The feature-loaded Canon PowerShot SX210 IS offers a blend of automatic and manual features, in addition to a 14.1-megapixel resolution, a 14x zoom lens and stereo audio for HD movies (720p). If you use an Eye-Fi memory card for wireless image transfers, the camera has a built-in Eye-Fi interface for tweaking settings. Plus, the self-timer can now be activated with a wink or a smile from the subject, and special settings include fisheye (shots look like they're in a fishbowl) and miniature (people appear as tiny statues). Still, critics lament the new, trimmer design, which lops off the SX200's grip-friendly wedge and replaces the zoom ring with a fussy toggle. They also pan Canon's decision to keep the pop-up flash. Although it can be forced down with a finger, "it's irritating, and frankly, we're surprised that such undesirable behavior has survived into a second generation product," says Barnaby Britton at DPReview.com.
The SX210 has one of the longest lenses among compact super-zoom cameras (28 mm to 392 mm). Image stabilization is exceptional, but experts still favor the 24 mm wide-angle lens of the Panasonic Lumix DMC-ZS7 (Discontinued). Image quality is mixed and HD video quality merely average, according to reviewers. In CNET's tests, the SX210 places "slightly behind" the now-discontinued Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-HX5V for low-light shooting but is a "touch above" in low ISO settings. However, sluggish performance is the real deal-breaker, some users say. Overall, the SX210 "offers little improvement over the SX200," say editors at Steves-Digicams.com, while in Britton's group test, the SX210 fails to "really distinguish itself" and ends up outranked by ultra-zoom cameras from Casio and Samsung.
DPReview.com offers a rare look at how the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS stacks up next to 12 market rivals in their group test. Other mobile tech and photography enthusiast sites, such as CNET and Imaging-Resource.com, provide extensive analysis and user reviews at Canon's website reveal performance trends over the long haul.
The Canon PowerShot SX210 IS lands mid-pack in Barnaby Britton's group test of 13 popular travel-friendly zoom cameras. While he considers the SX210 reliable and capable, it's plagued by ergonomic problems such as the annoying pop-up flash and sticky zoom lever. However, the SX210 has the longest telephoto lens of the bunch and delivers top-notch flash photos.
Review: Compact Camera Group Test: Travel Zooms, Barnaby Britton, June 2010
Joshua Goldman considers the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS a "solid choice," although the design quirks made him "want to throw it across the room on occasion." He finds the controls a bit cramped and the pop-up flash annoying, but the camera's "gamut" of manual and semi-manual controls is better than what the competition has to offer.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX210 IS (Black), Joshua Goldman, April 28, 2010
"Canon's Powershot SX210 IS was an interesting camera to work with," say editors at Steves-Digicams.com. While they find the camera's specs and features to be impressive, editors also say "there's just not much improvement over the SX200" when it comes to performance and image quality.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX210 IS Review, Editors of Steves-Digicams.com
"If there's one shortcoming to the Canon SX210 as a candid shooter it's overall sluggishness," says Dan Havlik. Aside from the flaw, he and Stephanie Boozer says the SX210 has a plethora of "sweet spots" for consumers, including the long zoom lens with image stabilization, dedicated movie button and affordable price tag.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX210 IS, Dan Havlik and Stephanie Boozer, May 18, 2010
The plusses outweigh the minuses with the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS, says Gavin Stoker. Despite some quibbles with the annoying pop-up flash, he says the camera's versatile lens makes for a broad range of shooting options that can't be overlooked.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX210 IS Review, Gavin Stoker, March 29, 2010
"This camera is [too] slow to be considered a camera -- a sketch pad might be faster," says one user about the Canon PowerShot SX210 IS. It's a common complaint, along with the sub-par HD video quality and poor design features. However, more than half of owners give the SX210 top ratings for its size, features and good image quality.
Review: Canon PowerShot SX210 IS 14.1 MP Digital Camera, Contributors to Amazon.com