Support Cameralabs by shopping at our partner stores or donating via Paypal
 






Follow my RSS feed at Camera Labs RSS Feed
 
  Latest camera reviews

Panasonic Lumix LX100
Canon SX60 HS
Sony Cyber-shot H400
Canon ELPH 340 IXUS 265
Canon G7X
Nikon P530
Canon SX520 HS
Canon G1 X Mark II
Panasonic Lumix FZ1000
Panasonic TZ60 / ZS40
Sony RX100 III review
Sony A3000 review
Canon EOS 1200D T5
Sony WX350
Nikon P600
Sony Alpha A5000
Sony Cyber-shot HX400V
Panasonic Lumix GH4
Panasonic TS5 FT5
Sony Alpha A6000
Canon SX700 HS
Canon SX600 HS
Olympus TOUGH TG2
Nikon AW1
Nikon D3300
Fujifilm XT1
Olympus STYLUS 1
Sony Cyber-shot RX10
Olympus OMD EM1
Panasonic Lumix GM1
Nikon D610
Sony Alpha A7
Nikon D5300
Canon PowerShot A2500
Sony Alpha A7r
Canon ELPH 130 IXUS 140
Nikon COOLPIX P520
Nikon COOLPIX L820
Canon PowerShot S120
Panasonic Lumix GX7
Canon SX510 HS
Canon PowerShot G16
Fujifilm X20
Panasonic FZ70 / FZ72
Canon EOS 70D
Sony RX100 II
Canon ELPH 330 IXUS 255
Panasonic Lumix GF6
Fujifilm XM1
Olympus EP5
Panasonic Lumix LF1
Panasonic TZ35 / ZS25
Olympus XZ2
Sony HX300
Panasonic Lumix G6
Sony HX50V
Fujifilm X100S
Canon SX280 HS
Canon EOS SL1 / 100D
Panasonic TZ40 / ZS30
Nikon D7100
Nikon COOLPIX A
Fujifilm X-E1
Canon EOS 6D
Nikon D5200
Panasonic Lumix GH3
Canon PowerShot S110
Panasonic Lumix G5
Sony NEX-6
Panasonic Lumix FZ200
Canon PowerShot SX50 HS
Nikon COOLPIX P7700
Olympus E-PL5
Canon EOS M
Panasonic TS20 / FT20
Canon PowerShot G15
Nikon D600
Nikon COOLPIX L810
Canon PowerShot D20
Sony RX100
Panasonic Lumix LX7
Canon SX500 IS
Fujifilm HS30 EXR
Sony HX200V
Panasonic FZ60 / FZ62
Canon 520HS / 500HS
Canon 110HS / 125HS
Nikon D800
Canon EOS T4i / 650D
Canon PowerShot A3400
Panasonic ZS15 / TZ25
Olympus E-M5
Nikon D3200
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Canon PowerShot A2300
Canon SX240 / SX260
Samsung NX200
Sony Alpha SLT-A77
Canon EOS 5D Mark III
Panasonic ZS20 / TZ30
Canon PowerShot G1 X
Sony NEX-7
Panasonic GX1
Olympus E-PM1
Nikon V1
Sony NEX-5N
Canon EOS T3 / 1100D
Canon EOS 600D / T3i
Nikon D7000
Canon EOS 60D
Canon EOS 550D / T2i
Canon EOS 7D

All camera reviews
 
 
   
 
  Best Buys: our top models
   
  Best Canon lens
Best Nikon lens
Best Sony lens
Best budget DSLR
Best mid-range DSLR
Best semi-pro DSLR
Best point and shoot
Best superzoom
Best camera accessories
   
 



Camera Labs Forum

Any questions, comments or a great tip to share? Join my Camera forum and let everyone know!
   
 
  DSLR Tips



 
Support me by shopping at Amazon!
Canon IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS ELPH Ken McMahon, March 2010
   
 

Canon IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS verdict

Considering the IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS is only the second touch-screen compact the company has produced, it feels like a very 'finished' product. If you have any qualms about having to rely solely on the screen to change settings and choose options, you can forget them; the touch-screen on the Canon IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS works like a dream. About the only drawbacks are the fingerprints and smearing which you'll have to get used to.

Like the IXUS 200 IS / SD980 IS before it, the IXUS 210 / SD3500 IS has a 5x optical zoom lens with a maximum wide angle focal length of 24mm (equivalent). With the notable exception of Panasonic, compacts sporting super-wide-angle zooms have been thin on the ground up to now, so if you've been waiting for a good quality compact that will do justice to your landscapes and can cope with cramped interiors, this could be it.

14.1 Megapixels will allow you to make big prints, other than that it confers no real advantage over models with lower pixel counts. The big appeal of the IXUS 210 / SD3500 IS lies in its ease of use combined with some very clever consumer-friendly features - auto exposure with scene detection, smart shutter controls with intelligent self-timer options and excellent image stabilization.

It's also worth noting the earlier IXUS 200 IS / SD980 IS may be available at a discounted price. So if you're happy with 12.1 Megapixel resolution and a smaller touch-screen augmented with physical controls, it could prove to be a better value option - see our Canon IXUS 200 IS / SD980 IS review for more details.

   
   


Compared to Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7

 
 
     

The central appeal of both of these models has to be the touch-screen and on that basis, there's really very little to choose between them. Though the Cyber-shot TX7's panel has twice as many pixels, in practice this makes very little difference either to its touch-screen operation or for composing and viewing stills and movies. We preferred the menu system on the IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS, but the Sony system works equally well and there's a large element of subjectivity involved.

In terms of design and handling, both cameras look great and are very well put-together, but we preferred the feel of the IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS. Again, this is a personal choice and, as always, we'd recommend you get your hands on both models to try them out before making a purchasing decision.

What about how these models measure up in terms of features? The IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS has a 5x optical zoom with a bit more reach than the Cyber-shot TX7's 4x lens at the tele end. It has a higher resolution sensor with an impressive 14.1 Megapixels making the Cyber-shot TX7's 10.1 Megapixels look a little paltry by comparison. If you like to make big prints, the IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS will take you just about to A3 size.

Do the extra Megapixels make much difference in real-life detail? In our outdoor resolution test the IXUS 210 / SD3500 IS outperformed the Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 producing a cleaner, sharper punchier shot with more image detail in all areas of the frame. Sony makes much of the low-light performance of its Exmor R sensor and in our high ISO noise tests the Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 certainly performed well at lower ISO settings, producing cleaner images with less noise than IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS. At 400 ISO and above though, the TX7's performance becomes fairly average with noticeable smearing eliminating fine details.

When it comes to shooting in low light conditions the optical image stabilization provided by both cameras is equally effective, though one thing that may tip things in the Cyber-shot TX7's favour if you do a lot of action photography is its ability to shoot a burst of 10 full-resolution frames in a second. This is a major advantage of the TX7 over most compacts, and the camera further exploits this speed with a number of innovative modes which can reduce noise by stacking multiple images, or stitch together impressive panoramas with a single handheld sweep.

Finally there's the movie shooting performance. With stereo mics, a wider choice of HD movie modes (including Full HD at 1920x1080), and an optical zoom that can be used during movie shooting (and which barely makes a sound) this is another major area in which the Cyber-shot TX7 outperforms the IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS, justifying its higher price tag. So if Full HD movies, very quick shooting and gadgets like the Sweep Panorama appeal to you, the Sony TX7 is the touch-screen camera to go for. Look out for our upcoming Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7 review for more details, and if you like the idea of the Full HD movies, fast shooting and clever modes, but are willing to trade the touch-screen for a 10x zoom, check out the similarly-specced Cyber-shot DSC-HX5.

 

Canon IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS verdict

The IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS is a mid-range general purpose compact that combines stylish design with touch-screen operation. Following up on Canon's first touch-screen compact, the hugely popular IXUS 200 IS / SD 980 IS, it ups the resolution to 14.1 Megapixels and loses the earlier model's physical controls to make space for a bigger, higher resolution 3.5 inch LCD panel.

It retains the 5x optical zoom with a range that's optimized for wide angle performance with a 24mm (equivalent) starting point. Although it lacks significant reach at the telephoto end, the range is right for the market at which this compact is aimed.

Canon's first touch screen compact was a bit of a half-way house. The touch icons and gestures didn't always work first time and the presence of physical controls to augment the screen-based ones didn't inspire confidence. With the IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS though, the physical controls are gone. It's a more confident move by Canon and well justified here. The touch-screen on the IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS works so well that after a short time using it you find yourself wondering why we ever bothered with little buttons.

The IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS provides a neat balance between consumer-friendly features that make taking pictures easier and good results more likely, with a degree of advanced control. In addition to Auto mode with Scene detection, smart shutter functions like smile detection and wink-activated self-timer are winners. We're not sure how how popular the new Fish-eye and Miniature effect scene modes will turn out to be, but the Low-light scene mode is a worthwhile addition, particularly when used to give a boost to the camera's (not very impressive) continuous shooting capabilities.

The IXUS 210 / PowerShot SD3500 IS is a classy and capable mid-range compact, capable of producing high quality, high resolution images, but it's main attraction is a responsive and functional touch-screen that not only works better than its physical counterparts, it's a lot more fun. Recommended, but compare closely with the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-TX7.




Good points
Responsive touch-screen controls.
Manual touch focus.
Excellent image quality.
SDXC and Eye-Fi card compatible.

Bad points
Flash performance and slow recycle.
No optical zoom while shooting movies.
Slow continuous shooting.



Scores

(relative to 2010 compacts)

Build quality:
Image quality:
Handling:
Specification:
Value:

Overall:

18 / 20
16 / 20
16 / 20
17 / 20
17 / 20

84%


If you found this review useful, please support us by shopping below!
All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

/ How we test / Best Cameras / Advertising / Camera reviews / Supporting Camera Labs