25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
A Good Ultra-Small Camera at a Good Price,
This review is from: Canon PowerShot SD1200IS 10 MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch LCD (Dark Gray) (Electronics)
The Canon SD1200 is a good ultra-small camera at the current price of around $150. For people planning to spend $200, there may be better choices from both Canon and Panasonic.
The materials and workmanship on the Canon SD1200 look cheaper than on my older Canon SD1000. The SD1000 looked like a very expensive camera, and the SD1200, up close, looks cheaply made. Looks don't always predict durability...judging by customer comments, it is likely that the two models are about equally reliable.
As with most small Canon cameras, photos taken in the "auto" mode are likely to be adequate, but seldom exceptional in quality. To get the best results with the SD1200, the owners should spend a couple of hours practicing setting exposure levels, ISO levels, and adjusting white balance, contrast, saturation, and sharpness. For most outdoor photos on a sunny day, the best results will come from "locking" the ISO at 100, dropping exposure 1/3 stop, decreasing contrast to the minimum, and increasing sharpness.
With practice, you can change exposure levels or ISO levels in less than five seconds. If a photo looks too bright or too dark, you can simply retake the photo with the exposure level adjusted for the best results. The tiny flash of the SD1200 works best if you "lock" the ISO at 200, and stay three feet to six feet from your primary subject. If you take a flash photo of a group of people sitting twenty feet away, you are likely to get poor results.
Read the complete owners manual, and work through all of the settings page by page. Many folks have, by accident, set their camera for macro focus and are surprised all of their photos are now blurry, or set the camera in a mode that takes tiny one meg sized photos, and are surprised by the photos not being sharp and detailed. A less than excellent photo with this camera will be the result of a mistake by the owner about 99 times out of a hundred.
The folks who complain about not getting sharp photos simply need to practice. To get sharp photos, you should press the shutter down halfway to lock the focus and exposure, hold the camera steady with both hands, and gently push down on the shutter. With practice, most people can get very sharp photos outdoors at shutter speeds as low as 1/15th of a second. The folks who hold their camera with one hand and fail to pre-focus will seldom get sharp photos with ANY small digital camera.
Although the SD1200 will fit into your jeans pocket, it belongs in a padded case. In your pocket, sooner or later you will damage the lens mechanism, and the lens will refuse to open or close. Or you will damage the viewing screen. Keeping the camera in a padded case in your bag or clipped to your built ensures many years of reliable service...and don't forget...never leave a digital camera inside a parked car...the 120 degree summer temperatues will fry its brain.
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Initial post: Feb 12, 2010 8:04:49 PM PST
Amy L. Brown says:
These are the reviews I wish were more often than not. Excellent review and thanks for taking the time to write it!
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