• 1/2.3 inch 28.1mm2
  • 12.1 megapixels
  • 37.00mm - 185.00mm (35mm eq.)
  • 1/2.33 inch 28.2mm2
  • 16.0 megapixels
  • 28.00mm - 560.00mm (35mm eq.)

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Differences

Canon SD970 IS advantages over Pentax VS20

  • Bigger pixels
    ~ 1.54 vs 1.33 microns
    Better low-light and dynamic range (all else equal)
  • Longer stills battery life
    More info 270 vs 200 shots
    Capture more photos
  • Thinner
    26 mm vs 38 mm
    Thinner
  • HDMI out
    HDMI out vs None
    Use HDMI output to monitor or review video
  • Longer exposure
    15 vs 4 sec
    Long exposures for night shots
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
    Unlimited vs 6 shots
    Take more JPEG shots before waiting (burst mode)

Pentax VS20 advantages over Canon SD970 IS

  • Less expensive
    $250 vs $380 (MSRP)
    Save money for lenses or accessories
  • More telephoto lens reach
    560 mm vs 185 mm
    Capture objects farther away
  • Manual focus
    Yes vs No
    AF is for the weak. Real photographers focus manually.
  • Newer
    7 years vs 10 years old
    Newer cameras often support more advanced features
  • More pixels
    16.0 vs 12.1 megapixels
    Higher resolution photos
  • Wider angle lens
    28 mm vs 37 mm
    Capture more of the scene
  • Faster shutter
    1/2500 vs 1/1600 sec
    Shoot wide open in bright light
  • Higher extended ISO
    6400 vs 3200 ISO
    Higher extended ISO can give more low-light flexibility

Similarities

Common Strengths

  • In-Camera Image Stabilization
    Both provide
    Reduces the effects of camera shake at slower shutter speeds
  • Internal flash
    Both provide
    Useful in a pinch for fill flash

Common Weaknesses

  • Focus peaking
    Neither provide
    Your camera will highlight what's in focus
  • Tilt-swivel screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt and swivel the screen for maximum shooting flexibility
  • Eye-level viewfinder
    Neither provide
    You'll be able to frame photos even when the sun is out
  • Touchscreen
    Neither provide
    Interact with your camera just like your smartphone
  • In-camera panoramas
    Neither provide
    Stitches multiple shots into a panoramic photo
  • Tiltable Screen
    Neither provide
    Tilt the screen for shooting flexbility
  • RAW file ability
    Neither provide
    Gives you more flexibility to develop your photos later
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
    Neither provide
    Share your photos wirelessly
  • NFC
    Neither provide
    Simplifies pairing your camera with supported phones
  • Built-in Bluetooth
    Neither provide
    Always-on wireless connectivity
  • Built-in GPS
    Neither provide
    Geotag your photos
  • On-sensor phase detect
    Neither provide
    Usually improves live view and video AF performance
  • Integrated ND filter
    Neither provide
    Shoot in daylight with a large aperture or slow shutter
  • External Mic Jack
    Neither provide
    Improved sound fidelity when shooting video
  • Hot shoe
    Neither provide
    Off-camera flashes open new possibilities
  • Headphone jack
    Neither provide
    Monitor audio recording while you shoot video
  • Bulb shutter
    Neither provide
    Hold the shutter open manually for long exposures
  • Slow-motion videos
    Neither provide
    Shoot slow-motion videos

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Review Excerpt

The Competition

Compared to Canon SD890 IS

Canon SD970 IS
Canon SD890 IS
  • $170
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • HDMI out
  • More dots on screen
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • Faster JPEG shooting
Pentax VS20
Canon SD890 IS
  • $106
  • 1/2.33 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • $400
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Eye-level viewfinder
  • Bigger pixels

Compared to Panasonic DMC-TS1

Canon SD970 IS
Panasonic DMC-TS1
  • $170
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • More dots on screen
  • $400
  • 1/2.33 inch
  • Wider angle lens
  • Longer exposure
Pentax VS20
Panasonic DMC-TS1
  • $106
  • 1/2.33 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • $400
  • 1/2.33 inch
  • Bigger pixels
  • Longer stills battery life

Compared to Sony DSC-W290

Canon SD970 IS
Sony DSC-W290
  • $170
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • HDMI out
  • $249
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • Manual focus
Pentax VS20
Sony DSC-W290
  • $106
  • 1/2.33 inch
  • More telephoto lens reach
  • Newer
  • $249
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Bigger pixels
  • Longer stills battery life

Compared to Olympus SZ-12

Canon SD970 IS
Olympus SZ-12
  • $170
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Longer stills battery life
  • Thinner
  • $128
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More telephoto lens reach
Pentax VS20
Olympus SZ-12
  • $106
  • 1/2.33 inch
  • Manual focus
  • Faster JPEG shooting
  • $128
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • HDMI out

Compared to Olympus SZ-16

Canon SD970 IS
Olympus SZ-16
  • $170
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Bigger pixels
  • Thinner
  • $230
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Less expensive
  • More telephoto lens reach
Pentax VS20
Olympus SZ-16
  • $106
  • 1/2.33 inch
  • Manual focus
  • Bigger JPEG buffer
  • $230
  • 1/2.3 inch
  • Longer stills battery life
  • HDMI out
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