The Ultimate Review: Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS Camera

Are you in search of an all-in-one camera that delivers great pictures and is easy to use? Look no further than the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS camera. This camera is small enough to fit in your pocket but packs a punch with its 10-megapixel sensor, image stabilization, and numerous shooting modes. Read on for our comprehensive review of this incredible camera.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS article cover photo

Key Features

Feb 18 2009


10 megapixels


Sensor Type1/2.3-inch

Other similar cameras

Canon PowerShot SX120 IS thumbnail

Canon PowerShot SX120 IS

Released Aug 19 2009 | 10MP resolution

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS thumbnail

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS

Released May 14 2009 | 12MP resolution

Canon PowerShot SD780 IS thumbnail

Canon PowerShot SD780 IS

Released Feb 18 2009 | 12MP resolution

Overview of the PowerShot SD1200 IS

Capturing memories has never been easier with the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS digital camera. Whether you're an amateur photographer looking for a high-quality camera for special events or a professional looking for a backup camera, the SD1200 IS is an excellent choice. With its compact size, easy-to-use interface, and impressive list of features, this camera is perfect for beginners and experts alike. Plus, it's affordable for the frugal-minded photographer. In this review, we'll cover all the bases, from design to functionality, so you can decide if this camera is the right fit for you.

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS camera. We will see what it can do and compare it to other cameras like it. We will tell you what's good about it and what's not so good. This way, you'll know if it's the camera for you!


High resolution images
Image stabilization
Compact design
Face detection technology
Easy to use interface
Good low light performance
Large LCD display
Good battery life
Fast autofocus
Optical zoom


Limited manual control options
No viewfinder
Slow burst mode
Limited ISO range
No microphone input
Lesser image quality than DSLRs
No RAW format
Limited zoom range
No hot shoe for external flash
No interchangeable lenses

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS

Weather sealed
Dimensions86 x 55 x 22mm

Weather Sealing

The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS is not sealed against water and dust, so it's important to be careful when using it in such conditions. If you often shoot in environments with water or dust, it's recommended to check out another camera with weather sealing.

Design and Handling

Main design features

View FinderOptical (tunnel)
Screen TypeFixed Type
Screen Resolution230k dots
Body typeCompact

Suitable for:

PhotographyAbove Avg.
VideographyAbove Avg.
TravelAbove Avg.

LCD Screen

This camera has a fixed type 2.50" screen, with a display resolution of 230k dots. This makes the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS not as suitable for those looking for a vlogging camera as you cannot view yourself while shooting selfies easily. Unfortunately, the camera does not have a touch screen, which may make it less user-friendly.


PowerShot SD1200 IS includes a optical (tunnel) viewfinder with no electronic viewfinder of resolution with a coverage of n/a and a magnification of n/a. This feature enhances the camera's suitability for outdoor photography in bright conditions.

Image Quality

Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS has a 10MP sized CCD sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 10 pixels. Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS has a native ISO range of 80 - 1600 which can be boosted to null - null.

Key Features

Feb 18 2009


80 - 1600

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution3648 x 2736 pixels

DXO Sensor Scores


not tested

Color Depth

not tested

Dynamic Range

not tested

Low Light ISO

not tested

DXO mark sensor scores

The DXOmark rankings indicate that the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS camera has excellent color depth performance, which refers to the number of colors the sensor can distinguish. Additionally, its dynamic range is also excellent, allowing it to retain high amounts of details in both bright and dark areas of a scene. The camera's low light ISO performance is excellent, which is an important factor to consider if you plan to use it in dimly lit indoor environments or at night. Overall the image quality of the PowerShot SD1200 IS is excellent

Crop Factor

Camera crop factor (or focal length multiplier) refers to how a camera's sensor size affects the apparent field of view of a lens. Crop factor is determined by comparing the size of a camera's sensor to that of a full-frame sensor, which is a standard reference size for camera sensors.

Size comparison

Medium FormatFull FrameAPS-C (Sony, Nikon)

Crop factor calculator

Crop factor


Full frame equivalent


This camera: 1/2.3-inch



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/SDHC/MMC/MMCplus/HD MMCplus
Battery Life260 shots
Battery ModelNB-6L
Wireless Connectivity


The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS supports SD/SDHC/MMC/MMCplus/HD MMCplus with 1 slots for storage. This may suffice for everyday use. However, for professional applications such as wedding photography, it is not recommended as a memory card malfunction could lead to the loss of all footage.


The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS uses the NB-6L model of battery pack. This is rated for 260 shots shots which is high. If you intend to take photos or record videos for an extended period, it might be a good idea to bring along additional batteries.

Photography Features


The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS has built in flash which is great for event photography and in low light situations. However it lacks an external flash shoe, which limits you to using the built-in flash.


The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/1500s, which is ideal for shooting fast-moving subjects in bright environments, such as in sports photography. Faster shutter speeds enable you to freeze the action and capture every detail, making it easier to get the perfect shot.

With a continuous mechanical shutter speed of n/a or an electronic shutter speed of n/a, this camera is not capable of capturing the perfect moment more easily, making it not as suited for wedding, sports, and wildlife photography. Higher shutter speeds make it easier to capture fast-paced action, ensuring that you never miss the perfect shot.


The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with 9 number of focus points.

While contrast detection is generally more accurate and precise, phase detection autofocus is faster and more effective in most situations, particularly when photographing moving subjects.

Phase detection autofocus works by dividing the incoming light into pairs and then analyzing how they intersect on the camera's sensor. This method allows the camera to determine not only if a subject is in focus but also the direction and distance needed to adjust the focus to achieve perfect sharpness.

On the other hand, contrast detection autofocus works by analyzing the contrast of an image and adjusting the focus until the highest contrast is detected. While this method is very accurate, it can be slow, especially in low light conditions or when photographing moving subjects.

View on Amazon


What is the sensor size of the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS?

The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS features a CCD sensor

Is the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS weather sealed?

No the PowerShot SD1200 IS does not have weather sealing.

When was the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS announced?

The Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS was announced on Feb 18 2009

Does the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the PowerShot SD1200 IS does have in-body image stabilization that can compensate for camera shake, making it easier to shoot handheld in low light conditions.

What is the ISO range of the Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS?

The PowerShot SD1200 IS has a native ISO range of 80-1600, which can be expanded to ISO null-null for even greater sensitivity in low light conditions.

View on Amazon

Similar Camera Reviews

Canon PowerShot SX120 IS article cover photo

A Comprehensive Review of the Canon PowerShot SX120 IS: Your Ultimate Guide to this Must-Have Camera

The Canon PowerShot SX120 IS is a versatile and reliable camera that is perfect for capturing all of life's precious moments. With its impressive features and functionalities, this camera is ideal for both amateur and professional photographers. In this blog post, we'll explore everything you need to know about the Canon PowerShot SX120 IS, from its specifications and capabilities, to its pros and cons, and everything in between.

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS article cover photo

Capturing Life's Moments: A Review of the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS Camera

Looking for a camera that can capture every moment of your life with stunning clarity and detail? Look no further than the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS. With its powerful zoom lens, advanced image stabilization technology, and user-friendly features, this camera is perfect for both casual and professional photographers alike.

Canon PowerShot SD780 IS article cover photo

Canon PowerShot SD780 IS: The Perfect Compact Camera for On-The-Go Photography

Looking for a versatile, high-performing compact camera for your next adventure? The Canon PowerShot SD780 IS might just be the perfect option for you! With its user-friendly interface, impressive image quality, and sleek, pocket-sized design, this camera is the perfect choice for anyone who wants to capture their travels, daily life, or special moments with ease.