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Canon PowerShot SX230 HS review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £210
inc VAT

Impeccable image quality and quick, comprehensive controls more than make up for the relatively modest zoom range


1/2.3in 12.0-megapixel sensor, 14.0x zoom (28-392mm equivalent), 223g

Canon is having a good year with its PowerShot and Ixus cameras. Much of it is down to its 12-megapixel back-illuminated sensor, which appears yet again in the SX230 HS and helps it deliver the best photos we’ve ever seen from a pocket-sized ultra-zoom camera.

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS front

Noise levels were incredibly low, with brightly lit shots resembling an SLR’s output. Low-light shots were a little soft on detail but looked smoother and cleaner than its rivals.

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS sample 2
This telephoto shot in shady conditions pushes up the ISO speed to 1600 to avoid blur, but noise remains impressively low while still maintaining a reasonable amount of detail

The lens pulls its weight, too, with sharp focus into the corners of frames throughout its 14x zoom range. There were some chromatic aberrations around high-contrast lines, but not enough to compromise focus in other parts of the image.

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS sample 1
There’s a hint of chromatic aberrations, but otherwise, details in bright light are crisp without resorting to excessive digital sharpening

The 28-392mm (equivalent) focal length range isn’t as flexible as with many of its rivals, but superior focus and low noise meant the SX230 HS was just as capable at resolving detail in distant subjects as the 18x Nikon S9100 and even the 24x Olympus SZ-30MR.

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Basic Specifications

Rating *****
CCD effective megapixels 12.0 megapixels
CCD size 1/2.3in
Viewfinder none
Viewfinder magnification, coverage N/A
LCD screen size 3.0in
LCD screen resolution 461,000 pixels
Articulated screen No
Live view Yes
Optical zoom 14.0x
Zoom 35mm equivalent 28-392mm
Image stabilisation optical, lens based
Maximum image resolution 4,000×3,000
Maximum movie resolution 1920×1080
Movie frame rate at max quality 24fps
File formats JPEG; QuickTime (AVC)


Memory slot SDXC
Mermory supplied none
Battery type Li-ion
Battery Life (tested) 210 shots
Connectivity USB, AV, mini HDMI
HDMI output resolution 1080i
Body material aluminium
Lens mount N/A
Focal length multiplier N/A
Kit lens model name N/A
Accessories USB cable
Weight 223g
Size 62x106x32mm

Buying Information

Warranty one-year RTB
Price £210

Camera Controls

Exposure modes program, shutter priority, aperture priority, manual
Shutter speed 15 to 1/3,200 seconds
Aperture range f/3.1-8 (wide), f/5.9-8 (tele)
ISO range (at full resolution) 100 to 3200
Exposure compensation +/-2 EV
White balance auto, 6 presets, manual
Additional image controls contrast, saturation, sharpness, red, green, blue, skin tone, i-Contrast
Manual focus Yes
Closest macro focus 5cm
Auto-focus modes centre, face detect/multi, tracking
Metering modes multi, centre-weighted, centre, face detect
Flash auto, forced, suppressed, slow synchro, red-eye reduction
Drive modes single, continuous, self-timer

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