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Four new Canon PowerShot SD models update Digital ELPH series
by David Rasnake -  2/17/2009

Canon has launched a brace of model updates in its PowerShot SD series. The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS, SD780 IS, SD960 IS, and SD970 IS expand offerings at every price point within the manufacturer's series of Digital ELPH ultracompacts.

Affordability rules with SD1200 IS
Building on the success of the legendary PowerShot SD1000 and SD1100, the Canon PowerShot SD1100 IS provides an attractive, simple, easy-to-use entry point to Canon's premium ultracompact lineup.

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS

Drawing heavily on the SD1100 for its specs and basic design, the SD1200 features an optically stabilized 3x zoom lens, a 2.5 inch LCD, and an array of vibrant color options that includes pink, orange, and blue.

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS

Updates to the entry-level SD include a 10.0 megapixel sensor and DIGIC IV processing – which supports a wide range of features and improvements, including advanced face detection with tracking and faster overall performance.

Slender SD780 is HD ready
Update to the often overlooked, mid-level SD770, the Canon PowerShot SD780 IS claims distinction as the thinnest Digital ELPH model Canon has ever produced.

Canon PowerShot SD780 IS

The tiny SD780 sports a 2.5 inch LCD, the same 12.1 megapixel sensor used across the majority of the 2009 SD line, and a 3x optically stabilized zoom lens. Canon's newly developed Smart Auto automatic scene recognition system and Blink Detection technology are also featured on the SD780.

Canon PowerShot SD780 IS

But the big news here is unquestionably HD video capture: with a maximum video resolution of 1280x720 and an HDMI connection for getting those movies directly to HDTVs for instant playback, the SD780 packs a lot of movie-making prowess into its very small, fashion-focused footprint.

SD960, SD970 update popular high-end models
The SD960 and SD970 update the SD880 and SD890, respectively, with 12.1 megapixel sensors, 720p HD video capture and HDMI output, DIGIC IV processing, and Canon's Smart Auto and Blink Detection technologies.

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS

The premium SD970 features a 3.0 inch PureColor II LCD, paired with a 5x optically stabilized zoom lens.

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS

As part of its status at the top of the new model heap, the SD970 debuts some unique shot effects, including a Zoom Blur tool that allows you to zoom as an exposure is being captured, and a Creative Light Effect for manipulating the look of light sources in an image.

Canon PowerShot SD960 IS

By contrast, the most obvious changes to the SD960 are on the outside: the SD880 update features a new, highly sculpted body and a unique, minimalist user interface.

Canon PowerShot SD960 IS

A 2.8 inch display and a 4x wide-angle zoom lens round out the SD960's hardware. As with the SD970, the SD960 features optical image stabilization, HD video recording, Smart Auto mode, and several interesting color options.

Pricing and availability
The SD1200 IS is scheduled for retail launch in March, with a suggested price of $229.

Priced at $279, the mid-tier SD780 should go up for sale in mid-March as well.

The SD960 should start showing up at retailers next month, while buyers will have to wait until April to get their hands on an SD970. The new high-end models are priced at $329 and $379, respectively.