Summary

Our Score

8/10

User Score

Pros

  • Manual controls
  • 14x zoom lens (28 - 392mm)
  • HD video with stereo sound
  • All-metal body

Cons

  • Generally soft images
  • Fiddly zoom control
  • Too high resolution for size

Review Price £194.99

Key Features: 14 megapixel sensor; 14x zoom lens (28 - 392mm); All-metal body; Manual controls; Popup flash; HD video

Manufacturer: Canon

The first few months of the year are always an interesting time in the camera industry, with all of the major manufacturers launching their new Spring models. Competition is fierce, and no more so than in the popular long-zoom compact sector of the market. Last month I reviewed the Panasonic Lumix TZ10, a 12-megapixel, 12x zoom compact featuring stereo HD video and built-in GPS. A few days before that I had a look at the Ricoh CX3, with its 10.6MP back-illuminated CMOS sensor and 10.7x zoom, and next week I'll be testing the impressive-looking new Sony Cyber-shot HX5, which has a 10x zoom, 10MP CMOS sensor, 1080i stereo HD video, on-board GPS and even a compass. Today however I'm taking a look at Canon's entry in the long-zoom arena, the new PowerShot SX210 IS, which offers a 14.1-megapixel CCD sensor, 14x zoom image-stabilised wide-angle lens, 720p HD video with stereo audio, and optional manual exposure.

Canon PowerShot SX210 IS front angle

The SX210 IS is of course the replacement for last year's SX200 IS, Canon's first real stab at the long-zoom compact market. Although it had all the right features it lacked the build quality to compete with Panasonic's market-leading TZ7, so this year Canon has made several improvements, not least of which is a sleek new all-metal body available in a gold, purple or black. The camera measures 105.8 x 59.3 x 31.9 mm and weighs 215g loaded, making it about a millimetre slimmer and a massive three grams lighter than the TZ10. The SX210 still features the novelty pop-up, pop-down flash of the SX200 and it still gets in the way until you get used to it.

Canon PowerShot SX210 IS front

The overall style of the camera is, a little plain, and several people to whom I showed it thought it was ugly, but a lot of thought has gone into the layout of the controls. The main mode dial is slightly tilted to make it better as a thumb rest, and the rear panel buttons are also cambered to make them easier to operate. The on/off button is recessed by the shape of the top panel, so there's no danger of it getting switched on accidentally. The only thing I'm not too keen on is the zoom control. Instead of Canon's usual rotary bezel the SX210 has a small rocker switch which is a bit fiddly and uncomfortable to operate, and is also extremely slow. The zoom lens can be operated while recording, and a slow zoom action is better for video use, but it is a bit frustrating waiting for the lens to wind in or out when shooting stills.

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Simon Hall

March 28, 2010, 3:31 pm

This Camera fails for me at the first hurdle.


The pop up flash is exceptionally ugly, so in my case it would even get to the stage of being tried out.


Call me shallow if you like, but there are far better looking camera's out there.

Steve

March 28, 2010, 10:44 pm

@ Simon





I agree. The pop-up flash looks ridiculous.

lifethroughalens

March 29, 2010, 3:58 am

"Call me shallow if you like, but there are far better looking camera's out there"





So obviously you value more what other people think about you, with your 'ugly flash', than have a great camera that takes great pictures?! Nuts. Do you own Apple products by any chance?

Kevin Gordon

March 29, 2010, 5:24 pm

The pop up flash may be pugly, but when the advantage is that you can take pictures with flash that have less or no red eye and shadows, then who the hell cares if its fugly. Most people take shots during the day anyway, and you can close the flash in that case.





I'm more concerned about the ridiculous mega pixel count (who, in all seriousness, needs to print up to A0? Come on, if you need that, then you'll probably buy a higher end DSLR?), and the price. You can get DSLRs for not a lot more.





I'll stick with my Ixus 120.

CV

March 29, 2010, 8:42 pm

Cliff, you rated the Panasonic TZ10 an "8" for image quality, the same image quality rating as this Canon SX210 IS. Judging only that aspect of each camera, how would you choose between them?

ThatOne

April 2, 2010, 9:41 pm

I can't see the front of a camera when I'm using it, so that aspect is immaterial. How come Canon saw the light with the G11, didn't go "headline hunting" and reduced the MP count to get the best IQ, and then went "headline hunting" with this one and its irrational zoom numbers, softening off the focus right the way through all the focal lengths? Panasonic get one sigh of relief, with one competitor not making the most of the botched development of the Panasonic TZ10.

Simon Hall

April 4, 2010, 9:42 pm

@ lifethroughalens I don't own any Apple products actually. I just think that manufacturers in this day and age should be able to make asthetically pleasing products that also perform well.


Why should you have to put up with an ugly camera if you want one that performs well?

miciotta62

April 10, 2010, 2:52 pm

in how mode i burn on a normal DVD (not blue-ray)


this movie into a DVD ?





i have the old Nero6 and i think not support this new MOV format video ?





a freeware software to convert MOV HD file in AVI or burn on dvd this hd file ?





how to use freeware to burn on dvd this HD movie ????





help me .... kiss by Mery

Fiqqer

June 3, 2010, 7:22 pm

I prefer to take pictures without flash, by increasing the ISO setting or Dynamic Ratio etc to get a better looking natural photos to be proud of. That flash is not for taking good photos. I find it is only suitable for snapshots.

kazarty

September 24, 2010, 10:13 am

Hi, im looking for some help getting a new camera, im torn between this one and the Panasonic Lumix TZ8, i love the features of this one and the 14mp etc and zoom compared to the 12 of the Lumix, im on a tight budget of around £210 ans seen these both on amazon for under that... im just a point and shooter for concerts, parties and some of the wonders i see outside on hols, the Lumix has such a better review, so I really cant decide... am i just being greedy with the extra 2 mp and zoom this one offers ??





I would appreciate amyones expert opinion to help my final purchase :)

Btbp

December 12, 2010, 8:38 am

Neophyte about to buy his next P&S, wants as much zoom as possible, and to be able to zoom and record, for the wife to use while I'm surfing.





I didn't even know this cam had 14x, and was about to buy the Fujifilm FinePix


F300EXR but have held back due to wildly varying reviews.





Any recommendations?

mycam

February 3, 2011, 5:25 pm

A few days back i bought a new canon SX210is,but i am unable to capture the moving objects.The pics seems to become blurred.can anyone please tell me how to capture the moving objects on canon sx210is.

Angila

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