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Old Feb 12, 2009, 5:24 PM   #1
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I had a Canon SD-890 for about 8 months, and it was recently stolen :-(

Frankly, I was a bit disappointed in that camera, so although the price has come down significantly, I don't want to buy another SD-890. What disappointed me was mainly that many indoor flash shots were sporadically slightly blurry, despite my best efforts to use face detection or center-image type auto focus (yes, I held the camera still). Sometimes outdoor non-flash shots were also slightly blurry for seemingly no reason. I never had this problem with my old Pentax Optio (which broke after many years of use). I did like many of the features of the SD-890,but in retrospect, that model hasn't gotten stellar reviews, so I would like to replace it with a different model that is a better performer-- whether Canon or not.

Budget is not a huge issue. I'm willing to pay up to $350. I do not want an SLR (too large and heavy). I'm looking at decent compact and ultra-compact digital point-and-shoots that would be fairly lightweight and versatile.

The models I'm considering are the Canon SD850, SD950, and SD990. Other models I was considering but disqualified were: the Canon A590 and A720 - because I don't want to use AA batteries (too heavy). The Canon SD1100 sounded nice, but I like the controls and slightly larger side of the 800 and 900 series better. Other Canon models got very good reviews but since they don't have optical viewfinders, I disqualified them as well. I have not considered other brands yet. Many other brands I came across don't have optical viewfinders, or got bad reviews.

Here are my requirements:

I absolutely need an optical viewfinder. Sometimes I take photos outdoors and don't want to missa photo because the sunlight washes out the display.

Most of the time, I use the automatic modes and "scene" built-in modes for everyday family pictures.

Sometimes I use the camera to take short movies (of my kids playing sports, for example).

I have an internet store and sometimes need to take photos of products that I place inside a lightbox (it has special lights). I DON'T use Macro mode for the product photos. I use the lights from the light box and usually NO flash. I stop the exposure up or down manually to get the most crisp photo.

The Canon 850 and 950 have been discontinued, although I can still buy them online. They got very good reviews. The 990 is newer and has a new processor and a lot more megapixels. Frankly I don't care whether I have 8, 10, 12, or 14 Megapixels as long as the images are crisp and vibrant.I like the fact that the SD990 has some manual controls, but I'm not sure if I'd use them very often.

I also read one review on Amazon that said people were having trouble with the SD990 suddenly dying on them after a number of months. Anyone heard of this? I googled it, but couldn't find any evidence beyond that one Amazon review. The reviewer said he'd read of others having the same problem here on this forum, but I couldn't find any posts here supporting that claim.

In conclusion, could you guys please help me decide between those Canon models, or suggest a different brand that has an optical viewfinder and similar features to the Canon models I am thinking about?

Thank you!

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Old Feb 12, 2009, 7:04 PM   #2
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or suggest a different brand that has an optical viewfinder and similar features to the Canon models I am thinking about?
Sony DSC W300.


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Old Feb 13, 2009, 12:55 AM   #3
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Thank you, I'm looking into it. So far it looks really interesting.

It's difficult to wade through all the different cameras available. I appreciate you taking the time to answer me.


Well, I've been doing some searching on the web and I must say that I am very impressed with the features of the Sony DCS W300 versus the Canon models I was considering. I especially like the "speed burst" control, which will mean that I may finally be able to capture my daughter in action playing soccer without blur (something easy to do with an SLR, but much harder with a point-and-shoot camera).

The price is about the same as the Canon models I was considering.

I found several really good reviews and opinions, including these two:



I'm now leaning toward the Sony.

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Old Feb 14, 2009, 12:54 AM   #4
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Sounds like your blurry shots with the SD-890 were auto-focus error? Not motion blur? Unfortunately the various camera reviews really do not pin down AF performance. When in doubt buy from a store that makes returns easy.

Be aware that the "manual" mode with both the Canon SD990 and Sony W300 is a bit of a joke. As you get a choice of only 2 or 3 aperture settings. Not the full scale of settings every 1/3 stop that you would expect from a serious camera. With most P&S cameras you can get about as good control by fixing the ISO, instead of shooting full Auto ISO.

If you are super fussy about color characteristics, there are differences between Canon and Sony. Not that one is better than the other, just different. So check sample images closely.

The Canon SD990 does featurea DRO option. As does the Sony W300, but you can also get that feature in the less expensive W150 and W170.

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