Canon Powershot SD870 IS Review

By Movable Type Admin


Click for our main menu

Canon Powershot SD870



Record Modes & Menus



Canon Powershot SD870 IS

The screen display in the Automatic record mode. Icons across the top and left indicate that metering is Evaluative, single frame drive, auto flash, and Auto exposure mode. The image size is Large, quality is Fine and there's space left on the SD card to take 218 more pictures. The "wavy hand" symbol indicates the IS system is active.



Canon Powershot SD870 IS

When the color LCD is turned on and you half-press the shutter you will see which of the nine AF points (green rectangles) were used for the focus lock. The selected ISO, aperture and shutter speed values are also shown.



Canon Powershot SD870 IS

Manual exposure mode is like Auto in that the camera selects both the shutter speed and aperture for a correct exposure but you now have access to a multitude of Function and Menu options.



Canon Powershot SD870 IS

Manual mode Function options:

    Camera Mode - Choose the desired exposure mode: Manual, Digital macro, Color Accent, Color Swap, Stitch assist
    Exposure Compensation - Override the metering +/- 2.0EV in 1/3 steps
    White Balance - Auto, day Light, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom one-push WB set
    My Colors - Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B&W, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, or Custom Color
    Metering - Evaluative, Center Weighted Avg., Spot
    Image Compression - Superfine, Fine, Normal
    Image Resolution - 3264x2448, 2592x1944, 2048x1536, 1600x1200, 640x480, and Widescreen (3264x1832)




Canon Powershot SD870 IS

Manual mode MENU options:

    AF Frame - Face Detect, AiAF, Center
    AF Frame Size - Normal or Small (setting not available in Face Detect mode)
    Digital Zoom - Standard, Off, 1.6x, or 2.0x
    Slow Synchro - On/Off
    Red-Eye - On/Off
    Self-timer - Custom set
    Auto ISO Shift - On or Off
    AF Assist Beam - On or Off
    Review - Off, Hold or 2 - 10 secs
    Review Info - Off, Detailed, or Focus Check
    Auto Category - On/Off
    Display Overlay - Enable or disable Grid lines, 3:2 Guide, Off or Both
    IS Mode - Continuous, Shoot only, Panning or Off
    Date Stamp - Off, date, or date&time (only works in 3:2 Postcard mode)
    Set Print/Share Button - Choose the task of the print/share button in record mode




Canon Powershot SD870 IS

To set long shutter speeds, enter the Function menu, highlight exposure compensation then press the DISP. button. The shutter speed is displayed at the bottom of the LCD; select a value from 1 to 15 seconds using the left and right buttons of the 4-way controller. Depress the FUNC./SET button to return to shooting mode. The LCD viewfinder's live image provides a preview of the exposure; adjust the shutter speed for the exposure you want. Noise Reduction is applied for exposures of 1.3 seconds or longer.



Canon Powershot SD870 IS

The camera has a very respectable macro focusing mode with coverage from 1.2 in. - 2.0 ft.(3 - 60cm) at wide angle, 1.0 - 2.0 ft. (30 - 60cm) at telephoto.



Canon Powershot SD870 IS

Scene modes are selected via the Function Menu when the mode dial is set to the SCN position. You can choose from 10 different modes (Portrait, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Aquarium, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Night Snapshot), like Portrait shown above. These are pre-programmed to give you the best possible pictures for a wide variety of different shooting situations. In all Scene modes, Exposure compensation, Image compression and Image size settings are available via the Function menu.



Canon Powershot SD870 IS

The Stitch Assist Panorama mode is available from the Function menu with the Mode dial in Manual. It aids you via on-screen prompts to achieve the proper overlap of sequential photos for later "stitching" with the PhotoStitch program. You can capture up to 26 images in either left-to-right or right-to-left orientation. After the first picture is taken the white balance and exposure is locked until you exit the StitchAssist mode.   The use of a tripod and a bubble level is recommended. Since the SD870 IS will not output video in this mode, this screen capture was taken from the PowerShot S400 review.



Canon Powershot SD870 IS

You can record movie clips with audio at a variety of resolutions. Standard movies can be recorded at resolutions of 640x480 or 320x240 with frame rates of 30 fps. Compact movies are recorded at a resolution of 160x120 with a frame rate of 15 fps. Color Accent and Color Swap allow you to record creative video clips. Movies are captured in Motion JPEG format and saved as AVI files. Because sound is recorded, the optical zoom may not be used while shooting video. You can however, preset the desired focal length before hand. The digital zoom may be used during, but it will degrade movie quality.

Both the video and audio portion of movies can be replayed on the camera thanks to the built-in speaker. Full audio-video playback is also possible when connected to a TV monitor or a compatible PC after downloading.



Canon Powershot SD870 IS

Movie mode recording options:

    Mode - Standard, Compact, Color Accent, Color Swap or Time Lapse
    White Balance - Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom one-push WB set
    My Colors - Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, B&W, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, or Custom Color
    Movie Size: 640x480, 640x480 LP (Long Play) or 320x240





Continue on to
Playback Modes & Menus



Return To Our
Reviews Menu


Visitors of Steves can visit the stores below for real-time pricing and availability. You can also find hot, soon to expire online offers on a variety of cameras and accessories at our very own Camera Deals page.

Buy related cameras and accessories from Amazon.com
Related Product Description Price
Stylus Tough TG-630 - blue Stylus Tough TG-630 - blue $507.00
Sony DSC-HX50V/B 20.4MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD Screen (Black) w/ Case & Memory Card Sony DSC-HX50V/B 20.4MP Digital Camera with 3-Inch LCD Screen (Black) w/ Case & Memory Card $399.00
Ricoh GR DIGITAL III 10 MP CCD Digital Camera with 28mm f/1.9 GR Fixed Lens and 3-Inch LCD Ricoh GR DIGITAL III 10 MP CCD Digital Camera with 28mm f/1.9 GR Fixed Lens and 3-Inch LCD $399.00
Nikon Coolpix P5100 12.1MP Digital Camera with 3.5x Optical Vibration Reduction Zoom Nikon Coolpix P5100 12.1MP Digital Camera with 3.5x Optical Vibration Reduction Zoom $349.95
Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX10 16.2 MP Waterproof Digital Still Camera with Exmor R CMOS Sensor, 3D Sweep Panorama and Full HD 1080/60i Video (Black) Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-TX10 16.2 MP Waterproof Digital Still Camera with Exmor R CMOS Sensor, 3D Sweep Panorama and Full HD 1080/60i Video (Black) $309.00
(2 Pack) Vivitar NB-5L Battery and Charger Kit for CANON Powershot S100, S110, SX230 HS, SX210 IS, SX200 IS, SD790 IS, SD800 IS, SD850 IS, SD870 IS, SD880 IS, SD950 IS, SD890 IS, SD970 IS, SD990 IS - Includes: 2 Vivitar Ultra High Capacity Rechargeable 1200mAh Li-ion Batteries + AC/DC Vivitar Rapid Travel Charger + Cleaning Kit + MagicFiber Microfiber Lens Cleaning Cloth (2 Pack) Vivitar NB-5L Battery and Charger Kit for CANON Powershot S100, S110, SX230 HS, SX210 IS, SX200 IS, SD790 IS, SD800 IS, SD850 IS, SD870 IS, SD880 IS, SD950 IS, SD890 IS, SD970 IS, SD990 IS - Includes: 2 Vivitar Ultra High Capacity Rechargeable 1200mAh Li-ion Batteries + AC/DC Vivitar Rapid Travel Charger + Cleaning Kit + MagicFiber Microfiber Lens Cleaning Cloth $29.99
Canon CB-2LXE Travel Battery Charger by TechFuel charges NB-5L battery Canon PowerShot SX200 IS, SX230 HS, SD790 IS, SD800 IS, SD850 IS, SD870 IS, SD880 IS, SD890 IS, SD950 IS, SD970 IS, SD990 IS Canon CB-2LXE Travel Battery Charger by TechFuel charges NB-5L battery Canon PowerShot SX200 IS, SX230 HS, SD790 IS, SD800 IS, SD850 IS, SD870 IS, SD880 IS, SD890 IS, SD950 IS, SD970 IS, SD990 IS $22.95