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Canon PowerShot SD4500 IS Review:  the world slimmest super zoom camera

At the heart of the Canon PowerShot SD4500 IS design is a CMOS image sensor that has a resolution of 10 megapixels. The Canon SD4500IS follows in the footsteps of the PowerShot S90 by reducing the effective resolution to 10 megapixels. This was done to improve image quality in low-light situations.

One piece of evidence that this is the case is that the camera has a wider sensitivity range than is typical for a small camera. This range extends from ISO 125 to ISO 3,200 equivalents. (It is important to note that in contrast to the S90 and S95, the Canon SD4500 utilizes a CMOS sensor rather than a CCD sensor.) CMOS permits better performance, which makes it much simpler to record 1080p HD video; however, this comes at the expense of some quality in the still images.)

Canon has placed a 10x optical zoom lens in front of the image sensor of the Canon SD4500. The actual focal lengths of this lens range from 6.3 to 63 millimeters, which is equivalent to a range of 36 millimeters to 360 millimeters on a 35mm camera. This provides a not very generous wide angle to a powerful telephoto. Throughout the zoom range, the maximum aperture shifts from f/3.4 to f/5.6.

Importantly, considering the telephoto reach of this lens, Canon has incorporated a genuine optical image stabilization system inside the SD4500 IS. This technology combats blur caused by camera shake and are a necessity given the lens’s telephoto reach.

The Canon SD4500 IS does not have either an optical or an electronic viewfinder; instead, the LCD on its rear panel serves as the sole point of interface with the user. The display on the PowerShot SD4500 has a quite standard size of three inches across the diagonal and a resolution of two hundred thirty thousand dots.

In addition to still images with resolutions of up to 3,648 by 2,736 pixels, the Canon SD4500 is capable of recording Full HD (1,920 by 1,080 pixels) movie clips at a rate of 24 frames per second. High-definition 720p (1,280 by 720 pixel) movie clips, as well as standard definition movie clips with either VGA (640 by 480) or QVGA (320 by 240) resolution, all offer a rate of 30 frames per second.

Unusually, QVGA films may also be recorded at a staggering 240 frames per second; however, they can only be played back at a rate of 30 frames per second. This results in a slow-motion effect that takes up just 1/8 of the time that would normally be required. Videos are stored using an H.264 compression format. MOV containers and they have stereo audio included.

The evaluative metering system of the Canon SD4500, which also provides center-weighted average and spot modes, is used to determine exposures. Other modes available include spot and average center-weighted. In addition to a comprehensive collection of scene modes, the Canon PowerShot SD4500 has exposure modes such as Smart Auto and Program Auto.

Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Smart Shutter, High-Speed Burst, Low Light, Color Accent, Color Swap, Fisheye Effect, Miniature Effect, Beach, Foliage, Snow, and Fireworks are some of the other available modes. In a setting called Best Image Selection, the camera will take five pictures and then delete all save the clearest one.

There is a setting for handheld night photography that automatically combines many photos taken in the camera to produce one image with minimized motion blur. There are seven different options for the white balance, and they include Auto, five presets, and manual. The PowerShot SD4500 IS features a seven-mode flash strobe that offers a range of one to 12 feet when shooting in wide-angle mode and 3.3 to 6.6 feet when shooting in telephoto mode.

Secure Digital, SDHC, or SDXC memory cards are used by the Canon PowerShot SD4500IS to store still photographs and videos. The available connectivity choices include composite video in either NTSC or PAL standard definition or HDMI high definition, as well as USB 2.0 High-Speed data. The power comes from a unique lithium-ion rechargeable battery called an NB-9L, and according to the manufacturer, it has a life expectancy of 150 rounds.

Canon’s ELPH series has traditionally been utilized to develop aesthetically pleasing cameras that also have other characteristics that consumers find appealing. The Canon SD4500, the flagship model in Canon’s ELPH range for 2010, is the latest addition to the expanding category of small cameras that feature a long zoom lens.

This may either provide you with the best of both worlds or the worst of both worlds, depending on how you look at it. You’ll be able to take advantage of a more compact camera that, despite its reduced size, has impressive optical performance. If you’re a pessimist, you’ll buy a camera that’s just a little bit too large to be considered ultra-slim, but it doesn’t have the optical zoom necessary to compete with the bigger long zooms that are now available on the market.

The fact that Canon was able to fit a 10x optical zoom lens into a camera with the same reasonable size as the Canon SD4500 should be something that you can enjoy, seeing as how I’m an upbeat person and I hope that you are as well. In addition, they crammed in a lot more than simply a respectable zoom lens.

You’ll find a nice feature set including optical image stabilization (essential for a long zoom), a generous collection of scene modes, and something that Canon calls its “HS System” (High Sensitivity), which promises better low-light performance thanks to a back-illuminated 10-megapixel CMOS image sensor and DIGIC 4 image processor. You’ll be able to find all of these things in the camera.

Consumers who are more interested in a “point-and-shoot” experience are the target audience for the Canon SD4500 rather than photography aficionados.


It should come as no surprise that the Canon SD4500IS is a dapper little ELPH. If you weren’t any wiser, you could conclude that its aerodynamic properties were taken into consideration during its design: This camera is quite streamlined, with only a few little protrusions here and there.

The 10x optical zoom lens of the Canon SD4500 may be stowed away flat inside the body when it is not in use, making the camera very pocketable. Although they are rather flush with the body of the camera, none of the controls are particularly difficult to operate in any way. The corners have been softly rounded off, giving it an air of refined sophistication.

As was noted before, the Canon SD4500 is fairly pocketable for a long-zoom camera, as it has a thickness of less than an inch (0.88 inches to be exact), making it more pocketable than the majority of digital cameras with a 10x zoom. The Canon SD4500IS isn’t very hefty, however, weighing in at roughly 6.7 ounces when combined with its battery and memory card.

Although it’s really easy for the hands to grip, there isn’t much in the way of finger rests that are ergonomically sound. There are three openings on the Canon SD4500: one on the bottom of the camera for the memory card, another on the bottom for the battery, and one on the top for the SD card itself. The HDMI output and combination USB/A/V port of the Canon SD4500 may be accessed through a compartment on the side of the camera that is located above the hook for the wrist strap.

At the time that this article was written, it was only offered in brown color with silver accents, making it fairly unusual. (The editor would like to point out that it is now also offered in silver.) You’re in luck if you want to dress in earthy tones, whether you identify as a male or female. Even if it isn’t, the selection of tones is pleasing to the ear. The image that comes to mind is of a thin bar of chocolate that is wrapped in a thin layer of copper foil on the rear panel.


The exterior buttons on the Canon SD4500 are nearly flush with the camera, as was noted before, but they are large enough that you won’t have to make repeated passes through them to activate the feature that you want to use.

The Canon SD4500 contains a variety of capabilities, but the majority of them are locked away in the camera’s menu where they cannot be accessed by the user. External controls are minimal. A sliding Mode switch with just three options—Movie, Photo, and Smart Auto mode can be found on top of the camera. After that is a Power switch, and then there is a Shutter button located within the Zoom ring of the camera.

On the rear of the Canon SD4500, you’ll discover a sizable button labeled “Movie.” This is a convenient control to have, as it allows you to begin recording a movie right away, regardless of the model that is now active on the camera.

Underneath it is a four-way controller or dial that allows you to set the self-timer and make adjustments to the display, flash, and focus settings. The controller may also be used as a scroll wheel, allowing for easier navigation of the camera’s menus and photo galleries.

This scroll wheel is included on many of Canon’s tiny cameras, and it helps to make navigating the menus and playing back images more straightforward.

A Function/Set button can be found in the center of the scroll wheel on the Canon SD4500. Pressing this button brings up an on-screen menu that is shown along the left side of the 3-inch LCD.

Below the scroll wheel, you’ll find the buttons that let you access the Menu and Playback modes on the Canon SD4500. Given the amount of space that Canon had to work with on the rear of the 4-inch long Canon SD4500, it appears as though it might have benefited from a few additional external controls, even if it meant reducing the size of the buttons.

Some of the buttons with more area to work with, like the one for recording movies, might have been made smaller without causing too much of an issue. You will spend most of your time exploring the on-screen menu of the camera in search of customized settings; it would have been a little bit more user-friendly if a few more of the camera’s functions were available via external controls.


The Canon SD4500 features a telescopic 10x optical zoom lens that has a focal length that ranges from 36mm to 360mm (35mm equivalent) with a focusing range that extends from 2 inches to infinity (normal AF). This lens does not have a very wide-angle perspective, which goes against the trend of the past few years. It is lacking.

Macro focusing may be achieved with the Canon SD4500IS up to a distance of 0.4 inches from the subject. You have the option of setting the camera to focus in macro, but if you choose the Smart Auto mode, it will focus in macro for you automatically. The ring may be turned a certain amount to switch between two different zoom speeds.

36-360mm eq. Although it may not have the same wide-angle capabilities as the majority of today’s pocket-long zooms, it does have a decent telephoto reach.

When set to a wide-angle mode, the lens has a maximum aperture of f/3.4, but when set to telephoto mode, it has a maximum aperture of f/5.6. Canon’s image stabilization technology is built inside the SD4500IS, which is indicated by the “IS” in the model’s name.

You have the choice between three different modes

continuous, which compensates for jitter continuously and gives you an onscreen preview of the stabilization at work; shoot only, which activates stabilization as soon as you press the shutter (this mode is the most efficient and effective option); and panning, which ignores horizontal motion and stabilizes only up and down motion (otherwise the camera would attempt to compensate for your panning motion).

You also have the option to disable the picture stabilization. When you switch to Movie mode, the only two options you’ll have to select from are Continuous or Off.


In the SD4500IS, Canon has a variety of typical shooting modes; however, the Shutter priority mode, the Aperture priority mode, and the Manual mode are not included.

There are just three settings available for selection on the sliding Mode switch located on the top of the camera: Movie, Automatic, and Smart Auto.

Accent with Color

Even though I was entirely focused on orange when I made the color pick, the camera is still displaying traces of red in the flag, yellow in the shot, and fake wood grain even though I had already settled on orange. The orange was able to be separated once the intensity was turned down to -4, with only a trace of the color left in the photograph.

My Color Modes

The My Color mode on your Canon camera provides you with a comprehensive set of tools to manage the color of your photographs. These tools range from straightforward filters that can be set and forgotten to more complex color isolation capabilities. If you want to apply color effects to the entire image, you have the option of selecting Light or Dark skin tone, as well as sepia, black and white, positive film, neutral, vivid, vivid red, vivid blue, and vivid green. If you want to apply color effects to the entire image, you also have the option of selecting Vivid.

In addition, there is a Custom color option that you may build on the menu by picking the degrees of Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Red, Green, Blue, and Skin tone. This setting is also available. The Canon SD4500 can only preserve one of these user-defined color modes at a time, but it will remember the most recent custom option you used even after the camera is powered down. The Custom setting is a wonderful addition for those who enjoy playing a little bit with the photos they take, while the defaults should be plenty for everyone else.

The Canon SD4500 contains a mode called Color Accent that can be found in the Scene mode menu. This mode is useful when you want to highlight certain colors in a photograph while converting the rest of the scene to black and white.

Holding down the Menu button causes the Canon SD4500 to create a small white box in the middle of the display. Learning how to use this feature is not very difficult.

Aim the box at the color you want to single out, and as soon as it recognizes it, you’ll be able to change the level of prominence it has among the black and white backdrop.

A value of -5 will only show a very faint hint of the hue, and as you go closer to +5, it will get noticeably darker. It adds a lovely bit of originality.

The Color switch mode is one of the Scene modes that can be found on the SD4500IS. Using this option, you may create a more surreal effect. You will get a little box on the screen at which to aim a color, and there will be a pair of boxes at the bottom that will allow you to pick the color that you want to serve as a replacement, as well as the color that you want to replace. The procedure is quite similar to the Color accent procedure.

You will need to focus the camera on the colors in question while simultaneously using the four-way controller to flip between the two boxes to choose the color and its replacement. After you have made your decision, you will also be able to adjust the level of the color change using a dial with a scale that ranges from -5 to +5 on the same ten-point scale. Although it is not a perfect substitute, it is nevertheless possible to have fun with it.

HD Movie. A 1080p video at 24fps. Simply download the 32.4 MB MOV file by clicking on the picture.

HD Filming and Recording There are also several Movie modes available on the Canon SD4500IS, including two high-definition modes: 1,920 x 1,080 at 24 frames per second (fps), and 1,280 x 720 at 30 fps. Files with the extension.MOV that are encoded in the computer-friendly H.264 format are used to record videos.

You can start recording in any mode by pressing the red Record button on the back of the camera, or you can switch the camera into movie mode, which gives you access to several different movie-related functions. Either way, you can start recording by pressing the red Record button on the back of the camera.

At the maximum possible quality, video is caught at a bit rate that is around 35 Mbps; however, the bit rate reduces rapidly as you go down to lesser resolutions.

You should be satisfied seeing the results on a high-definition television or a large computer display; but, you should be aware that you are not purchasing a camcorder replacement. The result is fairly decent for a point-and-shoot camera.

When played inside, the video is rather loud, and when played in brighter locations, the highlights are commonly overexposed. Despite this, even 24 frames per second seem to do a decent job of handling motion.

When you are filming in Movie mode, you have access to a variety of Scene settings, some of which include a miniature effect, color accent, and color exchange. You can also use the same set of My Color settings that you can access while shooting still images, such as vivid and positive films. This gives you more creative control over your photos. When recording, you now have a few more creative alternatives thanks to this thoughtful addition, which is a lovely touch.

The slow-motion option, which takes footage at 240 frames per second despite having a resolution that is just 320 by 240, is sure to be a hit with those who like watching sports at a rapid frame rate. The video is of poor quality, and there is no accompanying soundtrack; nevertheless, this is par for the course when using slow-motion settings. This model is a wonderful alternative for studying golf swings or for capturing subtle facial expressions in your little sports star if you are ready to squint a bit.

The zoom lens of the Canon SD4500 may also be used while recording; however, I discovered that it frequently lost focus when I was zooming in and out. Again, this is not an unusual occurrence; however, it appeared to be somewhat more prominent on the Canon SD4500. You will also have the option to record at VGA and QVGA at 30 frames per second; however, unless you are pressed for capacity on your memory card, it is highly recommended that you avoid using these lower-quality settings.

In addition to these modes

Because the Canon SD4500 comes with a wide variety of Scene settings, the camera should be able to cater to a variety of preferences. In addition to the more conventional shooting modes such as Portrait, Kids, Snow, Fisheye, and Fireworks, there are also some more creative options such as Miniaturize and Posterize.

NightScene light for handheld use

I was able to take a passable picture of the school Christmas pageant by using the Handheld NightScene setting on my camera. However, the photograph is somewhat noisy. It was necessary to increase the ISO to 3,200 on the Canon SD4500 since the alternative was not taking any photos at all.

Because Canon markets the SD4500IS as a High-Sensitivity camera, the device includes Scene settings that provide increased shooting possibilities when used in low-light environments. You have the option of selecting the Low light mode, which takes a shot with a resolution of 2.5 megapixels at a high ISO, or the Handheld NightScene mode, which takes a series of photographs with full resolution all at once and combines them into a single image.

I utilized this mode inside a completely dark auditorium, and the only thing that needed to be photographed was a stage that was lit up. I was satisfied with the results. When the alternative is having nothing at all, how can you complain about the photographs being loud and a little bit blurry?

Those who are interested in face detection will also discover alternatives for smile and wink detection shutters. The former takes a picture whenever your subject grins, which is pretty common stuff these days. However, in my opinion, this function is more of an interesting novelty than a genuinely useful one. The detection of winks is somewhat more helpful.

It is employed in a mode known as self-timer, in which the photographer presses the shutter button, then moves in front of the camera and winks before the picture is taken. It performed just as it was claimed to, and there is a sufficient amount of delay so that you are not captured on camera blinking.

There is also an option known as Face Self-timer, which triggers a countdown to the photo’s shutter release whenever it detects a new face within the frame. You have the option of taking anything from one to ten pictures all at once with the Face-detection modes so that you can be certain that you have captured the exact moment.

Function menu

In certain ELPH designs, Canon has kept the function menu in the form of a wheel, which is a less intuitive design. It requires a bit more effort and is not as intuitive as other options. (The actual menus themselves are presented in a 16:9 aspect ratio, whereas the output from the A/V Out connection is in a 4:3 aspect ratio.)

Menus. An on-screen menu called the Function menu allows users to access the vast majority of the Canon SD4500’s features. This can make it a bit awkward to operate at times, even though it is partially compensated for by the camera’s scroll wheel, which enables quick navigation.

When you are in still mode, pressing the Function button will allow you to access several options that are arranged along the left side of the 3-inch display. To make any necessary adjustments, you will need to move the controller to the right, scroll through your available options, and then move it to the left again to commit your selection. You can save your settings by repeatedly tapping the Function button, and then immediately resume shooting after doing so.

If you press the Shutter button on the camera while the Function menu is open, the camera will take a picture using the most recent option that you used and will keep the Function menu shown on the screen. Because of this, it is much simpler to return to a setting that you only want to utilize for one or two shots, since it serves as a reminder of the adjustment that you previously made.


When you press the Menu button, the relatively standardized and well-known tabbed Menu system will be brought up. (The actual menus themselves are presented in a 16:9 aspect ratio, whereas the output from the A/V Out connection is in a 4:3 aspect ratio.)

The in-camera menu is where Canon places more fundamental options, such as the Flash, the model for image stabilization, and the control for digital zoom. This screen contains two tabs: the first tab is for basic photo settings, and the second tab is for basic camera settings including volume controls and LCD brightness adjustment. You may jump back into still photography at any time throughout your exploration of the menu by pressing the shutter button on your camera.

The Menu contains a few components that are difficult to understand, such as the separation of the Color switch and Color accent functions from the remainder of the Colors modes that were just discussed.

The fact that there is a Super vivid choice in the Scene mode, yet it seems to shoot images at the same intensity as the Vivid setting that is accessible in My Colors is another peculiar aspect of this camera.

Storage and Battery

The Canon SD4500’s NB-9L battery pack is rated for a rather pitiful 150 shots, which is way below average and can almost get you through a day’s worth of shooting if you don’t have a heavy shutter finger and don’t shoot many videos. However, this is only the case if you don’t shoot a lot of videos. Storage: The Canon SD4500’s built-in memory card slot can hold up to 32 GB of

Because it uses a proprietary battery, you won’t be able to just run out and buy AA batteries if you run out of them. The battery may expire on you soon if you are an ardent shooter; therefore, you should always have a backup battery and an AC charger available. The memory card door, which is located on the other side of the bottom of the camera from the door that accesses the battery, is a new feature that may be found in PowerShot cameras.

The Canon SD4500 does not have any internal memory, however, it can record to SDHC and SDXC cards, which have a larger capacity. When filming high-definition videos, a class 6 or faster card is suggested. Because it is also an Eye-Fi-connected camera, owners of the wireless SD card will receive some additional benefits, including the fact that the Canon SD4500 will remain turned on until the Eye-Fi card complete its wireless transfers. Additionally, it gives you the ability to turn off the Eye-Fi card’s WiFi radio to preserve battery life and to check the display of the Canon SD4500 to see which films and photographs have already been uploaded.


The Canon SD4500 was put to use for some activities, including a Christmas pageant, a birthday celebration, and a variety of other trips. These activities should be recognizable to anybody who has participated in the parenting circuit.

The responsiveness of the camera itself is satisfactory. Although it starts up a little more slowly than some of the other tiny cameras I’ve tested, it’s not a terrible choice for a long zoom. Also, the delay between shots is reasonable, so I didn’t find myself becoming annoyed in between pushes of the shutter button.

The Canon SD4500 boasts a fantastic burst mode that can take pictures at 8.8 frames per second, but the maximum resolution is just 2.5 megapixels.

The three-inch display is quite sharp, and it also has a great viewing angle, so it won’t be difficult for you to compose your snapshots. Because it is a widescreen display, the left and right sides of still pictures are obscured, and the space is filled in with data from the camera. When recording videos, the entirety of the display is utilized for the purpose.

No lightning? Even though there was very little light in the scenario, Smart Auto did not want to use the flash since it would have washed out the skin tones. On the other hand, there is motion blur and soft focus because the flash was not used.

When using Smart Auto, I found that the Canon SD4500 was reluctant to utilize the flash, which was one of the things I noted about the camera. If there was some light already present, the camera would frequently throw caution to the wind and rely on your steady hand, the camera’s image stabilization (which I kept set to Continuous), and a subject that remained motionless to take a picture without using the flash.

Now, nobody loves the light, and it’s kind of a digital camera Holy Grail to be able to banish it totally, but the Canon SD4500 couldn’t quite offer blur-free shots without using the flash even when it was turned off. When using Smart Auto, the sole choice available to you is to turn off the flash rather than manually trigger it. I respect their bravery, but Canon’s High Sensitivity is not nearly as advanced as it needs to be at this point.

Best? The flash fires during the first shot, which was taken using Smart Auto. The flash was turned off for the second photo, which was taken in “Best Image Selection” mode, resulting in a considerably more natural-looking snapshot with a somewhat blurrier focus and a reduced resolution of 2.5 megapixels.

At least for Canon cameras, one of the more recent shooting modes is called Best Image Selection. In this mode, the camera takes a series of pictures with a resolution of 2.5 megapixels and then selects the one that has the best exposure. I used the Smart Auto mode to take what is essentially the same picture.

In general, the Canon SD4500 captured some good photographs, and, in comparison to other compact cameras, it offers a greater degree of creative control in dim lighting. And if you’re serious about obtaining images of the kids that are more likely to be in focus, there’s always the Kids and Pets option, which does make use of the flash a little bit more frequently than the other shooting modes.


The Canon SD4500 comes with a variety of Playback options, which may be used to examine and edit photographs that have been saved to a memory card.

You may use the four-way controller to select which image you wish to keep by using a function called “Smart Shuffle.” This function takes four alternative pictures that the camera considers to be comparable and places them on the display in a circle around the main picture (this only works when the camera has fifty or more images to work with). It’s a cool, non-linear way to look through your photos, and I like it.

The filtered Playback option, which will play photos back by category (such as individuals), date, or by playing back just stills or only movies, is sure to be a hit with those who are more inclined toward the organization. You have the option of selecting a slideshow with one of six different transition effects (or no transition effects).

To bring back lost features in certain areas of an image, you may use the in-camera editing feature known as Intelligent Contrast to adjust the level of brightness, which can be set to High, Medium, Low, or Automatic. After the fact, you may also make adjustments to photographs such as red-eye removal, image trimming and resizing, and the application of My Color effects.

My aspirations for a pocket-long zoom were satisfied to a large extent by the Canon PowerShot SD4500. I liked how lightweight it was and how long the telephoto lens was, but I wished it had a wider-angle setting so that I could take better pictures inside.

Quality of the Lens

In terms of sharpness, the Canon PowerShot SD4500’s wide-angle end of the zoom reveals a very slight decrease in the sharpness in the four corners of the picture in comparison to what we observe in the center.

Even though it’s not very noticeable, the suppleness extends quite a ways toward the middle. When using the maximum amount of telescopic zoom, the corners are just marginally more blurry than the center, which is also a small bit blurry. However, when taken as a whole, this is quite a remarkable performance.

Distortion of the Geometry

At full wide-angle, we detected very modest barrel distortion (0.4 percent), and at telephoto, we found almost no distortion; there wasn’t even one pixel’s worth of distortion. The image processor in the Canon PowerShot SD4500 handles geometric distortion very effectively.

Aberration of Chromatic Color

Chromatic aberration at wide-angle is about as bad as it gets in terms of the number of pixels, but the pixels themselves are very brilliant. The amount of distortion is comparable throughout the whole telephoto range.


In the macro mode of the Canon PowerShot SD4500, fine details are captured at the center of the frame; nevertheless, blurring and chromatic aberration are both significant and invade well toward the center of the frame (a common limitation among consumer digital cameras in macro mode). The smallest area that must be covered is 1.02 inches by 0.76 inches (26 millimeters by 19 millimeters), which is not very much.

The flash on the Canon SD4500 has problems throttling down for the macro region, which results in an uneven exposure due to the lens casting shadows on the subject. Even if the exposure is a little bit inconsistent when the flash is not used, the results are much better.

Quality of the Image


The Canon PowerShot SD4500 generated pleasing color, with only a hint of oversaturation in colors like reds, blues, and greens which were quite brilliant. (Although some of the yellows are a touch lacking in saturation.)

There is a very tiny shift in hue for hues such as yellow and cyan. While lighter skin tones tend to lean more toward pink, darker skin tones have a hint of warmth to them. Despite this, pretty impressive performance overall.


The results of using the Incandescent option, which generated a highly pink color, were handled considerably better by both the Manual and Auto white balances than they were by the Incandescent setting. The Auto setting has a very tiny pinkish tint, but the Manual mode has a very slight yellowish tint and has a more natural feel to it overall.


On the resolution chart we have in our lab, we can see clear line patterns down to around 1,800 lines per image height horizontally and approximately 1,700 lines per picture height vertically (though more patterns are starting to get a little distracting).

Also, take note of the dead and hot pixels that have not been fixed. Around 2,300 lines per image height were the point at which the pattern disappeared completely.


Even though the camera had to raise its ISO to 800 to obtain the desired result in our manufacturer-specified tests (which are displayed on the right), the results were still pretty bright at the Canon stated distance of 12 feet. Although the ISO was increased to 800 for this test, the telephoto test scene was still reasonably well-lit at 6.6 feet.


The detail is excellent, if a little fuzzy at ISO 125 and 200, and it is still pretty clear at ISO 400. Noise levels are moderate.

At ISO 400, there is a minuscule amount of chroma noise, which refers to color noise; nevertheless, luminance noise and efforts to control noise become more annoying at ISO 800 and above. See the section below titled “Printed outcomes” for further information on how this impacts prints.

The Performance of the Canon PowerShot SD4500 IS

Startup Time

It takes around 3.7 seconds for the Canon SD4500 to turn on and capture a picture after it has been turned on. That falls somewhere in the middle of the pack for long-zoom models.

Shutter Lag

The delay in shutter actuation during full autofocus is somewhat long, clocking in around 0.68 seconds for wide-angle and 0.79 seconds for full telephoto. The prefocus shutter latency comes in at 0.104 seconds, which is also slower than the average but is still rather swift.

Time in Cycles

In Single-shot mode, the cycle time is reasonable, with a picture being taken once every 1.97 seconds. In Continuous mode, the SD4500 IS takes a picture that is either very large or very fine about once every 0.39 seconds, which is equivalent to 2.57 frames per second. However, it also has a High-Speed Burst mode that takes pictures at a reduced resolution and can take pictures at a much faster rate of 0.16 seconds, which is equivalent to 6.35 frames per second.

Recycle Flash Lights

After a full-power discharge, the flash on the Canon PowerShot SD4500 recycles in around 6.5 seconds, which is about par for the course.

Low Light autofocus

Without turning on the AF-assist lamp, the autofocus mechanism of the camera was able to focus in conditions with a light level of slightly under half a foot candle. However, when the lamp was turned on, the camera was able to focus in conditions where there was no light at all.

USB Transfer Speed

The Canon PowerShot SD4500 has download rates that are rather quick when it is connected to a computer or printer using USB 2.0. We recorded a value of 7,618 KBytes/second.


Model Name:Canon PowerShot SD4500 IS 
Manufacturer URL:Manufacturer website
Model Number:SD4500 IS
Alternate Model Number(s):IXUS 1000 HS
Camera Format:Compact
Currently Manufactured:No
Retail Price:$349.99
Street Price:$197.41
Date Available:2010-09-15
Tripod Mount:Yes
Weight:6.7 oz (189 g)
includes batteries
Size:4.0 x 2.3 x 0.9 in.
(101 x 59 x 22 mm)
Waterproof Depth:n/a
Image Sensor
Sensor Type:CMOS
Sensor Manufacturer: 
Effective Megapixels:10.0
Sensor Format:1/2.3 inch
Sensor size:28.0735mm2 (6.17mm x 4.55mm)
Approximate Pixel Pitch:1.69 microns
Focal Length Multiplier:n/a
Aspect Ratio:4:3, 16:9
Color Filter Type:RGBG
Anti-Aliasing Filter: 
Sensor shift image stabilization:No
On-Sensor Phase Detect:No
DxO Sensor Score: 
DxO Color Depth Score (bits): 
DxO Dynamic Range Score (evs): 
DxO Maximum Effective ISO Score (iso): 
Image Capture
Image Resolution:3648 x 2736 (10.0 MP, 4:3),
3648 x 2048 (7.5 MP, 16:9),
2816 x 2112 (5.9 MP, 4:3),
2272 x 1704 (3.9 MP, 4:3),
1824 x 1368 (2.5 MP, 4:3),
640 x 480 (0.3 MP, 4:3)
Image File Format:JPEG (EXIF 2.3)
Continuous-mode frames/second:2.6
Video Capture
Can take movies:Yes
Movie Resolution:1920×1080 (24)
1280×720 (30)
640×480 (30)
320×240 (30/​240)
Movie File Format:MOV (H.264 + PCM)
Composite Video Out:Yes
NTSC/PAL Switchable Video:Yes
Video Usable as Viewfinder:
HD Video Out:Yes
HD Video Connection:HDMI
Lens & Optics
Lens Mount:n/a
Lens:Canon Zoom Lens
Focal Length (35mm equivalent):36 – 360mm
Focal Length (actual):6.3 – 63mm
Zoom Ratio:10.00x
Aperture Range:f/3.4 (W) / f/5.6 (T) to f/8
Integrated ND Filter:No
Normal Focus Range:5 cm to Infinity
2.0 into Infinity
Macro Focus Range:1 – 50 cm
0.4 – 19.7 in
Filter Thread:n/a
Thread Type:n/a
Optical Image Stabilization:Yes
Digital Zoom:Yes
Digital Zoom Values:Up to 4x
Auto Focus
Auto Focus:Yes
Auto Focus Type:Contrast Detect AF with Face Detection
Auto Focus Assist Light?Yes
Manual Focus:No
Viewfinder Type: 
Focus Peaking:No
EVF Resolution:n/a
Viewfinder Magnification (35mm equivalent): 
Viewfinder Magnification (nominal/claimed): 
Eye-level Viewfinder:No
Rear Display:Yes
Rear Display Size (inches):3.0
Rear Display Resolution:230,000 dots
Articulating Screen:No
Tilt Swivel Screen:No
Selfie Screen:No
Max Playback Zoom:10.0x
Top Deck Display:
Maximum ISO (native): 
Minimum ISO (native): 
ISO Settings:Auto, 125, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200
Auto ISO Mode:Yes
White Balance Settings:Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Shutter Speed Range:1/4000 – 15 sec
Bulb Mode:No
Exposure Compensation:+/- 2.0EV in 0.3EV steps
Metering Modes:Evaluative*, Center-weighted average, Spot (center); *Face Detect in Face AiAF
Program Auto Exposure:Yes
Aperture Priority:No
Shutter Priority:No
Full Manual Exposure:No
Creative Exposure Modes:Portrait, Kids&Pets, Smart Shutter (Smile, Wink Self-timer, Face Self-timer), High-speed Burst, Best Image Selection, Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Beach, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter, Stitch Assist
Self Timer:2, 10, custom seconds
Time Lapse (intervalometer): 
High-Resolution Composite:No
Built-in Flash:Yes
Flash Modes:Auto, On, Slow Synchro, Off, FE Lock, Auto Red-Eye Correction, Red-Eye Reduction, Shutter Sync, Safety FE, Smart Flash Exposure
Flash Guide Number (ISO 100):n/a
Flash Range Description:Auto ISO: 12 in. – 12 ft. (W), 3.3 – 6.6 ft. (T); 30 – 3.5m (W), 1.0 – 2.0m (T)
Max Flash Sync: 
Flash Exposure Compensation: 
External Flash Connection:n/a
Built-In Wireless Flash Control: 
Image Storage
Usable Memory Types:SD / SDHC / SDXC
UHS Support: 
Other Memory: 
Dual Card Slots:No
RAW Capture Support:No
Uncompressed Format: 
Movie File Format:MOV (H.264 + PCM)
Included Memory:No memory included
Included Memory Type: 
Built-In Wi-Fi:No
Built-In GPS:No
Microphone Jack:No
Headphone Jack:No
External Connections:USB 2.0 High Speed
PictBridge Compliant:Yes
DPOF Compliant:Yes
Remote Control:
Remote Control Type: 
Connections (extended):HDMI
Performance Timing
Cycle time for JPEG shooting in single shot mode (seconds per frame, max resolution):1.97
Cycle time for RAW shooting in single shot mode (seconds per frame): 
Buffer size for RAW shooting in single shot mode (frames):Unlimited
Cycle time for RAW+JPEG shooting in single shot mode (seconds per shot): 
Camera penalizes early shutter press?No
JPEG shooting speed in burst mode (fps, max resolution):2.6
Buffer size for JPEG shooting in burst mode (frames, max resolution):Unlimited
RAW shooting speed in burst mode (fps): 
Buffer size for RAW shooting in burst mode (frames): 
RAW+JPEG shooting speed in burst mode (fps): 
Buffer Size for RAW+JPEG shooting in burst mode (frames): 
Shutter lag (full AF, wide/mid):0.68 seconds
Shutter lag (full AF, tele):0.79 seconds
Shutter lag (full AF, live view – DSLR): 
Shutter lag (prefocused, live view – DSLR): 
Shutter Lag (manual focus): 
Shutter lag (full AF, with flash): 
Shutter Lag (prefocused):0.104 seconds
Shutter Lag (notes): 
Startup Time:3.7 seconds
Play -> Record Time: 
Flash cycle time, full power:6.5 seconds
Battery Life, Stills (CIPA Rating Monitor/Live View):150 shots
Battery Life, Still (CIPA Rating OVF/EVF): 
Battery Life, Video: 
Battery Form Factor:Proprietary NB-9L
Usable Battery Types:Lithium-ion rechargeable
Batteries Included:1 x Proprietary NB-9L Lithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Charger Included (dedicated charger or AC/USB adapter):Yes
Dedicated Battery Charger Included:
Internal Charging Supported:
Included Software:Canon Software Suite CD-ROM
OS Compatibility:Windows, Mac OS
Notes & Features:Full 1080p HD videos, HDMI output, Dynamic IS, Super Slow Motion Video, and High-speed burst mode up to 8.8 fps (@2.5MP). Available in brown.

Final Verdict

The PowerShot SD4500IS is an elegant and svelte long zoom that is designed to appeal to the casual point-and-shooter user. The lack of aperture and shutter priority will be upsetting to more experienced photographers, but casual users should have fun experimenting with the many scene and color settings available. The camera makes a lot of claims about its ability to work in low light, and while it isn’t always able to give the sharpest image when the lights go down, the Canon SD4500 was able to triumph over some challenging lighting circumstances.

We were a little dissatisfied with how long the battery lasted, therefore we think it makes sense to recommend bringing an extra battery. Printed results are a little better, with the lowest ISO setting capable of making acceptable 11×14-inch prints. The rendering of fine detail, especially light to medium-colored hair, is a weak point of most CMOS sensors, and it shows in 100 percent magnification when viewed on a computer screen.

Fortunately, the results are a little better than this when viewed on a printed screen. This has been a problem with hair for quite some time due to super-high resolutions, and the recent conversion to CMOS has created a general rise in sensor noise. However, it appears that Canon’s decision to reduce the number of megapixels to 10 was the right one. Those who print no more than 11 inches by 14 inches ought to be satisfied. If you’re not sure, you can always download some of our test photographs and try printing them out on your own.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Dedicated movie shutter button recording in HD at 1920 x 1080 @ 24 frames per second
  • 10x optical zoom in a tiny camera that can easily fit in your pocket.
  • Large LCD screen measuring 3 inches.
  • The display has a decent viewing angle Display is legible in direct sunlight
Need Improvement
  • The short life of the battery
  • No manual exposure modes
  • A disadvantage of the present CMOS sensor architecture is that it produces a softer image of hair, particularly light and red hair.
  • The flash elevates the ISO to 800, which results in a loss of detail.

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