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Canon's New Digital ELPHs: Powershot SD600, Powershot SD630, Powershot SD700 IS
by Ben Stafford -  3/6/2006

The latest Digital ELPHs from Canon, the Powershot SD600, Powershot SD630, and Powershot SD700 IS are bound to continue the success of this compact, stylish line of digital cameras.  The SD line is known for their distinctive, compact dimensions, high quality images, and easy operation.  Starting back in the traditional film days, the ELPHs continue to build their reputation as the top of the compact camera heap.


Canon Powershot SD600


The cheapest of the new models announced right before PMA, the Canon Powershot SD600 shoots at 6 megapixels (actually, all of the new models do).  A 3x optical zoom is pretty standard and the 2.5 inch screen provides easy viewing and framing of your shots.  The small optical viewfinder may come in handy in situations where the LCD is not working out for you.  While this one is the "bargain" of the newly introduced models, it is still the familiar, compact size and will most likely (pending on what the reviews will say) have great image quality.


Availability: March or April 2006 at an MSRP of $349


Canon powershot SD600
Canon Powershot SD600 Digital ELPH


Canon Powershot SD630


For $50 more than the Powershot SD600, you can get the super large 3 inch LCD of the Canon Powershot SD630.  In order to make room for the LCD, Canon decided to drop the optical viewfinder, so if you're against cameras with no optical viewfinder, then you can skip ahead.  Again shooting at 6 megapixels, the SD630 also has the 3x optical zoom.  When we were at PMA, we got to check out the nice 3 inch screen, and it was impressive.  The glossy black "frame" around the screen seems to add to the effect (the front is still silver).  Another neat touch on this model is a "touch control dial" on which you can run your fingers around (without clicking buttons) to find the options that you want.


Availability: April 2006 at an MSRP of $399


canon powershot SD630
3 inch LCD of the Canon Powershot SD630 Digital ELPH (view large image)


Canon Powershot SD700 IS


For around $100 more than the Powershot SD630, you can get the top of the line: the Canon Powershot SD700 IS.  Yes, that "IS" is significant - this camera includes Canon's optical image stabilization to let you shoot 3 shutter speed stops slower than you would normally need to.  Also, another plus to justify the extra $100 is a 4x optical zoom lens.   A 2.5 inch LCD allows room for the optical viewfinder this time as well.  The image stabilization is a great selling feature.  Two of my colleagues who travel to trade shows for notebooks and PDAs need to get new cameras and this one is at the top of their list.  They both like a small, pocketable camera that can take good shots in difficult/low lighting and with their shaky hands.


Availability: April 2006 at an MSRP of $499


canon powershot SD700 IS
Canon Powershot SD700 IS Digital ELPH


canon powershot SD700 IS
Top view to show the size of the Powershot SD700 IS (view large image)


Other Canon cameras at PMA: