I'll be brave and take a stab. Both cameras are nice. I may be a little biased because I own an A series camera, and really like it. For someone looking to expand their photography experience, the A720is would be more accomodating imho. First, it has full manual controls, aperature and shutter speeds, as well as manual white balance control. Also, it has an equivalent lens of 35-210mm, a great range to work with. The A720is also has more mpx, but it's really not THAT big of a deal. Add optical image stabilization and a greater shutter speed range(if memory serves me) and it would seem a slam dunk decision(for me lol). The sd1000 is more compact, several grams lighter, and would therefore be more pocketable than the A720is. But if you want a camera that will allow you to learn more about photography than merely pointing and shooting, I would, between the two you have mentioned, pick the A720is. Just my 2 cents...good luck with your decision..