Monday, March 22, 2010

Canon Powershot SD1400IS: Product Review

By Brendan Keenan, Penn Camera Tysons Corner

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Looking for a compact camera that looks good, and still takes great pictures and video? Look no further than the Canon Powershot SD1400IS. Small, sleek, and stylish, this camera is the perfect pocket-sized pixel powerhouse. When it comes to ease of use, this camera comes with some of the best automatic features around, and it follows in the Canon tradition of outstanding image quality. This little gem is one ultra compact that doesn’t skimp on performance, or features.

The SD1400IS incorporates many of the same great features. Available for $249.99, for a mid-range compact, the feature set is surprising. Even its main specs are great; 14 mega-pixels, 4x zoom (with a 28mm wide angle, ideal for those scenic or group shots), HD video, rechargeable Lithium battery, and a large 2.7” LCD screen.

But that barely scratches the surface of the features on this camera. Do you like things simple? Do you want great pictures, but also want a camera that does the work for you? This camera will get that job done. With its “smart auto” setting, the camera can recognize the type of picture you are trying to take, and automatically optimize the settings to get the best focus and exposure. With features like face detect, and smart auto, it doesn’t matter if you’re shooting a portrait, a landscape, or a close-up of a flower, the camera will know without you having to do a thing.

Though it lacks some controls like full manual control over aperture and shutter speed, it does features some new shooting modes like low-light, and fisheye, as well as a long shutter mode, to help you get creative and create dramatic images. There is the ability to adjust ISO and EV compensation, as well. It even uses automatic red-eye correction, and has a feature that automatically snaps the photo when it detects a smile! This is wonderful for getting pictures of kids, as soon as they look at the camera and smile, the camera does its thing. You just have to hold it. You don’t even have to hold it very steady, since it has the image stabilization found on all SD series Powershot cameras. Sound easy? It is.

If there is anything to find fault with on the SD1400 it might be that it is actually too small for some people. If you have large hands, the small buttons and zoom control could make operating the camera tricky. Some people may need more than the 4x optical zoom offers. It is the slimmest Powershot yet, so someone looking for a more substantial camera, or something with some heft to it should look elsewhere. The bottom line here is: Superb image quality, HD video, and the easiest automatic system around make this camera a perfect ultra compact for anyone looking for great quality in a tiny package.