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Canon IXUS 990 IS / PowerShot SD970 IS / IXY 830 IS

alaTest has collected and analyzed 383 reviews from magazines and websites. People really like the performance and image quality. The screen and usability also get good feedback. The features and memory get critical comments, while comments about the manual image adjustments and value for money are mixed.

portability, usability, screen, image quality, performance

focus, shutter, viewfinder, memory, features

We analyzed user and expert ratings, product age and more factors. Compared to other Digital Compact Cameras the Canon IXUS 990 IS / PowerShot SD970 IS / IXY 830 IS is awarded an overall alaScore™ of 88/100 = Very good quality.

See all Canon Digital Compact Cameras

Review analysis

(Based on 383 reviews)

Expert Reviews  

User Reviews  

Showing 102 review(s)

Expert Reviews User Reviews
Showing 1 - 10 of 102 Show Reviews: in English | in other languages (34)

Editor's Choice!

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS


The 12.1-megapixel Canon PowerShot SD970 IS ($379.99 list) may entail a top-of-the-line price, but this compact camera packs plenty of high-end features. Canon's flagship point and shooter pairs amazing still images with high-quality HD video capture,...

Fantastic image quality. Fast operating speeds. Sharp 3-inch LCD. Extraordinary user interface. High-definition (720p30) video capture

Optical zoom can't be used while shooting video. Wide-angle barrel distortion

At close to $400, Canon's PowerShot SD970 IS isn't cheap, but an expansive feature set, a top-notch interface, and amazing images help justify the high price.


Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS


With the warm weather finally here, there's no better time to pop a camera in your pocket and take on the world—or at least capture it on SDHC cards. Canon continues to dominate the point-and-shoot market and with models like the 12-megapixel PowerShot...

Rich ; saturated colors; solid 5x image stabilized zoom; superior 3-inch LCD screen (461K pixels); drop-dead easy to use

Expensive; pokey 1 fps capture; no f/stop ; shutter speed adjustments; only digital zoom with HD video

When it comes to point-and-shoot digicams it's hard topping Canon's better PowerShots.

Expert review by:

PowerShot SD970 IS


The Canon PowerShot SD970 IS is a capable 12.1-megapixel point and shoot with a 5x zoom. We found image quality was consistently very good, and movies shot at 720p were impressive.

when shooting videos. The combination of a fast-scrolling control dial and a traditional four-way controller offers a winning combination of speedy navigation when you want it and precision.movement when you need it


Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS (Silver and Gold)


A 5x zoom lens and a 12-megapixel resolution isn't much to get excited about these days. Jam them into a somewhat unattractive compact body and they become even less of a reason to drop nearly $400 on a point-and-shoot camera. That's what's wrong with...

Very good photo, video quality; great high-res LCD.

No optical zoom in Movie mode; slow, narrow lens; no shutter speed, aperture controls.

It might take a good picture, but the Canon PowerShot SD970 IS' feature-to-price ratio is disappointing.

Expert review by:

Canon Powershot SD970 IS Review


LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., February 17, 2009 - Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today introduced 10 new PowerShot cameras that offer an array of photographic options for the entry-level consumer right up to the photo enthusiast. Whether on a...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS First Impressions Digital Camera Review


The Canon PowerShot SD970 IS succeeds the SD890 IS right in the middle of Canon's lineup. Available in April of 2009, Canon's suggested retail price is $379.99, but we expect that will fall to more reasonable levels rather quickly. The upgrades on the...

The Canon PowerShot SD970 IS does offers some significant upgrades over its predecessor, headlined by a larger and higher-resolution LCD and HD video recording at 720p, content along with an HDMI out port. Less important are the increase in megapixels...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS


The SD970 IS makes an excellent choice in a compact point-and-shoot digital camera. It doesn't offer a lot of manual control, but takes excellent pictures in most situations when set to auto. You can adjust the white balance and colors, which you'll...

12.1megapixel5X optical zoomFace detect autofocus3.0 inch LCD with 461,000 dot

No manual controls

The Canon PowerShot SD970 IS is the latest entry in Canon's highly...

Expert review by:

PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH


($379) is an ultra-compact camera with a 12 Megapixel CCD, 5X optical zoom lens (with image stabilization), high resolution 3-inch LCD, HD movie mode, HDMI output, and plenty of point-and-shoot features. The SD970 is the #2 camera in Canon's ELPH...

Canon was the last manufacturer to include memory cards with their cameras. They didn't switch to internal memory, though -- they don't include any memory at all! Thus, you'll need to bring your own card, and I'd suggest a 2GB SD or SDHC card to start...

Expert review by:

Canon PowerShot SD970 IS


Canon continues its run of impressive compact cameras with the PowerShot SD970 IS, a high-end 12.1-megapixel model with a solidly built metal body, high-resolution 3-inch LCD and 5x zoom lens. Both still image and video quality (at 720p high-def...

The automatic exposure and autofocus systems worked well, producing well balanced photos in a wide range of shooting conditions. We were particularly impressed with the close-up mode, which let us produce a screen-filling image of a dime from just a...

Expert review by:

Canon SD970 IS


We found image quality was consistently very good, and movies shot at 720p were impressive

Solid color accuracy; Low overall noise; Good sharpness

No optical zoom

The Canon PowerShot SD970 isn’t a standout camera, but it’s a solid effort from a reliable manufacturer. With the exception of burst-mode shooting, which is pretty pokey at 1 shot per second, there wasn’t an area where the Canon received low marks in...

Product Specifications

Cool curves, powerful features and a fun way to operate the camera mark Canon's PowerShot SD970 IS Digital ELPH. Amazing resolution and expanded editing options are yours with 12.1-megapixel and you can even create HD movies. Shooting is fun and easy with Smart Auto that makes all your shots better effortlessly, and there's a user-friendly interface. And see how much fun it is to browse through your photos and even speed up image advance with a shake or tilt of the camera!

Audio Input

Microphone Operation Mode:Mono
Microphone Technology:Electret condenser


Battery Form Factor:Manufacturer specific
Manufacturer Battery Name:Canon NB-5L

Camera Flash

Red Eye Reduction: Yes
Type:Built-in flash

Digital Camera

Digital Camera Type:Compact
Supported Flash Memory:MultiMediaCard / MultiMediaCardplus / SD Memory Card / SDHC Memory Card/SD Memory Card / MultiMediaCard / SDHC Memory Card / MultiMediaCardplus

Dimensions & Weight


Display (Projector)

Diagonal Size:3in
Diagonal Size (metric):7.6cm
Display Form Factor:Built-in
Technology:TFT active matrix
Type:LCD display

Exposure Parameters

Shooting Programs:Aquarium / Beach / Digital macro / Exposure zoom / Fireworks / Foliage / High sensitivity / Indoor / Kids & pets / Night snapshot / Portrait mode / Snow / Stitch assist / Sunset / Underwater/High sensitivity / Snow / Night snapshot / Digital macro / Exposure zoom / Kids & pets / Beach / Foliage / Indoor / Sunset / Underwater / Fireworks / Stitch assist / Portrait mode / Aquarium


Model:SD970 IS Digital ELPH
Packaged Quantity:1
Product Line:Canon PowerShot

Lens System

Lens Aperture:F/3.2-5.8
Max Focal Length:33mm
Min Focal Length:6.6mm
Optical Zoom:5
Type:Zoom lens



Optical Sensor

Optical Sensor Size:1/2.3 / 1/2.3"/1/2.3"
Optical Sensor Size (metric):11 mm ( 1/2.3 ) / 11 mm ( 1/2.3" )
Optical Sensor Type:CCD
Sensor Resolution:12.1Megapixel

Optical System

Built-in Optical Image Stabilizer: Yes
Image Stabilizer:Optical

Storage Floppy Drive

Type: None

Video Input

Digital Video Format:H.264
Digital Zoom:4
Face Detection: Yes
ISO (Max):3200
Light Sensitivity:ISO 100 / ISO 1600 / ISO 200 / ISO 3200 / ISO 400 / ISO 80 / ISO 800 / ISO auto/ISO auto / ISO 3200 / ISO 1600 / ISO 80 / ISO 200 / ISO 400 / ISO 800 / ISO 100
Shooting Modes:Frame movie mode
Special Effects:Black & White / Color Accent / Color Swap / Creative Light / Darker Skin Tone / Lighter Skin Tone / Positive Film / Sepia / Vivid / Vivid Blue / Vivid Green / Vivid Red/Vivid Red / Vivid Blue / Vivid Green / Darker Skin Tone / Lighter Skin Tone / Color Swap / Color Accent / Sepia / Black & White / Positive Film / Creative Light
Still Image Format:JPEG
Type:Digital camera


Viewfinder Type: None