Pros Slim design, excellent styling and build quality, large crystal clear 3.0" display, easy to use controls, intuitive interface
Cons No widescreen movie mode, glossy screen collects fingerprints easily, included 32MB SD card is a waste
Summary Canon has hit a home run for me with the (as of yet pending) release of the Canon SD790 IS. My wife and purchased the SD 750 last year and it has worked very well. I spent some time recently underway on an aircraft carrier and wanted something portable to take with me and chose the Sony T2. Despite it's styling the camera (as submitted by editors and reviewers here) had a less-than-stellar interface and took soft photos.
Enter the brand-new Canon SD790 IS. Despite it's "late March" availability I was able to purchase one online from Circuitcity.com. (Only store that shows it as stocked and available pending the actual release date. If you're looking for this camera, they likely have it in your area and you can purchase it -- though only online with in store pickup or delivery) The camera has yet to be "officially released", so even though I had purchased online the store manager would not let me look at a box in the display case since it was not yet "available." (Talk about a lack of common sense on the store's part!)
The packaging and included accessories are what you've come to expect if you've owned a Canon point and shoot in the past. Only downside is manufacturer's reluctance to include a memory card of any relevance - a 32 MB card is a waste of space. Are they trying to clear long-held inventory? With the price of a new Extreme III SanDisk SD card around $39, a 1GB should be the new standard.... though I'm sure there is some sort of collusion with the memory card manufacturers.
The camera, thankfully, operates in a very similar fashion to the SD750. Notable additions are the extremely nice (and glossy) 3.0-inch 4:3 display. Comparing both cameras side by side didn't prove the colors to be any "better", but it certainly looks nice the way it's integrated into the camera. The controls are similar as well, though now there is a dial that actually spins (albeit not well when brand-new) to toggle through menu or shooting options. At first glance the SD790 looked larger physically than the 750, but it's simply an illusion because of the single color design of the case (the black/silver combination of the 750 is quite slimming). Other than a style upgrade to the buttons, is operates largely the same.
Taking pictures at the highest resolution setting provided excellent quality (10M/superfine/autofocus). Photos from both the 790 and 750 were uploaded into iPhoto on a 17" glossy screen Macbook Pro for comparative purposes. The 790 shots were extremely crisp and showed few artifacts. The added IS (image stabilization) definitely helped in low light situations, where the 750 would occasionally inject a slight blur due to camera shake.
With an extremely solid build quality, the same retail price as the returned Sony T2 (which is 8.1MP btw), and above average feature set the Canon SD790 has already proven to be an excellent choice. Looking forward to taking it overseas for a more "in depth" review.
Pros Excellent Pics in Various Lighting Conditions, Face Detection, Motion Stabilizer, Fast Startup, Fast Shot-to-Shot Cycling, Excellent 3" Screen, Ability to use SDHC Cards, Logical Menu System
Cons Slightly Large Compared to Certain Models, Absence of Optical Viewfinder, Not Shockproof or Waterproof, No HD Video
Summary Not going to get into all the technical nitty-gritty...I'll leave that for other reviewers.
Overall, I did a ton of research from the time of the 2008 CES show in Vegas. I was looking for something to replace my aging Canon SD500. Since that was a great camera overall, I had high expectations.
The contenders I narrowed it down to were basically the Canon SD790IS, Canon SD890IS, Canon SD1100IS, Panasonic DMC-FX35, Olympus 1030SW and the Fuji Finepix F100fd.
Each camera had its pluses and minuses. After testing each camera out at the store, I ended up feeling the Canon SD790IS had the best blend of features overall. In addition to this, the 3" Screen was far-and-away the most vivid & clear of the bunch. Also, the excellent Canon menu system combined with the jog dial and recessed RAZR-like buttons provided the greatest ease of use in my opinion. I actually really wanted to like the Olympus 1030SW but the clumsy menu system and mandatory use of XD cards caused me to eliminate it as a contender.
Now that I've used the camera on a few occasions, I am really impressed so far. The startup time is lightning fast. Shot-to-shot cycle times are very fast. And there is also virtually no shutter lag...which is a big difference compared to my old SD500. The face detection technology with the Digic III processor is amazing. Little floating rectangular boxes on the screen always are able to locate each person's face and focus in on them. It however does not work for pets from my testing. Pictures in various lighting conditions (indoor/outdoor) have been awesome so far. We were in a dimly lit club and the pics we took came out perfectly. My old SD500 would have overexposed and bleached out everybody's faces. Though it is not capable of HD video, movie mode is still very good. Paired with a 16GB SDHC card, you can really take some long movies if needed. Other pluses include the truly awesome screen. It's so crisp and large that I really don't care about the missing optical viewfinder. It's also great for using it as a photo album with friends & family. One really cool feature is that the screen has a tilt sensor much like an iPhone and will automatically tilt the picture for best viewing whether you are holding the camera horizontally or vertically.
Minor gripes are that I wish it was slightly more compact like some of the Casio Exilims out there. The inclusion of features like HD Video (like the Panasonic DMC-FX35) and being Waterproof and Shockproof (like the Olympus 1030SW) would have made this my dream camera...but c'est la vie...This already is pretty darn good overall. Really the best compact shooter as of April 2008.
Pros Excellent pictures and great pocket size. LCD size and focus check. Intuitive design. Camera does not have a view finder. You can cut, crop your image before printing directly from the camera. This camera has auto rotate and add date stamp.
Cons Short battery life. Sensitive center dial. No zoom in movie mode. Various descriptions indicate fill in flash, but No fill in flash in the user guide.
Summary Overall this is a great camera. I compared this camera with three others and found that the picture quality is my primary concern. I like the large LCD and never used the view finder on my previous canon cameras. I would like a better zoom and movie zoom in a similar size camera but the technology is not here yet. The camera feel solid and is easy to use since most of the functions are similar to previous canons.
Pros -Great picture quality under adverse conditions
-Fast performance pic-to-pic without flash
-Durable - It's already survived a drop
-Simple, effective interface
-Image stab really works
-Lots of "fun" features
-Has manual mode
-Long battery life
Cons -Picture-to-picture performance extremely slow when flash is on
-No optical zoom when filming movies
-Doesn't charge with USB cable - power outlet require (can get a separate charger that utilizes USB)
Summary I spent a lot of top shopping for cameras in the $200 range. I spent a lot of time reading reviews on multiple cameras and narrowed down the field to the SD790 IS, SD 1100 IS, and a Fujifilm FinePix 1000fd. I finally had to go to an electronics store to test them all out for myself.
The Fuji was nice, but unimpressive. After an hour of going back and forth between the 790 and the 1100, I chose the 790 for its much larger screen size (something that I have never really cared about). The image just looks so much clearer on the large screen.
I've been testing it for about a month now and I have been extremely impressed. I took it tunneling through a steam heating system and it came out on the other side fine, not to mention the pictures that it took in the dark were perfect.
I like the wide variety of "fun" features - I enjoy playing with them when bored.
My biggest complaint is the slow performance time when waiting for the flash to recharge. However, this seems to be the case with all point-and-shoot digitals in this price range.
Overall, it's a fantastic camera. I already have a few friends that have seen it and have since added it to their Christmas lists. I recommend it to anyone looking for an affordable digital camera. It's the best bang-for-your-buck you'll get in this price range.
"Great Little Camera"on by nene212
Pros picture quality is excellent
Cons i have no cons to report
Summary i upgraded from the SD550 canon there is not comparisent. The SD790IS far surpasses the SD550. I am very happy with my new SD790.