Canon Powershot SD1200 IS Review

Features & Controls

The SD1200 IS features a 3X (35-105mm in the 35mm format) f/2.8-4.9 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:

  • Normal: 1.0 ft./30cm-infinity (W)
  • Macro: 1.2 in.-1.6 ft./3-50cm (W), 1-1.6 ft./30-50cm (T)
  • Digital Macro: 1.2-3.9 in./3-10cm (W)
In low light conditions the focus-assist lamp helps to illuminate the subject for accurate focusing.

Canon PowerShot SD1200 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) - 14 ft. (4.2m) in wide angle, 12 in. (30cm) - 7.9 ft. (2.4m) in telephoto (using ISO Auto).

    Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS

    On the top you'll find the On/Off button, the shutter release with the zoom lens control lever mounted around it.

    Canon Powershot SD1200 IS

    You can frame your pictures with the color LCD or to save precious battery power you can use the optical eye-level finder. This is a coupled viewfinder with no dioptric adjustment. Next to the finder are two LEDs that indicate the flash and focus status.

    Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS

    On the back is a large 2.5-inch 'PureColor LCD II' monitor which can be used for framing, review and changing settings. Advanced features include new multi-level coating that reduces glare, a protective layer which resists scratches, smudges and fingerprints. When shooting in dark lighting, the LCD is automatically brightened to make it easier to frame and focus on the subject.

    Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS

    Controls on the back: Mode Switch with positions for Auto, Program and Movie. The Playback button switches the camera into playback mode. The 4-way controller lets you navigate menus and select images during playback. In record mode you press 'Up' to change Exposure Compensation (rotate in playback), press 'Right' to change flash modes, press 'Down' to change the drive mode (image delete in playback) and press 'Left' to change the focus mode. In the center is the FUNC./SET button, which accepts menu selections as well as gives you access to the Function shortcut menu. 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. At the top left you can also see the built-in speaker.

    Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS

    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, or video and audio output for your TV.

    Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS

    The Powershot SD1200 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 SD card - see the tables below for the approximate storage capacity.

    Number of Recordable Images

    Large (L)Medium 1 (M1)Medium 2 (M2)Medium 3 (M3)
    File Size (KB)2,5651,2261,6207801,116556558278

    Small (S)Widescreen (W)
    File Size (KB)150841,920918

    Time of Recordable Movies

    Standard, Color Accent, Color Swap
    640 x 480320 x 240
    30 fps30 fps LP30 fps
    Movie size (KB/sec.)1,920960660
    2GB16 min. 47 sec.33 min. 02 sec.46 min. 33 sec.
    8GB1 hr. 07 min. 06 sec. 2 hr. 12 min. 03 sec. 3 hr. 06 min. 04 sec.
    Note: N=Normal F=Fine
    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.

    Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS

    The SD1200 IS comes with a Canon NB-6L 3.7v 1000mAh lithium rechargeable battery pack. Canon claims the NB-6L can power for up to 260 shots (LCD on) / 700 shots (LCD off) or 360 min. of continuous playback on a single charge (using CIPA Standard.) 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!)

    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.