Price ($ dollars)
First we will consider the price because let’s face it that is the first variable you consider right? If it is too much you won’t even look at the other features, unless you don’t care about eating and paying rent!
The price for the 940is starts around consumer review $199 and you can expect to pay anywhere from $20 to $30 less for the 780is or around $169. While both of these are affordable for the average consumer you don’t always get the better model when you pay more. So let’s dig into the details and make an educated decision.
MP Mega Pixels (resolution)
After the price we all typically look at the mega pixels, even though more mega pixels does not always equal a better camera, but it will certainly render a larger image which in turn allows for larger prints.
Both of these models sport 12 MP or 4000 x 3000 resolution which renders an exceptional image for large prints. However, sometimes you may choose to reduce memory consumption and shoot smaller resolution images as you may not require such a large mega pixel count.
The lower resolution ranges for both of these cameras ranges from 4000 x 2248 to 320 x 240 which can significantly reduce memory consumption; this is definitely a factor to consider in the characteristics of a digital camera, although both of these are identical.
Pixel density is another factor that we would want to consider when concerned with image quality. The denser the pixel count the sharper an image will look and the higher degree of compression (reduced file size) the image can be reduced without losing visible quality. This is important again if you are concerned with file size and memory consumption or if you plan to upload your images to the internet. Consider that if you can have a small image file size yet great looking quality, it will be much easier to share your images on the internet or a website. However, again both of these cameras render 43 MP in a square centimeter 43 MP/cm2.
ISO Noise (film speed)
Another important to consider is film speed or ISO (ISO is an acronym for international organization of standards); in digital cameras this converts to the digital image sensors sensitivity to light. This is important in low light conditions such as indoors or shady outdoor areas. These champs of consumer photography are again neck and neck with ranges of ISO detail as low as 80 and sensitivity for low light conditions (noisier or grainy results though) as high as 1600. When ISO is set to auto, your camera will automatically adjust the ISO in low light conditions to compensate for dim lighting or a lens that cannot optically compensate (aperture).
Optical Lens Characteristics
Zoom Wide Angle
Here we will see a considerable difference between the SD780is (Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS) and the SD940is. When taking landscape pictures or maybe even a family portrait sometimes it is difficult to get everyone in the picture frame. This is where the wide angle measurement of the lens glass will come into consideration.
The SD940is (Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS) presents a 5mm wider angle than the SD780is (Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS) at 28mm compared to 33mm respectively. This can make quite a difference when taking wide angle landscape shots and other scenarios where you simply need to get a greater perspective of the viewing area.
Depending how you use your camera whether it is for portraits only or for capturing all types of moments and occasions, you may or may not require additional magnification. A camera that gives you the ability to zoom in on your child as they are playing football or soccer game on Saturday can make a real difference in a great shot or just an OK picture. The SD940is (Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS) certainly has an advantage over the SD780is (Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS) in this area as well. With 12mm additional zoom at 112mm compared to 100mm on the SD780is, this adds a magnification factor of 1x to the reach of your camera. The extra zoom can make a substantial difference at times when framing your subjects for just the right shot.
The aperture range of a camera lens is very significant. Many have a hard time understanding what aperture is and how it affects image performance. The aperture of a lens is the measurement of the amount of light it can gather and focus to the digital sensor or film. The more light the lens can gather the sharper the image will be and the better the camera will perform at higher zoom angles, and lower lighting conditions.
The SD940is (Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS) slightly outperforms the SD780is (Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS) at an F/.4 greater aperture than the SD780is. This slightly greater aperture is needed because as telephoto zoom is increased the less light a lens can gather, hence the increased aperture. In comparison the SD940is (Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS) ranges from F2.8-F5.9 and the SD780is (Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS) ranges from F3.2-F5.8, as you may notice the 940is also extends F/.1 smaller as well. You may take note that the lower the F/ factor the more light the lens gathers and subsequently the higher the F/ focal factor the less light will be gathered.
Neither of these cameras offer the option to manually focus your subject; this would only present a problem if you are taking custom photography. In this specification the SD780is (Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS) does have a slight advantage over the SD940is (Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS) as it employs face detections technology. This allows your camera to intelligently focus the lens specifically for portraits and moving subjects. This should be considered when comparing because there are times in a moment’s notice that a digital camera does not focus on the subject you are attempting to capture. For instance the background may be in focus but the instant expression on a person’s face is missed.
Another factor that you should consider is the effective flash range. The effective flash reach in the SD940is (Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS) outperforms the SD780is (Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS) by.5 meters. The additional reach is engineered into the camera design to accommodate the longer telephoto zoom capability.
Both the SD780is (Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS) and the SD940is (Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS) support video recording. With resolutions ranging from 320 x 240 @ 30 fps (frames per second) to 1280 x 720 @ 30 fps both of these cameras can capture quality HD High Definition video and support HDMI connectivity.
Image Quality Levels
The SD780is and the SD940is support normal and fine image quality level options. But only the SD940is (Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS) supports the super fine exceptional quality level which will render a highly quality image for printing or post processing.
LCD Screen Size
The LCD of the SD940is (Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS) is a mere.2 inches larger than the SD780is (Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS) and does present a somewhat larger viewing area. This should be taken into consideration as the SD940is does not have a view finder at all where the SD780is does. Though I have yet to use the view finder at all on a digital point and shoot camera that has live view, this may cause an issue if the screen proves hard to see in bright outdoor sun lighting.
Size and Weight
An amazing fact to consider is the SD940is actually weighs in a little lighter and thus will be more portable than the SD780is. The SD940is clearly has more features and a higher quality lens but yet yields a lesser burden to carry. At a mere 4.2 ounces the SD 940is is the clear winner in size, and features to weight ratio.
In conclusion, if you can spend a little more ($20) you will certainly gain useful additional features in the Canon SD940is. Canon has certainly done their home work and is working hard to provide consumers with features and quality in an affordable and ultra portable digital camera. Though the SD780is is a great camera with a lot of features for the money it is recommended to go ahead and save up for the more detailed imaging and extra quality lens features the SD940is (Canon Digital IXUS 120 IS) has to offer.