Canon PowerShot SX210 review

One of the best compact cameras of the year so far

TODO alt text

Canon powershot sx210

It's generally the case that to get a really long telephoto zoom in a non-DSLR, you needed to buy a bulky bridge camera.

With the advent of interchangeable lens cameras such as the Olympus Pen EPL-1 these appear to be on the way out, but there's still clearly an appetite for a long lens on a pocket-sized camera.

We liked:

There's very little to complain about in terms of image quality. ISO performance is good all the way up to ISO 1600, where things become a little soft, but generally having the option to raise the ISO without totally sacrificing image quality is good.

The spectacularly long focal length and ability to fit the SX210 IS in a pocket is also a massive plus.

We disliked:

By the time you cross the threshold of £300 for a compact camera you're edging into DSLR territory, and although a DSLR won't give you the same focal lengths as the SX210 IS out of the box, you can get lenses that definitely will.

It's also fair to expect better image quality from a DSLR, plus better performance in key areas such as start-up time and autofocus performance. You might note, for instance, that zooming in on a DSLR lens takes less than a second even on a long lens.

The SX210 IS takes nearly two and a half: not much when you're sitting at a desk with a stopwatch, but an eternity when you're trying to capture a flighty robin on a branch.


We can't find much to complain about this camera when it comes to image quality, and build quality, as you might reasonably expect from a camera costing the better part of £350. It's superb.

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Effective Camera Resolution14.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleYes
Product FamilyPowerShot S
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedMMCplus, HC MMCplus, MultiMediaCard (MMC), Secure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC)
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom14x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesFace Detection
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime MOV
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)215 g
Maximum Image Resolution4320 x 3240
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height59.3 mm
Width105.8 mm
Depth31.9 mm
Product SeriesS
Focal Length5 mm to 70 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelSX210 IS
Product NamePowerShot SX210 IS Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number4246B009
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

With a wide-angle 14x optical zoom and Canon optical Image Stabilizer at its heart, plus full manual control and HD movies, the compact PowerShot SX210 IS is an alliance of power and style. With a high resolution 14.1 MP sensor, make poster-size prints or creatively crop images.

Package Contents
  • PowerShot SX210 IS Compact Camera
  • NB-5L Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery
  • Charger
Limited Warranty1 Year