Why Buy the Canon Powershot SX10 IS?
In terms of picture quality this is one of the best super zoom cameras. Add in all the various controls and you have a very enticing packing for anyone who is serious about photography.
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|Outdoor 1 (Medium Zoom)|
After the composition of a shot my favourite aspect is the sharpness of the photo. When it comes to focusing I think Canon digital cameras continue to have the edge over the competition. The Powershot SX10 IS upholds that view with a series of sharp shots. In my first outdoor shot the brickwork on the building in the centre of the photo is more or less pin sharp. There is only a small loss of sharpness as you move out towards the edges. The colours are powerful enough and the photo is one the best from a super zoom camera. Even the glare from the sun is handled surprisingly well.
|Outdoor 2 (No Zoom)|
Owing to the distance of this scene I think it is my toughest test shot. Here the Powershot SX10 IS delivers another above average shot when it comes to sharpness. With some cameras the left side of this shot can be very soft, but here sharpness is above average.
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|Outdoor 3 (Maximum Zoom)|
You can see just how close you can zoom in on the subject with a 20x zoom lens. Sharpness is good again. There is a small amount of purple fringing showing if you blow the picture up into a large print, but it compares well to the amount produced by other super zoom digital cameras.
|Outdoor 4 (Building)|
My final outdoor scenic shot confirms my findings. Sharpness is again above average with minimal fall off as you reach out towards the edges. You should be able to create bright, colourful scenes with the Powershot SX10 IS.
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Working closer to the subject the Powershot SX10 IS is able to produce another sharp image. The colours are about right as well.
|Indoor Portrait with Flash|
This is another example of how the better digital compacts are able to control the amount of flash light they produce. This leads to the colours being both ber and also retaining a more natural feel.
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|Indoor Portrait without Flash|
I am happy with all three of my portrait shots. This final one is taken using window light. The definition in the photo is good and you may wish to experiment using natural light instead of flash from time to time.
The colours have been consistent throughout my tests. They have plenty of punch and one thing you will not suffer from is washed out photos.
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A good quality macro shot says a lot about the quality of the lens. This camera has no minimum focusing distance and is more or less able to focus from right next to the subject. The Powershot SX10 IS should be able to take some excellent close up shots.
ISO 400 and ISO 1600 - Although the top of the range Canon models handle ISO quite well there is still a loss of quality at ISO 400, especially in the darker areas of the shot. Quality falls away with each increase in ISO, so that at ISO 1600 there are high levels of noise across the picture.
Overall - In terms of picture quality I have no complaints. If I was looking for a super zoom digital camera based purely on picture quality this would be the one I would buy out of the models I have reviewed to date.
Shutter Lag and Recycling Times - Shutter lag times are standard. A single photo took 0.32 seconds and five 8.15 seconds. With flash turned on the times were 0.52 seconds for the first shot and 11.95 seconds for five. To turn the camera on and take the first picture took 2.34 seconds.
Style - This is one of the larger and heavier super zoom cameras. It is designed along the lines of a Digital SLR.
Dimensions - 124.0 x 88.3 x 86.9mm
Weight - 560g
Batteries - 4 AA batteries. Canon estimates that a standard set of alkaline batteries should be able to take up to 340 shots.
Memory Cards - This is another Canon digital camera where no memory card is supplied. There is no built in memory either. Canon assumes you will either already have a compatible card or will buy a high capacity card with the Powershot SX10 IS. It can accept SD and SDHC cards.
Ease of Use Rating - Difficult. The reason for the difficult rating is the number of features Canon has built into the camera. To make the most of it you will need to spend some time learning how the camera works and what can be gained from the different controls.
Points I Like - Photo quality - features - flip out and twist LCD screen - optical zoom available for movies
Where it Could Improve - Camera has a plastic feel Alternatives -
There are a number of super zoom cameras to choose from. Another I like a lot is the Panasonic DMC FZ28.
David Tyman's verdict - The Canon Powershot SX10 IS has the edge over other super zoom digital cameras when it comes to the sharpness of the pictures it produces. I have very few complaints about this camera and it is one for the shortlist if you are looking for plenty of zoom power.
David Tymon works with Cameras.co.uk