Canon Powershot SD990 IS Review

By Movable Type Admin

First look posted 10/25/2008
Conclusion and samples posted 10/29/2008


Click to take a QuickTime VR tour of the Canon Powershot SD990 IS Digital ELPH
Click to take a QTVR tour of the SD990 IS


Canon has released the ultra-compact PowerShot SD990 IS Digital ELPH for 2008. Loaded with a host of advanced features, such as Optical Image Stabilization and Canon's new DIGIC 4 image processor, the SD990 IS is ideal for the trendsetting techie looking for functionality and style. The SD990 IS showcases enhanced specifications such as 14.7-megapixel resolution, 3.7x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilization and Canon's new Quick Shot Mode for even faster shutter speeds. Reminiscent of a sporty race car, this new model is available in black or silver. In addition, to commemorate the 100 millionth compact digital camera manufactured, Canon created a limited-edition PowerShot SD990 IS Digital ELPH camera in red.

Canon SD990 IS


The newly upgraded DIGIC 4 image processor, accounts for the camera's higher performance levels, including significantly improved signal processing speed and higher image quality. One of the most important new features made possible by the DIGIC 4 image processor is Servo AF, which is a form of continuous focus tracking for moving subjects. By pressing the shutter button half-way, the camera can track subject movement up to the instant of exposure, resulting in sharper photographs. Additionally, the processor's high ISO speed noise reduction processing has improved substantially to enable consumers to shoot high-quality images, even in extremely dark situations without the use of a flash. The new Intelligent Contrast Correction (aka i-Contrast) function automatically improves image quality in high contrast shooting situations.

The Genuine Canon Face Detection technology has evolved even further, thanks to DIGIC 4. Improved features include the ability to recognize human faces at most angles. Another innovation is the Face Detection Self-Timer, which automatically takes a photo two seconds after a new face enters the scene.

Canon SD990 IS


Limited-Edition Red Digital ELPH Camera
To help commemorate the manufacture of the 100 millionth PowerShot camera,, Canon has produced a limited-edition red PowerShot SD990 IS Digital ELPH camera. This camera can be exclusively purchased on the Canon U.S.A. eStore at www.CanoneStore.com while supplies last.


Powershot SD990 IS Features:

  • 14.7 Megapixel CCD sensor for up to 4416x3312 pixel images
  • 3.7x optical 36-133mm (35mm equivalent) zoom lens
  • Optical Image Stabilization (IS) technology
  • 2.5" color LCD with 230,000 pixels
  • Widescreen 16:9 aspect ratio for HDTV display
  • Ultra-compact body (3.81 x 2.45 x 1.10 in. / 96.7 x 62.2 x 27.9mm)
  • Advanced TTL AiAF 9-point autofocus system with focus-assist lamp
  • Canon's Face Detection AF/AE/FE technology with AF-Point Zoom feature
  • Canon's i-Contrast (Intelligent Contrast Correction) technology to help brighten subjects and backgrounds
  • Auto, Program/Manual, Quick Shot, and 17 Scene modes
  • Continuous 1.3fps shooting until memory is full
  • Movie mode w/sound 30fps 640x480/320x240 up to 4GB max. clip size
  • Evaluative, Center weighted, or spot metering
  • Both Flash output and Exposure compensation: +/-2EV in 1/3-step increments
  • White Balance: Auto, 5 presets or Custom
  • Shutter speeds of 15 seconds to 1/1600 second
  • Auto noise reduction with 1.3 sec or longer shutter speeds
  • Selectable ISO settings from 80 to 1600
  • Voice memo (up to 60 secs) can be attached to images
  • Intelligent Orientation Sensor
  • Built-in microphone and speaker
  • Lithium rechargeable battery and charger included
  • Direct print and PictBridge Compliant
  • High-speed USB 2.0 connectivity for PC and Mac
  • SD/SDHC and MMC/MMC+/HC MMC+ card storage, 32MB SD card supplied


The Powershot SD990 IS is available now, and ships with a 32MB SD memory card, battery, charger, wrist strap, USB and A/V interface cables, Canon Digital Solutions Software CD, and a 1-year Canon U.S.A., Inc. limited warranty. Each kit carries an estimated retail price of US$399.99.


Physical Views



Canon Powershot SD990 IS Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD990 IS Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD990 IS Digital ELPH Canon Powershot SD990 IS Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD990 IS Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD990 IS Digital ELPH





Canon Powershot SD990 IS Digital ELPH

The SD990 IS compared to a standard CD disc.





Powershot SD990 IS Specifications

Type of Camera
Compact digital still camera with built-in flash, 3.7x Optical/4x Digital/15x
Combined Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer System
Image Capture Device
Type
14.7 Megapixel, 1/1.7 inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD)
Total Pixels
Approx. 15.0 Megapixels
Effective Pixels
Approx. 14.7 Megapixels
Lens
Focal Length
7.7-28.5mm f/2.8-5.8 (35mm film equivalent: 36-133mm)
Digital Zoom
4x
Focusing Range
Normal: 1.6 ft./50cm-infinity
Macro: 2.0 in.-1.6 ft./5-50cm (W), 1.3-1.6 ft./40-50cm (T)
Digital Macro: 2.0 in. - 1.6 ft./5-50cm (W)
Autofocus System
TTL Autofocus
Viewfinder & Monitor
Viewfinder
Real image optical zoom viewfinder
LCD Monitor
2.5-inch TFT color LCD with wide viewing angle (PureColor LCD II)
LCD Pixels
Approx. 230,000 pixels
LCD Coverage
100%
Aperture and Shutter
Maximum Aperture
f/2.8 (W) - f/5.8 (T)
Shutter Speed
15-1/1600 sec.; Long Shutter operates with noise reduction when manually set at 1.3-15 sec.
Exposure Control
ISO Sensitivity
Auto, High ISO Auto, ISO 80/100/200/400/800/1600 equivalent (Standard output sensitivity. Recommended exposure index)
Light Metering Method
Evaluative*, Center-weighted average, Spot**
* Control to incorporate facial brightness in Face Detection AF
** Metering frame is fixed to the center
Exposure Control Method
Program AE, i-Contrast, Manual; AE Lock
Exposure Compensation
+/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
White Balance
White Balance Control
Auto,* Preset (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H), Custom
*Control to incorporate facial brightness in Face Detection AF
Flash
Built-in Flash
Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Auto Red-eye Correction, Flash On, Flash Off; FE lock, Slow Synchro
Flash Range
1.6-15 ft./50cm-4.6m (W), 1.6-7.9 ft./50cm-2.4m (T) (when sensitivity is set to ISO Auto)
Recycling Time
10 sec. or less (battery voltage=3.7V)
Flash Exposure Compensation
+/-2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
Shooting Specifications
Shooting Modes
Auto, Program, Manual, Quick, Special Scene (Portrait, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Fireworks, Aquarium, Underwater, ISO 3200, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Night Snapshot, Color Accent, Color Swap, Digital Macro, Stitch Assist), Movie
Photo Effects
My Colors
Vivid, Vivid Blue, Vivid Green, Vivid Red, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Positive Film, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Custom
Self-Timer
Activates shutter after an approx. 2-sec./10-sec. delay, Face Self-Timer, Custom
Wireless Control
N/A
Continuous Shooting
Approx. 1.3 fps
Image Storage
Storage Media
SD/SDHC Memory Card, MultiMediaCard, MMC Plus Card, HC MMC Plus Card
File Format
Design rule for camera file system, DPOF Version 1.1
Image Compression
Normal, Fine, SuperFine
JPEG Compression Mode
Still Image: Exif 2.2 (JPEG)
Movie: MOV (Image: H.264; Audio: Linear PCM (Monaural))
Number of Recording Pixels
Still Image: 4,416 x 3,312 (Large), 3,456 x 2,592 (Medium 1), 2,592 x 1,944 (Medium 2), 1,600 x 1,200 (Medium 3/Date Stamp), 640 x 480 (Small), 4,416 x 2,480 (Widescreen)
Movie: 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps) available up to 4GB or 60 minutes per clip
Number of Recordable Images
  Large (L) Medium 1 (M1) Medium 2 (M2)
SF F N SF F N SF F N
File Size (KB) 6,348 3,759 1,797 3,888 2,302 1,100 2,503 1,395 695
32MB 4 7 16 7 12 26 11 20 41
2GB 306 516 1,059 499 841 1,707 767 1,365 2,672
8GB 1,227 2,063 4,234 1,996 3,364 6,822 3,069 5,457 10,679

  Medium 3 (M3) Small (S) Widescreen (W)
SF F N SF F N SF F N
File Size (KB) 1,002 558 278 249 150 84 4,753 2,814 1,345
32MB 29 52 99 111 171 270 5 10 21
2GB 1,862 3,235 6,146 6,830 10,245 15,368 409 690 1,396
8GB 7,442 12,927 24,562 27,291 40,937 61,406 1,637 2,759 5,581
Time of Recordable Movies
  Standard, Color Accent, Color Swap
640 x 480 320 x 240
30 fps30 fps
Movie size (KB/sec.) 1,316 394
32MB 22 sec. 1 min. 12 sec.
2GB 23 min. 49 sec. 1 hr. 13 min. 10 sec.
8GB 1 hr. 35 min. 11 sec. 4 hr. 52 min. 24 sec.
Note: N=Normal F=Fine SF=SuperFine
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.
Playback Specifications
Playback Modes File
Still Image: Single, Magnification (approx. 2x-10x), Jump, Auto Rotate, Rotate, Resume, My Colors, My Category, Transition Effects, Histogram, Overexposure Warning, Index (9 thumbnails), Sound Memos, Slide Show, Red-eye Correction, Trimming, Resize, Image Inspection Tool, i-Contrast
Movie: Normal Playback, Special Playback, Editing, Auto Rotate, Resume
Erasing Specifications
Erase Modes
Still Image: single image, select range, select by date, select by category, select by folder, all images
Movie: part of movie, all of movie
Interfaces
Computer Interface
USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B jack)
Video Out
NTSC/PAL
Audio Out
Monaural
Other
Memory card slot; direct connection to Canon SELPHY Compact Photo Printers, PIXMA Photo Printers and PictBridge-compatible printers via camera's USB 2.0 Hi-Speed cable
Power Supply
Power Source
1. Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery NB-5L
2. AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC30 (optional)
Shooting Capacity
Still Image: approx. 280 shots*/700 shots (LCD off)
* LCD screen on. The above figures comply with CIPA testing standards and apply when fully-charged batteries are used.
Playback Time
Approx. 360 min.
Physical Specifications
Operating Temperature
32-104°F/0-40°C
Operating Humidity
10-90%
Dimensions (WxHxD)
3.81 x 2.45 x 1.10 in./96.7 x 62.2 x 27.9mm
Weight
Approx. 5.64 oz./160g (camera body only)
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)


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.

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