The Canon PowerShot SD850 IS was introduced in May 2007. It features 8.0 megapixels, a 4x optical zoom, up to ISO 1600 and Canon’s DIGIC III image processor. The SD850 IS also features a large 2.5″ LCD screen and the ability to capture video at 30 frames per second. Obviously, the IS in the model name stands for Canon’s optical Image Stabilization feature in this point and shoot digicam.
The SD850 IS is a typical example of what Canon does so well; a beautifully constructed, well designed and capable compact camera that doesn’t break any new ground but does what it does with the refinement that comes from years of fine tuning and a refusal to cut every corner in order to hit the lowest possible price.
Camera performance is excellent. The SD850 is ready to shoot in about a second, which is above average. Focusing times were very good, even in low light situations. Shutter lag wasn’t an issue, and shot-to-shot delays were minimal. While the burst rate isn’t terribly high, the SD850 can keep shooting at 1.3 frames/second until your high speed memory card fills up.
The Canon PowerShot SD 850 IS has just about everything you’d want in a point-and-shoot.
The Canon SD850 IS is an excellent performer no matter what aspect you consider, with superior focusing and low light performance matched with a powerful flash that doesn’t make you wait all day to recharge. With a day-long battery, you couldn’t ask for a better companion than the Canon SD850 IS, no matter where you’re going.
The Canon PowerShot SD850 IS upgrades the older SD700 IS with more resolution and a few interesting specs, but it doesn’t blow the competition away like its predecessor did. Many manufacturers now offer similar cameras to the SD850 and sell them for less.
The Canon SD850 IS is a stylish, well-built compact digital camera that produces great quality images and color while requiring minimal involvement from its operator. The camera lacks manual controls, but offers a number of specialized scene modes in addition to the standard “auto” shooting mode, as well as image stabilization, up to 1600 ISO sensitivity and good shutter response time.
I believe the SD850 IS has the best image quality I’ve ever seen in a pocket digital camera. I’ve tested a few point-and-shoot cameras this year and the SD850 IS is definitely the best of the bunch. It still can’t compete with a digital SLR. But noise levels are extremely low – even at higher ISO settings – and it seems to have a better dynamic range than other cameras I’ve used.
When shooting in marginal lighting, like indoors, the SD850 does very well. While the flash has an average range of about 11 feet at wide angle (ISO auto), I found it does well when capturing close-up portraits from about 5 feet away using the mid telephoto end of the zoom range.
Where to Buy
First off, consider going to your local camera store. By going to your local camera store, you’re supporting your community and you just might build a lasting relationship with people you can rely on when you need some help or answers. If you’re buying online, I recommend sticking with Amazon, B&H Photo or Adorama. These three vendors are reliable, trustworthy and generally have the best (legitimate) prices.