Canon PowerShot SD990 / IXUS 980 IS

Last update (25 January’12):
– Review by PCW

Canon PowerShot SD990 (aka IXUS 980) IS features 14.7 megapixels CCD sensor, 3.7x optical zoom (35mm film equivalent: 36-133mm) with Image Stabilizer, DIGIC 4 Image Processor, Quick mode to minimize shutter lag, Intelligent contrast detection, Face detection, ISO 80-1600, and a 2.5-inch TFT pure-color LCD. The camera measures 3.81 x 2.45 x 1.10 in./96.7 x 62.2 x 27.9mm and weighs Approx. 5.64 oz./160g available in black & silver.

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

Expert Reviews

Canon PowerShot SD990 / IXUS 980 IS Reviews

PCW reviews theCanon PowerShot SD990/Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“IXUS 980 IS is chunkier than earlier or cheaper models, but can boast a very high pixel count and good SD video capture… Still images lacked some colour crispness, and despite a larger than normal CCD, high-contrast scenes could be a little hit and miss..”
Rating: ★★★★☆

CameraLabs reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“If high resolution, an optical viewfinder and manual control tick your particular boxes though, then the IXUS 980 IS / SD990 IS is a fine choice and comes Recommended. It does however miss out on our top award due to its lack of HD movies and true wide angle coverage.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PCWorld reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“The image quality is indeed outstanding: The PowerShot SD990 IS netted a score of Superior in the PC World Test Center jury evaluations, producing some of the best results for color accuracy, lack of distortion, and exposure quality we’ve ever seen in a point-and-shoot. However, the plasticky build and some design choices hinder its overall score.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

ImagingResource reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“Image quality is better at middle and telephoto focal lengths. Color from the Canon PowerShot SD990 IS is bright and vibrant, with only slight oversaturation in some reds and still pleasing….The Canon PowerShot SD990 IS is not just the new flagship ELPH, it’s the best ELPH I’ve used. And that earns it a Dave’s Pick.”
Rating: N/A

TrustedReviews reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“It is a superb camera, built up to a standard rather than down to a price, combining stylish but functional design, superior build quality, class-leading performance, a useful and accessible range of features and outstanding picture quality. It is very expensive, but if you want top quality you have to pay for it. “
Rating: ★★★★½

CNET reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“The bottom line: The Canon PowerShot SD990 IS is a fine ultracompact camera, but its price-to-feature benefits are questionable. “
Rating: ★★★½☆

DCR reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“SD990 also does a lot of things right: it has a great focus system, decent exposure control, and processing that’s pure Canon. But on images alone, the SD990 doesn’t seem to live up to the full potential that might have been realized had Canon opted for less resolution.”
Rating: N/A reviews the IXUS 980 IS and writes;
“The 980 IS is a competent 14.7-megapixel compact with manual controls, even if it does lack HD video and a big screen like some of its competitors. That said, we much prefer the Canon’s image quality and overall package.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

PhotographyBlog reviews the IXUS 980 IS and writes;
“IXUS 980 IS / PowerShot SD990 IS Digital ELPH can be highly recommended to DSLR owners who are in the need of a second camera that they can take along even when their main ‘workhorse’ has to stay at home, and also to beginners who want an easy-to-use point-and-shoot that can ‘grow’ with them as their photography skills improve.”
Rating: ★★★★½ compared the Canon IXUS 980 to Samsung NV100HD and writes;
“In terms of features alone, the Samsung is the clear winner here. However, bringing image quality into the equation, the Canon wins by a substantial margin. “
Rating: N/A

DPInterface reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“Image quality was good – photos were generally good up till ISO 800 in well-lit conditions, while the most you’d wanna go in low-light would be ISO 400.”
Rating: N/A reviews the IXUS 980 IS and writes;
The bottom line: This IXUS is a very decent camera for shutterbugs who don’t need one with wide-angle lens. The speedy performance and decent pictures undermine the fact that the controls on the shooter can be a bit confusing for newbies.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

InfoSync reviews the Canon PowerShot SD990 and writes;
“All in all, the Canon PowerShot SD990 IS has the ability to capture magnificent images when the settings are dialed in correctly. If you know what you’re doing, the SD990 IS will be very good to you. “
Rating: ★★★★½

Review video by TigerDirect; reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“If a combination of excellent picture quality and stylish design are what you are looking for then you should strongly consider this camera. Price wise it comes in at the top end of the market.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“Indoors, the SD990 is able to capture pleasing people or portrait style photos. The Face detection system works very quickly to find and lock onto faces in the frame… with the technologies, functions, and performance this little digicam boasts, we still feel the SD990 IS offers great “bang for your buck”. “
Rating: N/A

DigicamReview reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“Image quality is generally excellent.. The camera’s screen works well and battery life is very good… Overall this is a very appealing camera offering good value for money, and a number of features that should suit beginners as well as experts – with full manual controls proving you no longer need to buy a bulky camera.”
Rating: ★★★★½ reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“Pictures taken with the test camera were sharp and clean with natural-looking colours and the slightly elevated saturation that typifies compact digicams. Plenty of detail was recorded but the dynamic range in shots of contrasty subjects was limited – as you would expect from a camera with such tiny photosites.”
Rating: ★★★★½

GoodGearGuide reviews the Canon IXUS 980 and writes;
“Image noise was a little more prominent than usual but nothing too over the top. ISO 200 and 400 all had a touch more graininess than we’d expect but it wasn’t really noticeable at small and medium magnifications. As usual, though, by ISO 800 the noise increased quite sharply and at ISO 1600 there was significant blurring and loss of detail..”
Rating: ★★★★½

User Opinions

Excellent Camera by Arthur | Rating: ★★★★★
“This is an excellent camera. What you give up in areas like optical zoom is made up for by the speed of the camera and the quality of pictures it takes. TONS of features built in. Love the color swap feature – worked great in the Oregon mountains for capturing all the vivid greens. The camera even took a fall down the trail at Shepperd’s Dell waterfall with hardly a scratch!”

Great Camera by T.Packard | Rating: ★★★★★
“There are so many compact digital cameras on the market today that it was difficult to decide. I researched all that met my criteria and selected the Powershot SD990. I’m so glad I did. I love this camera. Picture quality, ease of use and features are superior. I highly recommend it.”

More user opinions | Write your opinion


Canon PowerShot SD990 / IXUS 980 IS User Manual (PDF)

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– Download Canon PowerShot SD990 / IXUS 980 IS User Manual (PDF – 4.37 MB)


Image Sensor Type
1/1.7” CCD

Effective Pixels

Colour Filter Type
Primary Colour

Type DIGIC 4 with iSAPS technology

Focal Length: 7.7 – 28.5 mm (35mm equivalent: 36 – 133mm)
Zoom: Optical 3.7x. Digital approx. 4x (with Digital Tele-Converter approx. 1.7x or 2.2x and Safety Zoom ¹) ². Combined approx. 15x
Maximum f/number: f/2.8 – f/5.8
Construction: 7 elements in 5 groups (2 aspherical elements including 1 double-sided UA element)
Image Stabilisation: Yes (shift-type)

Type TTL
AF System/ Points AiAF (Face Detection / 9-point), 1-point AF (fixed to centre or Face Select and Track)
AF Modes Single, Servo AF¹
AF Point Selection Size (Normal, Small)
AF Lock On/Off Selectable
AF Assist Beam Yes
Manual Focus Yes
Closest Focusing Distance 5cm (W) from front of lens in macro

Exposure Control
Metering modes Evaluative (linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot (centre)
AE Lock On/Off Selectable
Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments.
i-Contrast for automatic dynamic range correction
ISO sensitivity* AUTO, High ISO Auto (incorporating Motion Detection Technology), 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600

Speed 1/60 – 1/1600 sec (factory default)
15 – 1/1600 sec (total range – varies by shooting mode)

White Balance
Type TTL
Settings Auto (including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom

Viewfinder Real-image zoom, optical viewfinder

LCD Monitor
Monitor 2.5” PureColor LCD II (TFT), approx. 230,000 dots
Coverage 100%
Brightness Adjustable to one of fifteen levels

Modes Auto, Manual Flash On / Off
Slow Sync Speed Yes
Red-Eye Reduction Yes
Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2 EV in 1/3 stop increments. Face Detection FE.
Flash Exposure Lock Yes
Manual Power Adjustment 3 levels with internal flash
Built-in Flash Range 50cm – 4.6m (W) / 2.4m (T)
External Flash Canon High Power Flash HF-DC1

Physical Specifications
Operating Environment 0 – 40 °C, 10 – 90% humidity
Dimensions (WxHxD, excl. protrusions) 96.7 x 62.2 x 27.9mm
Weight (body only) Approx. 160g

6 Responses to “Canon PowerShot SD990 / IXUS 980 IS”

  1. Zoltan says:

    My review of this cam has just been published by PhotographyBLOG at
    Cheers, Zoltan

  2. Review says:

    Besides full automatic mode, this camera also offers more manual control for those people who actually know what they’re doing. If you don’t (like me) the sd880 might be more interesting, since it has a wide-angle lens with 4x optical zoom and a 3 inch lcd screen (no optical viewfinder though), and it’s cheaper, too.

  3. Ram says:

    Its a great camera I had recently upgraded it from 12.1 to 14.7 and must have the pictures are sharper than the objects itself. Great buy.


  4. Zal says:


    You’ve made a few mistakes on this page, at least on the 3 most recent links to reviews.
    Please don’t confuse, Canon SD990 is not Canon Ixus990.


  5. aisai says:

    my black color of canon sd990is is beautiful camera, i like

  6. Manoj says:

    I have problem with digital ixus 980is and i purchased it from korea four month before now indian customer care refuse to the guarantee and demand me money for it. Its canon global product and when i purchased it than they tell me its having international warranty.

    Solve my problem if u can. Dont treat like robbers, its an international brand.

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