Canon PowerShot SX240 HS Review

4.5
May 24, 2012 | 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 4.5Mb.

The Canon PowerShot SX240 HS produces images of very good quality. It recorded noise-free images at ISO 100, 200 and 400, with some noise and slight colour desaturation at ISO 800. ISO 1600 shows more obvious noise and loss of colour but still remains perfectly usable, and even the fastest setting of ISO 3200 doesn't suffer too badly.

The Canon PowerShot SX240 HS handled chromatic aberrations well, with limited purple fringing effects appearing only in high contrast situations and generally at the edges of the frame. The built-in flash worked well indoors, with no red-eye and good overall exposure.

Anti-shake 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 good, allowing you to focus as close as 5cms away from the subject. The images were a little soft straight out of the Canon PowerShot SX240 HS 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 SX240 HS. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting:

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

   

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 3200 (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 setting ideally 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)

   

Focal Range

The Canon Powershot SX240 HS' 20x zoom lens provides a versatile focal length of 25-500mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

25mm

500mm

File Quality

The Canon Powershot SX240 HS 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 (4.13Mb) (100% Crop) 12M Normal (2.65Mb) (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations

The Canon Powershot SX240 HS handled chromatic aberrations excellently during the review, with 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 SX240 HS offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms 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 SX240 HS are Auto, Flash On, Slow Synchro, and Flash Off, with 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.

Flash Off - Wide Angle (25mm)

Auto Flash - Wide Angle (25mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64
   

Flash Off - Telephoto (500mm)

Auto Flash - Telephoto (500mm)

ISO 64 ISO 64

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

Flash On

Flash On (100% Crop)
   

Red-eye Correction

Red-eye Correction (100% Crop)

Anti Shake

The Canon Powershot SX240 HS 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)

1/6th sec / 25mm
     
1/3rd sec / 500mm

My Colors

The My Colors function menu option contains the now familiar range of colour options for tweaking the look of your images before shooting.

Off

Vivid

   

Neutral

Sepia

   

B/W

Positive Film

   

Lighter Skin Tone

Darker Skin Tone

   

Vivid Blue

Vivid Green

   

Vivid Red

 
 

Creative Filters

The Canon Powershot SX240 HS has 9 different creative filter options to help spice up your images.

Fish-eye Effect

Miniature Effect

   

Toy Camera Effect

Soft Focus

   

Monochrome

Super Vivid

   

Poster Effect

Color Accent

   

Color Swap

 
 

Entry Tags

hd video, hd, 3 inch LCD, compact, 1080p, wide-angle, 12 megapixel, movie, camera, manual, travel-zoom, travel, canon, travel zoom, 25mm, powershot, 20x zoom, 20x, sx240, Canon PowerShot SX240 HS Review, sx240 hs, sx240hs

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