on March 14, 2013
I bought this camera because of the described features - regular batteries, HD movies as easy as pressing a button, the extra small eye for glare-free steady focus. To supplement my camera, I ordered a 16GB memory card, the recommended case, the 2-year protection plan and after a little research, the designated USB cable: Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS USB Cable - USB Computer Cord for PowerShot SD1400 IS (which with shipping cost $10.74). After trying it out on a skiing trip I was pleased with the fast shooting, the long battery life, true colors and textures. Awesome camera!
on May 28, 2013
If you are looking for a great little economical camera this is it. Love the AA Battery feature...no charger to take along on trips. You can buy backup batteries almost anywhere. For a AA camera it has a long battery life. I am using rechargables I bought on Amazon. The complaint about the plastic camera body made me laugh. My $1200.00 Olympus Mr Bulky is all plastic so is the interior on my $40,000.00 Pickup. So why expect more from a $100.00 camera. The only comlaint is that the SD card is in the same compartment as the AA batteries. Not a deal breaker for me, but kind of inconvenient. Photos are excellent, sharp bright colors. I didn't buy this for the video feature however it has better sound quality than my wifes $500.00 camcorder. I was amazed. Love the telephoto viewfinder feature. If you are looking for an economical, take along camera that does a decent job this is it.
on February 26, 2014
I was looking for a camera that had the following criteria:
Universal AA (not proprietary Li-ion) HD Video, lightweight, "easy to use", and inexpensive
This camera meets my criteria.
(1) Here's a further explanation of the battery issue:
The problem with Li-ion batteries is that once a manufacture no longer makes the battery it becomes hard to find. Li-ion batteries have a shelf life of about 2 years (from the data of manufacture) & if they haven't been charged in that time frame, they will not last very long. Once they are fully discharged they may not "recover". You could end up buying a new battery pack and only getting at best 4-6 shots before needing a recharge.
The Canon A1400 uses 2 AA batteries. However if you switch to NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) Rechargeable batteries they will last from 3-4 times longer than Alkaline batteries. I like the Panasonic (formerly Sanyo) Eneloop batteries. They can be recharged from 1500 to 1800 times and retain 90% of their charge up to 1 year or 70% up to 5 years. I carry two in the camera and 4 as spares in a compact camera case (Case Logic DBC-302) purchased here on Amazon. The bonus is you can use rechargeable batteries and in a pinch buy alkaline batteries which are almost universally available worldwide & not be stranded.
With Alkaline batteries you can take up to 150 (screen on), 200 (ECO mode), or 500 (screen off) still shots (less if you use flash and/or zoom a-lot or playback (review) shots. In Screen off mode, you use the built-in viewfinder - which is becoming increasingly difficult to find in an "entry-level" camera.
(2) You can quickly change the default picture size from 16MP (default) to 8MP, 2MP, 0.3MP (VGA) or Widescreen using the "Func./Set" button on the back of the camera. This is helpful in low light conditions.
(3) The camera includes digital (not optical) image stabilization (IS) which is better than nothing. For still images without a tripod or slow moving scenes, it works fairly well. For fast action scenes, the camera takes 3 shots and then chooses the best one to use. Again for the price you pay it would be hard to find a point and shoot camera that uses optical image stabilization.
(4) You can record movies in 720p resolution. This was another reason that I wanted this camera. I have a larger DSLR (Olympus E-620) and lenses to go with it that is great for shooting a lot of different kinds of pictures (close-up, far away or fast action), but it does not have the ability to record a movie. So this camera fills a void for me and does so at a nice price point. It's a good daily or spur of the moment camera.
(5) I wish it came with a printed manual, a USB cable and at least a 1 or 2 GB SD card but it came with none of these items. It does come with a wrist strap and a pair of alkaline batteries. Fortunately, I was able to download the manual and use a 16 GB (class 10) SD card that I had laying around at home. The recommended speed grade is Class 6 and densities up to 32 GB work.
(6) Although it does not come with software, you can download some free software at the Canon website that allows you to import pictures from the camera with a USB cable or through a USB card reader to: Manage/Print the images, and Edit the pictures as follows: Correct Red-eye, Auto Correct, Adjust color and Brightness, Increase Sharpness, Crop Image, Insert Text, Stitch photos (to create a panoramic photo), Edit Movies, and Extract Multiple images from Movie (this feature alone makes the "free" software worthy enough of a download/install.
The software works on Windows (from 95 to 8.1), Mac OS 8 to OS X 10.9, and Linux (something for everyone). To get the software, go to the Canon website, click on Support, pick a region of the world and then a country, then "Consumer & Home office", then "Powershot cameras", then "Powershot A series", and finally scroll down & select the "Powershot A1400" camera. Once there, you'll be able to download the user manuals, guides and/or brochures as well as the software.
On balance this is a great entry level camera with a lot of useful bells and whistles (features). I recommend that you download one or both of the searchable PDF manuals. It takes decent pictures & easily slips into your pocket (but I prefer to use a compact camera case more for protection than anything else). Its a camera for all ages. You get the maximum benefit from the camera by reading the manual.
Like anything, the more you use the camera in different settings & modes the better you get at using it. The "auto" mode is nice when there is plenty of light, it's also a great learning tool as you get to see what the camera chose on your behalf. You can also turn off the digital zoom and rely only on the 5x optical zoom.
If you find that you need more flash "light" (something that extends the flash range up to 30 feet), look at the Canon HF-DC1 or HF-DC2 here on Amazon. It's triggered by the built-in flash (recall that light travels pretty fast) and can come in handy.
As with every camera product, you can spend more money and get something better but at every price point you can make that decision. For me the last criteria is that the camera was inexpensive ($62 at time of purchase) and this camera also meets that criteria. Good luck with your search & or purchase.
This camera uses a 32-bit image processor that has a 4 GB file size limit, so when you are shooting video's (movie) continuously the camera will stop after the 4 GB file size is reached.
In HD Quality 1280 x 720p (25 fps - frames per second), the length of the movie is around 27:18.
In SD Quality 480 x 640p (30 fps - frames per second), the length of the movie is around 50:10.
Note this limit is not just a Canon limit rather most cameras have this limit unless they are using a 64-bit processor. It's generally not an issue with most people, myself included as I generally take video's from 5 seconds to 15-20 minutes.
I purchased a 2nd A1400 because I like the first one so much and wanted to have a backup since who knows when another camera like this will be available with viewfinder. I caught it on sale for $57 after it had been running close to $100.
I've used the camera in very low light settings (using the Low Light Scene mode), taking pictures and video clips of "Disney On Ice" in a box seat some 100-200 feet away from the skaters. The booth like the arena was dimly lit: wall sconces, step lights and exit signs provide what little light there was for safety reasons. The only other lights were above the skaters where spot/flood lights of varying colors lit up parts of the arena. The camera has a 5.0x optical zoom (shows up in white) and an additional 4x of digital zoom (shows up in blue). I set the camera for 5.0x optical and would take photos that turned out nicely, but for the most part I shot video clips & used the free software to extract photos from the video clips (you can extract 25 photos per second of HD video)
When shooting video you have no additional optical zoom except for what you initially set the camera with. Any more zoom is digital (which is akin to cropping the image).
The manual is here (copy & paste the URL in a browser)
Again, this is an awesome camera and value for the money.
on March 16, 2013
I bought four of these (prior version) cameras for school and one for the school auction/dance (auctioned off with 4 hours of my time for photo instruction, etc.).
Anyhow - I LOVE these cameras. AA batts so I don't have to worry about whether the camera is charged or not. (I have a PowerShot SX210 with two lithium batts, personally. But for school, recharging batts is no good - the cameras might sit on the shelf for a while and lose charge and I don't want to buy extra $60 batts for them.)
So...kids use them, mostly, to shoot videos. Being able to take the SCCard out of the camera and put it into a small SD Card reader is just so easy. Forget about the USB cable. Most laptops now come with SD slots in them so you can pop the card out of the camera and into your laptop - how much easier is that??
I think this is an EXCELLENT --> ENTRY LEVEL <-- camera for kids, particularly; but, really, anyone who wants to start learning about photography. Yeah, it lacks a lot of bells and whistles a lot of the other P&S cameras have, but that's GREAT because there is nothing to distract you from learning how to "see" a good photo and learn all about the "photographer's eye".
I've also felt that it's good not having too much stuff on a device because then you can really learn what you are missing and KNOW what to look for when you're ready to move up to the next level.
I think a lot of folks "overbuy" in a camera, especially, and then either get frustrated with it because there just is too much to learn or, worse, just don't use the camera.
The price is right - the camera is more than capable of taking great photos. I plan to buy some more for the school.
on April 9, 2013
Being able to use the view finder and turning off the back screen saves batteries. If you do need to change batteries this camera uses standard AAs that are available everywhere. The 5x zoom is great and more adaptable than a phone or tablet camera. The size of the camera is great. Fits in a pocket with ease.
on June 2, 2013
I bought this as an "intermediate" camera - - in between my cell phone and 30:1 digital zoomer. It fits in a big pocket, or in a small belt pouch - take your choice. (Since I was traveling in pick-pocket areas, I put it in my pocket and kept my hand in my pocket too.)
I am VERY pleased. It comes on almost instantaneously, and it also focuses quickly and shoots fast, recovering in less than a second for the next shot.
Film speed is good, defaults to 1600. Not exactly for night photography, but low-light is no problem at all.
The viewfinder (thanks Canon) is for me indispensable, since LED screens are so hard to see in daylight (not to mention having to get out my reading glasses). I wish other vendors would add the viewfinder back in, but Canon seems to be the last holdout.
Another thing I REALLY like for traveling is the AA batteries. Yeah, you have to buy batteries, but you do not have to carry a charger around (and of course forget to charge your spare battery, as we all will eventually do). This only uses two AA's, and they last a LONG time, maybe 500-1000 (non-flash) photos or thereabouts.
on April 23, 2013
Just came back from a trip to Peru. Love the AA batteries. Using Lithium batteries, my wife only needed to change batteries once while taking approximately 1500 pictures. Camera is very lightweight. It isn't the smallest camera available (due to AAs) but still easy to fit in pocket or small camera bag.
The only complaints I have relate to the multi-function button-wheel on the back. First, the wheel is slightly recessed and it was a bit challenging to make selections with my fingers. My wife didn't have any problems. Secondly, we often pressed the flash selection button when pulling the camera out of its case. This caused several times where we accidentally activated the flash when not needed, then had to wait a few seconds for the recharge before we could take the next picture.
Overall, a great little camera. I also purchased the SX160IS for myself and liked it better (it is an incredible deal for only $50 more), but the A1400 is a terrific choice for a small, lightweight, travel camera.
on June 26, 2014
I liked everything about this camera: so small and lightweight and convenient, takes good pictures, retracting lens (to keep the lens protected and to make the camera compact), nice zoom, easy to use, batteries last and last--and, above all, I need a compact digital camera with a viewfinder as most of my shots are outdoors and in bright sunlight. Who goes out into the rain or the dark to take casual snapshots? Of course your outdoor shots are mostly going to be in bright light. And so I need the viewfinder (can't see the LCD in bright light). And if I wanted to carry around my big clunky expensive digital SLR, then I wouldn't need this one, now would I? So this was perfect--for the six weeks I had it before it stopped functioning. I got the lens error message and the lens would not retract. It said the camera would shut down automatically, which it did. And after that it does not work at all. Every time I turn it on, I get the error message and it shuts down. I received it on May 15. Could only return it within 30 days. Now, on June 26, it stops working. Exceedingly irritating! More than the money is the fact that I really need the camera. Not many of them have a viewfinder. I will let you know how pursuing a claim goes.
July 2nd addition to my original review: I never use the video function, and I keep the LCD screen off most of the time, which is why I have experienced great battery life. Also, I have filed a claim with the Square Trade warranty people, and they said they don't cover this because it is still under the manufacturer's warranty. I have filed a claim with Canon--they said they would get back with me and they have not done so.
on December 1, 2013
good price and love the viewfinder so I can see to take pictures no matter where the sun is. good camera
on August 16, 2013
Having just put this thing through a week of testing on a trip out to California, I can report and confirm that this camera only takes acceptable photos in good light. However, I was able to get a nice night time shot in a well-lit marina by turning off the flash and setting the camera on something solid. There is definitely more noise in the photo, but the exposure came out far better than expected. Zooming in to just about any degree, even in good light, significantly adds to the amount of noticeable noise. In video mode, don't even think of using the zoom. Leave it in the widest angle setting or you'll be disappointed in how much noise there is. If you are shooting video into the general direction of the sun and there is any sort of reflection of the sun, say on the water, you will get horribly obvious and obtrusive vertical bars (about 1/8" wide on the LCD) streaming through the image that will totally ruin the shot you were after. The sensor obviously can't handle that sort of exposure. My iPhone has handled similar exposure with no problems at all. Also, in video mode, the optical viewfinder does not show the effects of the zoom button. The image remains at the widest setting no matter what you do with the zoom button. If you plan to use the zoom in video mode, you MUST use the LCD on the back of the camera to frame your shot. If you use the optical viewfinder and then zoom in, you'll have absolutely no idea what your are capturing. This camera should basically only be used for general landscape photos in good light, or perhaps for basic indoor snapshots with the flash. I got it for free and will probably give it away and look for something better to use as a point-and-shoot when I don't feel like lugging my Nikon DSLR along.