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February 08, 2010

New Canon SX210 IS takes Canon funzooms in a new direction

The brand new Canon SX210 IS takes their SX-series superzooms in perhaps a surprising new direction. As you may recall, the SX200 IS [reviews] looked more like an attempt to attack the Panasonic TZ-series slightly from above. With a price that refused to drop (started at $350, currently $300), the SX200 was not as popular as one would expect a Canon superzoom to be. Case in point its sub-Canon performance among Amazon buyers (see Top Seller archives).

So, wisely perhaps. Canon decided that it might be a better idea if they came up with their own idea of a fun-zoom instead of trying to fine-tune a game of catchup-and-leapfrog with Panasonic's TZ-series. So here it is, the new 14X superzoom starting at 28mm wide, with a wider and more rounded body, but sadly also jumping to 14-megapixels. So we have our first 14-14 digital camera :) Their choice of colors is also a subtle hint of this change in direction, gone are the "safe/modest" colors of the SX200 and in come the more "fun" colors of gold and purple.

Other features include DiGiC IV (4), 720p video, HDMI out, 3-inch wide LCD (230K), Servo AF/AE which is a handy feature for the intended purpose of fun-zooms, face detection and things like that.

They also tout improvements of their dynamic mode of image stabilization, which claims to offer "constant image stabilization" from wide to tele.

Of interest to the regular photographers, the camera offers manual exposure and Tv/Av (shutter and aperture priority) in addition to various scene-modes. No RAW (but how much would you be able to recover from a 14mp 1/2.3" RAW file?).

This also may (or may not be) be a first (we can't keep track anymore) - a "wink self-timer" - that's right, you set the camera in wink-timer-mode, you wink at the camera, it waits for two seconds for you to un-wink, and then it takes the picture :)


Further Reading
+ Hands on at Pocket Lint
+ Photoscala
+ dpreview
+ Imaging Insider
+ Focus Numerique
+ Canon herself

The camera is available for pre-order at Amazon, Adorama et al for $350, which was also the opening price for the SX200 IS.

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