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Canon PowerShot SX210 IS - Canon PowerShot SX210 IS

By Cliff Smith



Our Score:


The SX210 is well stocked with advanced features, including optional manual exposure. The lens is fairly fast at the wide-angle end, with a maximum aperture of f/3.1 and a minimum of f/8, giving nearly three stops of aperture adjustment. The range of shutter speeds is even more useful, with speeds from 15 seconds to 1/3200th of a second available. Other creative options include a wide range of colour and tone pre-sets, plus a custom setting with adjustable contrast, sharpness, saturation, red/green/blue balance and skin tone. The SX210, like all Canon compacts, has a very good user interface with a nicely designed sidebar menu navigated by rotary bezel around the D-pad, and a very clear and attractive main menu. The monitor is also very good, a three-inch wide-screen unit with a good anti-glare surface and a very wide angle of view approaching 90 degrees in all directions.

Canon PowerShot SX210 IS back

A key feature of the SX210 is of course its HD video mode. It can shoot at a resolution of 1280 x 720 pixels and 30 frames a second, with stereo audio recorded by two microphones on the top panel. The video and audio quality is very good, although the zoom motor can be heard on the soundtrack. There are a few additional options in video mode, including colour customisation, selective colour masking and colour swap, although that last one does tend to produce results that look like an early-seventies Top Of The Pops video.

In stills mode the SX210 has a few new novelty scene mode options, such as fish-eye effect, and a effect that mimics the restricted depth of field of a macro photo, giving full-size objects the appearance of miniature models if photographed from the right angle. Keen-eyed readers will spot that this feature is shamelessly pilfered from the Ricoh CX3, but then imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Other useful shooting options include the Smart Shutter mode, which uses face detection to activate the shutter by winking, smiling or a couple of seconds after a new face enters the frame, useful for getting yourself into self-timer group shots.

Canon PowerShot SX210 IS side

The SX210 has Canon's acclaimed optical image stabilisation technology, and to be honest with a 14x zoom lens and a telephoto end equivalent to nearly 400mm it needs it. At wide angle settings it allows stable hand-held shooting at shutter speeds as low as 1/10th of a second, but at full zoom it still needs a shutter speed of at least 1/100th of a second to ensure sharp pictures, a gain of only around two stops.

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.


March 28, 2010, 10:44 pm

@ Simon

I agree. The pop-up flash looks ridiculous.


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.


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?


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?


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


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.


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 :)


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?


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.


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