Product Type: Canon digital cameras
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Beauty is only skin deep, its what`s inside that counts.
Canon Powershot SX210 IS
Member Name: thebigc1690
Canon Powershot SX210 IS
Advantages: An excellent range of features, good image quality, a well designed flash and much more .
Disadvantages: It ` s not the best looking bless it .
Two weeks ago I was handed a Canon PowerShot SX210 IS, this camera has actually been around since spring but this was the first chance I have had to use one and overall it was a pretty enjoyable experience.
In the past the name Canon conjured up images of thickset black SLR`s or DSLR`s but Canon have been producing very good compacts for a long time too and this one offers much of their DSLR options in a very small frame.
This camera is probably designed to go head to head with things like the Panasonic Lumix TZ10, the Ricoh CX3 and the Sony Cyber-shot HX5. This unit has an enormous 14.1 megapixel sensor as well as a 14X optical zoom image stabalised wide angle lens and due to the very good lens on this camera it can make pretty good use of those megapixels unlike many other compacts.
This is Canons direct replacement for the older SX200 IS which in my opinion had everything you could have wanted apart from good build quality and reliability, in the SX210 IS Canon have definitely sorted this out, this unit feels very sturdy and well built and reminds me very much of a Canon DSLR in that it feels very good in the hand and has enough weight and quality about it so you don't feel that it will break to pieces at the slightest bump.
The body of this new SX210 IS is an all metal one which bumps up the weight when compared to most compacts but trust me it isn't heavy at only 215g and it really will give you peace of mind as an owner of one that it is not going to break if you squeeze it too hard. Although it is stuffed with features and has a very good lens with huge zoom capacity it is still very much a compact camera and measures only 105.8 x 59.3 x 31.9 mm, so no problem with slipping it in a pocket or handbag.
The next thing a lot of people will want to know is whether or not it has stunning good looks, well in truth it is a bit of an ugly duckling, Canon have gone all out for durability and features and forgot about the vanity some people have when choosing their gadgets. I actually think this unit has some pretty sleek lines but in truth there are very many better looking compacts out there but that said I would never recommend anyone buy a camera because it looks good, you need one that performs well and will last and this is one of those.
This camera is a dream for those that would love to set up their own settings when taking photos and would love to try all the advanced features of a DSLR but either do not want to spend the money on one or do not want a camera that size. Although this camera could never be compared to a DSLR it does have many of the features such as an aperture setting so you choose the aperture and the camera gives you the shutter speed you need or you can swap that round and you choose the shutter speed and the camera will set the aperture, or for the brave people out there then there is the option to go completely manual and do it all yourself and there is even an optional manual exposure setting if you really want to get technical but fear not you can also just stick this on auto and let the camera do all the work for you.
I am now going to say something that I never thought I would and that is that this camera can actually shoot decent video footage too. Those of you who have read my reviews in the past will know that when it comes to cameras I firmly believe that camcorders are for video and cameras are for stills and the two should never be combined but as most compacts now do shoot video it is nice to eventually find one that can do it pretty well.
The SX210 IS shoots HD video at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and 30 frames a second, with stereo audio recorded by two microphones on the top panel, and because of the very good lens on this unit it can actually shoot clear video in less than perfect light which is what most compacts fail to do. I found the image quality and sound quality of the videos to be surprisingly good and so if you do like your camera to shoot stills and HD video then look no further this is the only one I have found that does both well.
With this unit you get all the normal settings and features for shooting stills, with a landscape setting, a daylight setting, a macro setting and so on and so forth but you also get something that I have not seen in a compact thus far. The SX210 IS has a fish eye setting, now normally to shoot in fish eye you need a DSLR and a very expensive fish eye lens but here you have a compact that by adjusting a setting can give you the option of catching a pretty decent fish eye shot.
Now I am not going to go into what a fish eye effect photo is or can look like here because this is neither the time nor the place but I will give you this link so you can check out what fish eye photography is all about http://www.digital-photography-school.com/15-fun-f abulous-fisheye-photos Now be warned this camera cannot replicate exactly what you get from a DSLR with fish eye lens but it does give a good effect and can help you create some cool photos your friends will be baffled by and spend forever trying to re-create.
This unit also has all the thing expected of compacts these days such as smile shutter mode, facial recognition and even smart shutter mode, a mode that can be activated by someone in the image winking of smiling, this can be useful if you want to be in the image yourself, simply set up the photo then get into the photo yourself, smile and the camera will take the picture.
The image stabalisation in this camera deserves special mention because it is simply brilliant, it allows you to get a very good hand held shot in poor light or at fairly slow shutter speeds, now this will be different for every photographer and will depend on how steady a hand you have but I was able to shoot as low as 1/8th of a second hand held at wide angle and at 1/60th of a second at full zoom without getting blurry images.
The speed of this camera and the autofocus system should mean that you never miss a shot, it will start up and be ready to use in under two seconds and because the autofocus is very good it can shoot continuously at 1 image per second in good light or 1 image every two seconds in poorer light which for a high zoom compact is very respectable.
One thing I was a little disappointed in with this camera was the battery life, Canon have use a smaller and lighter battery in this unit to bring the weight down and this means that you now only get around 250 photos between charging as opposed to the 400 you could get with the older SX200 IS. I would not let this put you off the camera as a spare battery can be purchased for less than £40 so if you do a lot of shooting between charges this camera can still be an option for you.
The images you get from this camera certainly won't leave you disappointed although they are not without issues, the colours produced are very vivid and the overall detail captured is excellent however there is significant chromatic aberration in the corners at wide angle and visible vignetting (the edges of the frame being darker than the middle) at longer zoom ranges. This may be a problem if you intend to print at very large sizes or sell your images as stock but if you are a typical load to the computer for your own satisfaction or print in 7X5 type of photographer then you will have no problems with the images taken and any problems there are can be rectified in Photoshop with a bit of know how.
Canon have made this available in the typical Black and pink options but also have released a gold version of it, I would of course choose black, the pink is a bit better looking for girls and I am sure would almost always be the female choice but the gold is better left alone, it brings out the cameras ugly side big time and I am sure a silver option would have been the better choice.
My favourite thing about this Canon compact bar none is the flash, it is not on the front of the camera next to the lens at it is in most compacts it instead is built in on top and only pops up when needed, and this allows the Canon SX210 IS to create much less red eye in shots as this is typically caused by the flash being too close to the lens and it offers just an overall better lighting mode as well as being more powerful than the flashes on most other compacts.
THE SX210 IS SPECIFICATIONS:
Brand - CANON
Dimensions - 3.2x10.6x5.9(H/W/D)cm
Megapixels - 14.1
LCD screen - 3 inches
Optical zoom - 14 X
Battery - Rechargeable lithium-ion battery with charger
Image stabilisation - Optical image stabilisation
Memory card type - Dual memory card slot - SD and SDHC compatible
Memory card supplied - No
Internal memory - N/A
Movie mode - 720p high definition video recording
Macro mode for close focusing - Yes
Continuous shooting - Yes
Optical viewfinder - No
Built in auto flash - Yes
Red-eye reduction flash mode - Yes
Self timer - Yes
Slide show playback - Yes
Connection - USB cable supplied
Video out connection - Yes
PC download software included - Yes
28mm wide-angle lens
Intelligent scene recognition
Face detection technology
80-1600 ISO rating
Digic 4 processor
260 shots per charge
All metal body
Time and date stamp
AV out connection
AV cable included in the box
5cm minimum focusing distance
Battery level display
105.8 x 59.3 - x 31.9mm dimensions (W x H x D)
Hand strap included
Hand shake alert
TO SUM UP:
I feel that although this camera will set you back between £210 and £240 depending on where you by it, if you are serious about photography and you want a camera that will last and offer you a whole lot of settings in a very compact space then it is well worth it`s money.
As I have said it is not the lightest but it is small in size but very big in quality, it is not the best looking camera on the market but not the worst either. The instruction manual is very good and allows you to get to grips with the camera and all its settings very quickly and once you have mastered it, the positioning of the controls makes it a very easy camera to use.
If you are reading this on Dooyoo then nip over to Ciao to see the photos I have taken with the unit and you will get a good idea of just what can be done with what is essentially a simple compact camera, and when compared to the cameras in its range it would stand up to them all very well in a fight and knock most of them out with perhaps exception to the Sony Cyber-shot HX5 but then the Sony is a few pounds more expensive.
LOOKS - 5/10
BUILD QUALITY - 9/10
EASE OF USE - 9/10
IMAGE QUALITY - 8/10
FUNCTIONS AND FEATURES - 9/10
VALUE FOR MONEY - 8/10
OVERALL - 8/10
Thanks for reading.
Summary: If you have a couple of hundred pound to spend on a compact then make sure you check this one out.
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