Canon Powershot SD970 IS Review
By Mike Flacy
Features & Controls
The SD970 IS features a 5X (35mm film equivalent: 37-185mm) f/3.2-5.8 all-glass aspherical zoom lens. When the camera is powered down the lens is retracted inside of the body and a built in cover closes to completely protect the glass of 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. The focusing range is:
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. (30cm) - 11 ft. (3.5m) in wide angle, 12 in. (30cm) - 6.6 ft. (2.0m) in telephoto (using ISO Auto), with a 10 sec. or less recycle time.
On the top you'll find the On/Off button, the shutter release with the zoom lens control lever mounted around it, and the Mode Switch. In playback mode the zoom lever functions as the index and magnified image control. The Mode switch has settings for Auto, Program and Movie modes.
A new 3-inch, 461,000 dot LCD screen is used to frame and view your images, as well as navigate the camera's menus. This is the highest quality screen yet on a Powershot model.
Controls on the back: At the top right is the Play / Record switch. The Print/Share button speeds and simplifies printing to Direct Print and PictBridge compliant printers, as well as transferring images to your PC. It can also be programmed to control one of many features that does not already have a shortcut. The 4-way controller seen here is used to navigate menus and select images during playback, the FUNC./SET button accepts menu selections. The outside of the 4-way controller is a rotary dial, allowing for easier scrolling through your images and menus. In record mode you press 'Up' to change Exposure Comp. settings, 'Down' select burst mode or the timer, 'Left' selects the macro focus and 'Right' changes the flash settings. The FUNCtion/SET button also calls up the Function shortcut menu. This gives access to many settings such as: exposure compensation, white balance, My Colors, image quality, and image size. The DISPlay button turns the color LCD on/off and controls the amount of data displayed on it. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menu screens.
A built-in HDMI slot allows you to directly connect the camera to your High-Defenition TV.
The DIGITAL port connects USB 2.0 (high-speed) to the computer for download and camera control with the RemoteCapture software. It also allows for Direct printing to any PictBridge compatible printer, Canon Card Photo Printer or Bubblejet Direct photo printers.
The Powershot SD970 IS is equipped with a card slot that supports use of SD/SDHC, MMC/MMC+, and HC MMC+ memory cards. Shown here with an OCZ Class 6 4GB SDHC card - see the tables below for the approximate storage capacity.
Approx. Storage Capacities:
The SD970 IS comes with a Canon NB-5L 3.7v 1120mAh lithium rechargeable battery pack. Canon claims the NB-5L can power the SD970 for up to 270 shots (using CIPA Standard testing methods). 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!
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