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  • Canon PowerShot SD970IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD (Silver)
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Canon PowerShot SD970IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 5x Optical Zoom and 3.0-inch LCD (Silver)

by Canon
| 4 answered questions

Available from these sellers.
  • 12.1-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints
  • 5x optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer
  • HD movie shooting capability plus HDMI output
  • New Active display technology for quickly switching between images during playback
  • Compatible with SD/SDHC, MMC/MMC Plus/HC MMC Plus (not included)
1 new from $379.99 5 used from $135.00


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Technical Details

  • Image Stabilization
  • Video Capability
  • Mac Compatible

Read about our customers' top-rated cameras on our review page: Point-and-Shoot Cameras

Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 3.7 x 1 x 2.2 inches ; 5.6 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B001SER46A
  • Item model number: SD790IS Silver
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,667 in Camera & Photo (See Top 100 in Camera & Photo)
  • Date first available at Amazon.com: February 17, 2009

Product Description

From the Manufacturer

Cool curves, powerful features and a fun new way to operate the camera mark Canon’s PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH. Amazing resolution and expanded editing options are yours with 12.1 megapixels, and you can even create HD movies. Shooting is fun and easy with Smart AUTO that makes all your shots better effortlessly, and there’s a new user-friendly interface. And see how much fun it is to browse through your photos and even speed up image advance with a shake or tilt of the camera!

PowerShot SD970 IS Highlights

Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
12.1 megapixels plus 5x optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer
Canon’s commitment to innovation defines the excitement of the PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH. 12.1-megapixel resolution is more than a number, it’s your cutting-edge link to the outstanding clarity and quality you’ve always wanted in your images. Think bold and big, because razor-sharp, oversized prints are a breeze. Get the picture? It’s absolutely brilliant.

The PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH has a 5x optical zoom lens that makes it easy to get the inspiring, emotive close-ups that will make your images lasting keepsakes. This magnificent lens gives you the power to shoot distant subjects with razor-sharp precision and stunning lifelike color. So you can brilliantly capture a bird high atop a tree, a child’s winning goal from across the stadium or a school play from the last row.

Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
The PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH is equipped with Canon’s acclaimed Optical Image Stabilizer Technology that automatically detects and corrects camera shake--one of the leading causes of fuzzy or blurred shots. Even when zoomed in, you can get the steady, crisp, brilliant images you’ll be proud to shoot and share. And Canon’s Optical Image Stabilizer Technology is so convenient to use. It functions perfectly with or without a flash.

Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
HD movie shooting capability plus HDMI output
The PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH lets you record video in beautiful high definition (1280 x 720 pixels). The camera also makes it easy to enjoy HD movies (and still photos) on your HDTV with a mini-HDMI connector for direct connection to a high-definition monitor. You’ll enjoy the HD experience with no degradation of image or audio in the signal, plus the ability to display up to 130 still images at once.

Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings
Just set the Canon PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH to Smart AUTO and you’re ready for maximum enjoyment from your picture taking every time. It’s a relaxing and satisfying way to shoot because you can completely concentrate on your subject knowing that the camera has the technical details covered. Advanced Canon technology intelligently analyzes your situation and shooting conditions. Then it automatically selects an appropriate setting from 18 specially defined settings. So whether you’re photographing flowers, a captivating sunset, or your friends at the park, you can be confident that you’re getting dramatic, memorable images.

Shooting Modes
Advanced presets for the best possible photos under certain conditions. With 20 Shooting Modes, you’re ready for whatever shot comes your way.

New Active display technology
Active Display is a fun new feature powered by an accelerometer built into the PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH. When browsing through your images in playback, just give the camera a quick shake to advance or return images one frame at a time. Tilting the camera will activate continuous image advance, and tilting at a further angle will make the images advance more quickly.
Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
Simply tilt the SD970 IS to advance images

Zoom Blur and Creative Light Effect produce fun, original effects
Zoom Blur is a classic photo effect that takes some technical skill to create, whether on film or in the editing process. But the PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH’s new Zoom Blur feature makes the look easy to achieve. Simply shoot with the feature activated, and the camera zooms during exposure for a great effect.

Creative Light Effect Special Scene mode can turn your image into a whimsical work of art by changing twinkling light sources in the background of night scenes into stars, hearts or other shapes.

Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
Large, high-quality 3.0-inch PureColor LCD II with wide viewing angle
The PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH gives you large 3.0-inch LCD screen for excellent control when framing your shots. Canon’s high-quality PureColor LCD II (461,000 dots) offers spectacular color, resolution and contrast even when viewed at an angle. The screen is highly durable and easy to see in any light with a scratch-resistant, anti-reflective coating. It also features Night Display for easy viewing in low light--a perfect feature for gathering friends and family around to see your images.

A World of Advantages with Canon’s Technology

Canon's DIGIC 4 image processor has evolved Face Detection Technology that tracks the faces of moving subjects and lets the shooter enter the frame seamlessly with the Face Detection Self-Timer.

DIGIC 4 Image Processor
Canon’s most advanced image processor, DIGIC 4, delivers evolved Face Detection Technology that keeps every face in every photo looking its very best. The technology finds and tracks the faces of moving subjects until you’re ready to shoot, then delivers perfect focus. In addition, exposure, flash and white balance are compensated, so that faces exhibit natural skin tones and backgrounds are properly exposed.

Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
iSAPS Technology is an entirely original scene-recognition technology developed for digital cameras by Canon. Using an internal database of thousands of different photos, iSAPS works with the advanced DIGIC 4 image processor to improve focus speed and accuracy, as well as exposure and white balance.

A Face Detection Self-Timer automatically detects an increase in the number of faces and makes the appropriate adjustments. For instance, to include the photographer’s face in a group shot, there’s no need to rush in. Just put the camera on a stand or tripod, specify Face Detection Self-Timer, and the camera will wait for the photographer’s face to get on-camera before it takes the shot. Motion Detection tracks moving subjects in a much larger range, and the Servo AF retains focus on a moving subject after the shutter button is pressed halfway--allowing you to wait for the perfect shot without refocusing.

Intelligent Contrast Correction
Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
DIGIC 4 also makes possible the i-Contrast (Intelligent Contrast Correction) system, which controls the compensation level in pixel units to brighten dark areas while leaving bright areas unchanged for better images where the main subject is dark, and more natural transition. The PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH can even use i-Contrast in playback mode to adjust images that were shot without the setting activated.

Red-eye Correction provides three options for removing red-eye from subjects in flash pictures.
1) Red-eye Correction during shooting actually identifies and corrects red-eye in human subjects as pictures are taken.
2) The PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH can be set to automatically detect and correct red-eye during image playback.
3) You can manually locate any red eyes in a scene during image playback on the LCD screen, and command the camera to remove them.

Life doesn’t give you second chances to capture special times. That’s why the PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH features an ISO 1600 setting that reduces the effects of camera shake and sharpens subjects in low-light situations, giving you greater shooting flexibility. ISO can be expanded to 3200 when you select ISO 3200 Special Scene mode.

Canon PowerShot digital camera highlights
Blink Detection
Blinking subjects can ruin the best shots, and the problem usually isn’t detected until it’s too late to do anything about it. The PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH is equipped with Canon’s new Blink Detection to combat this common image flaw. The feature uses the power of Face Detection to determine whether any subject in the previous shot had closed eyes. If closed eyes are detected, a "blink warning" icon appears for 3 seconds, allowing you to retake the shot before your subject or subjects move on.



What's in the Box

  • PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH body
  • Lithium-ion battery pack (NB-5L)
  • Battery charger (CB-2LX)
  • Wrist strap (WS-DC7)
  • Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM
  • USB interface cable (IFC-400PCU)
  • AV cable (AVC-DC400)

Product Description

Canon PowerShot SD970 ID Digital ELPH Camera Kit ELPHLeads the Way with Innovation and Style. Cool curves, powerful features and a fun new way to operate the camera mark Canon's PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH. Amazing resolution and expanded editing options are yours with 12.1 megapixels, and you caneven create HD movies. Shooting is fun and easy with Smart AUTO that makes all your shots better effortlessly, and there's a new user-friendly interface. And see how much fun it is to browse through your photos and even speed up image advance with ashake or tilt of the camera! Features: * 12.1 Megapixels for amazing resolution and editing, plus a 5x Optical Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer. * HD movie shooting capability plus HDMI output for easy playback of video and photos on your HDTV. * Smart AUTO intelligently selects the proper settings for the camera based on 18 predefined shooting situations. * New Active display technology for quickly switching between images during playback with a shake of the camera. * Use Zoom Blur and Creative Light Effect to produce fun, original effects with your camera. * Large high-quality 3.0-inch PureColor LCD II (461,000 dots) for bright, accurate color with wide viewing angle and an anti-glare, anti-scratch coating. * DIGIC 4 Image Processor has evolved Face Detection Technology that tracks the faces of moving subjects andlets the shooter enter the frame seamlessly with the Face Detection Self-timer. * Blink Detectionto alert a shooter after a shot has been taken, that a subject had closed eyes. Specifications: Type of Camera: Compact digital still camera with built-in flash, 5x Optical/4x Digital/20x Combined Zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer System Image Capture Device Type: 12.1 Megapixel, 1/2.3-inch type Charge Coupled Device (CCD) Total Pixels: Approx. 12.4 Megapixels Effective Pixels: Approx. 12.1 Megapixels Focal Length: 6.6-33.0mm f/3.2-5.8 (35

Customer Questions & Answers

Customer Reviews

I've had this camera over a year and the picture quality is great for a point and shoot. Great colour capture. Read more ›
I have bought the camera from Beach Camera thru Amazon. the quality is good and it deliver to our home (Philippines) in just one week which is ahead of time. I enjoy using… Read more ›
I was not disappointed! Both the video and still picture quality is awesome. Read more ›
The color of the camera and picture is nice. Photos are colorful. Read more ›
This is an impressive compact camera! It blows away the older 870 (which I loved when it was new) and the HD movie quality is good. The movie quality is not as good as a… Read more ›
So, I'm down to one every day carry camera and I love it. The photos are great and the videos are even better than the Flip. With the Flip I had to use a monopod to keep… Read more ›
I have missed too many shots and cursed at this camera too many times. The 720p video is nice, but that is all this camera is good for. Read more ›
I like it very much, I love its design, I like its selecting…The quality of its videos is amazing, they seem a video camera recording, and you can zoom while recording. I… Read more ›
The Auto mode of the camera works great and it takes the…The video is awesome too.i enjoyed shooting videos on this camera than the snaps and the HD quality is amazing. T… Read more ›
The image stabilization is rock solid. The 720 HD video is very good. I have a Mac and I use iMovie and Quicktime to edit the video. Read more ›
The video function works easy and you can upload the videos to your PC (in .mov format), and the software can convert it to .avi format also. Read more ›
Even in automatic mode, the lighting is…Good part about the camera is that it takes excellent videos....but if that's all I wanted I would have gotten a video camera. A… Read more ›
The extra 5X zoom is a plus. Print and picture quality is supurb. Read more ›
However I am super happy with the pre-set settings that are already installed. The 5 time zoom is great. I have had a canon with a 3 time zoom before this one. Read more ›
The facial recog is nearly perfect. I mainly bought this for the extra zoom which is very useful. The lcd screen looks like that sort of purple anti glare that you see on… Read more ›
- Convenient size and shape - Good optical zoom Read more ›
First was stolen, second was damaged, third…I had to return the last one promptly, because although it took excellent stills, with a marvelous zoom, its video was dismal. Read more ›
One of the best I've seen in consumer cameras. I didn't quite like the zoom lever since it's too short and you end up almost using your fingernails to move it. The location… Read more ›
At first, I…The macro and digital macro settings work well, and the video is good enough that a friend used some of it professionally as part of an online promotion. Read more ›
I also find that there is a lag in response when shooting…However, when I do get the shots I wanted, the pictures look so good and the movie mode is wonderful as well. T… Read more ›
Didn't have a lot of time with this camera just yet, but I first used it for a wedding and had a lot of fun finding its features. The buttons are a bit stiff for ease of… Read more ›
This is the fourth Canon Camera I've…It has the largest LCD screen (3inches), very easy controls, easy to figure it out whether you use it automatically or manually. Ca… Read more ›
In this mode the greens,…I like this mode, especially if the light your shooting in is not right, this mode will brighten the colors and make your photo less boring. I… Read more ›
One mode I found useful particularly on taking pictures under backlight overcast conditions, very common in UK at this time of the year and that easily overexpose pictures,… Read more ›
The camera is fast and the auto settings for photos do a very good job of getting decent photos in…The LCD is very nice and remains fairly visible even on a sunny beach. Read more ›
It takes clear, rich pictures. The large LCD display is amazing for previewing and sharing photos. I love all of the programming and lighting options. Read more ›
This camera takes very nice photos and had an incredibly sharp LCD display. I only used it in manual mode during the short time I had it, so I can't speak for the program… Read more ›
You can also use manual setting which are…One thing to keep in mind is that these have great screens and need to be in a case otherwise they will crack in ur pocket or bag. Read more ›
I use it for vacation pictures, family pics, everyday pics, everything! The picture quality is very good, love the big lcd screen, etc. There are so many features to love! Read more ›
The advantages of the SD970IS are numerous: display is bright and very crisp - like a high definition TV; zoom range is improved; the "Auto" scene mode selection is… Read more ›
The controls are fairly easy to use. Auto produces disappointing picture quality. Read more ›
As a mother of 2 young children with no inclination toward photography, I just needed a portable, point-and-shoot, catch-my-kids-in-action easy to use kind of camera. I… Read more ›
Controls on the back are arranged great and easy to use. There is a dedicated button to picture review/playback, and its not small and hard to use. Read more ›
I love this camera!!!! It is easy to use & the zoom is awesome. Read more ›
The features are exceptional, great feel and look, excellent photo quality, easy to use and I would recommend the SD970 to anyone including the experts who wish to carry a… Read more ›
Easy to use, FANTASTIC pictures via the 12MP capture, video turns out incredible (even takes HD video), perfect camera for wonderful pictures. Only gave it four stars… Read more ›
I used this camera for many events since purchasing it. It take great pictures and the colors are vivid. My only complaint was at a birthday party in a bowling alley, some… Read more ›
I bought it because it has one of the longer optical zoom…Overall it's a great little camera to tote around and it produces nice, every-day pictures with great color. I… Read more ›
Amazing camera. Nice pictures ans colors. Incredible performance for a point and shoot camera. Read more ›
In this mode the greens, blues, are brilliantly enhanced making scenic pics pop out with bright color, some may like or dislike for the colors do not represent the true… Read more ›
In this mode the greens,…I like this mode, especially if the light your shooting in is not right, this mode will brighten the colors and make your photo less boring. I… Read more ›
The 970is at 12 megapixels and a greater zoom range provides an even better…The price is very reasonable and I really like being able to carry it in my pocket with no fuss. Read more ›
In summary, one of the best point and shoots around for the price now that it's well below the price it was when launched. At that price I agree with many that claimed it… Read more ›
The retail price for the SD970IS is $379.99 and I guess based on that price I would have probably not bought it, but as always I researched the pricing online and… Read more ›
When I started…Cnet.com gave all the models a good to very good rating, however they didn't like the price to feature ratio with the SD970IS but everything else was great. Read more ›
Order an extra battery. Although battery life is good, a back-up battery is inexpensive and can easily be packed in the camera case. The wall charger that comes with the… Read more ›
In addition to the tendency to overexposure, I found the flash takes way too long to recharge and the battery life is not great particularly if you are like me and look… Read more ›
Great photos, great battery life, awesome features, and really easy to use. Read more ›
Out of ten shots…I had gotten this as a replacement for my Nikon Coolpix; the Nikon was my third coolpix and the battery door had broken on every single one of them. Th… Read more ›
My original 970 goes everywhere with me, I use it for my work, its easy to carry in my jacket or pants pocket, I've got a soft side case logic bag that it slips in to… Read more ›
I'm just glad it failed quickly before I wasted too much time learning how to use…Anyway, the best thing about these cameras is that they're small and easy to carry along. Read more ›
12 Megapixel, small, 5x optical zoom, large 3 inch display. It is compact and easy to carry, yet has a 5x optical zoom. The view screen resolution is excellent and a great… Read more ›
I…That said, the camera is primarily a still camera and it did take very nice still images and with 12MP, you can actually use the digital zoom and still retain good clarity. Read more ›
You can have 20MP but…The only real advantage to more MP is that you can use digital zoom and/or crop the picture significantly while still maintaining excellent clarity. Read more ›
5 stars all the way. Size was perfect, screen was clear, large and bright, options were easy to use and excellent pictures were almost guaranteed. I bought extra… Read more ›
It is compact and easy to carry, yet has a 5x optical zoom. The view screen resolution is excellent and a great size at 3 inches. The pictures are beautiful. Read more ›

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

151 of 158 people found the following review helpful By Christo on April 16, 2009
Verified Purchase
The resolution and size of the screen on this camera is absolutely incredible. Pictures and video look really sharp. Screen is anti-reflective too. HD video is outstanding. Taped a table tennis match, the video and sound were both extremely clear and the movement was incredibly smooth, due to the 30 fps. I am not so impressed with camera's auto mode, while indoors, yet. Colors were off, maybe due to the white balance and low light. I find myself using the "P" mode mostly and making small adjustments to the white balance and adjusting the "my colors" section. Overall its a beautiful looking camera and feels good in the hands. I like the two tone color scheme. You have to watch your fingers, on your left, hand so they don't block the flash, it's very easy to do.

Update: Digital Zoom.
Most people advise you to disable digital zoom because of the resolution degradation when using it, however on this camera the digital zoom is fantastic, with very little resolution degradation seen and digital zoom can be used while in Video mode.

Update Foliage Program mode,8/2009:
I have been using the foliage mode for outdoor scenic shots lately. In this mode the greens, blues, are brilliantly enhanced making scenic pics pop out with bright color, some may like or dislike for the colors do not represent the true colors viewed. I like this mode, especially if the light your shooting in is not right, this mode will brighten the colors and make your photo less boring. I recommend previewing each shot before you move on to make sure the colors are not too saturated. I found that as the light changes this may happen.

Update: March 2010
Get the Canon S90, much, much better camera than the SD970,. The S90 also has low light sensors that make any indoor picture almost perfect. With the S90 you get professional results!
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104 of 110 people found the following review helpful By L. Yang on May 14, 2009
Verified Purchase
This review is to help those who are deciding between Canon SD970 and Canon SD960.

.................SD970......SD960......Comment
Optical zoom...5x..........4x..........Plus
LCD size.........3"..........2.8"........plus
LCD dot ......461k........230k.........Big plus
Zoom Blur......yes ........no..........no

The 5x optical zoom makes the picture 50% larger. So, I think it is a worthy improvement. However, it is offset by the wider angle lens of SD960.

The LCD size and resolution are a very worthy improvement. Although it is 3" vs 2.8", the actual screen sizes are quite different because SD970 has 4:3 aspect ratio and SD960 has 2:1 aspect ration. For normal 4:3 pictures, SD960 can only use 2/3 of screen to show the picture while SD970 uses all screen. With twice many pixels, you can view the pictures quite well. It is almost better than most of small stand-alone picture frames in the market. I actually can use SD970 as a very comfortable reading glasses for the fine print on the medicine bottle. I played one SD960 in a store and I can not see whether the picture was in focus very well.

The zoom blur did not produce great pictures, although it was fun to do.

I think the price difference (~$65) is a little bit large for the performance difference. But, I do enjoy the differences.

Other comments:

(1) mini-HDMI cable: I was not aware how great the HDMI feature is until I bought one cable from a local store. It is a great experience that many people can view the slide show and HD video on your HDTV. Although I complained about how expensive the cable was. But, the experience justifies the purchase of the cable. I bought a cheaper 3rd party HDMI cable and it works well.
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67 of 70 people found the following review helpful By M. Stewart VINE VOICE on May 2, 2009
Verified Purchase
First off, be aware this camera comes with no memory card, so unless you want to be like the kid that got a battery-powered toy for Christmas, and no batteries, plan ahead! Also, the A/V cable included is for standard RCA video inputs, which is fine, since almost everyone has something to plug that into, but for the HD output, you'll need the optional Mini-HDMI Cable. I've tried both cables, and if you have an HD TV, you'll want the HDMI cable.

The manual is pretty brief; it omits some information such as how to set the "owner name" in the camera (hint: use the "Camera Window" software and click on the magic icon in the upper right corner), and how to upload custom startup images and sounds for the camera operations. The manual was obviously not proofread by a native English speaker, and many parts tell you what a setting is, but not how to get to that feature. There appears to be about 3 different types of menus, depending on the mode.

Now for the neat stuff! There are 3 modes, video, camera, and auto; the main differences between camera and auto are that auto mode trys to figure out everything; and does a pretty good job. Portrait? Landscape? No problem. The camera mode lets you fiddle with everything, and has several preset modes for common situations, and for fine-tuning things like white balance, and ISO speed. These various "Program" features have an auto-preview of the effect when browsing through the menu choices, which is a nice touch.

You cannot set aperture priority nor shutter priority, but you can give it some hints to approximate this; there is a "kids & pets" mode that obviously is high shutter speed priority.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews