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Canon Powershot SD870 IS
Canon Powershot SD870 IS

Hey! You should know that Canon has released a newer version of this product: the Canon Powershot SD1300 IS.

Canon Powershot SD870 IS

Canon Powershot SD870 IS

We've given the SD870 IS a grade of C+.

Editor's Review

The SD870 is decrepit by digital camera standards. We once called it the best ultracompact on the market, but now we'd recommend going with a newer, cheaper SD series model like the SD1300. Here's what we had to say about the SD870 when it was released in October 2007:

The Canon SD870 IS has just about everything you might want in a camera: a solid, 8 megapixel sensor, image stabilization, a wide-angle lens, and a large 3.0-inch LCD display. Considering Canon's reliability and reputation, you could do a lot worse. Much much worse. The SD870 IS is a beautiful camera, with plenty of power to serve your needs.


  • 8 megapixels
  • 3.8x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom, 28mm wide-angle lens
  • Movie mode with sound
  • JPEG file format
  • Lens-shift image stabilization
  • Auto focus
  • Auto exposure
  • ISO 80-1600
  • 3.0-inch LCD display
  • Secure Digital memory (32MB card included)
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Part Number: SD870 IS
  • UPC: 8714574505688
  • Release Date: Oct 15, 2007

Shop for SD870 IS Accessories

Canon Powershot SD870 IS Reviews

Canon Powershot SD870 IS Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 2.0 out of 5
Lense stuck / focus not working (Mary Jane — 10/14/2009)

I loved this camera. It was taking crisp, clear pictures. However, in the middle of taking pictures, when it shut down, the lense was stuck out half way. I turned it on again. It would take a picture but the focus would not zoom past 2x. I recharged to battery but still it would not correct the problem. I called customer service and was told to mail the camera in. It would cost over $100. to check it out ~ then pay for repairs and shipping. This camera should be recalled. Too many people have the same problems.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Lens Sticking Problem (Jim Price — 09/22/2009)

Great pics from the outset, but . . . turned it on recently to shoot and had the lens error. Tried to turn off and on. NOTHING works. Took the battery out to reset. NOTHING. When checking internet for problems, there are many with the Canon's lens sticking. Obviously Canon knows about the problem. I have tried emailing and calling Canon. No response. The cameras should be repaired by Canon at no cost. I will NEVER buy another Canon or recommend Canon to anyone. There customer service stinks. Down with Canon!

  • 2.0 out of 5
Lens Problems (Lisa — 08/06/2009)

I was so disappointed in this camera! IT worked great...when the lens wasn't getting stuck during auto focus. I paid $200 to get camera repaired once (it was not a warrantee item, they told me), and then had the same exact thing happen again. This model is a lemon...I have had many Canons in the past and have been very happy.

  • 2.0 out of 5
Problem with zoom sticking (Heather — 07/15/2009)

I bought this camera as a Christmas present for myself. I absolutely loved it, found it easy to use, it took great pictures and videos, and felt and looked very nice. However, 9 months later on my 21st birthday, I shut the camera off and the lens did not retract correctly and I heard a tiny crack sound. I turned the camera on and the very front part fell off, and so did one of the shutter arms. I was shocked and nearly cried!

I went to where I had purchased the camera along with a l"ovely" extended warranty (a shop of the future). I sent it away, confident the glitch would be fixed. Six weeks later, someone from the repair place told me that the repair was not covered by warranty and that the damage had been caused by the "camera being hit with a considerable force". Umm, not on your life.

They tried to tell me I also had to pay for a diagnostic fee. Once again, no way.

I got my broken camera back, and bought a Nikon s550 as a replacement. I find is pictures at least as good if not better, and it cost over 100 dollars less. Boo Canon! Boo Shop of the Future!

  • 1.0 out of 5
Broke Twice (Amy — 07/08/2009)

I bought this camers in March only to have the lens break in Oct then again in June. The first time Canon replaced the lens the second time it happened I was out of warranty. I was told to send it in and they would check it out but it could and would most likely cost $124 for them to fix it. They also offered me a refurb model (different model) for about $50 less then it sales for new. I'm not very happy. The camera does take great pictures but for me it wasn't worth it. Not sure if I should trust a Canon again.

  • 5.0 out of 5
loved it! (Emily — 06/27/2009)

wow i absolutely loved this camera. it took so many amazing pictures. my favorite thing about this camera is the size of the scren, all the extra features, and the sleek model type. unfortunatly i lost this camera on a roller coster and havent gotten it back. I will buy another one :)

  • 1.0 out of 5
Worst Cannon Product (Suneet Bansal — 08/26/2008)

Don't buy this product. Their is a defect in the product and it has happened with 2 cameras. The zoom gets stuck and the lens will not close. due to which you will not be getting proper pictures.
This happened with first camera but it was within the 30 day period so I returned in the store and got the exchange but the same happened after 2 months with the other piece, same problem.

  • 5.0 out of 5
excellent camera! (james jones — 07/19/2008)

I have owned two Sony Cyber shot cameras over a two year period and I got used to most of the features you see on digital cameras. Id like to start off by saying this is a beautiful camera, well designed for spontanious photos. My favorite features are the 3 inch LCD, the image stabalization, the face detection software, the auto focus assist beam (which allows you to take pictures at night), the wide 28 mm lens, and its size. I also have a 35mm SLR, but its bulky, this camera has "everything" that I need in a compact form. I am not sure if I will ever be able to go back to my 35mm camera. LOVE the 870!!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Good Backup Camera (Jake — 06/22/2008)

In December 2007, I purchased the Canon SD870 IS and a Canon Rebel XTI. My primary camera is the Canon 30D with the following Canon lenses and flash: 60mm f/2.8 macro, 10-22 f/3.5-4.5, 17-55 f/2.8 IS, 24-70 f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 IS, 580 EX II flash. After six months, I purchased another Canon SD870 IS for my teenage kids to use. The Canon SD870 IS is small enough to take with you and the photographs are decent. With a Scandisk Extreme III 8 GB SDHC card, the SD870 IS will capture over 2,200 best quality photographs. Since my wife and kids don't use the optical viewfinder, I found the 3" lcd screen preferable and my wife needed a wide angle lense for photographing home interiors. Highly recommended as a backup or travel camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Best Compact Camera Ever Produced (Giligan Goley — 06/09/2008)

I bought this camera four months ago, and since then have taken over 5800 pictures with it. The 3 inch screen and pressure sensitive dial are so great! I also love the 28 mm wide-angle lens.
The image stabilizer works amazingly well. I have taken pictures at over 1 and a half seconds without blur while holding the camera in one hand! I have had nothing but splendid pictures from this little camera, I can suggest it to anyone!

  • 5.0 out of 5
canon 860 (lucky — 04/18/2008)

its excellent in other camera in same one i suggest u!!!just great!!!!!!!!!!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great Camera (Chuck — 04/14/2008)

This is the best P/S out there. Just leave it on automatic and take your pictures. They turn out great. What's not to like? It does'nt get any better!!!

  • 4.0 out of 5
Has issues.... not as great as they say. (Sparker — 01/20/2008)

Since most people reading reviews are looking to see the downsides of potential purchases here are a couple:

1. No shutter priority mode. I don't know why this is absent on virtually all new ultra-compacts, but my last compact had P/S/A/M on it, and I don't see why that should be abolished. However, they did include a long shutter mode.... which baffles me even more!!! If you can't lengthen the shutter time, why can't you shorten it?

2. Horrible low-light pictures, very blurry w/o flash. I have used it indoors on a couple occasions and when the subject is beyond the flash range, the images are very blurry, the shutter will automatically chose 1/5" or 1", sometimes without the aperture all of the way open. Increases the ISO helps some, but still poor performance.

3. No Sports scene mode?!?! If they can't include a shutter priority mode, can't they at least throw in a scene that increases shutter speed? There are very few scene modes compared with other compacts, for example: Olympus Stylus and Casio Exilim.

4. Extremely long flash charge time.

5. Very slow continuous shoot mode.

There are good things about this camera, but you can read every other review to see those. I am very surprised by all the great reviews after having used this camera. There is a definite bias in this industry toward Canon products. Their good, but not that good.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Best of the Ixus range ( — 01/13/2008)

This is a great camera, by far the best of the Ixus range (I have had 3 of them). It looks great and has many small improvements (ie battery strength indicator). The 3" screen is so good I do not miss the viewfinder - but is useless when wearing polaroid glasses. The instant play button is great, and it is fast to do everything. Well done Canon. One for the wishlist - it has a 7 step zoom, it would be nice if the camera fired up 2 steps in from wide as this is where it takes the best pictures.

Picture quality is good, but not outstanding. White balance is average and it has trouble selecting the correct exposure with high contast or backlit scenes (as do many cameras). Improve these, and it would be the perfect P&S camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Perfect all-rounder (Jonathan O'Reilly — 01/05/2008)

I also own a IS3 and whilst on holidays the 870 virtually replaced it.
It is very quick to start up, seldom gets focus wrong, even while the kids were shooting scenery while driving in the car. the wide angle is amazing and the BIG bonus is the amazing video that this little camera packs.
you cannot go wrong, the only must is a LCD screen protector film as the big screen easily scratches.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Just awesome! (mitch yokoyama — 11/20/2007)

You turn on the camera, aim, and shoot like a gun slinger! It's super fast! Pictures are super clear and I love how it automatically focuses on each of the people's faces! The flash is awesome, take pictures at clubs and it still seems like you took the pictures at a studio with extra lighting. The screen is big and clear. Very ridged and strong. Video capability makes me wonder if I should even consider purchasing a camcorder!

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good investment! (eclectice — 11/07/2007)

I have gone through many professional reviews about this camera and I can say that I am really satisfied with my decision to snap it immediately off the shelf upon seeing it.
It has most of what it takes to be the best point-and-click pocket-size camera.

The only gripe so far after using it for a few weeks is that it has aggressive noise signals at higher ISO speeds (> ISO 200; however it is quite common problem with other digital cameras of the same category). However, this won't be a big issue to experienced users.

With this S870 IS, I like using the manual mode with the long shutter mode for the night photographs (with very firm hands, of course) although I can possibly choose the Night mode preset to make things easier. Flash is used sparingly or when it is required. But, most of the time, the images do look good without the help of the flash. At ISO 80, it is guaranteed to get very good images at all conditions (again with very firm hands, of course).

The interface arrangement are following the minimalist approach. Seldomly-used options are put at rarely-used menus. The bundled software are sufficient and they delivers as expected.

The movie shots are excellent. There are chromatic abberations somehow happen under bright-lit backgrounds but no colored fringes are visible which is good enough. At above 12x digital zoom when taking movies, it becomes aliased and sharpened out at the edges and corners but it is acceptable.

This S870 IS has support for extra and better flash unit and an underwater cover but due to their prices, maybe I have to hold my intentions a bit.

Overall, it is really a good camera to own or invest with.