Canon PowerShot SX200 IS review

Started Jul 5, 2009 | User reviews thread
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Titch_R New Member • Posts: 10
Canon PowerShot SX200 IS review

Pop-up flash compromises the ability to correctly hold the camera, and is very annoying.
Very flimsy and loose cover for accessory sockets - this could easly get torn off.
The thickening and bend in the body on the right-hand side is another triumph of fashion over function. Was this stylistic gimmick really necessary?
Rotary control on 4-way pad is rather imprecise in operation. Would it really have been too much to ask that it be provided with a more positive action?
Otherwise excellent build quality; solid construction; positive action to mode knob; LCD although lower in resolution than competitors is quite usable; battery life is about average for this size compact; excellent image stabilisation, even at maximum zoom.
The built-in flash, as with most compacts, is comparatively feeble; what else can you expect from such a tiny flashtube and small battery?
Canon are to be complimented for providing the experienced user with the P-Tv-Av-M modes of operation, and a reasonable set of user adjustable configuration options.
All of the above are side issues - the only factor that really matters is image quality, a camera is after all an image recording tool, nothing else.
This camera exemplifies what has become Megapixel Madness. At 43Mpixels per square cm this is way over the top. Even at base ISO (80) noise reduction artefacts are visible, and image detail is compromised as a result. Straight from the camera the images are fairly soft and can do with a little sharpening. Certainly the images are no more detailed than a good 8Mp sensor, and for example do not compare well with those from my Canon G10. Obviously it is far removed from a DSLR, but adequate for snapshots and modest enlargements. What I REALLY want is a compact with these features BUT a nice low-noise 6Mpixel sensor - c'mon, Canon surely image quality not quantity of smeared pixels is to be preferred?
In-camera noise reduction does attempt to keep things under fair control up to about ISO 200, but ISO 400 is noisy, and ISO 800 and higher increasingly unpleasant. Indeed, ISO 1600 let alone ISO 3200 are a joke - unusable.
I have no interest in video, HD or otherwise, and make no use of this facility considering it rather pointless on what is a still camera.
Overall, if you are looking for a reasonably well-made, compact camera for snapshots with the possibility of some modest enlargement, then in good light this camera is fine, but not exceptional. All compact cameras with high pixel counts and tiny sensors are noisy, and this one is no exception. It has a tendency to over-expose, and performs best with -0.3EV to -0.67EV exposure compensation. Its image stabilisation is excellent, even at maximum zoom, which mitigates its somewhat indifferent image quality. If you are looking for better image quality in a compact package, then the G10 is far superior, but has less than half the zoom range and costs considerably more.


Annoying pop-up flash, otherwise no problems.

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
12 megapixels • 3 screen • 28 – 336 mm (12×)
Announced: Feb 18, 2009
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