Canon Powershot SD850 IS Review

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Canon Powershot SD850



Features & Controls



Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH

The SD850 features a 4X (35-140mm in the 35mm format) f/2.8-5.5 all-glass aspherical zoom lens. This lens features Canon's exclusive Ultra High Refractive Index Aspherical technology (UA) which produces outstanding sharpness and clarity. It allows the camera body to be even thinner and more compact than previous models with smaller zoom ratios. The UA technology produces crystal clear images at all focal lengths. When powered down, the lens is retracted inside of the body and a built in shutter closes to protect the lens.

The SD850 features true Optical Image Stabilization. Unlike electronic image stabilizer systems that typically cause degradation of image quality, Canon's Lens Shift Optical IS system is based on the advancements made in the development and refinement of Canon's EF and video lenses. Reduced in size to fit ELPH scale, this Image Stabilizer provides up to three stops of camera shake correction in shutter speed equivalent. Both the Image Stabilizer and the 4X optical zoom are firsts for the Digital ELPH series.

An advanced TTL AiAF 9-point autofocus system permits the camera to automatically select the primary subject even when off-center. Focusing range is 1.6 ft./50cm-infinity in normal mode and macro coverage is 0.79 in.-1.6 ft./2-50cm at wide angle and 1.3-1.6 ft./40-50cm at telephoto. The autofocus is light-assisted and works properly even in the dark. The AF-assist illuminator also functions as the selftimer indicator.



Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH

The built in flash offers Auto, On, Off, Red-Eye Reduction and Slow-Synchro modes. Flash range is 1.6 - 11 ft./50cm - 3.5m (W), 1.6 - 6.6 ft./50cm - 2.0m (T) (when sensitivity is set to ISO Auto.) The focus-assist lamp also serves as the red-eye reduction lamp.


Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH

The optional HF-DC1 external flash can be used with the SD850 to double the flash range of the built-in flash. Compact and elegantly designed, the High-Power Flash HF-DC1 complements your PowerShot perfectly and requires no accessory shoe. With a strong light output (guide number 59 ft.) and wide angular field (28mm), it delivers proper illumination up to approximately 30 feet and in all zoom positions. The flash fires in synchronization with the main flash, and output is adjusted accurately and automatically.



Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH

You can frame your pictures with the color LCD or to save precious battery power you can use the optical eyelevel finder. This is a coupled viewfinder with approx. 80-85% coverage. It has no dioptric adjustment. Next to the finder are two LEDs that indicate the flash and focus status.


Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH

On the back is a large 2.5-inch color LCD monitor which can be used for framing, review and changing settings. Advanced features include "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.

Controls on the back: Mode Dial with positions for Play, Auto, Manual, Scene and Movie. The Print/Share button allows you to easily print and transfer images to your computer (Windows users only). The 4-way controller lets you navigate menus and select images during playback. In record mode you press "Up" to change ISO sensitivity, press "Right" to change flash modes, press "Down" to change the drive mode and press "Left" to change the focus mode. In the center is the FUNC./SET button which gives you access to the Function menu in record mode or accepts menu options and settings. 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.



Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH

Controls on the top: the shutter release button and the zoom lens control around the shutter release. The zoom lens control also functions as the magnify and index buttons in playback mode.



Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH

The AV Out handles the monaural audio and video signal which can be connected to your TV set with the supplied cables. The high-speed USB 2.0 port for image and movie download. The USB port can also be used for direct printing to any PictBridge compatible photo printer.



Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH

The Powershot SD850 is equipped with a card slot that supports use of SD or MMC cards up to 2GB or SDHC cards up to 4GB, and comes with a 32MB SD. Shown here with a speedy Kingston Ultimate (120x) 2GB SD card - see the tables below for the approximate storage capacities.


Approximate Storage Capacities

Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH





Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH

The SD850 comes with a Canon NB-5L 3.7v 1120mAh lithium rechargeable battery pack. Canon claims a fully charged battery can record 230 shots with the LCD on or 700 shots with it off and a replay time of approx. 360 minutes (CIPA standard).

The supplied 100-240V CB-2LX 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 normal charging time is 90 minutes.



Canon Powershot SD850 Digital ELPH

The optional Waterproof Case WP-DC15 (WP-DC5 shown above) allows you to take the SD850 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.





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