Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS Review

The Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS design has a sensor with a resolution of 14.1 megapixels and a 4x optical zoom lens with a range that is similar to 28-112mm on a 35mm camera. This provides a suitable wide-angle to a moderate telephoto perspective.

Over the course of the zoom range, the maximum aperture shifts from f/2.8 to f/5.9. To fight blur caused by camera shake, Canon thoughtfully built the SD1400 IS with a genuine optical image stabilization technology. This helps the camera capture clearer images.

The Canon SD1400 IS does not have any kind of viewfinder, either an optical or an electronic one; instead, the LCD display on the back of the camera is used for all interaction. The display of the PowerShot SD1400 has a diagonal measurement of 2.7 inches and delivers a resolution of 230,000 dots, which is roughly equivalent to a pixel array measuring 320 by 240 pixels with three dots per color.

It is believed that the LCD coverage is roughly one hundred percent. The Canon SD1400 is capable of recording high-definition movie clips at a resolution of 720p (1,280 x 720), as well as standard definition movie clips at either VGA (640 x 480) or QVGA (320 x 240) resolution, at a rate of 30 frames per second in H.264 MOV format, and including monoaural audio. It can also record still images at resolutions up to 4,320 x 3,240 pixels.

When it comes to ELPH cameras, the Canon SD1400 is the model that offers everything you might want. You only need to frame the subject, make any necessary adjustments to the composition by zooming in or out, and then hit the shutter button. The Canon SD1400 IS is responsible for all of the strenuous work. And at the end of it all, you’ll get a great photo with 14 megapixels.

Bode And Design

Look and Feel

The Canon SD1400 must not include any animal products. If you feel around for it in your pocket or handbag, you can get it confused with your mobile phone because of how thin it is. Make sure you’re not getting mixed up by utilizing the wrist strap.

Another reason to utilize the wrist strap is that the front surface of the Canon SD1400 is completely smooth. There is nothing, not even elevated type, to grasp onto. There is nothing. It has no grip.

Although Canon provided the black version for our evaluation, the device is also available with a silver exterior. The black variant had a nice appearance, but it was difficult to make out what each indicator represented. After becoming familiar with the functions of the buttons, you won’t spend a lot of time reading the icons, although the black shell did provide one challenge.

I was attempting to open the hatch that leads to the battery compartment on the underside of the camera. I found it really peculiar that there was a pretty huge rubber flap. My curiosity led me to wonder if the Canon SD1400 is so thin that the battery cover consists of nothing more than a gasket. I lifted the lid all the way up and removed it entirely. Without first opening the compartment, which may be accessed by moving to the right and sliding outward.

The secret is to first remove the battery and then secure the plastic door when you have finished. After that, bend the two flaps backward so that the post may be moved forward from its base. As you insert the post into its hole on the compartment cover, you’ll see that it creates an excellent handle. After you have turned the head through, you may realign the other components of the cover, and it will be seated back into its original position. It is preferable to not remove the flap in any way.

Because the body of the Canon SD1400 is so narrow, the typical Zoom lever was reportedly unable to be incorporated into the design. The little switch that is located next to the shutter button on Canon cameras is functional and was the solution that the company settled on.

In addition, there was no space on the sides for anything other than the eyelet for the wrist strap. In order to conceal the USB and micro HDMI ports, Canon designed the rear panel with a small door that is located in the upper right corner of the panel.

The socket for the tripod that is located on the bottom panel is made of metal. On the black model, the only other feature that can be considered glossy and dazzling is the chrome shutter button.

Controls

The power button on the Canon SD1400 is rather small and located in the middle of the top panel. It has a little depression, allowing you to locate it by touch, but being in the center of everything is a big benefit. I was concerned that it would be difficult to locate and make use of, but it did not turn out to be the case. It served its intended purpose, but only just barely.

The Zoom switch that is located directly to its right has very little travel and insistently protrudes outward. That is a positive development. Because the zooming was so smooth and quick, without any jerkiness, I was able to arrange my photographs without having to flip the Zoom lever on the Canon SD1400.

Even though it does not project from the top panel, the huge Shutter button was not difficult to locate. Pressing this button when in Playback mode initiates the Record mode on the camera. It looks like you’re holding a little bar of hotel soap, and the only discernible control is the Zoom button, which is very, very slightly raised.

A Mode switch can be found on the rear panel of the Canon SD1400. It is located to the right of the Playback button. That makes a great deal of intuitive sense. The Mode switch toggles between the three different Recording modes, and the Playback button permits rapid access to your captured images (or quickly return to Record mode).

The Playback button on the Canon SD1400 also serves the purpose of turning the camera on and off, which has the added benefit of preventing the lens from retracting. If you powered the camera on using the battery, all you need to do to switch it off is hit the Playback button on the back of the device. Otherwise, it will simply take you back to the Record screen.

Just below it is the standard ELPH four-way navigator, which also has a Func./Set button in the center of it. In the Record mode, the Up arrow also controls the EV Compensation, and in the Playback mode, it controls the rotation. The right arrow key cycles through the several Flash mode options. In Record mode, pressing the Down arrow cycles between the several self-timer settings, while in Playback mode, it deletes photos. Additionally, you may access several focus modes including Macro, Normal, and Infinity by pressing the Left button.

The navigation on the Canon SD1400 presented me with a few challenges at times. Because it is a single ring but it is somewhat recessed, it required more work than it should have in order to push any of the arrow keys. In order to completely depress an arrow key, I would frequently resort to using a fingernail.

The buttons for displaying and accessing the menu are located underneath the navigator. The Display button on the Canon SD1400 moves you through the various LCD display settings, while the Menu button navigates you to the camera’s many configuration options.

The LCD itself is 2.7 inches in size (as opposed to the 3-inch LCD that a lot of compacts use these days), and it has 230K pixels (which counts as high resolution in a compact digicam). Because it can be seen clearly even when seen at an angle, you can even hold the Canon SD1400 over your head and still have some notion of what the camera is focusing on. On the surface that reduces glare it is possible to leave fingerprints, although they may be removed rather fast. I have to confess that I did not miss having a 3-inch LCD at all.

Lens

The 28mm wide-angle to the 112mm intermediate telephoto coverage provided by the Canon SD1400’s 4x optical zoom lens is comparable to a 35mm camera’s focal length range of 28mm to 112mm. However, I frequently found myself shooting in the range of a digital zoom of four times, even when the subject was just a fair distance away, such as across the street.

Because the lens of the Canon SD1400 is equipped with Canon’s optical image stabilization, blurring caused by camera shake will not be an issue even if you are forced to disable the flash (in a museum, for example).

The wide-angle lens has a maximum aperture of f/2.8, while the telephoto lens has a maximum aperture of f/5.9. On the other hand, the Canon SD1400 IS does not provide you with any direct control over the aperture or the shutter speed.

Modes

Recording modes on this year’s ELPH cameras from Canon have been made more user-friendly. The Scene modes and Special Scene modes have been significantly condensed and are now grouped together under the Program setting. This is feasible due to the fact that the green Auto setting has been upgraded to a Smart Auto, which pleased me by being a little bit quicker than the clever auto of other tiny digital cameras (including the SD1300 IS). At long last, a high-definition video option has been incorporated into the Canon SD1400.

Canon’s implementation of intelligent Auto is referred to as Smart Auto. However, in contrast to the other methods, Smart Auto does not choose a Scene mode. Instead, it analyzes the situation and adjusts the camera to one of 22 possible presets. Each of these presets has its own symbol and color scheme that can be viewed on the LCD screen of the camera.

If the camera finds humans in the picture, for instance, it will evaluate whether or not those people are backlit by a strong source of light, such as the sun, or whether or not the sky is blue. If the illumination is dim, it checks to see if the camera is mounted on a tripod (how it determines this is something I haven’t been able to figure out). The symbol representing humans, which may or may not include sun or moon, will appear in one of three colors based on the circumstances that were detected by the camera.

Both distant and nearby subjects, such as landscapes (which may contain a fourth color), should be treated in the same manner.

In Smart Auto mode, the camera takes all of the decisions about exposure for you (including turning off EV Compensation, ISO, and White Balance, among other settings), but there are a few that you may customize. These include the Flash (just Auto or Off), all of the options for the Self-Timer, and the Image Size.

Program is still considered an automated mode (you can’t directly adjust the shutter speed or aperture, but you can modify the ISO), despite the fact that it provides you control over the majority of exposure decisions. On the four-way navigator, the EV Compensation option, the Focus mode option, and the full Flash option are all turned on. There are options for ISO, White Balance, My Colors, Metering, Release Mode, and Image Size on the menu that is accessed by pressing the Func./Set button.

Menu

A new design of menu that is entirely vertical and displays two Scene modes.

In addition, you may access the Canon SD1400’s Scene modes through the Program mode. These include Program, Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Smart Shutter (Smile, Wink Self-timer, Face Detection Self-timer), Low Light (3.5-Mp image size), Color Accent, Color Swap, Fisheye Effect, Miniature Effect (reduced depth of field on landscapes), Beach, Underwater, Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter, and Stitch Assist. There is also a Miniature Effect that

Using the Smart Shutter technology offered by Canon, you are able to take photos that automatically catch grins or set the self-timer to activate once a wink is made. When you enter a scene, your presence will be detected using a facial detection self-timer mode.

Movie mode may record video at a resolution of 1,280 by 720 at a frame rate of 30 frames per second for up to 10 minutes or 4GB each clip. Additionally, it can record video at 640 by 480 or 320 by 240 at a frame rate of 30 for up to 60 minutes or 4GB per clip. You have the option of using a quiet digital zoom, and the sound will still be captured. Memory cards with an SD Speed Class 4 rating or above are suggested.

The Movie selections are shown on the LCD as 1280 or Standard. However, the number 1280 should not be mistaken for the number 1080. The Canon SD1400 IS is capable of recording video in the 720p format, which is the more compact of the two HD formats in terms of picture height.

When you have mastered the controls, the menu system, and other components of the Canon SD1400, you will find that they are quite user-friendly (which seems to change a little on each model). Simply press the Function button after selecting a Record mode to view the available shooting modes and settings. To access the general camera settings options at any time, use the Menu button.

The menu system found on the Canon SD1400 differs slightly from that seen on earlier Canon cameras. Displayed in a horizontal fashion, Canon’s primary menu selections have usually been located to the left side of the screen, while submenu options have been located at the bottom of the screen. On the other hand, the submenu options for the Canon SD1400 are displayed on a second vertical menu that is adjacent to the one that is located on the left side of the LCD. Believe it or not, that took a little bit of time for me to get accustomed to.

However, it had the benefit of being able to scroll without being stopped. If you want to see all of the Scene mode choices on the SD1300, for instance, you have to hit the Display button first. You only need to keep scrolling while using the Canon SD1400.

Storage & Battery

The Canon SD1400 is compatible with the following types of SD cards: SD, SDHC, and SDXC Memory Cards, as well as MultiMediaCards, MMC Plus Cards, and HC MMC Plus Cards. When capturing video, a card with a Class 4 or higher rating is suggested.

There are 1,058 high-resolution photographs that may be stored on a card that is 4 gigabytes in size (a 3,597K file size). A 4-gigabyte card has the capacity to store 21 minutes and 23 seconds of video at the highest quality level.

A compact lithium-ion rechargeable battery is the source of power for the Canon SD1400 (NB-4L). According to CIPA standards, Canon estimates that the battery will last for approximately 230 shots. The cost of a second battery is going to be $59.99. A fake battery serves as the power connection for the optional AC adapter kit (ACK-DC10), which may be purchased for the additional cost of $70.

Shooting

Because the Canon SD1400 is such a sleek-looking portable device, I didn’t give it a second thought before bringing it along with me wherever I went. Airports, restaurants, parks, museums, and just about everything else are included in this category.

Fish-eye. No issue.

It was so quick that I was able to beat an iPhone for a picture when I was at a restaurant, and I was able to take candid pictures of the people at my table before anybody realized what I was doing. This sleek black casing does not exactly scream “Camera!” to the world.

The flash performance of the Canon SD1400 was both intelligent and powerful, holding back for close subjects such as the light bulb while simultaneously illuminating the entire garage. This performance was comparable to that of the SD1300.

In addition, taking close-up pictures with the Canon SD1400 was a great deal of fun. Even though the carpenter’s pencil demonstrates the shallowest depth of focus when shot at ISO 75, it is still crisp enough to display good detail.

Additionally, the collection includes a few macro photographs of flowers, some of which have an almost three-dimensional effect. To achieve a wonderful up-close shot, all you need to do is combine the Program or Auto mode with the Macro focus option (located on the left arrow), and your camera will do the rest.

If you want to get an accurate assessment of the full-resolution 14-megapixel photographs that are displayed on your computer, you need to move your chair back twice as far as you normally would. Again, this is just a word of warning.

In the end, the photographs are rather grainy and not nearly as crisp as those produced by the Canon SD1300; nevertheless, this is typically the trade-off that is made when a camera is made to be this compact. You can determine whether the Canon SD1400 will function well enough for you by looking at the print quality shown below.

Fish-eye and miniature are two scene modes that are not accessible on the SD1300 that I experimented with a little bit. Fish-eye is a fascinating distortion to play around with, which is demonstrated by the gallery photo of an SD card.

Digital Zoom. Keeps its form well.

The miniature, on the other hand, was more difficult to execute successfully. You must choose a suitable topic and place it in an appropriate context. The effect simply blurs the top and bottom of the frame, giving the impression that you are shooting a close-up photograph of a miniature.

The process is commonly known as tilt-and-shift, although that description does not really reflect what is going on here. The band shell in Golden Gate Park provided me with the greatest possible sample.

The photographs that were taken at the park were captured using both the Auto and Program shooting settings. When I was trying to preserve the highlights for several of them, I had to sneak into the Program in order to use the EV Compensation feature.

The statue of Verdi serves as an illustration of the issue. The initial photo is taken in Auto mode. The next option is the Program setting with -1.3 EV. In Playback mode, I examined the histograms in order to make my assessment of the results.

The Quality of Lens

In terms of sharpness, the Canon PowerShot SD1400’s wide-angle end of the zoom range exhibits significant blurring in the frame’s extreme corners, with the most pronounced occurrences occurring in the right corners of the frame. On the other hand, blurring of this magnitude does not extend very far into the primary picture region. When set to telephoto, the Canon SD1400 created corners that were reasonably crisp.

Distortion of the Geometry

At wide-angle, there is a barrel distortion that is comparable to the average (0.7 percent), which is sufficient to be observable. At telephoto, there is a very slight degree of barrel distortion present (0.2 percent), however, it does not significantly affect the image quality.

Aberration of Chromatic Color

Chromatic aberration is severe regardless of whether the lens is set to wide-angle or telephoto, and there is a clear distinction between the bright pixels at either end of the zoom range.

Macro

Even though there is considerable blurring and chromatic aberration radiating around the corners and edges of the picture when using the Macro mode on the Canon PowerShot SD1400, the camera is able to capture crisp details in the center of the frame.

The smallest area that must be covered is 1.48 inches by 1.11 inches (38 x 28mm). The flash on the camera created a highly uneven exposure, which was mostly caused by the position of the flash on the camera and how close it was to the subject. Therefore, the optimum illumination for the closest macro images will come from the outside.

Image Quality

Color

Bright greens are pushed quite a bit by the Canon PowerShot SD1400, and strong blues and reds are likewise a little bit oversaturated in the camera’s output. When it comes to the accuracy of hue, cyan leans more toward blue, while certain reds lean more toward orange, and brilliant yellows lean more toward green.

Yellow undertones can be seen in darker skin tones, although lighter skin tones can also be described as having a yellow undertone. The performance in this area is somewhat below average, but it is not sufficient to be categorized as poor.

ISO

Noise and Detail Despite the fact that the Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS makes noticeable attempts to minimize picture noise as early as ISO 80, the majority of tiny details may still be seen in the image. In point of fact, fine detail is preserved rather well up to around ISO 200, but beyond that, definition drastically decreases. See the section below titled “Printed findings” for additional information on how this appears on paper.

Flash

Even when the ISO was increased to 500 in our tests, the manufacturer-recommended maximum wide-angle distance of 13 feet still produced brilliant results. This can be seen in the image on the right.

The pictures are still quite brilliant when taken at a telephoto-rated distance of 6.6 feet; however, this time the ISO was increased to 500. Therefore, as long as you stay within the recommended light output distances, the flash that comes with the Canon PowerShot SD1400 should be able to handle most typical scenarios.

Incandescent

Although the Manual white balance setting of the PowerShot SD1400 IS did the best in this scenario, the Auto setting wasn’t too far off the target either. The effects of using the incandescent setting were quite pink.

Performance

Shutter lag

The lag time for the full autofocus shutter is decent, coming in around 0.57 seconds when shooting at wide-angle and 0.60 seconds while shooting at maximum telephoto. The prefocus shutter latency is 0.081 seconds, which is somewhat slower than the norm but is still rather fast.

The length of one cycle

In single-shot mode, the camera has a cycle time that is rather sluggish, taking a picture once every 2.58 seconds. The SD1400 has a burst speed of 0.7 frames per second while shooting at full quality, according to Canon.

Recycle Flash Lights

After a discharge of its maximum amount of power, the flash of the Canon PowerShot SD1400 takes seven seconds to recycle.

In the Box

  • These items are included in the retail package:
  • Digital ELPH camera housing for the Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS.
  • NB-4L Battery Pack that is Powered by Lithium-ion
  • Charger for a CB-2LV Battery
  • WS-DC7 Wrist strap
  • IFC-400PCU USB cable
  • AVC-DC400 AV cable
  • Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM

Specifications

Body typeUltracompact
Max resolution4320 x 3240
Other resolutions4320 x 2432, 3456 x 2592, 2592 x 1944, 2144 x 1608, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480
Image ratio w:h4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels14 megapixels
Sensor photo detectors15 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
ProcessorDigic 4
ISOAuto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
Focal length (equiv.)28–112 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF2.8–5.9
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)SingleLive View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusNo
Normal focus range50 cm (19.69″)
Macro focus range3 cm (1.18″)
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size2.7″
Screen dots230,000
Touch screenNo
Live viewNo
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1500 sec
Aperture priorityNo
Shutter priorityNo
Manual exposure modeNo
Subject / scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes
Flash range4.00 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-eye, Fill-in, Slow Syncro
Continuous drive0.7 fps
Self-timerYes (2 sec or 10 sec, Custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Resolutions1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps)
FormatH.264
MicrophoneMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC/MMC/MMCplus/MMCplus HC
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NB-4L battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries)133 g (0.29 lb / 4.69 oz)
Dimensions92 x 56 x 18 mm (3.62 x 2.2 x 0.71″)
Orientation sensorYes

Final Verdict

The Canon SD1400 is one of the most visually appealing digital single-lens reflex cameras that Canon has produced. The expanded Clever Auto mode can configure the camera in 22 different ways so that you don’t have to fumble with the settings. The thin design with rounded corners is also fairly smart; and what is also smart is that the upgraded Smart Auto mode can set the camera.

Program mode allows you access to all of the camera’s settings other than the aperture and shutter speed, making it ideal for those who enjoy tinkering. And of course, you always have the option to play about with the optical image stabilization and the 4x optical zoom, as well as the 4x digital zoom.

Fish-Eye and Miniature are the two extra Scene modes that come with the Canon SD1400, which can be purchased for around $50 more than the SD1300 IS. Additionally, the Canon SD1400 is capable of recording 720p high-definition video.

Due to the high levels of noise present on the 14-megapixel sensor of the Canon SD1400, the picture quality of the photographs produced by this camera is actually poorer than that of the SD1300. If you intend to produce big prints or crop from your prints, you will need to forego the special features and sleek form of the Canon SD1400 in favor of the crisper SD1300. This is because the Canon SD1400 is not capable of doing either of these things. I would also like it if the optical zoom range was larger, if exposures taken in bright sunshine did not cut the highlights, and if the video could zoom out from the beginning scene rather than simply in.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • 28mm equivalent wide-angle lens
    The mode in the fish’s eye
  • Pleasant in appearance
  • Edges that are rounded and smooth
  • The Smart Auto mode performs admirably.
Need Improvement
  • Simple to let go of.
  • Excessive anti-noise processing at all ISO settings
  • Detail fades fast as ISO climbs
  • The flare of the lens is seen in several of the images.
  • At wide-angle, the corners are rounded.

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