Canon Powershot SX200 IS Review
By Mike Flacy
Features & Controls
The SX200IS employs a Canon all-glass 12x zoom lens that covers a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 28-336mm. The maximum aperture range is from f/3.4 wide to f/5.3 telephoto. Despite its extensive optical range, this the lens is quite compact. By retracting into the camera when the camera is powered down this unit allows the SX200 to retain it's compact super-zoom status.
With Canon's optical Image Stabilization technology, users have the flexibility of actually shooting at shutter speeds 2-3 stops lower than would otherwise be possible. This model also features multi-mode Image Stabilization - allowing you to choose between Continuous IS (always active), Panning IS (active when vertical camera shake is detected) and a 'Shoot Only' IS mode (active when the shutter is pressed all the way.)
The SX200 features a high-speed TTL Autofocus system. You can choose from Normal, Macro, Super Macro and Manual focus modes as well as AF Frame size, Servo AF, and AF Point Zoom options via the menu. The focusing range is:
Macro:0.8 in. - 1.6 ft. (2 - 50cm) Wide
Super Macro0 - 0.8 in. (0 - 2cm) Wide
The SX200 is the first model we have seen that offers a Auto pop-up/retract built-in flash unit. When the camera is powered up, the flash automatically pops up and when powered down it will retract. Modes offered include: Auto, Red-eye Reduction, Auto Red-eye Correction, Flash On, Flash Off (FE lock, Slow Synchro). Flash range is 1.6 - 9.8 ft. (50cm-3.0m) at wide angle, 3.3 - 6.6 ft. (1-2.0m) at telephoto, when sensitivity is set to ISO Auto. The focus-assist lamp also serves as the red-eye reduction lamp.
On the back is a large 3.0-inch 'Wide View' color LCD monitor. This is the only viewfinder on the camera, and it's used for framing, image review and changing settings. Advanced features include new multi-level coating that reduces glare, smudges and fingerprints as well as a 'Quick-bright' function which switches the brightness to the highest setting by pressing the DISP button for 1 second. When shooting in dark lighting, the LCD is automatically brightened to make it easier to frame and focus on the subject.
Controls on the back: At the top you can see the Print/Share and Play buttons. Pressing the Play button while the camera is off will enter the playback system. Next is the 4-way controller with a control ring mounted around it. Rotating this ring allows you to change exposure settings as well as quickly browse through menu options and stored images. In record mode you press 'Up' to change exposure compensation, press 'Right' to change flash modes, press 'Down' to choose the Self-Timer mode (image delete in playback) and press 'Left' to change the focus mode. In the center is the FUNC./SET button, which accepts menu selections and gives you access to the Function shortcut menu. The DISP button turns the color LCD on/off and controls the amount of data displayed on it. The MENU button calls up and dismisses the menus.
On top you can see the power On/Off button, the Mode dial and the shutter release button with the zoom controls mounted around it. The zoom lens control also functions as the magnify and index buttons in playback mode.
On the back top right corner are the I/O (Input/Output) ports. A mini-B jack handles both the standard definition (SD) AV Out and USB 2.0 (high-speed) connectivity. The AV Out handles the monaural audio and video signal which can be connected to your TV set with the supplied cables, while the high-speed USB 2.0 is used for image and movie download, direct printing, etc. The SX200 is one of the several new models from Canon to feature a HDMI port for handling HD video output.
The PowerShot SX200 IS is equipped with a card slot that supports use of SD, SDHC, MMC, MMC+ or HC (High Capacity) MMC+ cards; No card is included. Shown here with a spacious and speedy OCZ Class 6 (high-speed) 4GB SDHC card - see the tables below for the approximate storage capacity.
Number of Recordable Images
Time of Recordable Movies
Storage Capacity varies depending on camera settings. This data is estimated from Canon's standard shooting conditions. Figures for Movie Mode represent total capacity of the particular media.
The SX200 IS comes with a Canon NB-5L 3.7v 1120mAh lithium rechargeable battery pack. Canon claims the NB-5L can power the SX200 for up to 280 shots or 300 min. of continuous playback on a single charge (using CIPA Standard testing.) The supplied rapid charger plugs directly in the wall socket and charges the battery 'out of the camera' which is very handy if you have a second battery (highly recommended!)
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