Canon PowerShot SD800 IS (IXUS 850 IS)

This 7.1MP camera has 28mm equivalent wide angle, Optical Image Stabilizer, and Optical Viewfinder.

The three-stop Optical Image Stabilizer produces camcorder-quality, shake-free videos, and ISO 640-1600 equivalent blur-free images, using the low-noise ISO 80-200 settings. However, from ISO 400 and up, noise can become an issue for 8X10 (203X254mm) enlargements.

The Optical Viewfinder enables the display to be turned off while taking photos to conserve batteries on a multi-day or week trip in the wilderness without the ability to charge batteries.

This camera can generate almost dSLR-like photos, staying between ISO 80-200.

The 28-105mm equivalent 3.8x zoom is very sharp overall and exhibits little chromatic aberration. Although 28mm equivalent focal length is considerably wider than 35mm, it is still not wide enough for many places. This low-light shot would not have come out so blur-free without the Optical Image Stabilizer. (Nara, Japan)

The image quality is excellent for daytime shots. (Tokyo, Japan)

Canon PowerShot SD700 IS (IXUS 800 IS)

With the WP-DC5 housing, this camera takes surprisingly good pictures and steady videos on land and underwater for such a compact setup.

The ISO performance is pretty much identical to the SD800 IS - good up to ISO 200 and becomes noisy from ISO 400 and up. The three-stop Optical Image Stabilizer really helps in low-light situations.

The 35-140mm (35mm equivalent) 4x zoom is sharp edge to edge at the wide end with very little chromatic aberration, but can get a little soft toward the upper zoom range. Its 35mm equivalent field of view is really not wide enough.

Staying between ISO 80-200, the SD700 can deliver excellent results.

(Puerto Princesa, Philippines)

The OEM waterproof housing enables the camera to be used for water sports without worrying - the photo was taken on a kayak between rain showers. (El Nido, Philippines)

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