Canon PowerShot SX220 HS Review

March 14, 2011 | Mark Goldstein | |

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#1 Arthur

Would you mind putting the night shots in (on page 2)? Thanks

1:31 pm - Monday, March 14, 2011

#2 David

When rotating the command/dial scroll wheel in aperture priority mode what happens if you press the wheel too hard? I had an SX100 IS and it drove me mad because when I was trying to adjust the aperture by rotating the command/dial scroll wheel I invariably ended up changing other settings that were assigned to the four buttons on the wheel (macro, exposure compensation, flash or timer).

2:47 pm - Monday, March 14, 2011

#3 Kieran

Have been looking for a high-zoom compact for a few weeks now. Considered Panasonic TZ10/ZS7, Nikon S8100/S9100, Casio EX-FH100, Fuji F300EXR, and the Sony HX5V, and then stumbled on the SX220 HS. Seems to be good in low light, lowish noise at higher ISO, full control of shutter speed (sports shots), HD video, a reasonable resolution LCD, huge zoom, and just about everything anyone could want in a small camera except GPS (SX230 HS for that!). So, didn’t set out to look at the SX220 HS, but I’ve just bought it, and it’ll be delivered tomorrow!

3:21 pm - Monday, March 14, 2011

#4 Eyal Gurevitch

Way to go!
Your early reviews on newly released cameras are highly valued by potential buyers and upgraders.

If ISO 800 is actually usable - this camera (and its better spec’ed sibling - the SX230) will be strong competitors in the compact zoom market.


3:30 pm - Monday, March 14, 2011

#5 Mark

Impressive image quality for this type of camera.

3:34 pm - Monday, March 14, 2011

#6 Warren Lyons

Glad to see that canon has finally put the emphasis on having the best image quality in its class, rather than being “King of The Hill” in megapixels or zoom.  While this camera won’t replace the sub $100.00 throwaway or DSLR cameras, it might render the micro 4/3 models and premium compacts such as Canon’s own G12 redundant.  Almost makes me sorry about my recent Olympus EPL1 purchase

4:42 pm - Monday, March 14, 2011

#7 O.J. Mayo

What image quality is the reviewer talking about? All the pictures have a ton of noise. This is terrible image quality.

4:45 pm - Monday, March 14, 2011

#8 LVArturs

I completely agree to what Keiran said (although my list had Samsung WB650 and hadn’t had Nikon, Fuji, Sony). I’m going to buy this baby as soon as the price in Latvia drops from 360$ what it’s like now, to approximately 250$, and I hope it will happen very soon.

6:21 pm - Monday, March 14, 2011

#9 Motorcycle Accessories

It sounds allows the shutter to be controlled with a smile or a wink - increasing the overall user-friendly feel and handy for when you want to include yourself in the picture.

6:36 am - Tuesday, March 15, 2011

#10 Kieran

Have taken a handful of pictures with my new SX220 HS, and I am impressed. There are things I don’t like about the camera, mainly the ergonomics of it (eg pop-up flash, and too many controls on the back), but the image quality is very good indeed. Yes, noise does creep in, but you really have to zoom in to see it, and the camera firmware does a very good job of maintaining the integrity of the image. Not quite a DSLR, but pretty close. Will take me ages to find my way round it, but I am very happy so far. Really can’t get over how good the lens seems.

3:15 pm - Tuesday, March 15, 2011

#11 sjoban

I am in the market for a good quality compact camera. I was seriously considering the Panasonic TZ10 (a year old) or the newly released TZ18. And now I have stumbled across the Canon SX220 HS. They are all similarly priced, and seem to have similar specs.

My question: is the Canon SX220 better than the TZ10 in picture quality? If they are similar in picture quality, ease of use etc., does it make more sense to go for the SX220 given that it’s newer?


5:46 pm - Tuesday, March 15, 2011

#12 MyName

I compared the SX220 with the TZ10 and TZ18 in different websites and tests. The picture quality of the SX220 is similar / better at low ISO and better at high ISO. There are websites where you can compare both. My choice: SX220!

7:12 pm - Tuesday, March 15, 2011

#13 Paul S

Thanks for the review. I have a Samsung WB2000 but wasn’t greatly impressed with it when the flash is off due to too much blurring.

Is this any good for low-light and gig photographs?

9:40 am - Wednesday, March 16, 2011

#14 Tim

This would be my perfect camera… except for one thing.  Why have Canon stripped out the HDR mode?? It’s in the S90, this is practically the same camera.. why remove such a brilliant shoot mode?!

A shame that isn’t covered in the review - how can fisheye be a more important mode than HDR?

9:45 pm - Wednesday, March 16, 2011

#15 HT

Impressive quality usable images up to 800, and marginally usable 3MP pics at 1600-3200.

More than enough for a casual shooter like me, and way better than the TZ20. Only one left to see is the HX9 and its HDR and HHT. It definitely wont have the manual control the SX220 has, though.

5:09 am - Thursday, March 17, 2011

#16 Robin

Don’t know what you’re talking about. Usable at high ISOs? This woul require usable images at low ISOs first. Did you see the same review, same sample pics?

Think, O.J. Mayo (post #7) has seen the same pics I had to see. And well, everyone asking for image quality: simply look at these sample images here! Still any questions? I’ve got only one: When will image quality stop decreasing and become more important again?

1:11 pm - Thursday, March 17, 2011

#17 Tom MacFarlane


Hold the flash firmly in place and then switch on.

Not had the camera long enough to post any comments.

Back later!

5:00 pm - Thursday, March 17, 2011

#18 Kieran

Tom, yes know about holding the flash down at start-up. Would much prefer a firmware setting as to whether it popped up though! Pop-up flashes seem to be a trend at the moment.

I think those who complain about the noise in images with this camera are missing the point; It’s a high-megapixel, small sensor camera with a huge lens that isn’t ‘fast’. Of course there’s noise! If I wanted a compact that was high on quality I would end up with a small zoom model, with a fast lens, such as the Canon S95, the Olympus XZ-1, or the Panasonic LX5 etc.

If I want to take a picture for printing, I’ll use my DSLR, but, for anything else, this camera offers a lot in a small package (as do it’s competitors).

As of late March, this is the best of the superzoom compacts, that ‘do it all’ in a small package. Maybe it won’t be next month, but that’s life!

9:07 am - Friday, March 18, 2011

#19 Tom MacFarlane


Thanks for helpful reply.

Have to say that this is the best movie mode I have seen on a camera of this size and spec.

6:55 pm - Friday, March 18, 2011

#20 alice

Hello guys,

Any recommendation as to which memory card to use? My bro bought me a Sandisk Ultra SDHC 32 GB card… but it’s class 4.

Do I need to get another one with class 6 for its full HD video recording?

thanks. :-)

1:01 pm - Saturday, March 19, 2011

#21 alice


My bro just bought me a sandisk ultra 32gb memory card for my sx220 HS but it is class 4.

after reading some review, do i need to buy another class 6 for its full HD video? or is the ultra sdhc is faster than normal class 4 sdhc?

thank u

1:04 pm - Saturday, March 19, 2011

#22 Andrea

I had a Panasonic TZ-8 for three months but I’ve sold it ‘cause image quality didn’t satisfy me, especially in low-light and on the snow, where colours were tending to blue. Now I’m going to buy SX220 or SX210, returning to Canon better quality.

1:41 pm - Saturday, March 19, 2011

#23 Steph

“Unfortunately such effects cannot also be used when recording movies”

You can use miniature mode in movies. Just put it on miniature and then press the record button. I noticed this because when you choose the miniature shooting mode, it says there is the option for 5x, 10x, or 20x playback in miniature movies. So, it’s not located in the movie menu but it’s still there.

Alice: a class 6 or 10 will process the data faster. The class number refers to how many MB the card can process while in use. So a class 4 card processes at 4 MB per second, while a class 6 writes 6 MB per second, etc.

The amount of storage (in your case, 32GB) or the fancy names attached (“ultra”) mean approximately ‘jack’ when it comes to the speed of the card.

That being said, I’m using an old (3 years) 2GB SD card which doesn’t even state a class, and my HD video recording is going just fine :)

So, you’re probably a-ok.

2:38 pm - Saturday, March 19, 2011

#24 Jill

Can someone tell me where in the US the Canon SX220 is available? Or when it will be available such as on Amazon? I’m hoping to get this camera before I leave on vacation April 8th.
Thanks so much!

4:00 pm - Saturday, March 19, 2011

#25 Jill

Does anyone know where to buy the Canon SX220 in the US or when it will be available on Amazon?
Thank you!

4:13 pm - Saturday, March 19, 2011

#26 Bob

Jill: I think the SX220 is European only, I think the USA is only getting the SX230 with GPS. Think this is gonna be my next camera :)

8:32 pm - Monday, March 21, 2011

#27 Mad Hungarian

Made in Japan. This a camera I would seriously consider if I was you.

3:19 pm - Tuesday, March 22, 2011

#28 GRM

Looking to get a decent compact with good zoom. Settled for the TZ10, then this was announced just before buying. There are some very good reviews and I have to say this is probably the most in depth review I have seen (thanks for all your reviews). All reviews so far heap praise on this camera and I was leaning towards it. I have looked at some very good photos on various sites including flickr. It mentions in the review here that there is some purple fringing at the edges of the photos. I can see purple/blue and green fringing in most of the photo samples. It seems to be in a very high percentage of the photos I have looked at. This made me look again at the TZ10 photos on various sites and it is hard to find more than a few that have any fringing, on the few that did it was slight and nowhere near as deep as this camera shows.

ISO 400 is OK by the look of the samples, any higher and it seems that there is noise on the samples that show as white speckles and are very pronounced. This seems to be showing with the samples on this website and not on any other photos I have seen elsewhere.

I have still not bought a compact yet. It will be this or the Panasonic after I do more research and a few more reviews for the SX220 are available. The fringing I don’t like and need to see more photos from this camera as the fringing seems to be in high contrast parts of any photos. The noise I expect from all compacts above 400.

So a great review of the camera, but the sample images really let it down. I will be making my decision on which camera to get near the end of July so there should be more flickr photos to check, hopefully full size as most seem to be getting cropped or using lower resolution.

It would be nice to see some photos in decent sunlight too as pretty much all I have seen are in subdued or overcast light. A grey/white sky and edge of a building doesn’t photograph too well this camera.

2:30 am - Friday, March 25, 2011

#29 tom

I bought this camera 5 days ago and today I am going to the shop to returm it, I AM VERY SHOCKED ABOUT CANON SX 220 and big let down from Canon, apparently they were rushing too fast to start salling it. I think it’s on purpose not putting shots in dark so Flash has to be used. I took about 30 photos in darker conditions and with flash. In wide angle (28mm) with lens very far forward on all photos THE LOWER RIGHT CORNER IS IN DARK (probably lens is obstacle for light from flash), it looks like your finger is in a way but you can try with tripod, still the same. I am verrrry big fan of canon and I was waiting to buy it and it’s MASSIVE DISAPPOINTMENT.

10:08 am - Saturday, March 26, 2011

#30 sjoban

My experience of the Canon SX220 was also extremely disappointing. I returned it the next day, based on the hit and miss quality of the various photos. In fact, I was shocked by the poor quality of many of the photos in low light. My previous camera, a Canon Powershot A95, which I had been using for 6 or so years, used to produce more reliable quality.

I found a lot of noise, particularly in low light conditions, and the auto mode didn’t seem to help. The comments made by O J Mayo (14th March) and Robin (17th March) are really pertinent. As Robin said: “When will image quality stop decreasing and become more important again?” What’s the point of a camera having more pixels and long zoom, if the most important feature, picture quality, is mediocre?

10:46 am - Saturday, March 26, 2011

#31 fidu

Except fringing at wide angle, this camera is very good. Concerning noise, one step up is the canon s95, in pocket megazooms there’s no better picture quality (Sony HX7V, Pany TZ20, Nikon S9100, Fuji F550EXR… all blotchy bad processing). I think you have a bad sample sjoban, or perhaps you’re always judging on 100% crops, which is not the right way since there’s more than 5 MP on these tiny sensors.

5:34 pm - Saturday, March 26, 2011

#32 sjoban

Fidu, you are probably right. Perhaps at 100%, the image does show up more noise on these units compared to the 5mp max of older units. Which begs the question: for day to day p&s, and if you are not concerned with photos beyond 7x5, does it make better sense to scale down on the mp?

12:01 am - Sunday, March 27, 2011

#33 fidu

Sjoban, the answer is yes for daylight shooting. But I agree with you, it’s not much better in low light conditions compared to older units.
About the SX220 HS and some current P&S, keep in mind there’s also new features. For example, I was blown away by the “handheld night scene” mode. Powerful algorithms are sometimes interesting (and i’m not really into scene modes…), in that case it combines 3 shots to create a noise-free image. It actually works incredibly well, which is most welcome. And there’s no need to be frozen like a greek statue at all ! (thanks to IS and surprisingly good comparing process, way better than the “HDR” mode on the S95).
So yes, there’s a lot of marketing blindness but sometimes we find a balanced solution, and that PowerShot is the best right now.

3:36 am - Sunday, March 27, 2011

#34 Steph

I have to say I am really, really surprised by those who say they are ‘massively disappointed’ by this camera. Besides hatching unicorns and making dinner, this camera does everything—with skill. This is the best point and shoot I’ve ever laid my hands on (and I come from a long line of canon powershots).

The features and possibilities with the 220 hs massively out-do the Canon point and shoots I’ve had before. I bought the sx220 hs mainly for the HD video capability, but I haven’t let it out of my site for generic photography ever since it arrived last Saturday.

If anyone wants to see my sample shots, feel free to check out my flickr set where you can view night+day photography, original sizes, etc.

1:02 pm - Sunday, March 27, 2011

#35 Kieran

Had the camera for a few days now. If anyone’s interested, am using a Transcend 16GB Class 10, which works fine.

There are a few oddities. I haven’t conducted any formal tests, but the camera does seem to like ‘going high’ on the ISO, if you leave it on ‘Auto ISO’, and this, obviously, is where noise creeps in. So, might be worth sticking to ‘P mode’, and setting the ISO to whatever you think appropriate for the light levels, or for a good shutter speed.

I have tried the digital tele-convert (a variation on the digital zoom), and it was pretty effective, although the image stabiliser struggled a bit.

Never really thought about this before on a camera, but… I was wearing polarised sunglasses, and, as I rotated the camera into ‘portrait mode’, the display went black. So, one can assume the display is polarised.

I agree with Steph above, it isn’t the greatest, but it does everything. Also, if you want to get good pictures with it, you will have to think about getting into shutter priority mode to take some control.

1:17 pm - Monday, March 28, 2011

#36 Garry

I bought this camera just under a week ago and I’ve taken just over 600 shots with it. The more I use it the more I like it. I can see it getting as much use as my Canon 40D DSLR.

Whatever other people have said about its shortcomings, it’s worth remembering that it’s a compact camera. To expect perfect photos with no noise and no fringing at high zoom is unrealistic. If you want very good image quality, go for the Canon S95 instead.

But if you’re thinking of getting the all-in-one best-of-features SX220, you might like to see some more photos in my Flickr set at and sample photos with discussion in this thread:

By the way, nice shots, Steph!

12:07 am - Thursday, March 31, 2011

#37 Bee Jay


I’ve owned different digital compacts and have had no problem with dark areas due to flash obstruction. You said that the dark spot still wouldn’t go even on wide angle, this seems odd as the lens doesn’t stick out too far, not more than a smaller zoom camera at full extention, and with it having a pop-up flash the light comes from a higher possition than on most compacts, increasing the light’s angle of view. If this a problem with all SX220HS cameras then i’ll be looking else where.

9:58 am - Saturday, April 2, 2011

#38 Steph

I’ve tested the flash both at 5mm (28mm equiv) and with the lens fully extended at 70mm (392mm equiv). There were no dark spots in either of the flash photos. I used my living room wall as the background, which is white and so any dark spots would have definitely shown up.

all I can suggest is… move your finger! lol

I added those shots to my test folder on flickr (link in comment #34)

7:26 pm - Saturday, April 2, 2011

#39 amplifier

Please help me decide between SX220 & SX210.
I dont need videos, GPS, larger than 7x9 prints.

Can I take such clear, crisp photos like “”

with SX210? Specially the one where the moon looks like a floodlight

8:41 am - Sunday, April 3, 2011

#40 Katja

I would like to know more about the quality of enlargements of pictures taken with the Canon SX220 (e.g. poster format).
Which digital camera (of about the same price, preferably a Canon) would deliver the best enlargements?

9:08 pm - Thursday, April 7, 2011

#41 Luke69

I have a question to those who own this interesting camera: the “ultra vivid” mode is an HDR mode? does it work using more pictures with different exposures?
or does it just increase contrast in a single pic?

10:57 pm - Wednesday, April 13, 2011

#42 Andy

It seems to be a great camera on paper. Unfortunately the sample images can hardly be compared for example to the Panasonic TZ10, because the Canon samples are often between ISO 400 and 1600, while the TZ10 samples are mainly between ISO 80 and 200.
That said I see much noise in the pictures even at ISO 400. And further they do not seem to be better in any way than the panasonic ones…?
I struggle between the SX220HS and a bridge camera like the panasonic FZ35/38.
An interesting thing of course is the slowmo-feature, also found in the casio cams.

11:59 am - Sunday, April 17, 2011

#43 dermischa

“amplifier:” I recomment to choose the newer SX220 ! I had the sx210 and now I own the SX220. The SX220 is much much better. Faster, sharper, more features.

The SX220 is one of the best cameras I’ve owned so far.

Best wishes

3:08 pm - Monday, May 2, 2011

#44 Fancy fairy

I want to buy a good digital camera for me… m new to photography…I have searched a lot but stuck between Panasonic TZ 10 and Cannon SX 220???? Can’t decide which to buy…. Can anybody help me sincerely

10:43 pm - Sunday, May 22, 2011

#45 Smiff

Love to comment but lost it with the stupid sliding thing down the side of the window that wont let me focus on the review but insists that I go buy LOW PRICE!!!!

Screw it, I’ll go look somewhere that doesnt annoy the f&*^ out of me.

12:58 pm - Wednesday, June 1, 2011

#46 RichardS

Been reading these comments about noise. Looking at the sample images, those at the higher isos clearly have some noise but I expect this with film or digitals. At normal isos the pictures are fine. After all what do most of take photos for - analysis of pixels and noise or simply to have a nice record of family, friends, holidays and so forth. I think its a shame that it doesn’t have a vari-angle screen. My Powershot A620 (7.1Mp etc) several years old does and it is very handy - at times. But bigger zoom is handier still as is IS.

2:31 pm - Thursday, June 2, 2011

#47 dr. bugs bunny

hi! i bought canon sx220 hs yesterday after reading so many comments…. but one thing is making me worried… in still shootong mode there are purple fringes moving horizontally on the LCD… does anyone of u qwing this camera facing the same problem??? should i claim for warranty??? kindly reply me soon

11:16 am - Saturday, June 11, 2011

#48 Garry Knight

No purple stuff here. I’d return it if I were you.

12:22 pm - Saturday, June 11, 2011

#49 dr. bugs bunny

thanx Garry

5:15 pm - Saturday, June 11, 2011

#50 Dr. Bugs bunny

Hi Garry , I ve seen ur photography samples on flickr… Really v. Nice…. How can I get to INVISIBLE mode???( regarding ur picture of a businessman in Invisible mode)

9:10 pm - Saturday, June 11, 2011

#51 Garry Knight

You flip the invisible switch, of course! ;-)

And now I’m not sure if you were joking or not. I certainly was…

11:20 pm - Saturday, June 11, 2011

#52 Dr. Bugs bunny

I was not joking at all… I just wanted to know the technique by which u took that picture Or was it done by Photoshop????

8:22 pm - Sunday, June 12, 2011

#53 Garry Knight

I just turned on the camera, aimed at the guy, pressed the shutter release. Copied the picture off the camera onto my PC then uploaded it to Flickr as-is. It was intended as a sample shot so I didn’t want to do any post-processing to it.

10:19 pm - Sunday, June 12, 2011

#54 oracle

Hi! Do have somebody overheating problems with the Canon SX220 HS?
After 10-15 minutes of use the complete LCD Monitor, the battery and the camera body part where the battery is, my camera going very warm.
Does anyone facing the same problem?
Should i claim for warranty?

Thank you for your help.

9:54 pm - Wednesday, June 15, 2011

#55 sambit

does any one know whether sx220 hs and sx230 hs has MANUAL CONTROL. if yes then how far managable compared to a dslr ???????

11:41 am - Sunday, June 19, 2011

#56 Garry Knight

In one sense they are completely manageable compared to a DSLR. They have Program mode (you can control the ISO, the camera does the rest), Tv mode (you set the shutter speed), Av mode (you set the aperture), and full manual (you set the aperture and shutter speed); in all of these modes you can control the ISO, white balance, etc. Having said this, the allowed shutter speeds are probably not so versatile as on a DSLR, and the available apertures only run from f/3.1 to f/8.

8:58 pm - Sunday, June 19, 2011

#57 Jon

When I wire up a mini HDMI cable to my HDTV the image is cropped sideways but fine vertical.

I’m guessing this is quite natural though?

1:55 pm - Monday, June 20, 2011

#58 sambit

thank u Garry for the information. can u name any site where the manual controls of these 2 cams are shown in details?

3:17 pm - Thursday, June 23, 2011

#59 Garry Knight

I seem to be turning into a one-man advice centre for the SX220. I have no idea what you mean by “the manual controls”. If you look in this review, you can see the wheel for choosing P,A,S,M modes. Once your in one of these manual modes, you use the dial on the back to choose shutter speed in A mode, and to choose aperture in S mode. In M mode you press the top part of the wheel to select whether rotating the wheel changes the aperture or the shutter speed.

I don’t know of any website that shows this, if this is what you wanted. You can, however, see it in the manual, which you can download from here:

9:18 pm - Thursday, June 23, 2011

#60 george spiteri

i read about thr sx 200 i got fascinated by the many features its posses infact i m thinking of buying one, for the many features its quite and regarding its a compact camera it offers a good price.I want to use it more for taking vidio clips can someone tell me the actual time it takes with 4 gd when using the camera on these modes (1920x1080) (1280X720) (640X480) Thanks for the answer.,

6:37 am - Tuesday, June 28, 2011

#61 Marisa

george spiteri:
(1920x1080) - 14m 34s
(1280X720) - 20m 43s
(640X480) - 43m 43s

2:23 am - Monday, July 11, 2011

#62 Michael (New Zealand)

The heading for this camera, SX220HS is actually that for the newer model SX230HS.  Would you therefore correct this misleading introduction.  How much internal memory does the SX220HS have?

9:21 am - Friday, July 22, 2011

#63 Nick (Romania)

No one comment here anymore ?!?!... I want to know wich is better between Canon SX 220, 230 or ... 220/230 HX?...
I want to mentioned that I work in mass-media and I want a better zoom, good stabilisation, panoramic mode, good brust shutter and, ofcourse, quality on pics. Plzzz, write here your opinion. Thanks.

11:16 am - Saturday, August 20, 2011

#64 zebarnabe

Nick (Romania),

I’m not aware of any 220/230 HX camera…. between the canon’s SX220 HS and SX230 HS the quality is pretty much the same, SX230 HS has the GPS tag as an extra, nothing else to add.

You can compare it to HX9V from Sony though… IMHO price wise Canon SX220 HS has the best balance in features/price/quality of this range, however prices change from country to country, in mine the difference in price makes it an hard choice.

You work in mass-media? Well assuming you need it for professional reasons, it all depends of how much quality you need, S95 is considered the best in image quality, but has a less versatile zoom, G12 has a longer zoom lens, but is a bit more limited in the lens aperture (thus low-light), SX220/230 present a nice balance between portability and zoom range, but aperture is not that nice, not detail resolve power in comparison.

My suggestion: get a DSLR, you can have all the zoom you want (comes with a price though), stabilization is often better, panoramic mode… I don’t know what you mean by this, if it’s wide angle lens, yes (SX220/230 are a bit limited in wide angle for today standards), if it’s panorama stitch use a computer, quality is really hard to beat, also, DSLRs are often a lot faster when comes to continuous shooting modes, you don’t wanna lose any moment, do you? However price and versatility are the big issues.

If what you do is more web related SX220 or SX230 would serve you well, if you need a camera for marketing works that require magazine prints or more demanding stuff (shooting sports action or low-light concerts for example) get a DSLR (but get informed what a camera is first - what is aperture, focal length, shutter speed, ISO/ASA, ND filters, hot shoes, sensor crop ratios, etc).

Check the samples, see if they are applicable to your work media support, yes? Are the features of the camera what you need and you can afford it’s price? great, you have your camera.

4:33 am - Thursday, August 25, 2011

#65 Paul

Its possible to do HDR with this camera (at least exposure bracketing the processing you have to do yourself). Read :

12:46 pm - Friday, September 16, 2011

#66 Manoj

Really a good camera, packed with all the essentials for the price it is sold. The pop up flash is annoying and could have been made to pop up on demand i.e. auto flash or flash on.
this apart the pics are good. sorry FANTASTIC.
I caomapred this and sony camere HX 7 or 9 V. Though the reviews for sony were better, I took snap of brown cartoon boxes in the store with both the cameras. and the difference was evident. The colors were same with Canon and changed with sony. Also my Kids could say canon was giving more real pics and skin tone than sony.
So settled for the same.
the 14 X zoom is good. But with 56 X digital zoom you and holding the camera stable you can have good pics at this extra zoom
Strongly recommend Canon SX 220 HS

6:21 pm - Sunday, October 9, 2011

#67 Simon

I tested this camera thoroughly before buying (I worked in a camera shop so had access to all the contenders), and choose it over the competition. I also took photos at maximun zoom of the same church tower, using this camera vs an slr + 70-300mm zoom lens - I had the resulting pictures printed in our lab and used to show them to my customers that were looking for a good compact, and ask them which they preferred. The results were, and I’m not exagerating, that all the people I showed them to preferred the canon sx220 images.

11:13 pm - Monday, November 7, 2011

#68 tarun singh

well i find the image quality to be too noisy (with/without zoom and in all ISO).
Image stabilizer also found to be focusing only in the center of the screen making the corners of the image blurry when clicking from a moving vehicle. photos in auto mode are too much saturated and too dull in program mode(normal colors) else the video quality is highly appreciable, zoom works great and pop up flash is not a big issue(in fact adds charm to its looks).
Overall a below average package.

6:53 pm - Tuesday, November 8, 2011

#69 Suyash Jain

Awesome camera….bought it a month back…awesome pic quality..

12:20 pm - Thursday, December 29, 2011

#70 Sudikin Pramanik


I have to buy a p&s camera,I intended to buy the sony hx7v or wx7.But read the coments there and found many saying that the pictures look like paintings.Can you tell me if this cannon has the same problem…...

9:00 pm - Sunday, January 15, 2012

#71 Anthony

Hi there i was wondering if you can attach a intervalometer to this camera to achieve a timelapse or does it have one built in?

9:13 am - Sunday, January 22, 2012

#72 zebarnabe

No ... but you can use CHDK to do it (google it)... bare in mind that it is not something official from Canon….

3:13 pm - Sunday, January 22, 2012

#73 vrenicu valeriu

does anybody knows why when i play a recorded movie on my sx 220 the sound doesn’t work?if i put it on my laptop the movie has sound…sorry for my bad english but i’m from romania:))

4:30 pm - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

#74 zebarnabe

vrenicu valeriu,
If the camera doesn’t have speakers it cannot reproduce sound from it. For example, my camera has only one speaker while the video is recorded in stereo.
However I do believe that SX220 has a speaker built-in on it, when playing a video clip try to increase volume by pushing the key UP, this is stated in the camera manual.

If the sound is present when using the AV stereo cable AVC-DC400ST connected to a TV, then your in-build camera speaker might be damaged.

Hope it helps…

5:51 pm - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

#75 Garry Knight

@vrenicu valeriu: You need to turn Mute off. It’s the top item on the Setup menu.

6:41 pm - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

#76 Garry Knight

vrenicu valeriu: You need to turn Mute off. It’s the top item on the Setup menu.

6:43 pm - Wednesday, January 25, 2012

#77 vrenicuvaleriu

thank you very much zebarnabe.i increased volume by pushing the UP key and a miracle happened:)):))tehnology nowadays…

2:45 pm - Thursday, January 26, 2012

#78 vrenicu valeriu

thank’s a lot zebarnabe!

2:47 pm - Thursday, January 26, 2012

#79 shel

got a lot of doubts regarding SX 220 hs

how does its IQ compare with hx9v(spcly low light)
is the manual mode really helpful…can i get a good shallow depth of field pic….
any hdr modes such as hx9v(or auto bracketing)
and finally shud i wait for 2012 model…..

5:01 pm - Monday, February 6, 2012

#80 zebarnabe

shel, look at the SX 230 HS reviews, the sensor is the same and the 230 is a more common version (just make sure it is the powershot and not the ixus).

Regarding depth of field control, don’t expect miracles, sensor is tiny so physics play a big role, however shutter speed manual controls are quite handy.

Regarding HDR or auto-bracketing, I lacks the feature officially (though using CHDK provides it and access to RAW, intervalometer and motion detection as well)

By looking at several reviews:
Regarding ISO, it is one of the best compact cameras you can have (you have almost 1 stop over the Sony regarding noise/detail), feel free to shoot at ISO 800, 1600 is quite nice as well. Handheld Night Scene mode works well, but Sony’s Anti Motion Blur mode seems to do a good job as well.

That aside Dynamic Range is also really impressive. Colors are a bit less saturated than Sony, IDK if more accurately or not as I don’t own either camera.

Issues? The easy appearance of Chromatic Aberrations at certain focal lengths, you can correct those by software but a bit of softness and contrast edge dessaturation might occur. Battery is eaten fairly fast as well (if you don’t use the flash it is not much of an issue).
Flash pops up annoyingly.
Sony lens start at 24mm equiv., making it a better camera regarding landscapes for example

8:13 am - Tuesday, February 7, 2012

#81 shel

thnks a lot @zebarnabe…..
yes powershot is wht im interested in (220 as gps is of no use 2 me)
hey today canon launched 240/260 hs…range
now im in a dilemma…it comes with 20x…4:3 screen
they seem 2 have corrected all mistakes of the previous model
and with DIGIC 5…will the image quality really be better???
so to wait for the new model or grab 220 hs???(wht will be the diff in price)
waiting for your reply…

3:48 pm - Tuesday, February 7, 2012

#82 zebarnabe

shel, as there is no user feedback from foruns nor reviews to assert the image quality, features or reliability, it is hard to tell how good of a camera these new are.

As far as I can tell, the sensor should be the same or a slightly tuned up version (in image quality should not be much different), however the DIGIC 5 might process the image better giving more pleasant JPEGs. It is stated for the newer one: “up to 75% less noise than the models’ predecessors” ... how they measure it, I have no idea, but, if that means trading less noise for more smudgeness I would take the older model.

On the other side, the extra zoom is asking for more trouble in the lens department. Furthermore, the lens starts at f/3.5, meaning that the old f/3.1 is slight brighter at wide angle. Talking about wide angle the newer version has a quite wider angle and telephoto reach on the lens. I would prefer some brighter aperture instead, but that is just me.

I guess it is up to the person buying it, the older model costs around half the price and looks like a better bargain, but I would wait for reviews to arrive - waiting for reviews will also ensure that price will be a bit lower (as the flood of early adopters passed by) at the time of deciding.

4:25 am - Wednesday, February 8, 2012

#83 shel

thnks a lot…@zebarnabe
your comments were very valuable!!!!!

11:45 am - Wednesday, February 8, 2012

#84 Grant

I’ve just started looking for a compact camera with image quality being my first priority, esp in low light. I am impressed with the reviews I’ve read here about this camera, and I like the fact that it’s got a 14x zoom lens. Would the all round image quality justify the extra cost, and reduced zoom lens of the Canon S100 over the sx220 ?

4:19 pm - Thursday, February 16, 2012

#85 grant

Does the Image quality of the S100 justify the extra cost over this SX220?

4:29 pm - Thursday, February 16, 2012

#86 linda

Hi.  Does anyone have the problem of “unidentified image” with this camera.  I’ve bought 2 new memory cards and the same message keeps appearing.. so wondering if it’s the camera???

11:03 pm - Monday, February 27, 2012

#87 Tomasz

Canon SX220 is a big disappointment.
-in auto mode iso is often boosted over 400 which produces lots of noise
-visible strong chromatic abberation
-weak flash. It pops up every time when you switch on the camera. It is in a place where you normally keep your finger while holding the camera
-16:9 screen, when you take 4:3 photos you see black stripes on the sides
-no HDR
-no sweep panorama mode
-in macro mode visible dark areas when flash is used
-relatively poor image quality in low-light conditions despite CMOS sensor
-28 mm wide angle is not wide enough
-poor image stabilization in movie mode

Generally it produces good pictures in perfect, well-lit conditions. The images on this site reveal the real quality of canon sx220. Pictures
are very noisy, iso is boosted too high when photos are taken in cloudy weather.

7:06 pm - Sunday, March 4, 2012

#88 Cathy

Hi, after reading reviews I am going out to buy this camera, but I am un sure which is the best sd card for it?? I probably need a 16 GB so I can record as well. Thanks

10:26 am - Saturday, March 10, 2012

#89 Jan Brede


I enjoyed your review though I’d have liked a more thorough comparison with the competitors.

After initially purchasing a purple IXUS 220 HS, and finding the colour hideous I was fortunate to exchange it with a grey Powershot SX220 HS(customer legislation in Norway is great)at the same price, approx $318/£204 (courtesy a forthcoming salesperson).

Some initial tests shows that this seems to be a good and versitale camera. A 4Gb memorycard gives you about 1230 shots or about 24 minutes of film.
With a 210-picture capacity battery I am considering an extra battery pack for my camera.

Can’t wait to really get going with it!

12:40 pm - Tuesday, March 13, 2012


I bought SX220 HS 3 days back and am very disappointed about it’s performance totally. when we scroll through the differet commands ,the navigation wheel is not stopping @ desired selection. 100 photos batter were hot and weak. From the scene modes, cannot change from panoramic mode to normal mode as the camera navigation wheel doesn’t stop to close.I was too early to give away my SX100 IS which was very good for the last 4 years.

8:04 pm - Wednesday, March 14, 2012

#91 Hillman

I have been using this camera for about 6 months. I wanted a compact camera for my treks; instead of carrying around my SLR and the lens. I have no issue with the picture and the video quality. The only issue I have is with the battery life. If you switch on the video mode, the battery drains very fast.

1:05 pm - Tuesday, April 10, 2012

#92 Sarko

Please tell me which one I should choose:
Canon sx220hs or sx230hs. How long does the sx230hs last with GPS off?

9:06 pm - Friday, May 11, 2012

#93 shel

is the lens cover problem real???
ive heard read several user reviews that the lens cover is too fragile and might not last even a month???

6:02 pm - Thursday, May 17, 2012

#94 shel

is the lens cover problem real???
ive read several user reviews that the lens cover is too fragile and might not last even a month???

6:18 pm - Thursday, May 17, 2012

#95 Phil

I bought the Canon SX220 to replace my old Lumix TZ3. A camera that I would still be using to this day except for the fact that I lost it last year. Sob Sob. With that camera I had taken over 5,000 images and with very very few exceptions, had stunning picture quality.

For its replacement I read all of the reviews and it was a toss up between the TZ18 and the SX220. I don’t require battery sapping GPS. The reviews gave the Canon as the better bet.

Well I have had it for several months now and I’m seriously underwhelmed and not happy at all with the performance. On the Auto setting it seems to love higher ISOs where noise is horrendous, even in good light. In low light, forget it. I’m slowly experimenting with all of the other settings but why can’t the Auto cope like my old TZ3? 

Now we all know it’s pixel count and zoom that sells. Pixel count especially, even though a 42” full HD TV only requires 2MP to fill the screen, which would satisfy the vast majority of picture viewings. Not that you could ever persuade the buying public of that where megapixels are spoken about in the same way as size of genitalia.

I’ve also just gone back to look at some pictures taken with my old Olympus 4040Z, which gave a maximum picture size of 2272 x 1704, to get a snip over 4 MP. Beats the 220SX hands down. Yes I like the zoom on the 220SX but what’s the point if zoom plus megapixels equals noise. 

I’m seriously considering sending it back but what would I replace it with?  On to EBay for a TZ3 probably.

1:10 pm - Friday, May 18, 2012

#96 abhishek panwar

canon powershot sx220 have sequence mode or not?

7:46 am - Thursday, December 6, 2012

#97 Jan Brede

To Linda;

The “unindentified image” issue often occours if you have used the memory card in a computer where then have turned it. When you return the memory card to the camera it won’t recognise the rotated images.

10:14 pm - Wednesday, December 12, 2012

#98 John Canuck

Really liked it at first but now have scratches on the lens and debris inside, despite generally being careful. According to some people, the lens cover causes the scratching. Gave up using it as a result and bought a different brand. Used to like Canon. :-(

6:02 am - Sunday, January 6, 2013

#99 Loz

Been a Canon girl, all the EOS up to 550D lens packs and all - blooming good photographer, treated myself to the SX220 HS at £119, in the sale at Argos, it should have been £179.  What a load of rubbish, took it to a party, out of focus, tried another setting out of focus, blurring, seems to confuse itself, and when I tried it on fast speed, the kids and animals, what a crock that is: the flash popped up (might scare swans) and the pictures are out of focus.  Now if I were 15 again I could deal with it BUT WHAT A CROCK OF RUBBISH, thanks Canon

2:12 pm - Monday, January 7, 2013

#100 Peter

After uploading photos, does anyone know how to delete all the photos from my Canon Powershot SX220 HS. At present I am deleting each photo individually.

3:12 pm - Sunday, January 20, 2013

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, 1080p, wide-angle, movie, 12 megapixel, canon, manual, 28mm, powershot, 14x zoom, Canon PowerShot SX220 HS Review, sx220

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