Every maker of digital cameras follows a philosophy. Lumix likes sober, reliable quality over flash, Samsung likes to price its products aggressively, Sony is all about innovation. What are Canon digital cameras about? They are about two things – bringing professional quality to the consumer at an affordable price and making cameras that are small and easy to carry.
Both philosophies make a lot of sense. The camera that you end up using the most will usually be the one that’s easy to keep with you all the time. And that will be the camera that is the smallest and the easiest on the pocket (literally, not figuratively). And of course, the more affordable that is and the more features it allows you, the better. Let’s look at two Canon digital cameras that embody these philosophies – the PowerShot SD780 IS and the PowerShot SD1300 IS.
The $175 SD780 IS is certainly no more expensive than many other cameras. What makes it special, is its size, and its ease-of-use. To just glance at the specifications – 4 ounces and a 3.4 x 0.7 x 2.1 inches form factor, doesn’t really give you an adequate idea of how truly tiny this camera is. But redefine “ultracompact”, it does. In many ways, it’s no more bulky a device when the lens is all the way in, than a smart phone. A small smart phone. In something this small, it really is astounding to have a 12 megapixel sensor, a 2.5 inch LCD, a completely usable rechargeable battery that’s good for 200 shots, and build quality that won’t quit. What is it like using the camera? The camera is perfectly simple to use. The picture quality is very good, and the HD movie quality on this camera is right up there, even if you aren’t allowed to use the zoom while shooting a movie. The3x image-stabilized zoom is adequate, and unlike almost any other camera, it has an unlimited continuous burst mode.
For those who feel no need to pay a slight premium for all that portability, the SD1300 IS is a model that sells for a mere $129. Certainly, this ultracompact couldn’t ever be accused of ramming too many features down your throat. For the price, you only get the features you absolutely need, and no frills. But it does make up for that with pretty spectacular photo quality. It has a wide-angle lens that zooms out to 28mm, a 4x image stabilized zoom, a 2.7 inch LCD, and of course, a 12 megapixel sensor. As part of bringing the cost down, you don’t get supplied an external charger for the battery. Most people don’t need that anyway. You can’t adequate for low-light shooting, and the camera is just very easy to use all around. For a camera that’s this small and basic, it really is quite fast – it takes no more than one and a half seconds to start up and 5 seconds between shots.
These two Canon cameras are aimed at very specific market niches, and they cater to them very well. They offer excellent picture quality, ease-of-use and portability, at an affordable price. If this is what you’re after, you couldn’t go wrong with these Canon digital cameras.