Canon Powershot SD790 IS Review
Features & Controls
The SD790 IS features a 3x (35-105mm in the 35mm format) f/2.8-4.9 all-glass aspherical zoom lens. When powered down, the lens is retracted inside of the body and a built in shutter closes to protect the lens.
With Canon's Optical Image Stabilization technology (OIS), users have the flexibility of actually shooting at shutter speeds 2-3 stops lower than would otherwise be possible. This camera features multi-mode Image Stabilization - users can choose between Continuous IS (always active), Panning IS (active when vertical camera shake is detected) and a "Shoot Only" IS mode (active when the shutter is pressed all the way.)
An advanced TTL AiAF 9-point autofocus system permits the camera to automatically select the primary
subject even when off-center. Focusing range is 1.0 ft. (30cm) to infinity in normal mode and macro
coverage is 1.2 in.- 1.6 ft./3-50cm (W), 1.0 - 1.6 ft./30-50cm (T). There's also a digital macro mode that
covers 1.2-3.9in./3-10cm (W). The autofocus is light-assisted and works properly even in the dark.
The built in flash offers Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Auto Red-eye Correction, Flash On, Flash Off (FE lock,
Slow Synchro). Flash range is 12 in. - 11 ft./30cm - 3.5m (Wide angle), 12 in. - 6.6 ft./30cm - 2.0m
(Telephoto) when sensitivity is set to ISO Auto. The focus-assist lamp also serves as the red-eye
On the back is a large 3.0-inch "PureColor LCD II" monitor which can be used for framing, review and changing settings. Advanced features include new multi-level coating that reduces glare, a protective layer which resists scratches, smudges and fingerprints as well as a "Quick-bright" function which switches the brightness to the highest setting by pressing the DISP button for 1 second. When shooting in dark lighting, the LCD is automatically brightened to make it easier to frame and focus on the subject.
The controls on the back of the SD790 IS are unique, as in most of the buttons are not protruding from the
body, they are "cut" out of the metal exterior.
Controls on the back: Mode Switch with positions for Movie, SCN, Camera. The Print/Share button allows you to
easily print and transfer images to your computer (Windows users only). The Play button enters review or
playback mode. The 4-way controller or "multi-control dial" is also unique. In record mode you press "Up" to
change ISO sensitivity (rotate in playback), press "Right" to change flash modes, press "Down" to change the
drive mode (image delete in playback) and press "Left" to change the focus mode. It is also a mode dial or
"wheel" that allows you to quickly navigate the menu, stored images, and change exposure modes. When the Mode
switch in set to the SCN position, rotating the 4-way controller wheel changes the selected scene mode, etc.
In the center is the FUNC./SET button, which accepts menu selections as well as gives you access to the
Function shortcut menu. The DISP button turns the color LCD on/off and controls the amount of data displayed
on it. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menus.
On top you can see the power On/Off button and the shutter release button with the zoom controls mounted
around it. The zoom lens control also functions as the magnify and index buttons in playback mode. You can
also see the built-in microphone.
On the side is a mini-B jack that handles both the AV Out and USB 2.0 (high-speed) connectivity. The AV Out
handles the monaural audio and video signal which can be connected to your TV set with the supplied cables,
while the high-speed USB 2.0 is used for image and movie download. The I/O port can also be used for direct
printing to any PictBridge compatible photo printer.
The Powershot SD790 IS is equipped with a card slot that supports use of SD, SDHC, MMC, MMC+ or HC (High
Capacity) MMC+ cards, and comes with a 32MB SD. Shown here with a OCZ 4GB Class 6 SDHC card - see the
tables below for the approximate storage capacity.
Number of Recordable Images
Time of Recordable Movies
Storage Capacity varies depending on camera settings. This data is estimated from Canon's standard shooting conditions. Figures for Movie Mode represent total capacity of the particular media.
The SD790 IS comes with a Canon NB-5L 3.7v 1120mAh lithium rechargeable battery pack. Canon claims the
NB-5L can power the SD790 for up to 330 shots or 420 min. of continuous playback on a single charge (suing
CIPA Standard.) The supplied rapid charger plugs directly in the wall socket and charges the battery "out
of the camera" which is very handy if you have a second battery (highly recommended!)
The optional Waterproof Case WP-DC24 (WP-DC5 shown above) allows you to take the SD790 IS underwater up to a depth of 40 meters (~130 feet). It is also ideal for using your camera in any weather condition, at the beach or on the ski slopes.
Continue on to
Record Modes & Menus
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