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I purchased the Canon Powershot SX200 in red, over a year ago and it's definitely one of my best buys. I bought it online for the bargain price of £240 (including the £40 cash back offered by Canon), after reading lots of great reviews. It's not the cheapest compact camera I've ever bought but it gives fantastic value for money.
As a novice nature macro photographer I specifically chose this camera for its amazing macro function which allows you to focus on objects 0.5cm away from the lens. Perfect for plants and any little creatures which don't mind you getting too up-close and personal!
The zoom was also a reason for choosing this camera. At 12x it is one of the best you'd find on a compact camera. The 12.1 megapixels and anti-shake technology also mean you can crop photos to about a quarter of the size even when taken at 12x zoom. It has proved itself on safaris, when the vibrations from the engine of the vehicle coupled with the distance of the animal, and the fact that it is usually moving, means a blurry shot is course for par. Not however with the Canon Powershot SX200. Everyone always comments on the length of the lens for such a little camera and then is amazed with the clear pictures it produces.
The colour balance and intensity of the photos this camera takes are particularly good. Sunset pictures look incredible and this camera has a knack of making rainy dull days look like the middle of summer if you choose the vivid colour setting. Everyone always comments on how vivid and sharp the photos turn out.
It is packed with functions, all on an easy to use wheel located on top of the camera. From easy to fully manual there's something for everyone. I've progressed from using solely fully automatic functions to taking shots with aperture, shutter speed and colour balance all manually set by myself. It's been a great way to learn photography through experimenting, but always have the auto functions on backup for a guaranteed good shot.
Some of the other functions include colour selectivity (both on video and shooting mode), face recognition and HD video recording. The high quality and long time length of this latter function really surprised me. This camera also has some very nice viewing functions, for example the way it automatically rotates the picture you are viewing, when you rotate the camera. As you'd expect, all the usual functions such as time delay, adjustable flash brightness and automatic time out are present too.
I've no doubt this camera would take amazing photos underwater, with all of its manual settings. However, Canon does not make an underwater housing for this model (possibly because of the annoying pop up flash) so unless you are willing to trust generic housing I would not choose this model specifically for underwater photography.
The 3 inch LCD screen makes for great editing and viewing of your pictures. I'm often travelling without access to a laptop so I do nearly all of my editing on the camera itself. You can make all the usual changes (cropping, colour balance, exposure) you would on a simple photo editing suite, saving lots of time.
The battery life is incredible. Using it daily I only need to charge it once a fortnight. And it will allow me to take 2455 photos on the highest quality setting, which is more than ample before needing to upload them. And when I need to, it takes less than one hour to recharge the battery.
It is slightly larger than a normal compact camera, but the extra weight and size are not really noticeable when using the camera. The only issue was trying to find a protective case to keep it in, as Canon does not supply one with the camera. Most standard cases available were just a tiny bit too small and as a result I ended up using an old leather case I already owned. It does not provide much protection to the camera but I have dropped it and bashed it about on many occasions and it still works perfectly, without a scratch on it. It's obviously built with durability in mind.
The only issue I had with my Canon Powershot SX200 was when a grain of sand got stuck in the retractable lens cover mechanism, leaving the lens cover permanently open. However I sent this away to Canon as it was under the one year warranty and they fixed it and posted it back to me within a week free of charge. However the camera did come back with an additional problem - a 'fatal lens error' - meaning I could not turn the camera off and it became stuck in the mid lens position. I sent it back to Canon and they apologised profusely and fixed it in record time again. I have had no problems in the six months since then. I would point out though that this 'fatal lens error' does seem to have happened to a lot of people as I noticed when searching internet forums for a solution to the original lens problem I had. I'm hoping there are no problems that need fixing now the warranty has expired, as I discovered from my Canon repair receipts that the new parts required cost £140 alone.
I'd specifically recommend this camera for anyone who loves to take pictures on holiday. With the amazing zoom and macro function coupled with the manual options, it performs nearly as well as SLR cameras but with a fraction of the weight and bulkiness you'd have to put up with all the lenses you'd need for such versatility. All in all I have been very pleased with the Canon Powershot SX200 and would recommend it to everyone starting out in photography with a mid-range budget.
Take a look through the lens of this ultra stylish, high spec compact camera. With a 12x Optical Zoom and 12.1 Mega Pixels, it certainly is a cut above the rest in compact technology. It has a large 3" LCD screen, with fantastic, simulated detailed picture quality, and although perhaps not the lightest overall size, I find it suits it's substantial chunky feel.
The 'red' colour seems a little more 'pinky' to me, but that simply came as an extra bonus in this overall great package. The Canon boasts Scene Detection technology as well as Motion Detection, Noise Reduction and Face Detection technology.
After waiting very patiently with my little box of goodies all the way home from the shop, I finally landed home and carefully opened the box to find everything I needed to get going, including a browny coloured wrist strap, well matched to the colour of the camera itself, a battery charger and battery pack, AV cable, Interface cable and software (CD-Rom) along with a million (ok maybe not quite) getting started booklets, in various languages. So obviously before I came to finding 'English' I'd already done 90% of what I needed to do to get it switched on and off I went....
Firstly I started taking pictures indoors, checking out face recognition on the kids, getting them to dance and jump around the living room (whilst being looked at strangely by the children as if I'd quietly gone mad!) testing the motion detection, which seemed to work well together with the face detection too! However, I soon felt a little disappointed with the picture, it seemed dark, drab, unnatural and dreary, I looked up some reviews and realised in unnatural light, it really did need to be on the 'P' setting and set manually. I'm glad I did, it worked out great and after comparing 'Auto' and 'Manual' pictures I was quite impressed but felt it was a little too complicated for perhaps a novice to pick up and enjoy.
After then playing with the video for a while, trying to stop my children standing shouting cheese while filming! I then took it out into my garden and took various pics of my marigolds and tulips using the optical zoom. Then I was in my element, great results outdoors, beautiful picture quality and bags of fun.
The next day I went out and took it to my local boatyard, with again fabulous results in the glorious sunshine, and I even managed to gain my husband's interest as we started fighting over who should use the camera!
A must for anyone wanting a lot more than a bog standard compact, yet a little less to carry round than a DSLR. Certainly worthy of my vote!
Fed up with my older point and shoots, I wanted something that was closer to the top of the range for compacts, without being excessively expensive, or moving into the Digital SLR realm.
After many hours perusing review sites, I finally weighed up my options and plunked for this model. In the end, I even got it for a good deal at the time (£200).
As for the camera itself, I was not disappointed. The zoom is the stand out feature, and it was what attracted me to it. This feature does not disappoint. 12x optical zoom is rather impressive for a compact, and no loss of picture quality is experienced the further in one goes.
Turn on time and shutter speed are quick too. Each mode caters for any particular setting one would ever find themselves in, and while the images are not super super sharp, they are very crisp and almost professional looking. Battery time is quite good too. There are also the additional options of aperture control and shutter speed.
This all combines to make a very accessible, affordable and effective camera. It is not out of the world spectacular, but it is one of the best digital point and shoots out there. The massive zoom, as I already said, is the big selling point.
I got this camera for Christmas and I am really impressed. I was looking at the Canon Ixus 100 is but it was a little small for me really. My partner bought me this and the photo quality is amazing. He has a Sony DSLR which I have used and like but the settings on my new Canon gives me similiar control like what a DSLR would. Other advantages, it has an easy shoot setting for those occasions where someone else might take a photo for you. The zoom on the camera is excellent. It also has blink detention which I've not come across before. The screen on the back of the camera is a large 3inch screen. Shooting video in HD is also a plus. Definitely wouldn't bother getting a video camera in addition to a standard camera with this you have both in one!
Having read other reviews the only negative I could agree with is the flash which pops up but I'm only worried about this breaking in the future - I can't say it irritates me though.
I got this camera after being a little disappointed with a Sony compact (DSC-WX1) and it was a little cheaper than the Sony. I paid £225 for mine.
The actual camera is a little bigger than I expected. This is not one of those tiny Ixus compacts and is also larger than the Sony X1 which I returned. However, it does feel a lot better built, apart from the flimsy flap on the side which covers the USB and HDMI port. By mentioning the HDMI, I have already given the game away, this shoots HD video alongside taking rather good photos.
The video first then... it shoots in 720P, so perfect for really nice looking video and also a good partner for YouTube uploads too (which is where most of my video ends up). It does have a 12x optical zoom, but when shooting video you cannot use it. Instead you can only digitally zoom up to 4x. I tried this and was disappointed, as the video footage blurs and pixelates. You can get away with a little bit of what I call adjustment zoom though, without losing too much quality. The trick though is to pre-zoom. To do this, you find your subject, zoom in, then start recording. By doing this you can achieve the 12x optical zoom and a crystal clear recording. The video quality is superb, I am very impressed. The sound is good too, far better than I expected.
Taking photos is equally as good. You get 12 megapixel images, with loads of detail and a nice natural colouring to them. Even in darker areas they resolve a lot of detail. So as a regular camera, the SX200IS performs well. Just to confirm the 'IS' stands for Image Stabilisation, which is very handy when using that massive 12x zoom. It really works well and steadies the shot.
One other minor problem, is the flash. When you turn on the SX200 the flash pops up and you cannot push it down with your finger. The only way to get it to go down is to switch the camera off and it electronically goes in. The positioning of the flash is right where you hold the camera. You do get used to it, but Canon need to give this camera a firmware update, so the flash only pops up when needed.
Battery life is great, I got well over 300 photos and about an hour of video from one charge. It is supplied with a charger, so you recharge the battery outside of the camera. I like this, as you can always have a spare charged up for when you need it. In fact I picked up an Energizer battery for the SX200 for £10 delivered. It also uses SD and SDHC memory cards for storage, which is good as they are the most common, so again fairly cheap to pick up.
So apart from the lack of optical video zoom and the annoying flash positioning, the SX200IS is exactly what I was looking for. Great photos, great videos and loads of control. Well done Canon.
I bought this camera recently as I purchased a Canon EOS1000D DSLR and I wanted a compact digital with a large zoom for the times when I didn't feel like lugging the DSLR and all it's accessories around with me.
I'd looked around at other models, and I know that there are many other cameras that offer a much higher zoom, but I finally settled on this one for a number of reasons.
a) 12 million pixels. This is more than I'll probably ever need as it's very rare that I print anything above 8x10 but it was an upgrade on my previous digital compact.
b) 12x optical zoom. This is more than adequate for general photography, any more and I think you do probably need a tripod.
c) NB-5L Li-Ion Battery. This is just a personal preference but I prefer the rechargeable Li-Ion batteries. It's fairly cheap to buy a couple of spares and I find it less fiddly when you are taking photos and need a quick battery change.
d) SD-HC memory cards. I already have several of these for my DSLR which is convenient and means any of my cards can be used in both of my cameras.
e) HD video capability of 1280x720. This wasn't majorly important but with the memory cards being so cheap then it's a bonus to have the capability of recording video. Quite good when you are on holiday or at a family gathering and want to record some video but don't want the hassle of a separate camcorder.
Finally, I took advantage of a Canon promotion which gave £40 cashback on this particular model. I'd already decided on this camera so the cashback was a nice bonus. All in all, it cost £234.55 including delivery from Jessops.com.
After a few weeks of use I'm finding that I really like this camera. It's not as small as some compacts but if you manage to get hold of a Canon case then you can fit the camera, spare battery and a couple of cards inside it quite easily.
It is 10cm wide, 6 1/2 cm high and 3cm deep (excluding zoom), and has a metal body which feels quite sturdy. It sort of curves outward on one side so you can get a decent grip and hold the camera steady.
On the top of the camera body there is the on/off switch, dial with all the different modes (auto mode, easy mode, portrait, landscape, night snapshot, kids and pets, indoor, sunset, video, manual mode, aperture priority, shutter priority and program mode), and the shutter release button which also controls the zoom.
The back of the camera is mainly taken up by the 3 inch viewscreen which does make framing shots very easy. There's a menu button, display button which turns the information on the screen on and off, flash on/off function, macro button, delete and self timer button, function set button and a manual focus dial.
On a standard 4GB SD-HC card at 12 million pixels you get get around 1145 pictures when using the 'fine' compression mode. If you choose 'normal' then you get around 2339 pictures. There are options to record at 8 million pixels, 5 million pixels, 2 million pixels, 0.3 million pixels for sending pictures via email and a Widescreen option for wide size prints. Given that I paid £6.99 for my 4Gb Sandisk Ultra memory card I think this is excellent value for money. If you get a couple of cards then you can happily snap away for ages! I'd say there is a slight delay in writing to the card though, so action shots could be a bit of a problem.
The quality of the pictures is excellent, even at lower resolution although you shouldn't really need to change it from the highest quality unless perhaps you are uploading pictures to the internet and are restricted by size. You can print up to A2 size photos (59.4cm x 42cm).
The card/battery cover is at the bottom of the camera and you can attach a tripod to the camera if you wish. If you don't have a card reader you can use a USB cable to connect this camera to your computer and there is also the ability to use an HDMI cable to hook it up to your TV and show your pictures that way.
My only two niggles are that it doesn't have any internal memory (so don't forget your card whatever you do) and the flash pops up when you switch the camera on whether you want to use it or not.
Overall I really like this camera as it's got lots of pixels, lots of zoom and feels well built with a sturdy metal body. For holidays, school plays, football matches etc you can't go far wrong with this camera.