Canon PowerShot SD780IS 12.1 MP Digital Camera with 3x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 2.5-inch LCD (Deep Red)
List Price: $279.99

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Product Description

It may be the slimmest Digital ELPH Canon has ever created, but the impact couldn't be bigger. The PowerShot SD780 IS Digital ELPH captivates the senses with bold saturated colors and a daringly original design that matches the intensity of Canon's most innovative camera technology. Even when picture-taking conditions seem pretty unforgiving, you've got Canon on your side. So the shots you used to miss are the images you'll now be sharing, and the movies you never took before will be HD unforgettable.

  • 12.1-megapixel CCD captures enough detail for photo-quality poster-size prints
  • 3x optical zoom lens with Optical Image Stabilizer
  • HD movie shooting capability plus HDMI output
  • 2.5-inch widescreen PureColor LCD II screen; Face Detection
  • Compatible with SD/SDHC, MMC/MMC Plus/HC MMC Plus (not included)

Customer Reviews:

  • Best in Class Ulta-Compact
    I read plenty of reviews and did much testing before deciding to buy this camera. Now that I've used it for over a month now and on several trips I can confidently say this is the best camera at its size and price. If someone can produce another camera at this size and weight with similar features and image quality with a lower price please provide a link to it. I tested Nikons and Panasonics and they all had worse IQ, and even other bigger Canons but disliked the bulk.
    The best feature of course is its size, it fits comfortably in my pocket with a cell phone too. The pictures are great and the shutter speed is amazing, especially if you turn off the picture review and want to take many pictures in a row but just not in continuous mode. The Auto works great for most anything, however indoors and in low light, its best to raise your ISO and use program mode.
    My minor complaints would be the display quality(noisy),audio quality, and only 3x optical zoom. I would love it with 5x optical zoom and better audio, but its not any worse then the audio on the Flip. This is the perfect compliment to my DSLR and I was very impressed with the camera's performance given its tiny size....more info
  • Amazing Things Sometimes Come In Tiny Packages
    After researching ultra-compact cameras for 2 weeks, I had narrowed down my choices to this camera, the Canon SD880 IS and a couple of models from other manufacturers (though I knew in the end I'd choose a Canon). As with most electronic purchases I make, it was an agonizing process. Every camera had a feature that I wanted, yet none of them had everything that I wanted. I would have liked a bit more zoom, and other cameras have wider lenses. In the end, the three features that won me over were the amazingly small size, the ability to capture HD video at a resolution of 720p, and the HDMI out.

    As for the performance, I couldn't be happier. Many of the reviews I read before purchasing mentioned a high amount of noise, but in my experience it only occurs at higher ISO's, is not very noticeable, and seems to be in line with other compact cameras that I've used, no more, no less. I would NOT let this be a determining factor if I were considering this camera.

    This is my first camera with image stabilization and it's works very well. On a recent trip I took over 500 pictures (and filled up less than 1/4th of my 8-gig card at the highest resolution), and not one of them ended up blurry. The AUTO feature has also proven to be much better than I had anticipated: it changes between 18 settings automatically, such as macro, bright sunshine, etc., and so far, it's been right on the money. Another complaint that I've read is that viewfinder is useless. While it is quite tiny, I have actually used it, and I find it to be quite serviceable. At some point, a camera gets so small that it's difficult to squeeze everything onto its surface area. Kudos to Canon for even including the optical viewfinder at all.

    My complaints are few, and none would be a dealbreaker for me. The small size and smooth, symmetrical shape sometimes make it hard to tell which side I am holding onto when I take it out of my pocket. When attempting to push the power button, I will often realize I am pushing on the bottom of the camera. I have to actually look at it to tell what I am doing. Also, as stated previously, the HD video takes a pretty beefy CPU to play back smoothly. My PC is 4 years old and has a hard time keeping up. The easy solution to this is to play back directly to the monitor/TV with an HDMI cable. It seemed improbable to me that a video made with a camera this small would look good on a 55" HD television. I was stunned at how sharp it looked.

    The bottom line is that anybody looking for an ultra-compact camera is going to be extremely satisfied with this one. It doesn't take the pictures that a digital SLR is going to, nor does it have the same features. But anybody looking at this camera realizes that already. I went to an arts festival last weekend and was AMAZED at how many people are lugging around DSLR's these days. It seemed like every other person had one. When looking at performance vs. convenience and portability, I'll take the SD780 any day....more info
  • great point and shoot
    Very easy to use out of the box. Not the best video quality but for a camera better than average. ...more info
  • Great pics and video
    My son is turning four and I wanted to get an HD video camera to capture his funny antics. I already had a nice Panasonic 8mm tape camcorder but for a variety of reasons rarely used it. The 780 is a perfect fit for me. It replaces my older powershot for photos and I can take decent HD videos too that I can immediately play back on my 52" Samsung HDTV. I found indoor low light performance to be quite acceptable with some graininess. Mind you my old 8mm camcorder's video quality is better than the HD video from this camera but the pros outweigh the cons. The one area where I see lots of room for improvement is when the video blurs as you move the camera itself quickly. Very slow movement is OK. The 12 megapixel pics are great but I expect them to be anyway. I'm taking a lot of videos now because its fun, super convenient, form factor is not at all intimidating and I can play back, record, upload with ease. It was funny though to see this very tiny camera perched on top of my big tripod at a recent family event. The 2-in-1 camera/camcorder convergence is a must have for me. I just could never lug around a camcorder in addition to a camera. The other tools I paid for are Quicktime pro for easy as ABC splitting/joining of (.mov) video files that this camera produces and Vimeo for uploading HD videos to share with family. Very happy with this Amazon purchase....more info
  • Awesome Little Camera
    This is my 10th digital camera. I own variety of different brands of digital cameras for different shooting conditions ranging from underwater Sony camera to Nikon SLR.

    The size is very compact. The camera takes awesome pictures with very good metering. The dynamic face tracking ensures all the faces are in focus with evenly balance exposure.

    Pictures at highest resolution are not as sharp, with some distortion.
    However, the 12MP is a bit over kill for me. It's a waste of storage space and difficult to post or e-mail.

    This camera is perfect for a night out with friends. I will probably use something with bigger lense for my travel.

    Overall rating is excellent, for everyday use. It is definitely a "BUY"!...more info
  • Great small Canon SD 780
    This is the smallest camera from canon that takes excellent pictures. The view finder is too small to use but can be used in a pinch. The flash is not that good because only works in short distances and the colors are off with the flash. I have set the camera to never use flash since most situations do not need a flash. I have a bigger Canon for flash pictures and bigger optical zoom. The small size of this camera means I am most likely to carry it when I go out....more info
  • More Than Expected!! Superb Photos!
    PROS: Easy to use, Simple controls/menu, Nice features/settings, Bright LCD, Excellent image quality, Lightweight/Portable, compact volume

    CONS: Poor Low-Light Performance, some noise in low light, tiny viewfinder, mini-HDMI to HDMI cable not included, SD/SDHC storage card not included

    Amazon has the best price at under 250 bucks. Most sites are charging full retail since this camera is so popular.

    High Definition video is very good at 720p. This will not replace a full size camera or the 5D Mark II for video quality. But, it is a lot better than most including the original Flip video camera.

    An HDMI cable IS NOT INCLUDED with the camera. You will need it to watch HD video directly from the camera on an HDTV. I bought a 3 ft miniHDMI-to-HDMI cable online from Monoprice for 8 bucks including USPS first class shipping. They have quality cables for the lowest price on the Monoprice site.

    UPDATE: I am very happy with the mini-HDMI to HDMI cables. They were so inexpensive that I bought 2 of these at 3ft long: one for the iMac, the other is for my travel bag. I bought a 6ft mini-HDMI to HDMI cable for the HDTV in the first floor family room. I should have gotten a longer cable since you have to control the video start/stop/next buttons on the camera. You have to get up often to start the next movie clip. I also bought a small 1x3/4inch miniHDMI to HDMI adapter to carry everywhere I take the camera which is everywhere!

    UPDATE: The small cover that protects the miniHDMI and USB ports feels a little flimsy. The hinge stretches. I have to force it slightly beyond my comfort to insert cables. I can see this covering breaking off with a lot of use.

    An SD storage card IS NOT INCLUDED. They are available at low cost, under 15 bucks, on the net. Check the Dealnews site for the latest sales. I used a 4GB SD high capacity (SDHC) card which will hold about 30mins of video.

    Some complain 2.5inch is too small for the LCD. There is no place to put a larger 3inch LCD on this camera without making it a touch screen like the iPhone or increasing the camera size. Plus, 2.5 inch is common on a lot of cameras. I have no problems with it.

    TINY VIEW FINDER: It was hard peering through the small hole. I mainly use the LCD screen about 95% of the time. So, NOT A PROBLEM.

    Got this camera to try out the 720p HD, face/blink detection and other features. They all worked great.

    I was surprised by the small size since I only saw this camera online and never tried it out at a store. It is slightly smaller than my average size business card and about as thin as a new deck of playing cards. I'm female, but, I never bought an ELPH-size Canon camera because they seemed too small. I was concerned I would not be able to comfortably operate the buttons or it would slip out of my hands. I don't have that fear with the SD780. The brushed metal finish provides some friction. The buttons are placed well. Also, the wrist strap is always available as protection against dropping the camera.

    SMART AUTO feature is great! I use it often to take closeup (macro) shots or when I don't have time to adjust the settings. I hold the camera about 4 inches from an object and the camera self adjusts the settings. It amazing to watch it work. I partially press the shutter button to see where the camera is focused and move it to focus on my area of interest. The camera selects of the pre-programmed 18 modes to find the one that creates the best image.

    As many stated, the images are superb thanks to the 12.1 mega pixel resolution, Digic 4, and the image stabilizer (IS) function. You should not live without IS unless you are into the artsy blurry pictures. It takes great pictures of kids who don't sit still. Great if you don't have steady hands. Images are crisp, clear and can be easily seen in the beautiful 2.5inch LCD.

    I noticed the noise in some of the photos. Did not have too much problems with it.

    The 3X optical is fine. Best for the photographer to move in or out to zoom/out on the subject matter and not worry about the camera lens zoom when just taking photos. Zooming during filming would be better. Hopefully, Canon adds this feature to future powershot ELPH models.

    Overall, a great camera that is thin enough to hide in a small purse or pocket yet still deliver superb photos for it's size!

    (I have owned 7 Canon cameras including 5 digital cameras. I have used this camera for about 1 week.) ...more info
    I've had this camera for about three weeks, and it's amazing. I usually can't take a good picture to save my life, but with the 780IS it seems as though I can't take a bad one. The video is beautiful. Most amazing of all is the low light capability. You will need a large SD card, as the 720p video eats up memory quickly. I say Run, don't walk to buy this one, and like me you may find yourself waking up in the middle of the night, unaware you have been holding the camera in your sweaty palms chanting "my precious"....more info
  • Satisfied
    I've been waiting for this camera to come out. I absolutely love the size of it, I finally have a small camera that I can take with me anywhere. I've been satisfied with the picture quality so far. I think I need to mess around with the settings a bit more - my macro photos are looking soso. My only main complaint so far is that the screen is small (would have loved to see a large screen that takes up more of the back of the camera) and the buttons are so tiny, you need to hit them just right with part of your finger. But it's easy to use and I love the way it looks and the size and for someone who takes pictures like me (casually), it's perfect. And there have been a number of photos that have turned out beautifully, great colors....more info
  • Solid camera with very good video capability as a bonus.
    I'll give my observations of the HD video capabilities of this camera; I wouldn't consider this a full review. I just wanted to test the limits of the camera in terms of battery life and recording time.

    Procedure: I tested two times with a full charge and an empty 16GB card. I just put the camera on record and sat it on my desk.

    Canon estimated that my 16GB card was good for around 85 minutes of video. It was pretty darn close. Note that this is an estimate and will vary due to the variable bit rate. I found that a 16GB memory card is the perfect match for the battery life.

    Each video clip has a file size limit of 4GB due to the FAT32 limitations of current SD cards. There is also a 30 minute cap in recording time for each HD clip, although you will probably deal with the 4GB cap more often. There is an on-screen warning that the movie is getting close to either one.

    The battery outlasted my memory card, but not by much. I recorded around 88 minutes of video and used up the entire card (15GB). The battery still had some life left so I popped in my spare 4GB card and the battery finally died around 2 minutes later. The average running time of the videos that reached the 4GB file size limit was around 22-24 minutes. A spare battery is recommended if you have a larger memory card and want to use this solely for video.

    I hope you found this information helpful.


    - You can't use optical zoom while recording, only digital zoom. This is basically the only thing you can adjust once you begin filming.

    - Focus is set when you start recording and does not change until you stop and start again. You can preview focus with a half-press prior to recording.

    - You can use one of the three focus modes (macro, normal, infinity) for filming.

    - Image Stability does work on video recording.

    - The audio for recording is Mono. I don't see this as an issue. The sound quality is good, even if it is only one channel.
    ...more info
  • video noise
    I was very pleased with the image capture. The pictures were very clear and it almost always took a great picture even if the lighting was poor or I was moving around a lot.

    I was dissapointed in the video portion. The video itself looked great, but the audio that was recorded with the video has a lot of noise that is recorded from inside the camera somewhere. I recorded in complete silence, and the audio still had a humming that was quite loud....more info
  • Simple and Powerful
    I used this camera first on a trip through the Southwest, taking pictures along side my nearly professional photographer husband, who was using 20 pounds of camera equipment. In most cases, except for some very low light situations, my pictures were clear, bright, focused and all I did was point/focus/shoot. It has a lot of built in smarts, so that it adjusts as you focus to shoot the scene. It also has some advanced features that I am still learning to use. Great "little" camera. The zoom part takes some getting use to. The view finder doesn't work well, when you use the zoom feature. ...more info
  • Nice pocket camera
    I was traveling and in a hurry, and made the mistake of buying a Pentax Optio M20 on sale when I found I'd left my trusty old Canon SD110 at home. I call it a mistake not because there was anything terribly wrong with the Optio, but because I found it harder to get good pictures with it than with the venerable SD110, despite a friendlier user interface, much higher resolution and image stabilization.

    Since I use my Canon EOS 30D for my non-candid photo needs, the Pentax has been adequate for the past couple years. But as I flipped through more and more candid photos that were blurry (or focused on the plant behind the subject's face), I decided to do a little research, and ended up pre-ordering the SD780IS.

    I love the feel of this camera. It's sleek and solid, and fits easily into my pants pocket. The small flash offers surprisingly good coverage, considering its size, and the LCD is nicely sized and clear. The daylight shots are crisp and colorful, and the multiple face recognition makes it easy to take quick shots of several subjects at varying distances from the camera. Start up is quick, as is the image read/display rate in playback mode, and battery performance is more than adequate for casual shooting.

    The techie features are abundant as well. I love the blink detection and face timer, even though neither option saves much time or effort. I'm also impressed with how smoothly Canon has integrated digital zoom, so that when taking pictures at lower than maximum resolution, the effective non-interpolated zoom increases from the optical 3x; this is clearly indicated in the process, so that it's not easy to accidentally zoom beyond 1-to-1 pixel capture.

    There are, of course, small inconveniences that come with the miniaturization of this much technical sophistication. It took me a while to get used to the zoom lever due to its size and shape, and the navigation buttons on the back are slightly smaller than my thumb would prefer. Moving beyond ergonomics, the small aperture that this camera shares with others in the "pocket" genre means that low-light imaging is not always ideal (usually manifested as blur due to movement combined with a slow shutter speed; when the shutter speed is kept high, it is instead manifested as noise in the imagery due to the increased sensitivity at high ISO settings). The optical image stabilization does help, and it makes this a better candidate for low light than most of the small cameras that have come before it; it is certainly better than the two other small cameras I've owned (mentioned above) in this respect.

    Being able to shoot high resolution video with this camera is refreshing, and I've enjoyed that feature. I had optimistically hoped that it would be good enough that I wouldn't need a separate camcorder for video, but that was wishful thinking. It's wonderful for short, candid videos but suffers from the small aperture and--ironically--form factor for longer shots. This is manifested as movement blur and camera shake. The movement blur is much less pronounced in good lighting, but the stabilizing lens can only move so much, and the human hand is notoriously unsteady when unbraced. The size of the camera makes it that much harder to hold still, as momentum tends to slow the movement of some of the larger cameras/camcorders.

    In summary, I'm more than pleased with this camera and would have no second thoughts about recommending it to anyone looking for a small point-and-shoot. The defects it suffers are shared in common with all cameras of this size to some extent; as technology improves, more of these will be mitigated, but for the time being the convenience and fun being offered in this tiny package would be hard to beat at twice the price....more info
  • Love it!
    This camera takes GREAT pictures. The quality of the pictures is better than I expected. The image stabilization works really well. None of my pictures have been blurred, even when I have accidentally moved while taking a picture. The colors are very vivid. Movies come out great as well.

    My only concern is the door for the battery/memory card compartment. The hinge seems kind of flimsy, so I am extra careful whenever I open it.

    Other than that - I would highly recommend this camera. And the red color is absolutely THE BEST!!!!!!!

    LOVE IT, LOVE IT, LOVE IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!...more info
  • What an amazing camera! Big camera performance, tiny package!
    I selected this camera as a "always carry" item. I own a Canon 20D professional camera with many lenses and other attachements, and it is HEAVY. So I don't take it unless I am on a photo shoot.

    The SD780IS has a very important feature: an optical viewfinder. This is really helpful in bright sunlight, when you will have great difficulty using the LCD to frame a photo.

    The image quality is great, the HD video is great, only complaint is that the mic is very susceptable to wind noise.

    The ability to apply filters and cropping/resizing in the camera is very nice.

    This camera is so small it is smaller than a credit card (only thicker). The flash works great, the focus light works great - I can take photos in complete darkness! The shutter lag is very very short.

    If you are looking for an absolutely GREAT camera that will disappear in your pocket (you will forget it is there), this is the one!

    The only limitations (in comparison to my "big" camera) is... no lens options (only built-in 3x zoom, with a very good digital zoom and image stabilizer function), and a slightly higher noise level in the image data (required because it uses a very tiny sensor). The noise is not visible for even very large prints (12 megapixels is a LOT of pixels). And, of course the adjustment options are limited (I like shutter priority, but can't do that on this camera). However, the exposure system is EXCELLENT!

    I usually shoot in Program mode, with -2/3 stop exposure. This is due to the fact that auto mode causes the image to often be slightly over-exposed (as viewed on the LCD). The image is usually NOT overexposed, just looks that way. Since I like to share the photos on the camera a lot, I use this to get great color on the LCD, not just on the computer. The additional image noise from this adjustment is very tiny.

    Great camera! HD video in the palm of your hand! Waiting for Canon to release the 60D so I can do HD on my big camera, too!...more info