Canon PowerShot MP Digital Camera with 14x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) SX210IS 14.1

Canon PowerShot SX210IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 14x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black)

Canon PowerShot SX210IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 14x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) Rating:
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Product Description

Get closer than you've ever been before to your subject with the Canon® 14.1 megapixel PowerShot® SX210 IS digital camera. It combines a 14x optical zoom with the clarity of 14.1 megapixels for extremely clear, crisp shots.


  • Powerful 14x optical zoom with Optical Image Stabilizer; improved Dynamic mode for enhanced image stabilization
  • 14.1-megapixel resolution for high-quality prints up to 16.5 x 23.4 inches
  • 28mm wide-angle lens; 3.0-inch wide PureColor System LCD
  • HD shooting capability at 720p with stereo sound plus HDMI output
  • DIGIC 4 Image Processor with evolved Face Detection Technology; new scene modes

Canon PowerShot SX210IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 14x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 953 user reviews
Canon Canon PowerShot SX210IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera with 14x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) Get closer than you've ever been before to your subject with the Canon® 14.1 megapixel PowerShot® SX210 IS digital camera. It combines a 14x optical zoom with the clarity of 14.1 megapixels for extremely clear, crisp shots.

10 Responses to “Canon PowerShot MP Digital Camera with 14x Wide Angle Optical Image Stabilized Zoom and 3.0-Inch LCD (Black) SX210IS 14.1”

  1. sevenzeroseven Says:


    I waited for a while to see what was up with Amazon’s release date. I have a huge European vacation coming up in a couple weeks, so I couldn’t wait much longer to get used to a new camera. I surfed on over to Best Buy and there it was…with Free Shipping and I am loving this camera! Best point-and-shoot I have ever owned.

    This is now my third Canon PowerShot. I am by no means getting rid of my SD750 though – great camera, but there is 2x’s the pixel and zoom in the SX210IS. I never thought that I was going to have a point-and-shoot with image stabilization like my Nikon D90 has. The red-eye correction works best if the setting is to reduce DURING the photo taking.

    The 3″ LCD is so clear and so the colors are bright. The video capability is just uhm… WOW! I thought the SD750 took amazing video, but the video this camera takes is mind-blowing. I filmed some of us at our softball training tonight and if I could – I would show you how amazing the videos came out. I am using a 16GB Transcend Class 6 card and the download time was pretty fast. I had about 17 minutes total.

    Zoom zoom zoommm (did that sound like a Mazda commercial?) The zoom was also tested at my softball game. I zoomed in on my friend out in left field and the Red Sox logo was CLEAR! There was a bit of grain, but when I say ‘bit’ – it was so minimal.

    Day photos – vivid, clear, and overall superb quality. Low-light – great quality and the best that I have seen in any point-and-shoot – just let it do the right focusing and you have some decent photos. Night – it was pretty dark before softball was over tonight. I walked over to the dugout and just started randomly taking shots at some objects where it was pitch dark – they came out like it was DAY! I the arranged a softball, bat bag, and glove about 60 feet away from me and zoomed, well – the photo came out clear, bright (but not overdone) and way better than I ever expected.

    I now joke that this camera has higher MP than my DSLR. My Nikon D90 is a 12.1 and this is 14.1 – I honestly never thought that I would have a non-DSLR that had these options, but Canon surely has made a great choice in this area!

    Overall, I am extremely happy with this camera. It was well worth $350 for a compact point-and-shoot. I will be looking forward to seeing more reviews since there are only six (including mine) as of now.

    Hope you enjoyed my review & hope you choose this camera!

  2. Stephen Says:


    Watch Video Here: Update: 7-19-2010 The video that I posted today is to answer questions about the camera’s cycle rate. It is not an overall camera review but a demonstration of how long it takes the shutter to fire and a demonstration of the “wicked fast” continuous mode. I posted the continuous mode photos on my Google Picasa account which can be viewed by going to my Amazon profile page.

    I am a professional motion picture camera assistant and an advanced hobby photographer. I own a Nikon D90 and several other compact cameras. There are times that I wanted to bring a decent camera but didn’t want to haul my SLR kit around with me. I have always felt like I had to make a big compromise until now. This camera captures amazing images for such a compact device. If wanted it also allows for full control of all aspects of your shots including ASA, shutter time and aperture. The HD video it captures is fantastic and it does this without the need to hand focus like my D90.

    The first thing that you will notice when you get the camera is that it is very small. It is the size camera you can put in a belt case and forget you have it with you.

    Controls – I am use to more direct access to the controls but anyone who is familiar with SLR photography can easily navigate the controls without a manual. Amateurs or those unfamiliar with SLR controls have two great options, Auto or EZ mode. You can put this camera into the hands of an inexperienced photographer and if they can compose a shot, and have fundamental consideration of lighting, they can get technically great pictures.

    Colors are accurate with excellent black detail for this price range camera. This camera achieves a level of image quality that was available only from professional SLR cameras a few years ago.

    Once you turn on the camera, you are going to be impressed with the wide end of this cameras lens. For vista shots, it does not show wide lens distortion. For close wide shots, it does show an acceptable amount distortion that is fun to shoot with. When I took this camera on a family trip, I was easily able to hold the camera myself and get all 4 of us in the shot. The only issue that I have with this wide mode is that it will not fully translate in a standard 4X6 print. You will loose the sides of the pictures when you print. I hope that the 16X9 HD ratio will become a standard for future photo prints. Of course you can set the camera to shoot a standard 4X6 print

    The long end of the zoom is equally amazing. The image stabilization seems as good as Nikon’s VR system.

    The SX210is focuses almost as quickly as my SLR Nikon D90 in still mode.

    Contunuous Mode- The camera can record 2 FPS in continuous mode. It is a lot of fun to record action sequences or take a series of photos if you have the need to grab a lot of shots in a short time. I posted a few series of shots on my Google Picasa site that can be viewed through my profile page, or paste:


    Movie Mode – The camera really shines in video mode, it focuses quickly and tracks action well. This Canon camera can continuously focus the image rather than having to press the button halfway to activate focus.

    In video mode, the exposure shifts in steps rather than gradual transitions. In other words, the exposure could be good for a particular scene and as it transitions to a different lighting scenario the exposure clicks to the proper exposure. Dedicated video cameras transition more smoothly between different lighting conditions than still camera shooting in video mode.

    It shoots 720p movies that rival a dedicated video camera. The optical 14X zoom is amazing. This camera could take the place of a stand-alone video camera for many people. The audio quality is good but not fantastic. You can notice the steady shot while shooting videos. It works well until you get to long end of the lens where you will notice that the image jumps around when you try to hold a steady frame. In reality, you would never want to shoot zoomed in all the way.

    Con’s- I’m getting picky here but you should know…

    I would have liked a viewfinder. Shooting in bright sunlight can be difficult with the LCD screen. I also find that resting the camera against your head helps steady shots.

    I wasn’t really crazy about the exposed LCD screen. The screen is made of glass rather than plastic, which is nice. If placed LCD side down it does not rest flat on the screen. It instead rests on the mode rotary dial and the opposite corner of the camera. I wish manufactures would engineer a slightly raised screen bezel to prevent scratches to the screen.

    I think it could have been better if the microphones were in front of, rather than on top of the camera. There isn’t enough separation between microphones to realize stereo sound capabilities. The microphone is very susceptible to wind noise.

    Low light mode is still slightly noisy compared to the D90. Don’t expect a miracle low light camera and you won’t be disappointed. Still it is a lot better than other compact cameras. Please see the low light photo I posted.

    The pop-up flash for the camera is positioned where your left index finger would typically grip the camera. I keep forgetting to relocate my fingers when I turn on the camera. It works well for illuminating snapshots. I have found that it is a bit inconsistent. Sometimes it gracefully lights shots and other times it performs as a typical compact camera flash.


    I really love the camera and would purchase it again if I manage to destroy it or loose it. The zoom range is amazing and very useful. The color this camera captures is realistic and detailed. It is compact, easy to use and fun to shoot. It is not equal to a quality SLR camera but is clearly better than all of the compact camera’s I have used. My impression is it’s in-between quality in a compact body. It definitely sets a new standard.

    If you have any questions or want other information that will help improve this review, please leave a comment. I’d be happy to repost any improvements.

    My review is intended to give a overall consumer impression of this amazing little camera. I could have gone on for pages and there are plenty of professional reviews on the internet if you want to find out very specific information.

    Don’t forget to order a case or SD card when you order this camera as it comes with neither.


    I tried SD cards that ranged from a class 2 Panasonic to a class 10 SanDisk 30MB/s. It didn’t make a lot of difference in the cycle rate the camera was able to shoot at.


    If you get a spare battery get the OEM Canon Battery. I was tempted to save and bought the Lenmar replacement battery. I would suggest you save your money. After the first few cycles it would read full on the camera’s battery indicator but not be able to power the camera.


    The Canon PSC-3100 PowerShot Case for Canon SX200IS Digital Cameras is really too large for this camera. See the posted pictures on Amazon’s consumer photos. I went to an electronics store and tried all of the cases. I liked the Lowepro D-Pods 20 best. Amazon sells it for $9.23 and it’s Amazon Prime too. This case is snug fitting and offers spare battery and card storage. I posted some snapshots and a video.

    Avoid the temptation to put a compact camera unprotected in a jacket pocket. The dust and dirt contained within can work itself into the camera and optics. There is no easy way to address this.

    I posted a video review there also.

    Lowepro D-Pods 20 Camera Case (Black)

    Lowepro D-Pods 20 Camera Case (Black)

    Some sample photos are at my Picasa account that can be found in my profile page.

  3. J. Collins Says:


    Watch Video Here: Before I start, I want to advise you not to be discouraged or offended when you see that your comments have been thumbed down within hours after they have been posted. A few people are tracking this discussion via email and waiting for negative opinions of the SX210 to be posted so they can immediately come here and vote them down. I haven’t yet gotten a firm grasp on one’s motive for doing this, so all I can do is chalk it up to the high price we all pay for having an opinion!


    This camera takes decent photos with one MAJOR exception that I will discuss later. However, it teeters right along the outer boundaries of the point-and-shoot category as it definitely requires you to get to know about ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and various other advanced camera options if you want to take the best photos.

    I am also satisfied with the video quality, although I was expecting better for HD. It seems that the only thing high def about the video is the actual pixel dimensions. It certainly doesn’t produce true high def quality. Instead, it is grainy and lacking in clarity. With digital cameras, unnecessarily high pixel dimensions in video should be sacrificed for better quality. Leave true high def for camcorders and other video devices that can actually take advantage of the technology and keep the digital camera res to 640×480 unless it’s actually capable of true high def. If not, call it like it is and advertise it as “wide screen” since, in reality, that’s really all it is. I’m just trying to help others avoid the same misconception I had when I saw “high def video” since, to me, high def means high def.

    And now for the nitty gritty! I’ve since purchased and returned two SX210s, both of which were notorious for producing the lens shadow phenomenon caused by the position of the flash and the length at which the lens barrel extends from the camera. This combination of poor design implementation creates the potential for the SX210′s lens barrel to actually block the flash, resulting in a shadow of itself being cast in the lower right corner of your photo.

    You might be thinking that all you have to do to is either retract the lens barrel to keep it out of the way if you don’t need the zoom or simply turn off the flash. Both are certainly ideal solutions, but, unfortunately, retracting the lens barrel is not an option and the SX210 does poorly in low-light environments without a flash. The net result is an uncompromising camera that greatly limits itself in the conditions in which it can be used effectively.

    In spite of the fierce opposition you see me faced with in discussions here, I think most of you will identify with the shooting positions I demonstrate in my video review. I am certain that everyone has had those moments when they wanted to pick up their camera on a whim and take a picture of a friend, pet, or whatever other subject happened to be photogenic at the time. With the SX210, however, something so simple as taking a picture of a friend next to you on your couch can result in a fudged photo.

    Summary: I initially chose the SX210 because I simply wanted an all-around good camera. It was a major disappointment to me when I realized that I had to be conscious of where I was standing in order to avoid the lens shadow. Having to retake a photo because I happened to be too close to a wall or couch cushion was largely irritating, especially since this is a point-and-shoot, not a professional-grade SLR.

    I wish Canon implemented smarter design with the SX210 rather than resorting to the numbers game. 14 megapixels with such a small image sensor? Boasting high def video when it doesn’t produce true high def quality? 14x optical zoom with a lens barrel so big it that blocks the flash?

    Canon, let’s do better next time, shall we?

  4. Michael K. Milauskas Says:


    I have little to add to Stephen’s comprehensive review except to say I love this camera as well. So this review will be more of a first impression “gut” feel about this camera.

    I also miss a viewfinder and have the same trouble with my finger getting in the way of the pop-up flash. Both are minor issues.

    I own a Nikon D90 and D300, but I also travel with a small PowerShot as my “pocket camera.” My first was a SD900, followed by an SD990IS (which was a slight improvement). Yet I was never really happy with the image quality of either, and the video was a greater disappointment.

    I was about to buy a top-rated S90, in spite of its age in digital camera terms. Yet I opted to pre-order the SX210IS, as newer is generally better.

    Both the 14.1 MP 14X Zoom are a bit over the top – I’d prefer a wider angle and not so much zoom! Yet no regrets – image quality, color saturation and HD video quality are noticeably better than the SD ELPH series (some costing more than the SX210IS).

    I just bought two 32 GB SD cards and can’t wait to shoot lots of street photos and some video on an upcoming trip to Barcelona. This camera is perfect in places where expensive DSLR or HD camcorder equipment would attract the attention of petty thieves.

    I did have one instance while photographing kids, where the camera simply would not auto-focus. Yet that may have been new-user error, as I had my D90 in the other hand. No problems since.

    When a new HD model of the S90 is released, I’ll likely give away my SX210IS, as I did with my previous PowerShots. I hope it is not soon, as my new SX210IS is the first ever PowerShot that I am truly happy with.

  5. Journeyman Dan Says:


    I’m quite pleased with this purchase. The SX 210is is worth the pennies you put into it. Has pretty good AI for a point and shoot, fair low light pictures and amazing HD movies. I rarely use the flash since it degrades the true-to-life perception in photos, and it performs like a champ. In bright daylight the pictures are extremely crisp and full of color. In low lighting you do notice some noise since the ISO is ramped up to compensate. Using manual settings you can get crisp non-action shots even in low light. Rarely get blur when using the flash even with fast action shots.

    This camera takes amazing video. I’ve used it in the home, and out and about. The focus is a little slow if your moving from close to far objects but the detail is really worthy of being called 720p. It has tons of options for effects and manual control. Quite impressed with the technical abilities of the camera. Definitely has captured memories in detail that I haven’t had with previous cameras.

    I have a Canon fs11 camcorder and the SX 210is takes better quality video in my opinion (fs11 is much faster from turn on to a record though).

    A few cons:

    Low light can produce noise and blur when taking pics. Videos are slightly grainy/noisy but nothing game breaking. Still great detail, its 14mp for crying out loud.

    The focus during videos is a little slow. The manual focus option can actually work faster if you know what you’re doing.

    The Mic doesn’t function well in a windy environment, but works great otherwise. Stereo sound isn’t awesome unless things are to the far right or far left and then you can really hear it.

    The guy that posted about the dark shadow in the lower right is truth. But I’ve only personally found it when taking a macro picture with the flash. Taking a macro you’re better off using natural light or background light anyway.

    For entry level or just needed a good P&S this is a great camera. And for those comparing this to entry level DLSR’s, there’s no comparison. Apples and oranges. Just depends on your take of photography. The SX210is is VERY portable (carry it in my pocket most of the time) and has highly detailed pics and vids every time.

  6. K. Lowe Says:


    I purchased this camera on April 17th and have taken 200 photos in the last week. My battery indicator still has a full charge. The low light and natural light photos are great and I am very happy with my purchase. I was concerned that you only get a basic printed manual and the rest is on a CD. However, after reviewing the manual on my computer, there weren’t any sections that I felt I needed to print out. The on screen menus are easy to follow and the pop-up flash, while somewhat annoying, hasn’t been a problem for me. I do what another reviewer suggested and hold my finger over it when I turn on the camera. It appears to be more fragile than my Fuji Finepix J10 and I find myself being extra careful and gentle with it. But it may just seem so since it cost so much more. I find myself wanting to go on vacation or to the zoo so I can take some really cool photos to compare with my other two cameras (the Fuji and a Panasonic DMC-FZ30). All in all, I am very pleased.

    For those of you wanting a hard shell case to protect this camera, I finally found the right fit in the Case Logic SLDC-202 Compact Camera Case. It will fit your camera perfectly with a hard shell on both front and back, and there is a front pocket for a spare battery and memory card.

  7. Iowadad Says:


    I put a lot of thought and research into picking out a camera this time. I was looking for an all-around family camera for someone who really likes photography and shares a lot of photos. Ultimately, I want a DSLR to get those perfect, professional quality archive photos to blow up and hang on the wall. I knew that the SX210 wouldn’t achieve that but, only being able to buy one camera this year, it still seemed the best all around choice. It does what it does well enough that I’m just excited to have it.

    A lot of reviews of this camera will just say that the image quality is Fantastic and Perfect and such. My review is based on knowing that there are other cameras that could ultimately produce better pictures but that this one is worth getting anyway.

    First off, the image quality is quite nice. Right out of the box, using the auto setting, I’ve been impressed. I have taken some difficult backlit pictures of my kids that were surprisingly beautiful. My old Elf would have been baffled by the light. I shot some flash pictures in near darkness while zoomed across the room and the amount of detail is impressive. I did this in Low Light setting, letting the camera focus with the little red light and hitting the shutter at the right moment. You could actually get usable shots that way. Daylight photos, as expected, are rich and vividly colorful. I’ve posted a backlit photo taken on auto setting, zoomed across the room. I also included a ’tilt zoom’ photo. That seems like it could be a fun effect from time to time.

    And then there are all of the manual controls. I can tell that one could put the effort in with this camera and become skilled at producing better and better shots. I haven’t had access to manual focus, aperture and shutter speed since my old 35mm days. It’s not quite the same to handle as that but the same principles apply. A real photographer could stay busy with this.

    Once I saw that the image quality is acceptable for an expensive point and shoot, the rest of it is a no-brainer. Having all that room to zoom really changes your perspective on the shots you can get. I prefer candid shots of people rather than posing and telling them to smile. This is the perfect stealth camera for that. My youngest daughter got into the habit of posing all the time. You pull out the camera because she’s doing something priceless but as soon as you’re pointing it at her she stops to ham it up. Now I’m taking natural, candid shots of my kids playing in the yard from all the way across the yard. It’s awesome. The only way to do it with my old Elf would have been digital zoom which produces terrible pictures.

    And then there is the video. This thing may cost a lot for a point and shoot but it’s not so much considering that I really don’t need to buy a video camera now. At a recent school event with my daughter on stage I was in envy of the parents with video cameras. But, of course, if they wanted to shoot pictures, they were carrying two cameras. With the SX210, I could zoom in for a perfectly framed, HD shot from the back row. And you don’t even need to switch to video mode. Just hit the red button. Very cool. I was so glad to see that they updated the video function from the SX200. (I owned one of those for a couple of days before returning it.) 14x optical zoom while shooting video is unbelievable. You can track moving objects all over the place. It’s really fun.

    Yesterday was my first full day of shooting with this. I took my daughter to the museum and the park and the SX210 fit pretty comfortably into my front pocket. I recommend using the strap all the time to avoid drops. To me, it’s not ideal in terms of handling. I liked the feel of the SX200 better, for example. But it’s a good tradeoff when you consider the functions and how much camera you’re able to put in your pocket.

    Changing the annoying pop-up flash so you can snap it shut was a big improvement from the SX200. It gets it out of the way, for good, when you’re shooting in daylight and I like being able to shut it off without going into the functions. There are some situations where you’re not allowed to use flash and it’s nice to know for sure that it’s not going to fire. With it snapped shut, you know for sure.

    I imagine the Panasonic and Sony superzooms that compete with the SX210 have their charms as well. But I don’t care about having GPS and I trust the Canon not to be beat in its class in terms of color and overall image quality.

    When I saw that Canon had raised the megapixels, probably, too high for the size of the sensor in this camera, I was prepared to be annoyed. It seems gimicky. 10x zoom and 10 MP wouldn’t have been enough? But, the image quality is still decent and I find myself using all of the zoom. It’s definitely a gimicky camera but they’re fun gimicks. The pictures aren’t DSLR quality but even entry level DSLRs still cost more than this and you can’t stick them in your pocket for a day of touring around. For the price, I’m happy with it and I don’t see anything out there that would have been better for me.

  8. R. Murdock Says:


    First off – background on me and what I was looking for: I would classify myself as an intermediate photographer. I own a Nikon DSLR which I use primarily for low light situations having learned the hardway at my son’s 18th birthday that my old point-and-shoot did a lousy job of photos in low light situations. I am planning a trip to Europe in the fall and simply did not want to lug my Nikon camera around with me along with all the other stuff – like map, dictionary, travel guide – that I would have to take with me as I wandered around whatever town I was in. So I started my search for a really good PNS camera. What was I looking for in the PNS ? My goal in picture taking is to have a terrific photo of what I actually saw. So when I got home and looked at the photo, I would say: Yes, that’s exactly what it looked like when I was there. So onto my criteria: First size. I wanted it to be small enough to fit comfortably in a pocket. Second, confidence that it would take good to great photos under normal (not low-light) conditions. Third, I liked the idea of HD videos of my trip, so I wanted that capability. Fourth and finally, at least decent performance in low light conditions as I expected to frequently want to take photos inside a museum or art gallery.

    The search turned out to be much more difficult than I had expected. Frustratingly difficult I will add. No one camera is loved by all reviewers. So those of you reading this review, who are still searching, I feel your pain. I came to the conclusion that currently there is no perfect PNS that does it all. I would do hours of research on the web and then go to the local camera store to actually play with the PNS cameras that had caught my interest. In the end I concluded that there are 3 or 4 reasonably good PNS cameras out there, but all of them required me to compromise on something I wanted. So figure out what your must-haves are and sort through the available cameras accordingly.

    Obviously I chose the Canon SX210. I have had it about 3 weeks now and have taken about 200 photos and about 6 HD movies. My comments in no particular order:

    1. the Canon does a good but not outstanding job of taking photos under normal daylight conditions. I did play with several photos on my computer and kept zooming in on a particular point to see when the picture would deteriorate. Of course it did eventually, but again, since 8.5 x 11 is the max size I expect for any enlargement, I do not see any problem with the picture quality.

    2. the HD video capability is more fun than I had expected. Again as already noted, the mic’s are located on the top of the camera. Great for recording my commentary, but not so good for recording sounds coming from whatever you are videoing. One other point: the Canon allows you to zoom in while taking an HD video. That’s great, but with 14X optical zoom, the more you zoom, the more susceptible the camera and the video you are taking is to shaking. If you zoom all the way to 14X, I found it impossible to avoid shaking when holding the camera in my hand. At no zoom, there is no problem with shake when taking a video. Bottom line: limit your zooming in when taking a video.

    3. I agree with everyone else that placement of the pop-up flash and the telephoto zoom in-and-out mechanism is NUTS. What were the Canon engineers thinking ? However both are annoyances rather than deal-breakers.

    4. the battery life is reasonable but not outstanding. I never ran out of battery life during a day of shooting photos and the battery re-charges in about 2-3 hours. Not bad.

    5. Speed – I bought 2 Sandisk Extreme III 4 GB Class 6 SD disks. I agree with the suggestions that you have to step up to a Class 6 disk to avoid serious delays when writing the photo to the disk. I also decided against one 8GB disk since I did not want all my pics on one disk. Back to speed – I also turned off the automatic review after each photo taken, and found that improved the speed of the picture taking noticeably. You can also turn on continuous picture taking and take a “burst” of photos if so desired. Bottom Line: speed is fast enough for my needs.

    6. Definitely buy a plastic shield (or cover?) to protect the 3″ LCD screen on the back. The Apple Store has them if you can’t find them cheaper any place else.

    7. The camera feels surprisingly heavy to me. But solid. I guess 14X optical zoom does create some weight.

    8. I set the camera on 9MP pictures since 14MP is overkill for me. I would never enlarge a photo to more than 8.5 x 11 anyway. I left the movie on HD settings however. Dumming down the photos to 9MP also improves the write-to-disk speed BTW.

    9. Expect a serious learning curve with this camera. I printed out the manual from the PDF file and it is 180 pages. Not all was relevant to me and my interests, but still I have spent several hours reading and re-reading sections of the manual. Since I will not take the manual with me on my upcoming trip, I have to know how to manipulate this camera.

    10. The 14X optical zoom is really impressive. While that was not a top consideration for me, having that capability is very cool. You can easily zoom in to an amazing degree on something from a considerable distance away.

    11. Low-light – I am still working on this one and how to manipulate the camera to get the best LL photos. In dim lighting it does OK – by upping the ISO, so you pay a price in the quality of the photo. In the black of night – it does OK if the subject of the photo is not more than 6-8 ft away from you. But I tried a photo at night of the moon shining off the Pacific ocean from my balcony and that did not work. Not a real surprise, but like I said, I need to experiment more in this area.

    In summary – I would describe this camera as being a really solid good versatile PNS. You can put it on full Auto and snap away happily, or switch to one of several pre-defined settings (landscape, portrait etc), or if you are really into it, go all the way to completely manual and set everything yourself. That’s not for me – but you do have that capability. The HD Videos are great, but even a short one takes up about 80-90MB of disk space. And as noted, you are unlikely to pick up the sounds from whatever it is you are videoing. PS: I have never encountered the much discussed problem with lens shadow.

    All-in-all a solid performer in an amazingly small form factor that will do what I am looking for and more on my upcoming trip to Europe.

  9. CC Says:


    Bought this camera to take to concerts. Needed a big zoom, great low light performance, HD video and a lot of battery. Ordered on-line since all local stores had been sold out for several weeks. First Canon I have ever owned. It was worth the wait. Easy to use yet comes packed with every manual feature you could need. The zoom is remarkable. The HD video performed like a much bigger camera. Battery lasts – even with video. Low light pictures are remarkable. If you are looking for a concert camera – you cannot do better.

    The complaints about the flash placement are overstated. It only took a few minutes to learn how to hold it and it is easy to reactivate the flash if your finger holds it down.

    I have only owned this camera for a month and it has already made a big impression. In my camera bag, I will carry my Nikon digital SLR when I can and this little beauty when I can’t.

  10. Rick in Virginia Says:


    I compared this camera to the Panny zs3 (in lieu of the zs7 which wasn’t available at the time), and the Sony hx5v. I did buy and use all three cameras to do this test. You can only go by reviews written by others to a certain point, and then you need to see for yourself. The canon won out after hundreds of photographs were taken and compared among the three cameras. Here’s why:

    1. Panasonic zs3.

    -The overall image quality on the panasonic just wasn’t that good.

    -Low light performance and IQ was very poor.

    -The form factor was good

    -I didn’t like the fact that the battery was expensive, proprietary and had a firmware bit that made 3rd party batteries inoperable, meaning that a spare battery was a $40 expense.

    -Several photography sites have stated that the IQ of the zs7 was not as good as the zs3. Therefore, the zs7 was out of contention.

    -While gps is interesting, I have managed all these years to go without it and don’t believe that it adds much to the package.

    2. Sony hx5v

    -burst mode at a maximum of 10 fps is very nice. The downside is that the camera does in fact take 17+ seconds to process all that data and during that time you cannot take a photo.

    -Hand held twilight is nice, though IQ is average

    -Anti blur motion is also nice, again, IQ is average

    -25mm wide angle (at 35mm equivalent)is nice.

    -Form factor is okay, however, the microphones for the video are poorly placed and are exactly where your fingers fall when videoing.

    -Flash is weak and shows up off centered if you shoot with a wide angle

    -No iris – uses a neutral density filter to achieve an ersatz f-stop. Therefore, you get one depth of field for all photos.

    -With the ND filter, you get only 2 f-stops.

    -Image quality was poor at any magnification. Heavy use of noise reduction obliterates and smears detail in the photo. For desktop viewing and small prints this won’t be a problem.

    -the lcd screen was just about useless in very low light. And since the camera has no view finder, you have to guess what is properly framed or not.

    -poor white balance.

    –While I did take video with the camera I didn’t fully evaluate it since I was not pleased with the stills. However, the low light video at late dusk and around the house was dark and flat and not really viewable.

    - as with the Panasonic, gps really isn’t important to me and I’d be paying for something I don’t see a use for having.

    3. Canon sx210 is

    -good image quality, some noise above ISO 200, but correctable with Neat Image

    -I thought the 14x zoom would be too much, in fact, it is nice to have.

    -It would be nice to have 25mm on the wide angle end and reduce it to 12x on the tele end.

    -burst mode is not too bad with a fast card (SD Class 6)…cycles at 0.7 seconds. Nowhere near as fast as the Sony at 10fps, but gets the job done. Importantly, you can continue to take photos until the card fills and it is never “busy” processing images. So there is a trade off. With the Sony, you get 10 shots in a second and have to wait 17 – 20 seconds to take the next shot. Or with the Canon you get about 4 frames in 3 seconds and you can just keep shooting. To me, that was somewhat important since the photo I might really want could occur soon after I used the burst mode on the Sony and I’d just have to watch it go by.

    -very good low light performance in manual mode or auto mode

    -much brighter lcd screen for viewing in low light. Low light video far better than the Sony.

    -the fact that you can manually close the flash is great in my opinion. Several reviewers have complained about it – however, I like it because when it is closed, it is off. In other P&S cameras, depending on how I would change the shooting mode among program, auto and others, the flash may become active without me thinking about it. And at times when flash is not allowed nothing is worse than having a flash go off. With the sx210, when the flash is off, it is off.

    -video is very good as is sound quality. The hd is in 720p and that is just fine, and when viewed on TV, it looks great.

    -I do think that the form factor could be improved – give me a little something to grip. It’s not bad, but it could be improved.

    -A low light mode is available that pushes the ISO to 3200. It gets the picture, but it is certainly noisy (clean up with Neat Image).

    -somewhere in this camera the cost savings for not implementing gps is made up somewhere else. I think it is image quality.

    The Canon sx210 won out – primarily because of image quality. Some of the features on the Sony were very nice and I had to give it a lot of consideration before keeping the Canon and returning the Sony. But in the end, a camera is all about the image and when taken with the other capabilities of the camera, that nod goes to Canon.

    UPDATE later this same day: While thinking on the burst mode question and thinking of a work-around I experimented and checked the burst mode in different shooting modes, compressions and resolution and found that if you shoot in the low light option (within the scene mode) you can get about 3-4 fps with resolution of 3.5MP. It isn’t 12MP, but it isn’t bad either and the results are quite okay. And outdoors with good light the noise is dramatically reduced due to a high shutter speed.

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