I checked three different Canon "A" series camera User Manuals and all three said that you can turn off the LCD.
Battery life will just about double.
Check any Canon "A" series Advanced User's Manual on page 12.
My friends digital camera just died today and we went out looking for a new camera. The main thing he wants in a camera is that you can switch off the display and shoot pictures(to save battery). In our looking we noticed almost ALL cameras didn't even have a viewfinder and the two Canon(A series) ones we looked at had a viewfinder but when we tried to shoot without display it would not allow this function.
Are all point-n-shoots without this feature? Does anyone know any good cameras that have this option?