Canon PowerShot SX200 IS Review

4.5
March 30, 2009 | Mark Goldstein |

Image Quality


All of the sample images in this Review were taken using the 12 megapixel Fine JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3Mb.

The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS produced images of very good quality during the review period. The 1/2.3 inch, 12.1 megapixel sensor recorded noise-free images at ISO 100 and 200, with ISO 400 also looking good, although there's slight loss of saturation. ISO 800 shows more noise and some very obvious softening of fine detail, and ISO 1600 is even worse, looking as though someone has smeared vaseline on the lens. The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS dealt extremely well with chromatic aberrations, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and adequate exposure. The night photograph was good, with the maximum shutter speed of 15 seconds allowing you to capture plenty of light. Anti-shake is a feature that sets this camera apart from its competitors and one that works very well when hand-holding the camera in low-light conditions or when using the telephoto end of the zoom range. Macro performance is amazing, allowing you to focus as close as 0 cms away from the subject! The images were a little soft straight out of the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS at the default sharpening setting and ideally require some further sharpening in an application like Adobe Photoshop, or you can change the in-camera setting.

Noise

There are 6 ISO settings available on the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting.

ISO 80 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

Sharpening

Here are two 100% Crops which have been Saved as Web - Quality 50 in Photoshop. The right-hand image has had some sharpening applied in Photoshop. The out-of-the camera images are a little soft at the default sharpening setting and benefit from some further sharpening in a program like Adobe Photoshop. You can also change the in-camera sharpening level to suit your tastes via the My Colors menu option.

Original (100% Crop)

Sharpened (100% Crop)

   

File Quality

The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS has 2 different image quality settings available, with Fine being the highest quality option. Here are some 100% crops which show the quality of the various options, with the file size shown in brackets.

12M Fine (2.60Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Normal (1.14Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with very limited purple fringing present around the edges of objects in certain high-contrast situations, as shown in the example below.

Example 1 (100% Crop)

Macro

The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 0cms away from the camera when the lens is set to wide-angle! The first image shows how close you can get to the subject (in this case a compact flash card). The second image is a 100% crop.

Macro Shot

100% Crop

Flash

The flash settings on the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS are Off and On, with Flash Mode (Auto, Manual), Flash Exp. Comp, Flash Output, Safety FE, Red-eye Correction and Red-Eye Lamp settings available via the Flash Settings main menu option. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Off - Wide Angle (28mm)

On - Wide Angle (28mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Off - Telephoto (336mm)

On - Telephoto (336mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are some portrait shots. As you can see, neither the On or the Red-eye Correction settings caused any red-eye.

On

On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)

Night

The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS's maximum shutter speed is 15 seconds, which is great news if you're seriously interested in night photography. The shot below was taken using a shutter speed of 15 seconds at ISO 80. I've included a 100% crop of the image to show what the quality is like.

Night Shot

Night Shot (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS has an anti-shake mechanism, which allows you to take sharp photos at slower shutter speeds than other digital cameras. To test this, I took 2 handheld shots of the same subject with the same settings. The first shot was taken with anti shake turned off, the second with it turned on. Here are some 100% crops of the images to show the results. As you can see, with anti shake turned on, the images are much sharper than with anti shake turned off. This feature really does seem to make a difference and could mean capturing a successful, sharp shot or missing the opportunity altogether.

Shutter Speed / Focal Length

Anti Shake Off (100% Crop)

Anti Shake On (100% Crop)

1/15th / 28mm
1/15th / 336mm

Entry Tags

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

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