Canon SD780 or SD1200 - can anyone make a recommendation? I've read a bunch of reviews and compared the cameras as much as possible with the descriptions, but I can't find a way to compare them side-by-side. I thought someone here might have a recommendation. I have a Canon PowerShot SD600 that stopped recognizing the memory card so I'm shopping for a new Canon. TIA! :)
asked by Miz Texas on January 5, 2010
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I also read through some reviews before settling on the SD780 but my general impression is that the SD780 takes somewhat better pictures due to better hardware specs and software. However the bigger factors for me were the smaller size and HD video as well as the fact that the customer sample images on Amazon just had more pictures of the type I was looking for (dark environment) on the SD780 as opposed to the SD1200.

Barring any way of direct comparison, your choice should be based on whether you feel the difference in price is worth the: HD video, smaller size (not always a positive for some people), and potentially better performance. You should also try holding them in a store if possible because for me I noticed 1) SD780 has a softer zoom lever, 2) the optical viewfinder on the SD780 seems easier for me to use despite that it's on the smaller of the two units, and 3) the SD1200 does feel somewhat more comfortable to hold due to its slightly bigger size. Good luck.
Stuck in Houston answered on January 17, 2010
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Both cameras are rated highly in the pro reviews, but most publications, including Consumers Reports, rate the 1200 slightly higher as an an all-around, all-purpose little camera. The 780 is admired for its design which, in addition to its higher megapixel rating, HD video capability, and reputation as the smallest camera (in size and weight, by a micro-smidgeon), has produced an almost cult-like following. Even "MacWorld" magazine listed it as one of the top 10 new devices of 2009. So there's definitely a "novelty" factor to the 780, and to see it priced, in some cases, below the entry-level 1200 is simply too much for many of us to resist. Personally, I prefer the SD780 because the shots are more alive and "present" than the specs might indicate. Canon has packed everything into their smallest camera (still the case in May of 2014), and customers regularly show greater satisfaction with this pocket rocket which, unlike most succeeding Elph cameras, even includes a viewfinder! One caveat: the red one begins to "flake off" its red color after a couple of years. But it still gets the job done--in low light and at high sun (thanks to the viewfinder).
Caponsacchi answered on April 4, 2010
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I pulled the trigger and purchased the SD780 and I'm very, very pleased. It *is* small so you have to adjust how you use the buttons a bit, but overall, the positives of the size outweigh the negatives. It is a *big* plus for me to be able to use an existing camera case and two spare batteries. The low light pictures I'm taking are amazing - the flash brightens a pitch black living room corner into daylight from about 10 feet. Nighttime pictures outside are very pleasing - this camera sucks in whatever light it can find and uses it. :)
Miz Texas answered on January 18, 2010
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Here's a quick briefing on CR's latest ratings as of April 10 (remember that CR is not subsidized by any of these brands). You seem interested in their categories "Highest ISO rating for good picture quality" and "next-shot delay," so I'll make mention of that if notable:
1. Panasonic Lumix DMC-FP8
2. Canon Powershot S90 Highest ISO=3200, next-shot-delay is half-red circle (good)
3. Canon Powershot SD1200 full-red (best)
4-7. Panasonic, Nikon, Samsung, Fugifilm
8. Canon SD970 half-red, 800 iso
9-10. Samsung, Casio
11. Canon SD-940 half-red, 1600 iso
12-14. Panasonic, Sony, Nikon
15. Canon SD-780 half-red, 1600 iso

CR also gives a check mark to the cameras it considers the "best buy." Neither of the SD-900 models receives a check mark. The SD-1200 at $200 receives a best buy recommendation, and the SD-780 at $260 receives the same. At the time of initial publication (6 mos. ago?) the SD780 was the only camera with a 1600 iso rating from the magazine. Since then, it's been joined by several other cameras. And yes, CR did find the 1200 a bit faster in taking shots in quick succession, but other pubs. rate the 780 higher (as do Amazon reviewers). It's the smallest and heaviest of Canon Elphs over the past 5 years.
Caponsacchi answered on April 10, 2010
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Actually I had just spoken with Canon and asked this question. Jennifer in customer support said that the 780 had the option for HD video and also had several shooting modes that were preprogrammed. She also said the SD1200 was being phased out for the SD1300, which has 4X zoom and a larger screen but no optical viewfinder.
Teresa Browder answered on March 28, 2010
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Samuel - that was a good reply, thank you! However, did you mean to say the 1200 is your better bet for well-lighted quick succession photos? Also, you might have let your wife have the black one and settle for silver! I'm curious... what is CR rating at #1 and #2?
Teresa, did they also tell you that the 780 is being phased out in favor of the SD1400IS? I've seen Amazon drop the price twice in the last month or so on the 780... those are the two models I've been trying to decide between, although Samuel makes some good points in favor of the 1200...
NatoNatoBooks answered on April 8, 2010
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Gotta run, but perhaps I should have mentioned that the #3 SD-1200 has an ISO rating of 400. Neither camera gets good wide-angle ratings (the optical zoom ratio of both cameras is 3X).
Caponsacchi answered on April 10, 2010
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I would tend to agree with Boiler29. I purchased the 780is in November and yesterday (8 months), the lenses wouldn't retract giving me a "lens error" message. Over the 8 months, I've used the camera very often and the main issue I have with it is the blurry pix. The 780is has problems focusing (even when it's bright outside) and it's hit-or-miss. The HD video feature is nice but the files are very large and consume a lot of hard drive space. Fortunately, the 780is is still under warranty and Canon said it would take 2-3 weeks to fix. B/c I'm going on vacation, I bought the 1300is yesterday. Hopefully, the blurry image problem won't be a problem here.
Dragon Guy answered on July 16, 2010
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I bought the same one and mine is bad as well. For that money it's almost too funny that the camera is pretty awful.
usubmariner answered on December 26, 2010
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I've had mine for almost a year now. Unlike the previous posters, I haven't had any issues with focus. However, I have recently discovered 3 dead pixels in the CCD each separated pretty far from each other. I shrink most of my pictures for web use so it's not really an issue with me but it's not good when there's more than a couple of dead pixels in your CCD. Otherwise it's been pretty good; I do like it a lot.
Stuck in Houston answered on December 26, 2010
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