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PowerShot SX200 IS

PowerShot SX200 IS

Canon entered the mid-zoom compact "Travel camera" market with the launch of the PowerShot SX100 IS back in Autumn 2007, and is continuing in the same vein with the launch of the SX200 IS.

The SX200 has an ambitious specification, featuring a 12.1-megapixel sensor, a 12x zoom lens with a 28mm-equivalent wide angle, a 3.0-inch 230k monitor, manual exposure options, 720p HD movie recording with HDMI output, and an improved optical image stabilisation system for which Canon is claiming a full four stops of extra stability. Most compact camera IS systems are lucky if they can manage three stops, so this is an impressive boast.

Other features include Digic 4 high-speed image processing, Smart Auto mode with Scene Detection Technology, Motion Detection Technology and Servo AF, and improved Face Detection with Face Select & Track. It also has a new user interface with a Hints and Tips section, which could be helpful for those of us who don't carry a laptop computer with us at all times. Canon has been using the same interface on its compact cameras for a number of years, so it'll be interesting to see what improvements have been made.

The PowerShot SX200 IS is available from March 2009 priced at £359.00, which is a lot of money even for such an impressive-looking camera.



February 20, 2009, 2:13 am

"...cameras, an new SX-series camera,..."

Typo, typo!


February 20, 2009, 3:15 am

The sx200 looks great. At last something to take on the all conquering tz series on. The ixus 100 looks amazing 2 but crikey do the prices need to come down a bit. I know the yen is weak but my word they are expensive. especially when u consider the outgoing tz4 can be picked up for &#163150.


February 20, 2009, 4:25 am

whoa, major bummer for dropping the fully manual mode from the A series. That was one of THE reasons to get an A series. Now those models have so much more competition from other brands producing very similar 'advanced' compacts but without manual mode.

Carl Abudephane

February 20, 2009, 5:47 am

Yep, gotta agree. The Ixus 100 IS really does look sublime, but still, those prices surely won't last long. Way, way too high.


February 20, 2009, 6:14 am

Well, some grounds for optimism, one of them had a viewfinder.


February 20, 2009, 3:21 pm

SX200 looks the business! Can't wait for a review on that model :)


February 20, 2009, 9:34 pm

@grouse & Steve: It sure does. The SX200 might be my next compact - depending on Panasonic's TZ7, which spec-wise looks to be putting on one hell of a fight!


February 22, 2009, 3:58 pm

I wouldn't be so optimistic about the SX200. Yes, its features look good, but it is a 12 Mp camera, and it only has a 1/2.3" sensor... A 1/2.3" sensor has proven to produce too noisy images even for 10Mp cameras. Yes, it has digic 4, but reducing the sensor size and increasing megapixels is just the wrong way to go. Canon could have improved ISO/noise performance by including Digic 4 to a 1/1.7" sensor, but increasing the pixel density of the sensor is just nonsense.

Too bad that Canon decided to go the wrong way by doing this. They should have learned from the Lumix LX3: bigger sensor without increasing megapixles equals better image quality (ISO and dynamic range).


February 23, 2009, 4:17 pm

@ralph: Unfortunately increasing megapixels at the cost of image quality is the dominant trend in the digital compact market. Hopefully this will be reversed soon, but as long as the majority of consumers still mistakenly believe more megapixels = better performance, it's unlikely.


February 23, 2009, 6:36 pm

No sign of the megapixel race ending though. It's even worse when it comes to mobile phones. I've yet to see an exceptional 2 or 3.2 megapixel camera phone, nevermind a 5, 8 or 12 one!

My ancient 6 year old 2 megapixel Canon PowerShot A40 takes much better photos than any mobile phone. What does that tell you about the "state of the art" mobile camera phones?


February 26, 2009, 2:51 pm

@Ardjuna: True, that is the dominant trend in the compact camera market, but with all respects; this won't change if customers like us get so excited about cameras that have lots of good specs but fail in what a camera is supposed to do: take good pictures. Many consumers are not aware of the sensor size/megapixles issue, but they will never be aware if people who do know about it welcome new Canon (or other brand) releases with so much excitement, like if these new cameras were so amazing. With these new Powershots, Canon not only hasn't reduced (or even maintained!) the pixel density of the sensors, but they have increased it. This is just not the way we want our compact cameras to be, at least if we intend to shoot photos at anything that isn't under perfect light conditions because this sensors produce intolerable image noise at hight ISO. I would not have posted my first comment on this site if on these new Powershots Canon had maintained the already ridiculous pixel density of their previous compact cameras, but seeing how they took a step backwards in this aspect made me lose all my faith in this company.

Why would manufacturers change their sensor/megapixels approach if most costumers are happy with what they are getting from them? Congratulations to Sigma (for their DP1), Panasonic (for their LX3), and Olympus (yet to be released Micro Four Thirds compact) for offering a few small cameras that are able to produce great pictures at low light/higher ISO. It will also be interesting to see how Fuji's new sensor performs on the F200EXR.


April 9, 2009, 3:40 pm

Any chance of a SX 200 review? :)

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