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Canon PowerShot SX200 IS review



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Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • Canon PowerShot SX200 IS
  • PowerShot SX200 IS 12.1 Megapixel Compact Camera - 5 mm-60 mm - Black (7.6 cm 3" LCD - 12x Optical Zoom - 4000 x 3000 Image - 1280 x 720 Video - HDMI - PictBridge)


Our Score:


Up until about 18 months ago, if you wanted a pocket-sized compact camera with a decent zoom range, you had a simple choice; either a Ricoh R-series or a Panasonic Lumix TZ-series. The latter especially proved to be very popular, particularly the excellent TZ5, helping to place Panasonic at the top of the compact camera market and prompting several other manufacturers to try and get in on the "travel camera" action. Canon's first attempt was the PowerShot SX100 IS, followed last Autumn by the SX110 IS, both of which had all the right features and an affordable price tag, but lacked the TZ5's compact shape and robust build quality. Other rivals include the Olympus mju 9000.

Earlier this year Panasonic launched the expensive but superb Lumix TZ7 to wide acclaim, featuring a 12x zoom lens, 3-inch monitor, 10MP sensor and its knock-out punch, HD video recording with stereo audio. However Canon has just launched a potential rival in today's review camera. The new PowerShot SX200 IS features a 12x zoom lens, a 3-inch monitor, a more powerful 12.1-megapixel sensor and HD video recording (although only mono audio). It matches the TZ7's hefty £290 price tag, but can it really match it in performance?

There's no doubt that it looks the part. Canon has refreshed the appearance of all of its camera lines with its new spring launches, and the SX200 looks totally different to the previous SX models. The body is made of plastic with aluminium panels front and rear, and the build quality is generally very good, although it does creak a bit if squeezed. Contrary to what you may have read elsewhere the tripod bush is metal, as is the battery hatch hinge, which is usually a good sign.

It's a good looking camera, a clean and modern design with an attractive matt-metallic and chrome finish, and is available in red, black or blue. The body shape is comfortable and secure to hold and the controls are sensibly laid out and accessible, but it's not a particularly small or lightweight camera. It measures 103 x 60.5 x 37.6 mm and weighs 243g ready to shoot (5mm thicker and about 14g heavier than the TZ7) so you couldn't in all fairness call it pocket-sized, but it wouldn't take up much room in a bag or backpack.


May 16, 2009, 2:01 pm

Great to see this review today. I'm literally waiting for my sx200 IS to arrive, hopefully the driver will get here soon. I think it's worth mentioning that Canon are running a cashback till 3rd June. http://www.canon.co.uk/mayp... I just ordered mine from amazon for £270, so final cost = £230. This gives it a considerable (if temporary) edge over the TZ7


May 16, 2009, 4:32 pm

Well, as usual, City Link have failed to deliver my camera today. The online tracking says they've left a card, but of course I've been in all morning and they haven't even tried to deliver. Typically dishonest of them. So no SX200 IS for me till Monday. Why couldn't amazon have used royal mail?


May 16, 2009, 5:50 pm

It's nice how Canon sees the target market of this camera as too stupid to figure out that when you need some flash, you push a button to pop it up. So now you're stuck with it popped up all the time, whether you want it or not.

It also needs to be mentioned that at full zoom, the lens extends to nearly twice the length of every other camera of it's type, including Panasonic's TZ series. This doesn't make it look very discreet when taking a telephoto shot..


May 16, 2009, 10:21 pm

How does this compare to the Canon Ixus 990IS which is also 12 megapixel with Hd video? Whats the difference between the models?

tom 6

May 17, 2009, 9:17 pm

when are you going to review the Sony Cybershot DSC-W290

Cliff Smith

May 18, 2009, 10:03 pm

The most obvious difference between the SX200 and the new IXUS 990IS is that the latter only has a 5x zoom lens. I've requested loans of both the 990IS and Sony DSC-W290, so hopefully I should be able to review them within the next few weeks.


May 25, 2009, 9:41 pm

Personally, I wouldn't let the flash issue be a dealbreaker. I had a 35mm Olympus mju zoom back in the day, which had the same feature, and it was never an issue. I'm thinking about a 'big zoom compact' like this, instead of a 'mega zoom bridge' but the only thing that puts me off the compact type, is the unique battery which is usually dear to replace and can't be replaced with non-rechargeables when out and about.


June 1, 2009, 3:16 pm

Chris, go for the canon above any panasonic. If you do it quick you'll get 40 quid off, and the nb5l batteries are everywhere, get some legit ones from 7dayshop.com for a fiver. Panasonic's batteries are all chipped so you'll be looking at £35 each. With canon it's no problem. Likewise usb / car chargers are all a few quid


June 8, 2009, 9:50 pm

I bought the SX200 IS and sent it back in favour of the Panasonic DMC-TZ7.


1. That stupid pop-up flash. Reminds me of a Kyocera FS3 that I had.

2. Unable to use the Optical Zoom during video. What on earth were Canon thinking of.

They have had the ability to do this since the TX1 was launched over 2 years ago

and that was on Digic III.

3. Monorial Sound, why would you want Mono sound with 720P HD video, mad.

4. No AVCHD Lite video option, so better make sure you have a pocket full of class 6

SDHC cards availible.

No wonder Canon are giving a £40 cashback on the SX200 IS, they want to get rid of them asap, so they can deliver an competitor to the TZ7.


June 30, 2009, 2:49 pm

I both it in a hurry. I was waiting for Sony T900. I was impressed with the zooming power. So I went for it. The snaps are fairly good which is common for any camera in the same or less range. The flash is really a pain in the neck. The stabilizer is working well. The mono on video is another negative. Over all, is not as bad as negatively reviewed on other web sites & users.


August 23, 2009, 3:25 am

Be careful - I purchased this camera - it has major flaws in zoom and vdeoing. You can start recording at no zoom and going to 4 x Optical or you can start recording at 12 x Optical and 4 digital (48 times) - zoom back minimum 12 x optical zoom. It does not have full range of zoom facility diring video recording. Then looking at the Panasonic its zoom i no way as good as the canon - my advice keep hold of your money until either manufacturer comes out with the correct product.

ian currie

September 20, 2009, 6:06 pm

I'm really keen to buy a "compact" with manual aperture and shutter functions or at least "priority" ability. I also can't understand why a brave manufacturer couldn't also include a simple viewfinder and a degree of manual focus? I appreciate that many inexperienced photographers would not find these facilities a big draw however there is plenty to choose in the marketplace for such tastes. As an ex press photographer (news international regional staffer) i can see the market for a compact such as the SX200 and am seriously considering buying one but the "extras" would be a huge draw. It could be a real step up to people wanting to go DSLR but needing some experience first. Can anyone suggest a better contender than the SX200 at present?

Incidentally, i really like the TZ7 but without manual settings it would not be a big enough improvement on my Ixus 65 to justify the expense.

I have tried the SX200 in the shop and it seemed to me that by putting a tiny strip of cellotape on the flash would hold it down and did not seem to interfere with the funcionality other than flash photos? any comments from users please?

If this is the case then i would leave it on almost all the time as i prefer not to use flash unless impossible without.(ie close ups in very dark lighting)

sorry about the length of my piece. best wishes ian.


January 2, 2010, 6:06 pm

Well, the video has no optical zoom. But the quality of video is simply "superb", when you watch it on a computer screen. Sound is mono, but loud and crystal clear. After owning this camera, now i dont just shoot a portrait, but also record a 30 sec video of the person while talking or doing his common activity, and that's great fun watching and a grreat way to record memories of your elders and friends / relatives.

Second thing about this camera, shoot outdoors on auto. But indoors, if you keep auto, it increases the ISO instead of switching on the flash, resulting in grainy pictures. I suggest to keep it on 'P' mode, fix the ISO value and keep the flash on, unless if you dont want it.

A great camera.


January 13, 2010, 7:11 pm

Is there any other compact camera with the same amount of zoom and with the manual setting but without this pop up flash??? I like almost everything about the SX200, but the flash. I dont want the camera just because of it.

alan 14

March 23, 2010, 11:33 pm

I can't tell you how dissapointed I was with the results from this camera. I wanted a quality compact camera and as I allready owned a Canon 10D SLR had no worries about buying the SX200. I was impressed by the quality of the build and the style and feel of the camera. However, the photographic results were poor, most shots were out of focus and those taken indoors with the flash were of poor colour and also out of focus. Of the 40 or so shots taken approx 70% were useless. I don't know if I had a Friday camera and was just unlucky but it has put me off buying another compact Canon. Fortunately I was able to return it for a full refund, but where do I go and what do I buy instead?

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