Canon PowerShot SD890 IS Review

The Canon SD890 IS is a 10-megapixel point-and-shoot camera that contains a 5x optical zoom lens that is integrated with Canon’s image stabilizer. This image stabilizer actually moves the lens elements when movement is detected, which helps to prevent fuzzy shots.

Key Specs

  • 10.0-megapixel CCD 5x optical zoom lens (equivalent to a 37-185mm lens on a 35mm camera)
  • 4x digital zoom.
  • 2.5-inch color LCD monitor
  • Viewfinder that uses optics
  • Program Automatic Exposure
  • Full Auto exposure mode
  • Integrated flash with a red-eye mitigation feature
  • SD/SDHC compatibility, as well as MMC/MMC Plus Card/HC MMC Plus Card compatibility
  • connection through a mini-B jack for USB 2.0 High-Speed.
  • Included are both a rechargeable lithium-ion battery and a charger.
  • Software compatible with Macs and PCs

In addition to the simple point-and-shoot options that are available on other cameras, the Canon SD890 IS provides the user with the ability to make adjustments to the camera’s sharpness, contrast, and saturation levels, as well as a plethora of color options that allow the user to emphasize certain colors, lighten or darken skin tones, and more. The Canon SD890 IS is a versatile camera that performs admirably both indoors and out because to its inclusion of both a 2.5-inch LCD and an optical viewfinder, which is unusual in modern cameras.

The Canon SD890 is capable of capturing photographs even when there is very little available light because of its image stabilization and high ISO performance that is above average.

Face Detection is a feature included in the Canon SD890 IS that, when activated, scans the surrounding area for faces and then makes automated adjustments to the camera’s exposure, flash output, and white balance settings. This feature helps to guarantee that you shoot the best shot possible. The camera also has a Face Detection & Track function, which allows you to zero in on the subject of your photograph and keep the face in focus even if the subject moves while you are shooting the image.

With a focal range that extends from 37mm to 185mm, its 5x optical zoom offers a telephoto reach that is far better than typical (35mm-equivalent). Photographers who desire a pocketable snapshot camera may enhance their picture-taking capabilities with this camera. This eliminates the need for a bigger digital camera or add-on lenses, both of which are bulkier and more expensive options.

Special Functions

  • Optical Image Stabilization
  • ISO between 100 and 1,600, and a Scene Mode ISO of 3,200 (at lower resolution)
  • Detection of Faces
  • Face Detection and Tracking Technology
  • Intelligent ISO mode
  • Modifications to the contrast, sharpness, and saturation
  • Alternative color schemes, such as Bright, Neutral, Black-and-White, Sepia, and Lighter/Darker Skin Tones
  • Options for individualized colors, such as Vivid Red, Vivid Blue, and so on.
  • White balance adjustments available in a variety of modes, including manual
  • Multiple Metering modes
  • Slideshow
  • Playback using the Red-Eye Correction Mode
  • Functions for resizing and trimming images
  • compatibility with the Digital Print Order Format (DPOF), Canon direct print, and PictBridge printing
  • Video recording that also includes sound
  • Available as an add-on is a wireless accessory flash.


The Canon SD890 IS is a 10 megapixel digital camera that is second from the top in Canon’s Digital ELPH line. It is only surpassed in terms of resolution by the Canon SD950 IS, which has 12 megapixels, but the Canon SD890 IS has a 5x optical zoom, which distinguishes it from its siblings and from the majority of the other models available on the market.

When compared to the Canon SD870, which has a wide-angle lens with a focal length of 28 millimeters, the Canon SD890 IS, which has a focus range of 37 millimeters to 185 millimeters, is able to handle the majority of photographic situations and completes Canon’s Digital ELPH product line. The fact that this point-and-shoot camera is small enough to fit in a pocket and doesn’t require any instruction makes it even more tempting to users.

Canon chooses not to highlight the intelligent capabilities of the SD890 IS but instead let the technology operate in the background. Face Detection, as was mentioned earlier, not only recognizes faces but also engages other aspects of the camera’s capabilities to ensure the proper exposure and white balance. These capabilities can be enhanced when the Face Detection & Tracking function is activated. Face Detection also engages other aspects of the camera’s capabilities to ensure the proper exposure and white balance.

There is a good range of scene modes and other point-and-shoot fundamentals available for easy shooting, but there are also enough choices for tweaking to satisfy amateur photographers who want a little bit of control without having to upgrade to a camera with complete manual exposure controls.

Look and Feel

The curved, matte-silver body of the Canon SD890 is the most recent generation of the time-honored ELPH design. Even though it does not have a conventional grip or thumb rest, the Canon SD890 is nonetheless easy to handle owing in part to its curved body. This is despite the fact that its distinctive appearance is undeniably captivating.

Even though it has an image stabilizer, the Canon SD890 IS is a little heavier than other compact point-and-shoot models, weighing in at about 6.4 ounces with the battery and memory card included. Although it is a touch heavier than other models, the additional weight simply makes it easier to hold the camera steady.

The Canon SD890 IS is neither the tiniest or the slimmest product on the market, but its dimensions of 3.76 by 2.26 by 1.08 inches imply that it will not feel like a toy in the hands of people with larger hands. The Canon SD890 IS is unquestionably small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket or handbag; nevertheless, you shouldn’t plan on slipping it into the pocket of your skinniest pair of jeans since it won’t fit.

I find it most convenient to carry the SD890 in a tiny pouch or camera case so that I can easily toss it into my purse without worrying about leaving fingerprints or scratching the lens.

The rear of the Canon SD890 IS is adorned with a 2.5-inch LCD that has 230,000 pixels, yet there is still plenty of area for a control arrangement that makes sense. There is even enough for a little optical viewfinder, despite the fact that it will be quite inaccurate.

It is true that having an optical viewfinder helps preserve battery life since it allows you to turn off the LCD screen when there is insufficient power in the camera. The LCD can be difficult to read in direct sunshine, which is another circumstance in which the viewfinder comes in useful. However, this was not a significant issue with the Canon SD890 IS.

However, the viewfinder is so inaccurate in its framing that when we tried to take a close-up picture of a calendar hanging on the wall, the resulting image showed more of the wall below the camera than what we saw in the viewfinder. Furthermore, when we tested the viewfinder in the laboratory, it was not only inaccurate but also tilted. Prepare yourself for the possibility that the region below your subject will be captured in your photograph, as well as a possible shift to the right.

Be careful if you try to take a photo with a narrow field of vision; instead, use the LCD to see what the image will look like on the screen. This tilted perspective is less likely to be evident in a wide-angle shot of a landscape.

When utilizing the Canon SD890 IS’s 5x optical zoom lens to its full focal length of 185mm, it is extremely crucial to rely on the LCD rather than the optical viewfinder in order to precisely frame the photo you desire. This is because the optical viewfinder will distort the image.

The above-average zoom range of the SD890 IS lens is supported with Canon’s optical image stabilization technology, which performs fairly admirably, but I prefer the shoot-only option (which activates the OIS only when the Shutter button is pressed instead of the battery-draining continuous mode).

When following a subject from side to side, there is also a panning mode that may be used to stabilize the vertical movement of the camera.

A fivefold optical zoom on a digital camera of this size represents unquestionably a step forward in technological development, but it will require some sacrifices on the wide-angle end of the spectrum. The Canon SD890 IS’s lens has a focal length comparable to 37 millimeters, making it significantly narrower than the widest lenses offered by competing models.

For example, the lens on the Canon SD870 IS and all of the point-and-shoot cameras produced by Panasonic have a width of 28 millimeters or wider. If you are more interested in photographing groups of people or landscapes, you may find that one of the latter cameras better suits your needs. But if telephoto is your thing, the Canon SD890 IS’s ability to take such long images is one of its strengths, and it’s one of its selling points.

The lens manufactured by Canon shifts over its focal range in a smooth manner, but in a rather noisy manner. It takes around eight steps to travel from 37mm to 185mm, and then there is a little pause to let you know that you have entered the region of the SD890 IS’s 4x digital zoom. In the menu, you have the option of turning off the digital zoom or setting it to stretch digitally to a maximum of 1.4x or 2.3x.

The maximum aperture of the lens on the SD890 IS is f/3.2 when shooting at wide angle and f/5.7 when shooting at telephoto, therefore it is not the quickest lens on the market in terms of its capacity to gather light. Thankfully, the optical picture stabilization mechanism that Canon incorporates into its cameras helps compensate for the sluggish lens.


The user interface of the Canon SD890 IS is a bit of a mixed bag, with both charming design aspects and a few design choices that raise some eyebrows. Even though it is flush with the surface of the camera, the shutter button is still rather large, making it simple to locate by touch. This is a positive aspect of the camera.

It is just as simple to operate the Zoom lever that is located around where the shutter button is located. A moderately sized Mode Dial is located on the back of the camera. It provides a secure spot for your thumb to rest when you are holding the camera, and as a result, it is within easy reach when you want to switch between Movie Mode, Scene Mode, Manual (which simply provides you with more options within the point-and-shoot scope of the camera), and Auto.

However, the dial is quite difficult to turn and clicking between its many positions might be a challenge.

The Print/Share button is the first of the four buttons that are arranged in a semicircle to the left of the 4-way controller. This button enables you to print directly to Canon printers and other printers that are enabled with PictBridge.

Within the Shooting mode, you have the ability to program this button to perform any one of the following actions with just the touch of a finger: Display Overlay; Movies; Display Off; Play Sound Effect; Red-Eye Correction; Digital Teleconverter; Face Select and Track; Exposure Compensation; White Balance; Custom White Balance; Red-Eye Correction;

The button labeled “Playback” comes up next, followed by the buttons labeled “Display” and “Menu.” Playback Mode is relatively normal, and it gives you the ability to construct and play a Slideshow, apply Red-Eye Correction, Trim, Resize, and Erase, as well as add color effects.

The Display button toggles between the following settings for the liquid crystal display (LCD): off, the picture only, and data display (number of images remaining, shooting mode, image size, ISO, battery remaining, etc.).

Although there is not a live histogram, you are able to evaluate your exposure using a histogram while playing back your video. However, I’d rather have the ability to view the shutter speed and aperture settings, which the Canon SD890 IS displays when the shutter button is down halfway. In exchange for this, I’ll forego the live histogram.

In the center of the Control Dial is a button labeled Function/Set, which is an essential component of every camera. A menu that provides access to the Exposure Compensation, White Balance, My Colors, Metering Mode, and image size/compression settings may be brought up with a single click of the Function button.

Pressing up on the 4-way controller will adjust the ISO, pressing right will adjust the flash settings, pressing down will toggle between Continuous Shooting and the Self-Timer, and pressing to the left will adjust the focus (Normal, Macro, Infinity).

Now for some unsettling information

The Control Dial is not simply a four-way controller; rather, it is in fact a dial. The use of a dial is supposed to make it simpler to navigate menus; nevertheless, the dial itself is so free-turning that it makes it simple to miss the item on the menu that you are attempting to choose.

There are instances when the dial is just unresponsive, and it will not even move back one position. However, if you have the knack for it, you could find that it is a rapid method to traverse the camera’s numerous menu options, which are generally extremely straightforward and simple to use. Failing that, you can always utilize the four-way navigation feature to make your selections.

Regrettably, the dial function of the Control Dial cannot be disabled in any manner.

The Power Button is the last thing worth mentioning regarding the interface of the Canon SD890 IS. When the camera is turned on, a green light shines from within it, which is a great feature. But before you try to hit the On/Off button with the pad of your thumb, be sure that you have at least a moderately long fingernail on that finger. If you don’t, you could experience the same level of frustration as I did in the beginning. It is angled in an awkward way and has a very thin lip made of plastic that has to be pressed.


The Canon SD890 IS is typical of other tiny digital cameras in that it does not include a manual control dial for either the aperture or the shutter speed settings. When the camera is set to Manual mode, you have the ability to make adjustments to the picture capture by using the Exposure Compensation feature.

You may access other settings such as White Balance, Metering, and the entire range of ISO choices (80-1600, Hi, and Auto) by switching to the “Manual” mode, which isn’t actually “Manual” at all. Among other things, this mode enables you to do so.

The SD890 IS naturally comes with a variety of Scene modes, including as Portrait, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Sunset, Foliage, Snow, Beach, Fireworks, and Aquarium, in addition to an ISO 3200 setting.

Automatic Face Detection is included on the Canon SD890 IS, as is becoming increasingly prevalent among cameras in this class. This feature can detect up to nine faces in a picture and guarantees that the correct exposure and white balance have been achieved. To make matters even better, the camera can be programmed to have a Face Detection & Track mode, which enables it to follow a person around once it has detected their face.

Your subject doesn’t have to remain as motionless as a statue because the camera can follow tiny movements even if it won’t always follow that person traveling huge distances.

Even while you probably won’t be using many of the settings on a regular basis, they are undoubtedly a substantial part of the camera’s features and can be found in Canon’s range of point-and-shoot cameras. The My Colors mode is available in all of Canon’s point-and-shoot cameras. If the colors that come pre-set on the camera aren’t to your satisfaction, you may use the Canon SD890 IS to adjust the settings to either make the colors more vivid or make them more neutral.

In addition to this, you also have the option of using Positive Film, Black and White, or Sepia. My Colors also have the ability to highlight blues, greens, and reds, in addition to two different changes for the skin tone (lighter and darker). Within the My Colors menu, tucked away in the Custom Color submenu is where you’ll find the Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Red, Green, and Blue sliders, as well as the Skin Tone option.

After using a number of Canon cameras, I am familiar with the locations of the relevant adjustment menus; still, it would be convenient to have more immediate access to the Contrast, Sharpness, and Saturation settings. Since this configuration has established itself as the norm for these cameras, it is quite unlikely that Canon will decide to modify the system.

On a more upbeat note, My Colors is also accessible within the camera’s Movie mode, giving you the ability to exercise some creative as well as practical control within the camera over the videos you produce.

Both the Storage and the Battery

The Canon SD890 IS, much like the majority of other digital cameras, is compatible with both SD and SDHC (High Capacity) media cards, in addition to MMC cards. The SD890 IS does not come with any internal memory, which is unusual for a camera of this type.

Instead, Canon gives you a 32 MB SD card free of charge when you purchase one of their cameras. However, because this card can only store six high-resolution files at a time, you will need to provide a card with a larger capacity of your own.

You should keep in mind that a 512 MB SD card can hold 110 high-resolution images or 3 minutes and 57 seconds of standard video shot at 640 x 480 pixels at 30 frames per second. Because of this, you will probably want to opt for a minimum of a 1 GB card, and I recommend a 4 GB or larger card, especially if you want to capture video with the Canon SD890 IS.

An NB-5L Battery Pack and either a CB-2LX or CB-2LXE charger are included with the purchase of a Canon SD890 IS. It is estimated that a fully charged battery can take approximately 320 still images (approximately 800 with the LCD turned off) or provide approximately 40 minutes of playback time, which is above average for a camera of this type. The battery can also be used to record approximately one hour of video.

The only accessory for the camera is a Canon HF-DC1 high-power flash; other than that, there are no further accessories available. You may, of course, get an additional battery pack if you want to perform some heavy-duty photography and will not have time to recharge the battery in between or while you are out on your excursions.


I have always had a soft spot for Canon’s Digital ELPH cameras since they are compact, adorable, and produce nice and occasionally even outstanding photographs. The Canon SD890 does not make an exception to this rule.

During the testing process, I stored the SD890 IS either in a padded bag that was packed with another camera or in an adorable leather (leather-like?) case. Since the camera was always stored in the huge purse that I take with me practically wherever I go, I purchased a Hoo-Jah pouch from Crumpler.

With the SD890 IS properly protected from scratches (give me a large handbag, and I’ll fill it with all kinds of stuff that might be detrimental to the surface of a digital camera), I was always ready to shoot wherever and whenever something interesting presented itself, whether it was a family get-together or the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, District of Columbia.

The Canon SD890 IS was a joy to use, with the exception of the interface issues I mentioned before. The LCD performed admirably when used inside, and, with the exception of some efforts to photograph at midday, it was also functional when used outside.

Even though there were times when I wished I had a wider-angle lens than the Canon SD890’s 37mm, I was able to capture some images of the Jefferson Memorial’s columns without having to move too far back, which is a plus when you’re surrounded by crowds of tourists. I was able to do this because the Canon SD890 has a macro mode that allows you to focus on a single point.

The performance of the operations as a whole, on the other hand, is just average. When the image size is set to large/fine, the time between shots is approximately 2.1 seconds, whereas the time between shots drops to 2.0 with only a fraction of a second difference when the image size is set to small/basic. The start-up and shut-down times were measured to be approximately 2.0 and 1.3 seconds, respectively.

Unfortunately, the flash takes around 7.4 seconds to charge after a full-power burst, so you’ll need some patience; nonetheless, it is not unusual for this sort of camera to require you to wait for a bit for the flash to recycle.

Since the onboard flash has certain limitations, it is recommended that you purchase the HF-DC1 auxiliary flash if you take a lot of pictures using the flash. If you do not want to spend the extra money, the onboard flash will suffice. Again, this is common for a camera of this size, but if the flash range of the Canon SD890 IS, which is 11 feet when shooting at wide-angle and 6.6 feet when shooting at telephoto (when shooting at ISO 200), isn’t enough for you, check out the add-on flash.

One additional advantage of the auxiliary flash is that it ought should be able to aid reduce the number of instances of red-eye. Even while none of my photographs of individuals had horrendous red-eye, there was a tinge of red here and there, and the in-camera red-eye reduction didn’t get rid of it completely.

When using full autofocus, the shutter latency was 0.73 seconds at wide-angle and 0.83 seconds at telephoto, which is somewhat slower than what you’ll encounter on comparable small cameras. However, when the camera is prefocused, the shutter lag is only 0.07 seconds, making it significantly faster. When you use a flash, the shutter lag will increase by around a second because of the pre-flash that is used for metering.

In continuous shooting mode, the Canon SD890 has captured approximately 1.22 frames per second on average. However, when paired with a fast memory card (for example, a Kingston Ultimate 133x SD card), the camera was able to capture a series of 60 shots without pausing to empty the buffer. This is a significantly higher number than what is typically achieved by compact cameras.

I didn’t rely on small cameras for shooting continuous action, nor do I often do so, for the simple reason that these cameras typically aren’t able to keep up with the kind of action photography (airshows, fashion shows, and car races) that I enjoy doing.

If, on the other hand, the children are playing soccer or racing around the backyard, you ought to be able to get a few nice action images by shooting in a continuous burst.

Quality of the Image

As was to be expected, the Canon SD890 IS produced photographs that were attractive to the eye, with colors that were richly saturated while maintaining a natural appearance. The exposures were, for the most part, absolutely perfect, and the camera performed well under some challenging conditions.

When I was photographing the columns at the Jefferson Memorial, I found myself shooting from the inside looking out. Despite the fact that the sky was a slate grey, the Canon SD890 IS managed to balance the light-colored columns against the sky very well.

The Canon SD890 IS was also able to catch the delicate marbling that was present in the stone columns, despite the fact that marble columns aren’t the most engaging or colorful subjects to photograph.

It’s true that there was some purple fringing around the edges, but when I blew up the image on my computer to 100 percent, the effect wasn’t all that noticeable. As the focal length of the lens was extended, chromatic aberration was reduced.

In general, the lens of the Canon SD890 is fairly good. It produces clear photos and exhibits less blurring in the corners than the lenses on other small models. In point of fact, the fuzziness was often relegated to the extremities of the corners alone. Canon deserves praise for designing a tiny camera that nonetheless has a lens of such excellent quality.

The image stabilizer on the Canon SD890 IS worked very well, and as a result, I was able to easily capture sharp images at a shutter speed of 1/60 of a second. This is a shutter speed that I typically would not dare attempt to handhold under any circumstances, even when I haven’t been buzzed out on caffeine.

However, because of the image stabilization in shooting mode offered by the Canon SD890 (as opposed to continuous or panning modes), I was able to shoot at a hand-held shutter speed that was far slower.

You shouldn’t have any trouble producing prints of any size up to around 16 by 20 centimeters with the Canon SD890 IS since it performed an excellent job of capturing details, particularly in regions with strong contrast. It is important to keep in mind, however, that although fine details are not nearly as evident in regions of subtle contrast, the Canon SD890 IS is still superior to its competitors in this respect.

You’ll be relieved to know that despite the high ISO, you can still produce some high-quality prints. Even while the noise may be more noticeable on the screen of your computer, the prints will come out looking great. Images captured at this ISO will produce pleasing-to-the-eye 8×10 prints, with the possible exception of slight shadow noise at ISO 400. However, this noise is unlikely to be discernible while examining the print.

If you increase the ISO to 800, 8×10-inch prints will look fine when presented at standard viewing distances, such as hanging on the wall or placing them on a table; nevertheless, you may find that the quality of a 5×7-inch photo better suits your needs.

When the camera is set to ISO 1,600 or pushed to ISO 3,200, things start to go south pretty quickly, and you probably won’t be thrilled with even 4×6 prints by the time you’re done. However, when compared to the majority of its rivals, the Canon SD890 IS has superior high ISO performance overall.


The Canon SD890 IS unquestionably has a lot going for it, not the least of which is its image-stabilized optical zoom lens that has a 5x magnification and is above average. Its feature set offers more than sufficient flexibility for photographers, allowing them to choose between fully automated operation and the ability to manually adjust key characteristics, such as contrast, sharpness, saturation, and a wide range of color selections.

Even though the Canon SD890 IS does not have an on-board assistance system, even novices who are ready to read the manual and have an inquisitive mind may use this camera to go beyond automatic shooting.

When taking pictures of friends and family, people who like to save memories will find the Face Detection tool, as well as the more advanced Face Detection and Track feature, to be very helpful.

The Canon SD890 IS has superior high ISO capabilities compared to the majority of its competitors, despite the fact that its autofocus and timing performance are just mediocre. The combination of a high ISO quality and a very effective image stabilization technology will assist to ensure that photographers working in low-light environments and inside will be able to obtain the photos they need and will also be able to create decent prints.

The Canon SD890 IS is able to take well-exposed and attractively saturated photographs with minimal effort required from the user, which is complemented by the fact that the detail capture and image sharpness are considerably above average.

In spite of a few deficiencies, such as the awkward On/Off button, the odd Control Dial, and the inaccurate optical viewfinder, the Canon SD890 IS Digital ELPH will please both amateurs and beginners, particularly those who are interested in the additional focal length that its 5x optical zoom can provide.

In the Discrete

The following items may be found inside of the retail package:

  • Canon SD890 IS Digital ELPH camera
  • 32MB SD card
  • Strap for the wrist
  • lithium-ion rechargeable battery pack together with charger
  • USB cable
  • AV cable
  • Manuals in printed form for cameras, as well as a Direct Print User Guide
  • Software CD including Apple QuickTime 7, ImageBrowser 6.1, ZoomBrowser EX 6.0, PhotoStitch 3.1, and Camera TWAIN Driver 6.9 for Windows; ImageBrowser 6.1, PhotoStitch 3.2, and EOS Utility 1.1 for Mac; and EOS Utility 1.1a (cross-platform)

Accessories Highly Recommended

  • SD/SDHC card with a large storage capacity
  • A spare battery pack in case your trip is very long.
  • Canon HF-DC1 high power auxiliary flash for increased flash power


Sensor• 1/2.3 ” Type CCD
• 10.0 million effective pixels
Image sizes• 3648 x 2736
• 3648 x 2048
• 2816 x 2112
• 2272 x 1704
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
• 320 x 240
Movie clips• 640 x 480 (30 fps)
• 320 x 240 (30 fps)
• 160 x 120 (15 fps)
File formats• JPEG (Exif 2.2)
• AVI (Motion JPEG + WAVE mono)
• WAVE (mono)
Lens• 6.6 – 33.0 mm
• 37 – 185 mm (35mm equivalent)
Image stabilizationYes, lens-shift
Conversion lensesWith optional adapter
Digital zoomYes
FocusTTL 9-point with Face detection
AF area modes• AiAF (9-point / Face detection)
• Single center point
• Face detection and track
AF assist lampYes
Focus distance2 cm in Macro
Metering• Evaluative (Linked to Face detection AF frame)
• Center-weighted
• Spot (Center)
ISO sensitivity• Auto
• Hi ISO Auto (Incorporating Motion Detection)
• 80
• 100
• 200
• 400
• 800
• 1600
Exposure compensation+/- 2 EV in 1/3 EV steps
Shuttter speed• 1/60 – 1/1600 sec (Auto mode)
• 15 – 1/1600 sec (Depending on shooting mode)
Aperture• F3.2 – F5.7
Modes• Auto
• Manual
• Digital macro
• Color accent
• Color swap
• Stitch assist
• Movie
Scene modes• Portrait
• Night snapshot
• Kids and pets
• Indoor
• Sunset
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Aquarium
• ISO 3200
White balance• Auto (Including Face detect WB)
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Custom
White balance fine tuneNo
Self timer2 sec, 10 sec, custom
Continuous shooting1.2 fps until card is full
Image parameters• Vivid
• Neutral
• Sepia
• Black & white
• Positive film
• Lighter skin tone
• Darker skin tone
• Vivid blue
• Vivid green
• Vivid red
• Custom color
Flash• Auto / On / Off / Slow Sync / Red-eye reduction
• 30 cm – 3.5 m (W)
• 30 cm – 2.0 m (T)
ViewfinderReal-image zoom optical viewfinder
LCD monitor• 2.5 ” PureColor LCD II
• 230,000 dots
• 100% coverage
Connectivity• Hi-speed USB (MTP, PTP)
• A/V output, dedicated connector (PAL/NTSC)
Print compliance• DPOF V1.1
• PictBridge
Storage• SD/SDHC/MMC card
• 32 MB card supplied
Power• NB-5L rechargeable Li-ion battery
• Charger included
Weight (no batt)155 g (x oz)
Dimensions95.4 x 57.2 x 27.4 mm (Ai x Bi x Ci in)


The Canon SD890 IS is a highly powerful camera that has a few oddities that should be easily outshined (for most people) by its finer features, most notably its 5x optical zoom with a focal length of 185mm; it is great for long pictures that the majority of pocket digital cameras can’t reach.

The lens also benefits from Canon’s powerful optical image stabilization technology, which makes capturing pictures in low light easier and improves the quality of telephoto images as well. High ISO performance is also pretty good, allowing 13×19-inch prints to be feasible at the lower ISOs; and if you keep below ISO 800, you can even print good quality 5x7s. Both of these capabilities are due to the camera’s image sensor.

The Canon SD890 IS is an advanced point-and-shoot camera with a feature set that includes the ability to adjust colors, sharpness, saturation, and contrast. Additionally, the Canon SD890 possesses innovative Face Detection technology that not only identifies up to nine faces concurrently but also follows a moving face while it is in the frame. The Canon SD890 IS was a joy to use with overall, and I highly recommend it. It’s a cute small camera that may be a wonderful travel companion everywhere you go thanks to its portability.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • 5x optical zoom lens with a maximum focal length of 185mm (35mm-equivalent)
  • Excellent image quality with a detailed capture that is well above average
  • Face detection and the ability to follow individuals
Need Improvement
  • Even if it lowers resolution, ISO 3,200 is still unusable for most situations.
  • Distortion is caused by the barrel at broad angles.
  • The high contrast causes the shadows to be black and the reds to be oversaturated.
  • Even at an ISO of 80, noise reduction can make low-contrast detail look softer.

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