the results will look great in a scrapbook or family photo album. And when I started a family I stopped lugging around an SLR and camera bag... the diaper bag is plenty. ;-)
50 of 54 found the following review helpful:
Good Camera for the Size, Improvement over Previous Models Mar 26, 2010
By Kevin K. Fosler
I have had many Canon Elph cameras since they first came out. Something that I noticed is that when new features are released for a camera, Canon doesn't get it right the first time and sometimes the 2nd or 3rd versions of a similar camera are better.
In this case, I am talking about the current small form factor. I had the previous version of this camera (SD 940IS) and this one is definitely an improvement. On the 940, the HD video was very jumpy. This version fixes that and it's much more smooth.
The increase in MP to 14.1 really doesn't improve things. It's more of a marketing point that camera makers shoot for because people like to see a higher MP.
Another review mentioned blurry pictures. For some reason these small Canons seem to have that problem. I find it most when I don't use a flash indoors. I don't think the camera compensates correctly when a person chooses to have the flash turned off.
The main thing that I like about this camera is its size. It's so small, that I can have it with me wherever I go. I recommend one of the Canon leather belt cases for someone who would want to carry this on a belt. When I use that with this camera, I hardly notice that it's there. It is true that the best camera is the one that you have with you, and with the SD1400, this is a camera you can always have with you.
I also have a Pansonic ZS3 camera. It takes better pictures, but it's larger and therefore I don't carry it around.
I will update this review with more details when time allows. I just wanted to give my first impressions.
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