Thursday, April 7, 2011

Canon PowerShot SX210IS 14.1 MP

Price : $329.00 ( best deal Click here )

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Get closer than you've ever been before to your subject with the Canon® 14.1 megapixel PowerShot® SX210 IS digital camera.

It combines a 14x optical zoom with the clarity of 14.1 megapixels for extremely clear, crisp shots.

Operation: Canon PowerShot SX210IS not the fastest camera around and the zoom is a little slow, although smooth. I've found it to be just fine for everyday shooting and the smooth zooming works great on videos (with other cams I'd often overshoot). As I said, the interface is in line with most Canon's point and shoots.

Image quality: Canon rarely disappoints in this aspect. The images Canon PowerShot SX210IS perfectly sharp (unlike the Sony TX1) and the colors are vivid yet accurate (unlike some Panasonic and Sony cameras). At lowest ISOs and regular conditions, the quality rivals some DLSRs. As in many point and shoots, noise becomes visible starting at ISO 400, but that's the price you pay for a 14x optical zoom. Low light pictures are not as good as the lead cameras' such as the S90, but they're not any worse than most point and shoots and are just fine for printing.

Lens: The lens is in line with most point and shoots today (f/3.1 to f/5.9). The zoom is very smooth (and you can control the speed), although a little slow. 14x is amazing and image stabilization works great. No noticeable distortion.

Flash: Nothing special, average for point and shoots. Good exposure. In auto mode, the camera does a great job trying to balance the background and foreground when using flash. Careful though, it might crank the ISO up to keep detail in the background when you shoot in low light.

Video: HD and normal video is great. The same awesome image quality as in picture mode. Videos look crisp and colors are great. The auto focus performs perfectly, works very quickly, and is very accurate even for moving subjects.
Many cameras won't allow you to zoom while taking videos, but this isn't a problem with the SX210. Since the camera is so small, camera shake is inevitable, so I would avoid zooming in too much if you're not using a tripod or a monopod. Audio is fine. Stereo audio sounds great on paper, but I don't hear much difference. Note that HD video eats memory cards in no time, so if you're just taping for web or the like, just change it to normal quality.
The dedicated video button is very useful to have! Can't tell you how many times I forgot to get into or out of video mode with other cameras. It still has a video mode, it just makes it faster and easier to shoot video on the go.

Features: This camera is pretty impressive in terms of features, both the serious ones such as manual modes and the more gimmicky features you see in lots of newer point and shoots cameras today. Here is a summary.
-Auto and Easy modes: intelligent scene recognition works great most of the time. Even I use Auto often instead of manual modes as it is very reliable.
-Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program modes: godsend for point and shoots. You might not think you need them now, but if you start learning about photography more, you'll be glad you have them!
-Scene modes: All the general ones like sports and portrait, as well as cool unique ones such as:
-Smart shutter: camera automatically takes the picture when either a smile is detected, a new face is detected, or 2 seconds after a wink is detected. All of these are customizable and work just as described! Very useful for self portraits and such. As a backup, the camera fires after about 15 seconds even if it didn't detect anything, so no missed shots because it didn't recognize a face.
-Low light: Lowers resolution to improve quality. Sets ISO is pretty high. Nothing amazing, but good results.
-Color Accent and Swap: Canon's favorite - isolate a color (with the rest in black and white), or swap two colors)
-Fisheye effect: Look at sample fish eye images online. Just a fun effect. You can control amount of distortion.
-Miniature effect: Nothing like a true tilt-shift, but gets decent results. Blurs parts of image to make an illusion of a miniature. Customizable.
-Stitch assist: helps taking panoramas
-My Colors: tinker with colors - can add/subtract saturation or accent reds/greens/blues, can lighten/darken skin tones, etc. Great settings I use a lot.
-White Balance: learn to use custom white balance - it's quite painless and yields amazing accuracy in white balance. Use an opaque white object or a white wall to fill the frame, just press a button, and the white balance is set perfectly.
-Exposure Compensation for flash and for general exposure

Battery: I loved how the SX120 uses AAs (long lasting and easily available), so I was a little skeptical about the SX210. But I wasn't disappointed - the battery started getting low only after a week of moderate usage including many videos. Replacement batteries are very cheap ($5 off-brand).

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