• Price When Reviewed: 312

  • Pros: Excellent captured images; large zoom; full set of manual modes.

  • Cons: Low-resolution screen; slow zoom.

  • Expert Rating: We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10We rate this 9 out of 10 Best Buy We rate this 9 out of 10

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We had some confusion with the shooting modes: what’s labelled as Auto mode is actually an auto-scene select mode – the traditional full auto mode is called Easy. Even in Easy mode, the shots were great – although no better than those we saw from the TZ7.

Move out of Auto and Scene modes and the SX200 comes into its own – the TZ7 offers no modes beyond these. The SX200, however, has Programme Aperture, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual modes.

The SX200’s high-quality lens lets you shoot far crisper images than a normal compact.

This enables you to do so much more with Canon’s camera than with the TZ7 – and is also why we wouldn’t think twice before choosing the former over the latter, despite the TZ7 having some advantages.

Neither camera has an optical viewfinder – there isn’t room with their three-inch screens. The SX200 has a much lower-resolution screen than the TZ7. The TZ7 is better at continuous shooting, taking photos more than twice as quickly as the SX200. Canon’s camera also suffers from a slow zoom lens, though considering the small zoom rocker, this may not be a wholly bad thing, as it makes fine zoom adjustments easier.

The Super-Macro mode lets you focus on objects that are almost touching the lens.

Apart from the slow lens, the SX200 is well designed and easy to use. The thumbpad’s function button opens a menu of most-used settings for each mode, and around the pad is a scroll wheel for manually focusing.

The TZ7 has a couple of plus points over the SX200, but these paled next to the SX200’s capacity to take outstanding photos in a huge range of situations – and better photos overall than the TZ7.