Pros: 14x zoom lens, f/3.1 aperture, manual settings; good depth of field.
Cons: Lots of design quirks with menu controls; soft images.
The PowerShot SX210 IS is aimed at users who demand a considerable amount from a point-and-shoot camera; featuring a 14.1-megapixel CCD sensor, a 14x zoom lens and many manual controls.
Its lens can take shots from a wide angle of 28mm, right up to a tele-zoom angle of 392mm. This is even more far-reaching than Panasonic’s Lumix DMC-TZ10. The Canon also has a wider aperture range from f/3.1 to f/8.0 and its shutter speed ranges from 15sec to 1/3200sec.
With such a versatile range of photographic parameters, the SX210 can take great shots in just about any situation – and it will even perform reasonably well in low-lighting.
However, the physical design of the camera makes it uncomfortable to hold and difficult to use. The zoom rocker is tiny and hard to move, and the mode dial is located on the rea rof the camera (instead of the top).
Neutral, slightly underdone colour and decent clarity is what you can expect from pictures taken with the SX210, but there is also a lot of softness and some haloing, which show up primarily in the highlights.
A relatively big aperture of f/3.1 gives the camera a good depth of field that allowed it to produce a nice bokeh pattern.
We like the fact that the shutter and aperture controls can be easily changed when in manual mode. If the PowerShot SX210’s features appeal to your specification wishlist, don’t let the design dissuade you from considering it.