Canon PowerShot SX230 HS review

The big-zoom camera that remembers where you've been

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Our Verdict

This stout compact may not be the prettiest thing to look at, but it won't let you down when it comes to image quality


  • Great image quality
  • Well controlled noise at high ISOs
  • Very useful 14x optical zoom range
  • Very good sound quality in HD movies
  • Excellent range of Auto and manual exposure modes


  • Poor battery life
  • Inconsistent results from the GPS
  • Over-eager pop-up flash

Scanning the specifications for Canon's latest high-zoom travel compact, it certainly looks as if the new PowerShot SX230 HS leaves very little to be desired.

Replacing the older SX210 IS, the SX230 HS offers an array of upgraded features that bring it bang up-to-date.

One of the most notable changes is that the old model's 14.1mp sensor has been replaced with a brand new 12.1mp BSI-CMOS, which features Canon's latest back-illuminated design and promises higher light sensitivity and lower noise levels in images.

The SX230 HS boasts the same big 14x optical zoom lens as its earlier incarnation, but adds Full HD (1080p) movie recording (compared to its predecessor's 720p offering), complete with stereo sound, as well as another of its headline features: built-in GPS.

With such a comprehensive feature-set, the SX230 HS looks set to lift the bar in the travel-zoom sector of the compact camera market - but can it put in a performance to match its specs?

Tech Specs

Product TypeCompact Camera
Battery Size SupportedProprietary Battery Size
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
Effective Camera Resolution12.1 Megapixel
Wide AngleNo
Product FamilyPowerShot SX
HD Movie ModeYes
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card, Secure Digital Extended Capacity (SDXC), MultiMediaCard (MMC), MMCplus, HC MMCplus
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom14x
Digital Zoom4x
Brand NameCanon
FeaturesFace Detection, Smile Detection, Smart Capture, Manual Control, Manual White Balance, Aperture Priority, Continuous Shooting Mode
Screen Size7.6 cm (3")
Video FormatsQuickTime MOV
Viewfinder TypeNo
Weight (Approximate)223 g
Image Sensor Size1/2.3" (6.16 mm x 4.62 mm)
Maximum Image Resolution4000 x 3000
Display Screen TypeLCD
Height61.6 mm
Width105.7 mm
Depth33.2 mm
Product SeriesSX
Focal Length5 mm to 70 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelSX230 HS
Product NamePowerShot SX230 HS Compact Camera
Product LinePowerShot
Exposure Control
  • Program AE
  • Shutter Priority
  • Aperture Priority
  • Manual
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part NumberSX230HSBK?
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The PowerShot SX230 HS is the first Canon digital camera to feature GPS technology which is perfect for travelling. It also offers versatile shooting in a slim body with a 12.1 Megapixel High Sensitivity CMOS Sensor perfect for low light situations and Full High Definition video. The 14x Optical Zoom and 28mm wide-angle lens lets you get close to the action and also capture sweeping panoramic landscapes or large group shots. Simply switch to Manual Control and have the flexibility in your shooting settings to get more creative.

Package Contents
  • PowerShot SX230 HS Compact Camera
  • Rechargeable Lithium-ion Battery NB-5L
  • Battery Charger CB-2LXE
  • USB Interface Cable IFC-400PCU
  • AC Cable
  • AV Cable AVCDC400ST
  • Wrist Strap NS-DC11
  • CD-ROM
Limited Warranty1 Year