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Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Gordon Laing, November 2008

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS gallery

The following images were taken with the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS. Unless otherwise stated, the SX10 IS was set to Program mode with Large Superfine quality, Auto White Balance, Evaluative Metering, and with 'My Colours' switched off (the default setting for contrast, saturation and sharpening). Image Stabilisation was enabled for all these handheld images.

The individual exposure mode, file sizes, shutter speeds, aperture, ISO and lens focal length are listed for each image.

The crops are taken from the original files, reproduced at 100% and saved in Adobe Photoshop CS2 as JPEGs with the default Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS2 and saved with the default High quality preset.

The three crops are typically taken from far left, central and far right portions of each image.

Note: you may wish to open a number of galleries for direct comparison of detail and noise: Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX3 sample images, Canon PowerShot G10 sample images and Canon PowerShot S5 IS sample images.

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Landscape: 4.24MB, Program, 1/1000, f4, ISO 80, 5-100mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  This first shot was taken with the SX10 IS under bright light at its lowest 80 ISO sensitivity and therefore represents ideal conditions.

The SX10 IS's 28mm equivalent coverage has captured a noticeably larger field of view than the S5 IS could at 36mm.

The crops are sharp and detailed, although there's already a sprinkling of very fine noise in the shadow areas - nothing to be overly concerned with though.

Towards the corners, there is however a little fringing around areas of high contrast.

Landscape: 6.08MB, Program, 1/800, f4, ISO 100, 5-100mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Another shot taken under bright light with the lens zoomed-out to 28mm, but now with the sensitivity increased to 100 ISO.

This shot was taken at a very low angle and the flip-out monitor made composing it much easier.

Once again there's plenty of detail in the crops, although there's also a slight increase in noise textures in shadows or areas of flat colour like the blue sky.

And again, there's a little fringing towards the periphery around high contrast objects.

Landscape: 4.63MB, Program, 1/400, f5.7, ISO 200, 5-100mm at 100mm (equivalent to 560mm)

    For this shot of an approaching boat we increased the sensitivity to 200 ISO and zoomed the lens to its maximum focal length.

We used the new Servo AF mode to track the motion, with four out of five shots being sharp in this sequence.

The maximum focal length has a powerful reach, bringing distant detail, but the increase to 200 ISO has also brought a reduction in fine detail. The crops from the edges also reveal some fringing.

Action: 4.46MB, Program, 1/320, f5.7, ISO 80, 5-100mm at 100mm (equivalent to 560mm)

  Most non-DSLRs aren't suited to action photography, and the paltry 1.4fps shooting rate of the SX10 IS means quick burst sequences are out.

But as seen here, the Servo AF mode can track fast action for single shots. You just need to be lucky with your timing.

Here we tracked the boat over a long range of distances with the lens fully zoomed-in, and the main subject is very sharp.

A return to 80 ISO in this shot also reminds us how much better the quality is at this lowest sensitivity.

Portrait: 3.98MB, Program, 1/1000, f5.6, ISO 200, 5-100mm at 34mm (equivalent to 190mm)

  For this portrait we zoomed the lens to around its mid-way point, working at an equivalent of 190mm. Face detection was enabled and the sensitivity set to 200 ISO.

The face detection locked-on, although even with a relatively long focal length and close to the maximum aperture, the depth of field remains quite large.

As with the earlier 200 ISO sample, the crops are fairly detailed, but exhibit textures through noise, in flat or shadow areas. This in turn has softened the image overall compared to lower sensitivities.

Macro: 5.03MB, Program, 1/6, f2.8, ISO 400, 5-100mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  The PowerShot SX10 IS can focus down to 10cm in its normal macro mode, or at 0cm in its Super macro mode - yes, that's right, zero cm.

Here we've used the Super macro mode, which locks the lens at wide angle and positioned the camera as close as the circuitry would allow.

There's some obvious geometric distortion, along with softening and coloured fringing away from the centre. As such, you may achieve better-corrected results (albeit not as magnified) in normal macro from a little further back.


Indoor: 4.62MB, Program, 1/60, f3.5, ISO 400, 5-100mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our first indoor shot was taken with the SX10 IS at 400 ISO and the lens zoomed-out

The boost in sensitivity has seen a visible increase in noise textures, again particularly in shadows or flat areas of colour.

If you're looking at our other galleries though, it's arguably no worse than either the G10 at 400 ISO, and the magazine covers still contain a decent degree of detail.

Indoor: 4.53MB, Program, 1/25, f2.8, ISO 800, 5-100mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our second indoor was taken with the SX10 IS increased to 800 ISO. The shutter speed of 1/25 was easily stabilised by the camera.

As you'd expect, there's a significant increase in noise levels here, although again it's similar to the 100% views from the G10 under roughly the same conditions if you check its gallery.

There's still a fair degree of fine detail present here, but you'd only want to use this for small prints.


Indoor: 4.57MB, Program, 1/60, f4, ISO 1600, 5-100mm at 5mm (equivalent to 28mm)

  Our final shot was taken with the SX10 IS at 1600 ISO, where there's a significant drop in quality.

The colours are less saturated as a whole, and viewing at 100% reveals undesirable noise and processing artefacts.

As such 1600 ISO is a step too far for the SX10 IS and should only be used for small online images or emergency situations.

Again though it's no worse than the PowerShot G10.

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2017 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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