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Canon PowerShot SD800 IS
Canon PowerShot SD800 IS

Hey! You should know that this product has been discontinued. Here are our current recommended cameras in the Ultra Compact Digital Cameras category.

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS

Editor's Review

Another wide-angle entry from Canon, the SD800 IS features a wonderful 28mm 3.8x optical zoom lens, with image stabilization. The SD800 IS is a nice bump for Canon's Digital ELPH series, the first of its kind to feature a wide-angle lens. With a 7.1 megapixel sensor and curvy, all-metal body, this ultracompact is sure to turn heads in the next few months.


  • 7.1 megapixels
  • 3.8x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom
  • Auto focus, auto and manual exposure
  • "Shift-type" image stabilization
  • JPEG file format
  • ISO 80-1600
  • 2.5-inch LCD
  • Secure Digital card storage (16MB card included)
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Part Number: 1270B001
  • UPC: 018808070941
  • Release Date: Sep 14, 2006

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Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Reviews

Canon PowerShot SD800 IS Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 5.0 out of 5
SD800IS ELPS (Kenny Hammad — 04/27/2009)

The camera feels good in your hand. It is very easy to use. Clear photos, beautiful video for the size I was shocked when I first used it. I can get away most of the time without using a real video camera. I just wish that it came with a webcam driver or as a download from canon. I recommend this camera for any amateur or professional. I have used take a very high-resolution photos and it never let me down. I am a very demanding person when it comes to digital media. The SD800is never disappointed me.

Kenny Hammad

  • 2.0 out of 5
Lens Error (Trevor Bryson — 01/17/2009)

I would never buy a cannon product again this camera got a lens error and now won't zoom or focus. Cannon wants 150.00 bucks to fix it, I see this problem a lot probably happens with all at one time or another. Do not buy.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Lens error (Don — 12/15/2008)

Camera performed flawlessly for 1.5 years too great pictures and easy to use--- however after only 1.5 years, the camera lens no longer would zoom all the way out nor would completely close. When trying to zoom, a lens error would be displayed and the camera would not focus except in a fixed location. Canon wants $129 to fix the problem—Completely unacceptable. The camera has not been dropped or abused.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Performed well (Anna — 12/27/2007)

This camra performed very well overall. It has a compact design. It was easy enough to figure out. With only 2 days of ownership I was able to figure out most of its features. I needed to read to manual for only a few advanced features. While its microphone is not very sensitive for movie making, you must remember it is a camra and its main purpose is to take beautiful pictures. It does take very beautiful pictures and I am very happy with this purchase

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good camera but lcd cracked (Marshall — 12/22/2007)

Wide angle lense and OIS are this cameras best features.Quite happy with my purchase until I discovered the lcd lense had cracked. This I have read is not all that comon but does happen. I had thought before this happened to my camera that this only occured with a blow or mishandling.This is not the case it just appeared on its own even though I baby my camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Canon SD800 IS (Phillip — 11/26/2007)

Purchased as a replacement for an S400. Amazing improvement. Wide angle lens is the best feature. There are brighter/bigger LCD screens out there but the SD800 retains an optical viewfinder. The replacement SD870 has a bigger LCD but the viewfinder has gone. Only complaint is the curved aspect to the front of the body which tends to get easily scratched. If there is a setting to preview what will get cropped when printing I haven't found it.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good but wanted better (dean — 10/15/2007)

Bought this to replace a Canon S400 a few years old.

Likes: Very fast to power up. Most-often used functions easy to find with buttons or menus. Small, attractive, nice feel. Good color accuracy. Wide angle lens great for indoor shots. With the optional leather case, camera is easy to slip into a jacket pocket and carry anywhere. Easy to download pictures with supplied software, just plug in the USB cable and camera will connect; push one button on the back and they all come down.

Dislikes: Optical viewfinder is a joke. It's like looking through a door peep-hole. Noticeable barrel distortion at wide angles. Just take picture with vertical lines near edges and you'll see what I mean—of course it's not unreasonable considering how small the camera is. Battery door, and especially the usb connector door are plastic and very flimsy.

But overall, the pictures just didn't impress me the way that my S400 did. I sold the camera and bought a Sony.

  • 5.0 out of 5
The Best Ultra-Compact Digital (RedSoxRule — 09/16/2007)

I've used many digital cameras. This is by far the best. The first day I had it, I took a pic of my Black Lab indoors with flash. There WAS a white spot. I have never seen this again and I take hundreds of photos every week!
If your software is any good at all, don't bother downloading the Canon version. Its not bad, just not sophisticated enough to really help enhance your results. I recommend this Elph ahead of the SD850 because it has the wide angle feature which the 850 does not. The 800 takes better photos than the 850 because the light sensor is the same size on both, but the 850 tries to disperse it through an extra million pixels. The result is noise on many 850 shots, while the 800 is sharp.

  • 2.0 out of 5
More white spots! (Bruno.S — 07/18/2007)

At first I loved this camera. Then I went out one night and took some night shots with the flash and to my horror, almost half of my shots had white spots on them! I took it back and exchanged it but I still have the same problem. I have since found out that this is a common problem with this unit. DO NOT buy this camera! Canon are aware of this problem but choose to ignore it.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Canon PowerShot SD800 E18 error (Flake — 07/14/2007)

E18 error too LENS would not return. The problem with cameras these days is stuck open forward >>> until you close it.. Not like my older cameras (which I liked better) you could Zoom it open and closed and the lens would move with it too...instead of Zooming it while the lens is pushed forward Hello companes LENS needs to be adjustable too.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Love the 28 mm lens equivalent! (Susan Gidel — 07/11/2007)

Two criteria were non-negotiable in buying my third digital camera:
1. Viewfinder. Yes, I actually take pictures outside in bright light, and can't do it with just the LCD screen.
2. Ultracompact. Want to put it in my pocket when I go to a party. Plus, now I carry my camera with me all the time because it's no bigger than a phone.
But, the best part—that I wasn't really expecting to be the best—is the 28 mm lens equivalent. That was always my favorite, all-around SLR lens and now I remember why: You get great shots being pretty close to the subject and just plain more in the picture.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Best camera ever! (Nicole — 06/19/2007)

I am so so so happy with this camera. It takes amazing macro shots, the color accent feature is great, processing speed very quick, it is smaller that i thought it would be, the lcd is large and wonderful, and the image stabilization is out of this world. I could not be happier!

  • 2.0 out of 5
E18 (Alicia — 06/15/2007)

I wnjoyed this camera until I got the dreaded E18 error only 8 months after purchasing. The E 18 error occurs when the lens extends and will never return. I was told that this could not be fixed and since I only had the limited waranty the camera was junk. I know canon had this problem on another camera they had released and the same thing was said. I AM VERY DISAPOINTED

  • 5.0 out of 5
Canon Power Shot SD800 IS Digital ELPH (Shela Nielsen — 05/30/2007)

Ok we have had this camera about a week. It seems to be all we had hoped for probably more. We did get white spots on a couple of pictures but I really believe this is operator error....dust reflecting in the light. I changed what I was doing and everything was cool. In all honesty we have not had much time to spend taking pictures but we did a small photo shoot very quickly of some puppies. We own a Canon Digital Rebel as well. Cliff took our photo shoot with his Rebel but on the first pup he took three additional quick snapshots of the same pup. I posted them on-line for comparison if you wish to look. I think the quality is amazing. Keep in mind this was a quick photo shoot and there are many things we can do to improve on the picture quality. We used the Pet/Child setting and the only thing we did was crop the picture. So what you see in both sets of photos was what we shot quickly. This is important for us because we take a lot of quick photos. The ease of operation, the quality of the picture, and the—what should I say????? The size of the camera itself means I can keep it handy and use it in an instant is outstanding. I also am impressed that it takes the photos so quickly. Previously I had a Cannon Coolpics L3 and the outside pictures were quick but our inside pictures were good but the shutter speed was so slow that we lost many opportunities. The Canon SD800 IS is much quicker. I am anxious to try continuous shoot and other features of this wonderful camera. I am happy to recommend this camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent (Lauren — 05/28/2007)

I bought this camera for my daughter about 5 months ago,and i ended up taking it from her because i loved it do much. If anyone is looking for a camera buy this one it rocks!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Much better than I ever expected (Matt — 05/17/2007)

Maybe this review isn't fair, since I've had it for such a short time. But from the time I picked up this gem, I was amazed. The form-factor was smaller than I expected, even after using it at the stores.

I read every possible bit of information on this camera online, including,,, etc. Every customer review, as well.

Most of the customers were dead-on in proclaiming this camera as best-in-class. I'm not too concerned of others who gave this camera such a low rating, because they either had a defective camera or don't know what they're talking about.

I would say that has the best review possible based on my experience with this camera as well, and all the pictures at are testament to that.

Please read that review. Don't be too intimidated by all the "tech-speak" with ISO's, apertures, shutter speeds and white balances, etc. Also don't worry yourself over the supposed distortion created at the wide-angle of the lens. If there is any, it's unperceptible in normal prints. Maybe if you zoom and crop the edges you'd see some minor distortion, but it's certainly nothing to worry about.

Try to avoid anothing higher than ISO400, and only ISO800 in emergencies. Rely instead on using the flash if you're taking shots of moving subjects in low-light, or a lower ISO for stationary targets. The image stabilization on this is so well-done, you probably won't need a tripod for most of your shots.

I can't legitimately encourage a potential SD800IS buyer from buying this camera other than saying I have spent the last year intensively studying cameras and I don't think I could've gotten a better camera for the size, price and capabilities this camera has.

  • 1.0 out of 5
white spots (Ilias — 05/11/2007)

nice camera but 50% of my indoor pictures have white spots on them... called canon they told me too disable the flash... this is quite ridiculous... a camera of that price and reputation to have this kind of problem.. im very very frustrated with this product

  • 5.0 out of 5
Surprisingly Better (Kathy — 04/19/2007)

If anyone actually reads these reviews like I do, I must admit that I was completely set on buying the sony t100... Now,nearly every bit of electronic equipment in the house, is sony, except for my digital camera. I must say that before purchasing this one, I played around with them in the store. I went to both best buy and circuit city and took pictures with both cameras. The sony just didnt do it for me. The pictures were not a clear and the colors were well off. This camera is right on target with every color every time. After reading all the reviews, there were comments that the reds turn out pinkish, and honestly, I have been taking pictures like crazy and haven't notices that as a problem. Additionally, comments of barrel distortion were posted, and I have not come across this defect. Now i took pictures looking for that and have not found anything. The only thing that I am upset about compromising is the itty-bitty-ness of the sony camera. I could probably fit that one in my wristlet and still have room for lipgloss, money, and some keys (Not that it would be a good idea). Nevertheless, I am pleased with this product and pictures at night turn out great. We were driving through the city last weekend, and I decided to test it out, and they are very good. I didn't even need the flash and all the buildings in the great city of Chicago turns out finely defined. Even my dad (BIG sony person) was pleased with the pictures.

  • 4.0 out of 5
SD800 IS (judy — 04/17/2007)

lost my Casio Z750 and replaced with the Canon SD800 IS.
its a very nice camera but...i'd rather have my Cssio back!

  • 5.0 out of 5
good for all purpose (Eric Krever — 03/13/2007)

The camera took about a week of use to get all the options set for myself with the understanding necessary. The wider angle lens also needs some thinking in that portraits will come out distorted somewhat (and depending on how close your subject is) unless you zoom in a bit, which will correct the distortion.
I've used it in nighttime shots with and without flash for snapshots and I've used it almost daily in my work (on and off tripod, with and without flash). The stabilization is set on always on my camera so I can't say what the difference may be without it. The only problem I've encountered is a crash (no buttons work) when I fumble to change settings while it's showing me my last shot on screen. To fix this I just turn it off the on again.
I love the camera for its ruggedness, clarity and ease of use. It's always in my pocket with a fresh battery.

  • 4.0 out of 5
movie problem (laurence — 03/13/2007)

I owned ixus 800is japan made. The manual says it has a long shutter on/of option but unfortunately no shutter control on the unit. I felt bad about video capture mode When I'm recording fireworks about 60meters away, it turn out that a vertical light appears in line with any bright subject. Its a nice
Cam but a bit below my expectation.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Unbelievable (Raul Nunes — 02/14/2007)

On the second day of use, the camera crashed. It will not turn on. I have tried different batteries that I know are good. I even tried a very good battery my fat neighbour gave me (and I trust my neighbour a lot), I disassembled my shaver and tried that battery, after this I tried a car battery, nothing helps. Finally I connected it directly to the 120V Mains, and it starts working again. I had a hard time, but now it works. The camera is not dead anymore, but it looks a bit black now. The fact that this has happened on the second day of my fifty two weeks vacation means simply that I will buy a Canon product again and again, because I could take already a lot of beautiful photos. Please buy this camera, even if are a newbee. Who is that troll with one star????? This camera is pure perfection - period!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Amazing (Jordan — 01/24/2007)

Please disregard the review troll down below who posted 1 star. He is obviously a troll who knows nothing about the SD800 because he describes it as having "batterie(s)" and that he tried using "batterie(s") that he "knew where good". The SD800 does not use batterie(s); it uses one re chargable lithium ion battery, not AA's that you find in your drawer that you aren't sure are "good".

I have owned this camera for about 4 days now and love it - although I haven't quite figured out all the features yet. This camera offers an auto mode for you newbies and a manual mode for more intermediate photographers which allows you to adjust for certain light settings and also allows you to adjust color (sepia, vivid, black and white and many more). ISO reaches 1600 although you will more than likely experience higher noise levels in you photos.

Great camera in a very tiny package.

  • 5.0 out of 5
High Quality Camera (Robert Pacyna — 01/09/2007)

This is my favorite camera. It is small, sleek and very well made. The pictures are sharp, clear and well exposed. I like to shoot in the manual mode. The Image Stabilizer works very well. I was able to get sharp shots that would be impossible without the great IS system. I highly recommend this camera. The only negative that i could find is the lack of a battery meter. I wish it had a battery meter, but that is a small price to pay for a High Quality camera. Also, the AVI movies are the best of any small digital camera. I use a 2 Gig card and i can get 30 minutes of excellent video.

  • 5.0 out of 5
sd800is (Bob Cook — 01/08/2007)

Great Camera. Had numerous elphs but this is the best yet. So far no complaints! Hard not to take good pictures in auto mode. Menu system is very intuitive. I have yet to read the manual. It is very good value based on performance.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Wow! It rivals my Canon Rebel! (G.B. — 12/22/2006)

This little camera packs a punch!
The IS feature of this feature works great and i love how easy the functions are to use.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Best IS Ultracompact on the Market (Joe — 12/15/2006)

This is an excellent camera and I believe the best IS model on the market at this time. The SD900 I seriously considered and tried out, but the problem is, as one other reviewer noted, that it is just an SD550 upgrade and not much more. The SD800 gives you a wide angle lens which is very nice and I like the layout of its controls. Disadvantages are the red eye - yes an issue, but like all of these litte cameras, red eye will be there. But the SD800 has an advantage here over the SD900 in that you can get by without the flash in many low light conditions. Fortunately, also, many programs will remove red eye. Image quality is also very good and so are the movies. For the earlier poster who complained about movies, he or she needs to check your settings and this can often improve quality depending on lighting conditions. Also, and a BIG DEAL, do not use a non-ultra, regular SD card. With these cameras, you have to use cards like the Ultra II and even the Ultra III. Otherwise, the camera cannot write to the card quick enough and this will degrade the performance of the images. Also, another BIG RECOMMENDATION, use an LCD screen protector almost immediately if you want to avoid scratches.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Crashed on the second day of use (Robert Miller — 12/05/2006)

On the second day of use, the camera crashed. It will not turn on. I have tried different batteries that I know are good. The camera is dead. The fact that this has happened on the second day of my three week vacation means simply that I will never buy a Canon product ever again. Do not buy this camera unless you need a very expensive paperweight.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great camera (Rick — 12/02/2006)

I bought this camera as soon as it came out, and I think that it is the best non-DSLR camera out there. The new processor delivers very quick response time, and it has all of the useful features that make it easy to get suprisingly good pictures from such a small camera: Image Stabilization, little shutter lag, very effective face detection, wide angle lens, great white balance and exposure. You get enough customization options to make your shots come out the way you expect, but it does not have full manual control for exposure or shutter speed. The only downside is VERY bad red-eye, but this is not a bad trade-off, and can be quickly fixed in software programs.

  • 5.0 out of 5
What great pictures! (Sue — 12/01/2006)

I love this small camera and worry about the finish and the screen. I found a place that will make a silacone "skin", but they need more people to ask for new Canon SD800 size. Please go to and ask for a skin case for the SD800!

  • 5.0 out of 5
SD800IS (robert lalancette — 11/30/2006)

Great little camera. Solid feel in hand, easy control layout, smooth and very fast operation. Image stabilization is not a gadget, it really works! Pics are great, color, contrast, skin tones all superb. Finally the 28 mm wide angle really sold me and I could not live without it anymore.The only negative I have found is the flimsy battery door. Besides the battery door it is as perfect as can be!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great little camera (Robert Lalancette — 11/02/2006)

Very nice piece of kit, Ergonomics, build, weight and performance are top notch. The wide angle 28 mm is the feature that sold me in such a small camera. Lots of megapixels, great results. On the downside, and you must have