Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS Review

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS Review

As more and more subcompact models arrive, not just in reliable silver or no-nonsense black but also in a range of vibrant colors that make them as much a personality statement as an image tool, color has become the name of the game with tiny digital cameras.

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Canon PowerShot SD1200IS 10 MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized...

Last update was on: May 28, 2023 8:55 pm

The Canon PowerShot SD1200 will not be surpassed in this game since it is available in one of six color variations. These color options include the more subdued alternatives of black and silver and colors such as green, blue, hot pink, and a scorching orange. However, aside from its trendy flair, the PowerShot SD1200 IS backs up its aesthetics with genuine Canon technology. This includes an intelligent Smart Auto mode, Face Detection, and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).

It also has a competent CCD with 10 megapixels and an enhanced PureColor LCD panel for viewing images, making picture evaluation even more effective.

There is also an extra digital zoom of 4x ready for use. In addition, the Optical Image Stabilizer Technology from Canon is an automatic feature on the SD1200 IS. It kicks in whenever the camera detects that an image may be blurry due to a slight camera movement, such as when shooting at full telephoto or in low-light conditions where the shutter speed is a little too slow for safe hand-holding.

The powerful DIGIC 4 Image Processor from Canon is also incorporated inside the PowerShot SD1200. This processor has even more refined Face Detection and subject-tracking capabilities, and it blends these capabilities into an option for a Face Detection Self-timer.

The Canon SD1200 is the latest in a long line of ELPH digital cameras, which have established themselves as industry standards in the market for subcompact digital cameras. In most cases, purchasing a Canon ELPH is a safe decision because of the brand’s reputation for quality, value, and overall high performance.

Underscoring the line’s attractiveness to consumers is the most recent generation of ELPHs, which has enhanced processing, upgraded LCD screens, and clever automated modes that perform all of the work for you.

Body And Design

Look and feel. Because of its tiny size and smaller body panels, the Canon SD1200 is unquestionably a model that can be carried in a pocket and utilized in a variety ofvariousowever, because of its small size, you will need the added protection that the wrist strap provides because there is not much of a hand grip.

Your fingers might find some purchase on the slightly raised Canon logo on the front panel, but there is no strong thumb hold, and those with more extensive hands might have difficulty establishing a solid grasp. Nevertheless, I found it pretty comfortable in my medium-sized hands, even though I had to transition to a two-handed hold in numerous situations to adjust the settings. Investing in a protective cover for your camera is something you should consider doing.

Because the lens of the Canon SD1200 retracts flush with the camera body when the power is turned off, and because there are only very slight protrusions elsewhere (such as the Shutter button up top), pockets shouldn’t be used to hang the camera on. Because the design is primarily automated, relatively few controls are available, but those there have evident labels.


A little silver button located on the top deck of the Canon SD1200 is used to turn the device’s power on and off. It is not precisely simple to reach with one hand because it is virtually flush with the camera and a bit close to the center in a one-handed hold; nevertheless, this not only makes it difficult to trigger unintentionally, but it also makes it more difficult to reach with one hand.

Because the zoom ring is located around the shutter button, the only controls that can be readily accessed using one hand are the zoom and the shutter button. The PowerShot SD1200 IS does not have a Mode dial; instead, a sliding Mode switch is located in the top right corner of the back panel. This switch is tough to activate while you are unintentionally taking pictures. The only button on the controls I inadvertently pressed was the Playback button, which happened very infrequently.

Because the back panel of the PowerShot SD1200 does not have a thumb rest in any meaningful sense, I had to work hard to keep my thumb off of the top right corner of the LCD monitor, where it left a significant smudge. Unfortunately, I had to do this rather frequently.

Tiny cameras almost usually come with certain sacrifices, but those made by the PowerShot SD1200 are relatively insignificant. You’ll find a small but valuable optical viewfinder above the LCD. However, the LCD monitor will offer a far more accurate preview of what you’ll receive when you hit the shutter button, so you should frame your shots using that instead.

The fact that there is a little flash located just above the lens presents a challenge when taking ultra-macro photographs since the lens obscures a portion of the moment. The flash mode is controlled by pressing the left button of the multi-directional rocker button. When the lens is set to wide-angle, the moment may be used up to a distance of approximately 14 feet, but when the lens is set to telephoto, it can only be used up to a distance of roughly 8 feet.


The 3x optical zoom of the Canon SD1200 is relatively standard, with a focal length equivalent range of 35 to 105mm, but the overall image quality is relatively high. Furthermore, because it is equipped with Canon’s Optical Image Stabilizer technology, the PowerShot SD1200 IS automatically corrects any blurring that may result from vibrations caused by taking the picture.

The four modes it supports are off, Continuous, Shoot Only, and Panning. Regarding optics, the Canon SD1200 displayed a few qualities that are not ordinary for a pocket camera. For example, while using a wide-angle lens, we noted some rather severe blurring in the left corners of the frame and apparent barrel distortion; however, the results obtained using a telephoto lens were significantly improved (see below).


Only the Smart Auto, Program, and Movie modes are available via the Mode switch located in the top right corner of the rear panel. The Playback mode must be engaged using the Playback mode button directly to this switch’s left. The camera may be turned on by pushing the Playback button, and switching to Record mode can be accomplished instantly by depressing the Shutter button halfway.

Many users will prefer to stay in the Smart Auto mode of the Canon SD1200 because the camera automatically evaluates the scene and chooses from a long list of preset modes before taking an exposure. This makes the Smart Auto mode the one many users prefer to stay in.

The camera uses Face Detection to detect whether or not there are any individuals in the frame. In addition to this, it analyzes the color, distance to the subject, contrast, and movement automatically. Portrait, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Fireworks, Aquarium, Underwater (for use with a housing), ISO 3,200, Indoor, Kids & Pets, Night Snapshot, Long Shutter, and Digital Macro are the scenes that are accessible to utilize.

The user can adjust various settings inside the Program mode, including white balance, ISO, color mode, metering, exposure compensation, and access the scene selection within the Function menu.

The movie mode of the PowerShot SD1200 can record VGA and QVGA movies with sound at a frame rate of 30 frames per second for up to one hour (or 4GB per clip). In addition, the video quality is pretty high, making it a viable alternative to the family camcorder for recording short video clips.


The Canon SD1200 is almost identical to the menus in earlier Canon PowerShot models. It consists of a vertical list of options and a handful of tabs at the top of the screen. To make a selection, you need to use the arrow keys to scroll up and down and then press the center button on the multi-controller.

Uncomplicated in most respects. The Function menu provides access to most of the camera’s settings, including the Mode setting (either Program or Scene), ISO, White Balance, My Colors, Metering, and the many Quality and Resolution options. In general, the interface is uncomplicated and shouldn’t take too much time to understand, regardless of whether or not you are already familiar with the menu systems used by Canon cameras.

Both the storage and the battery Images are saved to SD or SDHC memory cards by the Canon SD1200, and each card may hold up to 32GB of data at its total capacity. That will be plenty for most purposes with this camera. A card with a storage capacity of between 4 and 8 gigabytes should be fine unless you want to capture a significant amount of video with the PowerShot SD1200 IS.

NB-6L is the model number for the lithium-ion battery that powers the Canon SD1200. It has a capacity of 1,000 mAh and operates at 3.7 volts. The rectangular battery is held in place by a latch adjacent to the memory card, located behind a door with a little hinge. Approximately 260 rounds may be fired off with a single charge. That’s about parred for the product course in its category, so you should consider picking up an extra battery.

Shooting. Bright color selections provide the Canon SD1200 with some personality, contributing to the excitement of using it for photography. But apart from the lighthearted vibe, it gives off, it’s also plain enjoyable to shoot with, mainly because everything is so straightforward.

Because it is so intelligent, the Smart Auto mode almost eliminates all the efforts usually required to snap photographs. Instead, you are solely responsible for framing the photo and ensuring that the elements you wish to include are included.

The zoom of the Canon SD1200 is not very quick and tends to zoom in chunks, but it performs relatively well in the majority of situations. Moreover, because of its 3x range, you do not require the zoom segments to be so narrow in the vast majority of cases.

The Playback mode has been removed from the Mode switch on Canon’s most recent digital cameras, which is a significant improvement. As a result, you can see your photographs in between shots with most digital SLRs. Still, you can immediately exit Playback mode with a half-press on the shutter button if a photo opportunity presents itself. This feature is common among digital SLRs.

The Canon SD1200 is a snappy small camera with a feature set that has been fine-tuned to perfection and superb, tight construction. We go into more depth on image quality below, but suffice it to say that the Canon SD1200’s quality is adequate for use as a pocket snapshooter. But, on the other hand, it is probably not ideal for photography lovers.

It’s another example of how the sensor’s resolution improves while the lens’s quality remains roughly the same. As a result, corner softness that wasn’t as noticeable on a sensor with 7 megapixels suddenly seems relatively soft on a sensor with 10 megapixels. Of course, everything depends on the size of the print.

The Quality of the Canon SD1200 Lens


When the zoom is set to its widest angle, the Canon SD1200 produces a highly fuzzy image in the four corners of the frame, most noticeably in the upper left corner. However, even at the maximum telephoto setting, there is only a slight blurring in the corners.

Distortion of the Geometry

Compared to most consumer digital cameras, the barrel distortion at wide-angle is relatively low (approximately 0.8 percent), even though it is apparent in many of the camera’s wide-angle photos. Likewise, only around two pixels of pincushion distortion (less than 0.1 percent) are noticeable while working at telephoto, and their impact is negligible.

Aberration of Chromatic Color

Chromatic aberration is mild when viewed at wide-angle, with cyan and magenta pixels displaying a degree of brightness. (However, it is essential to remember that the blurring in the corners of this image likely contributes to the increased strength of the effect.) However, the telephoto lens exhibits a modest amount of distortion despite having less brilliant pixels.


The Macro mode of the Canon SD1200 takes a clear image in the center of the frame, with some minor blurring occurring in the frame’s four corners (fairly typical among digital camera macro modes). The smallest area must be covered 1.30 inches by 0.97 inches (33 x 25mm). At its most extreme closeup setting, the camera focuses so tightly that the lens partially obscures the flash. There is a significant amount of overexposure in the upper left corner of the frame.

Image Quality of the Canon SD1200


The Canon SD1200 produces a color that is, on the whole, satisfying. Although there is a slight lean toward green in some of the yellows, a tendency toward yellow in orange, and a strong lean toward blue in cyan, the accuracy is good overall. The red and blue tones of the PowerShot SD1200 are slightly oversaturated, as is typical for consumer digital cameras. This is done to make the camera more attractive to the specific user. Lighter skin tones have a tint of pink and saturation that is more subdued, in contrast to darker skin tones, which are more orange-tinged and have a higher saturation level.


Noise and Detail: The level of detail is excellent at ISO 80 and 100, but it starts to become noticeably less sharp at ISO 200. At any setting of the ISO, the chroma (color) noise is relatively well managed. However, the luminance noise is discernible. At an ISO of 400, detail is still rather great; but by 800 and 1,600, photos have become quite blurry. For further information on how this impacts printed images, see the section below under “Printed outcomes.”


For the camera to obtain the desired brightness level at the wide-angle setting at the reported distance of 14 feet, our testing, which is seen on the right, reveals that the ISO setting has to be increased to 250. Even though the ISO was increased to 250 for the telephoto test, the results showed that the exposure was correct at the recommended distance of 7.9 feet. The flash that comes with the Canon SD1200 should be enough for most scenarios; however, you should keep your subjects within around 14 feet when shooting wide-angle and approximately 8 feet while shooting telephoto.


The Canon SD1200’s Auto and Manual white balance settings perform better than the Incandescent mode when handling our tungsten lighting test. The incandescent method produces a highly red image. Auto and Manual do not achieve an exact color balance, but they get closer to it.

Performance of the Canon SD1200

Shutter lag

The delay in shutter actuation during full autofocus is acceptable, clocking in about 0.50 seconds at wide-angle and 0.60 seconds at maximum telephoto. The lag time for the prefocus shutter is 0.074 seconds, which is pretty fast.

The length of one cycle

In single-shot mode, the camera has a cycle time slightly slower than usual, taking a picture once every 2.04 seconds.

Recycle Flash Lights

After a discharge of its maximum amount of power, the flash of the Canon SD1200 recycles in an average of 6 seconds.

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS Specifications

Body typeCompact
Max resolution3648 x 2736
Other resolutions3648 x 2048, 2816 x 2112, 2272 x 1704, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels10 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
ISOAuto, 80,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
Focal length (equiv.)35–105 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF2.8–4.9
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaSingleFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusNo
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Number of focus points9
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size2.5″
Screen dots230,000
Touch screenNo
Live viewNo
Viewfinder typeOptical (tunnel)
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1500 sec
Aperture priorityNo
Shutter priorityNo
Manual exposure modeNo
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash Range3.50 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, Fill-in, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Off
Continuous drive1.4 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 10, Custom, Face)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Resolutions640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
FormatMotion JPEG
Storage typesSD/SDHC/MMC/MMCplus/HD MMCplus
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NB-6L battery & charger
Battery Life (CIPA)260
Weight (inc. batteries)160 g (0.35 lb / 5.64 oz)
Dimensions86 x 55 x 22 mm (3.39 x 2.17 x 0.87″)
Orientation sensorYes

Final Verdict

The Canon SD1200 maintains the ELPH brand’s reputation for design and quality despite its compact size, high user-friendliness, and capability in most scenarios. The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS digital camera has a CCD with a resolution of 10 megapixels and an optical zoom lens with a magnification factor of 3.

Its Smart Auto mode is reliable in that it can analyze the majority of the typical shooting circumstances, and it produces photographs that are of higher quality than those produced by a mode dedicated to autoexposure. In addition, functions like automatic Optical Image Stabilization and Face Detection make it easier to take high-quality photographs in challenging environments without requiring the photographer to make any conscious adjustments.

When you wish to use them, the Canon SD1200 gives you some manual control over the metering mode, white balance, and ISO settings. This is another advantage of this camera. The performance is typically decent, although minor lens distortion can be seen in a few photos when shooting at wide-angle, and anti-noise processing can affect quality at any ISO setting.

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS Price

  • Product
  • Features
  • Photos

Canon PowerShot SD1200IS 10 MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized...

Last update was on: May 28, 2023 8:55 pm

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS FAQs

When did the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS come out?

In 2009, Canon introduced the PowerShot SD1200 IS to the market.

Is a Canon PowerShot SD1200 a professional camera?

The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS is not a professional camera, as that is not its intended purpose. Instead, it’s a simple point-and-shoot camera perfect for taking photos in your spare time.

How do I charge my Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS?

The battery adapter with your Canon PowerShot SD1200 would be best to charge the camera. First, place the battery in the charger’s compartment, then connect the charger to a power source. When the battery has received a complete charge, an indication will appear on the adapter.

How long does Canon PowerShot SD1200 last?

The Canon PowerShot SD1200 will have a highly variable lifetime depending on its use and maintenance. However, if you take the necessary precautions, it should last for many years.

How can I charge my Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS camera without a charger?

Charging your Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS camera without an adapter is not recommended. Using an unofficial or third-party charging technique can cause injury to the camera’s battery or the camera itself. Therefore, you are strongly advised to use the provided adapter or a compatible replacement battery.

How do I reset my Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS?

Follow these instructions to return your Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS camera to its original settings at the factory:

First, put the camera in the off position.

While doing so, press and maintain your finger on the “FUNC./SET” button and the “DISP.” button.

Turn on the camera while continuing to press and hold the controls.

Put the buttons to the side.

Followed by pressing the “FUNC./SET” button after using the navigational controls to select “Reset all.”

After making your selection with the navigational controls, confirm it by pressing the “FUNC./SET” button again.

The settings on the camera will be restored to their original manufacturing defaults before it powers off by itself.

Be aware that rebooting your camera will wipe out your personalized settings, including the date and time, the language you prefer, and any other preferences you may have.



Joseph is a talented photographer and videographer based in the USA, with a thriving career as a freelance creative. Over the past several years, he has had the privilege of working with renowned brands, capturing captivating images and videos. His portfolio encompasses a diverse range of subjects, specializing in fashion, portrait, and lifestyle content creation. From editorial shoots to engaging social media videos, Joseph's versatile skills ensure exceptional visual storytelling in every project. Beyond his professional endeavors, he nurtures a personal passion for travel and nature photography, channeling his deep appreciation for the environment into a commitment to sustainability and environmental causes.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply