Customer Reviews: Canon PowerShot SX230HS 12.1 MP Digital Camera with HS SYSTEM and DIGIC 4 Image Processor (red)
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on April 5, 2011
[1] Very advance camera in a small package. Has a lot of the features of the Canon DSLRs.
[2] You can edit the pictures within the camera (color, cropping, filters)
[3] HD video recording is awesome.
[4] 14X zoom plus 56X digital zoom.
[5] GPS
[6] Trigger shooting with smile or wink
[7] Mini HDMI out put
[8] Many modes to choose from. Tv, Av, M, P, Portrait, Landscape...just to name a few
[9] Adjustable shutter up to 1/3200
[10] Adjustable ISO from 100-3200
[11] HS and IS makes this thing worth the money
[12] Menus are easy to navigate (because its similar to the Canon DSLRs)
[13] The mode selector dial goes all the way around without stopping.
[14] Too many to list...

[1] Get your finger off the flash. The location of the flash takes a little to get used to
[2] Battery life is terrible
[3] I have big hands so it's hard for me to grip it.
[4] Aperture is only F3.1 wide open
[5] Flash charges slow, but is decent for a point and shoot (I'm so used to my Canon 430 EX ii speed lite on my DSLR)
[6] Shutter speeds of 1 second or longer is limited to only ISO 100.

Final Thoughts:
[1] Canon makes some of the best Cameras if not the best. You get a lot of the DSLR technology compacted into this little thing.
[2] If this camera had a F2 Aperture like the Canon S95, it would be Canon's best point and shoot camera released to date, but there's a trade off when you want zoom. Both cameras are neck and neck in my book with the S95 edging it out by a hair because of the F2.
[3] The biggest difference between the SX230 and SX220 (UK) is the GPS. Why isn't there a SX220 in the US? If you feel like importing one, it's about $80 less.
[4] Love this camera so far. If you have a Canon EOS camera, it will be a sinch to use. I didn't even read the manual. Otherwise, if this is your first time using features like Tv and Av mode, then you'll want to read a book.
[5] The price is just right, but could be just a tad lower. You get a great feature rich compact camera for this price. Don't get fooled by the touch or dual screen cameras. They are only gimmicks. If you don't want to carry around a huge DSLR, this is the one for you.
[6] This camera is for my wife to replace her crappy Sony Cyber Shot. I own a Canon 7D.
[7] The pros clearly out weigh the cons and there are really no deal breakers in the cons so if I were you, I would stop reading reviews on this camera and just buy it.
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on May 7, 2011
I have canon sx210-IS for almost a year now, but when my baby spilled water over it, it stopped working and the cost of repair estimated by Canon repair service was costing me almost equal to a new sx210-IS price, that was when I decided to buy this upgraded version from Canon.

Most of features of this camera were also the part of its predecessor, but let's focus on the new features which make this one better than its' predecessor:-

*Low light support: This is the most talked about feature, and this was be one of 'THE reasons' I chose this camera and it really worth a pat on back for this . The results are really amazing for a point and shoot category camera.

*Super slow motion video: The results are really awesome. It is amazing to see my baby; flipping her hair and running, trying to catch a butterfly - in super slow motion! I should say that the slow motion option with 240 fps is for brightly lit places; otherwise the results are not that good.

*Full HD video: This definitely is an improvement over sx210 is, which can only shoot 720p videos. This makes the video quality of sx 230-HS exceptional.

*GPS tracker: It is a nice to have feature. I used it once but, this sucks the battery so I keep this option off, all the time.

Other features worth mentioning:-
*14x zoom: It is really amazing how they are able to put 14x zoom in such small body. It is worth mentioning the fact that these super zooms are only effective if they come with automatic image stabilization feature and let me ensure you that this camera as its' predecessor - sx210, does this job exceedingly well.

*12 mega pixels: Although SX 210 has 14 mega pixels but I would not consider this as a degrade. Too many pixels packed in a small camera, do not do any good to image quality (though my wife still considers this as a degrade, can't help)

*The low wait time: Between two shots is definitely an improvement over sx210.

*Battery life: The charge drains out fast, so would advise you to have a standby battery with you if you are planning to go out with this camera. This was the main reason I did not give it 5 star rating.

Conclusion: I would recommend this camera to all of you who are not satisfied with the image quality of your camera and are looking for a camera which gives nice indoor image quality, specially under low lights. I am using this camera for almost a month now and I am loving it and also bought a hard case for it this time :) remember...

* Wish I could edit, and upload my pics and videos online, straight from the camera thru wifi.
* A camera mode to capture time lapse videos, a feature similar to the one provided by some of the iPhone/iPad apps.
I know I am asking for too much but my assertion is, if a free iPhone app can do this then why can't a decent canon camera?
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on March 28, 2011
I bought this camera as a replacement for my Canon SD800IS, where I was very interested in getting the new GPS capabilities. I also have a professional camera with my Canon 7D, so this is more of a family/trip camera.

Overall, I'm very happy the photo quality and manual features offered (control over exposure level, aperture setting, flash level, etc.) Having a single button to shoot video is great. However, the battery life is much shorter than my old camera. I'm getting around 200-220 photos (instead of 600+), with a few videos thrown in, per battery with the GPS feature turned on. Buy an extra battery. For the GPS: it takes about 1-2 minutes for the camera to lock on the satellites once outside. I think it's cool to see exactly where you took a photo and this will be neat for vacations (wish I had it for an Italy trip a few years back).

I recommend this camera for anyone needing a super zoom with GPS. Just note the slightly bulky size and need to carry an extra battery.

*Excellent daylight photos
*Very good inside photos w/o a flash, for a compact camera
*GPS feature generally works well, photo locations show fine in Apple Aperture
*Zoom works quickly and they finally show a screen indicator for the zoom position
*HD video works well
*HDMI out is handy, but the cable is sold separately

*Battery life is not great with GPS on (about 200 photos/battery). The low battery indicator starts flashing red pretty early (with 25-30% left), so that could be a pro or con.
*Camera is bulky compared to my old SD800IS, so get a case that will hold it. It is 4.16x2.42x1.31in
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on May 2, 2011
I use a canon g12 as my travel camera and for special occasions but I wanted a smaller camera to carry with me every day in my pocket or briefcase while not traveling. I find the G12 to be superb, indoors and outdoors, in bright or dim light. It is very sharp, the optical viewfinder is helpful for action shots, and the articulating screen make unobtrusive waist level photography easy.

I find the sx 230 weighs about seven ounces compared to the about 14 ounces of the G12. The G12 is very sharp but the sx 230hs is almost equally sharp indoors and outdoors. The zoom control on the sx230 is far smoother than the one on the G12. Photos seem perfectly exposed, in sunshine and in rain, and in artificial light. The long zoom is more useful than I thought and are quite sharp at all focal lengths. It is even quite sharp at maximum zoom if the shutter speed is set at 1/125 seconds or faster. The menus of the two cameras are similar so it is easy to switch between them.

I discover from the internet that it is perfectly okay to keep a finger pressed on the popup flash so it doesn't pop up when you don't want it to. From what I read, this doesn't hurt the flash and it removes an annoying design flaw.

I have tested it extensively against the Sony wx9 on still photos and find the sx 230 hs to be considerably sharper and have more consistent proper exposure.

I find the sx 230 hs access to aperture priority and shutter priority and exposure compensation to be major assets

All in all, I like this camera very much and recommend it for someone looking for a compact digital camera. I am planning to use it as a take everywhere with me camera. I have found that cameras that are even smaller, like the sony wx9 and the canon elph 300 hs are too small to be ergonomically confortable.

Hope this helps with your decision.
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on July 7, 2011
I've had this camera for a few weeks and spent some time with it in various conditions. I used it at a wedding, going rock climbing indoors and out, at a paintball field, and at night photographing fireworks. My impression so far is that this camera has the most flexibility in a point and shoot I've seen yet. The low light performance is really impressive; I can only imagine the S95 would be even better with a full F-stop wider lens. However, I have to say that the long lens on this SX230HS has really been more useful on multiple occasions. It's just fun to be able to get closer in certain conditions like on the paintball field or shooting details on buildings, or getting close up to the bride and groom, or even closer up shots of fireworks.
It's not the most ergonomic camera ever; I'm sure you'll read about the flash positioning and small controls. The pop up flash is fine since 95% of the time I don't use flash. I simply hold it down while I turn on the camera and it's out of the way. But when I do need it, I have to turn the camera off and back on; a small inconvenience. The size is on the edge of being too big and heavy for a "back pocket" camera. I use a small neoprene bag with a carabiner clip. The LCD is beautiful, but the image frame is smaller than the whole LCD to make room for control displays; a little deceiving but it's high resolution makes up for the size.
Some of the other controls take some getting used to; finding the manual controls and many modes. With that said though, the features of this camera are GREAT. Tons of diverse shooting features that meet all average user needs. There is an "easy shoot" mode which I find myself using if I am in a rush for a shot. I didn't find the problems one of the reviewers had with consistently blurry shots at all; when I put it on easy mode, pictures were crisp in most condition unless there was a ton of movement; at that point you're simply limited by physics... not enough light and too much movement = blur. With that said, my low light shots are exceptional for a point and shoot. I was so pleasantly surprised with fireworks.
I don't really do videos but one very difficult video I did take in very low light very far away was jittery and the color was off. But in normal light and distance it's fine.
Lastly, the complaints about battery life are totally valid. To give you an idea, I ran out of juice from a full charge from mid morning at the wedding to the beginning of the reception. I shot about 150 pics but kept the camera on a lot, zooming in and out. HOWEVER, I got a recharge and it does do that quite quickly. I would buy at least one if not two spare batteries for long trips with no power availability like backpacking or 3rd world travel.
Anyway, this camera is really good enough for me to buy a second one as a gift to my brother. If you want a high end point and shoot that's still small enough to carry around in a jacket pocket, this is a great choice.
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on November 22, 2011
The features of this camera are well described on its spec sheet and on the Canon website.

Purchased it as a replacement for an A-710 which was my wife's "purse camera" until it was lost.

The SX230HC is a definite improvement: It does have higher sensitivity, higher resolution and a wider zoom range. The images are reasonably noise free up to an ISO of about 400. The flash range is short, but decent for group shots up to about 10 or 11 feet away. Auto focus is fast and accurate.

Like many small cameras, the close focus distance (in macro mode or not) is dependent of the zoom setting. At the longer focal lengths, focus is limited to 1 Meter and at the shortest focal lengths, it's limited to 5 cm. The close focus limit is displayed on the viewing screen as focal length is changed.

The lens is quite sharp at the wide angle to to moderately long zoom settings. However at zoom settings of between 40 and 70 mm (the maximum for this lens) it becomes pretty soft and looses contrast. Image stabilization is quite good (around 2.5 stops), with mid zoom range images of stationary objects possible down to 1/8 to 1/15th. sec hand held. Because of its small size, and the location of the pop-up flash, this is not an easy camera to hold, however, with a little practice one can adapt to it. Using the wrist strap is essential if you don't want to drop this camera!

My wife's biggest complaint is the view screen. Indoors in moderate light it's fine, but outdoors in bright sunlight, it's difficult to compose a shot, especially of a moving or sports scene. Our "old" A-710 had an optical viewfinder that was much better (in daylight), but today its almost impossible to find a low cost pocket camera that includes one.

Some owners have complained of short battery life, but we're getting around 200 shots without flash or 120-140 with flash. Considering the small size and light weight of the battery, that seems more than reasonable. My wife always carries a couple of charged batteries with her, but very seldom need to change the battery.

Summery: A decent "pocket" camera capable of recording excellent images in medium to bright conditions at most settings of its zoom lens. Good, but not outstanding battery life, weak built-in flash (typical of cameras this size), and viewfinder that is not great in bright sunlight. Small, light, fast operating.

Remember: "The best camera is the one you have."

Overall: A decent camera capable of taking excellent images
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on March 26, 2011
Canon needs to stop putting these weak little batteries in thier cameras! It's just not fitting! The SX230 HS sucks up power from that small battery like a drunk at the end of prohibition! They use the same battery that comes with the SX210 IS and it was insufficent on that camera. The SX230 HS is even more power hungry if you are using the GPS for geotagging. I was thinking about taking this camera to Africa with me but I have serious concerns about its rate of power consumption. I may need to three batteries insure I have atleast one that is good to go at all times.

The GPS is sometimes a little slow to aquire a fix outside and offers a rare treat if it picks up your position inside. The indoor GPS performance is well within what I expected. If GPS is on your A list of requirements, Panasonic models with thier built-in geolocation database is better. The GPS implementation is sort of a tack on that Canon put little extra effort into.

At the end of the day, the SX230 HS is a camera so that's the most inportant thing here. The images are good. I was mildly surprised but it will never replace a Canon S95 (which I do have). The 12MP SX230 HS seems to retain about the same level of detail as the 14MP SX210 IS in low light conditions at ISO 800. I also own the SX210 IS. The SX230 seems to be slightly more light sensitive but seems to have more agressive noise reduction than the SX210. The SX210 preserves detail at the expense of more noise. The SX230 also seems to suffer more from color de-saturation at ISO 800 than the SX210 IS. If you think the GPS, faster burst frame rates, full HD and cleaner look at base ISO are important, the the SX230 HS a worthwhile upgrade. Go for it. Otherwise, there just isn't enough newness here to jump on.

I would say that I'm generally satisfied with the SX230 HS and it competes well with other cameras in this segment. Not everything is for everyone.
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on April 6, 2011
I've owned the Canon Powershot SX230HS for about 2 weeks now and couldn't be more pleased with it. I purchased this camera to replace a Panasonic Lumix ZR1. It had great reviews, but I was never really happy with the picture quality, especially indoors and in low light settings. I wanted a camera that would take quality pictures, with a nice set of features (doesn't everyone?). I'm a novice at photography but want to learn more, so I wanted some manual controls that would allow me to take good shot right away, but also to grow into the camera as I learned more. I think I found a winner.

Photo quality is excellent. With all of the different shooting modes, it is very easy to take great shots. Colors are accurate. Indoor shots have turned out great, often times without need of a flash. The camera has a CMOS sensor, touted to allow better low-light shots and it seems to work brilliantly. Outdoor shots have been excellent as well. If you're a novice, make sure to learn how to make use of the white balance settings. It makes a huge difference in the overall coloring of the shots.

The user interface is very intuitive and easy to find things, and I had grown comfortable knowing how to access most features within an hour or so of first using the camera. I also like that a brief explanation of each scene mode appears the screen when you scroll to it.

I haven't used the video camera very much, but have found the video clips that I have taken to be very decent.

As far as negatives, it is difficult for me to find many. Many reviews bring up the flash position as a problem and it is annoying when the flash won't pop up because your finger is over top of it, but it's easy enough to pull it up manually. The battery life isn't great and a spare battery may be needed with heavy use, but for casual shooting probably won't be a huge drawback. The camera has GPS, which is hard to locate in the menu screen and doesn't seem that useful to me, at least not yet. I've kept it turned off for the most part, because it will drain the battery. All of these are minor flaws and don't take anything away from the greatness of this camera in my mind.

No camera is perfect, but I think most people purchasing this camera will be happy with their decision.
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on May 21, 2011
I was really psyched to get this camera, as I've had several Canons over the years and know they make great cameras. I'm used to being delighted by them but was a bit underwhelmed with this one.

Don't get me wrong, it takes great photos, has great build quality, but there are a couple of glaring problems.

First is the flash. Although I've had the camera several months, I still can't get used to the little pop up flash that wants to open under my finger. It's just in the wrong place, period.

Second is the GPS, one of the primary reasons I bought this camera. Having used GPS functionality when taking photos with my iPhone, I was excited by the possibilities of geo-tagging all my future photos taken with a "real" camera. But I've been disappointed. The GPS takes a long time to acquire a satellite, and indoors almost never does. I'd say about 1/3 - 1/2 of my photos overall are tagged (10% indoors, 60% outdoors). This is particularly disappointing seeing as how my iPhone does it 100% of the time.

My last camera was a Canon 1100IS, and the photo quality looks about the same. That was a great little camera.

So - on the plus side, this camera takes very good photos, is feature-laden, has an excellent 14x optical zoom, and great low-light capabilities.

On the minus side is the very mediocre GPS sensitivity, battery life, and flash placement. For $350 for a point & shoot, it should be closer to the (usual) Canon perfection.
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on June 20, 2011
I have owned 47 digital cameras in the last 10 years, or so. I am a semi-pro photographer, depending on your definition, (I sell fine art photos and have done various venues and head shots). I was looking for a high-zoom camera that was pocketable. I looked at them all, as I always do, and after having had several in the past that I found sub=par, I bought the SX230, mostly on recommendations on Amazon. I love this camera.

* Great low light capability. By that I mean it takes great shots in a dimly lit room.
* Great wide angle of 28mm. Fantastic for a camera this size and weight.
* Perfect zoom length of 14x.
* Image stabilizer works great!
* Excellent color.
* Great features all around - and I haven't even played with it nearly enough to find all the bells and whistles.
* Fits in your pocket.
* Good flash.
* Quick all around.

* None, really, though viewing pictures is a bit strange to me. You hit Play and try to go through them, but it seems to like to start a slide show all the time. The wheel is a bit sensitive, I think. But this is minor.

Take it from someone who really ,really, knows; this is the one you want.
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