When the initial Canon ELPH was released in 1996 as an APS film camera, its small size and forward-thinking “box and circle” design surely had more appeal than the film format that the little camera supported. The Canon ELPH was the first digital camera to handle APS film.
While APS has become a thing of the past, Canon has carried on the ELPH tradition in its series of digital cameras. Even after 11 years, the ELPH maintains its sophisticated and alluring appearance in the realm of digital media.
Canon introduced the SD1000, a camera that has a retro look that is almost identical to that of the original model of the ELPH, not long after the ten-year anniversary of the ELPH. This was Canon’s way of bringing the ELPH back to its roots, despite the fact that the design has undergone some minor changes over the years.
In addition to its small size and striking appearance, the 7-megapixel SD1000 possesses a conventional 3x optical zoom with a 35mm equivalent focal range of 35-105mm, a 2.5-inch LCD that provides a resolution of 230,000 pixels, and an optical viewfinder, which is uncommon in cameras of this size.
This digital point-and-shoot camera is part of the Digital ELPH series, therefore it does not have manual controls for the shutter speed or aperture. However, it does include a number of scene modes, exposure compensation, and both manual and automatic ISO settings. One simple touch of a button activates the brand-new on-demand Auto ISO Shift function, which increases the light sensitivity all the way to a maximum of 800. White balance can be adjusted manually, automatically, or selected from a number of presets (manual).
Long exposures of up to 15 seconds are achievable with this camera, despite the fact that its maximum auto shutter speed is just 1/1500 of a second (the one way you can set a manual shutter speed, is available through the Function Menu). Some of the most notable features of the camera are the ability to make fine-tuning changes, customize the settings for the self-timer, use stitch-assist for up to 26 frames, and to have diverse movie selections.
It’s true that there are a lot of pocketable digital cameras on the market that are smaller, thinner, and have bigger LCDs than the SD1000. There are also a lot of compact cameras that come in a variety of interesting and fashionable colors.
However, the ELPH line has a track record of strong performance and solid picture quality on its side, and the sleek and small SD1000 not only looks attractive and fits easily in shirt or pants pockets, but it also has the ELPH line’s reputation for good performance on its side. An easy-to-use “point-and-shoot” interface, along with a logically organized control structure and a menu system that is straightforward to traverse, puts inexperienced users at rest and makes capturing pictures a breeze for more advanced users.
The SD1000’s portability and top-notch image quality may even appeal to digital SLR users who are looking for a basic, take-anywhere companion for fast photographs. This is because the SD1000 does not include manual aperture and shutter speed adjustments.
Face Detection (FD) is rapidly becoming a common feature, and I’ve dealt with a number of different FD systems over the years. I’ve found that Canon’s FD technology is among the most responsive and accurate. The most recent iteration of Canon’s FD technology is built into the SD1000, and it not only helps guarantee that subjects are accurately focused and exposed but also detects numerous faces simultaneously. In addition to this, it evaluates the shooting circumstances and makes appropriate adjustments to the flash output.
When increasing the ISO to raise the shutter speed and avoid fuzzy photos caused by camera shake, Canon takes a more measured approach than other camera manufacturers who advertise “anti-shake” capabilities. Images created by other cameras frequently contain an unacceptable amount of noise due to the extraordinarily high ISO settings they use.
That is not to suggest that the SD1000 does not have picture noise or that its Auto and Hi ISO settings can’t go beyond tolerable bounds, but rather that it does a better job of keeping it under control. There is a convenient one-button/one-shot Auto ISO shift that boosts the ISO up to a maximum setting of 800 when implemented regardless of what ISO setting has been manually selected. The range of the ISO that can be set manually is from 80 to 1600, and the range of the ISO that can be set automatically is from 80 to 1600.
As an example of what I mean by a “gentler approach,” consider the fact that the maximum ISO setting you should use with the SD1000 is 800. You have the ability to go higher if you so choose, but the camera won’t take you there unless you give it permission to do so.
If you don’t read the manual or spend some time delving deeper into the Function menu, you might miss out on a number of the SD1000’s hidden features, despite the fact that the camera’s default auto mode is unquestionably simple to operate. However, the SD1000 has a number of other capabilities that are more difficult to access.
You may make modifications to the contrast, sharpness, saturation, skin tone, and individual red, green, and blue tones by clicking the Custom option, which is tucked away under the My Colors menu.
It is recommended that you go through the handbook in order to uncover some of the concealed Scene modes. But after you’ve uncovered some of these less-than-obvious possibilities, you’ll find that the SD1000 has some unexpectedly useful capabilities to complement its appealing style. This is because the SD1000 was designed to support a number of different file formats.
In homage to the ELPH’s pioneering design, the SD1000 is offered in a black-on-silver color scheme; but, if you find that aesthetic to be too dated for your tastes, you need not worry; the camera is also offered in a silver-on-silver color scheme.
Because of its diminutive size and lightweight, it is an open invitation to take the camera with you everywhere you go. It is just as comfortable to wear around your neck dangling from a lanyard as it is to tuck away in a pocket or handbag because of its versatility.
In the same vein, the camera has a sturdy construction and is able to survive the rigors of being carried around town or on a trek in the woods without the user having to be concerned about its condition.
However, just as with any other compact camera, it is essential to give the SD1000 a test run in order to determine whether or not the handhold is agreeable and whether or not the controls are easy to use. I was able to hold the camera easily for extended periods of time without my fingers cramping up, and shooting with just one hand was not difficult at all. However, the camera does not have a grip and there is not much room for your thumb to rest anywhere other than on the vertical switch that is located on the rear panel of the camera.
My hands were careful to avoid getting in the way of the lens, the flash, or the teeny-tiny microphone, and the controls, which are clustered to the right of the LCD screen for practical reasons, were not difficult to access. On the other hand, I have rather petite hands, and those who have larger hands than I do would not have the same degree of comfort.
When taking into account the limited space available on the back panel of the camera, the controls have been thoughtfully laid out and are of an appropriate size. The speaker is located to the left of the mode switch, directly above the Print/Share button. The Print/Share button can also be programmed to provide one-touch access to a variety of functions, including Exposure Compensation, White Balance (the full range or Custom only), Movie mode, and display off, amongst others.
For my needs, it was easy to assign Exposure Compensation to the Print/Share button. However, while shifting between shooting indoors and outdoors, I also preferred using it for White Balance presets since it gave me more flexibility.
I found that the Four-way controller that surrounds the Function/Set button required extra effort to manipulate; not only because it was somewhat less responsive than the buttons, but also because I had to rely on the tip of my thumbnail rather than the tip of my thumb to press the appropriate mark without accidentally triggering the Function/Set button. The Function/Set, Display, and Menu buttons were all large enough for easy operation; however, I found that the Four-way controller that surrounds the Function/Set button required extra effort to manipulate.
Accessing the menus for ISO, flash settings, shooting mode, and focus/distance through the Four-way controller is straightforward; however, the menus disappear instantly after a second or two, giving very little time for the user to deliberate about which option to select.
Because all of the options, including Auto, High, and manual settings, do not fit on a single screen, it was especially frustrating when selecting an ISO. If I did not start scrolling as soon as possible, the menu would vanish, and I would have to begin the process all over again. Those who aren’t familiar with the choices included within each of these quick-access menus are likely to find this situation particularly unpleasant.
In addition, accessing the system menu was necessary in order to activate the red-eye reduction and slow synchro flash settings. On the other hand, there is no difficulty in comprehending any of the options or navigating them. However, as I indicated earlier, several functions are hidden deep inside the Function menu. This means that not only do you need to be aware that they exist and where they are located, but you also need to take more time in order to access them. As was to be expected, the more I used the camera, the quicker I became at making adjustments to the settings on the fly.
Having previously used cameras with LCDs that were so reflective that I could see myself more clearly than the subject I was attempting to record, I found that the 2.5-inch panel on the SD1000 was a joy to use.
It is not ideal, and there were occasions when I had to fight to frame a picture in strong sunshine or revert to the small (and difficult to use) optical viewfinder, but it is far better than other cameras when it comes to maintaining clarity in bright light.
This enhanced usefulness is most likely attributable to Canon’s new PureColor LCD and its multi-level coating. This coating is intended to minimize glare and “resist scratches, smudges, and fingerprints,” respectively. Taking the camera out of my jacket pocket was enough to leave fingerprints on the LCD, thus this solution is not a foolproof method for keeping the screen clean.
Even when photographing in the pitch-black void under my desk, the LCD display operated admirably, immediately gaining ground and bringing the image back into view. When the gain is applied, the image on the LCD becomes slightly noisier, as is typical; nonetheless, it displayed less grain than the majority of other displays.
It was to be anticipated that the refresh rate would be slower in these low-light circumstances; yet, I did not experience any ghosting when moving the camera about in these environments.
The SD1000’s many display settings allow for the presentation of comprehensive shooting information on-screen. Additionally, a grid overlay and a guide for the 3:2 aspect ratio are also accessible when the camera is in record mode.
In playback mode, the information display is accompanied by a histogram at all times. (In the part on shooting, I go into greater detail about the benefits of having different display options.)
Despite the fact that the power button is practically flush with the top of the camera, it was easy to discover by touch. As a result, the small camera was powered up and ready to go in virtually no time at all.
The speed of the camera was consistent from shot to shot; even while I was using the flash, I didn’t have to wait an excessive amount of time to take the next image, and there wasn’t any latency between hitting the shutter button and the camera taking the picture. In addition to that, the continuous shooting pace was decent.
The SD1000, much like the majority of cameras in its class, provides a focal range that is somewhere in the middle with its three times optical zoom lens. On the other hand, the small zoom lever operated the lens smoothly and quite quickly over its whole 35-105mm focal range.
You won’t be able to capture extremely expansive landscapes with this focal range unless you use the camera’s stitch-assist feature to put together a panorama. Additionally, due to the SD1000’s limited telephoto reach of 105mm, you won’t be able to photograph objects or situations that are far away (35mm-equivalent). But for general photography, I found that the three-times optical zoom was sufficient.
When utilizing the LCD, the SD1000 has a CIPA rating of roughly 210 shots on a fully charged battery. The SD1000 is powered by a small rechargeable lithium battery, and the battery may be recharged. Because I don’t spend a significant amount of time studying photographs in-camera other than to verify exposure and focus, I was unable to take more than the about 210 shots that were predicted to be possible on a single charge of the battery.
Your experience may be different from mine because it depends on how you typically listen to music. This standard battery life shouldn’t be a problem as long as you don’t anticipate firing more than a couple of hundred times between charges unless you really want to push it.
A little camera will inevitably have a miniature flash attached to it. When set to Macro, the SD1000’s flash dimmed down beautifully, but when set to wide-angle, it was clear that it did not have the power to reach more than 12 feet. When set to telephoto, the light output is barely adequate for excellent exposures at a distance of six feet.
Note that this is the case when the camera is set to ISO 100; when set to Auto ISO, the SD1000 is able to get satisfactory exposures at 11 feet when using the wide-angle lens and 6.6 feet when using the telephoto lens with just a minor increase in ISO, as specified by Canon (ISO 250 and 200 respectively). When photographs were taken using a wide-angle lens, we noted that the flash was less noticeable around the image’s edges.
The automated face identification feature of the camera, which can be engaged from within the camera’s system menu, performed rather well. It was both quicker and more accurate than the competition, which was notably noticeable when dealing with many people.
Autofocus was generally quick and accurate when the camera’s 9-point AiAF was turned on; however, on occasion, I turned it off because having a single (centered) focus point enabled me to have better control when I wanted the focus frame to be centered. Autofocus was generally quick and accurate when the camera’s 9-point AiAF was turned on.
If that wasn’t the case, I’d have to recompose whenever the AiAF focal points, which are represented by green boxes with outlines, weren’t in the precise location that I want for them to be in (focusing on the grasses surrounding a flower rather than on the flower, for example). However, owing to the amber AF assist lights, focusing was not too difficult even when there was not a lot of light.
As I had anticipated, I was satisfied with the majority of the test shots I took. The SD1000’s metering options (evaluative, center, and spot) all did a good job producing well-balanced exposures under a variety of lighting conditions, with the exception of a few daffodils that were shot in bright sunlight and came out with an excessive amount of exposure. These daffodils were overexposed. The visuals were crisp, and the colors were portrayed with a high level of detail.
Using the SD1000 was a lot of fun to shoot with. Due to the fact that the camera is so easy to carry about, I found myself snapping photographs that I normally wouldn’t have ever considered recording. I didn’t roll my eyes at the prospect of taking a camera on a walk through a local park; instead, I gleefully tucked the camera into the pocket of my jacket so that I could travel to the local park.
As soon as I got there, I put it on a lanyard and hung it around my neck so that all I had to do to take a picture was bring the camera up to my face and press the shutter button. I always kept the camera on the table in the dining room so that I could quickly grab it and head outdoors to take pictures of spring flowers whenever the mood (or the light) struck me.
I carried it about with me in my handbag, and when I went to a get-together with some friends, it was a big hit. Carrying the Canon SD1000 never once felt like a chore to me in any way, shape, or form.
Obviously, there were moments when I wished I had a digital single-lens reflex camera (SLR) for speed and control, as well as a long telephoto lens so that I could take pictures of flying birds. However, when I just wanted to take some photos for fun, I didn’t miss having manual controls. The Canon SD1000 was typically fast enough for the majority of scenarios, and it has enough functionality to provide for some degree of control.
In most cases, I maintained the SD1000 in the “Camera Manual” mode so that I could make use of all of the camera’s features (only a minimal number of features are available in Auto mode). By focusing primarily on exposure compensation, ISO, and white balance, I was able to fulfill the photographic instinct to alter settings in accordance with the subject and the conditions under which the shot was taken.
When I activated the grid overlay, it made it easier for me to maintain equal horizons, and I was ecstatic to discover that aperture and shutter speed would be shown whenever I held the shutter button halfway. Because of the simplicity with which I could access information regarding the shutter speed, I was able to determine whether or not it was necessary for me to either use the flash, boost the ISO, use a tripod, or simply forget about taking the image.
Despite the fact that the SD1000 has an ISO of 1600, the degree of noise was unacceptable in my opinion. In most cases, I maintained it at an ISO setting of 800 or below. When determining exposure after the photo was taken, the complete information panel in playback, which includes a histogram, was another resource that proved to be very helpful.
I had a lot of fun using the Canon SD1000, despite the annoyances that were mentioned earlier, such as the fact that it was difficult to use the Four-way controller and that the ISO menu would automatically turn off after a short amount of time. I made effective use of the Function button, which provided a direct connection to many of the settings that I needed to change the most frequently. Even though it has several flaws, the system serves its purpose well when modifications are called for.
Quality of the Image
Accuracy with regard to Saturation and Hue
The vast majority of consumer digital cameras create colors that are more highly saturated (that is, more strong) than those seen in the things they photograph. This is due to the fact that the majority of people want their colors to be more vibrant than life. The Canon PowerShot SD1000 has a tendency to oversaturate strong red tones, as well as a few blues and greens to a little lesser extent, but the end results are still fairly pleasant.
When applied to Caucasian skin tones, oversaturation presents the greatest challenge since it is quite simple for certain “memory colors” to be interpreted as being excessively vivid, excessively pink, excessively yellow, and so on. In this instance, the SD1000 did depict skin tones on the somewhat warmer side in the majority of instances; nonetheless, many customers find slightly warmer skin tones more pleasant than cooler ones.
Exposure as well as the white-balance setting
Lighting that is incandescent used inside
The Auto white balance setting provided results that were only slightly warmer than neutral when used inside with incandescent illumination; however, the Manual and Incandescent selections yielded results that were more accurate. I decided to use the more realistic Manual option rather than the Incandescent one since the Incandescent one had a trace of a pink hue.
Here, the Canon SD1000 demanded an average level of exposure adjustment, which came in at +1.0 EV. Even though there is a very small warm cast, the overall color quality is great when the white balance is adjusted to Manual. There are no obvious hints of purple in the blue blossoms. (Many digital cameras render these blossoms with a dark, purple color; hence, the SD1000 fared exceptionally well in this regard.)
This photo was lit using a combination of 60 and 100-watt incandescent household bulbs, which is a rather yellow light source but a very common one in regular residential settings here in the United States. Our test lighting consisted of these bulbs.
The Canon PowerShot SD1000 performed rather well in natural settings, with the only noticeable issue being a minor overexposure in the outdoor wide image. On the portrait, the camera required a more modest quantity of positive exposure correction than is often necessary. Even while the white garment has a predominantly white appearance, there are a few spots on it where it is not completely blown out. Impressive.
The camera’s contrast adjustment performed a fairly decent job of taming the exposure without significantly impacting the color, despite the fact that the default contrast is on the higher end of the spectrum. The SD1000 was able to capture decent color when used outside, without producing an excessively strong warm cast. In general, they are rather satisfactory outcomes.
High resolution with a good level of detail over 1,250 by 1,300 lines.
The resolution chart that we had in our laboratory showed that there were clear, distinct line patterns down to around 1,250 lines per image height horizontally, and also approximately 1,300 lines vertically. The end of the line was reached at around 1,800 on the horizontal and approximately 1,900 on the vertical. You may use these values to compare other cameras that have a resolution that is comparable to this one, or you can use them to evaluate what a greater resolution can mean in terms of the possible level of detail.
Clarity and attention to detail
The Canon PowerShot SD1000 is capable of capturing photographs that are clear and have a strong clarity of the details; nevertheless, some subtle edge enhancement artifacts are noticeable on high-contrast scenes, such as the crop shown to the left of this paragraph. In this particular instance, quite insignificant. (The increase of colors and tones immediately at the edge of a quick shift in color or tone is what gives the appearance of sharpness, which is created by the technique known as edge enhancement.)
Performance in Terms of ISO and Noise
The Canon SD1000’s lower sensitivity settings provide noise levels that are rather modest, with just a small blurring of clarity in the darker portions of the image. Although the haziness brought on by noise reduction is more noticeable, ISO 200 still appears to have a fairly clear image. At this level of camera, ISO 400 isn’t too horrible of a setting, but at ISO 800, picture noise starts to dominate areas of fine detail, and chroma noise becomes very noticeable.
When set to 1,600, there is so much noise, and the blurring is so great, that the resulting photos from this interior photograph are virtually unusable for printing.
|Operating Mode||Number of Shots|
|LiIon rechargeable battery,|
LCD on (CIPA standard)
|LiIon rechargeable battery,|
The Canon PowerShot SD1000 gets its juice from a specialized rechargeable lithium-ion battery built by Canon. When the LCD is active, the runtimes are about par for the course for a LiIon design, but they are excellent when it is not. If you want to use the LCD screen rather frequently, it is strongly recommended that you purchase an additional battery, ensure it is charged, and keep it on hand for extended expeditions.
According to the CIPA battery life and/or manufacturer standard test conditions, the number of shots that can be taken with the camera is listed in the table that can be found above. These shots can be taken with a brand new set of disposable batteries or with a rechargeable battery that has been fully charged, depending on the type of battery being used.
|Max resolution||3072 x 2304|
|Other resolutions||2592 x 1944, 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480|
|Image ratio w:h||4:3, 3:2|
|Effective pixels||7 megapixels|
|Sensor photo detectors||7 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.5″ (5.744 x 4.308 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600|
|White balance presets||5|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Super-Fine, Fine, Normal|
|Focal length (equiv.)||35–105 mm|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaSingleFace DetectionLive View|
|Digital zoom||Yes (4 x)|
|Macro focus range||5 cm (1.97″)|
|Number of focus points||9|
|Viewfinder type||Optical (tunnel)|
|Minimum shutter speed||15 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/1500 sec|
|Flash range||3.50 m|
|Flash modes||Auto, On, Off, Slow, Manual (Red Eye On/Off)|
|Continuous drive||1.7 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 sec)|
|Exposure compensation||±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|Resolutions||640 x 480 @ 30/15 fps, 320 x 240 @ 60/30/15 fps, 160 x 120 @ 15 fps|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC card|
|Storage included||32 MB SD card|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Battery description||Lithium-Ion NB-4L battery & charger|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||175 g (0.39 lb / 6.17 oz)|
|Dimensions||86 x 54 x 19 mm (3.39 x 2.13 x 0.75″)|
The Canon PowerShot SD1000 is a wonderful little camera that has a lot of features that will suit the casual photographer and may even draw the more experienced photographer who is looking for a digital camera that is tiny enough to carry around with them wherever. Video enthusiasts will like that there are several movie modes to choose from, including choices for time-lapse and rapid frame rate.
The majority of people will find the image quality to be more than satisfactory, regardless of their level of skill. However, it is essential to retain control over the ISO settings in order to reduce the amount of image noise.
Because it’s doubtful that snapshooters would utilize certain capabilities on a consistent basis, the fact that they are buried deep inside the menu system probably won’t affect them very much at all. Photographers who want to extract every last bit of control out of the camera are going to find this extremely difficult.
If, however, you are an ELPH enthusiast on the same level as I am, you won’t allow any of these relatively insignificant shortcomings to prevent you from sliding a Canon SD1000 into your pocket or purse.
Pro & Cons
- LCD screen that is large and brilliant, and can be read in both extremely bright and very low light
- Automatic Face Detection That Is Both Efficient And Accurate
- A camera that is portable, lightweight, and easy to carry everywhere.
- Performance that is responsive, with a quick start-up and a decent shot-to-shot pace; there is very little shutter lag.
- Adjustments for finer details and a selection of scene modes are hidden deep beneath the Function menu.
- Under incandescent lighting, the auto white balance setting produces photos with a warm tone.
- Having trouble with the navigator ring and four-way controller
- There are no manual adjustments for the aperture or shutter speed (however the shutter speed may be set anywhere from 1 to 15 seconds when using the Long Shutter mode).