Canon Powershot SX210 IS 2011

Canon’s Powershot cameras are classics of their genre, featuring manual modes and superb lenses that make them ideal for more creative snappers. In this range, the SX210 IS is the best halfway house: well-featured, with a variety of scene presets, HD movie capture and HDMI interface in a tough, compact package.  

Technical stuff
Phil: Like all the other compacts in our test, the Canon PowerShot SX210 sports a 14Mp chip, which should be ideal for excellent A4 enlargements. The SX210 has the largest optical zoom range of all: 14x, running from 28-392mm, offering a decent wide-angle coverage that’s great for landscapes, while the telephoto end will allow you to get in really tight on subjects in the distance. At these kind of focal lengths, camera shake can be a problem, so there’s a built-in anti-shake system in the lens to try to counteract any unwanted movement when you take the shot. While there’s an array of scene modes and an Auto mode, the SX210 also offers manual controls – a rarity on a camera of this type, allowing you to vary aperture and shutter speed.

On the hill
Simon: Aside from the colour (others are available!), the Canon Powershot SX210 IS was the camera I was expecting the most from. The lens is amazing: at the wide end this is quite encompassing, making it ideal for summit shots, self-portraits and landscapes that have a lot of foreground interest, and when extended the close-ups you can get are superb. The build of the camera oozes quality: the vertically mounted, functional click-wheel and thoughtfully placed zoom control next to the shutter button make this the easiest camera in our test to operate with gloves on. The manual modes are a great touch, while its maximum shutter speed of 15 seconds is ideal for creative night shots. The only gripe is the lack of any internal memory. And while that lovely finish will survive inevitable chips and scratches, that screen needs protecting. Images were sharp and handled troublesome exposures well.

Resolution 14.1 megapixels
Lens 14x optical 28-392mm
Image stabiliser yes
Modes Auto, Manual, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority, Program, 18 scene modes
Weight 215g
Dimensions 106x59x32mm
Storage media SD/SDHC/XC Movie mode HD 720p, 30fps
Monitor 3 inches, 230k dots, 16:9 aspect ratio
Connectivity USB/HDMI

Great lens, manual modes for the creative snapper, a cracking movie mode plus thoughtful layout and functionality make the Canon Powershot SX210 IS a superbly featured hill camera – and it’s good value, too. It won our ‘Best in Test’ accolade.

Review by Phil Hall of Digital Photo magazine and Simon Ingram of Trail magazine
First published in Trail magazine February 2011