SX210 vs SX220 Shootout

Started Jul 27, 2011 | Discussions thread
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AdamT
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SX210 vs SX220 Shootout
Jul 27, 2011

We got Ma an SX220 (same as the SX230 but without the irritating battery sapping GPS) and before handing it over I borrowed it for a head to head against my own SX210 - I Shot both cams at the same time using both difficult bushy landscapes at base ISO and inside shots at ISO800 and 1600 ------- Pics are in a special SX gallery, Link below - all untouched from camera - remember that you're pixel peeing 14Mp versus 12 before making judgements, the SX210 looks better resized to 12Mp than it does at 14Mp ..

Few Observations both hardware and images but you can make your own mind regarding any IQ differences

Hardware

1:- Ma's SX220's lens is better at the edges than both my 210 and all the other 210s I've tried (none were decentered) , also there's less CA , they could have silently improved the lens for the former and Microlens differences could fix the latter

2:- the Zoom lever is actually no better than the nubble for standard zooming with normal fingers but with Ma's arthritic Digits, the nubble is out - the lever is also far better for slow Video zooming, and of course you don't end up switching the cam off if you miss ..

3:- the 220 is faster shot to shot (smaller files and faster processor)

4:- they've irritatingly moved Delete to the Func menu - it was on the Down arrow - big mistake, down arrow was a alot faster

5:- the command dial is more notchy (positive)

6:- The flash less "clicky" when you hold it down or switch the cam off with it down so it doesn't sound like you're breaking it

7:- AF is more prone to long end misses even though it confirms , thankfully if AF focus zoom is engagedm you can see that

8:- The 220 LCD is far higer rez but you don't really notice it in general shooting

Image quality

1:- there's more detail in the SX210 but the 220 is so much better than any other CMOS you'd actually swear it was a CCD !! , the 210 is still slightly better at pixel level as well as being 14Mp like a G10 is better than a G12 but the difference at pixel level is minimal

2:- the 220 is set a bit more contrasty IMO but the DR seems the same so there's space for more DR when backing off - also iContrast may actually be of use in this cam, it makes a NR'y mess with the SX20 (the only CCD cam I've tried it on)

3:- High ISOs are a definate SX220 win from 400 upwards, even resizing the 210 down to 12Mp doesn't quite make it, it also beats all the other CMOSes - see the inside shots in the gallery and have a play

So - Verdict ??????? ........ the SX210 is vastly underrated, I can't believe how hated it was.. comparing to the SX220 is like comparing a G10 to a G12 in that the 14Mp cam has more detail even at pixel level let alone overall but loses out at high ISOs .. Both are worthy , like the G12, the SX220 is a better alround package due to the very usable high ISOs (1600 resized to 6Mp gives an F31FD a scare) ..

the niggly bit for me is the improvement at the edges for CA and sharpness of the wide end of the lens , it may drive me to get the 220 myself as although there's a detail loss at base ISO, the 220 is well above my tolerance theshold and looks more like a CCD with a touch more NR than the usual CMOS Meltdown . I really think they've tweaked the lens - my 210 is a very good sample

The SX versus SX image gallery - click on original to see full sizers, download and PP yourself to see how they compare for yourself ....... My summary is that the SX210 is far better at ISO800 than a 14Mp CCD ought to be and the SX220 is far better at fine detail in landscapes at base ISO than a CMOS ought to be (the HX9 just makes watercolours) ........ I've an S90 remember, it'll blow both away in RAW at all ISOs with Capture One V5 but the JPG engine of the S90/95 is pretty crap so it'll be interesting to compare them too

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