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Old Dec 12, 2007, 7:14 PM   #1
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I feel I have narrowed it down to these two cameras. I want great quality picture and great quality video. Which do you suggest I get? I do not believe I ever used the optical viewfinder on my older camera, so I don't think the lack of one on the SD870 IS will bother me. Apparently, I heard, that the viewfinder on the SD950 IS only shows some of what is in the picture (75%-80% or so), so it doesn't sound very exact.

Does anyone have video examples they could show me of each of them? They seem quite similar in video capabilities and it's often hard to tell which has higher quality videos.

I did ask somewhere else, but I thought it would help to ask here too. Can the wide angle on the SD870 IS be turned on and off? I'm just wondering if it's something that's always on or if you can turn it off, and if it is off, does it shoot at the same length that, say, the SD950 IS does? (I don't exactly know all the photography terms.) I heard that the wide angle isn't always good for portrait pictures and such or something, so I'm wondering if you can turn it off and if it works just as good off as it does on and such. (I heard there might be some dark corners around the edges of the wide angle picture or something like that.)

Also, which memory card do you feel would be good? A class 6 SDHC 8gb (I was thinking Transcend brand) or a 150x 4gb? I would like the bigger size, of course, but I wonder if the lower speed will hurt anything. (It seems these cameras, well, at least only take SD/SDHC/MMC. Or should I get an MMC one?) What brands do you feel are good too?
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Old Dec 18, 2007, 12:19 AM   #2
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I have the exact same questions, and I am at the exact same place... I need to pull the trigger ASAP before the holidays.

The SD870IS seems to be the better camera, with the wide-angle and all. However, I am very concerned with video capabilities. They both have the same, but the SD950IS has a High Resolution mode of 1024x768. This mode is only capable of 15 fps instead of the 30 fps in the other modes. Is this difference in fps that crucial??

My other question is regarding the memory... I too have found the Trancend 8GB SDHC Class 6 (at $58.95) a tantalizing card. But will these Canons be compatible? I have not found any updated compatibility charts anywhere.

Pictures are important, but I don't want to have to have a digicam AND a video camera... so the video side is huge for me. Right now I have a S200 from 4-5 years ago and it is time.... Please somebody send a shout out to us! Thanks.
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Old Dec 18, 2007, 1:37 PM   #3
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I've also been looking at the SD950, (I need the viewfinder). I find it hard to see the LCD screens in bright sun, especially wearing sunglasses.

I think I read that the950 has a larger sensor than the 870, but for snapshots and resizing pics for e-mail it probably doesn't make much difference.

I am not sure what you mean by "turning off" wide angle. The lens on the 870 starts with a wider field of view, but cannot zoom in quite as close as the 950. When you take pictures, do you find yourself backing up to get everything in the picture or zooming in more?

If I did not care about a viewfinder, I might take the SD870 and use the price savings to get an extra battery or 2.
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Old Dec 19, 2007, 12:08 AM   #4
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I spoke w/ a Canon rep (800-828-4040) today and asked many questions... I feel he was informed and really knew his stuff. He said that the standards set within the SDHC technology would be recognized without problems on these new Canon Powershot models. As long as the memory is not gray-market, and as long as it has the official logos and a "class" rating, that the 6- and 8-GB SDHC cards would work without issue. Just format the card in the CAMERA (not your PC) before initial use.

For excrutiatingly detailed feature info, youcan download the user manuals from the CanonUSA site in PDF format.

After playing with both at a local Abt store, I am going with the SD950IS. The wide-angle is nice, but I never had it before and thus won't miss it. The massive upgrade in picture quality (from my current S200) will far outweigh having that one feature. The video capability of 1024x768 will be fun to play with. I like taking pics and vids and then making short movies around certain events/holidays/whatnot.

Finally, the full titanium body of the SD950IS versus the high-impact (yeah right) plastic body of the SD870IS is the tip-in. Yes, the screen is a bit smaller, but way more protected. Plus the viewfinder as a backup is somewhat comforting. And I like the thumb-scroll instead of the slider control when choosing the picture modes. These all add up to my feeling that it is a more durable camera.

And on-line, the difference is only $43 between them. I am going SD950IS, an SDHC 8GB Class 6 Transcend card, and a genuine NB-5L battery spare. Delivered it should all be $442.88.... Vakl and Outpost, I wish you well in your quests. Thanks, Steve, for the info and community you have here... I'll post in a month or so with my post-purchase review!
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