Canon SD980 IS Digital ELPH Video Test

by Harlan Yee on October 21st, 2009

Canon SD980 Digital ELPH 042

Today, I was going to test out the video capabilities of my new toy, the Canon SD980 IS Digital ELPH. I was planning on filming some clips of the rock group “Train” in a private performance but they cancelled. Instead, I tagged along on a commercial shoot featuring KOMO 4’s Paul Deanno and placed the SD980 on the dolly alongside a Sony Betacam shooting on Betacam SX.

Canon SD980 vs Betacam 3

For today’s test, my camera was locked down and just sitting on the dolly with no one to pan with the action. This was a last minute idea to do this so I wasn’t really prepared. Next time I test the camera, I’ll actually mount the SD980 to the top of the Betacam so I can get almost identical shots. One thing I noticed is that once I start recording, the camera sets the focus and I can’t adjust it while filming. In order to re-focus, I have to stop recording and frame the shot again.


Canon SD980 vs Betacam 1

After a couple of shots on the dolly, I proceeded to use the SD980 to capture behind the scenes shots of the production. The SD980 can shoot 1280×720 HD video using H.264 compression.

Canon SD980 vs Betacam 2

In the wideshot above, the SD980 is so small next to the Betacam that you almost can’t see it in the picture. The audio is from the built in microphone and there are no options to add an external mic. I’ll offer a review of the camera at a later time. All shots in the following video were recorded with the Canon SD980 IS at 1280×720.

I have another HD video example shot with the SD980 featuring Dr. Oz when he was in town promoting his show. Take a look.

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