Support Cameralabs by shopping at my partner stores or buying me a coffee!
Buy me a coffee!

Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
  Latest camera reviews

Lumix G80 / G85
Olympus OMD EM1 II
Sony RX10 Mark III
Sony RX100 Mark V
Nikon COOLPIX B700
Sony A6500
Lumix FZ2000 / FZ2500
Nikon COOLPIX B500
Lumix LX10 / LX15
Fujifilm XT2
Nikon D3400
Canon EOS 5D Mark IV
Ricoh GR II
Canon G7X Mark II
Canon SX720 HS
Canon EOS 80D
Olympus TG Tracker
Nikon D500 review
Canon EOS 1300D / T6
Lumix GX80 / GX85
Fujifilm X-Pro2
Fujifilm X70
Lumix TZ80 ZS60
Sony A6300
Canon PowerShot G5X
Lumix TZ100 ZS100
Sony A7s Mark II
Sony RX10 II
Lumix FZ330 / FZ300
Sony RX100 IV
Canon G9X
Fujifilm XT10
Nikon COOLPIX L840
Canon SX530 HS
Olympus OMD EM10 II
Canon SX410 IS
Panasonic Lumix GX8
Olympus TOUGH TG860
Sony A7r Mark II
Canon PowerShot D30
Olympus TOUGH TG4
Canon PowerShot G3X
Canon EOS 5Ds
Nikon COOLPIX S9900
Sony HX90V
Canon EOS T6s 760D
Panasonic Lumix G7
Panasonic Lumix SZ8
Canon EOS M3
Olympus EPL7
Samsung NX3000
Panasonic Lumix GM5
Nikon D5500
Panasonic Lumix GF7
Olympus OMD EM5 II
Nikon COOLPIX S9700
Canon SX710 HS
Panasonic TZ70 / ZS50
Sony Alpha A7 Mark II
Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Fujifilm X100T
Nikon COOLPIX S3600
Sony Alpha A5100
Sigma DP1 Quattro
Sony Cyber-shot W830
Nikon COOLPIX L830
Nikon D750
Canon SX400 IS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon COOLPIX P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
  Best Buys: our top models
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories

Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
  DSLR Tips

Canon Digital Ixus 860IS / PowerShot SD870 IS Digital Elph Gordon Laing, November 2007


Canon Digital Ixus 860IS / PowerShot SD870 IS Verdict

From the first moment you pick up the Canon Digital Ixus 860IS / PowerShot SD870 IS, it’s clear you’re dealing with a quality product. It feels well built and comfortable to hold, starts very quickly, offers decent wide angle coverage and boasts a huge screen which looks great in use.

There’s quick access to what settings you can change, the face detection works well, and the time lapse movie mode is pretty neat. After taking some photos and examining them on-screen, it’s also clear the camera is capable of decent quality that’s as good as the best 8 Megapixel compacts out there.

In these respects the 860IS / SD870 IS is undoubtedly one of the best compacts we’ve tested, but this degree of quality and performance doesn’t come cheap. Canon cameras can be heavily discounted, but in terms of official RRPs, the 860IS / SD870 IS comes in at a comfortably higher price than most rival 8 Megapixel models.

Before we get too carried away, it’s also important to note the 860IS / SD870 IS has issues beyond a higher than average price. There’s no manual control over aperture and shutter, the continuous shooting speed is so slow it’s hardly worth bothering, there’s no live histogram, and the zoom lurches with relatively coarse increments. Then there’s the touch-sensitive wheel which technically may be interesting, but in practice we just couldn’t get to grips with.

There are also a handful of worthy rivals to the Canon, so before wrapping-up, let’s see how it compares.

Compared to Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX33

Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX33

Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-FX33 has several things in common with the Canon. Both have the same 8 Megapixel resolution and share similar optically-stabilised ranges which zoom-out to an equivalent of 28mm. The Panasonic is noticeably shorter and a tad thinner too, but has a smaller 2.5in screen to the Canon’s large 3in display. In terms of special features, the FX33 boasts widescreen movie recording, while the Canon has time-lapse, although neither allows you to manually adjust the aperture or shutter.

It’s a tough one to weigh-up, although the Panasonic FX33 is cheaper – its smaller 2.5in screen playing a factor in price. The ultimate decision will however boil down to which model you personally prefer the look and feel of. For more details, check out our Panasonic Lumix DMC-FX33 review.

Compared to Fujifilm FinePix F50fd

Fujifilm FinePix F50fd

Also coming-in cheaper is Fujifilm’s FinePix F50fd. Go for the Fujifilm and you’ll get 50% more Megapixels (12 to the Canon’s 8), manual control over the aperture and shutter, and some neat approaches to using the flash for indoor portraits. So for the same money it’s the better camera, right?

Not quite. The Fujifilm F50fd is let down by a pedestrian 3x optical zoom which misses out on the Canon’s 28mm wide angle coverage. Its sensor-shift stabilisation certainly works, but in our tests wasn’t as effective as the Canon. And the 2.7in screen didn’t look anywhere near as good, nor were the controls as well thought-out. That said, the good points are pretty compelling, so if they outweigh the cons for you personally, then the F50fd is well worth considering. See our Fujifilm FinePix F50fd review for more details.

Canon Ixus 860IS / PowerShot SD870 IS final verdict

The Canon Ixus 860IS / PowerShot SD870 IS has a lot going for it. The great build quality, large screen, quick response, wide angle coverage and respectable quality will be sufficient to sell it to many people.

Photographic enthusiasts will miss full manual control, but then the 860IS / SD870 IS does a great job in automatic. The slow continuous shooting, lack of a live histogram and relatively coarse zoom steps will also annoy some, but won’t bother the majority. And as for that touch wheel? We may not have got on with it, but it could work just fine for you.

So the biggest issue facing the Ixus 860IS / SD870 IS is really its higher price. It comes in more costly than most rivals including Panasonic’s Lumix DMC FX33, although in its favour it does have a large 3in screen.

Click here to view the Canon Ixus 860 IS / PowerShot SD870 video tour

Ultimately you’ll need to weigh up the differences in feature-sets for yourself and crucially see which model looks and feels best in your hands – all the cameras mentioned on this page are contenders. It’s also important to carefully check prices as the Canon models, while often having higher than average RRPs, can enjoy some of the biggest discounts.

The bottom line is Canon’s produced a superb compact here, with the Ixus 860IS / PowerShot SD870 IS justifying its higher cost to most buyers. If the design appeals to you and the price is right, we can Highly Recommend it.

Good points

28mm wide angle and optical stabilisation.
Large and great quality screen.
Very good build quality and design.
Quick and easy access to settings.

Bad points
Higher RRP than rivals.
Little or no manual control.
Slow continuous shooting.
No Live Histogram; coarse zoom steps.


(relative to 2007 compacts)

Build quality:
Image quality:


18 / 20
17 / 20
16 / 20
18 / 20
17 / 20


If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ Best Cameras / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs