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

For

  • 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

Against

  • 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?