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Canon PowerShot SD10 Review

With rigorous attention to design, materials, and function, the Canon PowerShot SD10 is the culmination of years of hard work. Taking one step further than the original IXY DIGITAL vision, which was to create a camera that was enjoyable to handle, it has achieved a new sense of style with a refined elegance that separates it from its predecessors.

Using a newly developed aluminum-magnesium alloy, Canon PowerShot SD10 front and back panels achieve exceptional durability while maintaining a high level of glossiness on the surfaces they touch.

More: Best Memory Cards for Canon PowerShot SD10 | Best Point and Shoot Camera | Best Point and Shoot Camera for Travel | Best Point and Shoot Camera Under 300

Essential Attributes

  • 3.9-megapixel CCD.
  • a color TFT LCD monitor with a 1.5-inch display.
  • 6.4mm lens, equal to a 39mm lens on a 35mm camera.
  • Maximum 5.7x digital zoom.
  • Automatic control of the exposure, with a Long Shutter option available for shooting at greater shutter speeds.
  • speeds ranging from 1/1,500 to 15 seconds for the shutter.
  • The largest possible aperture is f/2.8.
  • Integrated flash with a total of five different modes.
  • Storage on an SD memory card, with a 32 MB card provided.
  • Power is provided by either an AC converter that may be purchased separately or a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack that comes with its own charger.
  • Included with both the Windows and Mac operating systems are the ArcSoft Camera Suite 1.2, the Canon Digital Camera software, and the USB drivers.

The front and back panels are joined together by a single U-shaped piece of stainless steel, which forms three sides of the camera and adds to the camera’s remarkable appearance while also providing great structural stability and durability.

It is available in four color variations* – platinum silver, piano black, pearl white, and silky bronze – to appeal to fashion-conscious users. Each color variation* has its own distinct personality, and the surface finishes are perfectly matched to the color and properties of the coating material used to create it.

Special Features

  • A movie mode that includes sound.
  • Mode for taking pictures continuously.
  • Panorama mode with stitching assistance.
  • Focusing modes include infinity and macro.
  • Settings for “My Camera” that may be customized.
  • Self-Timer options of two or ten seconds for delaying the release of the shutter.
  • There is a choice to record captions using Sound Memo.
  • There are three types of exposure metering: spot, center-weighted, and evaluative.
  • Adjustment of the white balance (color), with seven different settings and a Custom option available.
  • Adjusting the colors may be done using the Photo Effects menu.
  • Adjustable ISO setting.
  • compatible with the DPOF format (Digital Print Order Format).
  • A USB cable that may be used to connect to a computer (driver software included).
  • A video and audio cable that may be connected to a television set.

Featuring a high-resolution 1/2.5-inch 4.0-megapixel CCD sensor and a newly designed, high-resolution 6.4 mm (equal to 39 mm in 35 mm format) f/2.8 single-focal-length auto-focus lens, the IXY DIGITAL L is a clever combination of design and quality with remarkable image performance.

The following features contribute to improved photographic performance: a Super Macro Shooting Mode, which enables auto-focus macro shooting from a distance of 3 cm and a photo-image area of up to 24 mm x 18 mm; a Quick Shooting Function, which achieves an almost lag-free shutter response to ensure that photo opportunities are not missed; and a 5-point AiAF focus system with a single-point center focus that can be selected.

Design

The ELPH series has been praised for its sense of quality, which is in large part due to the crisp metallic appearance and feel of the SD10, which brings a new level of portability to the ELPH line. The tiny size makes it easy to stow away in a pocket or handbag, and even when the camera is protected by its case, it is still more compact than any other ELPH camera.

Because the lens retracts when the camera is turned off, the front of the camera remains totally flat, highlighting the pocket-friendly form of the camera. Additionally, an automated lens cover ensures that you do not have to worry about smearing the lens or losing a lens cap.

The SD10, which has dimensions of 3.56 inches by 1.85 inches by 0.73 inches (90.3 millimeters by 47 millimeters by 18.5 millimeters), may easily be stored in any pocket that a clothesmaker is likely to construct, including the “fifth pocket” on most pairs of jeans. The camera has a weight of 100 grams (3.5 ounces) without the battery or memory card installed.

There are a few characteristic ELPH traits that can be found on the front of the SD10, such as the lens being off-center and positioned toward the right, as well as a raised metallic circle that surrounds the lens; however, one of these features, the viewfinder window, is not present. The only components that are left are the mic, the light emitter, and the flash, which are located directly above it.

The light emitter serves various purposes, including assisting with focusing, reducing the appearance of red eye, and flashing during the countdown of the self-timer. When the camera is turned on, the telescopic lens swiftly slides into position and then retracts completely within the camera so that it may keep its flat profile.

The camera’s little microphone may be found directly below the flash. A piece of metal with a loop and the Canon logo formed firmly into it serves as the support for the wrist strap, which is attached to a piece of metal that tapers upward from the front.

The release button for the shutter, the speaker, and the power button are all located on the top of the device, with just the release button slightly projecting from the surface.

The connector for the wrist strap and the door for accessing the battery and SD card are both located on the right side of the camera when seen from the back. This door swings open when you pull the handle located on the back of the door.

The battery is secured by a latch, and in order to remove the SD card, you have to first press it in and then grip it with your thumbnail. The battery is locked in place with a latch. Because the door can only swing open to an angle of 90 degrees, it is impossible to grip the card with two fingers until it has been completely removed from the slot.

One Phillips screw alone may be seen on the reverse side of the camera.

The LCD viewfinder and the remaining controls for the camera are located on the rear panel of the device. The playback, movie, and capture modes may be selected using the mode switch that is located above the LCD.

The Menu and Set/Function buttons are located to the right of the LCD, and a multi-functional Four-Way Arrow pad may be found immediately to the right of these buttons. The condition of the camera is shown by an LED lamp that is located next to the viewfinder. This lamp illuminates when the focus is adjusted or the flash has reached its maximum charge, and it flashes continuously until the buffer is empty. The AV Out and USB connections are hidden behind the rubber door that is located in the bottom right corner of this rear plate.

The only thing on the bottom panel of the SD10 is a metal attachment for a tripod, along with the model and serial number of the camera. In contrast to the SD100, which had the tripod socket positioned out to the side, the SD200 had the socket centered.

Camera Operation

The user interface of the SD10 is easy and relatively plain. It features the same menu configuration and basic control layout as the rest of the current ELPH series, however certain controls have been rearranged and compacted to allow for the reduced surface space all around.

The majority of the camera’s capabilities may be accessed and adjusted via the buttons located on the back panel, while the LCD-based Record menu provides access to a select few more options. Without requiring the user to navigate through the many menu screens, a Function menu allows for more expedient access to fundamental parameters such as picture size, quality, and exposure correction.

Because the menu items are shown in tabs on the LCD screen rather than sequentially on a series of pages, the LCD menu system in and of itself is highly efficient. In addition, the menus for Setup and My Camera are always accessible, notwithstanding the mode in which the camera is operating. If you have the user manual on available, becoming familiar with the camera shouldn’t take more than half an hour to an hour of your time.

Display for Recording Mode

The LCD display will either show the picture area with no information or the image with a limited information display whenever the record mode is selected.

When the information display is activated, it will report the current resolution and image quality settings, as well as the number of photographs that are currently accessible, the orientation, the Record mode, and a few exposure parameters (although not aperture or shutter speed). After the shutter button has been depressed halfway in either mode, the selected focus region is the only one that is illuminated with a green square (sometimes multiple squares can be highlighted).

In this particular instance, a camera shaking warning is also now operational. A screen displaying the current date and time may be accessed by pressing and holding the Set/Function button. The menu allows the user to specify the length of time that it will be shown.

Display of the Playback Mode

Playback mode has three display options: the picture only, the image with information, and the image with expanded information and a histogram. These display modes can be selected independently of one another.

You may also zoom in on taken photographs to check for fine details, focus, or framing, and the index display mode allows you to see as many as nine thumbnail images at once on the screen. On the four-way navigator, pressing the top button allows you to zoom in, and using the function button allows you to navigate around the map.

Image Quality

The remarks that are offered here are a summary of only my most important results as required by my usual testing policy. Check out the “photos” tab on the SD10 for a comprehensive analysis of each of the sample photographs.

I would recommend that you allow your own eyes to be the judge of how well the camera worked, as is the case with all of the product testing that is done by Imaging Resource. Examine the photographs on the pictures page to get an idea of how the images captured by the SD10 compare to those captured by other cameras you might be thinking about purchasing.

Are you having trouble deciding which camera to buy? Your perception should serve as the final arbiter! Images from the SD10 may be compared with those from other cameras that you might be thinking about purchasing by using our Comparometer(tm). The evidence can be seen in the photographs, so let your own eyes judge which option is most appealing to you.

Color

The SD10’s color accuracy and saturation were extremely good, and the camera gave nice images in virtually all of the test lighting conditions that I put it through. The skin tones were quite decent, although just slightly reddish in the Outdoor Portrait, and the challenging blue flowers of the bouquet were reproduced almost exactly both indoors and outside.

The Auto white balance setting performed the best in most situations, but the Incandescent setting was noticeably superior when used in environments lit with incandescent light. In addition, the huge color blocks that made up the Davebox target had a level of saturation that was satisfactory. In general, you did a pretty good job.

Exposure

Overall, the exposure system of the SD10 did an excellent job, as evidenced by the fact that it produced good exposures while requiring just the typical amount of exposure compensation. In spite of this, I received the impression that the SD10’s tone curve was somewhat on the contrasty side because the camera struggled to maintain highlight detail when subjected to the intense lighting conditions of the high-key Outdoor Portrait test.

The camera required roughly the typical amount of positive exposure adjustment when used inside, although its flash shots had a tendency to be somewhat underexposed. On the Q60 target of the Davebox, the SD10 had no issue differentiating the faint pastel tones, and the shadow detail was reasonable in the majority of the situations.

Resolution/Sharpness

The SD10 had very respectable results on the resolution test chart that was completed in the “laboratory.” In both the horizontal and vertical orientations, it started displaying artifacts in the test patterns at resolutions as low as 850-900 lines per image height.

I found “strong detail” to extend out to a minimum of 1,200 lines, and one might argue that it extends to 1,250 lines horizontally. The “extinction” of the target patterns did not take place until around 1,450 lines into the analysis. In general, a satisfying performance for such a straightforward camera as a point-and-shoot.

Closeups

The SD10 did exceptionally well in the macro category, recording a minimum area that was just 2.33 by 1.75 inches (59 × 44 millimeters). This is particularly noteworthy for a camera that has a fixed focal length lens. The resolution was really high, revealing amazingly fine detail in both the one-dollar note and the tiny coin.

The bigger coin and the brooch were blurry, most likely as a result of the narrow depth of field that was brought about by the extremely close shooting distance. There was some blurring in the image’s four corners, which is something that frequently occurs with macro images taken with a digital camera.

The flash of the SD10 had problems turning down for the macro-region, which resulted in an overexposed snap; hence, you should plan on utilizing additional light sources while taking macro photographs with the SD10.

Viewfinder

The sole viewfinder available for use with the SD10 is an LCD monitor, which displays an almost perfect one hundred percent of the actual frame. The lines that I use for measuring are being chopped off at the top and bottom of the frame, as well as on the right side of the LCD monitor. In point of fact, the LCD display is just a little bit off-center.

When you are framing a subject very closely, you will need to leave a very small amount of space around it. In light of the fact that I prefer for LCD displays to be as near to one hundred percent accurate as is practically possible, the SD10 performs rather admirably in this regard.

Distortion of the Optical Field

I observed roughly 0.7 percent barrel distortion when using the SD10, which is somewhat less than what I would expect from an optically-distorting wide-angle lens on a camera of this type. But despite that, I’d still want to see a bit less of them than that.

There were only two or three pixels of very little coloring on either side of the target lines, bringing the total amount of chromatic aberration down to an extremely low level. (On the resolution target, you can see this distortion as a very faint colored fringe surrounding the items that are located on the outside limits of the field of vision.)

The majority of my test photos had some degree of softness on the left side of the frame. This might be because the sensor on the particular device that I evaluated was not correctly positioned.

Conclusion

The ELPH brand has become linked with high image quality and a user-friendly design, which is one of the primary reasons why the line is so well-liked by such a diverse group of customers. Members of the digital ELPH series have always impressed me with their quality and adaptability. This is an extension of the good reputation that the brand name has earned in the world of film.

The SD10 brings the ELPH series to an even more compact form factor while also incorporating a very slick design aesthetic into the mix. The SD10 does not have an optical viewfinder, has a lower battery life, and only has a fixed focal length lens, therefore there is no zooming capability. This is one of the compromises. If you don’t mind that the SD10 does not have a zoom lens, and if you can get by with a viewfinder that is merely an LCD, then this camera will make a wonderful traveling companion.

The SD10 is unique for a number of reasons, one of which is that despite its compact size, it nearly never compromises image quality. The optical and picture performance of compact cameras is frequently subpar, yet the images captured by the SD10 are crisp, bright, and vibrant. I believe that the SD10 is one of the better models of subcompact digital cameras that are now available on the market.

Canon PowerShot SD10 Specs

Body typeUltracompact
Max resolution2272 x 1704
Other resolutions1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h4:3
Effective pixels4 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors4 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.5″ (5.744 x 4.308 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
ISOAuto, 50, 100, 200, 400
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceNo
Image stabilizationNo
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsSuper-Fine, Fine, Normal
Focal length (equiv.)38 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF2.8
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterSingleLive View
Digital zoomYes (5.7 x)
Manual focusNo
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Number of focus points5
Screen size1.5″
Screen dots78,000
Touch screenNo
Live viewNo
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1500 sec
Aperture priorityNo
Shutter priorityNo
Built-in flashYes
Flash Range2.00 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Manual (Red Eye On/Off)
Continuous drive1.6 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec)
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Resolutions320 x 240, 15 fps, max 3 mins
Storage typesSD/MMC card
Storage included32 MB SD card
USBUSB 1.0 (1.5 Mbit/sec)
HDMINo
Remote controlNo
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NB-3L battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries)140 g (0.31 lb / 4.94 oz)
Dimensions90 x 47 x 19 mm (3.54 x 1.85 x 0.75″)
Orientation sensorNo
Timelapse recordingNo

Canon PowerShot SD10 Price

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • High standards and adaptability
  • The SD10 had a very strong score in the macro photography category despite being a relatively straightforward point-and-shoot camera.
  • The functioning of the camera is really easy to understand.
Need Improvements
  • Strap for the wrist
  • Shutter speeds from 1/1
  • 500 milliseconds to 15 seconds
  • The cycle times, the shutter lag, and the life of the battery

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