Canon PowerShot SX200 IS Review

March 30, 2009 | Mark Goldstein | |

Your Comments

152 Comments | Newest Oldest First | Post a Comment

#1 AA

“...................It’s also a little bit heavier and bigger than its main competitor, the Panasonic Lumix SX200 IS…............”


Now that is funny, Mark!  You might want to fix it…..........

5:09 pm - Monday, March 30, 2009

#2 Henri

Thanks for this review, I’ve been doubting whether to go for the Panasonic or the Canon.

I guess Panasonic finally caught up with Canon and produced a great camera.

8:32 pm - Monday, March 30, 2009

#3 Mike

Thanks for the review Mark! I’m set on the Panasonic. Now I’ve just got to wait for it to be released here in the states. Hopefully before my vacation on 04/19..

8:32 pm - Monday, March 30, 2009

#4 matt

The comment about videos taking a lot of space may need to be reworded slightly.  The SX200 IS uses h.264 compression, and comparing the specs of the AVCHDLite format of the new Lumix, it generates files a little bigger (2125 KBps on Lumix vs. 2955 KBps on the Canon).  The benefit of h.264 is that it is a much more supported format—would be worth finding out if this will work on iPods, etc. without any conversion.  The review makes it seem like the files are much larger than they really are I think.

10:21 pm - Monday, March 30, 2009

#5 Martin

I have just bought this and I really like it but there is one absolutely annoying factor. The flash pops up all of the time and gets in the way. They need to apply some firmware fast so I and anyone else can switch this off. Had I known this I would not have bought it, simple as that.

10:22 pm - Monday, March 30, 2009

#6 mikrotero

I compared pictures from Panasonic and Canon which was easy, since they both got pictures from exact same places. It seems to me that colours in Canon are in better balance and on some occasions it disturbs me the way Panasonic exaggerates red. In one picture of an alley Canon correctly muted red in shadow areas. Colour was hardly discernible, while Panasonic brightened all reds so that you felt there must be an extra light source.

12:31 am - Tuesday, March 31, 2009

#7 ss81tube

SX200 is definitely a winner. Samples images prove once again Canon’s better IQ compared to Panasonic. canon produces true colors in any condition, however, panny’s colors are a little off. thanks for the review. now it is time to order sx200!!

1:09 am - Tuesday, March 31, 2009

#8 Paul

The always-up flash is the deal killer here. How could Canon be so stupid to underestimate the (social) effect of a flash prominently sticking up?

When this camera was announced, I thought it would be perfect as a compact next to a DSLR, and something I’d recommend to friends. Wide angle, manual controls, good looks and all. But the flash always up draws attention, slows the boot process, makes it lots more vulnerable to dust, moisture, wear and damage, wastes battery life, and will make me as an available light street photographer paranoid: will it fire or won’t it?

If it does fire, I have two problems: unwanted attention and a horrible picture.

Whereas keeping the flash down when it’s off would be perfect assurance it will not fire.

Puzzling how the same company can create the 5Dii and this near hit.

5:23 pm - Tuesday, March 31, 2009

#9 fatherVince

Good day! Are you using Smart Auto Mode with those samples images?

7:46 am - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

#10 worslesr

Got my SX200 delivered yesterday. As an ex SLR user very much appreciated the Apature, Shutter and Full manual controls, this gives it the edge over the Panasonic for me. Pop up flash is an annoyance but I found where I naturally put my thumb stopped it from popping up anway!

Another minor issue is very flimsy rubber hinge on cover for AV cable door. Only time will tell if this is more hardy than it looks.

Image quality is brilliant, very easy to use and more features than you could shake a stick at. I’m very pleased with it.

11:19 am - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

#11 Dave

Thanks for the great review and comparison with the TZ7. Just a further comment on Matt’s comments on video. h.264 and AVCHD are the same codec. I’m not sure but I think the Lite refers to 720 as distinct from 1080. I think the Canon has bigger video files because it uses a higher bit rate than the Panasonic. (25MB/s vs 15MB/s in your sample videos)

ipods use the h.264 codec as well but the files from the camera would have to be put into the proper ipod container format before they would work.

I’m going for the TZ7.

11:58 am - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

#12 Henri

I guess the flash needs to be up so that when it’s needed it’ll flash, the alternative would be even more annoyong, pressing the shutter and having to wait for the flash!

12:21 pm - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

#13 Paul

@Henri: maybe. Or it could just come up except when you have switched flash off. Switch flash to on or auto, and it comes up, ready to go.

2:19 pm - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

#14 Lynda Jao

Thanks for your review.  I had my heart set on the SX200, but after reading your review on the Lumix ZS3, I’m not so sure anymore.  I do like 25mm over the 28mm, but I’ve always loved the colors that Canons produce (I had a Canon SD800).  Is that something I can replicated with the Panasonic through editing somehow?  I’m scared to switch and lose that wonderful image quality.  Any thoughts?

11:54 pm - Wednesday, April 1, 2009

#15 Lorraine

I just received my SX200 yesterday; I usually shoot with a dslr but wanted something compact-ish to carry about and to use in situations where I didn’t want to draw too much attention to myself, something you can’t do with a dslr!

The flash popping up all the time is a bit annoying and doesn’t help getting a good grip on the camera but its workable.

@Paul - Hardly think it changes the cameras dimensions drastically to draw much more attention than if it were down. And to make sure it doesn’t fire, just turn it off.  I’ve kept mine off most of the time, also means it doesn’t charge everytime I switch the camera on.

Would be great if the flash just popped up when needed, like on a dslr.

I’m not too fussed about the video aspect, I’ve bought it for photos, if excellent video quality is what you’re after then buy a dedicated video camera, that’s my opinion.

I bought this over the TZ7 as I wanted to be able to control aperture or shutter speeds or both. I had the Panasonic TZ4 and only kept it for a day as the lack of manual control just frustrated me beyond belief!

I have to say that the manual control on this camera is nearly as good as auto for beginners.  In manual mode I’ve noticed there’s an exposure check guide, quite handy although this seems to replace exposure compensation which isn’t so good in manual mode. 

In my opinion the lens could be faster, starting at F3.4 is a bit slow.  Love the long zoom though and wide angle on this camera is wide enough for my needs.

The colours are lovely from this camera though I think generally the image quality is overall a bit soft. That said I did change sharpening to +2 in the custom colours menu but that was too hard especially for higher iso’s so I think I’ll stick with the default setting and sharpen as necessary in photoshop.

Another niggle is that the four way dial seems to be a bit loose/flimsy, other than that it feels a good solid camera. Yes, its heavier than a normal compact but normally using a camera that ranges between 700+ grams to 2+ kilos, (depending on the lens I’m using) obviously the SX200 is still as light as a feather to me.

Battery life is apparently an issue with this camera, well, I’ve taken about 150 photos so far and the battery is still showing as fully charged, so unless it suddenly depletes, it looks good to me.  That’s one thing I loved about my panasonic FZ8, the battery went on forever!

One thing missing for me is RAW; for the price of this camera compared to say the G10 it would’ve been the icing on the cake.

It will never replace my dslr but for what I bought this camera for, I’m happy enough, so far.

8:27 am - Thursday, April 2, 2009

#16 Paul

@Lorraine: thanks for sharing your hands on experience.

1:44 pm - Thursday, April 2, 2009

#17 PowerShot SX200 IS Fan Club

Regarding the sample image of the 4 tourists sitting down. I can easily read the yellow on blue logo (Jack Wolfskin) and the one guys jacket, but can barely make out the black on brown text on the other guys brown pullover jacket. It looks like “Q——PLUS” or something like that. Possibly a German brand like Wolfskin is? This is driving me crazy - I must have that jacket :) -Tony

5:09 pm - Friday, April 3, 2009

#18 Michael


the jacket is a “Surplus Hooded Windbreaker”.
Offers in Germany start at 34,00 Euro.

7:23 pm - Friday, April 3, 2009

#19 PowerShot SX200 IS Fan Club

Thanks Michael- you nailed it!

4:22 am - Saturday, April 4, 2009

#20 jahon wu

I have pananosic tx5, only thing I dislike is that it is a little bit too big to fit my camera case, especially too thick ( in lens aera). I don’t know if canon sx200 has the same size, especially thickness. would anyone let me know? thanks.

6:00 pm - Saturday, April 4, 2009

#21 lwgnve

gzT1tz sgembgawised, icozxtygzvpc, [link=]ezbbxbfxvcjh[/link],

11:22 am - Wednesday, April 8, 2009

#22 tom

how does the sx200 compare with with sx110 when it comes to image quality both in the dark and light?

12:02 pm - Thursday, April 9, 2009

#23 Graham


This is a great review; I only wish I’d read it before buying my SX200.

For me, the flash issue was just too annoying. It made holding the camera to difficult, as the natural position for you left hand, it exactly where the flash is.

Some more attention need to be draw to the flimsy control dial. Due to the contour on the back of the case and the dial’s position next to the screen, you can only really use right-side of it. Maybe I’ve got big fingers, but I ended up having to use the up/down, left/right controls.

But the deal breaker for me (and it should be highlighted), is the JPEG quality that the images are saved at.

My previous Canon compacts allowed me to select Normal, Fine and Super Fine to control the quality/compression. The SX200 only have Normal and Fine.

This means that it’s highest setting, the JPEGs are save with a quality of 89, as opposed to 95 on my older compact.

This may not be an issue for most people, but for me it was a deal breaker. Sorry Canon, you let me down.

If you’re thinking of going for the SX200, take some test shots on your own memory card in a shop. Get them back home to your computer and double-check that you’re happy.

8:36 am - Friday, April 10, 2009

#24 deny desi ariyanto

Thanks for review..
hmm..  it’s look like G12 :p
G10 with beauty design, luv it

1:06 am - Saturday, April 11, 2009

#25 henuiio

would you mind putting the example picture online again?

5:36 pm - Monday, April 13, 2009

#26 reddy

very good review thank you for your good article, here I also have a good share:
there are many kinds of beautiful digital cameras that I like it very much!

10:29 am - Wednesday, April 15, 2009

#27 santic

I’m looking at getting this camera as a decent, small-enough-but-not-having-an-absolutely-worthlessly-small-zoom camera.  I actually really want a dslr (say, the Nikon D80), but am considering this one in the meantime for three reasons: 1) I want something that’s small enough to be fairly convenient 2) I still have A LOT to learn about manual controls and 3) given number 2, not sure if it’s the right time for me to spend the money on the D80.  I played around with it in the store for a few minutes and I don’t think the flash will bug me much.  My main concerns, though, as trying to find a camera with the best shutter speed and with the best image quality.  Recommendations?  (P.S. My best alternate so far, despite being a fan of Nikon film SLRs, is the Canon sd 880 as that has gotten splendid reviews from everyone I’ve talked to).

12:23 am - Saturday, April 18, 2009

#28 Can't decide!

Would you recommend the SX200 over Panasonic’s TZ6?

3:20 am - Monday, April 27, 2009

#29 Matt

I too am completely stuck on which camera to get.  The SX200 or the TZ7?? Never made a decision so hard…....

2:53 pm - Monday, May 11, 2009

#30 santic

I ended up getting the sx200.  The lack of manual controls on the panasonic were a deal-breaker for me.  I’m loving the canon.  Colors are great, manual controls and excellent, and the pictures are wonderful. Great zoom, small size, short shutter lag, enough settings to be an endless source of entertainment.  I can see how some despise the pop up flash, but I’ve gotten used to it and it doesn’t really bother me anymore.  You can adjust the flash to not go off, so having it pop up is really just as obvious and as having the lens open out. Only thing that’s a little annoying is that the zoom control is a little difficult to grasp.

6:50 pm - Monday, May 11, 2009

#31 Ivan

I can’t deside either… SX200 or TZ7??
If you don’t pay attention to video performance and consider that I can get the sx200 for the same price as the tz7, but with SIX years of garanty, which one would you recommend?

11:10 am - Tuesday, May 19, 2009

#32 Ivan

Oh and by the way, I don’t need it before end of June, so maybe I should just wait and see if a new superzoom camera shows up? What do you think?
Thanks in advance =)

3:49 pm - Tuesday, May 19, 2009

#33 PowerShot SX200

Three bright colors make the SX200 look elegant.

7:49 pm - Friday, May 22, 2009

#34 wl

Comment #26 is blatant advertising.

10:22 pm - Friday, May 22, 2009

#35 Rob

I have read in many user reviews that the sound from this camera is much better in than the flawed sound on the Panasonic rival, but the sound comparison seems to be completely ignored in this review. I also don’t get why the editors trashed h.264 compression, just because the file size is somewhat bigger than the AVCHD files from the Panasonic (if files were twice as big, then maybe it would that important, but then perhaps there would be a noticeable difference in image quality). H.264 is surely a favored and high-quality video format, why don’t the editors mention this (they do know this AVCHD is often a pain to work with, don’t they?)? The lack of being able to zoom while making a movie seems like the only legitimate complaint of video on this camera vs. the Pani. Wish there was more logical evidence presented over why the editors claim the Panasonic wins so clearly with video, because I feel decent sound is part of the equation when judging a cameras usefullness as a video camera, and from my research, the Canon wins on this count. I would buy the Panasonic if I hadn’t heard so many complaint about audio quality. I guess it’s back to wanting a camera that does it all…

12:53 am - Saturday, May 23, 2009

#36 Edward Virtually

whatever its other failings, the MOV format is proprietary and means you will no longer be able to edit movie files using vdub or other free video editors.  a major fubar on canon’s part imo.  i won’t be buying any more of their cameras.  thankfully, the tx1 doesn’t suffer from this bit of brain-damage.

5:26 am - Sunday, May 24, 2009

#37 Ivan

I just bought the sx200 yesterday!!! And I am so happy with it!! I have been taking superb macro shots and with iso locked to 80 in P mode I always get fantastic quality :)  If the camera isn’t able to focus (on a difficult subject) I use MF and it’s great!! Shutter and aperture priority are great too! Movie quality is fantastic and @ Edward: I am on a mac and MPEG Streamclip converts everything!! Mov is great, only downside is that it takes a lot of place. I bought the sandisk ultra II 8 gb card with it, so I have plenty space. The sound is great too, I play the indian tabla, and even the bas is great. Who cares about the optical zoom in video?? Real movies don’t use zoom, and if you still want to zoom, just stop filming, zoom, and restart filming. You’ll loose only 5 seconds or so… After playing some time with it I don’t even notice the flash popping up anymore. Colors are fantastic and I will be posting my macro shot for this month’s contest on PB.
So in one word: this camera is great =D And I got it for € 349,-  with SIX years of waranty (not from canon). Stitch works also very well for making panoramas.
So if you hesitate between sx200 and tz7, I can only tell you that you (very probably) won’t be disappointed :)
Thanks everyone on the net for reviews, comments etc..

11:20 am - Sunday, May 24, 2009

#38 nunov

comparing with panasonic how come not having zoom when filming is a disadvantage if panasonic can do it but do it wrong and in panasonic review is clear that filming with that camera will never have results like a real filming camera?
And I totally desagree with design rating. Canon is by far more well designed and attractive than panasonics.

After all both have rating 4,5 in photo quality.

I Have the same doubts between both cameras but i will choose canon sx200. The only doubt is the great panasonic lens, but i believe that canons are as good as Leicas.

1:56 pm - Wednesday, June 3, 2009

#39 Nick

I have owned this camera for almost one month. I purchased this for recreational use & most of all to take pictures of items for sales. The manual controls made it my choice over the panasonic. I am by no means a professional photographer but have had the need for the manual controls a few times for action shots & another time taking some pics of the moon on a clear night. Auto mode for the moon shots worked great but I was able to get better enhancement of the shades & craters manually. The pop-up flash was annoying at first but I have gotten used to it & learned to push it down with my finger if I choose not to use it. I bought a couple spare generic batteries because it seemed to be lacking in comparison to other camera reviews I read. One full battery is sufficient for most but a full vacation day may require 2 batts. Start up to first picture is super fast @ 1.2 sec so turnng it off to conserve battery isn’t a problem. The Image stabilization works well producing clear images even when I know I shook the camers. In the past I needed to use a tripod to achieve the needed detail of items, but I packed the tripod away a couple weeks ago & have not needed it since. The Smart Auto is great. I have taken detailed pics of items in direct sunlight, shadows or low light & extreme close-ups of about 2in with excellent results. As long as there is one light on anywhere in the room at night, I can pull off detailed color accurate images. Play mode is fast scrolling images & can zoom in to about one inch square of a 20X16in pic taken @ 4000X3000. Play back speed may vary by the SD card purchased, I am not sure. I bought a 16GB SDHC class6 that is overkill but just in case I needed the room for video. 16GB shows 5001 picture capacity on highest resolution 4000X3000.

500 pics on the counter in a month & I am still impressed with the camera. A good friend will also be getting the SX200 IS for father’s Day because of my recommendation as his needs are the same as mine, Car sales, items for sale & recreational use.

11:00 am - Friday, June 12, 2009

#40 RG

Can I ask where you can get this camera with six years warranty? A couple of people mentioned this and it would be nice to have…

11:00 am - Thursday, June 18, 2009

#41 Ivan

You can get six years of warranty at BCC, but that’s a dutch electronics shop. I don’t know where you live, but that’s everything I know

12:56 pm - Thursday, June 18, 2009

#42 RG

Ah…I’m in the UK so I guess that’s not going to work. Thanks anyway…I’ll probably still go for the SX200.

1:51 pm - Thursday, June 18, 2009

#43 Ivan

You’re welcome =)
Well, maybe there IS a shop too in the UK with more than one year of warranty, but that’s something you’ll have to look for.
I still really like the sx200, so if I were you I would go for the sx200.

4:29 pm - Friday, June 19, 2009

#44 Rob

BTW, I retract my statement (above) about the SX200 having better sounds than the Panasonic line. I hadn’t realized the ZS3 has much improved sound over the older Panasonic Cameras, and so I’ve decided to go with the Panasonic ZS3.

5:17 pm - Friday, June 19, 2009

#45 Johnny

I did side by side comparison amongst Panasonic ZS3, Canon SX200 and Sony H20 for picture quality in low light environments, which I think that this is the most difficult part for all digital cameras. Please just use red and BLACK colors that are most difficult colors to reproduce. Canon outran ZS3 and H20 by far.
I agree some other people’s comments on ZS3: Too much red, too much contract and artificial colors for outdoor shots, which pleased many peoples eyes so they think ZS3 has “outstanding colors”. Sony H20 quality is bit rough when in low light although outdoor color quality is OK and competitive to Canon. The SX200 reproduced most accurate and natural colors in both outdoor and low light. I should say SX200 outdoor quality is indeed excellent.

Canon SX200 is the winner!

By the way, during my past digital camera tests, all Panasonic cameras have been at the bottom of list unfortunately, although I like some of Panasonic pro-sumer camcorders.

8:07 pm - Thursday, June 25, 2009

#46 Peter Harvey

I have had my SX200 IS for 5 days and am really enjoying using it. Very impressed with the cast aluminium body; gives a nice weight and feel to the camera, also the styling of the camera puts most other compacts in the shade.

The macro works well in all modes; best results are in M where you can use f8 and get good DOF but advise the use of a tripod for maximum results because hand-held shooting is too shaky.

Out and about I am very impressed with colour rendering and detail in my photographs; cloudy blue skies are vibrant. People photos are very good, nice skin tones.

A lot of people have commented on the pop-up flash. There is plenty of room behind the flash for grip or just hold it down if it’s that much of a problem. Of course you can always turn the flash off.

One grouse, my Black SX is in fact brown! I have learned to live with it and reckon the colour is Bronze.

Very glad to have the SX 200, well made, lovely simple shape and the colour is not bad either.

3:31 pm - Tuesday, July 7, 2009

#47 JHM

you can also get 5 years extra warranty via

I can get my hands on a TZ6 for 233 (daily offer) or should I spent 30 bucks more for the SX200?

I don’t know anymore.

1:48 pm - Saturday, July 11, 2009

#48 Evelyn

Thanks for the review.. I am torn between getting the Samsung WB550 and this one. I was all set on picking up the Canon until I went to the store and found out that the “flash” stayed up the entire time. The store employee suggested I consider the Samsung.. and now here I am. Stuck. Any suggestions? Would anybody know if the date displayed on the canon prints on the actual photos as well? (I ask this because my current camera does not print..)


3:58 am - Monday, July 20, 2009

#49 Peter Harvey

The Flash on the sx200 is really not a problem; there is still plenty of room to hold the camera.
Having used my SX200 practically everyday since I bought it I find that it deals with every situation I’ve come across and the manual/shutter/aperture modes are so useful.

3:40 pm - Saturday, July 25, 2009

#50 roghard

How can you say in yr review: “The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS dealt extremely well with chromatic aberrations”?
Look at sample #18 ...
Does everything have mauve and green edges in real life?
There is no point in long zoom if it is that bad - the worst i have ever seen - unusable.

12:14 pm - Tuesday, July 28, 2009

#51 Peter Harvey

Good point. I have to admit that when sample 18 is enlarged to, roughly 53cm x 36cm a bit of fringing is noticeable. Luckily I only have an A4 printer and access to an A3 printer.
When using the function menu has anyone noticed that ‘My Colours’ Custom mode allows you to set Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Red, Green,Blue and Skin Tone levels.
I have just adjusted the contrast -1 and sharpness+1 and find the quality of photos even better than before, obviously early days yet but promising.

5:11 pm - Tuesday, July 28, 2009

#52 roghard

The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS dealt extremely well with chromatic aberrations ( NOT )

don’t care much about the silly pop-up flash - fix that with superglue and duct-tape ...
but for a digicam to promise so much -
aperture priority - yes
manual focus - yes
super-zoom in your pocket - yes
in-camera contrast etc tweaks - yes
nice Canon IQ - - erm - - apart from the CA, doh

i got perilously close to buying one, until i saw the CA on the sample photos - with 12 megapix and 12x zoom i still expect to be able to use 100-percent crops - even if only for 6x4 prints - since framing in the field is a bit hit-and-miss with our feathered and furry friends (and humans too) - and that means you get a good view of the psychedelic green/mauve SX200 art-effects.

That is what is so disappointing - SX200 nearly answered so many prayers.
The Pan’ic TZ7 can all but eliminate the CA. - why don’t i buy one then? - no manual control and i already use a TZ3 (also with negligible CA).

Hang on tho’ - is it possible that the SX200 in-camera “contrast -1 and sharpness+1” adjustments remove the CA from the CAnon?
Please tell - maybe post samples.

11:01 pm - Tuesday, July 28, 2009

#53 Mandy

Just bought the SX200. I love the picure quality but am not sure about the colours - in auto the grass is a very unnatural shade of green. Any ideas or advice much appreciated. Mind you, I’m very much a novice so please bear that in mind.

8:20 pm - Friday, July 31, 2009

#54 Brian

Having read all the favourable reviews, I recently bought the Panasonic TZ7. Although a great camera in many respects, I was not happy with the colours on some shots. For one specific shot, the only way I could get the colours right was to shoot in ‘Vivid’ mode and then it almost matched the results from my Canon Ixus 40 in auto mode - and match what I could see in front of me. I decided I couldn’t live with this and returned the camera - having wasted money on a spare battery, case, etc.
I am now thinking of going for the SX200 but I am nervous of making another costly mistake.  Having read some of the comments here I am feeling a bit more confident.
I thought I would share my findings with those of you thinking of going for the TZ7.

11:12 am - Saturday, August 1, 2009

#55 Lorraine

Four months on from my first review, (bought for a handbag size/discreet alternative to a dslr) and I really like this camera.  Wasn’t too impressed at first if I’m totally honest and ended up buying a Canon G10, but now I’ve got used to it, I love it and have to say it tends to be in my handbag a lot more often than the G10, mainly because of the size and the extra zoom. 

I love the colours it produces; very natural shots for portraits, lovely vivid landscapes/sunsets. I’ve used it a lot for concert photography as well on shutter priority mainly, handheld from between 1/20 - 1/60, ISO: 400 and near enough on constant 12x zoom, no flash and I was very pleased with the photos considering a lot were tight crops!  I wouldn’t take the ISO over 400 for dark backgrounds or 200 for light backgrounds though because of noise.

Not keen on the video; it’s really jerky, thought maybe my memory card wasn’t fast enough so used a 8GB Extreme III SDHC card in it but it didn’t make any difference, so I stand by what I said before, if video is something you do a lot of, buy a video camera instead.

On the downside; I have encountered a problem with it, my daughter was using it on our holiday after having had hers stolen and it packed up on her.  The lens won’t extend and I can’t even view photos so it’ll need to go off to Canon.  Hopefully, (for everyone else) mine is just a one-off.  I’m a bit peeved its gone wrong so soon, but there’s always a bad egg and unfortunately it looks like I got it!

Still doesn’t put me off recommending it though and it shouldn’t put anyone off buying one, like I said, there’s nearly always a bad egg in a batch!

1:19 am - Sunday, August 2, 2009

#56 Rob

Lorraine, thanks for the update. My only quip is your statement about the poor video performance you’ve experienced with the SX200. You say “if video is something you do a lot of, buy a video camera instead.” But I doubt most people are in the market for a smaller camera like this one, yet want to also carry lug a video camera around too. So for people who are thinking about the SX200 but don’t want to lug around two cameras, I think the more obvious suggestion is to consider the Panasonic DMC-ZS3 instead. The biggest complaint I hear about the ZS3 are the colors not always being natural, so that could bother some people (not me, I can fix the colors on my computer). So while the SX200 is probably the better camera for those who don’t care about video, want more manual controls, or more accurate color, I assert the Panasonic is the better choice for those who want a smaller camera with a big zoom and very good video capabilities.

1:51 am - Sunday, August 2, 2009

#57 Lorraine

Rob - Fair comment and we’re all entitled to our opinion but personally I don’t agree. Years ago I had a Sony T1 camera, 3/4 the size of this canon at the very most but I still used a video camera. Video cameras are much smaller these days, mine weighs about the same as this camera and the dimensions, though distributed differently, are very similar as well and some have photo capabilities, it really depends what your priorities are I guess. I’m very much a ‘buy something for what it’s really intended for’ woman.

3:32 am - Sunday, August 2, 2009

#58 Rob

Hi Lorraine. In my case, I have a dedicated camcorder (with accessories) and a DSLR (with several lenses), for those times when quality is paramount. But I have found having one smaller camera that does a decent job at both functions is what I use for 85% of my photos and video. I never know when I’ll want to take picture, or video, or both, so I love having a small device that does a good job at both. Why have a video function on a camera at all that isn’t as good as it could be? Heck, if you really are buying “something for what it is intended for,” then neither of these two small cameras we are discussing take the best quality photos, compared to what you could buy for the same money, if you don’t mind a bigger camera. But we are both attracted to the convenience of the smaller device that’s effortless to take with you. That same logic is whey I like a small device that allows me to take decent photos and video. I think the idea of getting a separate device for every “intended” function is slowly becoming outdated on the consumer level, and even very high-end DSLRs are adding video capabilities (that often surpass the quality of dedicated video cameras). Anyway, I can’t say the SX200 is a bad choice, but I think you’re missing the boat if you think a dedicated still and video camera is the only option if you want decent photos and videos.

4:15 am - Sunday, August 2, 2009

#59 Lorraine

Rob – I’m exactly the same; dedicated camcorder and dslr, (Nikon + several lenses) for superb quality videos/photos. To be honest, I carry my kit round most of the time. The only difference is that for me, I just wanted a smaller camera for 1) carrying around in my handbag for times when I don’t want to carry my kit, for instance, doing the weekly food shopping!  You’re obviously well into your photography as well so I don’t need to tell you ‘you’d be surprised what comes up to photograph when doing the most menial of tasks!’. 2) For times when its maybe not security conscious to be carrying expensive kit about, I’m just back from Portugal and the first night there someone tried to snatch my handbag, the 2nd night I saw someone carrying a dslr on their shoulder and again, they nearly lost it! 

Yes, I totally agree, neither of the cameras being discussed here take the best quality photos, no way could the SX200 ever replace my dslr. I have the Canon G10 as well and I wouldn’t get rid of my dslr for that either!  Speaking of which, that might not shoot HD movies, but I personally think the videos I’ve done on the G10 are better than the SX200! Go figure!

Not overly keen on the dslr doing video thing to be honest, but I will reserve judgement as I haven’t actually used one yet - got my eye on that Nikon 300s though I must admit! ;).

Rob, I think we’re at least on pages next to each other so how about we call a truce? :)

5:09 am - Sunday, August 2, 2009

#60 Jorma

I also was baffled when I first viewed the videos on the computer screen, they looked way jerky!
Turns out it’s my slow computer, which just can’t keep up! There are also big differences in the performance of the different viewers, Quicktime seems to be on the slooow side, better to experiment a little. Viewed from the camera, the video is just dandy.
Otherwise the camera is packed with features and I’m happy with the pictures I’m able to produce.
Can’t really understand the complaints about the flash popping up, it’s actually the quickest way to turn flash off by just pushing it down with you finger, so you can make instant decisions to take a picture with or without a flash.
My only complaint so far is the cracked LCD display. I have handled the thing very carefully and not stored it anywhere besides the good quality case, so it is a mystery what has happened. There are no signs of an impact, just a very thin crack from the corner to the center. Hopefully the warranty will cover it. It’s the 7th Canon in the family over the years and the first one with any problems.

1:28 pm - Tuesday, August 4, 2009

#61 Jorma

SX200 cracked LCD follow up.
I took the camera to the dealer and the took it to the local warranty repair center. The verdict was that broken displays are not covered by the warranty :(
Even if it’s not a very expensive camera I’m a bit annoyed as I know I have not done anything to cause the fault.
Please post here if you have similar problems, so we’ll know if I just happened to get a bad apple or if it’s a more general issue.

11:01 am - Thursday, August 6, 2009

#62 RG

Not covered by warranty…never heard such rubbish. They don’t have the option of ignoring the law - if you have taken care of it and used an appropriate case etc. then they need to fix it!
Are you in the UK?
If you don’t get anywhere with the dealer, go directly to Canon UK and possibly a consumer advice service.

12:39 pm - Thursday, August 6, 2009

#63 Ebrar

I will be going to malaysia next week and will be purchasing my first digital camera.i really want to buy canon SX200IS. The mixed reviews has really confused me.So for my first digital camera is canon SX200IS will be a good purchase for me.Can anybody please give me some recommendation. Apart from canon SX200IS,two other cameras heve caught my attention Sony cybershot DSC-W290 and canon ixus 110IS. Among these 3 cameras which would be a better buy. Please recommend. A quick response will be highly appreciated

2:57 pm - Thursday, August 13, 2009

#64 Jorma


I have actually been rather happy with the results I have achieved with the SX200. I like to have the manual controls available. The other compact long zoom often mentioned is the Panasonic DMC-TZ7, but it has less setting to fiddle with. It has received very good reviews though (I have no personal experience).

If the long zoom is not the key criteria, the Canon Digital IXUS 100 IS is a very nice and tiny camera. The kids have these and have been able to take nice pics with them.

On the very new camera front, Panasonic is just coming out with a very small 8x zoom, the DMC-ZX1 and Sony has a new image sensor on the DSC-WX1 that supposedly improves pictures in low light conditions. These are just two models that I would probably want to see if I was buying a compact now. They may not be in the stores yet, though.

3:38 pm - Thursday, August 13, 2009

#65 Martin

Just don’t buy it. I have had mine for a couple of months now. I’m not impressed. I have gradually become used to the annoying flash popping up “ALL” of the time. But the pictures are just not great, ok, but never great. The video is actually quite good although you cannot zoom in which is a shame. The pictures are just not sharp on a larger screen, look good on the camera screen but not when you put them on a monitor and see them for what they are. Don’t buy!

5:31 pm - Thursday, August 13, 2009

#66 Jorma


Maybe you have a bad unit, as I’m quite happy with the sharpness for a camera this cheap and having the huge zoom range. You have to be careful as to where the camera focuses though. I find it the easiest to set the focus in the center and when I’m taking a picture I will first aim at the main subject, let the camera focus, lock it and then assemble the picture before releasing the shutter.

7:22 pm - Thursday, August 13, 2009

#67 gideon benson

I don’t know wheather to buy the Canon Powershot Ixus 870 or Canon Powershot SX200. I really want a good zoom or at least something between both these cameras.

Can anyone help me?

1:13 am - Monday, August 17, 2009

#68 Pat

I bought a ZT7 on Saturday and tested it to its limits. It was a real beauty; especially the zoom in the video shooting and the stereo recording. However, after four days, I felt that something was not right. I could not put my finger on the problem for a while, but then I finally got it; the pics were all too vivid and brilliant. While some may regard this as a plus point ( and there must be many of them out there who think so, since the ZT7 has been the best selling camera in Amazon for a while ), I wanted more natural colors. So I traded it in yesterday for a SX 200 IS.
My first impression on handling the SX was one of shock. How cheap it looked comparing to the ZT7. Then there was the permanently popped up flash. Add to this the lack of zoom and stereo sound in video recording, and bout to high tail back to the store to retrieve my old ZT7. But then I thought I’d take some test shots to see how it went. I was pleasantly surprised. The colors were so natural. The zoom and macro were pretty good, and the icing on the cake was the manual control. As I read the manual and came to understand the camera, I liked it more and more by the minute. Since I do a lot of bird and macro photography, this camera suited my needs better than the TZ7.
At the end of the day, the winner between these two cameras depends heavily on what the owner wants. If he/she wants a sleek and beautiful looking camera with as many bells and whistles possible crammed in, and not bother about the pics not looking natural, then it’s the TZ7. However, if he/she wants more natural looking pics, and is allowed by the camera to experiment with manual controls to improve his/her photo taking skills, then it is the SX. Really, there is no winner or loser in this duel.

8:08 pm - Thursday, August 20, 2009

#69 Jorma

SX200 cracked LCD follow up:
The story had a happy ending. The local Canon picked up the repair bill after the case was escalated to them. All in all very good customer service by the dealer and by Canon.
Turns out there is a protective ‘window’ in front of the LCD and the window was broken. Seems to be a 10-15$ part, so it will not break the bank should there be any issues after the warranty period.

12:53 pm - Friday, August 21, 2009

#70 MG

The inevitable question. I am considereinf wither the Canon SX200, Panasonic Lumix DMC TZ7 or Ricoh CX1, but which?
I am not specially intereseted in video mode, but want best possible picture quality with particularly accurate colours and a pretty fast response between pressing the shutter and taking the picture.
I notice in the reviews there are no comments about colour accuracy in the sections on image quality. Which of these cameras have the best colour accuracy?

5:22 pm - Friday, August 21, 2009

#71 Jorma

Hello MG,

I can only comment on the SX200 as I have no experience with the others.
I have been happy with the default colors on the Canon. If you are not happy with the default, there are various predefined custom color modes. Additionally there is a mode where you can individually adjust the contrast, sharpness, saturation, red, green, blue and the skin tone. I have not fiddled with these either as the default has produced pleasing results for my taste.

7:16 pm - Friday, August 21, 2009

#72 Pat

Hi MG ( @70 ),
I have owned both the TZ7 and the SX 200 ( I returned the TZ7 after a few days’ use and got the SX 200 - my current camera ). Since these are the two most popular megazoom P&S cameras out there now, I’ll confine my comments to these two.
1) Color accuracy - I found the SX 200 gave more natural colors. The TZ7 tended to over saturate the photos, but some people liked it this way, as it tended to make the shots more vibrant. For example, I took a shot of the shoot of a plant. The shoot was of course shoot-green in color, but the TZ7 made it into a deeper green. Another shot was of a plant that had delicate yellow leaves. The TZ7 made the leaves of this plant deep yellow, almost bordering to orange. The SX 200 managed to retain the delicate yellow of the leaves.
2)Quick response - Both seem to be quick, but the TZ7 seemed slightly faster to me. I might be wrong assuming this.
Now these are two different cameras for two different purposes. If you want to take consistently good photos all the time without bothering about camera details, then the TZ7 is for you. If however you want to have some flexibility to produce an image just right for you, then he SX 200 with its manual controls is the camera for you. Be warned however that if you have no knowledge whatsoever about camera settings, there is a learning curve that you have to go through. This will be good practice if you want to upgrade to a DSLR in the near future. Even after you have got your DSLR, the SX 200 will continue to serve as a good backup camera. Some other experiences I had with these two cameras. I took a macro shot of a honey bee with the TZ7, with the lens about 3 cm from the bee. The shot came out perfect. The coloring of the bee looked natural ( sometimes the TZ7 does produce natural color ), and I could blow up the image considerably in the computer without losing any detail. When I got the SX 200, I took about 20 shots of honey bees, but none of them could match the detail and clarity of the bee image produced by the TZ7. After some research, I found that if the SX 200 is in Auto mode ( which it was when I shot the bees ), then the high ISO setting ( 800 ) for the auto mode will not produce good pictures. We have to switch to P mode or to manual controls to get a good image with the SX 200. But once you have mastered all the controls of the SX, it becomes a much more versatile camera than the TZ7. The TZ7’s Auto however is so good ( some say too good for its own good ), that it can almost always take good photos, which will even surprise the pros. There are of course pros and cons for both cameras. TZ7 has a noise problem - the noise in the photos can be noticed as early as ISO 200. The SX has chromatic aberration big time. Purple fringing can be seen in most of the max zoom photos produced by the SX. Some people just can’t stand the permanently popped up flash of the SX; but I got used to it in a day or two, and it does not bother me now. If you want a camera to take with you on your travels, then the TZ7 is hard to beat. Also, all members of a family can use this camera to produce stunning photos. There are other issues with the SX which will confound most people. For example, super macro ( zero cm )does not live up to its name. The best macro shots produced by the SX are tele-macro shots, where you zoom onto the subject while standing about a meter away from it. This produces the stunning effect of a close up of the subject with the background blurred.
I am happy with my Sx. I’m learning much about how to take good shots using this camera. This will come in handy when I upgrade to a DSLR next year.
Hope this helps.

10:13 pm - Sunday, August 23, 2009

#73 MG

Thanks Jorma and Pat. I knew that there were no simple answers, but this all helps.
I have used a 35mm SLR for years and am very ussed to setting up speed / aperture/ focus for a shot. I have a Coolpix (5yrs old) at the moment and I am tired of all pictures emphasising the red on auto exposure. Purple flowers invariably look dark pink. I also find that I use the auto mode almost exclusively, partly because it is so much more fiddly than an SLR for setting up a shot manually.
I guess that from your comments Pat I might just look at the TZ7 as a good “point and shoot”, and play with white balance to get colour fidelity. I will then get a proper DSLR for more adventurous photography. I must say that the SX macro-zoom sounds interesting, but perhaps the TZ7 could do that too even though it appears to have a smaller apertures at full zoom.

Many thanks for the time spent on your comprehensive view.
Best regards

10:50 am - Monday, August 24, 2009

#74 Rob

I really like the macro quality on my ZS3 (TZ7), and don’t forget the better movie mode (HD and zoom) than the SX200. Movie quality in any other mode than HD is disappointing. I’m not saying it’s a better camera, it depends on what you’re looking for. I was also surprised how much reading it takes to really learn the functions (even though there isn’t manual control, there are a ton of auto modes to learn).

1:30 pm - Monday, August 24, 2009

#75 craig

Stuck between both the TZ7 and the SX 200. Both cameras are now heavily reduced, TZ7 £252 and the SX 200 £200 - £210 inc £40 cash back from Canon. Is the £40 saving a decider over the Panasonic? What is the quality of the HD recordings like on both, is there much in it as photo wise they seem to be very close. Thanks for your honest oppion.

12:09 am - Tuesday, August 25, 2009

#76 Pat

Hi MG,

Seems like I made a lot of incorrect assumptions in my last post. The super macro setting cannot be accessed in the auto mode of the SX - you’ll have to use the P or Manual modes for this. Some who have used the super macro correctly say that it’s simply out of this world ! Guess I still have a lot to learn about the SX. If you want an extra camera that can quickly take an almost flawless picture or video( like when you suddenly spot a UFO or are the only one with a camera witnessing a terror attack ), then the TZ7 wins hands down. But if you want to take photos that are pleasing to your soul, then the SX is a good camera. I am not going to part with my SX. I’m only half way through the manual, and already I’ve learned so much. This would not have been possible had I had the TZ7.

11:50 am - Tuesday, August 25, 2009

#77 Muhammad Umer

thanks to you for clarifying my neuronal confusion about my choice of camera.
I plan to keep my SX200.
that ALWAYS-STAYS-UP-FLASH was pissing me off really and I was planing to return the SX200. But this thread has clarified my thought process.
I intend to upgrade to a DSLR in about a year’s time and this camera with its manual controls (my reason for purchase of this camera) seems to be the right teacher for learning all the manual modes.
thanks to

3:24 pm - Monday, August 31, 2009

#78 Rob

Muhammad, as a DMC-ZS3 owner, I’ll agree that the Canon is definitely the way to go if you want manual control over your camera. While I’m happy with the ZS3, it has frustrated me a couple of times due to the lack of manual controls.

4:16 pm - Monday, August 31, 2009

#79 Muhammad Umer

thanks for your comment there.
I have been using compact digicams for a while now, always getting shots which I felt were missing the “soul” of the scene I had imagined in my head.
thanks to internet, I realized that I needed to learn the manual controls and settings and hence this decision of choosing SX200.
There is another powershot S90 due to be released in October in UK and USA (Australia will be a few weeks to months behind). this appears at least on paper a great camera with manual controls but couldnt wait that long.

4:55 pm - Monday, August 31, 2009

#80 Pat

Hi Muhammad,
I’m glad you’ve decided to keep the camera. To fully exploit the potential of the SX 200, you have to thoroughly master the manual. Then you’ll know exactly what to do ( whether you’re in the ” P ” mode or ” M ” mode ) when a situation presents itself. There are of course many categories that you have to master, e.g. portrait, scenery, zoom, macro, night shots etc. All this takes a little time, but as your techniques improve and you see your pics get better and better, a sense of satisfaction is achieved. The Lumix cannot give you this. You will find that the SX 200 grows on you. Even after you purchase your DSLR next year, you’ll still want to keep the SX 200 with you so that you don’t need to lug around a huge camera bag with you for a short shooting trip. Also try to get your hands on some introductory digital camera books ( or alternatively, try the net ). I got a couple from my local library, and, Boy ! Did I learn from it !
It might please you to know that the lens cover on the Lumix is too thin, and breaks easily. Also, Panasonic’s customer service, unlike Canon’s, sucks.
The SX 200 is built like a tank, and once you are very familiar with the controls and techniques, photography will give you the kind of pleasure that few things can match.
Happy shooting brother.

6:10 am - Saturday, September 5, 2009

#81 Uriah

Good Day. No man remains quite what he was when he recognizes himself.
I am from Botswana and now teach English, please tell me right I wrote the following sentence: “It is national method’s empire will stack more there much that their enough social revenue has been back especially produced.”

With love :(, Uriah.

8:34 am - Saturday, September 5, 2009

#82 Muhammad Umer

Hi Rob,
thanks for your encouraging comments.
Yeah that was the thought behind this camera when I bought it that I may not want to lug that big DSLR to all places that I go(may not be safe for the camera and my pocket too).
Lets see.
I agree that there is a lot to learn about photography. net is a good resource.

Muhammad Umer

9:49 am - Saturday, September 5, 2009

#83 Peter

Dear Friends, I would like to buy a camera for hiking. I need strong zoom capabilities, excellent macro mode and I will often encounter poor light conditions (e.g. in forests or in deep, narrow valleys), though I would like to take detailed, vivid-color pictures (if possible). The video does not matter. After a lot of Net, I decided to buy either the Panasonic TZ7 (ZS3) or Canon SX 200. The manual modes of Canon are magnetic, but I had bad experiences with my former Canons (unnatural colors, patch-like appearance of trees etc). The reviews are confusing concerning the priority in image quality of these products. Have you experience the photo quality under the above mentioned conditions? (Sorry, I will post it to the Panasonic forum as well.) Any help would be highly appreciated!

11:43 am - Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#84 Rob

Peter, as a ZS3 owner who has read a lot about these two cameras, I’d suggest the Canon in your case. I would say you shouldn’t condemn the Canon brand as a whole due to your bad experience with one camera, because I think in general, Canon’s do pretty well with color (but all manufacturers have models that aren’t so hot). I chose the Panasonic largely due to it’s video capabilities, but do miss manual controls at times, and feel the color from the ZS3 is sometimes a little weird/cool.

4:51 pm - Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#85 Peter

Thank you, Rob. Your response confirmed my conception.

7:32 pm - Tuesday, October 20, 2009

#86 Terence

How does this camera perform in general indoor low light shots?

8:43 am - Thursday, November 5, 2009

#87 n00b

well, the greatest advantage with canon is the CHDK Firmware addition…

1:20 pm - Sunday, November 8, 2009

#88 Rob

Since probably less than 1% of users load CHDK firmware, I’m not sure 99% of Canon users would agree with your statement. On the other hand, it’s cool you brought it up, since CHDK is something all advanced users should be aware of, if for no other reason than being able to get RAW photos from your point and shoot:

5:59 pm - Sunday, November 8, 2009

#89 A

You stated: “The HDMI port makes it easy to connect the SX200 to a HD TV, although we would have liked to see a suitable cable included in the box.”

I think you mean an HD TV.

6:04 pm - Sunday, November 8, 2009

#90 Ivan

Wow!!! n00b, you’re fantastic! I hadn’t heard about CHDK, but is seems to be incredible! I’m going to check te wiki for a version for the SX200 and custom scripts. Raw capture, who could have imagined that?
Many thanks!

9:59 pm - Sunday, November 8, 2009

#91 Rachel

Hi, I think I’m pretty set on getting this camera.  Does anyone know when Canon tends to release updates to their lines (I’m commenting from the US), and whether they’d be updating this model?  I am not up on the industry gossip.  Thanks!

7:41 am - Friday, November 13, 2009

#92 badack


I’ve been using it for almost 4 months.
The colors are perfectly natural, unlike my father’s panasonic FX-28.
The manual apperture anda manual exposure is great, you won’t get it in average digicam.

The flash-popup is not a problem, you’ll get used to after a few days.

The best IDR 3.700.000 I’ve ever spent.

10:03 am - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

#93 Medar

I have had this camera for a few months now and like it very much.  Contrary to the statement in the conclusion: “and worst of all doesn’t allow the zoom to be used during recording”—YES, IT DOES!!!! this seems to have been written by someone who was not into this camera.

5:56 pm - Thursday, December 3, 2009

#94 Rob

Medar, I don’t have this camera, but every review I have read says you can’t zoom while recording video. So I’m wondering, did Canon change this? Can anyone else weigh in on this?

7:53 pm - Thursday, December 3, 2009

#95 Ivan

Yes, you can zoom during video if you use CHDK, a firmware addon for all canon cameras. Check the right version on
If you have installed it to your memorystick you will be able to zoom and even play games on your SX200 IS (or use more useful things..). You will be able to zoom by first zooming 12x BEFORE starting to record. Then you can zoom out and edit it on the go. You will hear the lens zooming sound though, which is the reason canon left the function out of it..

10:13 pm - Thursday, December 3, 2009

#96 Rob

That’s cool, Ivan, another reason to use CHDK with this camera. But it didn’t sound to me like Medar was talking about using special firmware to achieve the zoom.

1:30 am - Friday, December 4, 2009

#97 Jorma

The digital zoom works during video recording in the standard firmware. Optical does not. I think this is confusing some.
I think it’s an ok compromise as Ivan mentioned about the zooming noise.

9:18 am - Friday, December 4, 2009

#98 Medar

Allright, I haven’t installed any firmware and Rob is right, the digital zoom is what I’m able to use during recording.  Ivan I will check out your recomendation to see how that works.

5:28 am - Saturday, December 5, 2009

#99 Nash

TZ7 only have a total automatic mode, but this Canon have a great manual mode. Only for this possibility, the SX200 win every comparison.

9:29 am - Saturday, December 12, 2009

#100 c

i’m looking to get a camera to use manley to take high quality pictures of friends and family and for sceanery and recreation. would the sx200 be good? i already have a fujufilm finepix z20fd camera but want to upgrade to a camera with better quality pictures. i find that the z20fd isn’t great for taking high quality pictures,the lighting always seems weird,no mather what setting i put it on,and when taking photos in dark lighting the flash is really bight and the photos come up terrible. a friend of mine has a canon camera and its a lot better for taking pictures of people,the skin tones come up really nice and natural,far from what they look like in the z20fd! is the canon sx200 good for taking photos of people,family and friends,as that would be my main use of the camera.also how does it preform taking pictures of sceanery?,eg.skies,sea,mountains,as i’d also love to be able to take high quality photos of this sort of thing. i don’t take videos often, so this part of the camera isn’t important. any advice greatly appreciated!

12:25 pm - Thursday, January 7, 2010

Entry Tags

hd video, 3 inch LCD, compact, 720p, 12 megapixel, beginner, 12x zoom, advanced

Tracker Pixel for Entry