Sandwiched between similar 7-megapixel siblings--the PowerShot SD800 IS on one side and the PowerShot SD1000 on the other--the Canon PowerShot SD750 nevertheless manages to distinguish itself as a well-designed, practical option for snapshooters who favor big LCDs over optical viewfinders.
The 5.3-ounce SD750 doesn't quite match the SD1000 for compactness, but its 3.6x2.2x0.8 inch body will fit just as comfortably in a pants pocket. It comes in silver and silver with black accents, the latter design recalling the early film Elphs. The Touch Dial Control--so named for its optional ability to display a virtual dial when you simply touch the control--quickly accesses the small set of shooting options, including ISO speed, flash mode, macro/infinite focus, and continuous/timer. Though it doesn't offer manual or semi-manual exposure modes, it does supply a host of color enhancements and scene modes, exposure compensation, and a choice of three metering modes.
For focus, Canon provides a face-detection AF mode, which automatically locates a face (just one) and determines focus and metering for it. That's in addition to the company's standard AiAF automatic focus-point selector and center focus. The face-detect AF works reasonably well, but the option is buried within the menus and only works in conjunction with the AiAF; that is, if it doesn't find a face, it falls back on AiAF. I generally don't like the automatic focus selection on any camera--they never seem to find the desired subject, just the closest. So I don't like the face-detection option stuck in a set-it-and-forget-it location. You may feel otherwise.
Overall, however, I find the SD750's layout intelligent and comfortable to use. It has a big 3-inch LCD for framing and playback. The LCD appears bright and easy to see, even in direct sunlight, although it also tends to look a bit coarse.
Photo and movie quality rank high for an ultracompact. In fact, despite almost identical innards with the SD1000--they both use the same sensor, f /2.8-4.9 35mm-105mm (35mm equivalent) 3X zoom lens, and Digic III processor--the photos from the SD750 look a bit better, especially vis-a-vis high ISO noise. As measured by CNET Labs' tests and in photo samples, the SD750's noise profile generally outperformed both the SD1000 and the SD800 IS. With the exception of photos shot under our extremely warm tungsten lights, white balance, exposure, and saturation look very good. Movies look equally good, in part because Canon captures in MJPEG, which uses far less compression than other cameras' MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 formats. As a result, a 30fps 640x480 movie uses about 2MB per second of storage.
On the other hand, the SD750's performance matched that of the SD1000. It takes 1.0 second from start to shoot, with subsequent photos about 1.6 seconds apart without flash and 2.3 seconds with the flash enabled. Shutter lag measures 0.5 second in our high-contrast test, which mimics bright shooting conditions, and 0.9 second in our low-contrast test, which mimics dim shooting conditions. Continuous shooting was the only disappointment--approximately 1.6 frames per second regardless of image size.
It lacks the image stabilization of the SD800 IS and the tiny appeal of the SD1000, but the Canon PowerShot SD750 has a more elegant, cutting-edge design, large LCD and--to my eyes, at least--better photo quality.
(Shorter bars indicate better performance)
|Typical shot-to-shot time||Time to first shot||Shutter lag (typical)|
(Longer bars indicate better performance)
|Frames per second|