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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

List Price: $479.99
Price: $349.99 + $5.49 shipping
You Save: $130.00 (27%)
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  • 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)
8 used from $73.12


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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 (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: Currently, item can be shipped only within the U.S.
  • ASIN: B001SER46A
  • Item model number: SD790IS Silver
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (80 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,508 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

Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
  • "Image Quality" 84
  • "Video Quality" 17
  • "Zoom" 16
  • "Features" 14
  • "Screen" 13
  • All Topics

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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