Canon PowerShot SD890 IS review: Canon PowerShot SD890 IS

The 2.5-inch LCD is on the small side, but that's a given if you want to retain an optical viewfinder. The screen gets hard to view in direct sunlight, though bumping up the brightness helps a bit. Its colors look very saturated, though, and it offers a relatively wide viewing angle that should deliver a good group-viewing experience.

Photo samples from the Canon PowerShot SD890 IS

Overall, the SD890 IS' photo quality just tips over the fence from above-average to excellent, mostly because of the great color and usable high ISO shots under many conditions. It's not the best lens--the photos generally look a bit soft and there's some fringing on edges--but the camera renders good exposures with accurate, saturated colors. (Click through the slide show for more details on photo quality.) It captures very nice 30fps VGA movies--at a file size of almost 2MB per second, it had better--but you can't zoom the lens while recording, which seriously decreases the usefulness.

I miss Canon's traditional if-it-ain't-broke-don't-fix-it approach. There was very little wrong with the SD850 IS; while the PowerShot SD890 IS delivers a decent shooting experience, it can't escape the shadow of its more talented older brother.

Shooting speed (in seconds)
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
Time to first shot  
Typical shot-to-shot time  
Shutter lag (dim)  
Shutter lag (typical)  
Canon PowerShot SD890 IS
1.3 
2.5 
0.8 
0.4 
Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
1.2 
1.7 
0.7 
0.5 
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-T300
1.9 
1.7 
1 
0.5 
Fujifilm FinePix F50fd
1.8 
1.9 
0.9 
0.5 

Typical continuous-shooting speed (frames per second)
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
Canon PowerShot SD890 IS
0.9 

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