Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 IS

Last update (13 December’09):
- Review & Sample Photos @ CNET

Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 IS is a 12.1 megapixels compact camera features 5x optical zoom (35mm film equivalent: 37-185mm) with optical image stabilizer, face detection, DIGIC 4, HD movie capability, ISO 80-3200, and a 3.0-inch TFT color LCD with wide viewing angle (PureColor LCD II). The camera measures 3.73 x 2.24 x 1.04 in./94.8 x 56.8 x 26.3mm and weighs approx. 5.64 oz./160g (camera body only).
[More Features & Specifications Detail]

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

Expert Reviews

Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 IS Reviews

ImagingResource reviews the Canon IXUS 990 and writes;
“ISO 80 and 100 printed results look good at 16×20 inches with good color and detail. ISO 200 shots start to look better at 13×19 inches, though some luminance noise starting to appear in the shadows. ISO 400 shots are good at 11×14 inches, with impressive detail at this size for this setting. ISO 800 shots are usable at 8.5×11, but a little too soft in low-contrast areas, especially reds. Images become smooth again, though, at 5×7 inches. “
Rating: N/A

DCRP reviews the Canon IXUS 990 and writes;
“Photo quality is good for a compact camera. The PowerShot takes well-exposed photos, with pleasing color and sharpness (except for some corner blurriness). Like most ultra-compacts, the SD970 likes to clip highlights, and it also has more purple fringing than I would’ve liked. While a bit noisier than its predecessors, the SD970 still produces cleaner photos than the majority of its competitors. “
Rating: N/A

TrustedReviews reviews the Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 and writes;
“The Canon IXUS 990 IS is undeniably a very good camera. The build quality is above any reproach, the handling and performance are excellent, and the range of advanced features is as good as anything else on the market. The optical image stabilisation is particularly effective. However it is very expensive even when compared to its few direct competitors and it is not without a few minor faults, particularly low-light focusing and unnatural skin tones. “
Rating: ★★★★☆

DigitalTrends reviews the Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 and writes;
“You’ll get fine snapshots but realize the SD970 IS is not the speediest camera on the block and if you’re into shutter speeds and f/stops this is not the right choice. The vast majority of casual photographers just want to aim-and-forget and the SD970 IS does a fine job for that task. You’ll like the colors and easy operation.”
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 and writes;
“The Canon Digital IXUS 990 IS offers elegance, straightforward operation and quality — all the usual IXUS hallmarks. But is it the best IXUS to go for? Probably not — it costs more than the Digital IXUS 110 IS without having much to show for it”
Rating: ★★★½☆

DCI reviews the Canon IXUS 990 and writes;
“The camera is mostly easy to handle, though we did have trouble keeping our fingers out of the way of the top-mounted microphone when shooting videos. The combination of a fast-scrolling control dial and a traditional four-way controller offers a winning combination of speedy navigation when you want it and precision.movement when you need it.”
Rating: N/A

DCR reviews the Canon IXUS 990 and writes;
“ISO 80 and 100 crop shots are quite good and hard to tell apart, with 200 just a tiny bit worse than the first two. ISO 400 shows some increased deterioration over 200, but not much, and 800 seems to drop off less compared to 400 than we usually see…. Bottom line: this is an excellent camera overall and one that would be on my short list were I in the market for something of this class. “
Rating: N/A

GoodGearGuide reviews the Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 and writes;
“The Canon IXUS 990 IS is a great compact camera that combines impressive image quality with an elegant design. However, when it comes to bang for your buck, there are several better deals on the market.”
Rating: ★★★½☆

CNET reviews the Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 and writes;
“The good: Very good photo, video quality; great high-res LCD. The bad: No optical zoom in Movie mode; slow, narrow lens; no shutter speed, aperture controls. The bottom line: It might take a good picture, but the Canon PowerShot SD970 IS’ feature-to-price ratio is disappointing.”
Rating: ★★★½☆ reviews the Canon IXUS 990 and writes;
“This is an excellent smaller compact. I like the design, quality of the LCD screen, menu system and picture quality. It may not come cheap, but it scores very highly in all the key categories.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Canon IXUS 990 and writes;
“outdoor image quality shows excellent exposure with bright, vivid colors.. indoor samples is also excellent, producing crisp, well exposed images; with or without the flash…Video playback is very smooth whether from the camera itself or when playing it from a computer. “
Rating: N/A

Pocket-Lint reviews the Canon IXUS 990 and writes;
“If you must have a compact camera but need lots of pixels and a decent zoom then the 990IS is certainly a top performer. The range of functions and features is good and it’s easy to use. Image quality is very good with very little to be concerned about in that department.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PhotographyBlog reviews the Canon IXUS 990 and writes;
“the new Canon Digital IXUS 990 IS falls between two camps – it’s too expensive for the casual snapper, and doesn’t offer enough advanced features for the pros looking for a second pocket camera. It’s undoubtedly a really nice camera to use, and therefore still easy to recommend… “
Rating: ★★★★☆


Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 IS Samples

- Canon PowerShot SD990 (IXUS 980) Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
- Canon PowerShot SD990 (IXUS 980) Sample Photos @ DCRP
- Canon PowerShot SD990 (IXUS 980) Sample Photos @ TrustedReviews
- Canon PowerShot SD990 (IXUS 980) Sample Photos @ DCI
- Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 IS Sample Photos: 123 @ DCR
- Canon PowerShot SD990 (IXUS 980) Sample Photos @
- Canon PowerShot SD990 (IXUS 980) Sample Photos @ Steve’sDigicams
- Canon PowerShot SD990 (IXUS 980) Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
- Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 IS Sample Photos: 12 @ Canon


Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 IS User Manual (PDF)

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- Download Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 IS User Manual (PDF – 3.9MB)


Canon PowerShot SD970/IXUS 990 IS Press Release

Whether the activity du jour involves dancing ‘til dawn, attending a black-tie gala or a quiet evening for two, Canon’s colorfully clad Digital ELPH Cameras are there to capture the magic of the moment and preserve the memory for years to come. Their substantive and stylish box and circle design, and striking colors, are the perfect complement to any situation and offer both the fashion-forward and feature-hungry photographer an all-in-one must-have camera.

The Canon PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH Camera offers consumers the “ultimate” in design and feature-set. The camera comes fully loaded with 12.1-Megapixels for amazing resolution and editing, plus a 5x Optical Zoom lens with Optical Image Stabilization, all with easy viewing on a large 3.0-inch PureColor LCD II screen. Additional features found on the PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH Camera include Smart AUTO, Blink Detection Technology, Active Display and 720p HD Movie Mode with built-in HDMI connector to view photos and videos on an HDTV. What’s more, the PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH Camera uses advanced features such as Zoom Blur and Creative Light Effect to produce fun and original effects with the camera. Zoom Blur allows the user to zoom during exposure, thus providing a haze-like effect to the image, while Creative Light Effect allows the user to shoot pictures by converting the light from light bulbs and sparks from fireworks into various shapes, such as stars and hearts. The PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH Camera is scheduled to be available in mid-April for an estimated retail price of $379.99.

Key features:

- Powerful 5x optical zoom with optical Image Stabilizer
- 12.1 Megapixel CCD
- 3.0” PureColor LCD II
- HD movies (1280 x 720, 30fps) and HDMI connection
- Smart Auto mode with Scene Detection Technology
- DIGIC 4 for ultra-fast responsiveness and superb image quality
- Combats blur with IS and Motion Detection Technology
- People shots made easy with Face Detection Technology and Face Select & Track, plus Blink Detection, Face Self-Timer and Auto Red-Eye Correction
- Active Display for interactive playback
- i-Contrast brightens dark areas without blowing out correctly-exposed areas
- Improved User Interface with Hints & Tips

About Canon U.S.A., Inc.
Canon U.S.A., Inc., is a leading provider of consumer, business-to-business, and industrial digital imaging solutions. Its parent company, Canon Inc. (NYSE:CAJ), a top patent holder of technology, ranked third overall in the U.S. in 2008†, with global revenues of US $45 billion, is listed as number seven in the computer industry on Fortune Magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies 2008 list, and is on the 2008 BusinessWeek list of “Top 100 Brands.” At Canon, we care because caring is essential to living together in harmony. Founded upon a corporate philosophy of Kyosei – “all people, regardless of race, religion or culture, harmoniously living and working together into the future” – Canon U.S.A. supports a number of social, youth, educational and other programs, including environmental and recycling initiatives. Additional information about these programs can be found at To keep apprised of the latest news from Canon U.S.A., sign up for the Company’s RSS news feed by visiting

See also: Canon | Digital Camera

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1 Comment »

Comment by PersonalUSer
2009-08-05 09:13:37

Don’t let the price criticisms deter you, the street price has dropped significantly as I picked up mine today at 30% less than MSRP.

The features remain the same but the price criticism is no longer valid. Great compact, good value, superb output. Will it replace my DSLR ? No way but for happy snaps and that little bit more when I don’t want to lug 10Kg of photographic gear around it’s just great.


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