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Canon PowerShot SX200 IS Gordon Laing, April 2009

Canon PowerShot SX200 IS Gallery

The following images were taken with a Canon PowerShot SX200 IS. The SX200 IS was set to Large Fine JPEG quality, Auto White Balance and Evaluative metering. 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 CS4 as JPEGs with the Very High quality preset, while the resized images were made in Photoshop CS4 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-TZ7 / ZS3 sample images and Canon PowerShot SX10 IS sample images.


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Landscape: 2.64MB, Program, 1/800, f4, 80 ISO, 5-60mm at 5mm (28mm equivalent)

  This first shot was taken with the SX200 IS zoomed-out and set to its lowest 80 ISO sensitivity.

Under these bright conditions it represents a best-case scenario, and the crops are certainly sharp and detailed, with only the faintest smattering of noise textures in shadow areas.

As you move towards the edges of the frame though, there's evidence of coloured fringing in areas of high contrast.
     


Landscape: 4.56MB, Program, 1/800, f4, 100 ISO, 5-60mm at 5mm (28mm equivalent)

  Another shot taken under bright light with the lens zoomed-out and the sensitivity nudged up to 100 ISO.

Viewed at 100%, the image is pretty sharp with lots of fine detail and no softening in the corners, although the flat areas of blue sky reveal a slight increase in visible noise textures to the pixel peepers out there.

We shot this at a low angle and while the screen has a wide viewing angle, it can become harder to view in direct sunlight.
     


Landscape: 3.51MB, Program, 1/1600, f5.3, 200 ISO, 5-60mm at 60mm (336mm equivalent)


    For this shot of an approaching boat we zoomed into the longest focal length, increased the sensitivity to 200 ISO and used Servo AF to track the action.

There's some coloured fringing around high contrast areas towards the edges, but it's never worse than seen in the bottom crop.

Like most compacts, the increase to 200 ISO has also resulted in greater noise textures and a softening of ultimate detail.
     
   
     
   


Wildlife: 3.48MB, Program, 1/1250, f5.3, 200 ISO, 5-60mm at 60mm (336mm equivalent)

    Having an effective focal length of 336mm in your pocket allows you to easily grab close-ups of distant subjects, or to fill the frame with tamer creatures like this duck. For the greatest success with focusing we had to wait for it to stand still for a moment.

Set to Auto ISO, the SX200 IS selected 200 ISO due to the long focal length despite bright conditions. The crops are again pretty detailed, but as above, there's visible noise and a softening of edges
     
   
     
   


Portrait: 2.17MB, Program, 1/320, f5.3, 200 ISO, 5-60mm at 60mm (336mm equivalent)

  For this portrait we kept the SX200 IS's lens fully zoomed-into 336mm in an attempt to minimise the depth-of-field. The camera has Aperture Priority, but selected its brightest f-number in Program anyway, so what you see here is the minimum depth-of-field for typical portraits.

Face detection locked-onto the subject and IS allowed us to easily frame the shot despite the long focal length. We also used a fill-in flash.

Like other 200 ISO samples here, there's some visible noise and softened edges, but we did manage to blur the background a little.
     


Macro: 3.05MB, Program, 1/160, f4, 400 ISO, 5-60mm at 5mm (28mm equivalent)

  The SX200 IS has a closest focusing distance of 3cm in normal Macro mode, or 0cm in Super Macro (albeit with the zoom locked to wide).

We used the former here as we couldn't get any closer to the circuit board.

The result shows sharp details in the plane of focus, and less fringing towards the corners, compared to many cameras in the same conditions.

The subject matter here has been quite forgiving to the increase to 400 ISO.

     


Indoor: 3.22MB, Program, 1/60, f3.4, 400 ISO, 5-60mm at 5mm (28mm equivalent)

  Our first indoor shot was taken with the Canon set to 400 ISO and zoomed-out. We switched the AF frame to Face Detect and it locked-onto the subject with no issues.

Viewed at 100% there's still lots of detail and the image is well-corrected into the corners, but there's a visible increase in noise levels over the 200 ISO samples, and once again a reduction in edge definition.

It's still ok for smaller prints, but pixel-peepers or those wanting larger prints will want to stick to lower sensitivities.
     


Indoor: 2.59MB, Program, 1/8, f3.4, 800 ISO, 5-60mm at 5mm (28mm equivalent)

  Our second indoor was taken with the SX200 IS increased to 800 ISO. The camera's stabilisation had no problems with a 1/8 exposure here, and in our tests offered over three stops of compensation.

As you'd expect, there's another increase in noise artefacts and the noise reduction has stepped-up a gear with some smearing as a result.

But the crops do still contain a reasonable amount of detail and it's certainly not a dramatic drop beyond 400 ISO. Still best-reserved for smaller prints though.
   

 


Indoor: 2.4MB, Program, 1/40, f3.4 1600 ISO, 5-60mm at 5mm (28mm equivalent)

  Our final shot was taken with the SX200 IS at 1600 ISO, and noise reduction has really kicked-in here, destroying fine detail and leaving a mushy mess in places.

Like most compacts, 1600 ISO is a step too far and should only be used for emergencies, or very small reproductions.

The SX200 IS then goes onto offer a 3200 ISO option as a Scene Preset, albeit at a greatly reduced resolution of 2 Megapixels. You can see a sample of it and other sensitivities in our High ISO Noise results page. There you'll also see how it compares to arch-rival, Panasonic's TZ7 / ZS3.
     

All words, images, videos and layout, copyright 2005-2014 Gordon Laing. May not be used without permission.

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