789 of 798 people found the following review helpful
on October 17, 2008
I've owned each new version of this camera since the Powershot S2IS. For me this is a worthwhile upgrade over the prior version, the S5IS.
I'll start by saying that I am not a digital camera "power user". I just want good quality photos without a lot of hassle. This camera provides that, yet also provides a lot of room for growth with plenty of custom settings that I can use if I want to learn how to use them in the future (for example, aperture priority).
- In initial testing, the face detection technology seems to work well. I can take a self portrait now and the lighting comes out very good. I think the technology has gone from buzzword marketing to true usefulness.
- One side benefit of the face detection technology is that it enables the camera to intelligently take red-eye out of pictures without using the red-eye reduction lamp.
- The flip-out and rotating viewfinder has always and continues to set this camera apart from its peers from other companies. It allows for less intrusive candid photos and has many other advantages.
- Thankfully, the SD card door is separate from the battery door as it was with the S3IS. Thank you Canon! There are times that I just want to take a few pictures, and now I don't have to open the battery door to take the SD card out and put in my PC's card reader.
- Low battery warning. I think this is the first version to have that and it's very welcome.
- 28mm -- I will never get another camera without wide angle built in. I have the Canon Elph 880IS too, which is a very powerful "pocketable" camera that complements this one well.
- Sharp 20x zoom. Pictures turn out very good even at high zooms. In an indoor-lit apartment, I can read fairly small print from a photo taken all the way across a room -- it truly is amazing.
- The picture quality is better at higher ISO's than previous models. Each model improves on this and this one definitely continues that. I haven't tried out the "I-Contrast" setting (on vs. off) but I can say that in some outdoor pictures that I have taken detail is good in shadow areas.
- Finally, a standard lens-cap. It doesn't have a tether, but you can buy a cap attachment from a camera store that sticks on the front of the cap. The one that I got has an elastic band that goes around the base of the lens. I also got a better lens cap which can now be done since it's standard.
- Controls ... I like the new placement of the controls such as dedicated on-off button and display button. I don't think I will like the scroll wheel but time will tell. For those not familiar with this camera, there is a dedicated video button so that you can take video quickly without having to mess with the controls.
- Weight and shape. I liked the shape of the S5IS a little better. This one seems too "boxy" and the grip seems too abrupt. It's bigger and heavier but not in a way that matters. It's expected with the new lens.
The only thing I would have liked to see improved is the size of the rotating display. It's usable, but the 3" one on my pocket SD880IS is much better, and competing cameras offer a larger display. In order to get a larger display though the electronic viewfinder would probably have to be eliminated which is something that many wouldn't like. I'd rather have a larger display.
I don't know if the compressed movie mode results in less quality because I didn't take movies with prior versions of this camera because the file size was larger. I like that videos take up less space now and I will use the video feature of this version.
Canon released a camera similar to this with HD video capabilities but it's not available, as far as I know, in the U.S. Check the Canon website for more info. if you want to research that.
There is not a way to screw filters on this camera as there was with the optional lens adapters available for the S5IS. It seems that Canon could have easily done this by threading the end of the lens but maybe I am missing something. I anticipate that Canon or some other company will come out with an adapter that will allow filters. My main use of filters was simply to protect the lens.
I don't know if the software is improved because I don't use it. If you want date / time stamps on your photos, you need to do it via software.
If you like this camera and are interested in a great pocket-sized camera to complement this one, check out the SD880IS. It has many of the same features such as the Digic 4 chip, face detection, wide angle, I-contrast, and in addition it has a beautiful 3" display.
- I previously commented that I thought the shape was too boxy" and the grip "too abrupt". After using the camera for a while I have grown to like the shape because it helps keep the camera more steady and helps prevent dropping it. There is a ridge below where the index finger is, and above the other 3 fingers holding the camera. That helps keep a good grip on the camera which makes it steadier while shooting and helps prevent dropping it while carrying it around.
556 of 564 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2008
This is a second update. It comes after several months working with an SX10 IS.
Very good noise control
Image edge and corner sharpness
Less than average color fringing
True wide angle and phenomenal telephoto
iContrast for highlight/shadow
Focus frame size adjustment
Brightness, contrast, sharpness and color settings
Great movie mode with stereo sound
Slow f5.7 maximum aperture beyond 100mm
Tendency to overexpose (though this can be an advantage--see below)
Low light autofocus issues
Minor lens distortions and color fringing at either end of zoom
Tedious control dial
LCD hard to see in bright outdoor light
Zoom sounds audible in movies
A semi-pro photographer with 30+ years' shooting experience, I am respectful yet rigorously demanding of my photo equipment. I push parameters, often absurdly so, but the SX10 doesn't seem to mind it one bit. For its price point, features and class, this is a stellar offering, and I highly recommend it.
The camera is solidly built and, although hefty for a point-and-shoot, feels well balanced in the hand. Controls are intuitively placed and easy to find with your fingers--no need to take your eye off the LCD or viewfinder when you've become acquainted with their positions.
Performance is excellent in all but low light, where autofocus and shutter lag are sometimes at issue. The camera powers on and is ready to shoot very quickly. Image recording time is swift, especially with a Class 6 card, and in reasonable lighting focus is both swift and accurate. Resolution is superb; image stabilization is best in class. And the sheer zoom range--wow!
Point-and-shoot capability is great. Open the box, install batteries and memory card, and fire away. It's so easy, kids can do it. And given a little time and tinkering, in its creative modes the camera really shows its chops.
In this review, you'll see several references to existing-light photography. It's my personal preference; I only use flash when I must. So I've spent a lot of time working out the angles for that sort of shooting. What you won't see is anything more than a cursory remark about action photography. It's not something I've used this camera for just yet.
In this model Canon addresses several issues inherent in the "S" series--most notably noise and dynamic range. Though still noisy at ISO 800, about half the images I've shot at that setting have been okay for prints, and nearly all are very good at ISO 400. Pictures taken between ISOs 80 and 200 are clean and excellent. Noise reduction at higher ISOs does degrade saturation and details a bit (more noticeable at the longer end of the zoom, especially in low-contrast lighting) but not enough to abandon the higher sensitivities altogether.
Both edge and corner sharpness are very good at anything but widest angle and full zoom, and even here sharpness is much improved over the S5 at ANY focal length. In truth, no zoom lens of such wide range has edge-to-edge sharpness at its focal extremes.
Color fringe is a mixed bag. Depends somewhat on the focal length, ISO, aperture and shutter speed. Overall, fringing is not that bothersome. At both the widest angle and full telephoto ends you'll see some colored edges, most noticeably in areas of high contrast. Bumping the zoom lever once or twice makes all the difference.
Some barrel distortion occurs at the wide end as well, though not too bad. It's only noticeable where there are obvious vertical or horizontal lines (again, a bump or two of zoom, and lines strighten right up). These issues can of course be corrected in most photo editing programs, although not in Zoombrowser EX, the camera's supplied software.
Achieving focus in certain lighting can be iffy and sometimes fails. Changing the focus frame size will usually remedy this. When it doesn't, manual focus feature comes to the rescue. Fortunately this feature is improved in the SX10. The autofocus issue seems linked to extremes in contrast, whether low or high, rather than actual light available. Low contrast, low light situations present the most difficulty, but a couple of times my copy has struggled and failed in high-contrast, intense lighting, too. Lowering the ISO helped.
If you prefer existing light photos and stay at ISO 400 and under, at focal lengths beyond 100mm you'll need to reduce shutter speeds due to narrowing apertures, and action shots get tricky. For stationary subjects, though, the camera can be hand-held at speeds as low as 1/6 sec to produce sharp images without flash--phenomenal. This works best with image stabilization set to single shot rather than continuous.
It IS a good idea to carry a mini-tripod or monopod. The SX10 tends some toward overexposure, though, which works to your benefit; an increase in shutter speed not only balances exposure but also results in fewer blurry hand-held shots. So, although it's a good idea to have one handy, the tripod probably won't be needed too terribly often.
The camera's built-in flash is quite good to about 17 feet. There's also a hot shoe for dedicated external flash; and with flash employed, the playing field broadens significantly. I've not yet encountered a situation where I couldn't get a picture when working with flash. A few times manual focus has been necessary, but by golly, I got the shot!
That big lens does zoom--boy, does it ever! Furthermore, digitally zoomed images are surprisingly detailed. Image stabilization is so effective that in good lighting sharp, hand-held shots are VERY doable at maximum magnification--a whopping 80X. The hardest thing about shooting at that length is just keeping the subject in your viewfinder!
Canon's vari-angle LCD is thoroughly spoiling--it cooks. There have been many times when I simply wouldn't have gotten a keeper without it. An articulating LCD not only offers the flexibility to shoot no-hassle self portraits, overhead, ground-level and other awkward-angle pictures, but it also gives an extra measure of stability in composing your pictures. Just fold out and tilt the LCD and hold the camera close to your body with your elbows tucked in. It's a much steadier stance than the traditional arms-out, eye-level method. Makes for some good stealth photography, as well as opening up new perspectives (think children and pets). And it's a real boon for tight spots and macro work. My only quibble about the LCD is how difficult it is to see in bright sunlight. (Fortunately, the electronic viewfinder is excellent, so you can shoot, no matter what.)
I really appreciate the ability to reduce the focus frame for capturing little details (it's nice to have a camera that "knows," for instance, that you're going for the antennae of a moth and not its entire body). Better yet, you can zero in on the eye as the sharpest point in the frame, making for stand-out people, bird, wildlife and pet photos. Pictures are so much more arresting with this capability.
About iContrast: while dynamic range does increase some, it's not a magic wand. With it turned off this camera does pretty well (though not d-SLR well) at highlight and shadow details. At least in my copy, pictures shot with iContrast are sometimes processed with a dull, gray-blue cast that no color or white balance setting offsets. So I keep iContrast disabled during shooting, unless the lighting is pretty extreme (the user guide suggests this approach). I've found iContrast of greater benefit, editing images in Review mode. Colors are more vibrant this way; the pics don't get that gray-blue cast.
SX10 pictures are not as contrasty as those from Canon's previous ultrazooms, especially at longer focal lengths. This is not a design flaw--you now have the option to adjust contrast as a custom function. It's found in My Colors. Options for adjusting sharpness, saturation and skin tones--as well as red, green and blue channels, are available there, too.
Often pictures lacking in contrast are simply the result of overexposure. If you're using one of the camera's built-in My Color settings, in average to bright light exposure compensation frequently helps, adding vibrance to your images and upping highlight details. The exposure compensation button makes this easy. On the other hand, photos captured in overcast and other low-contrast lighting conditions nearly always lack contrast, regardless of how you adjust exposure or which iContrast setting you're using. I personally don't mind this, as contrast can always be boosted in post-editing.
Even if you're a seasoned photographer, I can't stress enough: READ THE USER GUIDE even if you've owned one of Canon's previous superzooms. While the SX10 is very similar to its predecessors, there are also some big differences. When I got mine, I didn't actually look at the guide for almost a week; until I did, I grew steadily more disappointed. And just knew that Canon had lost their marbles.
If you're a full-auto kinda person, you'll probably love the camera without reading through the whole manual--that is, until you make your first movie. If you haven't read the advanced instructions for video capture, here's where you'll probably encounter dissatisfaction. Be sure and read the advanced guide for movies on pages 87-90 (English version). For instance, you can lock the focus--very nice--no more fading in and out. But the thing I think you'll really want to know about is a way to brighten movies when zooming. (More on that in a bit.)
It's when you move beyond point-and-shoot into the creative zones that an in-depth look at the advanced guide gets essential. The good stuff is in there all right, just waiting to be tapped, but you'd practically have to be psychic to know how to work it. It's not a hard camera to control, but some of its features and the procedures for using them aren't exactly transparent. You're paying for a pretty amazing, feature-rich camera. Instead of bashin' or smashin' the darn thing, do yourself and the SX10 both a favor. Read up on how to use it. It's well nigh impossible to get the best from it til you do.
In its auto modes, the camera selects ISO, aperture and shutter speeds which almost always work very well, although you may occasionally bring home noisier images than you'd like, and the white balance can sometimes be just a tad off. It also means employing the flash indoors fairly often, so if you prefer point-and-shoot, existing light photography you really may want to consider a different camera.
About Movie mode, in my estimation the only down side is the lens noise it records--an audible clacking sound during zoom. In every other respect, movies are outstanding. Before I bought the camera I had read user complaints about dark videos, and that concerned me. Sure enough, when I got the camera and gave it a whirl, my movies were just bogus beyond the 100mm tele mark.
Then I read the advanced guide--duh. And found that Canon has made provision for the lens's narrowing aperture as you zoom in. When you notice the image growing dim, you can increase the exposure--during recording! It's very easy--a press of the exposure compensation button and a twirl of the control dial is all it takes. Works like a charm. And that's not the only new enhancement (earlier I mentioned focus lock). Before beginning a movie, you can also set preferences for white balance and color. With stereo sound, volume adjustment, a wind filter and such enormous focal reach, the Movie mode is a great addition to an already magnificent camera--why, it's just gravy.
If anything ever fails on my copy, it'll probably be the control dial. Learning to use it was pretty trying. The dial is thin and slippery, and the mount is too shallow, almost flush with the FUNC/SET button it surrounds. The knurls on the dial are barely palpable and provide little traction. Worse, the dial tends to slip while it's turning. Applying enough pressure to engage it can inadvertently change the ISO setting or switch the camera to Manual Focus or Macro mode. My touch has improved with time and practice, but it took way too long to get the knack, and it's still not surefire. The thing's just plain tetchy!
Despite its idiosyncracies, I'm very glad the control dial is there. The SX10 is a camera that offers many adjustment options for making the very most of its incredible abilities.
If the dial were more easily engaged, and the zoom were silent during video capture, this camera would earn my resounding five-star rating. It probably deserves one anyway. If I didn't use the creative modes almost exclusively, the control dial wouldn't be such a bother. And if I weren't so persnickety, the lens sounds in video probably wouldn't be an issue, either. The dial needs improvement, though. Because this camera falls in the "advanced" category, aimed at the photo enthusiast/advanced photographer, and because it is one of the most-used and important features for that kind of shooting, I can't rationalize away its mediocre design and just love the dial anyway. Canon simply MUST improve on future iterations of their SX cameras, and I expect they will!
310 of 323 people found the following review helpful
on October 11, 2008
This camera replaced my old Olympus C2100, a formidable 10x zoom camera introduced 8 years ago that started the mega-zoom race. Have played with the SX10 IS for a week now and very happy with it.
Below are what I like:
-It uses regular "AA" batteries. Never buy a camera that uses specialized batteries no matter what people may tell you. Updated 6/27/09: this camera is so power efficient that it can take 600 photos on a single set of AA rechargeable batteries according to a leading consumer magazine (no other camera can even come close, non).
-It has a useful 28mm wide angle lens. This means you can include a whole group of people in a picture without standing too far back(such as in a small room). Most cameras (I say 90%) do not have lens this wide.
-You can zoom (optical & digital, with audio) while taking movies. Many cameras do not allow optical or audio during movie taking.
-It takes SD memory cards which is most popular (plentiful, cheap). Do not settle for cameras that take any other type of memory cards.
-It has a rotating LCD display.
-It is quick to take (and view) pictures and movies.
-Picture and movie quality (with stereo audio) is superbly competitive to any other high quality cameras.
Below are what I don't like:
-No grip: this is one slippery camera. I like its size and weight but its grip needs to be designed accordingly.
-The LCD display is very easily scratched. Do not wear this camera with a neck strap with the LCD facing out, because your shirt buttons will scratch the LCD. Immediately put a protective screen on this LCD first; there are several protective screen or tape products available.
-The lens has no thread so you can't put on a lens filter to protect it from smears and dust.
-The lens cap has no tether or tether hole so there is little you can do to attach the cap to the camera. Canon, what was you thinking?
-I wish it can record movies in widescreen 16:9 VGA. It does not have HD movie feature but I don't need HD, I only wish widescreen VGA.
Currently there are several 20x zoom cameras available, such as the Olympus SP-570UZ and SP-565UZ, Casio EX-FH20. I've tried all of them, and eventually chose the Canon SX10IS as I think it gives you superb features and quality for an unbelievable price.
91 of 94 people found the following review helpful
on October 12, 2008
I have been looking forward to the "S6 IS" coming out this year (after skipping out on the S3 and S5), and now it's out, with the name "SX10 IS". I think Canon wanted to show that this camera is a huge leap forward from the S5 IS, and it certainly is given the new specs.
Compared to the S2 through S5, the zoom is now 20x optical starting at 28mm instead of 12x starting at 35mm (much wider shots), as well as a 10MP sensor, up from 5-8MP, and Digic IV (instead of Digic II and III) for improved shots.
I tried out the demo model in the store, and some differences I noticed were:
- The camera is much taller and deeper to accommodate the huge lens, and does not feel as good in my hands as even the S5
- The body of the camera is very smooth compared to previous models, but it feels bulky compared to the S5
- The button layout is COMPLETELY different, there are no buttons on the front of the camera, MF and macro buttons are located in the back, you now press a button to turn the camera on and off (instead of turning a jog dial), the 4-way directional pad has been replaced with a clickable scroll wheel, also to enter playback mode you must press a button instead. I do not like this layout, but it does offer the advantage of being able to enter macro and MF mode using your right hand only.
- After taking a shot, you can view very detailed information about the shot (ISO, aperture, histogram, etc) which is a nice add-on
- The lens is marked on the top with approximate zoom levels and focal lengths
- Unlike the S5, the battery compartment is again separated from the SD-card slot, which is good
- The picture quality is better, thanks to improved high-ISO quality, so the pictures come out less blurry than on the S5. The sharpness and auto-focus at 20x is very good, with no visible distortion at any zoom level
I did not see the intervalometer function in the menu, so I assume it is still gone as it was removed in the S5, also no RAW support, and there is no custom firmware available for the SX10 (since it is Digic IV), look for that in the future. Movies are in .MOV format instead of .AVI, still 480p, and still one of the best "camcorders" around.
The MSRP is also $100 lower than the S5 was at launch, making this a terrific bargain for a 20x superzoom with Canon's great quality. My only concerns are with the size of the camera and the button layout. However, the huge zoom lens makes up for it, and the fact is it is still much smaller and lighter than a D-SLR plus wide-angle and telephoto lens. Overall, you can't go wrong with this camera, the quality is superb.
54 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2008
I was the proud owner of a Canon S1 IS very soon after it was released. I loved the compact size, additional lens attachment, and zoom capability. Its quality was nice for the time but soon the megapixel race was on and 3MB images were left in the dust. I opted next for a Canon Rebel XT and spent $$$$ on lenses, flashes, memory, bags, tripods, etc. Don't get me wrong... I love my DSLR, but when I heard that the SX10 IS was available I did not hesitate to purchase it for my wife who was beginning to be a photo-junky like myself. The 20X zoom lens reaches from 28mm (wide angle)to 560mm (very long range) and is incredibly compact. The body is about the same size as my XT. It has the bells and whistles of a more sophisticated DSLR yet can operate as a point-and-shoot for those with less complicated needs. We love Yellowstone so this will be a magnificent addition to our arsenal of photo gear. Forget the time setting up a tripod since it has built-in image stability. Forget changing lenses for the scenery shot versus the distance shot. The image quality is very good, has more megapixels than my Rebel, and even fits in my wife's purse (though bulky). I give this camera an A+ for what it was designed for. My wife's only complaint is the need to keep up with a lens cap that was connected by a strap in earlier versions (S1-S5). Way to go, Canon! Buy it! I don't think you'll be disappointed. I would even recommend it for the novice to intermediate photographer who is traveling and does not have the space for all the extras that a DSLR requires.
45 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2008
The Canon SX10 IS is a very impressive superzoom camera.
The ergonomics of the SX10 are excellent. The camera feel substantial but not overly heavy in the hand, and the fingers wrap around the grip very naturally and securely, leaving thumb and fingers well position for the controls. The menus seem very intuitive to me - almost all the settings are where I expect to find them. (This may be partly because I have owned several A-series cameras and know the Canon menus system, but I recall thinking with my first A-series camera that the menu distribution made a lot of sense.) The menu settings include a customizable menu list that can be set to include the users most frequently accessed menu items, edited to the order of the owner's choosing, and, if desired, set to be the default menu on initial access of the menu functions - overall a means of truly customizing the camera to one's own particular needs and uses. Many users will join me in applauding the presence of focal-length markings on the lens barrel - a nice feature that means a lot to more experienced photographers but is notably lacking on the models of most other manufacturers.
The range of capabilities of this camera is remarkable. Begin with the lens: 28 to 560 mm equivalent in 35-mm terms. This means that, from about 12 feet away, I could on Christmas morning make one exposure that encompassed the room, all the decorations, and the day's several celebrants, and without moving, fill the frame with a single ornament on the tree on the other side of the room. Both are remarkable in their own way. One of the things I have missed in moving to compact digital cameras from high-end 35mm cameras was a seriously wide angle lens. A 28 mm lens gets a lot of wear and tear in the kit of a serious 35mm shooter, begin used both indoors and out to capture wide expanses. Having a 28 mm short end of a zoom is vastly different than calling 35 mm "wide angle." On the other end of the scale, 560 mm is a lot of lens, and one would seldom attempt to hand-hold that much lens with a conventional 35 mm system. Image stabilization, however, allows sharp shots hand-held with the long lens. Image stabilization is said to allow a gain of 2 stops in exposure latitude. The usual rule of thumb is to reach for a tripod whenever your shutter speed is slower than the inverse of your lens length (i.e., 1/30 sec for a 28 mm lens, 1/60 for a "normal" 50 to 55 mm lens, 1/250 for the long end of an ordinary zoom in the 210 to 270 mm range. With practice, photographers can often beat that rule by one stop, but with IS I have beaten the rule by 3 to 4 stops with tack-sharp results.
The reason that Canon digitals attract a lot of gray-haired photographers with extensive 35-mm experience is because most of their cameras have easy access to shutter- and aperture-priority modes and a fully manual mode in addition to the several programmed modes on the dial. There are times when us old geezers look at a prospective shot, identify potential exposure problems, and solve them by selecting a specific shutter speed or aperture value, or sometimes both. Such settings remain easy to access and manipulate with the SX10, and the other specialized program sets are well-conceived, if rather standard, and equally easy to access with the control dial. The control dial also has a setting that can be customized to give quick control-dial access to a set of features and settings that the owner anticipates using frequently - thank you, Canon, for recognizing that your customers have brains of their own.
The software has some pretty gee-whiz features. Face detection seems to work very well, and the camera can pick out all the faces in a frame and it allows you to select one to be highest priority in focus and exposure. Even more remarkable is a delayed exposure option that counts the faces in the frame when the shutter button is pressed, then recognizes when a new face (the photographer's) shows up, and fires two seconds later. I am not sure how often it will be used, but the very capability is a remarkable bit of intelligence to be present in a camera. Focusing can be set to face-detection or a defined-zone system that starts with a central square and can be shifted by the photographer. Exposure options include evaluative, full-frame center-weighted, or spot metering, and the spot meter can be linked to the focus frame. The focus frame can be blown up either prior to shooting or in review to check focus. (I found this feature to be a bit distracting to composition, so I turned it off in the menus but I can imagine situations in which I might reactivate it.) Auto focus can be set to continuous or shutter-button activated; servo focus off or on. The flash is activated to raising or lower it; auto and forced flash is available; a red-eye lamp is pretty ineffective and can be turned off, as can the focus-assist beam; flash can be synced to first or second curtain. Stitch assist includes not only the usual left-to-right and right-to-left options, but also top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top, and a four-shot two-dimensional rectangle. I can go on about the settings, but the reader can access that information by reading the owner's manual at the Canon website. The key point is versatility - you can set and override darn near everything on this camera.
Picture quality is quite good. Ten megapixels is a lot to cram onto a small sensor, and some folks have reported some chromic aberration, or purple fringing. Chromic aberration is worst at sharp edges of high contrast. I have made deliberate attempts to produce chromic aberrations, and have been inconsistently successful, having produced the dreaded purple fringe only on some shots, and visible only after extensive enlargement. I have not yet had a picture that I thought was significantly affected by chromic aberration when viewed at a reasonable magnification.
So is the SX10 a perfect camera? No, but it is awfully good; its capabilities rival the best 35 mm cameras in many ways, and its digital capabilities allow it to offer features impossible with 35 mm cameras, like stitch assist, creative color options, and contrast controls. I would love for it to have larger sensor, but we all know that the manufacturers are going to protect their D-SLR lines, and the technical aspects of designing lenses small enough for a compact camera that still serve larger sensors are said to be quite formidable. A wider range of aperture settings would be nice - I am sure that everyone would like a little more speed, and that would allow further narrowing of the depth of field for portraiture, but my appeal would be for another stop or two on the smaller side, so that the 28-mm setting can be used with knowledge of depth of field for foreground-to-infinity sharpness in landscape works. (Few people realize these days that Ansel Adams worked mostly with f-stops of 64!) But, all of you old 35 mm devotees out there please admit it - if you were ever crazy enough to dream of a 28-560 zoom with this good of an optical quality, you would have killed to own one, and you would have expected to mortgage your house to be able to afford it.
So overall - extreme versatility in hardware and software, very good image quality, and a highly user-friendly design make the SX10 difficult to exceed in a single-lens camera. Multiple lenses and a larger D-SLR body add some image quality and perhaps some additional capabilities, but the additional abilities will be quite esoteric for most users, and the difference in image quality will seldom be justified by the expense and, more important on most days, the extra bulk and weight of a multi-lens system. The SX10 should receive serious consideration from anyone desiring a high quality digital camera but reluctant invest in a D-SLR system.
53 of 54 people found the following review helpful
I'm in first days so can't give detailed report but I can say it is a big step ahead of my Powershot A620, that was a very satisfactory camera. But the 20x was a big inducement since it will help me in kind of shooting I enjoy. There are many more controls than I am used to, and it will take time to make full use of all. But I am already benefitting from such controls as iContrast. Today I was trying to photgraph a waterfall and was frustrated by a shadow in the center because sun not exactly as I would have liked. I turned on iConrrast and took the shot. The shadow was gone and the rocks it was hiding were clearly seen. I don't think I could have done better if the sun changed position. I have also taken photos with the zoom and achieved results far superior to what I was getting with previous camera.
I think there should be threads on end of lens so that I could use filters, such as a polarizer. However, Lensmate is fabricating an adapter that will permit the use of filters. But the absence of threads is one of reasons I gave it a 4 instead of a 5.
This is definitely a camera anyone who wants an advanced non-SLR camera should consider. For me, it seems to be the perfect camera, giving me many of the controls of an SLR but without need to buy and carry lenses.
I have taken several hundred photos since writing my first review so can now say it is perfect for my use.
Some reviewers complain a bit about the weight; I like the weight. It weighs noticeably more than my Powershot A620, but I like the substanial feel when I use it. I don't shake more with this camera, if anything less, and the image stabilization lens takes care of that.
Some have commented about the camera being slippery. I have not noticed that. Don't know why, but to me the SX10 is not a slippery camera.
I am really pleased with the wide angle lens, something I did not have on the A620. I didn't know what I was missing. Likewise the 20x zoom. What a difference compared to the 4x I was using. This is great for distance shots, I am also using it like a macro lens.
I know now that I made the right choice. I have most of the options I would have if I purchased an SLR, but at a much lower price.
The camera isn't perfect, but no camera is. I'd like threads so I could use a polarizer, and I don't like the wheel used to change the aperture value or shutter speed. It works, but is more time consuming than the way it was on the A620.
I like the camera so much that now I feel as thought I was nit-picking when I rated it 4 instead of 5.
43 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on November 3, 2008
I've had my SX10 for about a week and am very impressed with it's versatility. I tend to read all the user reviews I can before making a purchase and did that with the SX10. I also tested the camera with my own card in a local store and compared video and stills on the same card to the Pany TZ28. I am very interested in video and was attracted to the Pany because of its HD video. However, in testing, the SX10 was overall very superior. It has excellent color, unbelievable IS, smooth zoom, very nice stereo sound, and fool proof autofocus. I found the Pany to be weak in all those areas. I prefer the better "all around" video to the HD of the Pany.
Initially, I was spooked by the reports of a slow lens during medium to max zoom, 5.6 to be exact. I read enough reports to be convinced that the slow lens would not be especially restrictive for me due to compensation in ISO and speed setting, made possible by the excellent image stabilization. I have found the lens to be just fine, even at max zoom. I also found that the lens is fast enough for indoor non flash photography. I even tested the "ISO 3200" setting, which requires a lower mp setting. I printed these out at 3x5 and the pictures were very good.
At first, the LCD seemed dark. After I turned up the setting to bright, it was better. After using it awhile, it seems fine. The EVF is large and bright, the best I've seen.
When the professional reviews come out, there will certainly be knocks on the slow lens. In my opinion, this is more of a theoretical limitation than a practical one. If you like the camera, don't be spooked by the slow lens comments. If you're not sure, buy from Amazon with their excellent return policy.
One really solid feature is the wide angle of the lens. This was not a feature I thought I wanted or needed. Now that I've seen the wide angle, I'll never have another camera without it.
There are many other features that most will enjoy, including the dedicated video button, AA batteries, custom settings etc. I think average and very serious photographers alike will be happy with the SX10.
274 of 309 people found the following review helpful
on October 29, 2008
I have owned and loved every S series camera since the S2 and so I was very apprehensive when I learned that they had made dramatic changes to the next iteration. The size is bigger, the zoom is longer, video files more compressed and the button layout has been switched around a good deal.
It's not that I resist change, I just believe that if you've got a good thing going - DON'T MESS WITH IT! But I had already promised my photo-loving little sister that I'd give her my S5 when the new one came out so I figured I had to at least give it a try, so I went ahead and ordered it.
I was most worried about the new video format as that was my favorite feature of the previous cameras, so as soon as I received the SX10 I ripped it out of the box, threw a 4gb extreme 3 memory card in and hit the record button. 4gb provided a little more than 45 minutes of the highest quality of video on the new .mov format, while on the S5's .avi, I got a little less than 30 minutes, but I've never been one to complain about the size of the files - just the quality! I walked around, trying to test it in as many ways possible, bright light, low light, wide open, fully zoomed, inside, outside, etc. I could tell that this camera had a more difficult time staying in focus when I zoomed in and out than the previous S cameras, but it wasn't appallingly bad, and I figured if that was the worst thing, it would still be a wonderful camera. So I watched the video on my computer and even though I was annoyed with having to use quicktime and found it a little less convenient (.avi files are displayed in windows with a picture of the first frame, making them very easily identified, whereas .mov files just show the quicktime "Q", meaning I would have to come up with catchy titles for all of my many video clips), I had to admit that the video quality was still quite good, and I think the audio is even a little better (that might just be the camera though).
At this point I'll talk about my impressions of the body handling. It is definitely larger than the S5, but still not nearly as large as any SLR I've ever handled - it still has a relatively compact feel, expecially considering it zooms all the way to 560mm! The grip in the right hand does feel a little weak and slippery, but I didn't ever have a problem with it slipping. In the left hand though, it actually feels quite nice as the larger lens protrusion gives you something to hold on to, including some very functional ridges along the bottom. So I'd say the ergonomics are very decent. The buttons are placed fairly well (I'd switch the play button with the function button) and they all feel nice. The wheel I hated, but I'll get to that later.
So it barely passed the first test, but I still wasn't convinced and I cleared 6 hours from my Saturday to really give it a thorough examination. I also brought my SD1100 just to have something to compare the pics and vids too.
I tried testing every limit of this camera as I stalked a crane, observed an ant colony, tried (unsuccessfully) to catch fish as they sprang from the water and just enjoyed a wonderful day among nature. Within the first five minutes I had come across two fairly serious issues. The colors and exposure of the viewfinder were terrible; things that shouldn't have been blown out were, and I had a difficult time composing a shot as nothing looked nice! The second problem came when I switched to manual (my preferred shooting method) and realized that the wheel had actually made things more complicated as now you have to adjust exposure and shutter speed on the same wheel and switch between them by pushing a button, whereas before up-down (on the 4 way selector) did the exposure and left-right did shutter speed. The interface has been improved but that was little consolation as I found this to be very frustrating.
But even all of this could have been forgiven if everything else was great. The flip screen was as good as ever, so I pushed on.
When I was finished I was actually feeling pretty good. I really enjoyed the extra zoom on this camera and I thought it handled very well. I had my reservations still, but I felt like I could get over them and learn to really love this camera. Not to mention I was really excited about some of the pictures I had taken and wanted to get back to my computer and see how they really looked.
This is when things got ugly, pun intended. I've read all the other reviews and I know some people say this camera produces sharp pics, throughout the entire zoom range, but I have to disagree, strongly. At the long end of the zoom, pictures look like there's a slightly filmy sheet of glass in between my subject and me. Any bit of cropping and this becomes very pronounced. The NR on this camera is very strong and any high-contrast, straight lines were severely deformed. Almost like the mirage effect only more blocky. Wide open, the pictures just had no detail and looked just... bad. I'm so glad that I brought my SD1100 because I was really convinced when I started looking at my comparison shots, that the SX10 needed to be returned. The shots out of my 165 dollar point and shoot looked really sharp and pretty, while the same exact shot out of the SX10 looked completely emotionless and stale. I couldn't believe it. I double and triple checked that the nice shots were actually the SD1100 but I assure you they were.
In all fairness I did get about 8 really nice shots with the SX10, but that was out of more than 200, and I know had I been using my S5 I would have had a much higher percentage.
So now I don't know what to do. It seems kind of silly to buy a camera that I just gave away and right now I'm kind of disillusioned with Canon. I might try the Fuji S100FS. I hope this helps and if you do decide to get this camera - good luck.
42 of 44 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2009
REALITY CHECK! I am a "camera freak," I just love the things. I own the SX10 (and previously a stack of other digital cameras ... starting with that SONY MAVICA with the 3.5" diskettes a LONG time ago), and love it. I previously owned the S5, and it was also excellent. I bought the SX10 for the awesome LENS CAPABILITIES, and have not been disappointed whatsoever. It takes magnificent pics, has that enormous range, is COMPACT, and has that "heft" to it that gives it the feel of a "serious" camera. Now: for the REALITY CHECK: I just bumped into the Canon 40D and 50D models at a local store. You've seen them: big, hefty, big lcd (without the cover the SX10 has ... can already visualize the SCRATCHES from shirt buttons, etc.), big lenses with those ridges on them that seem to beg you to pick it up and zoom in/out. Then I remembered: I bought the 30D some time ago. Bought all the lenses, external flash, cards, batteries, case, etc. Took it home and, after the battery pack was charged, went into the picture taking drill. I was shocked! A cheaper camera that I had took brighter/clearer pics than this EXPENSIVE get-up I just bought! I took a stack of pics with both: same result. I brought that set back to the place where purchased and that was that. There is no doubt that the 30D was worth the price, to demanding pros, but not to me. And this is the point I am trying to make: for the AVERAGE 'JOE' or 'Jill', you probably don't need all the bells 'n whistles these advanced DSLRs certainly deliver. If you are NOT a pro, NEEDING to manipulate a zillion settings manually and exchange lenses to match what you want to accomplish, this SX10 is probably gonna be PERFECT for you! You will not have to buy an array of EXPENSIVE add-on lenses (read the reviews for the 50D, for example, and you will see that super camera is, in the end, "lense dependent" ... that is: the end results will depend on the quality of "the glass" you have attached. This can get to be a VERY expensive proposition for all but the very serious pros). If you, like me, just want GOOD PICTURES without all the fuss, then ... in my very humble opinion ... this SX10 is probably all you will need for the remainder of your time on the planet :-) (I will admit, after putzing with both the 40D and 50D, I found it hard to walk away without buying one/the other. It's almost impossible to not be overly impressed with their great appearance, obvious wealth of options, and "heft" value. But, remembering my experience with the 30D, and the fact I obviously was not ready for multiple lenses, and the complexities involved with high-end cameras, I walked away). You can read the attached excellent reviews on the SX10 to find all about batteries, external flashes, bags, etc.
Wishing to add a comment/two about certainly real concerns that run through these reviews: LOSING THE LENS CAP and DROPPING THE CAMERA. For the initial concern: go to RITZ CAMERA, for instance (AMAZON probably also sells this), and buy the QUANATRAY LENS CAP LEASH. It affixes to the lens cap and the camera body, problem solved for $1.99. As far as DROPPING the thing ... DON'T!! I use the CANON WRIST STRAP (bought mine via EBAY) and really like it. A thin over-the-neck strap came with the unit (which I don't particularly like), USE IT! But, do ensure the LCD SCREEN is COVERED when walking around with that neck strap to not scratch the lcd with shirt buttons, etc.
UPDATE: 2-17-09: I'M BACK ... again. I could not resist the urge to get another SLR. I bought a real GOOD one, bought more lenses, flash, etc. AND, just like the one I brought back before, I BROUGHT THIS ONE BACK! The BOTTOM LINE is: THE PICTURE. This expensive array did NOT take better pics than the CANON SX10IS! I am sticking with this GREAT Canon FOREVER! It does EVERYTHING ... and in a wonderful small package. No lenses to lug around and have to change as the scene demands ... just zoom on from 28mm to 560mm(!) without missing a beat. Super camera!