Exploring the Picture-Perfect World with the Canon PowerShot SD990 IS

In this blog post, we delve into the world of photography and discover why the Canon PowerShot SD990 IS is a hot topic among photo enthusiasts. We'll share some tips and tricks on how to make the most out of this compact camera's features and create stunning images that capture the essence of your subjects.

Written by Victor Chan | Updated: Mon May 01 2023

Canon PowerShot SD990 IS article cover photo

Key Features

Sep 17 2008


15 megapixels


Sensor Type1/1.7-inch

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Overview of the PowerShot SD990 IS

Whether you're a professional photographer or a hobbyist, having a reliable camera is essential to capturing memorable moments. The Canon PowerShot SD990 IS is a compact camera that proves to be an excellent choice when it comes to picture-perfect shots. With its impressive zoom range, image stabilization, and varied shooting modes, this camera is an excellent investment for photography enthusiasts. In this blog post, we'll delve into the many features of the Canon PowerShot SD990 IS and explore how it can help you create stunning images that grab attention and evoke emotions. So, grab your camera and get ready to discover a world of photography with the Canon PowerShot SD990 IS!

Canon PowerShot SD990 IS Pros and Cons

Now, we will look more closely at our review of the Canon PowerShot SD990 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 14.7 megapixel sensor
Fast f/2.8 lens with 3.7x optical zoom
Optical image stabilization for steady shots
Easy to use interface and controls
Good low light performance
Face detection and tracking for portraits
HD video recording


No manual controls for advanced users
Limited zoom range compared to some competitors
Relatively small LCD screen
No RAW image format
Slow autofocus in some situations
Limited battery life
Expensive compared to other point-and-shoot cameras

Build and Construction

Body and dimensions

Canon PowerShot SD990 IS

Weather sealed
Dimensions98 x 62 x 28mm

Weather Sealing

The Canon PowerShot SD990 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 typeUltracompact

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 SD990 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 SD990 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 SD990 IS has a 15MP sized CCD sensor. You can shoot at maximum resolution of 15 pixels. Canon PowerShot SD990 IS has a native ISO range of 80 - 1600 which can be boosted to null - null.

Key Features

Sep 17 2008


80 - 1600

ISO Range

Extended ISOnull - null
Max resolution4416 x 3312 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 SD990 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 SD990 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: 1/1.7-inch



Connectivity, storage, battery

StorageSD/SDHC/MMC card
Battery Life
Battery ModelNB-5L
Wireless Connectivity


The Canon PowerShot SD990 IS supports SD/SDHC/MMC card 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 SD990 IS uses the NB-5L model of undefined. This is rated for undefined 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 SD990 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 SD990 IS boasts a maximum mechanical shutter speed of 1/1600s, 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 SD990 IS includes contrast detection autofocus (AF), with null 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.

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What is the sensor size of the Canon PowerShot SD990 IS?

The Canon PowerShot SD990 IS features a CCD sensor

Is the Canon PowerShot SD990 IS weather sealed?

No the PowerShot SD990 IS does not have weather sealing.

When was the Canon PowerShot SD990 IS announced?

The Canon PowerShot SD990 IS was announced on Sep 17 2008

Does the Canon PowerShot SD990 IS have in-body image stabilization?

Yes the PowerShot SD990 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 SD990 IS?

The PowerShot SD990 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.

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