The Good Attractive, ultracompact design; easy operation; well-rounded, basic feature set.
The Bad Photo quality dips above ISO 200; flat buttons can be difficult to press accurately.
The Bottom Line Simple and stylish, the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS is a fine back-pocket camera as long as your photo-quality expectations are reasonable.
Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS
With camera manufacturers throwing an increasing number of features at consumers, it's very easy to skip over simple models such as the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS. Its specs are basic, its shooting options minimal, and its photo quality and performance, while very good for its class, are still fairly representative of an ultracompact point-and-shoot camera. However, if all you're after is a good-looking, go-everywhere, pocket camera, the SD1200 is pretty great--even if it's pricier than the competition.
Available in six colors (silver, dark gray, orange, green, pink, and blue), the SD1200 is adorably small, but still comfortable to use. Controls are standard Canon. A switch on the back moves you between the three shooting modes: Smart Auto, Program/Scene, and Movie. To its left is a Play button above a four-way directional pad centered by a Func Set button. Below that is a Disp button for changing the information shown on the LCD or shutting it off (there's a viewfinder if you want to save on battery life while shooting) and a Menu button. A shutter release with a zoom ring and power button are on top. The only issue with the arrangement is that the buttons are all flat, so if you've got big clumsy thumbs there's a chance you'll have trouble accurately pressing them.