Pros (1) Very smart auto mode for those who just want to P&S
(2) Many useful program modes for the enthusiastic spouse
(3) Easy use interface even with few buttons
(4) Gorgeous screen that you can show the pictures to friends using it
Cons (1) May be a little bit pricey but I don't agree with CNET's comment on price-to-feature ratio
(2) Video is great but the sound is subject to operation noises such zooming and finger movements.
Summary CNET's review is completely based on the spec and numerical figures of merit. Although it appears to be objective using this approach, it actually missed many important product features.
Canon SD970 (3.5 stars by CNET)and Sony DSC-W290 (4 stars by CNET) have very similar spec: 12.1 MP, 5X optical zoom, 3" screen, 720p video. But, SD970 is almost $100 more expensive.
(1) 720p video:
Both cameras can not perform optical zoom when shooting video. the optical zoo has to be set prior to shooting video. But, it was not pointed by CNET's review that Sony DSC-W290 can not perform digital zoom while Canon SD970 can.
Usually, people discount digital zoom because it loses resolution and prefer cropping the pictures in computer after shooting with full resolution. However, this argument is not valid when it comes to shoot video. It is not an easy task to edit video. I can not imagine shoot video without zooming. This is a very large design flaw of Sony DSC-W290.
(2) User interface:
Canon SD970 has fewer buttons yet is more user friendly. It comes with a radial dial which allows the user to select options or pictures much faster. It has more program modes with some creative modes. The feature of stitching mode is very useful.
(3) Both cameras have 3" screen. Canon SD970 has twice many dots than Sony W290. The picture scrolling and slide show animation of SD970 are great.
This feature would be very subjective. Do we purchase camera for its appearance? I think, for many, they do. Canon SD970 and SD960 are very good looking. The body shape and seam lines are more artistic. Even the shapes of the buttons are.
Understanding the competition, the features of SD97 can be fully appreciated. I think CNET review for Canon SD970 missed many important features which make this camera superior to its competitions. Therefore, I disagreed with its comment on price-to-feature ratio.
Pros every single detail.
looks, weight, picture quality, hd video quality, extra features, menu options, menu navigation, PICTURE QUALITYYYYYYYYYY, price for what you get.. and did i say PICTURE QUALITY
Cons HD video a little grainy indoors with low light.. with good lighting it goes away.
balance of camera sitting with full lens out isnt that good. just retract the lens first.
Summary ALL i can say is wowowow.I owned a Canon SD 750 for a while and loved that camera and finally sdecided to upgrade to the 970.
Pros A VERY HIGH END LCD SCREEN, THE EXTRA ZOOM IS NICE IN A SMALL COMPACT CAMERA, GREAT PICTURE QUALITY, STRONG BUILD AND CONSTRUCTION QUALITY.
Cons (ACTIVE DISPLAY) WHAT WAS THEY THINKING...
Summary ABOUT THE SAME SIZE AND WEIGHT AS THE CANON SD790 SD880, ALL THREE CAMERAS TAKE VERY NICE PICTURES. THE FLASH TAKES 3.5 secs TO RECHARGE AND IN (LOW LIGHT) UP TO 6 secs... I LIKE THE SHARPNESS AND COLOR IN THE 970s PICTURES. IT GETS LESS RED EYE IN ITS PICTURES THAN THE CANON SD1200.(I LOVE THE SD1200 THOUGH)... ( THE 970 HAS BETTER SHUTTER LAG PERFORMANCE THAN THE CANON SD940-SD780-SD1200-SD880 ACORDING TO C-NET ), AND THE PRICE IS DOWN TO $300.00...A GOOD HIGH END SMALL POINT AND SHOOT CAMERA IS WHAT I WAS TRYING TO SAY, I FORGOT TO ADD THAT IT HAS VERY GOOD BATTERY LIFE .
Updated on Nov 8, 2009
"OUTSTANDING!"on by night silence
Pros Fairly easy to operate, excellent pictures and video quality, amazing LCD, and a very smart Auto mode
Cons Little pricey ($ 414 including leather bag and 2 GB SD card), I can barely hear the video sound while playing it in the camera.
Summary After a lot of search online and in the market, I just purchased this digital camera (my first camera) and in short: I am very satisfied. Here are some of the good things I liked:
1- The Auto mode is very smart and you will barely need to shift to manual scenes mode.
2- The LCD is impressive.
3- Pictures and movies quality is outstanding.
4- It is my first digital camera but it was fairly easy to operate within 10 minutes of powering it on for the first time while checking the paperback operation manual (I didn't yet check the detailed operation CD).
I highly recommend it to everyone, and I don't agree with CNET review.
Pros If you look at all the features and specs the sd970is is the best overall camera for a point 'n shoot including other brands. I'll tell you how I came to this conclusion below:
Cons The only major problems I had with this camera was the lack of a wide screen and a somewhat limited wide angle capability when compared to other cameras in this catagory (super compact p/s).
Summary Starting with the specs, if you compare the 970 to other cameras it is slightly slower on the recharge (time it takes to snap another pic), however the fastest in the Canon line. I felt it was a better trade off to NOT miss losing a chance to take another picture, than the almost 1/3 slower, upgrade to the 980, even with the wider screen, remembering that the final result is more important that what you see as basically a sample for viewing later on a larger screen or print. As for the 980's touch screen it was not developed enough like the Nikon ALL touch screen to be an issue. I considered the Nikon except I really don't like the all internal lens system which according to many pros is lacking in quality in the final result compared to the protruding lens system, given that the protruding lens is more susceptible to dust and dirt, etc. I really take a lot of photo stitch pics and I know the Canon system does a great job with this. Also the Canon Elph has proven itself by having a tough body and quality optics not necessarily found in other cameras. (I'm coming from a Casio EX v7, being the first with widescreen high resolution stereo video). The stereo had both mikes right next to each other canceling any benefit of separation. And now most cameras have all but abandoned hi res for high def H.264. Of course you have to have a dual core pc to view and edit. The reviewer wrote his review when the camera first came out so his disappointment with price-to-feature comment doesn't apply now. ($279) He was always mentioning the no zoom in video shooting, but no camera seems to have this capability so why even mention it as a con? If you really need this now in a tiny camera, you can't have it! Get a bigger one. For me, this is a very decent yet tiny hi-def video camera that takes great stills as well so I'm a happy camper. Just in case you don't get my con about the lack of wide-screen viewing, you still CAN view the whole wide screen recording but it will appear smaller with black bars above and below. Definitely a trade off but until Canon makes a sd990is with better recharge times, this is the one to get.