Saturday, May 17, 2008

Canon PowerShot SD890 IS and SD850IS compared

Canon has released a lot of new cameras since my last post. Today I'll discuss the SD890, which appears to be an update to the SD850. Like it's predecessor, it has a 2.5" LCD, an optical viewfinder, and image stabilization. The Sd890's major improvement over the older camera is that it features a 5x optical zoom. That's the highest zoom I've heard of in a compact camera. Unfortunately, Canon did have to make the camera slightly larger in every dimension, at 3.8 x 2.3 x 1.1 in (vs 3.6 x 2.2 x 1 in. for the sd850). The SD850 is already about as big as I'm willing to carry around in a pocket, so for my money I'd go for the SD850 instead (which is only $240, vs $350 for the SD890). An interesting side note is that the SD850's price hasn't dropped much from when I bought it, 5 months ago, at $250.

The only other advantage to the SD890 is the shots (CPIA) per charge is better: 320 (vs 240). With the LCD off it goes up to 800!

So far I've only found one review. They found the ergonomics surprisingly poor: not easy to hold, and difficult to navigate between pictures. I hope to put my hands on on one soon, and post my own review. They also found that at the widest setting, the lens was rather distorted, and produced photos with blurry corners (see ttp:// Given the higher zoom of this lens, it's not surprising, and likely it's worse than for the SD850, though there are not enough sample pics out there to be able to judge this yet. The only real positive I found in this review is that the noise level at ISO 800 is notably better than on the SD850. That's at least something.

Oh, and did I mention that it's a 10 megapixel camera (up from 8MP on the SD850)? But who cares, these days, about the mega pixel rating?


GWilson said...

Wondering what the difference in the Canon 850 versus 850 IS is? Only thing I was really wanting was wide angle. did I miss the boat? I ordered the 850 but was mailed the 850 IS. Im a novice ordering for my school. Needed those close up indoor photos of groups.

Alan Robinson said...

There is no SD850. Only sd850is. The 850IS does not have a wide-angle lens.