Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Review

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Review

The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS features a large zoom lens with a focal length range of 28 to 560mm, equivalent to a 20x zoom, and begins at an aperture of f/2.8. The Canon SX10 also has an articulating LCD screen that is 2.5 inches, a resolution of 10 megapixels, and the capability to record video on demand.

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Features Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

The PowerShot SX10 IS digital camera from Canon is the successor to the company’s previous model, the PowerShot S5 IS. Both cameras have a great deal in common regarding their aesthetic. In every dimension, the Canon SX10 is at least a third of an inch longer and wider than its predecessor, the S5. In addition, the individual AF-assist bulb formerly located on the camera’s front panel has been removed, and the rear-panel controls of the Canon SX10 have undergone a comprehensive redesign.

On the inside of the Canon SX10, a slightly bigger 1/2.3-inch CCD image sensor is used. At the same time, the resolution is increased from eight to ten megapixels. Additionally, the DIGIC III processor of the previous model has been upgraded to a DIGIC 4 type, which enables servo AF tracking.

At the same time, the zoom lens receives a significant upgrade, going from “only” a 12x optical zoom in the S5 to a staggering 20x zoom in the PowerShot SX10 IS. This results in a significant increase in the camera’s overall reach. The extended range can be found on both ends of the lens, with a practical wide angle of 28 millimeters and a strong telephoto of 560 millimeters. Thank goodness the Canon SX10 IS is equipped with genuine optical image stabilization, an essential feature for a camera that sports a lens of this caliber.

Across the whole zoom range, the maximum aperture ranges from f/2.8 to f/5.7. In addition to the AF tracking function discussed earlier, the autofocus mechanism of the Canon SX10 IS now also boasts better facial detection capabilities.

Canon claims that the Canon SX10 can now distinguish faces from any angle. The company has also included a Face Detection self-timer that will automatically capture a picture two seconds after a different look has entered the frame. The LCD of the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS maintains the same 2.5-inch diagonal size as its predecessor, but its resolution has increased significantly to 230,000 dots from 207,000 dots.

The Canon SX10 maintains the same ISO sensitivity range as its predecessor, the Canon S5, which starts at a minimum of ISO 80 and goes up to a maximum of ISO 1,600. However, thanks to a brand-new high-sensitivity scene mode, this can be increased to an incredible ISO of 3,200. In addition, the Canon SX10 IS has the same assortment of shutter speeds, which run the gamut from 1/3,200 to 15 seconds.

The metering modes have not been altered and provide evaluative, center-weighted, and spot readings. Similarly, the Canon SX10 maintains its predecessor’s exposure modes, including program, aperture- or shutter-priority, or a fully manual mode. When Auto ISO is selected, the flash ranges from 1 to 17 feet (30 cm to 5.2 meters) at wide-angle and 3.3 to 9.2 feet (1 to 2.8 meters) at telephoto.

In addition, the hot shoe on the Canon SX10 enables the attachment of virtually all contemporary Canon flashes, which results in a significantly expanded shooting range. In addition to its seventeen scene settings, the SX10 features an Intelligent Contrast Correction mode as a new function.

The Canon S5 supported Motion JPEG AVI movies in places where the Canon SX10 IS uses H.264 MOV instead. H.264 MOV is a more recent codec that, in most cases, provides much superior compression (and, as a result, reduced file sizes) for videos of equal quality. Sound is captured alongside video clips in the same way as in the earlier camera.

The Canon PowerShot SX10 is identical to its predecessor in that it stores still photographs and motion pictures on Secure Digital cards. In addition, it provides communication to computers through NTSC, PAL video, and USB 2.0 High Speed. The power is also the same; it comes from the four AA batteries, disposable alkaline batteries included in the package.

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Build Quality

The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS the appearance and operation of a digital single-lens reflex camera, typical of superzoom cameras. Canon provides a sizable right-hand grip with a lot of room for your fingers to grasp onto it; this grip houses the four AA batteries that provide power to the camera. Although significantly more significant, the Canon SX10 is 1/2 of an ounce (14 grams) lighter than its predecessor, the PowerShot S5.

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Controls

The placement of the majority of the buttons allows for both an easy grasp and quick access.

Canon has rethought and improved the control functions of the SX10 IS.

To turn the camera on and off and switch between modes, the S5 experimented with a lever and recessed switch adopted from the Canon G-series cameras; obviously, this system was not well received, so Canon returned to the drawing board to come up with a new solution.

On the top right-hand side of the Canon SX10 camera is a button that toggles the power on and off. This button is just out of reach for a thumb or forefinger, but it is still easy to access. Because the switch is set back just a little, there is little chance it will be pressed by accident.

A standard dial that appears to have been taken from a digital Rebel is used to switch between the various modes. Another traditional button has been added, which can now be found directly below the button that toggles the power on and off. Playback mode can be activated even if the camera has not been turned on and the lens has not been extended.

Users coming from the S5 will also experience a modified layout of the rear buttons; the four-way controller by the thumb is gone, and new to the Canon SX10 IS is a four-way directional pad beside the LCD screen. Users arriving from the S5 will also encounter a redesigned arrangement of the front buttons.

A tribute to Canon’s pro-series cameras, which allow the user to manage various functions by revolving the dial rather than pushing a button, maybe a rotational ring that surrounds the pad. This ring would be located around the place.

The 2.5-inch LCD screen is still relatively wide, sweeping out 180 degrees and then rotating around a 270-degree axis, providing great freedom when creating photographs and taking self-portraits.

The Direct Print/Shortcut button is still on the left side of the viewfinder, and it can be programmed to provide one-touch access to various features. These functions may include White Balance, Custom White Balance, Light Metering, AE Lock, or AF Lock, amongst others.

The Custom White balance was the setting I found to be the most helpful. The Function button mechanism is carried over to the Canon SX10, and the button can be found in the middle of the four-way directional pad. The controller, which eliminates the need for several journeys to the complete menu system of the Canon SX10, gives access to a menu that contains the settings that are changed the most frequently. It is convenient, and it simplifies camera operation.

Although the icons at the top of each tab in Canon’s tabbed menus might sometimes be confusing, they are straightforward to grasp and use.

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Lens Quality

The lens on the Canon SX10 IS sharp in the center at wide and telephoto, and it remains surprisingly strong out to the far corners, which is rare for a lens of this type. In addition, minimal softening does not appear in most prints more significant than a specific size, so it does not detract from the image quality. When set to wide-angle, the Canon SX10’s 28mm setting exhibits slight barrel distortion; nevertheless, this is not out of the usual for lenses of this kind and does not significantly affect the majority of photographs.

Incredibly, nearly none of the images is distorted, even when using telephoto settings. The solid and glaring chromatic aberration that shows at both wide-angle and telephoto, and continues pretty far into the frame, is the one significant flaw in the lens of the SX10, and it’s the only one that matters. It is apparent in printed pictures starting at 8×10 and going up. But, again, this is extremely common among extreme zoom lenses. If it turns out to be undesirable, it may be eliminated after the fact by using aftermarket picture software if it turns out to be an issue.

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS a Performance

The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS generally has an adequate shooting speed for most scenarios. The beginning of the start process takes 2.6 seconds, which is significantly longer than the 1.3 seconds required by the S5 IS. When using manual focus, the Canon SX10 IS’s shutter reaction is rapid, clocking in at just over a quarter of a second. The shutter lag is extremely little throughout the whole focal range of the camera. However, the autofocus speed of the SX10 IS is somewhat slower. The delay caused by the prefocused shutter was a little under 0.08 seconds.

In single-shot mode, the Canon SX10 IS has a shot-to-shot time that is still slower than average and, in fact, slower than that of the S5 IS. However, if you disable post-shot image evaluation, you can reduce the time you have to wait between photos by up to 2.06 seconds while using the single-shot option.

Regarding continuous shooting, the SX10 IS can achieve 0.78 frames per second, slightly quicker than the S5IS’s 0.75 frames per second. This is the case even when AF tracking is turned on. Without continuous AF, this increases to 1.42 frames per second, and the camera was able to capture over 20 oversized or superfine frames at this pace.

Despite this, the SX10 is not a lightning-fast vehicle in this regard. When evaluating performance, we used a SanDisk Extreme III SDHC card because it is fast and reliable; nevertheless, it is possible that some performance characteristics would suffer when using a slower card.

Since you’ll only get about 340 shots out of alkaline batteries, if you’re lucky, you should move them to another electronic device or store them in the junk drawer as soon as possible. The Canon SX10 IS comes bundled with 4 AA alkaline batteries, which you should immediately relegate to another electronic device. You are strongly recommended to acquire between four and eight rechargeable NiMH batteries and a battery charger. By the CIPA standard, the latter provides around 600 photographs from a single charge, which is a far better value.

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Face Recognization

The Canon SX10 IS does an excellent job at recognizing faces, but it might become too exciting when there are too many options.

It would appear that Canon’s Face Detection technology is among the more advanced systems now available since it performs astonishingly well on the Canon SX10 IS when it comes to identifying faces. The SX10 IS can quickly recognize faces when the face is pointed straight at the camera. Still, it will also continue to track and detect faces while they are pointing away from the camera at an angle slightly more significant than thirty degrees.

The camera will draw squares around any faces it finds, but it only appears to want to limit itself to around three, even if there are more than that. This can result in a chaotic tangle of boxes displayed on-screen, which you can attempt to bring under control by utilizing the face detection selection button. This button allows you to select a single face to center the autofocus results. However, even though it’s a fantastic technology, I occasionally discovered that relocating the AF point to my subject’s face was simpler.

Face detection is probably at its best when three individuals or fewer are in the frame; for group photographs, you should stick to more conventional focus approaches.

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Shooting

My time spent with the Canon SX10 was delightful since I found it a powerful camera that offered many settings that I found appealing. Rarely you won’t be able to locate what you’re searching for on the camera’s quick-menu system, even though the menu system on the Canon SX10 becomes steadily larger with each generation of camera. Despite this, the menu system on the Canon SX10 is relatively simple to traverse.

Even though digital SLR cameras are beginning to support the live View, none can offer the same level of versatility as your standard digital point-and-shoot camera. And the SX10 IS genuinely shines in this function thanks to its customizable LCD. Try doing that with your digital SLR camera; it can be rotated for viewing while the camera is held above the head, at waist level, or for taking self-portraits. Of course, traditional photographers may still utilize the electronic viewfinder for composing and assessing their photographs, even though doing so offers few advantages.

My dissatisfaction with the SX10 IS’ zoom mechanism, operated by a rocker covered by a trigger, has previously been mentioned. Still, when I showed it to some friends who are less particular than I am, they didn’t seem to be bothered by it at all. A user of the S5 IS a part of my unofficial test audience. He appreciated that the camera provided feedback to indicate when he should increase the flash output.

The control wheel is the most recent addition to the user interface of this line of PowerShot cameras. After using it for several weeks, I have to admit that there are very few situations in which it is genuinely helpful. The four-way directional buttons are still the simplest and most efficient way to switch between photos and modes. Still, the control wheel is an excellent choice for managing features such as manual focus that require continuous input. With the control wheel, you can achieve a good level of control.

Turning the control wheel may also adjust the shutter speed or aperture setting while using the manual or aperture-priority shooting modes. The response from the menu can be erratic, as is the case with many Canon PowerShots with such wheels. When you turn too slowly, nothing at all happens. If you turn too quickly, you will scroll past everything and end up opposite. In most cases, I will return to the four-way navigator.

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS in Movie mode.

You don’t need to move to a specific movie mode since the Canon SX10 IS retains the dedicated movie-mode button first introduced in 2004 with the original S1 IS. This means you can shoot movies without switching to a different model. The high-definition film that can be recorded with the Canon SX10 (640×480 or 320×240, at 30 frames per second) contains stereo sound and a wind filter, which means that this camera can also act as a full-function camcorder in addition to having an image-stabilized zoom of 20 times. With the release of the SX10 IS, Canon has transitioned from MJPEG compression to the more widely used H.264 MPEG-4 compression. As a result, the quality of the movie is high, and the sound in stereo isn’t half terrible either.

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Specifications

Body typeSLR-like (bridge)
Max resolution3648 x 2736
Other resolutions2816 x 2112, 2272 x 1704, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480, 3648 x 2048
Image ratio w h4:3, 16:9
Effective pixels10 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
ISOAuto, 80,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White balance presets6
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsSuperfine, Fine, Normal
Focal length (Equiv.)28–560 mm
Optical zoom20×
Maximum apertureF2.8–5.7
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-area single face DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Macro focus range0 cm (0″)
Number of focus points9
Articulated LCDFully articulated
Screen size2.5″
Screen dots230,000
Touch screenNo
Live ViewYes
Viewfinder typeElectronic
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/3200 sec
Aperture priorityYes
Shutter priorityYes
Manual exposure modeYes
Subject/scene modesYes
Built-in flashYes (pop-up)
Flash Range5.20 m
External flashYes (hot-shoe)
Flash modesAuto, Fill-in, Red-Eye Reduction, Slow Sync, Off
Continuous drive0.7 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec or custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weighted spot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Resolutions640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (60, 30 fps)
Storage typesSD/SDHC/MMC card
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
Remote controlNo
Environmentally sealedNo
Battery descriptionAA batteries (NiMH recommended)
Weight (inc. batteries)600 g (1.32 lb / 21.16 oz)
Dimensions128 x 88 x 87 mm (5.04 x 3.46 x 3.43″)
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Conclusion

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Canon Powershot SX10IS 10MP Digital Camera with 20x Wide Angle Optical Image...

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Last update was on: May 28, 2023 5:14 pm

With its image-stabilized 20x optical zoom lens and well-rounded feature set, the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS offers a lot to its users. It offers more than enough sophistication and manual options for advanced amateurs and prosumers while providing less experienced photographers with a solid set of automatic modes. In addition, several controls have been rethought and moved about in the UI to make the user interface more intuitive.

Even though the camera’s processor has been upgraded from the DIGIC III to the DIGIC IV, the camera’s performance has not considerably improved despite this change in hardware. The internal hardware of the camera has also received a considerable overhaul. We can only speculate, but we assume that a portion of the increased processing power is needed to deal with the jump from 8 to 10 megapixels and improvements in noise reduction technologies.

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS FAQs

Is Canon PowerShot SX10 a good camera?

The Canon PowerShot SX10 was a well-liked camera model at the time of its introduction, and many who bought it thought it was a decent device in terms of its features andy.

When did the Canon PowerShot SX10 come out?

In September 2008, Canon announced the launch of the PowerShot SX10 IS.

What is the price of Canon PowerShot SX10 IS?

Because the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS an older camera model that is no longer being manufactured, the price of this camera, if purchased pre-owned, can vary significantly depending on its condition, its availability of it, and various other variables.

On the other hand, a pre-owned Canon PowerShot SX10 IS could range anywhere from $40 to $150, but this number is just an estimate.



Paul is a highly experienced journalist and the editor of DSLRCameraSearch. With a background in the photographic industry since 2017, he has worked with notable clients such as . Paul's expertise lies in camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, and industry news. His work has been featured in renowned publications including . He is also a respected workshop host, speaker Photography Shows. Paul's passion for photography extends to his love for Sony, Canon, Olympus cameras.

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