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Canon PowerShot SX10 IS - Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


The SX10 IS is a pretty sophisticated camera, and inexperienced users may find its array of external controls somewhat daunting. For the more advanced user however it provides a welcome degree of creative control. The main mode dial includes aperture and shutter priority, program auto and full manual exposure, with shutter speeds of 15 seconds to 1/3200th sec. and aperture settings from f/2.8 to f/8 in 1/3 EV increments. The maximum aperture decreases fairly evenly with increasing focal length, until at maximum zoom there is only a one-stop difference between minimum and maximum. Aperture and shutter control are adjusted via a rotating bezel around the D-pad accompanied by a very clear display on the monitor.

More and more high-end digital still cameras are featuring integrated high-quality video recording capabilities, and this is a prominent feature of both of Canon's new super-zoom cameras. The more expensive SX1 IS features full 1080 HD 30fps movie recording, but the SX10 retains the 4:3 aspect VGA 30fps video function of the S5 IS. It has stereo audio recording via two high-quality microphones mounted above the lens. Thanks to its whisper-quiet ultrasonic motor the zoom lens can be used while shooting video, and clip lengths can be up to one hour long or 4GB in file size. There is a separate button to start video recording, and pressing the shutter button while shooting captures a still frame. The quality of the recorded video is very good, and the sound quality is also superb, possibly the best I've heard from a still camera.

The SX10 IS has a 2.5-inch flip'n'twist LCD monitor with a resolution of 230,000 dots, which is average size for a recent compact. The screen is nice and bright with good contrast and colour, and its anti-glare coating means it can be used outdoors in bright daylight without a problem. It also has a wide viewing angle, but it is fully articulated so you can tilt it to any viewing angle, including pointing forwards towards the subject.

The SX10 also has an electronic viewfinder, but with a resolution of 235k dots on a 0.44-inch screen it's not even close to being sharp enough for manual focusing. The dots are clearly visible, like looking close up at a colour TV. I'm afraid that after experiencing the ultra-sharp field-sequential EVF displays in the Fuji S100FS and especially in the Panasonic G1, anything else is looking a bit last year.


January 23, 2009, 11:02 pm

I bought one of these just before christmas, couldnt wait for you review, as i do trust your judgement. On my first hand experience on this camera I would agree with your findings, but add a few things.

Movie mode is excellent, same is the ability to zoom and get a blur free picture thanks to the IS, which also works in said movie mode

The selection wheel is a pain, more like a wheel of misfortune, when moving it either does nothing or moves too far, it has no clicks and works like a moody teenager

camera is a little bigger than expected, annoying doesnt come with a printed manual (pdf only) or even the tiniest sd card for test, does have 4 alkalines and the cheapest mini usb cable i have ever seen.


January 24, 2009, 7:29 pm

It looks like a superb camera with the best picture quality I've seen from ultrazooms in its class (with the Sony H50 in second). The only real negatives (for me) are its size and weight.


January 25, 2009, 5:05 am


IMO Sony H50 is easily beaten by Panny FZ28 (both in terms of IQ and user-friendliness).

SX10 IS looks nice (almost DSLR-like), is loaded with tons of features, but lacks RAW.


January 31, 2009, 7:26 pm

Where is the Review for the Canon SX1 IS?!


February 1, 2009, 10:23 pm

What's your preferred choice? This, or the Panasonc FZ28?


February 4, 2009, 6:41 am

I bought it at 260 USD. I think it's of great price and value.


May 5, 2009, 9:31 pm

I have for a few weeks now been contemplating buying this camera and have written down lots of stores on-line prices. Now we come to the pure greed of UK suppliers, including my favourite, Amazon. they have ALL stuck on from between 㿅.00 to over 㿔.00 on this camera--why you ask? Well Canon are doing a 㿞.00 cash-back on this camera. These greedy stores just hate to see anyone getting something do they not? Not a review of course just my feelings on the greed of UK camera sellers and worth a mention here. Give them all a miss until offer ends and watch them tumble the prices.


August 13, 2010, 11:33 am

After 1.5 years of easy use of my Canon SX10 IS, the camera has thousands of bad CCD pixels (one vertical line + some standalone). Repairing costs the 85% of a new SX20 IS, though I will not buy a new one nor have the old repaired. I will look around at other brands.

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