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Canon PowerShot SX200 IS - Test Shots - ISO Performance

By Cliff Smith


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Over the next few pages we show a range of test shots. On this page the full size image at the minimum and maximum ISO settings have been reduced to let you see the full image, and a series of full resolution crops have taken from original images at a range of ISO settings to show the overall image quality. The pictures were taken outdoors in overcst daylight.


This is the full frame at 80 ISO.


At 80 ISO the image quality is excellent, with lots of detail and no noise.


Pretty much the same results at 100 ISO.


Still no real problems at 200 ISO.


At 400 ISO there is visible noise in the mid-tone areas and some loss og detail to noise reduction.


Even less detail at 800 ISO.


Image quality is very poor at the amximum 1600 ISO.


This is the full frame at 1600 ISO.


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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/maypowe... 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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