The Canon Powershot
SX210 IS is the successor to the PowerShot SX200 IS from 2009. Canon designed
the SX210 IS to appeal to those who are looking for a sleek compact camera
that offers long range zoom capabilities, combined with a slew of features
and point-and-shoot simplicity.
such as a 14x optical zoom lens with built-in optical image stabilizer
(IS), advanced face detection technology, DIGIC 4 image processor, and
a large wide angle 3.0-inch LCD, this compact super-zoom is geared towards
the family or travel photographer.
We have now
had the opportunity to review the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS. To see how
the camera performed, check out our Canon SX210 IS sample image gallery,
along with the findings and conclusions from our review. We begin by providing
a general overview of the SX210 IS, and then present more of the details.
You can use the navigation menu below to jump to a specific section of
PowerShot SX210 IS Digital Camera Review Menu
SX210 IS incorporates a powerful 14x optical zoom lens with built-in Optical
Image Stabilization (IS) technology, which offers photographer's the ability
to capture images with extra versatility, while minimizing image blur.
The camera's image stabilizer system uses sophisticated gyroscopic sensors
to detect vertical and horizontal movements, then moves the lens accordingly
to compensate, which aids in maintaining stability and focus when using
the telephoto capabilities of the camera.
The Canon SX210
IS incorporates a 14 Megapixel sensor with Canons DIGIC 4 processor
delivering fast response times and natural colour reproduction.
DIGIC 4 also takes care of difficult lighting conditions with i-Contrast
a technology which prevents highlight blowout, whilst retaining
For carefree shooting
the PowerShot SX210 IS includes Smart Auto and Easy modes with Scene Detection
Technology. By analyzing people, distance, brightness and colour in the
scene, the camera automatically selects one of 22 scene variables to optimize
settings for the best results - freeing the user to concentrate on picture
taking, while the camera takes care of the technical details.
The camera can also
shoot HD 720P movies with stereo sound, so users can film action as well
as shooting beautiful stills. Framing and reviewing shots is simple too,
thanks to a large wide angle 3.0 inch high resolution 230K LCD with 5
levels of brightness adjustment.
IS with Detailed Information Display in Playback Mode (Actual LCD Image)
the Canon SX210 IS incorporates a 16:9 wide format LCD screen, the camera
captures images in a 4:3 aspect ratio. This means that you can view
the camera's menus or movies in wide screen, however when shooting still
pictures and during playback, images are displayed within the center
of the LCD panel, with black areas on either side.
Wide Screen Display in Movie Mode
Aspect Ratio Display for Still Images
The PowerShot SX210
IS also comes with the latest Face Detection Technology which recognizes
up to 35 faces in a scene and automatically adjusts key focus and exposure
settings to ensure everyone looks their best.
This technology includes
Auto Red-Eye Correction, Face Detection AF/AE/FE, and Face Self-Timer
a feature that is great for group shots and self-portraits as the
camera waits until it detects a new face in the frame before taking the
shot. The Canon SX210 IS also offers Smile and Wink Self-Timer settings
were the shutter is activated after a person smiles or winks.
Faces can also be detected
if they are at an angle to the camera so that the correct focus and exposure
can be achieved without subjects facing the camera directly.
Face Select & Track
also allows the user to select a particular face to be the main subject
of the photo. This person is then tracked as they move around the frame
making sure the chosen face is the favoured subject and captured
properly - ideal for shooting the important people in a crowded scene.
More experienced users
can choose their settings with additional shooting modes such as Aperture
Priority and Shutter Priority. A full manual control mode is also provided
intended for users who wish to experiment with their shots.
SX210 IS Major Features:
CCD with DIGIC 4 processor
Canon 14x zoom
(28-392mm equiv.) with Optical Image Stabilization
auto focus with tracking and Motion Detection to minimize blur
color LCD with with 230K pixels and 100% frame coverage
Full Auto plus
22 shooting modes (including Easy mode)
Shutter-priority, Aperture-priority, full Manual exposure control
HD Movie mode
with stereo sound, 1280 x 720 up to 4GB or 30 minutes per clip
from 15 secs to 1/3200 sec in Tv and Manual mode.
Center-weighted average or Spot Metering
focus to 5cm in wide angle
to brighten under exposed images. Can be applied after image is taken
Auto or 80,
100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 ISO presets. Up to 6400 ISO in Low Light mode
(3.5 MP file)
with Auto, Fill, Red-eye reduction and Slow-sync modes
SD / SDHC /
MMC memory card compatible
Canon Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery NB-5L (battery and charger supplied)
USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
data transfer to computer
and Canon Direct Print compatible
The camera ships with:
Li-Ion battery pack NB-5L, a battery charger, USB interface cable, AV
cable, wrist strap and Canon's software suite.
The Canon PowerShot
SX210 IS digital camera is available now for a suggested selling price
of $429.99 Canadian or $349.99 in the US.
Check latest US street prices on the Canon
Powershot SX210 IScamera. Compare Canadian prices on the
Canon PowerShot SX210 IS features an Auto pop-up flash that
can also be raised manually. The flash will fire when required
(Auto), or you can select to turn it off.
flash raises even
if it is not required when
the camera is turned on, we
found you have to be careful that you do not follow the natural
action of placing your fingers over the top of the camera
(on the flash side) when
holding the Canon Powershot SX210 IS with both hands. This
makes the SX210 IS a little bit more awkward to hold. You
can push the flash down again, making for a more comfortable
and steadier grip when flash is not needed.
available flash features on the SX210 IS are included further
PowerShot SX210IS Camera: Design, Features and Menus
The Canon PowerShot
SX210 IS offers a compact design with a range of features. With 14-megapixel
resolution and a 14x zoom lens (28-392mm equivalent in 35mm terms), the
camera is a versatile unit for general family and travel photography.
sweeping landscapes or larger group shots of people, the Canon SX210 IS
provides good wide angle coverage starting at 28mm. Some competitor models
do offer a slightly wider zoom range starting at 25mm although none combine
this with the extended telephoto range offered by the Canon SX210 IS.
At full optical zoom the Canon SX210 IS provides the approximate equivalent
field of view of a 400mm lens, an impressive accomplishment.
the same telephoto range with a digital SLR camera, a user would have
to invest fairly heavily and carry at least two lenses to get the same
focal range covered by the compact SX210 IS.
The zoom lever
on the Canon Powershot SX210 IS is found on the top of the camera
to the left of the shutter release button.
To compose the
shot, simply toggle the zoom lever to the right in order to zoom
in on the subject. Moving the lever to the left zooms out from the
subject providing a wider field of view. The camera also features
a 4x digital zoom (combined approximately 56x magnification).
The main control dial
found on the top back of the PowerShot SX210 IS allows you select the
desired shooting mode. The camera offers the convenience of a basic 'green'
Auto mode for care free picture taking, and a total of 22 shooting modes.
The Canon SX210 IS also
offers the versatility of full Manual (M), Shutter (TV) and Aperture (Av)
priority exposure modes for those that want the added creative control.
The shutter speed range can be controlled from 15 - 1/3200 sec (total
range - varies by shooting mode)
The shooting mode settings
found on the main control dial of the PowerShot SX210 IS include:
Mode: In the default
green Auto mode, the camera focuses on the subject it judges to be the
main subject and then selects the optimum settings for subject brightness
The camera intelligently
analyzes the situation and shooting conditions, and then automatically
selects an appropriate setting from 22 specially defined settings.
With the camera's face
detection technology, when faces are detected, a white frame appears on
the face of the main subject, while gray frames appear on other detected
faces. Even if the detected faces move, the camera will follow the faces
within a certain range. The frame locked on the main subject turns green
once focus is achieved.
Auto Mode: Operational
instructions appear on the LCD screen, and only the necessary buttons
are functional. This prevents incorrect operation of the camera, allowing
even beginners to take worry-free pictures.
Modes: Six of the settings on the Shooting mode dial are dedicated
to using the SX210's program Scene modes for user friendly operation.
When you choose a shooting mode that matches a particular set of conditions,
the camera will automatically select any necessary settings. So whether
you're photographing flowers, a captivating sunset, or your friends at
the park just compose and press the shutter release to take the picture.
Five of the more commonly
used Scene modes,
including; Portrait, Landscape, Night Snapshot, Kids&Pets, and Indoor,
are accessible directly on the shooting dial, while the other Scenes are
accessed by first selecting the 'Scene' setting, and then choosing from
options displayed on the camera's LCD monitor.
include, Low Light (up to 6400 ISO is automatically selected and the image
size is reduced to 2144 x 1608, approximately 3.5 MP), Beach Scene, Foliage,
Snow, Fireworks, Smart Shutter (used to activate Smile, Wink or Face Self
Timer functions), Colour Accent, Colour Swap, Fish Eye Effect and Miniture
Modes: The Canon PowerShot SX210 IS does offer the ability
to shoot HD quality movies in 720P 1280 x 720 at 30fps. You can record
movie clips up to 4GB in size or 30 min in length. Two lower resolution
movie modes are also available allowing for recording times up to 1 hour,
including (L) 640 x 480 at 30fps and (M)320 x 240 at 30fps.
When shooting movies
at wide-angle settings, the PowerShot SX210 IS uses an advanced Dynamic
mode image stabilization system to greatly reduce camera shake that can
occur when you are shooting while walking. Your HD movies play back steadily
and without jerky movement.
+/-2 stop exposure compensation
in 1/3 step increments is available to darken or brighten the movie depending
on lighting conditions.
Settings : In the Program (P), Manual (M), Aperture (Av) and
Shutter Priority (TV) shooting modes you can control the combination of
shutter speed and aperture used by the camera.
SX210 IS Rear Buttons and Controls:
The playback button
is conveniently located on the middle right back of the camera directly
below the main control dial. One push of the button and the camera
will display the last image or movie taken.
The button to
the left with the red center dot is the Movie recording button.
You can record movies by simply pressing the button even with the
control dial set to a position other than Movie mode. By setting
the control dial to Movie mode before recording you can select different
options for shooting Movies including making White Balance and exposure
adjustments if necessary.
In playback mode
the Movie button doubles as the direct print button when the camera
is connected to a compatible printer.
the outer touch pad surrounding the FUNC. / SET button controls
the camera's menu navigation and allows for the adjustment of a
number of functions.
The rotary (FUNC.
/ SET) dial on the Canon SX210 IS also provides quick access to
changing the following camera settings: Exposure Compensation (push
on top part of the dial), Flash settings (push on the right), Self-Timer
settings (push down), and Manual Focus (MF) or Macro Close Up (push
on the left).
Since there are
no markings surrounding the FUNC./SET dial, the available settings
are displayed on the cameras LCD monitor as a reminder. The active
function is highlighted and a short description is displayed (in
this case Self-Timer Settings).
2 stop exposure compensation in 1/3 step increments is available
by pressing the top portion of the rotary FUNC. /SET dial and selecting
a setting before taking the picture. (Darkens or brightens the image
depending on the level of compensation)
settings include: Auto, Flash On (Fill), and Slow Sync Flash. The
flash on the PowerShot SX210 IS can be manually raised or functions
as an Auto Pop-Up flash. The flash coverage is approximately 75cm
to 3.5m at wide-angle, and 1 to 2.0m at telephoto.
compensation is available +/-2 stops in 1/3 step increments. Useful
if you need to tone down the flash when shooting up close to the
Pushing the bottom
of the FUNC. / SET dial activates the Self-Timer menu. Settings
include: Off, 10 sec delay, 2 sec delay, and Custom Self-Timer (set
the delay from 0 to 30 sec and the number of shots from 1 to 10
Macro Focus Mode
and Manual Focus is accessed by pushing on the left side of the
rotary dial. The Canon PowerShot SX210 IS can focus down to 5cm from
the subject in Macro mode.
Manual focus is
achieved by rotating the FUNC / SET dial after you select MF mode.
A distance scale and magnified center view appears on the LCD to
allow the user to adjust focus.
The DISP. button found
on the lower left back of the SX210 IS controls the camera's LCD display
functions. You can select the option of playing back the full image, the
image with detailed shooting information (includes Histogram display),
or zoom in view to check for fine detail. Press the 'DISP.' button repeatedly
to cycle through the viewing options.
with detailed information display
with detailed information display
with focus check display
The MENU button found
on the bottom lower right of the camera provides access to the Canon SX210
IS menu system which is organized under a series of tabs, such as for
shooting, camera setup or playback. The available MENU options vary depending
on the selected shooting mode.
Commonly adjusted camera
settings like Metering, My Colours, White Balance, ISO settings, Flash
Exposure Compensation, and more are found in the camera's Function Menu
and can be quickly accessed by simply pushing the [ FUNC. / SET ] button.
PowerShot SX210 IS: Function Menu Options
from Evaluative (default), Centre Weighted or Spot metering for difficult
set to OFF. My colours options include: Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black
and White, Lighter Skin Tone, Darker Skin Tone, Vivid Blue, Vivid
Green, Vivid Red, and Custom (Adjust contrast, sharpness and colour
Balance options include: Auto White Balance (AWB), Daylight, Cloudy,
Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent High and Custom preset
ISO, 80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600 Up to 6400 ISO in Low Light Scene
can adjust exposure compensation +/- 2 stops in 1/3 stop increments
for the camera's built-in flash
(Approx. 0.7 frames per second), Continuous AF (Approx. 0.5 frames
per second), Continuous LV (Approx. 0.5 fps) - focus stays set
include: L (4320 x 3240), M1 (3456 x 2592), M2 (2592 x 1944), M3 (1600
x 1200), S (640x 480) and W (4320 x 2432) Widescreen
the compression ratio (image quality). Two available settings include
Fine and Normal
PowerShot SX210 IS: Set Up Menu Options
from Face Detect or Centre
set to Normal. AF frame can be reduced by changing the setting to
(up to 4x), Digital Teleconverter. The focal length of the lens can
be increased by an equivalent of 1.7x and 2.1x ( loss in image quality
with these settings)
the focal point. Default setting is 'Off'. Select 'On' to have the
AF frame magnify (to check focus) when you press the shutter release
On or Off. While the shutter button is pressed halfway, the focus
and exposure will continue to adjust, allowing you to take pictures
of moving subjects with less chance of missing the shot
On or Off. The Off setting helps preserve power although auto focus
will take longer to achieve. Press shutter button half way to focus.
On / Off to control the AF-assist beam function. Default setting is
On / Off to provide magnified display when focusing manually. Default
setting is On
On / Off to fine tune manual focus. Default setting is On
include settings for Flash Exposure Compensation +/- 2 stops in 1/3
increments, Flash Output (minimum, medium, maximum) Redeye Reduction
(On/Off), Redeye Reduction Lamp (On / Off), Safety FE (On, Off)
Auto / Off. The camera can detect areas in the scene that are too
bright or dark and automatically adjust them to the optimum brightness
when shooting. Under some conditions, the image may appear coarse
or may not be corrected properly
On / Off. In Shutter or Aperture Priority modes, if Safety Shift is
set to On, the shutter speed or aperture value is automatically adjusted
for the correct exposure when it can not be otherwise obtained
the image display time. Set from 2 to 10 sec, or Hold, Off
the way the image displays right after shooting. Choose Off (displays
the image only), Detailed (with shooting information) or Focus Check
to On or Off. Camera displays a warning when it thinks someone blinked
can display gridlines on the LCD to aid in horizontal or vertical
composition. A 3:2 guide is also available for cropping guidance
from Continuous, Dynamic (only in movie mode), Shoot Only, Panning
- only counters up and down motion (not available in movie mode)
can insert the shooting date and time into the right corner of the
image. The Default setting is Off
can assign another commonly used function to the movie button. The
movie button will act as a Shortcut button when pressed
PowerShot SX210 IS: Playback Mode Menu
(On / Off), Play Time (3 to 30 sec), 6 selectable transitions. Filter
by Date Taken, By Tagged Categories
to erase one, a range or all images and movies on the card
images to protect from erasing
images to rotate
or untag images as favourites
can organize images into categories (Portrait, Landscape etc.)
shadow areas - Auto, Low, Medium, High. Corrected images are saved
as a copy
an image to apply Redeye Correction
an image in camera
1600 x 1200 (M3), 640 x480 (S) or 320 x240 (XS)
colour in still images
images by shooting date. Set to On/Off
order - Last shot, Last Seen
playback transitions - Slide, Scroll, Fade, Off
to smaller copy for web or email
I-Contrast to brighten shadows
PowerShot SX210 IS runs on a proprietary NB-5L Lithium Ion rechargeable
battery which comes supplied with the camera. The NB-5L battery will
allow for approximately 260 shots per charge.
IS also comes supplied with a Canon CB-2LX battery charger. The charger
incorporates a direct plug in wall jack so there is no extra cord to
carry around like with some other camera models.
The SX210 IS uses Secure
Digital (SD) type memory cards. The camera does not come supplied with
a memory card which is now common to most digital cameras. The good
news is that memory cards are relatively inexpensive in today's market.
We would recommend a 2GB SD card as a minimum, and a 4GB card
would provide enough space for lots of images and movies as well.
500 Large 14MP still images = 2GB space)
for the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS are found behind a hinged rubber
door near the top on the right side of the camera.
Both a USB interface
cable (IFC-400PCU) and an Audio / Video connection cable (AVC-DC400ST)
come supplied with the camera. The camera also features an HDMI
connection and with the optional HDMI cable HTC-100 you connect
the camera to a high definition TV for an enhanced viewing experience.
AC adapter (ACK-DC30) is available for the SX210 IS, and the camera's
AC connector socket is found right above the USB / AV connection.
PowerShot SX210 IS Review: Performance and Conclusion
quite pleased with the performance of the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS. The
camera powers up responsively, and the comfortably positioned zoom lever
makes framing images a simple step.
of capture speed, we were able to record a series of three images in a
five second burst of shooting with the camera set to continuous advance
mode, which falls within the stated SX210 IS specifications of 0.7 frames
per second (fps).
IS zoom lens incorporated into the SX210 IS provides generally good image
quality capabilities. See the image samples further below. Edge to edge
image detail is quite good although some corner softness can also be noticed.
at full resolution the images look a little softer than some competitors
we have seen in this class. If you are not regularly printing larger than
8" x 10" prints, the lens quality from the Canon PowerShot SX210
IS should still be very acceptable to most users. We did observe some
barrel distortion (curvature) when shooting close-up's at wide angle,
although once again this is fairly common with cameras in this category.
optical image stabilizer lens technology did a good job during our tests,
offering up to 3 steps compensation, allowing us to hand hold the camera
under lower light conditions and get blur free images were normally a
tripod would have been required.
the few disappointments with the Canon SX210 IS is the positioning of
the flash and that it auto pops up when the camera is turned on. As mentioned
when the flash is raised it is harder to hold the camera comfortably with
3.0-inch 230,000 dot resolution LCD monitor offers easy composition and
playback capabilities. The cameras menu system is easy to read and navigate
on the screen, and colours are well displayed. The brightness of the monitor
can be adjusted in 5 steps depending on viewing conditions.
we found the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS performed competently for its class.
The 14 megapixel sensor combined with the camera's metering system offers
good image quality from 80 to 200 ISO, with digital noise (grain like
effect) becoming more noticeable from there on.
SX210 IS 'Low Light' scene mode is a useful feature which results in less
loss in image quality when shooting at higher ISO levels, although at
the expense of resolution (recorded at 3.5 MP image size).
does experience approximately 0.6 sec shutter lag (the time from when
you press the shutter button to the time the camera takes the picture),
so a little forethought and anticipation is required to capture the exact
are looking for a sleek compact long-range zoom camera, offering solid
performance and an extended feature set, while delivering pleasing images
under most general conditions, we would recommend the Canon PowerShot
SX210 IS as a good solution. See
the latest US deals on the Canon
Canon PowerShot SX210 IS Image Sample Gallery
on images below to see larger size
Powershot SX210 IS Specifications
4 with iSAPS technology
- 70.0 mm (35mm equivalent: 28-392mm)
14x. Digital approx. 4x (with Digital Tele-Converter approx. 1.7x
or 2.1x and Safety Zoom¹). Combined approx. 56x
elements in 10 groups (1 UD lens, 1 double-sided aspherical lens,
1 single-sided aspherical UA lens)
(lens shift-type), 4-stop. Dynamic IS (in Movie)
Face Detection, 1-point AF (fixed to centre or Face Select and Track)
Continuous, Servo AF/AE
(W) from front of lens in macro
(linked to Face Detection AF frame), Centre-weighted average, Spot
2 EV in 1/3 stop increments. i-Contrast for automatic dynamic range
80, 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
- 1/3200 sec (factory default)
15 - 1/3200 sec (total range - varies by shooting mode)
(including Face Detection WB), Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent,
Fluorescent H, Custom
cm (3.0”) PureColor II G (TFT), aspect ratio 16:9, approx. 230,000
dots, Approx. 100% coverage, Adjustable to one of five levels. Quick-bright
Manual Flash On / Off, Slow Synchro
Fastest speed 1/2000 sec
2 EV in 1/3 stop increments. Face Detection FE, Safety FE, Smart Flash
levels with internal flash
(W) / 1.0m-2.0m (T)
High Power Flash HF-DC1
Program AE, Shutter priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual, Easy*,
Portrait, Landscape, Night Snapshot, Kids & Pets, Indoor, Smart Shutter(Smile,
Wink Self-Timer, FaceSelf-Timer), Low Light (3.5MP), Color Accent,
Color Swap, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Beach, Foliage, Snow,
Fireworks, Stitch Assist, Movie
*with Scene Detection Technology and Motion Detection Technology