Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS Digital Camera Review
February 20th, 2011
The Canon Powershot SD1400 IS is the successor to the PowerShot SD1200 IS from 2009. Canon designed the SD1400 IS to appeal to those who are looking for an affordable stylish compact camera that offers point-and-shoot simplicity, and that is easy to bring along by fitting easily in a purse or pocket.
With features such as a 4x optical zoom lens with built-in optical image stabilizer (IS), advanced face detection technology, DIGIC 4 image processor, and a large 2.7-inch LCD, the Canon SD1400 IS seems to offer good value for the money.
We have now had the opportunity to review the Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS. To see how the camera performed, check out our Canon SD1400 IS sample image gallery, along with the findings and conclusions from our review. We begin by providing a general overview of the SD1400 IS, and then present more of the details. You can use the navigation menu found under the product image below to jump to a specific section of the review.
Canon SD1400 IS Overview: The PowerShot SD1400 IS incorporates a 4x optical wide angle zoom lens with built-in Optical Image Stabilization (IS) technology, which offers photographer's the ability to capture images under lower light conditions, while minimizing potential image blur. The camera's image stabilizer system uses sophisticated gyroscopic sensors to detect vertical and horizontal movements, then moves the lens accordingly to compensate, which aids in maintaining stability and focus when using the telephoto capabilities of the camera or under lower light conditions.
The Canon SD1400 IS incorporates a 14.1 Megapixel sensor with Canons DIGIC 4 processor delivering fast response times and natural colour reproduction. DIGIC 4 also takes care of difficult lighting conditions with i-Contrast a technology which prevents highlight blowout, while retaining shadow detail.
For carefree shooting the PowerShot SD1400 IS includes Smart Auto and Easy modes with Scene Detection Technology. By analyzing people, distance, brightness and colour in the scene, the camera automatically selects one of 22 scene variables to optimize settings for the best results - freeing the user to concentrate on picture taking, while the camera takes care of the technical details.
The PowerShot SD1400 IS Digital ELPH lets you record video in 720p high definition (1280 x 720 pixels). The camera also makes it easy to enjoy HD movies (and still photos) on your HDTV with a mini-HDMI connector for direct connection to a high definition TV monitor (cable is optional). Framing and reviewing shots on the SD1400 IS is simple too, thanks to a large 2.7 inch 230K LCD with wide viewing angle and 5 levels of brightness adjustment.
This technology includes Auto Red-Eye Correction, Face Detection AF/AE/FE, and Face Self-Timer a feature that is great for group shots and self-portraits as the camera waits until it detects a new face in the frame before taking the shot.
Faces can also be detected if they are at an angle to the camera so that the correct focus and exposure can be achieved without subjects facing the camera directly.
Powershot SD1400 IS Major Features:
The camera ships with: Lithium-ion Battery Pack NB-4L, Battery Charger, USB interface cable, A/V cable, wrist strap and Canon's software suite.
The Canon PowerShot
SD1400 IS digital camera is available now for an estimated selling price
of $249.99 Canadian or $199.99 in the US. Check real
time street prices in Canada.
The Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS Digital Elph is available in a range of colours to suit individual preferences. Apart from the more common silver, the Canon SD1400 IS is available in the following colours: Black, Orange and Pink.
The Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS offers a very compact design with a comfortable hold. With 14-megapixel resolution and a proven 4x zoom lens (28-112mm equivalent in 35mm terms), the SD1400 IS is geared towards general family and travel photography.
Taking into account that the Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS offers an attractive price point, current SLR users might also find the SD1400 IS as a nice complement to their existing camera, one that you are more likely to take with you for a night out on the town or simply for capturing those unexpected opportunities.
The Canon SD1400 IS offers a good solution for capturing landscapes or larger group shots of people with its 28mm wide-angle lens coverage, providing a broader field of view compared to many point and shoot cameras which begin around 35mm.
Although the camera does not offer much in the way of manual exposure control (Shutter priority, Aperture Priority and Manual are not available), the Canon SD1400 IS does offer quite a few features, including a number of Scene modes, exposure compensation, White Balance presets (incl. Custom), ISO control and an enhanced information display with histogram in playback mode.
The main camera controls are found on the back of the PowerShot SD1400 IS. A sliding switch allows you select the desired shooting mode from three available options: Auto, Flexible Auto, and Movie.
The camera offers the convenience of a basic 'green' Auto mode (Smart AUTO) for care free picture taking, and a total of 17 user selectable shooting modes.
In Smart AUTO mode the Canon SD1400 IS selects the proper settings based on the scene at hand. Press lightly on the shutter release button and the camera displays an icon (on the top right of the LCD screen) for the scene it has determined. The SD1400 IS automatically focuses and selects from one of 22 predefined optimum settings to match the subject brightness and colour.
Movie Mode: The Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS offers the ability to shoot movies at 1280 x 720 resolution. You can record 720P movie clips up to 4GB in size or 10 min in length. Two additional resolution levels are available: 640 x 480 at 30fps and 320 x 240 at 30 fps.
During movie recording, the optical zoom on the Canon SD1400 IS is disabled and only the digital zoom can be used. The mechanical movement noise of the optical zoom would otherwise get picked up by the cameras built-in microphone. +/-2 stop exposure compensation in 1/3 step increments is available to darken or brighten the movie depending on lighting conditions. White Balance can also be manually adjusted in movie mode.
Pressing the MENU button
accesses the cameras menu settings highlighted further below. A large
playback button is conveniently located on the back of the Canon SD1400
To access the 'Scene' shooting modes available on the Canon Powershot SD1400 IS, first slide the camera's mode switch to 'Flexible Auto' mode , and then press the FUNC.SET button.Scene modes that can be selected include; Portrait, Night snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Smart Shutter (with Smile, Wink Self-Timer and FaceSelf-Timer), Low Light (3.5 MP file size), Color Accent, Colour Swap, Fish-Eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Beach, Underwater (requires optional UW case), Foliage, Snow, Fireworks, Long Shutter, and Stitch Assist (helps with the creation of Panoramic images).
The Canon SD1400 IS uses Secure Digital (SD) type memory cards. The camera supports the following memory formats: SD, SDHC, SDXC, MMC, MMCplus, HC MMCplus.
A memory card does not come supplied with the camera, and will be an added purchase. The good news is that these are inexpensive in today's market. We would recommend a 2GB SD card as a minimum, and a 4GB card would provide enough space for lots of images and movies as well.
The interface connection for the Canon Powershot SD1400 IS can be found on the back of the camera behind a small rubber hinged door towards the top. The USB cable and the Audio/Video cable share the same camera connection plug. The SD 1400 IS also offers an HDMI output to connect the camera to an HD TV (cable is optional).
Both a USB interface cable and an Audio / Video connection cable come supplied with the camera. (PAL/NTSC supported) The USB cable can also be used to connect the PowerShot SD1400 IS to a Pictbridge compatible printer for easy direct printing without the need of a computer.
Supplied in the Box:
PowerShot SD1400 IS Digital ELPH Body, Lithium-ion Battery Pack NB-4L, Battery Charger CB-2LV, Wrist Strap WS-DC7, Digital Camera Solution CD-ROM, USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU, AV Cable AVC-DC400
We were pleased with the performance of the Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS in our tests. The camera powers up responsively, and the comfortably positioned zoom lever next to the shutter button makes framing images a simple step. Buttons and controls are well layed out and are easy to operate.
The 4x image stabilized zoom lens incorporated into the Canon SD1400 IS provides good image quality. Edge to edge image detail is generally quite good, although some corner softness can be noticed especially at the wide angle position. Some chromatic aberrations (colour fringes around strong highlight areas) were also noticed in a few of our tests, although this is fairly common to entry level point and shoots.
If you are not regularly printing larger than 8" x 10" prints, the lens quality from the Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS should be very acceptable to most users. We did observe some barrel distortion (curvature) when shooting at the wide angle setting, although once again this is fairly common with cameras in this category.
The optical image stabilizer lens technology did a good job during our tests, offering up to 3 steps compensation, allowing us to hand hold the camera under lower light conditions and get blur free images were normally a tripod would have been required.
The 2.7-inch 230,000 dot resolution LCD monitor offers easy composition and playback capabilities. The cameras menu system is easy to read and navigate, and images are vibrantly displayed in playback mode. The brightness of the monitor can be adjusted in 5 steps depending on viewing conditions.
The SD1400 IS movie recording feature works well providing good quality HD movies at 720p resolution. Unfortunately the camera's optical zoom is disabled during movie recording which does offer some limitations. The available digital zoom feature degrades movie quality to quite a degree, and we would recommend to stay away from digital zooming when shooting movie clips.
Overall we found the Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS performed well in terms of image quality for its class. The 14 megapixel sensor offers good image quality from 80 to 200 ISO, with digital noise (grain like effect) becoming more noticeable from there on.
The PowerShot SD1400 IS is capable of delivering usable (for web or smaller size prints) high ISO image quality even at 1600 ISO. The camera does experience approximately 0.6 sec shutter lag (the time from when you press the shutter button to the time the camera takes the picture), so a little forethought and anticipation is required to capture the exact movement.
are looking for a value priced take anywhere type of compact camera with
good wide angle zoom, offering solid performance, while delivering sharp
and vibrant images under most conditions, we would definitely recommend
the Canon PowerShot SD1400 IS as a good solution. See
the latest US deals on the Canon
Compare to the Canon Powershot ELPH SD1300 IS: