"Image Stabilization fuels the hype of this one trick pony."2.0 starson by zerohalcyon
Pros: Image Stabilization and the use of this in low light shooting.
Cons: The lack of quality shown everywhere esle. Poor image quality, noise, oversaturated yellow/red tones, corners that are so soft they look post-processed with a blur tool, and horrible CA.
Summary: Yesterday, I got home with my new sd800. And due to the scrutiny of the forums, I immediately had to test it. I compared exact duplicate shots from my SD550 to this “upgrade” sd800. I am very sad to say that in normal shooting conditions, this model just couldn’t keep up. The main things I saw the sd800 losing horribly to the sd550 in were: picture clarity, sharpness (edge to edge) and color accuracy (the sd800’s produces a very warm shot, too much yellow & red). This was a disappointment indeed when you compare the fact that my sd550 is almost a year old.
Now, on the flip-side, and should you ever find yourself in “overhead fan lighting,” this will be where the true benefits of the sd800 become VERY clear. If this is how you shoot, the IS will become a lifesaver for every single shot. But aside from a museum or other “no flash,” location, RARELY am I not using the flash on my camera. And I found the trick to not having over-saturation or too much flash contrast (whatever the model) is to just lower the brightness setting prior to shooting and use a bit of Photoshop shadow highlight love. (Although this can never fully prevent your shot from the flashlight effect left on objects from shooting, but it helps). This camera is only ideal for shooting in an IS situation. Period. Or at least IMHO, but it is my review right? lol
My solution was simple. I ended up taking a risk against better judgment, returned the sd800, and got the sd900. Let me just say that the quality from this camera will NEVER be achievable from an SD800. So make the call. If IS is your “make or break feature,” go for the 700is, or800is. However if its quality you want from your shots, and you aren’t found in low light situations often, the 550 or 900 are the way to go! Price per mega pixel being the only difference.
PS- Cnets review of both the sd900 and the sd800 showed such a fanboy lack of effort in thier lust for the sd800 they almost lost all credibility with me. Thier review of the sd900 was so minimal, I have to wonder if they even spent any time with it. And then to call the sd800 pics good? It just shows how little they do know about the things they speak. Sad. Go look at the pro reviews and it shows exactly why not to use cnet for digital camera reviews!