Real World Review: Canon SX200 IS review for events

When I read about the new Canon SX200 IS I was really anxious to get my hands on one. A well built, Canon manufactured pocket able point and shoot camera with 12x optical zoom. How can one go wrong? At least that is what I thought.

I finally had a chance to test the camera out while at my little brothers graduation at the University of Delaware on May 30th, 2009. I brought my D700 with a 50mm Lens so that during the ceremony I was forced to shoot with the SX200 IS.

Was that a mistake? No, because I did get photographs and was able to do so without carrying the Nikon 70-200 IS lens around.

Are the photos good enough to be printed 8×10 for a nice frame? That is pushing it but sure.


  • Even at its widest (28mm) the images are either very soft or out of focus. I was testing the camera at its widest on Auto mode so the flash would fire if need be.
  • The camera has a pretty slow recycle time so I couldn’t get many consecutive shots.
  • The pop up flash is automatic so you can’t leave it down and there no setting to close it… even if you disable flash, it will be popped up.
  • The HD video isn’t the greatest, zooming causes blur and major noise
  • Auto ISO only went up to 400 but the camera goes up to 1600.
  • Had to use Program mode to manually make ISO 800 and 1600 for decent zoom photos… but still blurry
  • Digital Zoom photos as blurry as optical zoom photos but with added noise


  • The Smart Auto feature is pretty neat. It automatically detected people for portrait mode, and when I was so close it needed macro mode.
  • The 12x optical zoom really helped at the graduation since I was sitting so far away.
  • The added digital zoom brought me even closer to the subjects… no extra blur
  • Battery life is pretty long. The camera lasted me the entire weekend even after taking 200 photos.

Examples: In the yellow circle you can see my parents.  This was a good test of the zoom on the Canon SX200 IS.  My conclusion on the zoom is that it gets the shot, but not with the best results.  Better then nothing, however!  Since these can still be printed 4×6 and emailed to family and friends I call it a success!

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