Summary: Starting with the lens, the IXUS 1000 HS / SD4500 IS offers a 36-360mm equivalent range. Annoyingly this lacks the 28mm or even wider coverage of rival super-zooms, not to mention their often longer total reach, but that's part of the compromise of having a slimmer body. The upside is respectable optical quality with few artefacts to worry about beyond a small amount of fringing when zoomed-out and the usual reduced contrast of a long range when zoomed-in.
Pros: Slimmer and a little lighter than most compact super-zooms., Sensible resolution means better than average low-light quality., 1080p video, slow motion at QVGA and miniature effect at 720p., Handheld Night Scene mode greatly reduces noise at high ISOs.
Cons: 10x range falls short of some rivals and lacks true wide angle., Relatively poor battery life has you recharging frequently., Best quality 4:3 mode looks small on wide display., Highly compelling rivals from the likes of Panasonic and Sony.
Conclusion: A 16:9 ratio 3.0 inch TFT screen with 230,000pixels and 100% coverage works flawlessly for HD videos; meanwhile black bands crop on either side of the screen while shooting in normal 4:3 ratio. The low resolution screen falls behind by a long shot compared to competitors and it makes you wonder why such a high-end camera was fitted with a rather basic screen.
Summary: The Canon PowerShot SD4500 is a small, solid camera that does some important things very well, but falls down in several areas. When it comes to image quality and video quality, the SD4500 is one of the best point-and-shoot cameras available, even in low light. It is also a reasonably quick camera and has a high quality lens.
Pros: Excellent image quality, Very good video, High quality stereo sound
Cons: Short battery life, Ergonomic issues, Narrow wide angle