Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Manufacturer: Canon Part number: 2047B001
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as of 04/23/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $374.95
- Reviewed by: Phil Ryan
- Reviewed on: 06/04/2007
The good: Great performance and image quality; solid image stabilization; face detection.
The bad: No manual exposure controls; on/off button a bit awkward; noisy images at ISO 1,600.
The bottom line: The Canon PowerShot SD 850 IS has just about everything you'd want in a point-and-shoot.
Perfect camera for Anyone - Pro to First timer!
by dturano547 on June 15, 2007
Pros: Super Fast camera.great quality images as always from canon. hi res screen for viewing images in all lighting. 4x optical zoom. Image stabilization, very durable case, nothing feels cheap or flimsy.
Cons: Im not a fan of the viewfinder but it can come in handy. controls were akward at first. no case or dock included. nothing major to gripe about with this camera.
Summary: I want to start out by saying I'm a lover off all canon digital cameras, this is my second one (SD630). I prefer the warmth in the images canon ...
Summary: I want to start out by saying I'm a lover off all canon digital cameras, this is my second one (SD630). I prefer the warmth in the images canon cameras produce vs. any other company out there.
This camera is a nice upgrade to the SD700 (not the 800 like many people think).
It is very fast, one thing i hated about switching to digital was the lag in when i start to take the image and when it actually happens. I find canon to very fast both the 850 and my previous 800. I used this camera at friends birthday party with little kids running around, i was able to pull out my 850, turn it on and get great shots in no time, which is a major plus!
I love the chargers that come with canon digital cameras, it is very convent.The battery door is very solid on this camera as well as the whole case in general.
The screen works well in all lighting conditions and they updated it to be scratch resistant which is nice since people always put there hand all over it.
Canons DIGIC III processor is awesome, i can see a difference in the image quality vs. my sd630, canon outdid themselves with this, I feel it will be a while before i look for an upgrade.
One thing I'm not crazy about is the controls, but you do get used to it. i like on my sd630 how it was all pretty much run with the wheel and the two buttons on the bottom (menu and display) with the 850 they have a wheel on the side which since using the SD630 seems pretty odd and not needed. To be honest i think it is more designed for older users or professional users, the SD630 was pretty flashy with the 3" screen.
The side wheel is not a deal breaker and it is the same look and feel of all the SDs with a viewfinder. I just feel like if I'm swithcing around it's more convenient to have it all in one location. The viewfinder is also something i feel is more pro, older user, traditional feature. It is kind of a drying feature on many cameras and most people applaud canon for keeping it. It does not bother me, the screen is still plenty big for me, maybe i will give the viewfinder a try and see how i like it.
The screen is dead on in color accuracy, better than some DIGI slrs i have seen, i did some tests in comparison shots with a friends, what you see on the screen is true to the colors you just shot and looks the same on my computer screen.
The face detection is kind of new to me, i have tested it and it works great but i think companies are just tyring to advertise these gimmick features to keep pace.
The image stabilization is no gimmick and works great, since my last camera did not have i can see the difference right out of the box.
It is not the most super thin and light camera but it fits great in any pocket or purse and to be honest it has a little weight to it which makes it feel sturdy and well made.
The camera does not come with many of the things other cameras do like a dock or case ( i miss the leather case many canons used to come with, it was a nice accessory) But you have wonder why some of the cameras that cost the same with all the cases and docks, i guess i prefer i pay for the camera and its features vs. a dock and case.
Overall this is a great camera, fast and takes excellent images! I recommend it to all ages and user level, you will not be disappointed!
55 out of 56 users found this user opinion helpful.
Be careful with online order from BROADWAY PHOTO
by ttra on July 15, 2007
Pros: true image with all functions from previous model, 4X optical zoom
Cons: Broadway Photo misadvertised the product for money
Summary: We bought it at BROADWAY PHOTO, it is www.bwayphoto.com. They advertised as Brand New come with 1-year manufacture warranty. We received not a SD850, but a SD810 (comparable ...
Summary: We bought it at BROADWAY PHOTO, it is www.bwayphoto.com. They advertised as Brand New come with 1-year manufacture warranty. We received not a SD850, but a SD810 (comparable camera). The SD180 is not intended to sell in USA, and therefore no Warranty paper from manufacture. Manual received in the box also not original, but a copy from SD850. Later on, we figured that there is no "Image stablizer" found in camera. In conclusion, don't buy from BROADWAY PHOTO or other not certified stores.
55 out of 58 users found this user opinion helpful.
Very good point and shoot camera.
by mcrostiesl on July 22, 2007
Pros: Very good camera, Good quality photos, Fast.
Cons: Rather small screen but good enough.
Summary: I had recently bought a Sony Cybershot T20 thinking it would be a pretty good camera. It turned out so-so, the photos were inconsistant and the face detection sometimes worked. ...
Summary: I had recently bought a Sony Cybershot T20 thinking it would be a pretty good camera. It turned out so-so, the photos were inconsistant and the face detection sometimes worked. So I spent a lot of time looking for a camera, it was difficult because the reviews written by the people were very inconsistant one would give it a 9 the other a 4 so it was pretty hard. I found out that the only person you can trust is yourself so I went and bought the Sony T100 and the Canon 850 IS because those were the two top cameras that Best Buy had at the moment. My friend lent me his SD800 and the SD750 and I had previously bought the Sony T20. Honestly they all gave good results as in if i compared the best photos each camera shot they were all at par. I personally discarted the SD 800 and the 750 because they are only 7 megapixels very good cameras but I wanted one with 8. As I mentioned before the Sony T20 was very inconsistant, so that was also discarded. The Sony T100 is probably the coolest camera I've seen, it has a really nice screen and it is very thin. Although the menu system was only O.K. it did its function. The optical zoom was very nice, helping in a lot of situations. As I started taking photos I realized that the problem of the Sony T20 was present here. In AUTO mode the pictures didn't come out that good. I mean some came out really good but in certain light conditions. I then tested the Canon SD850 and after 20 photos or so knew that I was going to keep the camera. It was hard to decide seeing that the looks ont the Sony T100 are much better than the Canon SD850 (at least in my opinion) but at the end the most important thing is the quality of the picture and the consistancy of the quality in the photo that is why I stayed with the Canon, which I really recomend.
I hope that helps you, but everyone thinks different. My personal advice is just to test them both either in the store or where ever you get a chance, because you are the one that is buying the camera.
P.S. I think that the score should have been 8.2 for the Canon SD850 IS and 8.0 for the Sony T100.
9 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
move over sd800IS (and others)...New Top Dog!
by the woo woo kid on August 26, 2007
Pros: FAST, EXCEL. IMAGES,+1 HOUR OF EXCEL. VIDEO. FACE DETECT. ALSO USES FLASH!
Cons: NONE SO FAR!
Summary: LOOK OUT COMPETITORS! the sd 850IS has it all. excellent images, fast, easy to use and canon quality! the face detection,(industries best) uses the flash(sd 800IS, et al ...
Summary: LOOK OUT COMPETITORS! the sd 850IS has it all. excellent images, fast, easy to use and canon quality! the face detection,(industries best) uses the flash(sd 800IS, et al do not!), not just focus and exposure to illuminate darkened faces. Hmmm. seems like that's long overdue and it locks on fast. the optical image stabilization (industries best),zoom lens and face detection works on stills AND video, others don't. speaking of video, want a camera AND camcorder in one? this baby records up to 1 hour of quality video that is currently only limited by the 4gb cards, larger cards coming. the direct print button can also be assigned to instantly record video regardless of camera setting mode. how cool is that? while taking snapshots, just push the button and grab video, too! wicked cool!
REBUKING OTHER REVIEWERS:the sd850IS's lens opens as wide or wider than other cameras, but the sd800IS has a "wide angle lens",ALSO the sd800IS has less megs and a lesser quality face detection. the on/off button is just fine and easy to use, but would be very hard to accidentily turn on/off(that's a good thing!
SUMMATION: image/video/lcd screen quality are excellent. packed with intuitive,pertinet features that the camera automaciticly segregates into what's available depending on shooting mode. fit and finish is attractive(use the wrist strap). we love this camera! what else do i have to say?
BUY IT!!! YOU'LL LOVE IT TOO!!!
9 out of 10 users found this user opinion helpful.
smart camera with the lastest technolgy and the only IS that actually works !
by alexmerenkov on July 8, 2007
Pros: digic 3 ,4x zoom , sdhc compatibility , 8mp ,image stabolization, high res screan very fast
Cons: its a bit bigger then other ELPH's, screan still gets anti glare coat scratched, deleting images is a bit slow
Summary: first off if you have never had an IS camera before and dont really believe that stuff like that works then think again because it does ONLY WITH CANON all ...
Summary: first off if you have never had an IS camera before and dont really believe that stuff like that works then think again because it does ONLY WITH CANON all the other crapy cameras that sony makes that say they stabolize the image are liers because there is no effect with those anyways the camera i had before was a canon sd600 and i was considering upgrading to the sd1000 but i read reveiws all over the net and discovered that the sd600 was actually BETTER then the newer sd1000 and actually has a better built lens that goes closer with macros ( not as close as the canon sd850is can go but close to that )anyways this is the camera i would recommend to anyone its got enough resolution 8mp and the image stabolization is the best its a absolutly ground breaking feature that will change your entire prospective on how taking pictures works with the IS you dont even have to wait to or even try to hold the camera steady ive had times where i actually tryed to make the image blurry and was unsuccesful thats how useful it is also the new canon digic 3 prosessor is also another key to this bad boy the new prosessor is smarter and more responsive somtimes when im taking a shot i push the shutterdown accidentally befor it has the chance to prefocus the shot and ive still gotten a fantastic picture but the IS dose fail to work somtimes but truthfully any camera that promises somthing liek that is usually too good to be true i cant wait for canons digic 4 processor then this camera would probably have gotten a 10 also it would be nice if a camera that i payed more then 400$ for would have a screan that was actually SCRATCH PROOF as in NO SCRATCHES WHAT SO EVER !!!! stupid anti glare coating on my sd600 is all screwed up and so help me god if that happends to this one im going back to best but to ***** at them cuz i consider that really really really annoying also if you get this camera take advantage of the SDHC reader to get a 4gb SDHC card if you go to amazone they sell um real cheap there and its a wonderful investment : )
GET THIS CAMERA you wont regret it its light years ahead of the previous models !
8 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
absolutely the best digital by far...
by crazymare on July 16, 2007
Pros: It's made by Canon and the re-load to set up the next shot is wonderful.
Cons: For the price they should include a case otherwise I haven't found anything that is in question.
Summary: The fact that this camera does things my other camera couldn't do is such a plus. The effects, the clarity and the ease of use has made this a ...
Summary: The fact that this camera does things my other camera couldn't do is such a plus. The effects, the clarity and the ease of use has made this a great camera. The back on/off is in a great place. In bright sunlight this camera was easy to see. The effects! I still haven't been able to use some of them yet. Can not wait to use the Xmas lights at night option.I have been using this camera now for approx. a year. I have some of the best pictures yet. I got beautiful fireworks that no one else could get with other cameras. As I read some of the reviews some make no sense. If you are a point a shoot user this is a great! if not top of the line camera for you. It is worth every cent I put in to it.
Keep ya posted if I find something wrong.
Updated on Oct 23, 2008
6 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
by do right on June 26, 2007
Pros: Easy to use
Cons: can't think of any
Summary: Just one comment, CNET, please stop picking on the on/off button. This is meant, I think, to be a thumb switch, and as such, is VERY easy to find ...
Summary: Just one comment, CNET, please stop picking on the on/off button. This is meant, I think, to be a thumb switch, and as such, is VERY easy to find and work. I hope Canon does not take your advice and change it.
Thanks for being a great resourse.
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
If you desire clear crisp photos this camera may not be for you
by SchmidtA on December 3, 2007
Pros: Great features, easy to use, nice styling, and size
Cons: Image quality, manual could be more detailed
Summary: If you desire clear crisp photos this camera may not be for you. Research stated that this was one of the best in the class and had all the features ...
Summary: If you desire clear crisp photos this camera may not be for you. Research stated that this was one of the best in the class and had all the features I was looking for, but in the end it just did not take sharp crisp photos and I had to return it. I am not an expert in taking photos but I made a valiant effort in reading the manual multiple times and taking many photos and tweaking settings trying to get a consistent clear photo for each common situation. It is possible I got a defective camera, however as seen in other posts that this seems to be a common complaint. My previous camera (which has many things I don't like about it), a Kodak EasyShare Z7590, takes great sharp vivid photos as long as you have it focused correctly. If I didn’t have better results with a previous camera I might have really liked this one. The reason I tried the camera was to have a seemingly high quality camera full of features in a compact version that would fit in my pocket as well as having a processor that would allow faster photo taking. My primary use for the camera is to take many photos of our child. Because of the nature of the photo taking use, it is not desirable to have to change the settings continuously to hopefully get a great clear non-grainy shot. In conclusion I liked all the features, styling, size, and features of the camera but in the end the most important thing to us was the printed/projected photo that just didn’t turn out well(maybe 1 in 10).
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
The right camera for non-professionals
by nairb75 on November 18, 2007
Pros: size, picture quality, zoom, ease of use
Cons: nothing really noteworthy
Summary: I looked all over for the right camera. I wanted great picture quality in a small package. I also did not want to sacrifice zoom. I did a great deal ...
Summary: I looked all over for the right camera. I wanted great picture quality in a small package. I also did not want to sacrifice zoom. I did a great deal of research (solid 2 months). I finally settled on the SD850 and it did not disappoint. It takes great point and click pictures while being small enough to fit into a packet and not be intrusive.
Now here's the great thing: i took some great pictures at a football game. This was at Heinz Field in the club section, which was about mid-level of the stadium. The zoom worked real well. My picture quality did not suffer. The pics looked as if I took them from the sideline. My buddy has a much larger camera with a 12X zoom. This camera does not do that, of course. But it's good enough to get by while still being small and light enough to carry with you without a hassle. Big thumbs up. Mine was $350 so price is an issue but I don't think you'll be upset at paying extra. The ones I evaluated in the $100-300 range were nowhere near as good.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Fast but Fuji F40fd is faster
by newjourney2006 on December 4, 2007
Pros: Faster then the Canon SD870
Cons: Missed some small kids indoors action shots
Summary: I was looking for a fast, low light, small simple P&S camera, whose prints will usually be normal size(4x6,5x7). The Fujifilm Finepix F40fd (F45fd) is the ...
Summary: I was looking for a fast, low light, small simple P&S camera, whose prints will usually be normal size(4x6,5x7). The Fujifilm Finepix F40fd (F45fd) is the fastest low light P&S camera I can buy at this time (Nov 20,2007). Before I review, let me say a THANK YOU, to all who do post their reviews, because I have read them ALL, and a really big THANK YOU to the CNET staff, who give the LOW contrast shutter speed in their reviews. Since October I have been researching to find the fastest (for fast moving small kids) low light (for evening indoor pictures) P&S camera. I also know 99.9% of my prints will be 4x6 or 5x7, never bigger. And I want the red-eye reduction to work! I refuse to do touch-ups.
I have visited all local stores (BestBuy, CircuitCity, Target, Sears, Frys, Wolf, Office Depot & Max, Staples) multi-times to play with all cameras. Yes, I am retired and have the time. Plus I reviewed all CNET P&S reviews from 1/25/07 to 11/15/07. I documented speeds of low contrast shutter and shot 2 shot with flash. From my research, the final candidates, based on low light speeds, were Fuji F40fd, Canon SD 800, 850, 870(*).
* Interesting the Canon SD870 specs say it should be as fast as the 850, but comparing 850 vs 870 under store lights, at 2 different BB stores, the 850s were noticeable faster. I even had the salesperson swap the batteries, between the two, just to be sure.
I purchased the Fuji F45fd and Canon SD850. I borrowed a CanonSD800 and had my Canon A610. Without question the Fuji was the fastest for evening indoors pictures. The Fuji was also the fastest for flash recharge. The Canons 800 & 850 did missed some small kids indoors action shots. All cameras had the same brand 2Gb 150x SD. After a week I printed all the shots, as 4x6s, from the same store, as different orders with different names, to ensure no pictures were mixed.
The Canon SD800 had too many red-eyes. My old A610 was to slow for evening indoor shots. For outdoor daylight shots, all 4 cameras had the same speed results.
Overall the 4x6s quality was the same between the Fuji F45 & Canon SD850. Comparing two very similar pictures, sometimes one would be a slight plus over the other, when you looked close up, then on another picture the other camera would be a slight better, but no real difference.
The Canons do have a better long range zoom, at MAX zoom. If your need is for enlarge crops, the Canon AUTO pictures are taken at lower ISO, then the Fuji, see comparison below. I also tested the Canon SD850 with different ISOs in low light conditions. It was at the manual ISO 1600, that the Canon was as fast as the Fuji AUTO(ISO800), but the Canon(1600) pictures had higher noise.
Here are the ISO results, taken with AUTO mode. I believe this to be very important to understand the results. The listed numbers will first be Fuji F40(F45) then Canon SD850.
Evening indoors F@800, C@200
Outdoors 10pm Christmas Lights F@800, C@250
Outdoors bright sun, at min zoom F@100, C@80
Outdoors bright sun, at max zoom F@100, C@160
Outdoors cloudy F@200, C@80
NO one camera is perfect for all people or all conditions!!!!!
Fuji F40/F45 is for those who want a fast, low light, small simple P&S camera, whose prints will usually be normal size(4x6,5x7). It is the BEST P&S available today, to capture fast moving kids indoors. I also appreciate the battery indicator.
Canon SD850 is a great P&S choice for more outdoors(vs indoors) or indoor adults (vs kids) pictures, or if you usually print pictures bigger then normal size.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Canon
- Part number: 2047B001
- Description: The PowerShot SD850 IS Digital ELPH is a digital camera that will really get your creative juices flowing. It starts with a high resolution 8.0 Megapixel CCD, a 4x Optical Zoom with Canon's exclusive UA Lens and an Optical Image Stabilizer for steady zooming. There's also a DIGIC III Image Processor with Face Detection and Red-eye correction, an ISO 1600 setting for sharper images in low light, 5 Movie Modes and a 2.5-inch PureColor LCD with scratch-resistant, anti-reflective coating for easy viewing. Count on the PowerShot SD850 IS Digital ELPH for images that will make you say "wow" every time you shoot! Equipped with a high resolution 8.0 Megapixel CCD, this Digital ELPH is just what you need to capture life's greatest inspirations as you've always wanted them. You'll get every exquisite detail in dazzling, eye-popping color. And you can print big. Plus, the SD850 IS Digital ELPH is equipped with a 4x Optical Zoom that features Canon's exclusive UA lens with ultra-high refractive index glass to enhance your pictures while significantly reducing total lens size. Just imagine the possibilities!
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Digital camera - Compact
- Resolution 8 megapixels
- Optical Sensor Type CCD
- Total Pixels 8,300,000 pixels
- Effective Sensor Resolution 8,000,000 pixels
- Optical Sensor Size 1/2.5"
- Optical Zoom 4 x
- Digital Zoom 4 x
- Image Processor DIGIC III
- Image Stabilizer Optical
- Auto Focus TTL contrast detection
- Auto Focus Points (Zones) Qty 9
- Digital Video Format AVI
- Image Recording Format JPEG
- AV Interfaces Composite video/audio
Exposure & White Balance
- Light Sensitivity ISO 1600,
- Exposure Metering Evaluative,
- Exposure Modes Program,
- Shooting Programs Snow,
Kids & pets,
- Special Effects My Colors,
- White Balance Automatic,
- White Balance Presets Daylight,
Fluorescent light (daylight)
- Max Shutter Speed 1/1600 sec
- Min Shutter Speed 15 sec
- Exposure Compensation ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps
- Type Canon,
4 x x Zoom lens - 5.8 mm - 23.2 mm - F/2.8-5.5
- Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 35 - 140 mm
- Focus Adjustment Automatic
- Min Focus Range 19.7 in
- Macro Focus Range 0.8 in - 19.7 in
- Zoom Adjustment Motorized drive
- Lens Construction 5 groups / 7 elements
- Features UA lens,
Built-in lens shield
- Camera Flash Built-in flash
- Flash Modes Fill-in mode,
Flash OFF mode,
- Features AF illuminator
- Effective Flash Range 1.6 ft - 11.5 ft
- Continuous Shooting Speed 1.3 frames per second
- Self Timer Delay 2 sec,
- Additional Features Digital image rotation,
Display brightness control,
In-camera red-eye fix,
16:9 widescreen mode,
Auto ISO shift,
RGB primary color filter,
Auto power save,
Digital noise reduction,
Camera orientation detection,
Interval shooting mode,
USB 2.0 compatibility,
- Viewfinder Type Optical - Real-image zoom
- Viewfinder Color Support Color
- Type 2.5 in LCD display
- Display Features Built-in
- Connector Type 1 x Composite video/audio output,
1 x USB
- Software Canon ZoomBrowser EX,
Drivers & Utilities,
System Requirements for PC Connection
- Operating System Support MS Windows 98 SE,
MS Windows XP,
MS Windows 2000,
MS Windows ME,
Apple Mac OS X 10.1.5 - 10.3
- Peripheral Devices USB port,
- Microsoft Certifications Certified for Windows Vista
- Included Accessories Battery charger,
Audio / video cable
- Supported Battery Canon NB-5L
- Supported Battery 1 x Li-ion rechargeable battery ( Included )
Memory / Storage
- Memory Card Slot SD card
- Supported Memory Cards SDHC Memory Card,
SD Memory Card
- Included Memory Card 32 MB SD Memory Card
- Image Storage Super-fine JPEG 3264 x 1832 : 11 VA - With 32MB card,
Fine JPEG 3264 x 1832 : 18 VA - With 32MB card,
Normal JPEG 3264 x 1832 : 39 VA - With 32MB card,
Super-fine JPEG 3264 x 2448 : 8 VA - With 32MB card,
Fine JPEG 3264 x 2448 : 14 VA - With 32MB card,
Normal JPEG 3264 x 2448 : 29 VA - With 32MB card,
Super-fine JPEG 2592 x 1944 : 11 VA - With 32MB card,
Fine JPEG 2592 x 1944 : 20 VA - With 32MB card,
Normal JPEG 2592 x 1944 : 41 VA - With 32MB card,
Super-fine JPEG 2048 x 1536 : 18 VA - With 32MB card,
Fine JPEG 2048 x 1536 : 32 VA - With 32MB card,
Normal JPEG 2048 x 1536 : 64 VA - With 32MB card,
Super-fine JPEG 1600 x 1200 : 29 VA - With 32MB card,
Fine JPEG 1600 x 1200 : 52 VA - With 32MB card,
Normal JPEG 1600 x 1200 : 99 VA - With 32MB card,
Super-fine JPEG 640 x 480 : 111 VA - With 32MB card,
Fine JPEG 640 x 480 : 171 VA - With 32MB card,
Normal JPEG 640 x 480 : 270 VA - With 32MB card
- Video Capture AVI - 640 x 480,
AVI - 640 x 480,
AVI - 320 x 240,
AVI - 320 x 240,
AVI - 320 x 240,
AVI - 160 x 120
Dimensions & Weight
- Width 3.5 in
- Depth 1 in
- Height 2.2 in
- Weight 5.8 oz
- Min Operating Temperature 32 °F
- Max Operating Temperature 104 °F
- Image stabilizer feature Optical stabilization helps prevent blurry pictures, especially for handheld cameras at slow shutter speeds or when using high optical zoom.
CNET Labs' Benchmarks
- Labs information All values are expressed in seconds. Please visit our <ref type="link" url="http://reviews.cnet.com/Labs/4520-6603 7-1014358-1.html">labs information page</ref> for information on how digital cameras are tested.
- CNET Labs Flash shot to shot time 3.0
- CNET Labs Shot to shot time typical 1.7
- CNET Labs Shutter lag bright 0.5
- CNET Labs Shutter lag dim 0.7
- CNET Labs Typical burst speed 1.4
- CNET Labs Wake up time 1.2