"Canon has reached near-perfection with their new pocket cam!"4.5 starson by AKA_Ben
Pros: Near-instant start-up time; 7 Mega-pixel sensor; HUGE beautiful 2.5'' screen; clear & crisp pictures; lots of options; sexy design; innovative features like auto rotate and easy transfers
Cons: Slighty cramped controls; meh-quality flash bulb; not enough manual options; tiny optical veiw finder; chucky battery charger
Summary: I had the Canon SD400 originally but started to feel Mega-pixel & screen anxiety so I opted to upgrade to this and pass on the other gem of a camera to my friend. This cam (SD550) is defiantly the best digital camera I've ever had the pleasure of using. Let’s take a look.
Design: The SD550 looks great with Canon's "perpetual-curve" design, C-Net's review model looks a bit gold but mine came in a subtle silver, I'm not exactly sure where you can get the different colours. The big screen is an eye pleaser and is bright enough to be seen out in the sun even in the lower settings, it does bring a few drawbacks though. The large screen makes the otherwise great controls a little cramped (they take a while to get used to, a few days of heavy use) and kind of destroy the optical view finders. There are few situations in which I'd actually use the finder but it would be nice if it was a bit bigger or something.
Features: The scene modes are nice but I really like using the camera on its manual mode which is very easy to use. I'm not disappointed with the manual controls but I would have appreciated some more control of the exposure settings because sometimes the camera takes QUTIE a while to snap the shutter in dark light. The flash cures this but I'd only recommend using it for snapshots with friends, nothing else. One thing I must rave about is the SD550's INSAINE start-up time, it's almost instant, and you will NEVER miss a shot due to waiting for the cam to start-up.
Picture Quality: Excellent! The SD550 is on par with some lower end dSLR’s they look great and are wonderful for editing with their huge pixel count. Unfortunately they only come in the JPEG flavour. No RAW support.
What didn't I like? : The battery, after using the SD400 for such a long time with its slim battery it was weird to find that the SD550 has such a clunker of one, with a very awkward charger. And the shutter COULD move a bit faster in low light, oh well.
Conclusion: This camera is Canon's best pocket-cam to date! Its combination of sleek design, easy to use interface, and excellent picture quality spell one word: excellence.