ReviewGist Report for Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS
The Canon SD1200 IS entry-level point-and-shoot hit the shelves in Mar 2009. A successor to the hugely popular SD1100 IS this camera packs some additional features such as 10.0 MP resolution and some new features such as Smart Auto powered by the powerful DIGIC 4 processor.
In this report, we delve a little deeper into what Canon has to say about the features of this product. We also analyze what some of the best in the industry have encountered with this model. This includes over 13 of the best reviews like 'Imaging Resource', 'Cnet', 'Steve's Digicams' etc. We round up the findings in this report and top it with some buying advice.
What the Manufacturer Says
According to Canon, the SD1200 IS has a lot to offer newbies as well as serious hobbyists with this cool entry level ELPH camera. Featuring 10.0 MP resolution, 3X optical zoom and weighing less than 5 ounces it combines sleek looks with some photo-friendly features.Available in a variety of bright hues, this camera is stylish, at the same time providing a pleasant point-and-shoot experience.
A key feature of the SD1200 IS or indeed many of the Powershot models released in 2009 is the revolutionary DIGIC 4 processor which Canon claims provides improved performance with faster signal processing and superior image quality.
Some of the features which are attributed to the power-packed DIGIC 4 processor are
1. Smart Auto mode, where the camera settings are automatically adjusted according to the shooting conditions. All the parameters such as exposure, white balance, image stabilization are automatically adjusted in Smart Auto Mode.
2. The SD1200 IS has 18 preset modes including some new modes such as Aquarium mode to counter the glare of the glass while taking underwater life photos. Another interesting mode is the Underwater mode to take photos under water (with a water proof case)
3. Canon's face detection technology to detect whether anybody's eyes were closed during shooting, and thus prompt the user to reshoot the picture
4. i-Contrast feature to adjust the contrast levels while shooting or during playback to get better quality images
What the Reviews Say
Image quality has been unanimously applauded by most reviewers, which is hardly surprising coming from the stable of Canon. These include the biggies like 'Imaging Resource' and 'Cnet' among others. 'PCAdvisor' commented that the SD1200 IS received excellent ratings on their image tests, the high points being impressive color, exposure quality and minimal distortion.
Though it is a budget camera there is little to gripe about in terms of image quality and performance.
The SD1200 IS can capture VGA and QVGA movies at 30 fps. Video quality is good for basic video snippets.
Though the optical zoom provided by the SD1200IS is 3x, which is lesser than those being provided by cameras in it's class today, the lens performs well. The optical capabilities of the SD1200 IS has been given a thumbs up by most experts. It performs well till ISO's of 400, which is the case with most compact cameras. According to 'Imaging Resource' detail is very good at ISO 80 and 100 with some softening beginning at ISO 200. Though it provides a viewfinder, many experts comment that it is too small to be of use. 'PCAdvisor' commented that the viewfinder could have been removed to increase the size of the LCD. 'Steve's Digicams' has commented that Canon's Face Detection software works very well. 'Imaging Resource' says that at wide-angle there is some blurring at corners and barrel distortion, results at telephoto were better. Overall this camera performs well for an ultracompact camera.
The SD1200 IS interface menu is pretty straightforward. Shuffling through the shooting modes tends to be a bit non-intuitive and requires highlighting the last shooting mode in order to display the rest of the modes. This can be a bit annoying for the first time user, as pointed out by 'Steve's digicams'.
Canon's claims of a great entry level ELPH camera is justified. Sleek looks, great image quality, quick response time make the SD1200 IS a great overall package for those looking for a camera which can literally be taken out the pocket and start clicking with. It has something to offer both novices as well as those moving out of the amateur mold and playing with some manual controls. Canon's Smart Auto mode brings amazing quality pictures at your fingertips.
This camera is a neat pocket snapshooter and is good buy for those looking for an ultra-compact which is reliable and ensures some super-quality pictures each time.
This camera with brains has a SmartAuto mode which ensures that the camera does most of the work. However the entry level point-and-shoot market is a crowded space and newer models offer better zoom and HD video recording for the same price. You could check out a few other options before settling for the SD1200 IS.
In pocketable ultracompact category, do check out the Samsung PL200 which is lesser priced and offers 7x optical zoom and HD video recording.
Also consider the Sony Cybershot DSC-TX5 which is higher priced but is recommended for it's style and ruggedness. It is dustproof and waterproof and should appeal to the outdoors enthusiast.
Another contender would be the Fuji Finepix Z800 EXR which offers a touchscreen, EXR sensor and 5x optical zoom.