Pros This camera is similar to previous models from Canon (SX210), but a little better. 14 megapixel resolution, 14x zoom, and good manual and automatic controls. It's easy to use and takes nice pictures. Video looks great. Made in Japan, not China.
Cons The metal case is nice but scratches if you drop it. Since it's made in Japan it costs a little more than competitors made in China, but you get what you pay for. Size is about 30% larger than the smallest cameras.
Summary If you want a pocket size camera with top resolution (14 megapixels) and a good lens (wide angle and 14x zoom) then this Canon model is a good choice. This camera has a nice zoom, has manual controls, and takes great still and video pictures, but without the clunky large size of SLR format cameras.I was asked if I work for Canon. No, I do not. I teach at Los Angeles City College, and run a local ISP called brandx.net. I just like the camera. You can find more about me by searching for my name on Google. I use a camera for work so I don't mind paying a little bit extra for quality. I bought this camera pretty much the first day it came out, at Frys in Manhattan Beach, about a week before the official launch date. I spent several weeks researching before making my choice. Since then I've used it a bit more, and my initial impressions were confirmed. I just got back from a week in Maui. I took the camera with me everywhere and got really nice pictures. So, thumbs up on this one. It's a really nice camera. There are other really nice cameras on the market. But for those who want the features of an SLR, but need something that will fit in their pocket, this seems to be about the best currently on the market.
If you want a 14x zoom in a small package, this narrows things down to Canon and Panasonic,, which makes a model with virtually identical features. For example they have a ZS7 with 12 mp and 14x zoom. The Panasonic/Lumix seems to be a great camera, with a nice lens and features, but I decided after much agonizing to spend a few extra dollars and buy the Canon. It's been a good choice. It's easy to use and the picture quality is very nice. I probably would have been happy with the Panasonic too.
The size is about 30% larger than the smallest pocket cameras from Canon, Panasonic, Sony etc. That's because it has more in it. Instead of a 4x zoom it has a 14x, and it has a bright 3 inch screen, various control dials and buttons, and it has a hefty solid, metal feel. It's still pretty small.
I also looked at a number of the ultra-small pocket cameras including Canon, Sony, and Panasonic. Resolution of 14 megapixels is the same for any of this latest generation, and they all make very small, attractive cameras or about $200.
For example, the Sony DSC-W330 and DSC-W350 offer nice features in a very small package. If you want 14 megapixles, shoot only automatic, don't need a big zoom (only 4x) and don't mind that the camera is made in China, then that might be a nice choice. I've had good luck with Sony in the past. The Panasonic DHC-FH20 offers virtually identical features and is also very nice. Canon offers the SDI1400is which also looks pretty good.
The downside is that in order to make the cameras very small they have done away with most of the controls and you don't get much of a zoom. The size is really amazing but I wanted to be able to control the lighting and I wanted a better zoom. So I decided to get one of the slightly larger models.
Also, cameras from Sony and Olympus are made in China. I've owned Chinese models from both of these manufacturers and frankly I'm not impressed. Old Olympus cameras made in Japan were finely crafted instruments that took really great pictures. My old Sony (made in Japan) was great. But the new stuff from China is served up in vacuum bubble packs that hang on the racks at the marketing superstores and the quality just isn't there.
It's hard to figure out where cameras are made from the reviews. Some companies make new models in Japan and then move production of older cheaper models to China. So even if you know the model you can't be sure of the country of origin. You pretty much have to go into a store and look. Check the bottom of the camera and it may say. Otherwise, ask the store clerk to get you the box and read the fine print. it's always there. Most manufacturers have some models made in Japan and some in China. The difference in quality is noticeable.
Updated on Apr 7, 2010
Pros Very well built, many custom features and manual controls for the advanced/pro photographer, good panoramic stitching, great overall performance, and a nice video quality with smooth zooming. Comes with lithium ion rechargeable battery and charger.
Cons For it's quality performance at around $250 there isn't much to complain about. As for the pop-up flash issue it's really insignificant & it's an easy solution. If your expecting the overall performance to be of a Pro DSLR than I suggest to get one.
Summary I am generally a Nikon diehard for their outstanding image quality but I have been disappointed with their pocket camera line as they have not introduced a comparable camera to the SX 210 with manual controls, so it was a tough decision between the Canon SX 210 and the Panasonic ZS7. Both models are neck to neck in overall performance for the money and with both having pros and cons. I am a big fan of Carl Ziess lenses which are one of the best in the world but on the ZS7 it only stops down to F/6.3 loosing some close-up focus unlike the SX 210 canon lens that has greater depth at F/8. The images may appear little sharper on the ZS7 and thats mostly because they have squeezed the histogram by increasing the image contrast but the downside to that is it losses the highlight and shadow detail color. A higher contrast image captures are usually more difficult to correct afterwards than an image with more even tone. The SX 210 captures pretty much a full tonal range and it allows you the option increase or reduce the contrast as you please in the function menu set-up. The GPS feature I didn't care for much but I did like the RAW image capture feature in the ZS7 which allows you process and convert image formats without compression afterwards. The video was also very sharp by the increased contrast in the ZS7 but it had a number of issues that went along with it such as light streaking across the movie image every time a street light or a high reflective object entered the frame. The Lumix ZS7 originally got me very excited and I was almost sold on it but at the end it fell a little short against the SX 210.
In my final decision I stepped up to the Canon SX 210 from the SX 130 and it's a huge difference, it's worth every penny. If you love the flexibility of manual controls and the ability to override all the programmable settings independently in TV, AV, M, P, and MOV, then the SX 210 by far is the best overall compact camera under $299. The picture quality is very good and it's capability of panoramic stitching was impressive. The lithium ion rechargeable battery and charger which comes with the SX 210 makes it a sweeter deal. The video quality for a still camera is also good but if you are looking for higher quality movies to playback on large flat screens then i suggest to get a real HD camcorder. Overall in it's class for the money the SX 210 is the best choice for a pocket camera and of course the further you reach in your wallet there are better cameras to buy.
I have been a professional digital studio photographer since '95. I have used 50MP digital cameras worth $50,000, I have used 10MP DSLRs at around $2000, and even used the earlier 3MP pocket cameras for around $750 that never even had a fraction of the features you can get now for $150, so I can honestly say that every system has it's pros and cons but out of all the cameras I have owned the SX 210 overall is the most impressive with it's great features for under $299. For anyone who says they were expecting allot more performance for that money should truly get a reality check, so if your expecting the quality performance to be equivalent of a Pro DSLR than I suggest you get one. The SX 210 is not only a great bang for your buck but it's also a great camera for more advanced shooters. Most negative camera reviews from point-and-shoot consumers are usually resulted from user errors and not necessarily from the camera itself despite the pop-up flash issue which is really insignificant in comparison of the camera's full capabilities. Yes, the possibilities are there that you could get a lemon with any digital camera but your'e always safer buying a trusted brand name.
Pros The main focus of this camera is i think the lens which can go to 14X optical zoom you can take amazing shots with the monster of a lens.The picture quality is amazing and you can have pro shots with the manual mode.Video is fullHD and performs well.
Cons Main drawback of this camera is the flash which is really very very annoying, if you want flash then your forced to hold the camera in awkward positions. Screen quality couldve been better and i keep wishing it was a touchscreen...
Summary This camera is a great all rounder giving all the modern features like HD shooting and the 14Xoptical zoom and 56X digital zoom means that nothing is too far away and is loads of fun to try and shoot far off objects that you practically cant see with your eyes and just staring at the detail in the picture taken by your canon.. picture quality is amazing as well there is a slight lag in shutterspeed but ive had the same problem with all of my compact digicams so its just an inherent defect in the basic design in all cameras.. its size is reasonable for the performance you get considering majority of the space is taken by the lens.. the manual mode can take some truly awe inspiring pictures and is great fun to change the setting sand play around... HDMI direct port is convenient and you can hook it up directly with your HDTV.... the main drawback is just the flash which is annoyingly placed but you can always push it back down .... all in all its just an amazing compact camera for amazing shots which i highly recommend to be one of the stars of Canons showcase..
Pros - Amazing picture quality and detail
- Abundance of preset and manual settings
- HD (720p) video
Cons - Slow between pictures
- Auto pop-up flash a bit of a nuisance
Summary This camera has all the bells and whistles you can ask for in a compact digital. I'm thrilled with the quality of photos and the video isn't too bad either. I do wish the camera was faster frame to frame, especially in continuous shooting mode.
Pros 14 megapixels resolution & good options, including a nice zoom and special effects.
Cons Quality of still images are most disappointing. Bought camera after reading review & comments, but I am most disappointed that still images are not as sharp as I get from my old & simple point & shoot Kodak Easy Share LS743, w/ 4 megapixels ca
Summary Overall, I like the different options and especially the SCN options. However, I expected sharper digital still images from this camera, especially after reading the review and user comments. If there is a way to improve the quality of images, please post.