Canon Powershot SD400 Review

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Canon Powershot SD100

Review posted 5/19/2005

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The Powershot SD400 is packed with a high resolution 5.1-megapixel CCD image sensor, a retractable 3× optical zoom lens with macro capabilities, shutter speeds from 15 to 1/1500th of second, a fast 9-point AiAF "Smart" autofocus system, a new and more powerful built-in flash, rechargeable battery and a large 2-inch color LCD monitor, all driven by the exclusive DIGIC II processor and housed in a super-compact, stylish and durable stainless steel case.

To make sure that everybody gets the picture they want, the SD400 features a wide variety of shooting modes that includes: Auto, Manual, Digital Macro, My Colors, Stitch Assist, Underwater, Indoor, Kids and Pets, Night Snapshot and Movie. Optional accessories include the All Weather Case AW-DC30 which can be taken underwater to a depth of approximately 10 feet and the high power flash HF-DC1 that doubles the range of the camera's builtin flash.

The PowerShot SD400 lets you capture full motion video with sound at 640×480 resolution with a 30fps framerate. It also offers a "Fast Frame Rate" of 60 frames per second for a maximum of one-minute (at a resolution of up to 320×240 pixels), ideal for analyzing a golf swing or a tennis stroke using one of the supplied slow-motion playback settings. The compact movie mode - designed with e-mail attachments in mind - captures a maximum of three minutes of recording at 15 fps and a resolution of 160×120 pixels.

The Night Display Function automatically brightens the subject in order to make framing a shot in dusk, night or other lowlight situations easier while the cameras' large 2-inch, 118,000 pixel LCD monitor features a backlight that combines lower power consumption with high brightness that improves the visibility of the LCD monitor even in bright surroundings. The monitor also incorporates a "quick bright LCD" function that temporarily boosts the brightness to its maximum level with nothing more than a one-second touch of the display button. Press the button a second time for one second and the monitor returns to its original brightness level.

The proprietary DIGIC II Imaging processor enhances picture definition, vibrancy and quality, while helping increase the speed of the cameras' startup, autofocus, shutter response and playback as well as the image processing speed. The pace of image transfer is accelerated (when used with a USB 2.0 compatible computer, printer or other peripheral) thanks to the inclusion of a Hi-Speed USB 2.0 port, the first time this feature has appeared in the PowerShot series. The SD400 supports direct printing to any PictBridge compliant printer regardless of brand.

Powershot SD400 Features:

  • 5 Megapixel CCD sensor for up to 2560×1920 pixel images
  • 3x optical 35-105mm f/2.8-4.9 zoom w/digital Macro
  • 2.0" color LCD with Night Display function
  • Ultra-compact and durable stainless steel body (3.4×2.1×0.81 inches)
  • Advanced TTL AiAF 9-point autofocus system with focus-assist lamp
  • Program AE automatic, Manual and Scene exposure modes
  • Continuous 2fps shooting until memory is full
  • Movie mode w/sound 30/15fps 640×480/320×240 unlimited length
  • Fast Frame Rate Movie recording, 320×240 at 60fps
  • Evaluative metering on focus point or Spot
  • 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
  • My Colors - customize your colors while shooting
  • 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
  • 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
  • Secure Digital (SD) card storage, 16MB supplied

The PowerShot SD400 Digital ELPH is available now for an estimated street price of $399.99 and comes with a wrist strap and interface cables for USB and A/V, 16MB SD card, a rechargeable lithium ion battery pack and charger, software, and user manuals.

Physical Views

Canon Powershot SD400 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD400 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD400 Digital ELPHCanon Powershot SD400 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD400 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD400 Digital ELPH

Canon Powershot SD400 Digital ELPH

The SD400 compared to a standard CD disc.

Canon Powershot SD400 Digital ELPH

The 7-megapixel Powershot SD500 and the 5-megapixel Powershot SD400

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Features & Controls

PowerShot SD400 Specifications

Camera Effective Pixels Approx. 5.0 megapixels
Image Sensor 1/2.5-inch CCD (Total number of pixels: Approx. 5.2 megapixels)
Lens 5.8 (W)--17.4 (T) mm (35 mm film equivalent: 35 (W)--105 (T) mm)
f/2.8 (W)--f/4.9 (T)
Digital Zoom Approx. 4.0x (Up to approx. 12x in combination with the optical zoom)
Optical Viewfinder Real-image zoom viewfinder
LCD Monitor 2.0-inch, low-temperature polycrystalline silicon TFT color LCD, approx. picture coverage 100 %
AF System TTL autofocus Focusing frame: 9-point AiAF/1-point AF (fixed to center)
Shooting Distance* Normal: 30 cm (1 ft.)--infinity
Macro: 3--50 cm (W)/30--50 cm (T) (1.2 in.--1.6 ft. (W)/1.0--1.6 ft. (T))
Infinity: 3.0 m (9.8 ft.)--infinity
* From the front of the lens
Shutter Mechanical shutter + electronic shutter
Shutter Speeds 15--1/1500 sec.*
The shutter speed varies according to the shooting mode.
* Slow shutter speeds of 1.3 sec. or slower operate with noise reduction.
Light Metering System Evaluative, Center-weighted average or Spot (Center)
Exposure Control System Program AE
Exposure Compensation ± 2.0 stops in 1/3--stop increments
Sensitivity Auto*, ISO 50/100/200/400 equivalent
* Camera automatically sets the optimal speed.
White Balance TTL auto, pre-set (available settings: Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent or Fluorescent H) or custom
Built-in Flash Auto, auto with red-eye reduction, flash on with redeye reduction, flash on, flash off, slow synchro
Flash Range Normal: 50 cm--5.0 m (1.6--16.4 ft.) (W), 50 cm--3.0 m (1.6--9.8 ft.) (T)
Macro: 30--50 cm (1.0--1.6 ft.) (W/T)*
* When sensitivity is set to AUTO.
Shooting Modes Still images: Auto, Manual*, Digital macro**, My Colors**, Special Scene***, Stitch assist****
Movie: Standard, Fast Frame Rate, Compact, My Colors
* Long shutter and Digital macro mode available.
** Selectable in Manual mode.
*** Portrait, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Underwater, Indoor, Kids & pets, Night snapshot
**** Selectable from the Rec. menu
Continuous Shooting Approx. 2.0 shots/sec.*
* Large/Fine mode with LCD monitor off
Self-timer Activates shutter after an approx. 10-sec./approx. 2-sec. delay, Custom Timer
Recording Media SD memory card
File Format Design rule for camera file system and DPOF compliant
Data Type Still images: Exif 2.2 (JPEG)*
Movies: AVI (Image data: Motion JPEG; Audio data: WAVE (monaural))
* This digital camera supports Exif 2.2 (also called "Exif Print").
Exif Print is a standard for enhancing the communication between digital cameras and printers. By connecting to an Exif Print-compliant printer, the camera's image data at the time of shooting is used and optimized, yielding extremely high quality prints.
Compression Superfine, Fine, Normal
Number of Recording Pixels Still images
Large: 2592×1944 pixels
Medium 1: 2048×1536 pixels
Medium 2: 1600×1200 pixels
Small: 640×480 pixels
Postcard Date Imprint Mode: 1600×1200 pixels
Standard, My Color: recording can continue until the SD card is full* (can record up to a maximum of 1 GB at one time))
640×480 pixels, 320×240 pixels (15 fps, 30 fps)
Fast Frame Rate: (can record for 1 min.)**
320×240 pixels (60 fps)
Compact: (can record for 3 min.)**
160×120 pixels (15 fps)
* Using high-speed SD cards (SDC-512MSH recommended).
** The data in parentheses refer to the maximum movie clip length.
Playback Modes Single (histogram displayable), Index (9 thumbnail images), Magnified (approx. 10x (max.) in LCD monitor, advance or reverse through magnified images possible), Image search (jumps over 10 or 100 images, to a movie or to the next shooting date, or 9 images at a time when in index playback), Sound memos (up to 60 sec.), Slide show or Movie (slow motion play back possible).
Direct Print PictBridge compliant, and Canon Direct Print and Bubble Jet Direct compatible
Display Languages 21 languages available for menus and messages (English, German, French, Dutch, Danish, Finnish, Italian, Norwegian, Swedish, Spanish, Simplified Chinese, Russian, Portuguese, Greek, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Turkish, Traditional Chinese, Korean and Japanese)
My Camera Settings The start-up image, start-up sound, operation sound, self-timer sound, and shutter sound can be customized using the following methods*
* Using the images and sounds recorded on a camera.
* Using the downloaded data from your computer using the supplied software.
Interface USB 2.0 Hi-Speed (mini-B), PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol)
Audio/Video output (NTSC or PAL selectable, monaural audio)
Power Source Rechargeable lithium-ion battery (type: NB-4L)
AC Adapter Kit ACK-DC10 (Sold Separately)
Operating Temperature 0--40 °C (32--104 °F)
Operating Humidity 10--90 %
Dimensions 86×53×20.7 mm (3.4×2.09×0.81 in.)
Weight Approx. 130 g (4.59 oz.)*
* camera body only
(Specifications as represented by the manufacturer)

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Features & Controls

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