Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS

Last update: Review & Sample Photos @ LetsGoDigital (11 November’08)

The Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS (announced 22 August’07) is a 8.0 megapixel point-and-shoot digital camera features 3.8x optical zoom (35mm equivalent: 28-105mm) with optical stabilization, ISO: 80-1600, DIGIC III, and a 3.0″ LCD screen. 3.65 x 2.32 x 1.02 in (92.6 x 58.8 x 25.9mm) and weighs approx 5.50 oz./155g (camera body only).

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Reviews | Sample Photos | User Manual | Press Release

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS Reviews

LetsGoDigital reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“The Canon Digital IXUS 860 IS camera is worth its money. The small shortcomings are visible through technical tests but in practice I believe they will be hardly found in the picture.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“Pro: Excellent photo quality for its class; optical image stabilisation; pleasing interface and design; wide-angle lens. Cons: Mode dial spins too freely; button positioning might bother some users; very noticeable fringing. Verdict: With admirable image quality and useful pictures such as image stabilisation, the Canon Digital IXUS 870 IS is, simply put, an excellent point-and-shoot camera”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PCWorld reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“Our lab-based test shots were a bit underexposed, but sharp and nicely colored. Flash shots of our test model had a slightly grayish skin tone, but some of that may be due to being underexposed. Outdoor scenic shots were impressive–generally good exposure accuracy, no oversaturated colors, and sharp details.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PCMag reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“Canon PowerShot SD870 IS is one of the best consumer cameras we’ve seen recently, falling just short of our reigning Editors’ Choice compact camera… With its outstanding image quality and features such as the 3-inch LCD and wide-angle lens, the SD870 is hard to beat at this price. ”
Rating: ★★★★☆

NeoCamera reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“Noise levels are generally good and ISO 400 is usable for bright subjects. There is also lower-than-average chromatic aberrations. On the ergonomic side, the large size of the rear LCD (3″) poses the usual problem among small cameras of not leaving any room to hold the camera’s back.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“Though the 870 IS isn’t perfect, with its noise issues and minor design faults, it still remains an excellent compact camera. A sharp lens, fast image processing times and fantastic picture quality make the IXUS an ideal combination of style and substance.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

GoodGearGuide reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“A strong all-purpose compact camera, Canon’s IXUS 870 IS will suit users looking for a unit with a wide-angle lens, a big screen and good image quality..”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“test camera produced images that were sharp and bright with natural-looking colours and slightly elevated contrast and saturation. Autofocusing was fast and mostly accurate…Resolution remained relatively high between ISO 80 and ISO 400 but declined sharply thereafter.”
Rating: ★★★★½

TrustedReviews reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“The Canon IXUS 860 IS is an expensive camera for an 8MP pocket compact, but it justifies it with stylish design, exceptional build quality, class-leading performance and outstanding picture quality. Its wide zoom range provides greater versatility than most other compacts, and it turns in excellent results in virtually any situation. It is certainly one of the best compact cameras on the market, and will no doubt make a welcome gift for many this Xmas.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Let’sGoDigital reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“If you are looking for a stylish developed camera, user friendly and equipped with innovative and effective image solutions you might find the Canon 860 IS camera the right one. And if you want a camera that needs more manual efforts you should look for the PowerShot G9 or a different brand. ”
Rating: ★★★★☆

DCRP reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“Image quality was very good, though not without some compromises that come from that compact wide-angle lens. On the positive side, the SD870 took well-exposed images, with pleasing colors, good sharpness, and minimal purple fringing. Noise really isn’t a problem until the highest ISO settings, though you’ll start seeing the effects of noise reduction at ISO 400 (in good light).”
Rating: N/A

CameraLabs reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
The Canon Ixus 860IS / PowerShot SD870 IS has a lot going for it. The great build quality, large screen, quick response, wide angle coverage and respectable quality will be sufficient to sell it to many people…The bottom line is Canon’s produced a superb compact here, with the Ixus 860IS / PowerShot SD870 IS justifying its higher cost to most buyers. If the design appeals to you and the price is right, we can Highly Recommend it.”

Rating: ★★★★½

ImagingResource reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“The layout of buttons and menus is intuitive, and the camera’s operation is quick and responsive. As a shooting-priority camera, you can always take a photo by just pressing the shutter-release button (although the lack of a optical viewfinder may make quick framing difficult). On automatic, the camera does a good job of capturing respectable images. For photos of people, as long as the camera can see both the subject’s eyes, there should be no problems at all getting a pleasing picture.”
Rating: N/A

RegHardware reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“Shots taken with the macro setting were also superb. One of our favourite program modes was Aquarium, great for taking snaps through glass. We were also pleasantly surprised by the digital zoom performance, which gave creditable results. The camera coped well under low-light shooting and the movie – VGA-quality (320 x 240) at 30fps – and sound recording – up to CD quality – modes were impressive.”
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
Close-up performance was excellent and digital zoom shots were relatively artefact-free – although slightly soft. The flash required an ISO setting of 200 before it could illuminate an average-sized room but flash exposure levels were uniform to ISO 1600. Flash exposures at ISO 1600 had blown-out highlights and blocked-up shadows and an obvious granular appearance.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“I was able to take a single photo in 0.28 seconds and 5 in 7.27 seconds. These times are slightly faster than average. Turning the flash on increased times to 1.03 seconds for a single photo and 15.2 seconds for 5. These could be quicker. ”
Rating: ★★★★☆

DigitalCameraInfo reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“The SD870 IS has very low noise at ISO 80, and not great but manageable noise from ISO 100 to 400. At ISO 800 and 1600, however, noise levels rise to extreme levels….The Canon PowerShot SD870 IS is a nice digital camera, but its price tag is still on the higher end of what it should be.”
Rating: N/A

DigitalCameraReview reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“the Canon SD870 IS is extremely user friendly, has numerous auto settings for almost any condition, has convenient buttons for easy camera navigation and performs well for its class.”
Rating: N/A

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“I loved every minute that I used the SD870 IS, and definitely recommend this model to anyone who is in the market for a high-quality, pocketable digicam that takes outstanding photos, and offers blazing fast performance. ”
Rating: N/A

PhotographyBLog reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“Macro performance is very good, allowing you to focus as close as 3cms away from the subject and capturing lots of detail… The Canon Digital IXUS 75 produced noise-free images at ISO 80, 100 and 200, with ISO 400 showing some noise and slight blurring of detail. ISO 800 has quite visible noise and ISO 1600 is best avoided at all costs.”
Rating: ★★★★½

DigitalTrends reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“I will heartily recommend this camera to anyone looking for a solid aim-and-forget digicam. The photos are very accurate and the vast majority of shooters will be more than thrilled with the results. And that 28mm lens definitely brings out the Diane Arbus in all of us. ”
Rating: ★★★★☆

ePhotozine reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“ISO80 has a good result and is followed closely by ISO100 also with good results, however, the two settings are very close, so it is no surprise they are so similar. ISO200 is still very good and noise is minimal. Noise can be seen in low key areas at ISO400 and the lines between the black and grey card are starting to deteriorate.”
Rating: ★★★☆☆

CNET reviews the Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS and writes;
“he good: Impressive performance and image quality; optical image stabilization; face detection. The bad: No manual exposure controls; no optical viewfinder. The bottom line: While the Canon PowerShot SD870 IS doesn’t have an optical viewfinder or manual exposure controls, it captures beautiful images with its wide, 3.8x optical zoom lens and ranks among the top compact cameras we’ve seen. ”
Rating: ★★★★☆

Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS Samples

Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ LetsGoDigital
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ TrustedReviews
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ Let’sGoDigital
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ DCRP
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ CameraLabs
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ RegHardware
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ DigitalCameraInfo
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ DigitalCameraReview
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ Steve’sDigicams
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS Sample Photos @ ePhotozine

Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS User Manual (PDF)

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Canon PowerShot SD870 (IXUS860) IS User Manual (PDF – 14.77MB)

Canon SD870 (IXUS860) IS Press Release

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Canon U.S.A., Inc. today introduced two new compact PowerShot Digital ELPH Cameras the top-of-the line 12.1-megapixel PowerShot SD950 IS Digital ELPH and the status-setting 8.0-megapixel resolution PowerShot SD870 IS Digital ELPH. Both cameras still have the alluring charm and color that keep them ahead of the aesthetic curve, but now they are also loaded with advanced features and functions, making them perfect for the trend-setting techie. For the consumer attending a sunny backyard soiree, a relaxing respite getaway or an electrifying night on the town, these two Digital ELPH cameras continue to hold court as the perfect combination of beauty and brains. Canon’s PowerShot Digital ELPH cameras verify the adage that you can never be too (feature) rich or too stylishly thin.

The PowerShot SD950 IS Digital ELPH and SD870 IS Digital ELPH cameras build on Canon’s original, iconic box and circle design while maintaining their own identity. The PowerShot SD950 IS Digital ELPH camera is sophisticated, sensual and strikingly elegant, while the PowerShot SD870 IS Digital ELPH camera is sleek, sassy and serves as a fashion statement. Both Digital ELPHs are lightweight and compact, allowing them to fit unobtrusively into a small purse or shirt-pocket, and be whipped out easily to capture a memorable moment.

“Don’t be fooled by their stunning good looks,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “The PowerShot SD950 IS Digital ELPH and SD870 IS Digital ELPH cameras are filled with top-performing features that deliver extraordinary results.”

The PowerShot SD870 IS Digital ELPH Camera is ideal for style-conscious photo enthusiasts with impeccable taste who want their substance to keep pace with their style. The PowerShot SD870 IS Digital ELPH camera is built on a foundation consisting of one-part Canon technology – 8.0-megapixel resolution, 3.8x wide-angle optical zoom with optical image stabilization and a DIGIC III processor with Advanced Face Detection Technology- and one-part fashion accessory – with its smooth curves, sleek mode dial and the option of a black or silver lens ring that’s sure to complement any taste or style. This sassy shooter’s wide-angle zoom lens makes it a snap to capture large group shots at a favorite hang-out, the wide expanse of a sandy beach on a vacation or the throngs of people at a red-carpet event. The extra-large three-inch PureColor LCD screen with scratch-resistant and anti-reflection coating also makes it easy to view and review these great shots. All this great photo-creating fun is available for an estimated selling price of $399.99*


The “brain” of these new PowerShot cameras is DIGIC III, the gold standard on all new Canon digital cameras. The DIGIC III image processor accounts for the camera’s higher performance levels, including faster start-up, faster autofocus and quicker shutter response times that leave long-lag competitors in the dust. The DIGIC III chip design improves image quality and offers more efficient power consumption, resulting in extended battery life under typical shooting conditions.


With Canon’s new Genuine Face Detection technology, the camera can detect up to nine forward-looking human faces in a scene. The Face Detection algorithm automatically prioritizes and selects faces and not simply the closest object (based on Canon’s Intelligent Scene Analysis/iSAPS technology). It will then optimize the focus, exposure and flash to ensure the best possible results. Using Canon’s Face Detection, photographers can keep up to nine faces in focus at any one time no matter where they are within the image. Working in concert with Face Detection, the “Red-Eye Correction” feature helps to detect and correct red-eye during playback mode. Images can be corrected manually while viewing photos on the LCD screen. Canon’s new Face Detection Technology makes for even easier picture-taking moments, helping users ensure in-focus smiles, and assist in the elimination of over-exposed faces.


The extended zoom range of the camera makes optical image stabilization (OIS) essential. Canon’s lens shift OIS provides an effective antidote to camera shake, particularly at longer zoom lengths or during long exposures when even the slightest hand-held shake is magnified to picture blurring proportions. Superior to electronic image stabilization systems that simply use software to mask movement, OIS actually shifts the lens proportionately to compensate for unwanted motion, making it easier to snap great images. The OIS found in Canon PowerShot digital cameras is based on technology developed for Canon’s renowned high-end professional EOS SLR cameras.

The steady effectiveness is further enhanced when paired with the new “Auto ISO Shift” feature which, at the touch of a button, can automatically increase the ISO speed setting as required to maintain fast shutter speeds when shooting in low-light conditions without a flash.


All Canon PowerShot digital cameras work seamlessly with Canon’s compact photo printers to deliver stunning high-quality borderless prints. Consumers simply connect their PowerShot digital camera to a Canon compact photo printer, press the Print/Share button, and moments later a brilliant, borderless 4″ x 6″ print begins to emerge; it’s that simple. Canon’s compact photo printers are PictBridge compatible, so they work with PictBridge enabled digital cameras to provide users with excellent image quality and ease-of-use, especially when paired with a Canon digital camera.


As an added convenience, Canon PowerShot digital cameras also accommodate MultiMedia MMC and MMC+ memory cards, as well as standard SD memory cards and the new, high-capacity SDHC memory cards. This way, consumers do not have to carry around multiple memory cards in order to be able to continue to save those special moments during extended vacations or high-photo-taking adventures. Canon PowerShot owners can travel in sleek style.

The PowerShot SD950 IS Digital ELPH and SD870 IS Digital ELPH Cameras are scheduled to be available in stores in September. Both new cameras kits provide everything a photographer needs to start enjoying these wonderful products as soon as they are purchased, including a rechargeable battery pack, battery charger, 32MB MMC memory card, and software as well as USB interface cable, AV interface cables and wrist strap.

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