Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

Started Mar 24, 2009 | Discussions
Ezzelin Regular Member • Posts: 127
Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

Well, lucky me, it appears that my local camera shop was one of the first to get a shipment of a few Powershot SX200s, so I dropped in and picked one up. I've only had it for a few hours, and even less if you count how long it took to charge the battery, but I'm already happy with my purchase. It's small, has tons of features, and has lots of image quality. I have a small neoprene case that I put it in and it fits in my front pants pocket.

Here's one thing that I discovered about it that I didn't know: it does have program shift! However, it's undocumented in the manual and a little hard to do. Here's how it works: First, you half press the shutter button. Then, while holding that down, you press up on the wheel. This locks your exposure (AE lock), or flashes the flash and locks the exposure if the flash is enabled (FE lock). If you're using AE lock, you can then spin the wheel and select between different equivalent exposures if more are available. A little inconvenient, and I'm not sure how much I'll use it, but it's there, and the dcresource review said it wasn't (and it isn't in the manual in the AE lock section, either.) There are grayed out arrows that show after doing FE lock, so it might be possible then, too, but I've never seen the arrows anything but gray.

So far, I've only had the chance to play with it indoors, but I'll certainly go outdoors tomorrow and take some more pictures. One thing to note: I have custom color set to -2 contrast and -2 sharpness, as I usually do, to help with post-processing. Here are a few full size samples from indoors:

http://www.mediafire.com/?jzlit2fy2nd
http://www.mediafire.com/?tjgnenohmiz
http://www.mediafire.com/?m4iliuwywxi

Let me know if you have any other questions or picture requests.

SX200 IS New Member • Posts: 8
Re: Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

Lucky you! Thanks for the insight into the "Program Shift". I had a feeling it had it. Your first shot of that clock looks absolutely amazing - extremely lifelike.
--
http://www.sx200.net

WT21 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,419
Re: Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions
-- hide signature --

Does the flash ALWAYS pop up when turned on. Now way to shut it off/keep it from popping up? Can you close the flash after you turn it on?

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Amir5831 Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

Would you please check underneath your SX200 and see if it was actually made in Japan or China. I know, I know is not that important, and canon quality stays the same regardless of where it was assembled, but just for the sake of knowing please report back.

Did you check "IS"? Is it working fine, especially at hight focal points! Thanks a million.

Torchwood Contributing Member • Posts: 831
Too damn right its not Important --->

actually made in Japan or China. I know, I know is not that
important

Too damn right its not !!! the A600 series were ALL made in CHINA and had far less QC issues (in fact very very few) than the Japanese made G series from the G2 right up to the G9, especially related to Lens Decentering (Blurred down one side only) on the G2-6 run and dust in the G9 - the Japanese made Sxx series had decentering issues too from the S30 to S80 as have the Hi-end Isus models..

EVERY A600 series cam I've used has been totally reliable and sharp corner to corner, same goes for the Chinese made other A series cams I've used or family have owned...

Going by this - I guess it IS important after all ---------- Gimme a CHINESE assembled Canon over a Japanese one anyday - ALSO we all know where the £5000 1DS-III with its crooked viewfinder was assembled don't we .............

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--------> Adam-T

Please ignore the Typos, I'm the world's worst Typist

mpgxsvcd Veteran Member • Posts: 8,094
Re: Too damn right its not Important --->

Where did you buy the camera? What country are you from?

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Amir5831 Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Too damn right its not Important --->

I know where you're coming from. I, myself have a A640; an outstanding piece of equipment. With CHDK I can do things with it that are outright either costly or hard with pro SLRs. It's made in China and I have taken more than 25,000 photos with it in two years time. Most people complain that their camera failed after a few thousands, but this one, knocks on wood, keeps on going.

Joe Krol Regular Member • Posts: 358
Re: Too damn right its not Important --->

mpgxsvcd wrote:

Where did you buy the camera? What country are you from?

He's from United States / Seattle, WA
--
Joe

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Torchwood Contributing Member • Posts: 831
Re: Too damn right its not Important --->

China and I have taken more than 25,000 photos with it in two years

That's a Poster Child for the reliability of Chinese constructed A600 series cams - if the SX200 is made there then it's looking more like a PLUS point - I certainly woudln't want one made in a factory which is incapable of putting a Pentaprism in a £5000 Pro DSLR in straight !!!!!!!!

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--------> Adam-T

Please ignore the Typos, I'm the world's worst Typist

ScoPie5402 New Member • Posts: 3
Re: Too damn right its not Important --->

As a bit of a related side note the Sx200IS users guide/owners manual is now available for download from the Canon USA site. It had previously been listed but you could not d/l.

OP Ezzelin Regular Member • Posts: 127
Re: Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

Amir5831 wrote:

Would you please check underneath your SX200 and see if it was
actually made in Japan or China. I know, I know is not that
important, and canon quality stays the same regardless of where it
was assembled, but just for the sake of knowing please report back.

Did you check "IS"? Is it working fine, especially at hight focal
points! Thanks a million.

Like others have pointed out, it doesn't matter, but the bottom of mine says Made in Japan. So far I haven't had much of a chance to test the IS much, but if you look at the third shot (the shot in the mirror), it's at 10.4mm (58.24mm 35 equiv) at 1/13 sec exposure and 100 ISO, and it looks pretty sharp to me, so I'd say the IS is working. I'm about to go out and take some more shots in the daylight, so I'll be sure to test the IS more.

Yes, the flash pops up when the camera turns on and stays up until its turned off. I decided that this didn't matter as much to me as I initially thought it would, as it doesn't stick up too far and it at least should give reduced red eye. Yes, it would be nice if it could be retracted manually, but ah well. The other features and image quality more than offset this point for me.

One other feature that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere (although maybe it's on other 2009 Canon digicams?) is that there are blinking overexposed highlights when you look at a picture in the detailed information display in playback mode. That's certainly a nice touch that I didn't expect to see, and somewhat makes up for the lack of a real time histogram (which is indeed not present.) It is worth emphasizing, though, that there is most definitely a very large review histogram, and this can be set to come up as soon as you take the shot, although right now I have it set to focus check which is also quite a handy feature.

I took a few more shots comparing the sharpness modes, and it looks like Sharpness -2 is definitely the way to go, as I expected. The images can be sharpened to the level of Sharpness 0 in post without as many halos, and the files usually come out 200KB or so smaller due to having less noise to compress. Speaking of that, I was a little concerned that Superfine mode was dropped, but even at the default and highest quality Fine mode the camera appears to vary the image size by a great deal if needed. I took one extreme macro of my CRT monitor showing the phosphors (the macro is great) and it ended up as 6,894KB.

Here are a couple more shots I took last night showing the low light capabilities (original files are linked to from the flickr pages):

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ezzelin/3381822771/

Note that on this shot the exposure time is .8 seconds and it was handheld at ISO 400. There's actually still good detail on the bricks in the center of the photo. Even though the shot isn't perfectly sharp, I'd say the IS is working in this case.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ezzelin/3381822923/

Good detail for ISO 400. I'm pretty impressed with this camera's higher ISO capabilities. It has some luminance noise, but not that much. Details seem to be retained fairly well.

Amir5831 Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

Thank you. Photo's are all good, considering some are ISO 400. My A640 does not produce very good ISO 400 images.

Fredy Ross Veteran Member • Posts: 6,812
Re: Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

Where did you buy it? Also do you think there will be a raw fix for this one too?
--
fredyr

21st Hermit Veteran Member • Posts: 5,470
Daylight Photos

Looking forward to some daylight photos and your comments with sun on the LCD display. Can you see anything on the LCD in sunlight?

Thanks

Ezzelin wrote:
I'm about to go out and take some more shots in the daylight

-- hide signature --

Lost in the Colorado Mountains!!!

OP Ezzelin Regular Member • Posts: 127
Re: Daylight Photos

Alright, I went out and took some cloudlight photos (this is Seattle, after all.) Yes, things were decidedly overcast, but it was still daylight nonetheless. The LCD screen was very viewable at the default brightness. It will remain to see how it performs in direct sunlight. However, the screen is very bright, and seems to have a good anti-reflective coating, so I'm not concerned. Also, I took some videos at 720p.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ezzelin/3382162743/

I did an IS test, and I have to report that the IS works very well. This shot was taken handheld at max zoom and 1/30 sec exposure and looks very sharp indeed.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/ezzelin/3382979522/
The same shot with IS off. Much blurrier.

The rest of the shots have been uploaded to flickr, starting at this one: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ezzelin/3382977988/

Again, originals are linked in the descriptions, and shots are taken at -2 Contrast and Sharpness. Here are the mov files:
This movie was taken at full wide angle.
http://www.mediafire.com/?wdllthjlxfe

This movie was taken at full zoom, IS Continuous mode on. IS works fairly well in movie mode.
http://www.mediafire.com/?kd2ndyjudid
For comparison, this movie was taken at full zoom with IS off.
http://www.mediafire.com/?cgliigamncw

RMac Contributing Member • Posts: 503
Re: Daylight Photos

What was the name of the store that you bought your sx200 at?
Pic with image stabilization on looks real good!

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OP Ezzelin Regular Member • Posts: 127
Re: Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

I bought mine at Kenmore Camera, but they only had 4 and one was on hold. I just got a call from Glazer's Camera today, saying that they received some as well, though I don't know how many. Still, neither place will be of much use unless you live in the greater Seattle area. Looks like they are starting to come in here and there, though, so I'd call around.

As far as RAW, I sure hope it gets added on. I think they are working on porting CHDK to the SD990, which uses Digic IV, so my hopes are high. This would also add a realtime histogram, which would be nice.

CarFreak8394 Contributing Member • Posts: 983
Re: Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

Ezzelin wrote:

Well, lucky me, it appears that my local camera shop was one of the
first to get a shipment of a few Powershot SX200s, so I dropped in
and picked one up. I've only had it for a few hours, and even less if
you count how long it took to charge the battery, but I'm already
happy with my purchase. It's small, has tons of features, and has
lots of image quality. I have a small neoprene case that I put it in
and it fits in my front pants pocket.

Here's one thing that I discovered about it that I didn't know: it
does have program shift! However, it's undocumented in the manual and
a little hard to do. Here's how it works: First, you half press the
shutter button. Then, while holding that down, you press up on the
wheel. This locks your exposure (AE lock), or flashes the flash and
locks the exposure if the flash is enabled (FE lock). If you're using
AE lock, you can then spin the wheel and select between different
equivalent exposures if more are available. A little inconvenient,
and I'm not sure how much I'll use it, but it's there, and the
dcresource review said it wasn't (and it isn't in the manual in the
AE lock section, either.) There are grayed out arrows that show after
doing FE lock, so it might be possible then, too, but I've never seen
the arrows anything but gray.

So far, I've only had the chance to play with it indoors, but I'll
certainly go outdoors tomorrow and take some more pictures. One thing
to note: I have custom color set to -2 contrast and -2 sharpness, as
I usually do, to help with post-processing. Here are a few full size
samples from indoors:

http://www.mediafire.com/?jzlit2fy2nd
http://www.mediafire.com/?tjgnenohmiz
http://www.mediafire.com/?m4iliuwywxi

Let me know if you have any other questions or picture requests.

I was just wondering what color you purchased? And by the way, it's nice to see some real world photos/videos from someone who owns such a recently-released camera. Thanks.
--
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tim_degilio/

Tim.
Canon A560
Canon G10 with 4GB Class 6 SDHC Memory Card
Canon SD870IS with 1 GB Sandisk and 2GB Kingston Memory Card
Sony H-50 with 1GB, 2GB, & 4GB Mark ll Memory Cards and Info-Lithium Battery

OP Ezzelin Regular Member • Posts: 127
Re: Just bought SX200, sample pictures and impressions

I was just wondering what color you purchased? And by the way, it's
nice to see some real world photos/videos from someone who owns such
a recently-released camera. Thanks.

I purchased the blue model, as seen in the third photo. I might have chosen the black one, but blue was all they had, and besides, I'm getting a little tired of black anyways. Blue is a nice color.

A couple things more about the image quality: So far, the biggest issue has been the CA, but that's still not that bad. It gets worse as you zoom in, though. One thing to note about the 720p video is that it's extremely high quality. It's the most detailed 720p I've seen on a pocket cameras, and has less compression artifacts and blurring than anything else I've seen. The bitrate averages around 23-24000 kbps, which is very high. Also, custom color settings such as contrast and sharpness can be applied to the video as well, in case you want to post-process the video later. I'm not using it for now, but I did confirm that it works and reduces sharpening halos. I believe the video quality on this camera is common to all the new 2009 Canons that have 720p video, as other sample videos I've seen from other cameras have the same bitrate and quality. Overall, a great performance, despite the lack of zoom. Of course, you can always just stop, zoom, and start again, combining the results later.

Dr Mickey Regular Member • Posts: 166
Re: Any sensor or LCD hot pixels? n/t
n/t
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