Better Shots for Small Hands
As with Canon’s 7.2- megapixel PowerShot SD550 Digital Elph, our current Editors’ Choice in the high-end ultra compact category, there’s a lot to like about the 5MP Canon PowerShot SD450 Digital Elph ($399.95 list). Yet there comes a point when a camera is a tad too tiny, and the SD450 may have reached that point. Just how small is the camera? The numbers tell the story: 5 ounces and roughly 3.5 by 2 by 0.8 inches. The tiny buttons in and around the multifunction selector are too close together and will confound fat-fingered photographers. A somewhat confusing interface adds to the problem.
The SD450 has a lot of fi ne features, including a 2.5-inch LCD and a glass viewfinder. This shooter, like the SD400, has a 5-megapixel sensor and a 3X optical zoom with a 5.8mm to 17.4mm range (equivalent to a 35mm lens with a 35mm to 105mm zoom) and corresponding maximum f-stops of f/2.8 to f/4.9. Our daylight shots had noticeable noise, but color saturation was exceptional. Overall, the exposure was extremely good: It had excellent dynamic range and made colors really pop off the page. On our fl ash test shot, coverage was very good but just slightly underexposed, causing the colors to be a bit muddy, although color saturation was quite good.
The SD450 averaged 1,400 lines of resolution, which is very good for a 5MP camera. Boot time was just 2.5 seconds, but the 2.9-second recycle time was not as quick as the Kodak EasyShare V530’s 1.1 seconds. We noticed little shutter lag and found no significant pincushion distortion— just a bit of the usual barrel distortion. Despite its small size, most users looking for a super portable will be quite happy with the SD450’s image quality and performance.