The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS features a large zoom lens with a focal length range of 28 to 560mm, which is 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.
Features of the Canon SX10 IS
The PowerShot SX10 IS digital camera from Canon is the successor to the company’s previous model, the PowerShot S5 IS, and both cameras have a great deal in common in terms of their aesthetic. In every dimension, the Canon SX10 is at least a third of an inch longer and wider than its predecessor, the S5. The individual AF-assist bulb that was formerly located on the front panel of the camera 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 that was 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 virtually any angle, and the company has also included a Face Detection self-timer that will capture a picture automatically two seconds after an extra face has entered the frame. The LCD display 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 all the way up to a maximum of ISO 1,600. However, thanks to a brand-new high-sensitivity scene mode, this can be increased all the way up to an incredible ISO 3,200. The Canon SX10 IS has the same assortment of shutter speeds available, which run the gamut from 1/3,200 to 15 seconds.
The metering modes have not been altered and still provide evaluative, center-weighted, and spot readings. In a similar vein, the Canon SX10 maintains the same exposure modes as its predecessor, including program, aperture- or shutter-priority, or a fully manual mode. When Auto ISO is selected, the flash has a range of 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 whole new function.
In places where the Canon S5 supported Motion JPEG AVI movies, 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 it was in the earlier camera.
The Canon PowerShot SX10 is identical to its predecessor in that it stores both still photographs and motion pictures on Secure Digital cards, and it provides communication to computers through NTSC and PAL video as well as USB 2.0 High Speed. The power is also the same; it comes from the four AA batteries that are disposable alkaline batteries that are included in the package.
Submitted by a User
The feature set of the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS is not significantly different from the feature set that is common to Canon’s line of mega-zoom PowerShot cameras. In a nutshell, this camera has a brand-new sensor, a brand-new lens, an entirely rethought control set, and there is no RAW mode. But let’s dig a little deeper.
The Canon SX10 IS keeps its SLR-style design and mentality; if you are used to shooting with a digital Rebel, you will find that working with the SX10 IS is very similar to what you are used to doing with the digital Rebel. Despite the fact that they have been improved, the performance and image quality do not yet match those of a digital SLR. The Canon SX10 IS is an outstanding model for use as a bridge camera due to its extensive feature set, which is designed to appeal to amateur photographers of all skill levels.
Look and feel
The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS has the appearance and operation of a digital single-lens reflex camera, which is 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 it is significantly bigger, the Canon SX10 is really 1/2 of an ounce (14 grams) lighter than its predecessor, the PowerShot S5.
The placement of the majority of the buttons allows for both an easy grasp and quick access.
To turn the camera on and off and switch between modes, the S5 experimented with a lever and recessed switch that was adopted from the Canon G-series cameras; obviously, this system was not well received, so Canon went back 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 button is set back just a little bit, there is very little chance that 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, and it 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; gone is the four-way controller by the thumb, 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 a variety of 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 pad.
The 2.5-inch LCD screen is still fairly wide, sweeping out 180 degrees and then rotating around a 270-degree axis, which provides a great deal of freedom when it comes to creating photographs and taking self-portraits.
The Direct Print/Shortcut button is still located on the left side of the viewfinder, and it can be programmed to provide one-touch access to a variety of various features. These functions may include White Balance, Custom White Balance, Light Metering, AE Lock, or AF Lock, amongst others.
The setting that I found to be the most helpful was the Custom White balance. 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 button, which eliminates the need for several journeys to the more complete menu system of the Canon SX10, gives access to a menu that contains the settings that are changed the most frequently. It is highly handy, and it simplifies camera operation.
Although the icons at the top of each tab in Canon’s tabbed menus might be a bit confusing at times, the menus themselves are straightforward to grasp and use.
The same old hat,
Even though the lens cap on the SX10 IS has spring-loaded buttons, it is still difficult to keep the cover on the lens. A storage clip that may be attached to the camera strap is located in the middle of the case.
The port covers for the memory card slot, the USB port, and the AV ports have all undergone a minor change. These new port covers are more durable and have been made to match the metallic grey finish of the camera. The port covers each feature a semicircular indentation in the center that allows you to pull on them with your fingernail, and the memory card slot cover has slightly raised ridges that allow you to more easily slide it out of the slot.
The battery cover is still a fairly difficult thing; you have to pull it away from the camera and back in order to access it, and it is placed very near to the tripod mount. Depending on the design of the tripod and how dexterous you are, you might be able to swap out the memory card as well as the batteries while the camera is still placed on the tripod.
Display/Viewfinder. The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS, much like every other superzoom camera, features both an electronic viewfinder and a liquid crystal display (EVF). The LCD of the Canon SX10 is articulated, which means that you can fold it against the body of the camera to protect the screen. When the camera is turned on, it will immediately switch to using the electronic viewfinder (EVF).
You won’t have to put any pressure on your neck, back, or knees if you swing out the LCD and spin it. This will allow you to take images from very low angles as well as views from above. If you would rather have a viewing option that is more conventional, the LCD on the Canon SX10 may be twisted and flipped up against the camera body so that the screen is looking outward instead of within.
The LCD on the Canon SX10 is identical in size to the one on the Canon S5 IS. Although the screen is still 2.5 inches in size, it now contains 230,000 pixels rather than the previous 207,000, which ought to result in photographs that are noticeably more detailed. The display itself is bright, has good clarity, and can be seen clearly even in direct sunshine. When taking pictures outside during the middle of the day, tilting the screen might be helpful.
The Canon SX10 IS keeps its adaptability in terms of the several types of information that may be displayed on the screen. The “Custom Display” option gives the user the ability to fine-tune the objects that can be displayed. There are two banks of settings for both the electronic viewfinder (EVF) and the LCD screen.
Each time you push the DISP. button, you are sent to the next available display configuration, switching between the electronic viewfinder and the LCD. You have the ability to make the displays as simple or as complex as you choose with these options. You may fill the screen with things like shooting information, grid lines, a 3:2 guide, and a live histogram.
The electronic viewfinder (EVF) is helpful, but the articulating LCD screen is far superior. In the end, I didn’t make very much use of it because the LCD panel was capable of functioning extremely well even when exposed to very bright light. My eyes were easily able to be accommodated by the electronic viewfinder thanks to the presence of a diopter that is built into the viewfinder.
Play the video to get an idea of what a picture was taken with a 28–560mm lens looks like. You may get the original 19.5MB H.264 MOV file right here on this page to download.
Lens and Zoom
The PowerShot SX10 IS, which was released by Canon, features a brand new lens that has an equivalent focal length of 28-560 millimeters. This is part of Canon’s ongoing effort to enhance the design of the PowerShot series. The maximum aperture of the lens is f/2.8 when set to 28 millimeters, whereas the maximum aperture of the S5 was set at f/2.7 when it was set to 36 millimeters. I do not believe that the majority of users will be able to discern this change in speed.
The change in angle is immediately obvious; 28mm is rather wide for this type of camera, so much so that lens flare can become an issue. In consideration of this potential problem, Canon has wisely included a lens hood adapter with the camera. When zooming at a normal speed, the lens, which is equipped with Canon’s ultrasonic motor, operates without any jerkiness and remains completely silent during the whole process. Although there is a slight amount of noise produced when zooming in and out quickly, the action of the lens is still quite smooth.
28 – 560mm zoom lens.
The performance of the zoom should be discussed a little bit further. The zoom dial, which is a dial that surrounds the button that releases the shutter, effectively has five different settings to choose from. Zooming in occurs when the dial is turned to the right while zooming out occurs when the dial is turned to the left. There are two speeds of zoom: slow and fast, with the fast speed coming into effect when the dial is cranked all the way to either extreme on the left or right.
The sluggish pace can be attained anywhere in the middle of the range. When I tried to fine-tune the zoom position, I found it a little bit difficult since the slow speed wasn’t quite as slow as I wanted it to be; what would be helpful is a third speed setting that would allow for slow, medium, and high zoom speeds. It is not a deal-breaker by any stretch of the imagination for this camera, but it is enough that I wish it could be just a little bit more sensitive.
The lens on the Canon SX10 IS is sharp in the center at wide and telephoto, and it remains surprisingly sharp out to the far corners, which is rare for a lens of this type. There is only a very limited amount of softening that does not show up in most prints larger than a certain 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 strong and glaring chromatic aberration that shows at both wide-angle and telephoto, and that continues pretty far into the frame, is the one significant flaw in the lens of the SX10, and it’s the only one that really matters. It is obvious in printed pictures starting at the 8×10 size and going up. Again, this is extremely common among extreme zoom lenses, and 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.
The Macro feature of the Canon SX10 IS is capable of focusing from the front element of the lens, allowing for an extremely close focusing distance. At this distance, though, there is a significant amount of distortion, so be prepared to crop from the center and supply light from the sides rather than from the flash.
When using the macro mode, it is nearly impossible to make use of the flash since the lens itself blocks some of the light that is produced by the flash. The hot shoe on the SX10 IS comes in in this situation because it allows you to attach remote flashes and place them any way you see fit.
In general, the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS has a shooting speed that is adequate for the majority of 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 very 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. If you disable post-shot image evaluation, you can reduce the amount of time you have to wait between photos by up to 2.06 seconds while using the single-shot option.
When it comes to continuous shooting, the SX10 IS is capable of achieving 0.78 frames per second, which is actually a little bit 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 big 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. It is strongly recommended that you acquire between four and eight rechargeable NiMH batteries in addition to a battery charger. The latter provides, in accordance with the CIPA standard, around 600 photographs from a single charge, which is a far better value.
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 is able to quickly recognize faces when the face is pointed straight at the camera; but, it will also continue to track and detect faces while they are pointing away from the camera at an angle that is slightly greater than thirty degrees.
The camera will draw squares around any faces that 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 being displayed on-screen, which you can attempt to bring under control by utilizing the face detection selection button. This button gives you the option of selecting a single face to center the autofocus results on. Even though it’s a fantastic piece of technology, I occasionally discovered that it was simpler to just relocate the AF point to my subject’s face.
In a nutshell, face detection is probably at its best effect when there are three individuals or fewer in the frame; for group photographs, you should stick to more conventional focus approaches.
Even when working with a limited amount of light, autofocus remained rather quick and precise. When the user attempts to focus the camera, it will, in the majority of cases, offer assistance by switching on a dim green focus lamp.
The SX10 IS has a native ISO setting of 80, and photographs were taken at this level of sensitivity produce photos that are crisp, detailed, and vivid in color. As the sensitivity is increased, the noise will appear, but it won’t be noticeable until the ISO is increased to 800 that it will become disagreeable in bigger prints. Only use ISO 1,600 and ISO 3,200 when it is absolutely necessary since the noise in the image gets exceedingly disagreeable at those settings and the details become practically unrecognizable. The ISO 3,200 setting yields a two-megapixel image with a resolution of 1,600 by 1,200 pixels and may only be selected inside a certain scene mode.
There are three different metering modes available on the Canon SX10 IS: spot, center-weighted, and evaluative. All of these performed quite well to provide exposures that were more or less even, although the camera has no problem cutting out highlights when necessary. Consumers have grown to expect non-digital SLR cameras to provide photographs with a high level of vibrancy. The colors were highly saturated, delivering on this expectation.
The output of a flash. The “pop-up” flash that comes with the SX10 IS is actually a “pull-up” flash; in order to make use of it, you have to manually lift it with one finger. The coverage provided by the flash is inconsistent when using wide-angle and even when using telephoto lenses. The manufacturer’s specifications call for adequate wide-angle lighting when the ISO setting is set to Auto at 17 feet, which we discovered to be accurate at ISO 200; however, the camera also made it out to 16 feet when set to ISO 100.
In addition, despite the fact that the factory spec called for acceptable telephoto performance at just 9.2 feet at ISO 200, we discovered that the Canon SX10 was readily capable of 12 feet at ISO 100. It takes the flash roughly eight seconds to fully recycle, which is a little bit longer than the time it takes for most cameras in this class to fully recycle, but it’s not terrible considering how powerful it is.
Stabilization of the optics
The optical image stabilization of the Canon SX10 IS performed quite well, which is to be expected for a camera with this amount of magnification. Continuous, shoot-only, and panning are the three modes available, and they are the same as they were in the S5 model.
Explore a broad area
The improvement to the lens is really appreciated; the wide-angle effect of 28mm is much more pronounced than that of 35mm, and with 560mm, you can approach extremely close to the subject.
My time spent with the Canon SX10 IS was really enjoyable since I found it to be a powerful camera that offered a broad number of settings that I found appealing. It is pretty rare that you won’t be able to locate what you’re searching for on the camera’s quick-menu system, despite the fact that 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 rather simple to traverse.
Even though digital SLR cameras are beginning to support the live view, none of them are actually capable of offering the same level of versatility as your standard digital point-and-shoot camera. And the SX10 IS truly shines when it comes to 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. Traditional photographers may still utilize the electronic viewfinder to compose and assess their photographs, despite the fact that doing so offers very little in the way of advantages.
My personal dissatisfaction with the SX10 IS’s zoom mechanism, which is operated by a rocker that is covered by a trigger, has previously been mentioned, but 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 was a part of my unofficial test audience, and he expressed his appreciation for the fact that the camera now 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 a number of 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, but 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 very fine level of control.
Turning the control wheel may also be used to make adjustments to the shutter speed or aperture setting while using the manual or aperture-priority shooting modes, respectively. The response from the menu can be erratic, as is the case with many Canon PowerShots that have such wheels. When you turn too slowly, nothing at all happens. If you turn too quickly, you will scroll right past everything and wind up at the opposite end. In most cases, I will just return to the four-way navigator.
You don’t need to move to a specific movie mode since the Canon SX10 IS retains the dedicated movie-mode button that was first introduced in 2004 with the original S1 IS. This means that you can shoot movies without having to switch to a different model. The high-definition movies that can be recorded with the Canon SX10 IS (640×480 or 320×240, at 30 frames per second) contain 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 made the transition from MJPEG compression to the more widely used H.264 MPEG-4 compression. The quality of the movie is really high, and the sound in stereo isn’t half terrible either.
Accessories Highly Recommended
SD/SDHC card has a large storage capacity. Since a memory card is not included in the box with the Canon SX10 IS, you will need to purchase one separately. A card with a capacity of 2 gigabytes is a decent starting point, but you’ll need a bigger card, preferably one with between 4 and 8 gigabytes of storage and a high-speed SDHC interface, in order to make full use of high-speed continuous shooting and extended video clips.
One or two sets of rechargeable AA NiMH batteries and a charger are included in this package. Batteries from Sanyo’s Eneloop line perform exceptionally well and are not that much more expensive.
Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Specifications
|Body type||SLR-like (bridge)|
|Max resolution||3648 x 2736|
|Other resolutions||2816 x 2112, 2272 x 1704, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480, 3648 x 2048|
|Image ratio w:h||4:3, 16:9|
|Effective pixels||10 megapixels|
|Sensor size||1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)|
|ISO||Auto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600|
|White balance presets||6|
|Custom white balance||Yes|
|JPEG quality levels||Super-Fine, Fine, Normal|
|Focal length (equiv.)||28–560 mm|
|Autofocus||Contrast Detect (sensor)Multi-are single face DetectionLive View|
|Digital zoom||Yes (4x)|
|Macro focus range||0 cm (0″)|
|Number of focus points||9|
|Articulated LCD||Fully articulated|
|Minimum shutter speed||15 sec|
|Maximum shutter speed||1/3200 sec|
|Manual exposure mode||Yes|
|Built-in flash||Yes (pop-up)|
|Flash range||5.20 m|
|External flash||Yes (hot-shoe)|
|Flash modes||Auto, Fill-in, Red-Eye reduction, Slow Sync, Off|
|Continuous drive||0.7 fps|
|Self-timer||Yes (2 or 10 sec or custom)|
|Exposure compensation||±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)|
|Resolutions||640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (60, 30 fps)|
|Storage types||SD/SDHC/MMC card|
|USB||USB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)|
|Battery description||AA batteries (NiMH recommended)|
|Weight (inc. batteries)||600 g (1.32 lb / 21.16 oz)|
|Dimensions||128 x 88 x 87 mm (5.04 x 3.46 x 3.43″)|
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 also providing less experienced photographers with a solid set of automatic modes. In an effort to make the user interface more intuitive, several controls have been rethought and moved about in the UI.
Even though the camera’s processor has been upgraded from the DIGIC III to the DIGIC IV, the performance of the camera 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 as well as improvements in noise reduction technologies.
Pros & Cons
- Optically image-stabilized lens
- Wide to very long telephoto zoom
- Loaded with advanced, easy-to-use features
- Efficient control layout
- Easy access to settings
- The control dial doesn’t always work
- Noise suppression in shadows softens details
- Luminance noise visible at all ISO settings
- High chromatic aberration at both ends of the zoom