What is your (pre) opinion on the SX230? I would like to know your opinion on this upcoming camera.
It seems that Canon improved all the predecessors shortcomings. The round zoom control is back like in the good old days; the sensor is now CMOS with backlight; and resolution is just 12 megapixel (down from 14 on the SX210 which was an overkill); the LCD resolution is finally doubled to 461k pixels; and they upped the HD video recording to 1080 (up from 720p).
I think that they hit all the right buttons, it is very appealing (especially for the price, $350), although I would rather pay less and omit the GPS, which is useless for me (In Europe they DO offer the SX220 which is the same camera for cheaper without the GPS, but not in the USA. Go figure why.)
However, it seems to me that Canon wants always to stay one step behind the competitors. Compared to the Nikon COOLPIX S9100, which is basically the same specs, and offer even lower price ($330), the Nikon appears to be the better of the 2. The zoom is 18x (compared to SX230's 14x); the LCD's ultra-high resolution is double than the SX230 (921K pixels), and Canon limits the 1080 HD movie recording to 24fps, while Nikon lets you record up to 30fps in 1080.
I agree with your analysis about the sx230. At least on paper, Canon has taken a good camera design and turned it into a VERY good camera design. We'll have to wait and see, for the camera vs. camera reviews.
Regarding the Nikon Coolpix S9100: Nikon has never seemed to take compact cameras all that seriously. Their SLRs are excellent, but Nikon has churned out years of mediocre or minimally competent compact cameras. Remember the recent Nikon S8100? Initially, everyone thought that Nikon was finally taking compact cameras seriously. But the reviews on the S8100 have been pretty disappointing, overall. I would bet, dollars for donuts, that this SX230 is given better reviews than the Nikon S9100. Canon just seems to take the 'digital compact camera' seriously ... and Nikon has yet to do so!
First of all, I rarely travel. But besides, when I go on a trip and empty my card to my PC, I will always indicate (either by folder name or file name) what this picture is. And I usually recognize my pictures with my bare eyes. I don't need a GPS to remind me.
I currently have a Panasonic camera with GPS feature. I don't even know how to use it. I turned off the GPS feature to save battery (the GPS sucks a lot of battery constantly, even when camera is not in use).
I am waiting to see between the 9100 & this camera. When I looked at the difference between the last generation of the two, the canon had noticibly better photo quality. If the same holds true this time, I'll go with the canon, but if nikon has finally caught up (get a clue guys) it will be really hard to pass up the 18x lens since what I want it for mainly is a camera to have in my purse or pocket so as not to miss those shots on my way home of prarie dogs, sunsets, hawks & eagles etc. The extra length would be nice, but not at the expense the the image quality.
The GPS is a big selling point for me. When you're about and about taking pictures, it's really nice to be able to go back and know exactly where the picture was taken. Why would you not want this feature?
The s95 is smaller and with less zoom. It looks similar in appearance. The s95 is the best subcompact camera on the planet. I love and hate the camera. The camera constantly amazes me as I learn to use it but I hate the popup flash which is the same as sx230. The S95 is a better camera for the money, larger sensor and better low light.
The Nikon does not have Aperture, Shutter Priority or Manual Exposure Modes which is something I like to have even in a compact to be able to customize the picture at challenging light and focus situations. I am actually waiting for picture quality reviews to choose between this Canon, the Panasoniz ZS10, Casio FH100, Fuji F550EXR and Sony HX9V - they all offer similar advanced features with this manual exposure capability, long zoom range, HD video, etc. Some features differ among them, such as: manual focus, continuous shooting speed vs quality, RAW file processing, HDR exposure, GPS, max. flash distance and flexibility, etc.
I have had this camera for only a few days, so am not ready to post a full review. But regarding the GPS function, I have to say I'm disappointed so far. Out of the 50 or so 'practice' shots I've taken, only about 20% had the GPS coordinates included. Apparently, you have to have a pretty clear view of the sky for it to work. Otherwise, no GPS data. Once in a while, it is included on an indoor photo, but I can't yet figure out how or why. I bought this camera with the GPS feature as a major selling point... but it works nowhere near as well as my iPhone, which somehow includes GPS data on every photo. I thought a product that is dedicated to BE a camera would do at least as well, but doesn't even come close. I don't know if that's an accolade to Apple, or a dis to Canon.