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.

Verdict:

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.