The SD4500 delivers good low light performance and quality 1080 HD videos. However, some ergonomic issues and a narrower wide angle focal length disappoint.
The Canon SD4500 IS is the newest of Canon's small "ELPH" cameras, which have developed a reputation for consistent quality over the years. It is also the latest Canon compact to incorporate a back-illuminated CMOS sensor, succeeding the SD4000 IS which was released only a few months ago (and received a very positive review from this website).
The advantages of a back-illuminated CMOS sensor are better image quality in low light and faster continuous shooting speed. Since point-and-shoot cameras, with their small sensors, are not known for their low light image quality, a back-illuminated CMOS sensor seems to make a lot of sense. In fact, most of the major camera manufacturers have been releasing point-and-shoot cameras with such sensors over the past two years and the trend is likely to continue. The SD4500 IS also contains Canon's latest processor, the DIGIC 4.
The SD4500 IS has two major advantages over the SD4000 IS. One is that the SD4500 IS has an improved movie mode, which has been upped to full HD, 1920x1080, at 24 frames per second. Another is that it has significantly more optical zoom than the older camera, 10x compared to 3.6x. This gives the SD4500 IS a maximum telephoto of 360mm (35mm film camera equivalent), which is by far the longest focal length of any ELPH camera.
On the other hand, the SD4500 IS seems to fall short of the earlier version in a couple of ways. First, its wide-angle capability is only 36mm, while the older camera has a maximum wide angle of 28mm. Secondly, the SD4500 IS has a narrower maximum aperture of f/3.4, compared to f/2.0 for the SD4000 IS. A wider aperture is an advantage when shooting in low light. The newer camera is also a bit heavier at 190g, compared to 175g. Fortunately the SD4500 IS keeps the number of megapixels at 10, resisting the urge to compete in the megapixel race.
Overall, does the SD4500 IS uphold the high standards set by the SD4000 IS? Let's find out.
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