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on June 16, 2010
I purchased this over the acclaimed S90 and glad I did. Ultimately, I decided to wait on this camera in lieu of purchasing the S90 due to the video features and low light capabilities. It the past, it's the low light abilities of a camera that really separates one camera from another (while retaining detail / minimizing noise)

Naturally these are main features along with the fast lens across all optical zoom levels as well as a decent wide angle (28mm equivalent).

I already own a Canon 7D and 20D so wasn't concerned about RAW capabilities. I ultimately wanted a very compact, highly versatile camera that I could take everywhere. This camera accomplishes all of that and then some.

PROS:

-Low light shooting exceeds expectations. Slightly better than average noise for low lighting shooting.

-HD video shooting in 720P exceeded expectations as well. It is so good that I will probably use it more than my Canon 7D due to the ease of HD shooting. Allows zooming (optical and digital) and macro while shooting.

-240 fps / shooting is a lot of fun. Definitely low resolution is very noticable and subject to amount of light in terms of quality, but can still shoot fun videos in somewhat lower light conditions. I use it to capture our dogs playing and chasing after toys. A very fun option to have in a camera and icing on the cake.

-Fantastic macro. I was wondering about the macro as there was little information available. Be rest assured this macro is great.

-Build quality is great. The black matte is solid feeling in the hand and has a slight "rough" texture that makes it easy to hold and hopefully wear easier.

-When zooming out in picture-preview mode, the camera previews 130 pictures on the screen at once! Very cool.

-Small / light enough to pocket it easily ... even in a shirt pocket.

-Beautiful 3" LCD viewing screen. One of the best ones I've seen.

-Very intuitive controls. Takes a tad to get used to them (especially after using SLR cameras), but once you use them, they are a breeze to navigate and control. Amazed by the versatility of the simple layout / controls.

UPDATE: Stereo microphones, I believe.

CONS (I really don't mind any of these, so just a few minor issues):

-Can hear lens zooming while recording video, minor compared to my 7D (granted the 7D has much larger motors).

-During slow motion playback, there are no controls for "fast forward / rewind" to get to the parts of the video quickly for review. This would have been very useful, but not included however.

-Optical zoom lacking at only x3.8. Could stand for a bit more.

-UPDATE: The ports are annoying to get to (USB / HDMI). They are behind a hard plastic cover vs. a soft rubberized that is in normal circumstances. However, this is most likely due to the limited size of the camera and having to put the ports on the side where it is more desirable to have a better wearing hard cover.

UPDATE 6/21/10: I just got back from camping and bringing only this camera. I am more and more impressed by the low light capabilities and versatility. I wasn't aware of some interesting features / gimmicks that I actually like. Examples include a faux fish-eye image modification, tilt-shift image miniaturization effect (blurs top and bottom of the frame), color accent feature (keeps a selected color in the image while the rest is B&W), color swap (change a color in scene to another while shooting), and a panoramic stitch assist to help align pictures while shooting multiple frames ... to name a few. It has other features, but these are the most notable in my opinion.

What is also interesting (I haven't had a chance to test it out) is that it has a timer / shutter release function based on 1) a smile is detected 2) a wink is detected and 3) a new face entering the scene. If this works, it sure is an interesting feature.

I still intend on updating with new video samples. Thanks for reading.

UPDATE 7/22/10: If you are considering this camera and budget isn't an issue, Panasonic just announced their new line of compact cameras and most notably the Lumix LX5 which appears to outshine this camera on most if not all capabilities. It will be approximately $500, however.

UPDATE 8/18/10: Warning! Canon just announced the SD4500IS as well as the S95. You should most likely wait for those or another camera at this point. The S95 adds an HDR mode (cool!) as well as shoots in 720P. The SD4500IS shoots in 1080P! The S95 has hybrid image stabilization (for macro?) and the SD4500IS has dynamic image stabilization added. Anyhow, just some tidbits to give you an idea. Good luck.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon June 28, 2010
The Canon SD 4000 IS has been on my "watch list" since its announcement a couple of months ago. I have purchased many Canon compacts over the years, and have often been supremely happy with them. My Canon PowerShot S80, for example, which I purchased back in 2005, was one of my favorites Canon ever made, and I used it far into the next cycles of camera production. With this latest Canon, touting a wide-open aperture of f/2.0 coupled with a back-lit CMOS sensor, and with the physically diminutive yet stylistically beautiful design, the promise for me was that the SD 4000 IS camera would meet my latest needs for a low light portable camera. Having already purchased the Canon S90 a few months ago, I was eager to see if the newest incarnation of Canon's low light portables really kept its promise, because the SD 4000 also tempted with HD video recording, which the outstanding S90 unfortunately omitted due to its implementation of the Sony sensor which does not support HD mode.

The results? Well, we are seeing quite a number of early positives about the SD 4000 IS, and most of them I cannot knock. It's really a fun camera to use, and many people will find it to their liking. Here are some of the true highlights that I can confirm with my own testing:

1. Startlingly beautiful design in a very small form factor with smooth curves and edges
2. An outstanding "rough" finish on the camera which makes holding the tiny device much more secure
3. True f/2.0 shooting (only at the widest end of the zoom) that allows use of the device in low lighting situations where other portables would be unusable
4. Outstanding video recording in 720i HD format - videos look really great
5. Good display, though not up to the standards of what we would hope for today
6. True wide-angle lens
7. Some control over shooting settings
8. Excellent macro shooting capability (in part due to the large aperture, allowing for shallow depth of field shots at close range)

Nevertheless, having used the camera for a while, I would have to say that this camera is not a "no brainer" for everyone. There are some notable shortcomings from my own testing:

1. Noise levels are not what I had expected - the S90 has less noise than the SD 4000 IS at equivalent settings, and noise levels are apparent even at the lowest ISO settings. This was my biggest letdown.
2. Image quality is good, but I had again expected IQ to be at levels quite similar to the S90. I cannot say that the image quality, however, is the same as the S90. There is also a general softness to the images which is not as strongly seen in the S90.
3. Total programmatic control over all camera settings is not possible. The camera is rather designed to be used with its predefined scene settings. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but one should understand that the SD 4000 IS is not fully controllable, such as is the case with the S90.
4. Video quality is great, but if you are looking for 1080i capability, this camera does not provide it.

It seems then, that you will like this camera truly based on your own preferences and willingness to accept compromise. If you want a very small, portable and stylish camera that shoots good video, does macros exceptionally well, and can handle low light situations, this camera is worth looking into. Having said that, you have to accept that the SD 4000 IS will not produce noise free images, and you'll likely be dealing with some noise even at the lower ISO levels. If that's OK, you'll have a blast with this camera.

If you are looking for a DSLR replacement for certain occasions when you don't want to lug around your gear, but also want noise free images in low light, I'm not sure this is your baby. I would rather consider the slightly larger Canon S 90IS, forgo the HD video, and have the manual controls (plus RAW shooting) that the S90 provides.

A number of other camera manufacturers are rumored to be releasing more of these types of cameras as the year progresses. It will be interesting to see if any of these can push farther forwards the low light shooting technology, because it's really something we are all wishing for. The SD 4000 IS is a great camera, but it comes with limitations (particularly in the area of noise), and others will be trying to beat what Canon is attempting to do with these portables.

Four stars for image quality (but with noise), three stars for price (too expensive, in my opinion), and five stars for quality.

Compare:
Canon PowerShot S90 10MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3-inch LCD
Canon Powershot S80 8MP Digital Camera with 3.6x Wide Angle Optical Zoom
Panasonic DMC-LX3 10.1MP Digital Camera with 24mm Wide Angle MEGA Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 12x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black)
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on June 11, 2010
I was in the market for a point-and-shoot to take on vacation when a photographer I know recommended this new model to me. I was intrigued by the description, because I have a child who does gymnastics and it's virtually impossible to get clear shots in a dark gym where flashes are prohibited. I won't bother discussing the specs since they're all in the product description, but after a week of playing with this camera, I'm simply blown away by the technology. This is, without a doubt, the best point-and-shoot I've ever owned for low light and action shots. Macro shots rival what I can get with my Nikon DSLR-- you can get so close to your subjects that I actually bumped a strawberry with my lens. HD video is impressive as well.

Controls are easy to use. The menus make sense, and it only took me an hour or so of tinkering to find everything. The battery is good for about 250 shots on one charge.

If there's one negative (so far), it's that the SD4000 is very small and sleek, and I never feel like I'm holding it securely enough. My old A530 was a much more natural fit for the human hand. It's a minor complaint, really, but I have fairly small hands; I imagine it would feel even more undersized to someone with large hands.
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on July 2, 2010
First of all, I'm a Canon PowerShot fan, owned the SD700IS, SD800IS, SD870IS and now the SD4000IS. In making this last purchase, I heavily considered the S90 (borrowed a friend's to test), and even the Sony CyberShot TX5.

SD4000IS over TX5:
Easy win. Sony has a slimmer profile and waterproof durability, but ultimately those were all gimmicks compared to the picture quality and color. Reinforced why I always come back to Canon, and reminded me that I wanted an extended warranty this time around.

SD4000IS over S90:
Tougher decision, but in the end, the S90 is really for the prosumer and those who love all the manual controls. S90 really make a huge leap with the ring and controls, while the SD4000IS keeps the same repertoire of manuals as previous models (exposure, color, ISO, etc.) which was enough for me, even though I'd classify my use of the manual controls as "above average". Also don't tweak pictures more than just what Picasa gives me, so RAW on the S90 was not that important for me, though others have raved about it.

Pros
+ Video quality: this was the biggest selling point, big step above any previous Canon point-and-shoot video quality.
+ Video zoom: Previous Canons only had digital zoom in video (worst ever--you'd zoom in to see something clearer, and it just made it more pixelated and unclear), but SD4000IS now has optical. Other reviews complained about lens noise captured on the audio, which I also experienced, but it was just a very low mechanical hiss, enough to hear if you're listening for it but not enough for a "what the heck was that??"
+ Low light: a BIG upgrade from my previous Canon models, I was surprised how much better they really are with this new processor and lens
+ Wide angle: Wider than S90, about the same as SD870. Great especially because my wife and I still do the whole taking pictures of ourselves by ourselves thing.

Cons
- No flash level setting, which was the coolest thing on the S90. Don't think any other PowerShots have that either.
- In streamlining the camera buttons in the back, the interface is not as straight forward as previous models. Feel like I'm often adding one more click for every option I'm trying to get to, but not a big deal.
- LCD screen is widescreen, which means you have the black side margins when in camera mode (as opposed to the video mode which is full widescreen), and that makes the viewable space a bit smaller than a 3" display. Not a big deal either for me.
- No miniHDMI cord provided

Other
- Some complained about slow focus, which I did notice it slightly but it's not like I'm a photographer for the NFL. For regular shots, even with toddlers, I've been fine with it.
- Get an extended warranty. It wasn't out of choice that I've had 4 Canons in the last 4 years. But in all fairness, I don't carry my camera in a case; I carry it around a lot and often in my pocket, but I never drop it either.
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on October 30, 2010
I purchased this camera as the best option (for me) among the ~300.00 P & S cameras. The most important factors for me-

1) Low light. The reviews all over the internet that rated this camera unusually good for low light pics were correct. You can take pics indoors without flash- they look great, much more natural than with flash. It is a major plus and none of the other cameras in this range were capable. The sacrifice for low light performance at this price point was zoom range- it's not a monster zoomer but it is decent and I'll take the low light capability any day.

2) Wide angle. I like wide angle viewing for architecture pics.

3) Canon history. Canon has been a rugged, reliable camera brand for my entire life as a serious casual photog.

4) Portability. I'll take this camera everywhere. I have large hands but have no issue with any of the controls.

Since there is a vocal minority of people that experienced blurry pics when at full optical zoom, I just benchmarked the performance in my yard. Pics at full optical zoom appeared very sharp on my computer when viewed at full widescreen size on my computer. Even zooming in to 100% of image (you get a small fraction of the pic on your screen- use irfran view or other photo viewer that measures percentage of image size when viewing) the images was not razor sharp but was still usable and did not fall off that drastically from the non-zoomed setting. This is not a professional camera but I am very happy with the results. In short, I could not duplicate the blurry zoom issues even when zooming in on the picture with my computer image viewer.

The 4 star rating was vs. a comparison to a professional camera as a reference, in other words, 5 star image quality is achieved only with cameras costing much more.

The controls are also very easy to use once you go through them a few times. The rotating selection ring works well. I prefer this over a touch screen.

If you value portability, solid feel, sharp images and natural indoor pictures without flash that can only be obtained with a camera that has great low light capability, this one is for you.
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VINE VOICEon July 27, 2010
As of July 2010, Canon S90 and Canon SD4000 are two of the best pocketable point and shoot cameras. Tough choice. Having used both, here is my take on these two excellent cameras:

ADVANTAGES OF S90 Over SD4000

1. Better picture quality.
2. Lots of manual controls.
3. Can capture images in RAW mode, allowing you lot more editing and image manipulation options.

ADVANTAGES OF SD4000 Over S90

1. HD video recording.
2. Slow motion video recording.
3. Some extra image effects like miniaturization and fish eye.
4. Slightly smaller size.
5. Native Eye-Fi support. But Eye-Fi card also works in S90.
6. I found a little better low light performance.

If you are looking for an excellent still image point & shoot camera and do not care that much about HD video then go for S90, which is really a prosumer camera designed for advanced amateur. But if you want an all in one, simple to use camera with ability to shoot good still pictures and HD video, then SD4000 is your camera.

UPDATE September 4, 2010: For eighty more bucks, you can have it all in Canon PowerShot S95 10 MP Digital Camera with 3.8x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch inch LCD which takes HD 720p video and has been just released.
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on July 17, 2010
Two weeks before the S4000 came out, I had purchased the SD1200. I waited for the SD4000 and planned to return the SD1200. How did it compare? First the pros:
- SD4000 is extremely sharp at wide-angle from center to edge (much better than SD1200 and SD850)
- ISO400 and 800 are indeed very usable (great improvement over SD1200 and other compacts)
- nice screen

Now the cons:
- when zooming in to 3.8x, the picture quality was extremely soft. Or in plain english: not sharp. To be clear, I did not have to crop to 100% to see it or do a side-by-side comparison. And I'm not talking about digital zoom either. Simply looking at the picture left me stunned: soft, blurry, not sharp, simply awful. I increased in-camera sharpness, but that was not nearly sufficient. It was REALLY BAD.
- it's not as compact as you might like (pretty long and think, the SD1200 is much more compact)
- as other reviews also mentioned, the buttons and menus make navigating cumbersome (many steps with a small super-sensitive dial).

Since the pictures at 3.8x were completely unusable, it was a definite no-go. To my big surprise, I kept the SD1200 although I'll miss the wide-angle and high ISO quality of the SD4000. Maybe it was a bad copy?! Note there is another review here that complained about softness, so it does not seem to be unique.

I'll try another copy later when the price has dropped and Canon has more experience with it.

Bottom line: I give it one star because the camera was simply unusable. As indicated, other features were good to great, but having to return a camera is not worth more than one star in my opinion. It's the first time I returned a camera (and I own 6! 2SLRs, one 12x zoom, 3 compacts).

UPDATE:
Some people suggest I had a bad copy, others thought I used digital zoom. Quality is very subjective and I therefore quote the professional review from DPReview: "For the most part, the SD4000 IS produces very nice images. They don't hold up to very close scrutiny at the pixel level - even at lowest ISO there are slightly unpleasant artefacts if you zoom too much. ... But viewed as standard sized prints or at screen resolution (which we believe will be the main use of this camera's output), they look good, with great color rendition and generally good exposure."

I agree with their opinion (they are obviously more gentle with their choice of words). So, as long as you do not view pics at 100%, you might not notice the bad image quality at 3.8x zoom much. In real life however, everytime you do feel the desire to use the 3.8x zoom to bring a subject up closer, it's quite likely you are tempted to look at the picture up close, or zoom in a bit. Not a good idea! Therefore, if you expect to regularly use the 3.8x end of the zoom, I strongly recommend not to buy this camera. Otherwise, it's a fine camera.
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on July 8, 2010
This is a nice compact camera. I was gonna get s90, but decided to get sd4000 instead because of the 720p video capability. I don't regret the decision because sd4000 really takes great pics. indoor pics of the kids are bight and clear. there are only two knocks against it:

1. not a lot of buttons, so you have to go thru on screen menu to perform tasks such as change shooting modes and even deleting pictures.

2. as indicated by the title of this review, the camera has rounded edges, even the base. it does stand upright on its own, but you have to set it up carefully, and even after you do, it seems very wobbly and you are always worried that the slightest bump of whatever surface the camera is standing on will tip the camera over. this is troublesome when setting the camera up on a table so you can take pictures of yourself. and also forces you to either keeping it in a case when not in use, or make it lay flat on the face or back, which may result in scratching the most visible parts of the camera body.
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on June 12, 2010
Three things sold me on this camera: high speed movie recording, miniature effect, and the fast 2.0 aperture lens. I'm happy to report that all three features deliver as promised.

I've previously owned about 8 models of Canon cameras in the last 10 years, and my wife wanted to know what this camera could do that my Rebel T1i and Powershot SD870IS could not. She was skeptical, but it only took one movie of the kids jumping on the bed in slow motion to justify the purchase. My only gripe is that one of the things that has drawn me to Canon over the years, the consistent and intuitive menus, has been radically changed.

Pros:
* high speed movie recording - I know that Casio did it first, but without the Canon quality and Powershot form factor, I was not sold. Both the kids and I love this feature and they enjoy recording themselves to play back in slo-mo. I've been using it to slow down things like water drops and balloons popping.
* miniature effect - if you're adept, you can achieve this with Photoshop, but the camera does it MUCH more easily. When it works (when the scene is appropriate) it looks fantastic.
* fast lens - as others have commented, you can shoot without a flash in much lower light
* 720p movies look fantastic

Cons:
* Menus take a lot "play time" to figure out.
* Documentation is clear, but lacking depth. If I hadn't known there was a miniature effect, I never would have found it on my own.
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on October 28, 2010
I was looking to upgrade my Canon SD600. I wanted a camera with good colors, flash, battery life, light and quick.
So first I tried Panasonic Lumix ZS5,
- Bulky with powerful zoom
- Bad colors, so returned it!!
Then I tried Canon SD4500IS
- Loved this camera, prefect colors/flash/zoom/handling with really cool features my best was Super Vivid. But I have to return this camera because of its Battery Life, which sucked!!!! I guess because of its heavy zoom that used a lot of power.
By now, I was frustrated because I really liked SD4500IS and didn't want to return it but a spare battery was going to cost me another $40-$50 and then I was suppose to carry it always!
Finally I ordered SD4000IS, this has everything what SD45000IS - zoom and few features. But it has better wide angle than SD45000IS. Its very quick camera with amazing colors and I am loving it!!

Thanks AMAZON!!!
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