Pros image quality,speed
Cons price,I guess
Summary I have been reviewing cameras for about 2 months,bought tz3(without reviewing it,high zoom, compact caught my eye) took it back researched cameras online,in store etc, I have used this one for about 3 weeks.I took over 220 pics and about 10 videos at a local autocross this weekend,battery still reading full,great pics.I am very happy with this camera no complaints.
Pros Large LCD, Easy to use controls
Cons Picture quality is deeply unimpressive, Lacks crispness & vividness. LCD terribly grainy
Summary I'm going to start by explaining why I purchased this camera in the first place. I've never written a review before but I felt I ought to do this so that people like me might be spared the predicament I am now in. I am quite far from an expert, but I do typically tend to take nice pictures & I take a lot of them. I like pictures that really have a lot of "kick" to them. Crisp, bright, vivid and really pleasing to the eye. (unless specifically going for softer focuses) My favorite & most frequent things to photograph are animals, people & quite often various Theme Parks here in Florida.
I had been deeply reluctant to switch from a film camera to a digital for a long time. Finally, two years ago I decided it was time & after much research here & other places, I decided on the Canon A620. I absolutely loved the camera. It was everything I could want & I didn't feel the slightest bit fearful anymore of trusting my precious memories to a digital camera. The pictures were crisp, so sharp & the colors were gorgeous & bright. I remember that I was impressed that almost any time I tried applying any settings like "instant fix" in various applications just to see what would happen, there was often no real change because they were great to begin with. After about a year & a half picture quality did seem to degrade. I was finding the need to apply sharpening fixes in software to make the pictures a little better & many of them still weren't too spectacular even then. It was possible the camera was "dirty" or something along those lines that a simple external lens wiping could not fix. After a good while of complaining about it, I did the dumb thing of trying to open it to see if I could clean the inside of the lens. Yes... clearly not a bright move. Although I was never able to fully open it because of a single screw that wouldn't budge, it did break. Not completely, but it was no longer really usable for my main camera. So, this led me to have to find another camera. That brought me here & again other sites looking for a good model to replace my A620 with. I was deciding between a few & ended up choosing the Canon SD870 IS. It did after all receive such rave reviews for picture quality (which is in my opinion above all else) not only here but other places, both by editors & people alike. I am now profoundly disappointed & I will admit very stressed out over the complete lack of quality & quite confused about where all the hype is coming from. Hence the reason I referenced The Emporer's New Clothes in my summary. I can't imagine why this camera would be so outperformed by a camera 2 years older by the same manufacturer. I have messed with the settings to try and make it better & as usual I have everything set for the best quality, but my older camera on just the most basic auto modes took beautiful pictures that really stood out. This one absolutely does not. Home printing on photo paper pictures taken with both cameras the differences & the unimpressive quality of the SD870 are also all too apparent, just as they were on the screen. I've also viewed pictures on two different computers using two very different moniters & resolutions to be sure. The pictures don't look all that sharp when you zoom in on the LCD itself in play mode & with an 8MP camera you should certainly be able to zoom in as little as I was while still maintaining full photo quality, IF it was there to begin with that is. This is a fairly pricey camera, for a point & shoot, possibly even if it came even close to living up to the hype it's been receiving, but given the reality of it it makes the price that much more upsetting.
Also, the LCD screen as others have reported is terribly, rather hideously grainy in picture taking modes. It is fine for playback, however. This isn't nearly as important to me as image quality, but it certainly is worth mentioning. So now, I am stuck with this camera, very unsure of what to do. Stores have rather ugly restocking policies which I would resent paying even if I could afford it for the reason that the camera not being even close to par is not my fault whatsoever. Other big problem is... if this is the "best" (SLRs aside) where does one go from there. The other camera I contemplated was the brand new SX100. Canon seems to think the quality shouldn't be any better on that one & it's so new there isn't much known about it, but one thing's for sure. I have some big decisions to make, a likely good fight on my hands at the store & at the end of the day, no camera I feel I can trust my memories to anymore.
This camera also isn't particularly fast either, as it boats. I think my A620 may have beaten it there as well. Granted, I am using only a regular SD card at this point & not a II. Still... it could be faster. Continuous shoot mode is so sluggish that it seems to me you'd be far better off just pressing the button at will, the normal way. I was counting at least a full 6 seconds in between shots. That isn't exactly what I'd like to refer to as continuous.
So, my bottom line is that I've been realizing in the past 2 days I've had the camera that I think I so badly WANT this camera to be wonderful, but it is simply anything but. It's not absolutely terrible. I've seen worse. Generally with friends that bought very cheap older cameras just for posting small, non sentimental photos in blogs, etc. I'm much more of a photo junkie than some of them. I'll even often keep bad photos filed because they are still memories & worth something, even if not the most glamorous ones. This Canon SD870 camera feels just average to me. It may even be that at this moment for a point & shoot it's above average, just based on the status quo, but if that's the case, it's a rather depressing statement about the direction in which technology has gone. After all on this very site, editors have many times rated cameras in the 7-8 range (pretty much their best for P&S's) while they themselves state the image quality is mediocre, just ok or just "goood." It's a camera! Gagdets & extra buttons are nice & handy & I appreciate them on a camera that's already terrific, but if the pictures aren't great, I don't see where the rest matters.
Pros Wide angle lens, Movie recording, Solid body and lens movements. Great pictures. Easy to get cool angles. Nice macro.
Cons That they stopped making it. Could have a bit better low light shooting. Wish you could also change zoom and stay in focus when shooting movies with the camera.
Summary I bought this camera over 4 years ago and it has produced beautiful shots. My kids prefer using this to make movies rather than our video camera and flip video. I think it is one of the best cameras that Canon has made. I also have a Canon 30D SLR but use this compact more often because it so convenient to carry around.
Pros The pictures turn out great. All in HQ and the faces are always clear and focused. The camera itself is very responsive. Lag is unusually low. Battery appears to last until the next Ice Age.
Cons In no way can this camera capture images between 5PM to 12PM without it being a black murky mess. Flash is almost always on, and display does not show actual image saturation until shot.
Summary I like this camera because overall the pros outweigh the cons. However, this camera needs a bit of work involving brightness situations. Otherwise, I'd buy these for my friends in half a second.
Pros Our family has had several of these Canons--some earlier versions and have enjoyed the ease of use and the great photos you can take.
Cons Problem with lens getting stuck in the out position and at 2+ years new problem with two black spots on lcd display that block parts of photos in taking and reviewing pictures.
Summary I have enjoyed using this camera, however I had the lens problem (got stuck in out position) and Canon fixed at their expense, then, at about 2 years, I have the 2 black spots on the LCD. Please email if you have more info on Canon's attitude about this. I will also contact them. Such a shame if they don't stand behind their product.