Canon SD750 Review

 
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Canon SD750 Exposure


Color

Saturation & Hue Accuracy
Very nice overall color. Some slight oversaturation of strong reds and blues, but very good results overall.

In the diagram above, the squares show the original color, and the circles show the color that the camera captured. More saturated colors are located towards the periphery of the graph. Hue changes as you travel around the center. Thus, hue-accurate, highly saturated colors appear as lines radiating from the center.

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 with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Sensor

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.

 

Outdoors, daylight
Bright colors overall, though a tendency toward high contrast under harsh lighting. About average exposure accuracy.

Manual White Balance,
+0.7 EV
Auto White Balance,
Auto Exposure

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.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

Resolution
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.

See full set of test images with explanations
See thumbnails of all test and gallery images

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.)



  1 fc
11 lux
1/2 fc
5.5 lux
1/4 fc
2.7 lux
1/8 fc
1.3 lux
1/16 fc
0.67 lux
ISO
80
Click to see SD750LL00803.jpg
2.5 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL00804.jpg
5 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL00805.jpg
9.9 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL00806.jpg
16 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL00807.jpg
16 sec
f2.8
ISO
100
Click to see SD750LL01003.jpg
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL01004.jpg
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL01005.jpg
8 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL01006.jpg
16 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL01007.jpg
16 sec
f2.8
ISO
200
Click to see SD750LL02003.jpg
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL02004.jpg
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL02005.jpg
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL02006.jpg
8 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL02007.jpg
16 sec
f2.8
ISO
400
Click to see SD750LL04003.jpg
0.5 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL04004.jpg
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL04005.jpg
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL04006.jpg
4 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL04007.jpg
8 sec
f2.8
ISO
800
Click to see SD750LL08003.jpg
0.3 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL08004.jpg
0.5 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL08005.jpg
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL08006.jpg
2 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL08007.jpg
4 sec
f2.8
ISO
1600
Click to see SD750LL16003.jpg
1/7 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL16004.jpg
0.3 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL16005.jpg
0.5 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL16006.jpg
1 sec
f2.8
Click to see SD750LL16007.jpg
2 sec
f2.8

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.

Flash

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.


Flash Range: Wide Angle
6 ft 7 ft 8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft
Click to see SD750FL06W.jpg
1/64 sec
f2.8
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL07W.jpg
1/64 sec
f2.8
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL08W.jpg
1/64 sec
f2.8
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL09W.jpg
1/64 sec
f2.8
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL10W.jpg
1/64 sec
f2.8
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL11W.jpg
1/64 sec
f2.8
ISO 100
12 ft 13 ft 14 ft 15 ft 16 ft
Click to see SD750FL12W.jpg
1/64 sec
f2.8
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL13W.jpg
1/64 sec
f2.8
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL14W.jpg
1/64 sec
f2.8
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL15W.jpg
1/64 sec
f2.8
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL16W.jpg
1/64 sec
f2.8
ISO 100

Flash Range: Telephoto
6 ft 7 ft 8 ft 9 ft 10 ft 11 ft
Click to see SD750FL06T.jpg
1/64 sec
f5.0
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL07T.jpg
1/64 sec
f5.0
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL08T.jpg
1/64 sec
f5.0
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL09T.jpg
1/64 sec
f5.0
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL10T.jpg
1/64 sec
f5.0
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL11T.jpg
1/64 sec
f5.0
ISO 100
12 ft 13 ft 14 ft 15 ft 16 ft
Click to see SD750FL12T.jpg
1/64 sec
f5.0
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL13T.jpg
1/64 sec
f5.0
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL14T.jpg
1/64 sec
f5.0
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL15T.jpg
1/64 sec
f5.0
ISO 100
Click to see SD750FL16T.jpg
1/64 sec
f5.0
ISO 100

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
Wide Angle Telephoto
Click to see SD750FL_MFR110WA200.jpg
11 feet
Auto ISO 200
Click to see SD750FL_MFR066TA0200.jpg
6.6 feet
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.

Output Quality

Print Quality
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.

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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.

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