Canon SD750 Review
Canon SD750 Exposure
Saturation & Hue Accuracy
Very nice overall color. Some slight oversaturation of strong reds and blues, but very good results overall.
Saturation. The Canon Powershot SD750 oversaturates the strong red and blue tones a little, but overall results are still pleasing. Most folks like their images a little oversaturated, and the SD750 delivers.
Skin tones. Here, the SD750 did render skin tones a bit on the warm, orange-pink side in some cases, but many consumers find slightly warm skin tones pleasing. (Warmer skin tones are definitely more pleasing than those on the cool or magenta side.)
Hue. Though the SD750 pushed reds toward orange and cyan toward blue (for better-looking skies), overall results were fairly accurate. (Hue is "what color" the color is.)
| See full set of test images
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images
Exposure and White Balance
Indoors, incandescent lighting
Good color with the Manual white balance setting, and good exposure as well.
|Auto WB +1.0 EV||Incandescent WB +1.0 EV||Manual WB +1.0 EV|
Color balance indoors under incandescent lighting was slightly warm with the Auto white balance setting, while the Incandescent option produced slightly magenta results. The Manual option produced the most accurate results overall. The Canon Powershot SD750 required an average amount of positive exposure compensation here, at +1.0 EV. Overall color with the Manual white balance setting is very good, without strong purple tints in the blue flowers. (Many digital cameras reproduce these flowers with a dark, purplish tint, so the SD750 performed very well here, though the flowers are a bit dark.) Our test lighting for this shot is a mixture of 60 and 100 watt household incandescent bulbs, a pretty yellow light source, but a very common one in typical home settings here in the U.S.
Bright colors overall, though a tendency toward high contrast under harsh lighting. About average exposure accuracy.
|Manual White Balance,
|Auto White Balance,
Outdoors, the Canon Powershot SD750 produced good overall color, with bright results under harsh sunlight. The SD750 performed about average in terms of exposure, requiring slightly less positive compensation we're accustomed to seeing among consumer digital cameras. The SD750's default contrast is rather high, producing washed-out highlights and dark shadows under the deliberately harsh lighting of our "Sunlit" portrait test shown above right. However, the camera's lower contrast settings did a pretty good job of toning down the exposure (though with some grayish tones in the tonal gradations of the face). Shadow detail was reduced, but not completely obliterated, so some shadow areas could be recovered after capture.
High resolution, 1,300 lines of strong detail.
|Strong detail to
1,300 lines horizontal
|Strong detail to
1,300 lines vertical
Our laboratory resolution chart revealed sharp, distinct line patterns down to about 1,300 lines per picture height with extinction at around 2,000. Use these numbers to compare with other cameras of similar resolution, or use them to see just what higher resolution can mean in terms of potential detail.
Sharpness & Detail
Reasonably sharp images overall, though some noise suppression limits detail in the shadows.
|Good definition of high-contrast elements, though with only slight edge enhancement and an overall sense of softness.||Subtle detail: Hair
Noise suppression blurs detail in areas of subtle contrast, as in the darker parts of Marti's hair here.
Sharpness. The Canon Powershot SD750 captures reasonably sharp images overall, though some details, most often in the lower quadrants are a hint soft. Only a very small amount of visible edge enhancement artifacts appear around high-contrast subjects such as the crop above left. Edge enhancement creates the illusion of sharpness by enhancing colors and tones right at the edge of a rapid transition in color or tone.
Noise suppression. The crop above right shows some moderate noise suppression, with darker areas of Marti's hair showing slightly limited detail. Noise-suppression systems in digital cameras tend to flatten-out detail in areas of subtle contrast. The effects can often be seen in shots of human hair, where the individual strands are lost and an almost "watercolor" look appears.
ISO & Noise Performance
Low to moderate noise at the normal sensitivity settings, though a big jump in noise with strong blurring at the high settings.
|ISO 80||ISO 100||ISO 200|
|ISO 400||ISO 800||ISO 1,600|
Noise levels are low to moderate at the Canon Powershot SD750's lower sensitivity settings, with higher noise at ISO 400 (as you'd expect). Though even at ISO 200, noise is a little higher than average. At the highest ISO settings, noise is quite high, with very strong blurring and large, bright pixels.
Extremes: Sunlit and low light tests
High resolution with strong overall detail, but high contrast. Good low-light performance, capable of capturing bright images under average city street lighting and much darker conditions.
|+0.3 EV||+0.7 EV||+1.0 EV|
Sunlight. The Canon Powershot SD750 produced high contrast with washed-out highlights and deep shadows under the harsh lighting of the test above. However, the camera's low contrast adjustment did a pretty good job of toning down the exposure. Noise suppression is visible in the shadows, contributing to the loss of detail there. Though some areas look a little dark at +0.7 EV, I preferred it to the image at +1.0 EV, which had too many blown highlights for my preference. In "real life" though, be sure to use fill flash in situations like the one shown above; it's better to shoot in the shade when possible.
Note: Because digital cameras are more like slide film than negative film (in that they tend to have a more limited tonal range), we test them in the harshest situations to see how they handle scenes with bright highlights and dark shadows, as well as what kind of sensitivity they have in low light. The shot above is designed to mimic the very harsh, contrasty effect of direct noonday sunlight, a very tough challenge for most digital cameras. (You can read details of this test here.)
Low light. The Canon Powershot SD750 captured bright images down to the 1/16 foot-candle light level (about 1/16 as bright as average city street lighting at night) at all ISOs except 80 and 100. Here, images were bright to about 1/8 foot-candle. The camera's autofocus system was able to focus on the subject down to just below the 1/4 foot-candle light level without AF assistance, so you'll need to keep that in mind with darker shots.
NOTE: This low light test is conducted with a stationary subject, and the camera mounted on a sturdy tripod. Most digital cameras will fail miserably when faced with a moving subject in dim lighting. (For example, a child's ballet recital or a holiday pageant in a gymnasium.) For such applications, you may have better luck with a digital SLR camera, but even there, you'll likely need to set the focus manually. For information and reviews on digital SLRs, refer to our SLR review index page.
Coverage and Range
Dim exposures at the default exposure setting; the camera required slightly less than average exposure compensation for flash exposures. Slightly limited range.
|35mm equivalent||105mm equivalent|
|Normal Flash +0.7 EV||Slow-Sync Flash, Default Exposure|
Flash coverage was uneven at wide angle, but more even (if dim) at telephoto. Indoors, under incandescent background lighting, the Canon Powershot SD750's flash underexposed our subject a bit at its default setting, requiring a +0.7 EV exposure compensation adjustment to get bright results. The camera's Slow-Sync flash mode performed well at the default exposure, though the longer shutter speed resulted in a strong orange cast.
The Powershot SD750's flash was bright, with good intensity to 8 feet at wide angle and ISO 100; though 9, 10, and 11 are probably reasonably acceptable, exposure does fall off starting at 9 feet. At telephoto, the Canon SD750 underexposes even at our closest test range of 6 feet.
|Manufacturer-Specified Flash Range|
Auto ISO 200
Auto ISO 200
Manufacturer-Specified Flash Test. In the shots above, the Canon SD750 seems to perform exactly as Canon says it will at wide angle, producing good exposures at the rated distance with its ISO set to Auto. At telephoto, however, the image is somewhat underexposed. In both cases, the camera boosted the ISO to 200, not a bad compromise for good exposure. Note: Our standard test method for flash range uses a fixed setting of ISO 100, to provide a fair basis of comparison between cameras. We've now also begun shooting these two shots using the manufacturer-specified camera settings, at the range the company claims for the camera, to assess the validity of the specific claims.
Good print quality, great color, good 11x14 inch prints. ISO 400 images are soft but usable at 8x10, ISO 800 and 1,000 shots are marginal at 5x7, good at 4x6.
With the Canon PowerShot SD750, we found that it had enough resolution to make good looking 11x14 inch prints. At 13x19, its prints were softer looking, but probably fine for wall display. ISO 200 shots were a little softer at 11x14, but just fine at 8.5x11 inches. ISO 400 shots still made passable 8x10s, but with noticeable chroma noise in the shadows. ISO 800 shots were rather pointillist in nature at 8x10, but were quite usable at 5x7 inches. ISO 1,600 made a decent, though somewhat spotted 4x6. It would certainly do in a pinch. Color saturation does fade as the ISO rises, but it's still respectable.
Note: Testing hundreds of digital cameras, we've found that you can only tell so much about a camera's image quality by viewing its images on-screen. Ultimately, there's no substitute for printing a lot of images and examining them closely. For this reason, we now routinely print sample images from the cameras we test on our Canon i9900 studio printer, and on the Canon iP5200 here in the office. (See the Canon i9900 review for details on that model.)
The images above were taken from our standardized test shots. For a collection of more pictorial photos, see our Canon PowerShot SD750 Photo Gallery.
Recommended Software: Rescue your Photos!
Just as important as an extra memory card is a tool to rescue your images when one of your cards fails at some point in the future. We get a lot of email from readers who've lost photos due to a corrupted memory card. Memory card corruption can happen with any card type and any camera manufacturer, nobody's immune. A lot of "lost" images can be recovered with an inexpensive, easy to use piece of software though. Given the amount of email I've gotten on the topic, I now include this paragraph in all my digital camera reviews. The program you need is called PhotoRescue, by DataRescue SA. Read our review of it if you'd like, but download the program now, so you'll have it. It doesn't cost a penny until you need it, and even then it's only $29, with a money back guarantee. So download PhotoRescue for Windows or PhotoRescue for Mac while you're thinking of it. (While you're at it, download the PDF manual and quickstart guide as well.) Stash the file in a safe place and it'll be there when you need it. Trust me, needing this is not a matter of if, but when... PhotoRescue is about the best and easiest tool for recovering digital photos I've seen. (Disclosure: IR gets a small commission from sales of the product, but I'd highly recommend the program even if we didn't.) OK, now back to our regularly scheduled review...
Not sure which camera to buy? Let your eyes be the ultimate judge! Visit our Comparometer(tm) to compare images from the Canon PowerShot SD750 with those from other cameras you may be considering. The proof is in the pictures, so let your own eyes decide which you like best!
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Note: For details, test results, and analysis of the many tests done with this camera, please click on the tabs at the beginning of the review or below.