Pros big lcd, manual white balance available, good menus
Cons no battery charge in camera, external power separate purchase
Summary Great LCD, many great features accessible thru easy to understand menu system including manual white balance for accurate color (my first requirement beyond high res.) But, you have to charge the battery OUTSIDE the camera and the optional external power supply kit requires replacement of the battery with what could only be called a "battery puck." The external power supplyplugs into this "puck" thru a hoel in the battery door - you can't just plug in the power supply to a port on the camera. Kind of annoying and awkward. At nearly $500, you'd think they could have included an external power receptacle on the body. It is an amazingly compact camera, however, for the quality of optics and image, and onboard features. Just a pocket snap shot camera, but high res and good features overall. A lot of quality pixels for the bucks. Includes only a 32 meg SD card, but I also got a full gig of SD for well under $100.Updated
After using the camera some more, I like it even better. The manual white balance funciton doesn't seem all that great, but I'm very pleased with the color rendition, even using the white balance presets. The other controls are the best I have used for simplicity and quick access. Once you take time to understand fully them, they are quick and fairly intuitive - ingeniously simple. First digital I've had where I can use manual settings quickly enough to not miss my shot, nearly as quick as automatic, but better control. Also check out the auto modes though. If you have the metering set to evaluative, when you to press shutter button slightly, it displays a box that shows what part of the picture it is basing the metering on. Let off and press again, and it will re-evaluate and often choose a different spot. This allows you to re-meter quickly. I should have given it a 9.
Pros A small "pocket" camera with a big LCD, high res, and many other nice features.
Cons Only a 32meg SD card and will need a protector for the LCD screen.
Summary I wanted a small "pocket" camera that was simple (Auto) to use but still with some features of a better (Manual) camera. After spending a lot of time checking out the ultra compact cameras available, here at CNET and other sites, I decided on the SD550. Do I think I made the right decision and do I like the SD550 - YES. It is everything I wanted and more. I will probably use it as a "point and shoot" camera on "auto" most of the time, but can still use its many other features if I want.
Pros Fits in shirt pocket - Great Battery Life - Lots of Megapixels
Cons No lighting control - terrible auto settings - jitter light always on
Summary I bought this camera last week wanting a camera that is small yet does everything; I clearly made a mistake. I tested this camera in all types of lighting, yet it rarely took outstanding pictures. It doesn't let you adjust the apperture settings, and it always tends to make terrible automatic lighting choices. In a situations where it should widen the apperture, it never does. It tends to favor longer exposure times. Being a person who likes natural light better than a flash, I always turned it off. And, thus, I wound up with blurry or dark pictures. After hundreds of pictures and a week of giving it every chance to prove itself, I gave up. Back to Ritz it went.
Even in relatively good lighting conditions, it chose horrifying exposure times like 1/6 of a second. ??? In room lighting it even chose 1 second exposures! It lets you adjust exposure + or -2, but the pics look terrible! I'm sorry, but somebody with a pocket camera is NOT going to be carrying around a tripod to make sure their pics aren't blurry.
I can't use a camera that not only doesn't let me control something as simple as the apperture, but it makes bad choices about the lighting. Even in bright daylight, in the shadow of a pine tree, the jitter light was on because it was choosing horrible exposure times! BTW- the jitter light is on about 90% of the time with this camera. I guess you just have to live with it.
Now, even so, this is a good camera.
1. The colors are natural and accurate.
2. The pictures are amazingly clear.
3. The auto-focus is next-to-perfect.
4. The battery life is impressive. I would take in excess of 100 (more even) shots without a recharge fully using the lcd screen.
5. The screen size is a pleasure.
6. It's fast!
Okay, my conclusion is this: this camera is a beautifully engineered piece of camera. It's amazing. Unfortunately, it takes terrible pictures because of something that would have been so easy for Canon to fix. My pictures did NOT live up to ANY of my expectations.
A good analogy for this camera is this: This camera is like an expensive new Mercades that automatically chooses the brake and acceleration settings for you and doesn't do a good job of it. Thus, you're always cursing about how you'd prefer to apply your own pressure to the brake.
Sorry Canon. Maybe the next Elph will be better and I'll buy that one.
Pros excellent pics, quick focus ,telephoto and awesome screen
Cons not much , maybe a little more bulky ,heavy than my liking, but not too much more
Summary i wanted to get a different ultra compact than the canon, because i have always had canons and wanted something different...for a change, you know?...so i went out and got the minolta dimage x1, then the nikon s2, and after a day with each separately and after returning them to my camera store(thank god i am a good customer)..i went back to the canon sd 550 ..thats right, i went back , because i had actually bought it first and figured maybe there was something better..well there wasnt!..the overall quality of the shell, the clearness of the lcd , even at night, the quick focusing, the quick telephoto, the easy shutter release,the viewfinder as well as the great lcd size!and finally the choice of auto or manual or scene modes all are superior to the nikon and minolta..the grid feature in the lcd is very handy for composing, and one featue that i experimented with today is "my color" , which allows you to enhance color temperature in various hues, and also allows you to switch colors in your pics ...i really cannot think of anything that i would want more except having it a little lighter and perhaps slightly less bulky..slightly..one thing i will note: if you want to take occasional low light telephoto pics, this is the one for you mainly becasue of the extending lens which picks up more light vs those of the internal lens in the other choices of nikon and minolta...all in all this is going to be a fun shooter for me and it will be for you ..dont waste your time on the others ..seriously!
Pros Big screen, compact design and loaded with features
Cons heavy for it's size & expensive
Summary Great camera, some improvements over the SD500 with more shotting modes, larger screen, better battery management, quiter operation, and Improved software. So it is really SD500 with a bigger screen and a few new features. It is great full featured point and shot pocket camera. Definatly worth the money and great value for a high quality pocket size camera. Only thing you give up with this camera is the bulk you can do without. Only thing it is missing is a shutter prioity shooting mode.