Canon Powershot SD10 Review

Steve's Digicams

Canon Powershot SD10

Review posted 10/17/03

Click to take a QTVR tour of the SD10

Canon's PowerShot Digital ELPH SD10 tips the scales at a diminutive 3.5 ounces and measures just 3.6 x 1.9 x 0.7 inches, as of October 2003 it is the world's smallest four megapixel digital camera. Despite its diminutive size, the SD10 camera's high- resolution four-megapixel CCD captures brilliant images and then - thanks to Canon's exclusive DIGIC (Digital Imaging Integrated Circuit) Imaging Processor - takes image quality to a new level.

Canon developed the proprietary DIGIC image processing technology specifically for use with its line of digital cameras. DIGIC combines the roles of image processing and camera function control into one chip and because it was designed for use in digital cameras, it is also capable of handling JPEG compression/expansion; memory card control; LCD/Video control and processing; gain control (control of CCD signal amplification); Auto Exposure; Auto Focus; Auto White Balance control and most other functions of a digital camera. The DIGIC Processor offers the added benefit of faster display and write-times for each image and low power consumption, saving valuable battery power.

Direct Printing significantly expands the appeal of the PowerShot Digital ELPH SD10 cameras by making it simple, quick and convenient to produce high-quality photos without the need for a personal computer. It works with Canon's Card Photo Printers, Bubble Jet Direct Photo Printers and all the new PictBridge compatible printers such as the i960 and the i900d.

The PowerShot Digital ELPH SD10 cameras feature a high-quality four-element 6.4mm (equivalent to 39mm in 35mm format) f /2.8 single focal length lens and a 5.7x digital zoom. The camera also features an easy to read 1.5-inch (diagonally measured) color LCD Monitor, and through the lens (TTL) 5-point AiAF autofocus. The camera's shutter speeds (mechanical and electronic) range from 15 to 1/1500 of a second and there are 6 white balance modes including Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent and Fluorescent H settings.

Canon Powershot SD10 Digital ELPH

Appearing for the first time with any PowerShot camera are three new camera settings: Super Macro mode supports auto-focusing on subjects as close as 1.2 inches from the tip of the lens, resulting in impressive close-ups; Quick Shot mode reduces the time lag between pressing the shutter button and starting the exposure, thus improving the SD10 cameras' ability to capture spontaneous moments; and a new Clock Display mode shows year/month/day and hour/minute/second displays in Shooting Mode by pressing two buttons at once.

The Digital ELPH SD10 cameras offer Super Fine, Fine and Normal JPEG compression modes and features resolution settings of 2272 x 1704, 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768 and 640 x 480 (VGA) for still images. The Digital ELPH SD10 cameras can also shoot movie clips with sound up to 3 minutes apiece at resolutions of 320 x 240 or 160 x 120. Sound memos up to 60 seconds can be recorded with the cameras' built-in microphone and attached to individual still images during playback The camera is supplied with an ultra-compact 32MB SD memory card and features video out and USB ports. Canon supplies a comprehensive software bundle with multiple features, but the SD10 can also be connected directly to Mac OS X and Windows XP computers for basic downloading without installing any software.

Dedicated accessories will include color-coordinated soft cases and an attractive All- Weather Housing that allows underwater photography at depths up to 9.8 feet. This accessory also comes in handy when using the SD10 to photograph outdoor activities such as snow or water skiing, white water rafting, etc.

Powershot SD10 Features

  • 4.0 Megapixel CCD imager for up to 2272x1704 pixel images
  • 39mm f/2.8 lens with 5.7X digital zoom
  • 1.5" color LCD with up to 10x playback zoom
  • Ultra-compact and durable stainless steel body (3.6 x 1.9 x 0.7 in.)
  • Advanced TTL AiAF five-point autofocus system
  • Program AE automatic and Manual exposure modes
  • Movie mode w/sound 320x240 up to 3 minutes long
  • Evaluative metering on focus point or Spot
  • Stitch Assist mode for perfect panoramas
  • Exposure compensation: +/-2EV in 1/3-step increments
  • White Balance: Auto, 5 presets or Custom
  • Photo Effects: Low Sharpening, Vivid Color, Neutral, Sepia and B&W
  • Low-light focus assist illuminator
  • Shutter speeds of 15 seconds to 1/1500 second
  • Auto noise reduction with 1.3 sec or longer shutter speeds
  • Selectable ISO settings from 50 to 400
  • Voice memo (up to 60 secs) can be attached to images
  • Builtin microphone and speaker
  • Lithium rechargeable battery and charger included
  • Direct print with PictBridge compatible printers
  • USB connectivity for PC and Mac
  • Secure Digital (SD) card storage
  • Optional Waterproof Case

Canon Powershot SD10 Digital ELPH

The ultra-thin PowerShot SD10 is yours in a choice of four richly textured colors - choose the one that suits your personality. There's Black buffed to a high-gloss, White with iridescent pearl coating, Bronze with a radiant hair-line finish or Silver with a true metallic feel.

Carrying a suggested retail price of $449, the Canon PowerShot Digital ELPH SD10 cameras will be available in stores around mid-October.

Physical Views

Canon Powershot SD10 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD10 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD10 Digital ELPHCanon Powershot SD10 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD10 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD10 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD10 Digital ELPH

The SD10 compared to a standard CD disc.

Canon Powershot SD10 Digital ELPH

The Pentax Optio S4 and the ultra-compact Powershot SD10.

Canon Powershot SD10 Digital ELPH

Continue on to
Page Two

Powershot SD10 Specifications

Type of Camera Compact digital still camera with built-in flash and 5.7x Digital Zoom.
Image Sensor 1/2.5 inch Charge-Coupled Device (CCD)
Effective Pixels Approx. 4.0 million
Lens 6.4mm f/2.8 Fixed Focal Length
(approximately equivalent to 39mm in 35mm format)
Digital Zoom 5.7x Digital Zoom
Focusing Range Normal: AF: 4 in. - Infinity/ 10cm - Infinity, Macro AF: 1.2 in. - 4 in./ 3cm - 10cm
Autofocus 5-point AiAF/ 1-point AF (Fixed to center)
Optical Viewfinder n/a
LCD Monitor 1.5 inch low temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD
78,000 pixels, 100% coverage.
LCD Pixels Approx. 78,000 pixels
Aperture Range f/2.8 or f/5.6
Shutter Speed 15-1,500 second
1.3 second or slower shutter speeds are available with long shutter shooting only. Slow shutter speeds of 1.3 second or slower operate with noise reduction.
Sensitivity Auto/ ISO 50/ 100/ 200/ 400 (equivalent ISO)
Light Metering Method Evaluative, Center-weighted Average or Spot Metering
Exposure Control Method Program AE
Shooting Modes Auto, manual, long shutter, macro, stitch assist, movie
Continuous Shooting Approximately 1.6 shotssecond. (LargeFine mode)
White Balance Control Auto, Pre-set (Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H)
Built-in Flash Operation Modes: Auto, Red-eye Reduction On/ Off, Slow-sync
Flash Range 30 cm--2.0 m (1.0--6.6 feet) (When sensitivity is set to AUTO.)
Shooting Modes Auto, Manual, Slow Shutter, Quick Shot, Stitch Assist, Movie.
Photo Effects Vivid Color, Neutral Color, Low Sharpening, Sepia, Black & White
Storage Media SD Memory Card, 32MB included
Print Order Format Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) Version 1.1
Image Recording Format Still Image: JPEG (Exif 2.2 compliant)
JPEG Compression Mode SuperFine, Fine or Normal
Number of Recording Pixels Still image: Large: 2,272 x 1,704, Medium 1: 1,600 x 1,200,
Medium 2: 1,024 x 768, Small: 640 x 480
Movie: 320 x 240 or 160 x 120
Image Size/Quality File Size
16MB 32MB 128MB
Large / SuperFine 2,002 2,272 x 1,704 6 14 61
Large / Fine 1,116 2,272 x 1,704 12 26 109
Large / Normal 556 2,272 x 1,704 24 52 216
Medium 1/ SuperFine 1,002 1,600 x 1,200 13 29 121
Medium 1/ Fine 558 1,600 x 1,200 24 52 216
Medium 1/ Normal 278 1,600 x 1,200 46 99 411
Medium 2/ SuperFine 570 1,024 x 768 23 50 211
Medium 2/ Fine 320 1,024 x 768 42 89 372
Medium 2/ Normal 170 1,024 x 768 74 157 651
Small / SuperFine 249 640 x 480 52 110 460
Small / Fine 150 640 x 480 81 171 711
Small / Normal 84 640 x 480 128 269 1117
16MB 32MB 128MB
Movie / High 320 x 240 40 sec. 85 sec. 355 sec.
Movie / Low 160 x 120 99 sec. 209 sec. 869 sec.
Above-written figures are measured under Canon's standard conditions and may vary depending on the scene, subjects or camera settings. Total length of movie files recordable on specific SD cards; Individual movie clips are limited to 3 minutes maximum per clip.
My Camera Settings The start-up image, start-up sound, shutter sound, operation sound and self-timer sound can be customized using the following methods:
1. Using the images and sounds recorded on the camera.
2. Using downloaded data from your computer using the supplied software.
Playback Modes File Single, Index (9 thumbnail images), Magnification (approx. 2.0x to 10x), Slide Show or Movie
Erase Modes Still images: Single Image, All Images
Movie: Part of movie, All of movie
Computer Interface Universal Serial Bus (USB 1.1) (mini-B jack)
Video Out NTSC or PAL
Other SD memory card slot. Direct connection to Canon Card Photo Printers and select Bubble Jet Direct Photo Printers and PictBridge-compliant printers (no computer required), using camera's USB cable.
Power Source Rechargeable Lithium-ion battery (NB-3L)
Shooting Capacity
Approx. 180 shots (LCD monitor ON)
Approx. 480 shots (LCD monitor OFF) (At 73°F/23°C, flash used for every fourth shot)
Playback Time
Approx. 150 min
Operating Temperature 32 - 104°F (0 - 40°C)
Operating Humidity 10 - 90%
Dimensions (W x H x D) 3.6 x 1.9 x 0.7 in./ 90.3 x 47.0 x 18.5mm (Excluding protrusions)
Weight Approx. 3.5 oz./ 100g (Camera body only)
Windows® Computer Model: IBM PC/AT compatible
OS: Microsoft Windows 98 (including Second Edition)/ Me/ 2000/ XP.
CPU: Pentium 150MHz or higher processor (Windows 98/ 98SE/ Me/ 2000),
Pentium 300MHz or higher processor (Windows XP).
Interface: USB (Windows 98/ 98SE/ Me/ 2000/ XP pre-install model only).
Macintosh Computer Model: Power Macintosh, PowerBook, iMac, eMac or iBook
OS: OS 9.0 - 9.2 or OSX 10.1 - 10.2.
CPU: PowerPC.
Interface: USB (Models with Apple genuine USB interface only).

Package Contents (U.S./N. America)

  • Powershot SD10 Digital Camera
  • Wrist Strap WS-500
  • Battery Charger CB-2LU/2LUE
  • Battery Pack NB-3L
  • SD Card SDC-32M
  • Case for SD Card
  • AV Cable AVC-DC100
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-300PCU
  • Digital Camera Solution Disk
  • ArcSoft Camera Suite Disk
  • User Guides

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