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176 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable little camera!
My last digital camera was a 3.1 MP Kodak EasyShare DX6340 -- a nice little point and shoot in its day, but that was seven years ago! Though it still works like a champ, I decided it was time to upgrade to something a little more compact that also offered better picture quality *and* HD video. I spent over a month shopping around, looking at Canon, Panasonic, and Sony...
Published on September 30, 2009 by "Gimpy" Peach Johnson

versus
142 of 153 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, looking for replacement
I have had many Canon cameras over the years, so I expected a lot from this camera. Prior to this one I had a SD880IS which was larger but had a really good design with a larger LCD and raised controls (not flush like this one).

More about the camera .....

The main thing I don't like about the camera is that with the auto mode I got some blurry...
Published on December 31, 2009 by Kevin K. Fosler


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176 of 182 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Remarkable little camera!, September 30, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My last digital camera was a 3.1 MP Kodak EasyShare DX6340 -- a nice little point and shoot in its day, but that was seven years ago! Though it still works like a champ, I decided it was time to upgrade to something a little more compact that also offered better picture quality *and* HD video. I spent over a month shopping around, looking at Canon, Panasonic, and Sony models, and toyed with the idea of sacrificing small size (and HD video) to go with the new Canon G11. Finally, I settled on the new SD940 IS as a reasonable compromise between size, features, and picture quality. I'm very happy I bought this thing -- so far it has really impressed me!

This thing is TINY -- it's about the same size and weight as my old Motorola RAZR cell phone (when folded closed). Still, it feels quite solid. Despite the compact size, it delivers amazing performance. It boots up quickly, menus are snappy, and shot-to-shot delay is minimal. Picture quality is very good -- nothing extraordinary, but nothing to sneeze at either. I shot a number of test photos over the past couple days and I'm quite pleased. Macro mode shots are amazingly crisp and detailed. Outdoors in medium sun, I did notice some tell-tale "purple fringing" around high contrast areas (the dark green leaves of a tree against a white cloud had a discernible purple halo around them when I zoomed in on the image). I don't know that other P&S cameras of this size will necessarily do any better with the purple fringing, but I didn't find it to be too bothersome. On my monitor colors looked quite natural, not overly-saturated nor washed out. I tried some of the manual ISO settings and below 400 I didn't notice any grain or problematic fuzziness. Obviously, you can't expect SLR quality with a P&S, but I'm very happy with the pictures this thing turns out.

The aspect that really sold me on this camera is the HD video. Of course, I mostly wanted this to take stills, but I wanted the flexibility to switch to video when the moment calls for it. For such a tiny camera, the HD video quality is stunning! Very fluid motion, sharp picture, and remarkably clear audio! The video is best in brightly-lit situations of course, but it does quite well in low light too if you don't mind a little grain in the image. You can choose between several memory-saving standard-def settings and high-def (which switches to widescreen format automatically). While the optical zoom cannot be used in video mode, you CAN use the digital zoom up to 4x while recording -- a nice little bonus. The video files produced are .MOV files which I was able to import into iMovie on my Mac with complete ease (and very quickly too!).

The control buttons are indeed small and flat, but I have had no trouble managing them (it helps if your fingernails are not trimmed too short). People with larger hands or very short fingernails might have a little more difficulty. I'm still getting used to menu navigation on this, but it seems fairly intuitive. I spent ten minutes reading through the "getting started" guide that comes with it, and that was helpful in outlining the basic features, but there are a lot more that the guide doesn't cover. This *does* use a proprietary battery, but the charger is fortunately very compact and charges the battery to capacity in 90 minutes. It doesn't bother me that the battery has to be taken out of the camera for charging. So far, after two days, I have not depleted the battery, so I can't comment yet on how long battery life is, but mine has already lasted through several hours of use and is still going strong.

This may not be the most versatile camera on the market -- full manual controls are limited -- but for a simple-to-use, high-quality P&S camera with crisp pictures and HD video, I think it would be hard to beat the SD940 IS. It is extremely small and lightweight and does all that most casual users could want. It may be a bit pricey compared to some others, but it's worth every penny. By the way, if you plan to use the HD video feature, be sure to get a Class 6 or higher SD memory card for best results. (Lower-rated cards may not be fast enough to capture the stream of information being written to the card). Don't skimp on the card -- cheap off-brands are not always reliable and may soon die, taking your irreplaceable photos and videos with them. I got a few SanDisk Extreme III 8GB Class 6 cards to go with this and they work great!

Highly recommended!
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142 of 153 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, looking for replacement, December 31, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I have had many Canon cameras over the years, so I expected a lot from this camera. Prior to this one I had a SD880IS which was larger but had a really good design with a larger LCD and raised controls (not flush like this one).

More about the camera .....

The main thing I don't like about the camera is that with the auto mode I got some blurry shots. That was indoor on auto with flash off while subject is not completely still.

I had much better luck in program mode. I think for what I was trying to do the "kids and pets" scene mode would have worked better.

I always take shots with the flash off because I want natural lighting so maybe I'm just expecting too much of the camera.

What I do like:

- Black color, very nice looking

- VERY portable. With the leather case I could keep it with me all the time. The leather case has a belt loop and fits the camera very well.

- HD movie mode, although it can get jumpy if you are indoors and moving around, so the camera needs to be very steady (using both hands helps a lot).

The menus are OK but I'd like access to ISO via a dedicated button rather than through the menus.

So, I am selling mine at a very low price. The other reviews, IMO, are accurate -- I am probably just expecting too much from this camera's auto mode.

Update:

I sold the camera today (1-11-2010). The camera I bought to replace it is the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS3. It produces much better pictures in Auto mode, produces consistently good pictures in other modes, has better HD video that is much more stable, and many other things that I prefer (including 12x optical zoom).

Note, however, that it lacks one major advantage that the Canon SD940IS has -- the incredibly small size. It was a hard decision to sell the SD940IS because with its small size and the excellent belt case available that fits it perfectly, I could have it with me wherever I went and I would hardly notice it on my belt. For a lot of people that will be the deciding advantage, so it's a matter of priorities.

In the end, I decided that it was too confusing for me to have two cameras. I have found that every camera has its learning curve, and that to take good pictures with many cameras one must take the time to experiment with the various settings. The Panasonic is much more forgiving and produces better point-and-shoot pictures with less experience. I suspect that the Canon SD940 can also provide good results but that to obtain them I would have had to spend more time learning how to use the manual settings.

I will still keep my eye on the Canon Elph cameras and predict that I will come back to them at some point in the future. For now though the Panasonic meets my needs better -- your mileage may vary.

Update 4-2-2010

I bought the successor to this camera, the SD1400IS, and like it much better. It seems like it sometimes takes Canon a few iterations of a "form factor" before they get it right (in my opinion). The pictures are clearer, and the video much more smooth on the SD1400IS. I wrote a review of that camera and suggest people skip the SD940IS and consider the SD1400IS instead.
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Upgraded from Canon SD750, September 29, 2009
By 
M A (New York) - See all my reviews
Please do not be scared away from this camera because of the idiotic 1 star review over battery charging preferences. This is an amazing camera that takes terrific quality photos. The auto mode is fantastic. Just literally take out of the box and start to point & shoot and pictures are clear, lighting perfect ,etc. The IS function is great. This was lacking in my 750 (which I loved - but had to replace when I lost it). Also added HD video which is a nice touch. My videos are super clear and the sound is quite good as well. Setting it to Manual mode is quite fun and can really enhance pictures, especially low light and outdoor photos. The ISO settings aren't nearly as good as my now ancient Fuji F10 but just ok. However, this camera makes up for it with its incredible auto mode, lightweight feel and crisp clear photos. If you are looking for SLR quality then go buy one of those. If you are looking for a very portable camera that you can take with you everywhere and makes new meaning to the saying 'point-and-shoot', then this camera is for you. Don't miss any shots while trying to find the perfect settings. Set it to Auto and go! This camera will not disappoint.

PS. I have this one in the blue color. Be careful it scratches easily. Get a protective sleeve if you are concerned about that kind of thing. I however am more concerned with the quality of my photos. ;)
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50 of 53 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent little point-and-shoot, September 18, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Having finally decided that it was time to replace my reliable old Canon Powershot A95, I went ahead and bought this brand-new model, based on the fact that I'm already familiar with Canon products and I've liked what I've seen. The new camera definitely delivers, and I'm happy I chose this over a super-zoom model that wasn't anywhere near as compact.

Pros: Much, much less shutter lag than my five-year old model (not surprisingly!), very quick start-up and equally quick focus, sharp and clear photos, accurate color, and remarkably compact considering all the features -- fits easily into a pocket. The wide-angle is a bonus, although I haven't had a chance to play with it much yet. The software that comes with the camera is the updated version of the older software I had, and is easy to learn and use.

Cons: yes, the battery has to be removed to be charged, but this is a very minor inconvenience and is no different than previous models. However, scrolling through the menus to get to the various settings is a bit of a time-consuming drawback, mostly because I was used to being able to select modes directly from a scroll wheel on the older model.
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77 of 91 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great upgrade from the Powershot sd780!, August 29, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I just received my Powershot SD940. Originally I had purchased the Powershot SD780, but when this one came out two days later I returned it. I liked the bigger LCD on the 940 rather than the 780's smaller LCD with an optical viewfinder. The 940 also has a 4x optical zoom compared to the 780's 3x optical zoom. Something else I had not noticed until I received the product is that the 940 has an updated menu system. The menus are laid out more logically and can display help menus to inform the user of the cameras functions and options. This feature is not offered on the 780. After owning both cameras, I would recommend upgrading to the Powershot SD940 unless you need an optical viewfinder. The 940 offers better zoom, bigger LCD, updated menus, and stronger performance (I found that the menus operate more smoothly and with much less lag than the 780). These are both great cameras, and I should note that the 780 is a bit smaller and lighter. Unfortunately they both have rather flat buttons that are not raised above the surface which made it a bit hard to operate at first, but I quickly got used to it. I still STRONGLY recommended!
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Low-light amazingness. BUY THIS CAMERA., November 10, 2009
By 
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I originally bought this little beauty because I needed a tiny camera to drop into my pocket when I didn't feel like lugging the SLR around with me while on a vacation. The size is perfect: literally the size of a credit card, fits into jeans or shirt pocket easily. But the REAL awesomeness of this camera? It has a 3200 ISO mode, that takes surprisingly excellent photos. On a recent trip to Italy, I was able to use it unnoticed in dimly-lit churches, museums, etc., and even for hand-held night shots on the street. The images do contain some noise, as any would at ISO 3200 -- but this camera allowed me to get pictures that I otherwise would've missed, and that makes it a little miracle in my opinion.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sharp looking and fun to use, December 13, 2009
By 
CAMPJEEP (COLUMBUS,OHIO) - See all my reviews
Battery life is 300 pictures (with flash on = just after chargeing battery).Some set back the brightness of the LCD a couple of notches to save some battery..

I have the canon sd 1200 and the start up time is the same 1.5 secs, the shot to shot times on both are less than 2 secs , (with the flash on 3 to 4 secs avg) and a (full flash for both cameras is up to 6 secs).

The black color has a better grip than the other colors.
You will need to buy a high speed 4 or 8 gig sd card, you could get by with a 2 gig card if you are not going to be useing the movie mode alot,
( No SD card comes with the camera ).

When you can, get a spare battery also (NB-4L BATTERY). A nice backup battery is a (power2000) for canon NB-4L for $19.00.

It seems to me that (100 iso) is a little sharper in fine detail than (200 iso) useing program mode, thats just me tho, but just try to use 80 to 250 iso for the best picture. Good image image quality for this size camera useing lower iso's,Highlights sometimes tend to blow out in very bright sun as with all small cameras this size, ( just try not to shoot with the bright sun in frount of you, if possible ). A very compact camera (a tad thiner than the canon SD 1200 , the 28mm wide lens with 4x optical zoom is a nice feature on this small camera, and the 2.7inch lcd sceen is also very nice and sharp.

As point and shoots get better we often try and compare them to digital SLRs ( speed,noise, ISOs, picture quality ) but because of the point and shoots very small sensors it is just asking to much of the little cameras....

The SD940 has 720p HD in the movie mode some will like that, I do not use it enough to comment on how it works,sorry.

The battery door cover like the canon sd 1200 is very weak.

The black color has a better grip(texture) to it than the other colors if that is important to you ,it is not as slipery,

The sd 940 will not take pictures like a canon (G 11) or a( S 90 ) but I like the pictures I get from this very small unit, even some in very low light at 400 - 800 iso.

I mostly take pictures of bear in the Smokey Mountians (CADES COVE) and love chaseing the grand kids around taking their pictures. ( And this year the Outter Banks NC ).
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive, October 14, 2009
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I honestly did not expect this camera to be so compact. Cool! I brought it in off the porch and the box size had me believing I had only received the SD card. It was all in there! I warmed the camera up in my shirt pocket while the battery charged. 90 minutes later I was taking fantastic low light shots of the kids in ISO3200 mode. We made some "short films" of them goofing off and were playing them back on the TV using the mini HDMI output (cable not included). On par with my Flip Ultra HD, but the sound is monaural. No biggee. After seeing a slideshow of the pictures I had taken, I immediately changed the image recording size to Widescreen. This format will work very well, as I usually wiew photos on the TV using the Tivo home networking feature. I crop as needed in Picasa anyway. The 16 GB SD card I ordered with the camera will hold more pictures than I probably took last year, so this amazes me. I will enjoy the lightning fast power up time of the Canon. This camera joins our old Sony DSC-85 which is by comparison, slow, big, and heavy, but because I like it I will still break it out on Holidays. I made this buying decision based solely on research done at the Canon website. Good comparison tools. Probably will buy another battery just to have. Liking the removable battery as a feature, actually. Off to Disney next week for the real trial.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best wide angle lens pocket camera in it's class. Offers Canon superior image quality., November 25, 2009
I was looking to replace my Cannon SD800 (I absolutely LOVE - I think it's the best pocket camera ever made) which had recently met with an unfortunate accident. The SD940 ended up being the best option to replace my previous camera (which had a wide angle lens). Here's why:

I first purchased the Canon SD980 because it is the newest Canon pocket camera with a wide angle lens and it offers a 5X zoom. However, I had to return it as the photo quality turned out to be a BIG disappointment. The SD980 has some serious issues in Auto mode which cause it to produce blurry and/or grainy photos.

I returned the SD980 and purchased the SD940. I am very pleased with the images produced by this model. The camera is TINY! I like how small it is, but I would mention that the buttons might be small for someone with large hands. Camera easily fits in a back pocket. I am impressed with how well it takes photos in low light. Some graininess is to be expected, but I think it produces better images than most cameras in it's class. Also, I found the built in flash to have improved over former Canon models. The flash seems stronger and more effective.

The reason why I give this camera 4 stars and not 5 is that I think for the price, it should offer more features. It is very basic and doesn't offer any fun or fancy options like color/white balance controls, color swapping or photo effects (which my SD800 did for the same price). I should also mention that I did have to return the first SD940 I purchased because I dropped it and it broke. So it is very fragile and needs to be well cared for. It lacks the durability that my SD800 had.

If you plan to use the camera exclusively on Auto mode or are willing to compromise and use "P" mode with limited controls (basically ISO & flash), then this is a great camera for you! Very basic, easy to use and takes great pictures compared to other cameras in it's class (pocket/compact). The other BEST reason to choose this model is the WIDE ANGLE LENS. I will not buy a pocket camera without a wide angle lens. To me, it's of the highest importance. It allows me to take great shots of groups of people and also landscapes. Most of the time I am taking pictures of people or kids and it is soooooo much more effective to have the wide angle lens. I can get about 4 extra people in the same shot as I could with a regular 35mm equivalent lens.

The camera also offers HD video. I've used it in a pinch and was pleasantly surprised. However, my expectation was not high as I would never count on a pocket camera for any important video. I buy a camera for photos and a video camera for video. This assures me the best quality in each case.
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17 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great camera over priced, October 22, 2009
By 
Selma Blackmon "Selma" (Norcross, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is my first pocket camera. I am very pleased with the size (that is why the expensive price tag), I like the ease, the ability to turn off the sound, the less lag time, the quick response. I only have 2 batteries, will need to purchase more. I am currently getting about 2 hours per battery as it is in continual use with photos of cemetery headstones (genealogy).
The camera was recently pruchased and the ease of use is great! My favorite feature is the low light without flash. This is my reason for choosing this model. Thanks to previously read reviews.
Yes, I would purchase the camera again for this purpose.
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