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Canon PowerShot SD970 IS Review

The Digital ELPH line of cameras from Canon has long been a favorite among consumers due to the fact that these pocketable versions offer fantastic image quality, good color, and excellent overall performance. These tiny models have proportions that are suitable for carrying in a pocket.

The PowerShot SD970 IS one of the more recent products to be added to the line. It features a CCD image sensor with a resolution of 12.1 megapixels, an optical zoom lens with a magnification factor of 5x, an upgraded version of the DIGIC 4 image processor, and the most recent iterations of the Face Detection, Blink Detection, and Motion Detection technologies.

The Canon SD970’s zoom spans from 37 to 185 millimeters and is geared more toward telephoto performance than wide-angle capabilities (for the comparable PowerShot biased toward wide-angle, try the SD980, whose wide end starts at 24mm).

Because of its streamlined design and compact size, the Canon PowerShot SD970 is simple to conceal in a bag like a handbag, a backpack, the side pouch of a diaper bag, or just much anyplace else you may want to carry it. Its smooth contours prevent it from getting caught in pockets, and the wrist strap that comes with it offers you some additional peace of mind when you’re out and about.

The Canon SD970 IS simple to operate thanks to the camera’s few exterior buttons. Its wide variety of clever automated settings enables you to get excellent photos even when you don’t want to or don’t have the time to fiddle with the settings manually. There are no less than 18 different shooting modes that may be selected as presets, or you have the option of letting the Smart Auto mode handle everything for you.

The Zoom Blur and Creative Light Effect modes are additions to Canon’s preset scene options. These settings, which will undoubtedly give users some revitalizing creative capabilities, can be found in the camera’s menu.

The Canon SD970 provides its customers with a limited number of exposure settings, some of which include ISO (up to 3,200), white balance, and metering mode, amongst others. More experienced users will appreciate these features. The contrast mode may be found in the Playback menu of the Canon SD970, and it is responsible for making any required adjustments to the tonal distribution (you can let the camera be the judge here or select the amount of correction you think you need).

The Canon SD970 IS comes with a number of other unique features, such as a 3.0-inch PureColor LCD panel that has an Active Display and HD video recording capabilities that are broadcast through HDMI.

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS Design & Build Quality

The Canon PowerShot SD970 IS the successor of the SD890 PowerShot model, and like its predecessor, it is small in size and features a point-and-shoot interface that is simple to master. In general, Canon’s Digital ELPHs are shown to be of high quality, and their control layouts and menus are logical and user-friendly; the Canon SD970 agreeably continues this trend. In addition to being an excellent tool for shooting, it is unquestionably compact and stylish, featuring soft contours and proportions that are easy to work with.

The SD970 IS is one of the most compact PowerShot models, and because of its streamlined design, it fits comfortably in the palm of your hand and is an excellent choice for carrying in pockets. It just weighs 6.7 ounces (189g), making it a breeze to transport, and its dimensions of 3.7 x 2.2 x 1.0 inches (95 x 57 x 26mm) are compact enough to fit into evening bags, pockets on pants, and shirt pockets.

Because the curves of the SD970 IS are so smooth, and there isn’t much of a handgrip to speak of, I strongly recommend attaching and utilizing the wrist strap for better peace of mind when actively shooting. You can find the wrist strap in the accessory compartment. The Canon logo on the front panel is somewhat raised and textured, providing some traction for the fingers when they cradle the right side of the device; but, other than that, there is no actual grip to speak of.h. As a result, the best option for lighting when shooting at this distance is to use natural light from the environment.

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS Image Quality

Color: The color looks decent overall, with just a little oversaturation in the bright reds and blues. The colors yellow, green, and pink are pretty realistic, and the tiny boost to the reds and blues is well within the permissible range of variation. (Many consumer digital cameras oversaturate these hues to cater to the widespread desire for colors that are bright and vivid.) The shade is also very accurate, although cyans lean more toward blue and certain reds toward orange than they should. Lighter skin tones are closer to ideal, while darker skin tones have a little extra glow to them. Good outcomes.

Noise and Detail: Noise is well-defined between ISO 80 to 200, with some softening commencing at ISO 400. The detail is well-defined between ISO 80 and 200. Up to roughly ISO 400, chroma (color) and luminance noise are relatively effectively managed. However, as the ISO reaches 800, the camera’s internal noise suppression mechanisms take over and dramatically blur the image. When the camera’s sensitivity is set to 3,200, the maximum resolution has to be decreased to save part of the detail.

Even though the camera had to use an ISO setting of 250, our testing to the specifications of the manufacturer provided brilliant results at wide-angle and 11 feet. The telephoto test likewise produced pretty encouraging results at 6.6 feet, and the camera once again increased the ISO to 250. If you keep your subjects within the recommended distances, the flash that comes with the Canon SD970 will be adequate for the majority of circumstances.

In our test with tungsten illumination, the manual white balance mode performed far better than the auto or incandescent settings. The Auto setting generates results that are pretty close to realistic but with a general hint of magenta, whereas the Incandescent setting generates results that are far too red. Although there is a very tiny blue cast to the white values when using the Manual option, the overall hue is considerably more aesthetically attractive.

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS Performance

The shutter latency is acceptable, clocking it at around 0.40 seconds at wide-angle and 0.45 seconds at maximum telephoto when the autofocus is fully engaged. The prefocus shutter latency is 0.078 seconds, which is a very good time.

The cycle time is also relatively decent, as our testing showed that it captured a frame once every 1.98 seconds while it was set to single-shot mode. The continuous way of the SD970 is rated by Canon at around one frame per second, which is considered to be on the sluggish side.

The flash on the Canon SD970 recycles in roughly 8 seconds after being discharged at full power, which is on the lower end of the spectrum.

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS Specifications

Body typeCompact
Max resolution4000 x 3000
Other resolutions4000 x 2248, 3264 x 2448, 2592 x 1944, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480, 320 x 140
Image ratio w:h4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels12 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 levelsSuper-Fine, Fine, Normal
Focal length (equiv.)37–185 mm
Optical zoom
Maximum apertureF3.2–5.7
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaSingleFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusNo
Macro focus range2 cm (0.79″)
Number of focus points9
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots461,000
Touch screenNo
Live viewNo
Viewfinder typeNone
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/1600 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 drive1.0 fps
Self-timerYes (2, 10, Custom, Face)
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)
FormatMotion JPEG
MicrophoneMono
Storage typesSD/SDHC/MMC/MMCplus/HD /MMCplus
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMIYes
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryBattery Pack
Battery descriptionLithium-Ion NB-5L battery & charger
Weight (inc. batteries)160 g (0.35 lb / 5.64 oz)
Dimensions96 x 57 x 26 mm (3.78 x 2.24 x 1.02″)
Orientation sensorYes

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS Conclusion

The Canon PowerShot SD970 is yet another outstanding model in the Digital ELPH family of cameras thanks to its little size, user-friendly operation, and powerful image processing. The Canon PowerShot SD970 Digital Camera has a CCD image sensor with 12.1 megapixels, an optical zoom lens with 5x magnification and image stabilization, and a 5x optical zoom lens. It is an excellent choice for most average shooting conditions and produces images with accurate exposure and color regardless of the setting.

Although the Smart Auto mode is quite helpful for combining Face, Blink, and Motion Detection technologies with the 18 preset scene modes to get the best exposure in a variety of conditions, the SD970 IS does offer a little more hands-on control within the standard Program AE mode for those who prefer that level of photography.

The Canon PowerShot SD970 is an excellent performance because its autofocus speeds are incredibly fast for a digital camera with a relatively long zoom. Its noise management is pretty good thanks to the most recent algorithms developed by Canon.

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS Pros & Cons

Good For
  • 461k dots LCD Resolution
  • Putting a Focus on Face Detection
  • 160 grams Light Body
Need Improvement
  • Lack of a Screen That Articulates
  • No wireless connection was established.
  • No Full HD Video
  • There is not external flash shoe.

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