Canon PowerShot Digital ELPH SD4000 IS / IXUS 300 HS 10.0 MP Digital Camera - Silver Reviews
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Canon PowerShot Digital ELPH SD4000 IS / IXUS 300 HS 10.0 MP Digital Camera - Silver

45 ratings (37 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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Easy to use, Impossible to kill - and ultra cool

Aug 6, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review
  • User Rating: Excellent

  • Ease of Use:
  • Durability:
  • Battery Life:
  • Photo Quality:
  • Shutter Lag

Pros:Tiny size, crisp quality photos, fast shooting, EASY to use, tough and durable, super-cool looking

Cons:Port covers feel flimsy (although they haven't broken), movie sound is low quality.

The Bottom Line: Outstanding photo quality, blissfully easy to use, and extreme durability of the Canon SD-400 make it the top-notch choice.


Can you expect to see the tiny little hairs on a tomato plant stem when you spend less than $300 on a camera? YES!
Can you get a perfect image of 22 football players scrambling across a field in poor lighting conditions? YES!

Can you do this without reading the manual? YES!

These factors are what make this the perfect camera for busy people with little photography knowledge and pocketbooks already overloaded with diapers and sunscreen.

I have been amazed and awed by the consistent quality of the photos I get with this camera using only the "AUTO" settings.

I'm a mom without time to sit down with a manual and learn complicated settings. So I chose this camera hoping it would work in various conditions using only the "AUTO" settings. So now that I've confessed that I've never taken my camera off of auto, my review will be limited to what this camera can and can't do when you take it out of the box and turn it on. I suspect there are many out there like me who always intend to learn the bells and whistles on their new gadgets, but somehow never find the time to do it. If this is you, then read on because this camera just might be your new pride and joy even if you never crack the manual.

It was Christmas morning, I ripped the wrapping off what I already knew to be my wonderful, tiny little camera, the Canon SD400. I had ordered it from ebay.com myself so I knew what it was but hadn't yet opened the box.

Wow, it was prettier than I expected! So sleek and small, and even Cooooooooool looking. I handled it very gently because it's very tiny size makes it appear fragile. (It fooled me) I turned it over and over in my hands fiddling with the port covers, battery slot, card slot, etc. Within minutes I had inserted a fully charged battery, the memory card, and turned it on and taken my first photos. All without taking the wrapping off the manual. Yippee, this was easy!

I took photos all Christmas day, being careful to set my fragile little camera in high places when not in use to avoid the household of small children who had been wanting to "try" it. Then one screaming child outside, and I dashed to the rescue. Camera forgotten on the low coffee table. I returned to the living room after nursing a scraped knee only to find my 1 year old niece clutching my sleek new toy, rubbing her gums on the corner of it. My camera had become a baby-teether. My involuntary screech convinced her to drop it on the tile and I stared in horror as my shiny little camera lay there. Would it work after being coated with baby slobber and dropped on ceramic tile?

I winced as I picked it up and half-closed one eye as I turned it to "on" and the whole thing clicked to life unscathed. Wow! I was falling further in love with this little thing...

That evening I installed the software on my computer - a breeze. Then I downloaded the photos - even easier. I was ecstatic: They were vivid! Crisp! Gorgeous! I couldn't have been more pleased.

Since that time, my little camera has been to the Bahamas and survived salt spray and sand. Canoeing - where it endured a damp ziplock baggy after an accidental dunking. And rough usage by children who think the camera is too cool to leave alone.

I used to keep it in the case but at some point it got dropped in the side pocket of my purse and has remained there along with lipstick, car keys, and pocket change. It is with me 24/7/265 everywhere I go and survives the rough daily ride of being dropped into corners, tossed in the back seat, jostled during the everyday abuse our pocketbooks get. It still works perfectly after nearly a year of abuse.

No, I never learned the fancy settings, although I've read here that it does have some available.

I did learn how to turn off the automatic flash, which I can tell you here in few words, no need for the manual. Turn on the camera, then press the right hand side of the + control. Voila, your flash is turned off. I have found this to be a handy feature because in taking baby pictures, sometimes the flash makes the photo too harsh for its subject. The hazier lighting looks more appropriate. To turn the auto-flash back on either hit the same button again or turn the camera off and when you turn it back on it is enabled again.


Movies: I never intended this camera to take movies, but I did try it a couple of times. I was happy with the picture quality, but the sound is very faint, I wasn't happy with the sound so I haven't done any more movies.


Size: Exact dimensions are available in the technical reviews but they never mean much to me. However, this is easy to envision. I laid my credit card on it and it is exactly the same size as my credit card. Just fatter, about as thick as my thumb.


Photo Quality: My camera has consistently out-performed other friends and family members as far as photo quality. Since seeing my pictures compared to theirs, two family members have purchased this same camera and are as enamored as I am.


Battery Life: I've read here that it is sub-standard. I have not found this to be the case. But I use it in a very economical fashion. I moved up the SD400 after the S-10. The S-10 batteries died fast and cost $14.00 to replace. So I learned to be very parsimonious with the LCD screen. I set up my shot before powering up the camera. Then I turn it on, check the lcd screen quickly to make sure it looks like I thought it would, then I press click and take two or three photos. I don't review them, I turn it off immediately. I can review later in full size on my computer and I will almost always have gotten at least one good shot out of the 2-3 I took. Used this way, the camera battery lasts several days of vacation photos without needing a recharge.


What I hate about this camera: Its tiny, cool, shiny look attracts small children like flies. Keep it out of reach or you'll have grape jelly all over it.


I guess I'm supposed to give you some more technical information in a review, but it makes my head buzz, so I'm going to point you to another reviewer for that information:
"See the Howard Creech review of the Canon SD400"












Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 285.00
This Camera is a Good Choice if You Want Something... Easy Enough for Anyone to Use


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