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P450 Dec 7, 2006 8:55 PM

Is the SD800-IS worse than SD500 or SD550??

I checked out the SD800-IS at MicroCenter and thought the pictures it took were yellowish, even after adjusting the setting for their
fluorescent light.

I then found this comment posted on line:

"Yesterday, I got home with my new SD800-IS. I compared exact duplicate shots from my SD550 to this "upgrade" SD800-IS. I am very sad to say that in normal shooting conditions, this model just couldn't keep up. The main things I saw the SD800 losing horribly to the SD550 in were: picture clarity, sharpness (edge to edge) and color accuracy (the SD800 produces a very warm shot, too much yellow & red).

I returned the sd800, and got the sd900. Let me just say that the quality from this camera will NEVER be achievable from an SD800. If IS is your "make or break feature," go for the 700is, or 800is. However, if its quality you want from your shots, and you aren't found in low light situations often, the SD550 or SD900 are the way to go."

Has anyone found the SD800-IS to give poorer picture quality than the SD500 or SD550? Is the SD900 any better?

Does that make any sense??

mtclimber Dec 8, 2006 9:41 AM


I don't personally own or use any of the Canon SD series cameras, but I have two very good friends who do. One owns the 800IS and the other the 550. By looking at their photos, I can quite clearly see that the SD-550, although lacking IS does a measurable better job in terms of edge to edge sharpness and clarity.

Keep in mind that there are at least three types of flourescent lighting, so perhaps the SD-800 IS has a white balance for each type, like my Fuji camera does.


Active_Matcher Dec 10, 2006 5:43 AM

Hi, see the link below to compare these three cameras:

Hope this helps!

slipe Dec 10, 2006 12:18 PM

I don't think there is a pocket camera on the market that really competes with the SD550 for overall photo quality. The Sony 7Mp 1/1.8 sensor is probably the best they have put in a small camera with the exception of the Fuji 1/1.7. Everything considered, the lens is second to none. It also has an exceptionally strong flash.

But Canon is driven by marketing as is any successful company and the SD550 is just a tad large to be competitive after someone picks up a Casio S600 in a store. So they went with a smaller sensor that has allowed them to add a little zoom range and stabilization while keeping their pocket cameras pocketable.

If the size of the SD550 is appropriate for you I see no reason to be upgrading. If you need something smaller you will likely not find anything as overall competent for corner sharpness.

Canon makes excellent lenses, even for their small cameras. If they couldn't get great corner sharpness in a small wide angle zoom camera I would guess it is quite difficult. I had a Pentax S4 with corner softness that makes the SD800 corners look sharp as a tack. There was also a little vignetting at wide. I never took a photo with that camera that the corner softness detracted from. Pros in the old days purposely softened and slightly vignetted the corners to give photos impact. There is very rarely anything in the corners you need sharp unless you are copying documents.

There are nearly 8,000 photos here from a camera with very poor corner sharpness. See how many you can find that you think actually affects the intent of the photo. You would have fewer with the SD800.

The point of the SD800 is the wide angle. For general purpose photography it gives a lot more versatility, both for scenery and limited shooting distances.

I don't see the warm color in these sample photos comparing them to several other cameras: and In the conclusion of his review Jeff commented that the colors were accurate. Steve also commented that the color saturation was good. One thing I don't like about the entire SD series is the lack of control over contrast, sharpening and saturation. But Canon usually has a good balance by default.

For artificial lighting it seems that half of Dave's reviews at Imaging Resource have complaints about indoor WB in the cons. Not only were there no cons about the SD800 in artificial light he commented on the reliable WB in his pros. Steve and Jeff don't seem to test that as much but they had no negative comments. With poor colors and WB problems you might have gotten a bad camera.

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