Canon PowerShot SD790 IS Review

The Canon PowerShot SD790 IS Digital ELPH has a 1/2.3-inch CCD imager with 10 megapixels and a Canon-branded 3x optical zoom lens with image stabilization. This lens covers a standard 35-105mm equivalent range, comparable to a moderate wide-angle to medium telephoto.

There are four different metering modes, including one that connects metering to the face identification mechanism of the camera. The exposure is automated, but you may adjust it with 2.0 EV exposure correction and four different metering modes to tackle challenging lighting. In addition, the Canon SD790 has twelve scene settings, making it user-friendly for novices.

The Canon SD790 IS ELPH digital camera features a long-exposure mode that allows users to manually select exposure periods of up to 15 seconds. Additionally, the camera features a substantial 3.0-inch PureColor LCD II display that assists users in framing shots, eliminating the need for an optical viewfinder. The Canon SD790 gets its power from a proprietary lithium-ion battery pack known as the NB-5L, and it is rated to produce 330 photos on a single charge with the LCD turned on (CIPA method).

Canon PowerShot SD790 IS Design

Size has always been at the core of the ELPH’s attraction, and the SD790 IS preserves that advantage while adding a lit.
Size has always been at the core of the ELPH’s attraction, and the SD790 IS preserves that advantage while adding a lit.

The device’s rear is appealing, thanks to a 3-inch LCD with 230,000 pixels and straightforward die-cut buttons above and below the revolving navigation dial. This new dial may also be used to choose a sub-mode (if a bit awkwardly). The Print/Share and Playback buttons may be at the screen’s top. Display and Menu make up the bottom two buttons. The Control Dial’s Up arrow is used for ISO, Right for Flash modes, Down for Trash/Shutter Release modes, and Left for Focus modes. The Self-Timer is accessed with the Down arrow. You will see a “thumb grip” consisting of eight raised bumps between the top buttons and the LCD.

A nicely hidden USB port and an eyelet for attaching the strap are on the other end of the camera. The speaker is the only thing on the camera’s left side (or bottom). The camera’s base is as essential as the top, with a door that slides out to reveal the battery and card storage and a metal tripod connector directly below the LCD’s center.

Canon PowerShot SD790 IS Performance

Since the SD790 IS is powered by Canon’s most advanced CPU (the same one used in the company’s digital SLRs), you might anticipate that it would perform above average on our basic tests; in fact, it does.

Its starting time of 1.5 seconds (during which the lens stretches) and its shutdown time of 1.1 seconds is significantly longer than what is considered typical for modern small digital cameras.

In addition, its combined autofocus lag is only 0.541 seconds (0.48 wide, 0.60 tele), which is above average in a sector that is becoming increasingly responsive. Furthermore, nobody who used this camera has mentioned having any problems with the shutter lag. To put the finishing touches on the cake, the prefocus lag takes a speedy 0.072 seconds. However, the cycle time was average for a digital camera with 10 megapixels.

The download went quite quickly, at 5,831K bytes per second. Instead of inserting a USB cable into the slot in the upper right corner, which is nicely covered, I used a foldable USB/SD card and an Eye-Fi wireless card in the camera. However, there is no fee for utilizing a cable at that rate of speed.

Canon PowerShot SD790 IS Image Quality

Image quality is all that matters when utilizing the camera, even though performance is an essential consideration. So how excellent are the pictures taken with the SD790 IS?

As with other digital cameras in its class, the pincushion distortion was high at telephoto, coming in at less than 0.1 percent. The barrel distortion at a wide angle was high at 0.9 percent. Even at wide angles, there was a lot of chromatic aberration, which was made worse by the blur in the corners. That makes a much bigger deal than it is. I cannot think of a single small digital camera that does not have the same problem.

Even though there were excessive reds and blues, the color was generally attractive and vivid. This class has a propensity to oversaturate, to make photos “pop,” and to dazzle you, so that’s saying something because the opposite is true. If you overwhelmed yourself and strolled around town, you would get hit by a bus. The Canon gets near to reproducing natural color, which everyone around here values highly.

The results of our lab tests get to the heart of the issue. There are some difficulties with corner blur (the strands are more transparent towards the bottom) and highlight leakage in the ISO 100 Still Life. However, you can still make out the mosaic design on the bottle of Hellas vinegar, and the proportions appear to be accurate.

Canon PowerShot SD790 IS Specifications

Model Name:Canon PowerShot SD790 IS 
Manufacturer URL:Manufacturer website
Model Number:SD790 IS
Alternate Model Number(s): 
Camera Format:Ultra Compact
Currently Manufactured:No
Retail Price:$349.99
Street Price:$200.97
Date Available:2008-03-31
Tripod Mount:Yes
Weight:6.3 oz (179 g)
includes batteries
Size:3.6 x 2.2 x 0.8 in.
(92 x 57 x 21 mm)
Waterproof Depth:n/a
Image Sensor
Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Manufacturer: 
Effective Megapixels:10.0
Sensor Format:1/2.3 inch
Sensor size:28.0735mm2 (6.17mm x 4.55mm)
Approximate Pixel Pitch:1.69 microns
Focal Length Multiplier:n/a
Aspect Ratio:4:3, 16:9
Color Filter Type:RGBG
Anti-Aliasing Filter: 
Sensor shift image stabilization:No
On-Sensor Phase Detect:No
DxO Sensor Score: 
DxO Color Depth Score (bits): 
DxO Dynamic Range Score (evs): 
DxO Maximum Effective ISO Score (iso): 
Image Capture
Image Resolution:3648 x 2736 (10.0 MP, 4:3),
3648 x 2048 (7.5 MP, 16:9),
2816 x 2112 (5.9 MP, 4:3),
2272 x 1704 (3.9 MP, 4:3),
1600 x 1200 (1.9 MP, 4:3),
640 x 480 (0.3 MP, 4:3)
Image File Format:JPEG (EXIF 2.2)
Continuous-mode frames/second:1.3
Video Capture
Can take movies:Yes
Movie Resolution:640×480 (30/​1/​0.5)
320×240 (30)
160×120 (15)
Movie File Format:AVI (Motion JPEG)
Composite Video Out:Yes
NTSC/PAL Switchable Video:Yes
Video Usable as Viewfinder:
HD Video Out:
HD Video Connection:
Lens & Optics
Lens Mount:n/a
Lens:Canon Zoom Lens (6 elements in 5 groups, including two aspherical)
Focal Length (35mm equivalent):35 – 105mm
Focal Length (actual):6.2 – 18.6mm
Zoom Ratio:3.00x
Aperture Range:f/2.8 or f/8 (W) / f/4.9 or f/14 (T)
Integrated ND Filter:No
Normal Focus Range:30 cm to Infinity
11.8 into Infinity
Macro Focus Range:3 – 50 cm
1.2 – 19.7 in
Filter Thread:n/a
Thread Type:n/a
Optical Image Stabilization:Yes
Digital Zoom:Yes
Digital Zoom Values:Up to 4x
Auto Focus
Auto Focus:Yes
Auto Focus Type:9-point Contrast Detect AF with Face Detection
Auto Focus Assist Light?Yes
Manual Focus:No
Viewfinder Type: 
Focus Peaking:No
EVF Resolution:n/a
Viewfinder Magnification (35mm equivalent): 
Viewfinder Magnification (nominal/claimed): 
Eye-level Viewfinder:No
Rear Display:Yes
Rear Display Size (inches):3.0
Rear Display Resolution:230,000 dots
Articulating Screen:No
Tilt Swivel Screen:No
Selfie Screen:No
Max Playback Zoom:10.0x
Top Deck Display:
Maximum ISO (native): 
Minimum ISO (native): 
ISO Settings:Auto, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200* (*special scene mode)
Auto ISO Mode:Yes
White Balance Settings:Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Shutter Speed Range:1/1500 – 15 sec
Bulb Mode:No
Exposure Compensation:+/- 2.0EV in 0.3EV steps
Metering Modes:Evaluative, Center-weighted average, Spot, Face Detect AE
Program Auto Exposure:Yes
Aperture Priority:No
Shutter Priority:No
Full Manual Exposure:No
Creative Exposure Modes:Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Sunset, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, Aquarium, Underwater, ISO 3200, Color Accent, Color Swap
Self Timer:1 – 30 seconds
Time Lapse (intervalometer):Yes
High-Resolution Composite:No
Built-in Flash:Yes
Flash Modes:Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Auto Red-eye Correction, Flash On, Flash Off; FE lock, Slow Synchro
Flash Guide Number (ISO 100):n/a
Flash Range Description:Auto ISO 11 ft / 3.3 m (W), 6.6 ft./ 2.0 m (T)
Max Flash Sync:1/500
Flash Exposure Compensation: 
External Flash Connection:n/a
Built-In Wireless Flash Control: 
Image Storage
Usable Memory Types:SD / SDHC
UHS Support: 
Other Memory: 
Dual Card Slots:No
RAW Capture Support:No
Uncompressed Format: 
Movie File Format:AVI (Motion JPEG)
Included Memory:No memory included
Included Memory Type: 
Built-In Wi-Fi:No
Built-In GPS:No
Microphone Jack:No
Headphone Jack:No
External Connections:USB 2.0 High Speed
PictBridge Compliant:Yes
DPOF Compliant:Yes
Remote Control:
Remote Control Type: 
Connections (extended):Multipurpose USB/AV connector
Performance Timing
Cycle time for JPEG shooting in single shot mode (seconds per frame, max resolution):2.09
Cycle time for RAW shooting in single shot mode (seconds per frame): 
Buffer size for RAW shooting in single shot mode (frames): 
Cycle time for RAW+JPEG shooting in single shot mode (seconds per shot): 
Does the camera penalize early shutter press?No
JPEG shooting speed in burst mode (fps, max resolution):1.3
Buffer size for JPEG shooting in burst mode (frames, max resolution):Unlimited
RAW shooting speed in burst mode (fps): 
Buffer size for RAW shooting in burst mode (frames): 
RAW+JPEG shooting speed in burst mode (fps): 
Buffer Size for RAW+JPEG shooting in burst mode (frames): 
Shutter lag (full AF, wide/mid):0.48 seconds
Shutter lag (full AF, tele):0.60 seconds
Shutter lag (full AF, live view – DSLR): 
Shutter lag (prefocused, live view – DSLR): 
Shutter Lag (manual focus): 
Shutter lag (full AF, with flash):1.70 seconds
Shutter Lag (prefocused):0.072 seconds
Shutter Lag (notes): 
Startup Time:1.5 seconds
Play -> Record Time:2.1 seconds
Flash cycle time, full power:6.7 seconds
Battery Life, Stills (CIPA Rating Monitor/Live View):330 shots
Battery Life, Still (CIPA Rating OVF/EVF): 
Battery Life, Video: 
Battery Form Factor:Proprietary NB-5L
Usable Battery Types:Lithium-ion rechargeable
Batteries Included:1 x Proprietary NB-5L Lithium-ion rechargeable
Battery Charger Included (dedicated charger or AC/USB adapter):Yes
Dedicated Battery Charger Included:
Internal Charging Supported:
Included Software:Canon Software Suite CD-ROM
OS Compatibility:Windows, Mac OS

Canon PowerShot SD790 IS the Final Verdict

The sleek Canon SD790 IS ELPH is challenging to overlook since it has a large sensor with 10 megapixels and an LCD screen with high quality 3 inches in size. When you consider technologies like Canon’s Face Detection and Motion Detection, which are all managed by the company’s most advanced DIGIC III image processor, even what you can’t see is stunning. It suffers from the same corner softness and chromatic aberration issues that plague many small digital cameras, mainly when used at wide angles.

That, though, may be overlooked. In particular, if you do a lot of landscape photography, you are less likely to miss the modest 3x zoom that this camera has. The dynamic range and natural color capture of the Canon SD790 have wowed me regarding the camera’s ability to produce high-quality images, though. You’ll never want to be without it because it is convenient to carry around.

Canon PowerShot SD790 IS FAQs

Is picture quality canon PowerShot SD790 IS?

The image quality of the Canon PowerShot SD790 IS generally considered to be excellent, particularly for a compact digital camera of its period.

This is especially the case when compared to other cameras in its class. In addition, it has a resolution of 10 megapixels and several sophisticated features, including picture stabilization and manual controls.

When was the Canon PowerShot SD790 IS made?

In 2007, Canon introduced the PowerShot SD790 IS digital camera.

Is Canon PowerShot SD790 a DSLR?

The Canon PowerShot SD790 IS is not a DSLR camera like some of Canon’s other models. Instead, it is a high-end digital compact camera for more experienced hobbyist photographers.

Is Canon PowerShot SD790 suitable for wildlife photography?

It is possible that the Canon PowerShot SD790 IS is not the best choice for wildlife photography due to its restricted magnification range and slower autofocus when compared to more advanced cameras.

Image stabilization and manual settings are just two examples of the more advanced features included in this camera. As a result, it may perform well when photographing wildlife at close range, but it may have trouble recording subjects that are further away.

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