Canon SX10 IS Review

 
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Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Performance


Timing and Performance

Generally good performance for a long zoom digicam.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

2.4 seconds

Time it takes for LCD to turn on and lens to deploy and capture a picture.

Shutdown

1.2 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

2.5 seconds
(buffer clearing after 20 LSF JPEGs)

Worst case buffer clearing time. -- This is the delay after a set of shots before you can remove the card. Some cameras won't retract their lenses and shut down until the buffer is cleared.

Faster than average times here for a long zoom.

 

Mode Switching

Play to Record,
first shot

1.3 seconds

Time until first shot is captured.

Record to play

1.0 second

Time to display a large/superfine file immediately after capture.

Display
recorded image

0.8 second

Time to display a large/superfine file already on the memory card.

Mode switching times are a little better than average, especially the last time for displaying a recorded image.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.604 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at wide-angle position.

Full Autofocus Tele

0.543 second

Time from fully pressing shutter button to image capture, zoom lens at telephoto position.

Prefocused

0.079 second

Time to capture, after half-pressing and holding shutter button.

Manual Focus

0.282 second

For most cameras, shutter lag is less in manual focus than autofocus, but usually not as fast as when the camera is "prefocused".

Full Autofocus
Flash

0.784 second

Time to capture while forcing flash to fire, at wide-angle.

Shutter response is faster than average for a long zoom at both wide-angle and telephoto, at 0.60s and 0.54s respectively. Enabling the flash only takes lag time to 0.78s, which is also better than average. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of 0.079 second, which is quite fast.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Superfine JPEG
2.06 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Single Shot mode
640 x 480 JPEG

2.00 seconds

Time per shot, averaged over 20 shots.

Early shutter
penalty?

No

Some cameras don't snap another shot if you release and press the shutter too quickly in Single Shot mode, making "No" the preferred answer.

Continuous mode
Large Superfine JPEG

0.71 second (1.42 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
2.5 seconds to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
640 x 480 JPEG

0.71 second (1.42 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
Continuous AF
Large Superfine JPEG

1.28 second (0.78 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Continuous mode
Continuous AF
640 x 480 JPEG

1.29 second (0.78 frames per second);
>20 frames total;
1 second to clear

Time per shot, averaged over buffer length or 20 shots, whichever came first.

Flash recycling

8.2 seconds

Flash at maximum output.

*Note: Buffer clearing times measured with a SanDisk Extreme III SD memory card. Slower cards will produce correspondingly slower clearing times. Slow cards may also limit length of bursts in continuous mode. ISO sensitivity also affects cycle times and burst mode performance, with higher ISOs generally increasing cycle times and reducing burst performance.

Shot-to-shot cycle times are on the slow side of average, at about 2.06 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, though the camera does capture frames continuously at this rate. (That is, given a fast enough memory card, it doesn't have to pause every few frames to wait for the card to catch up.) The default continuous mode is a bit slower than average, at 1.42 frames per second regardless of resolution, though not bad for a 10-megapixel camera. Continuous mode with autofocus tracking enabled is sluggish at 0.78 frames per second, but most digicams don't offer this mode. Buffer depth is very good though, at over 20 large/superfine frames. Flash recycling is pretty good considering its power, at 8.2 seconds.

 

Download Speed

Windows Computer, USB 2.0

6,766 KBytes/sec

Typical Values:
Less than 600=USB 1.1;
600-769=USB 2.0 Low;
Above 770=USB 2.0 High

Connected to a computer or printer with USB 2.0, download speeds are very good.


The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS' performance overall is a little faster than average for its class, except for cycle times and continuous mode. Continuous shooting won't be fast enough for ultra-clear shots of fast-paced action, but overall performance should be well-suited for average shooting conditions.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Very good battery life with alkalines, excellent with NiMH rechargeables.

Operating Mode Number of Shots
AA alkaline batteries,
LCD monitor on
340
AA NiMH rechargeable batteries,
LCD monitor on
600

The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS uses four AA-type batteries for power, and ships with a set of ordinary alkalines. As always, we recommend you pick up a couple of sets of good-quality NiMH rechargeable batteries and a good-quality charger, as they'll save you many times their cost over the life of the camera.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on fresh set of disposable batteries), based on Canon's standard test conditions.

(Interested readers can find an English translation of the CIPA DC-002 standards document here. (180K PDF document))

Storage
The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS accepts SD/SDHC/MMC memory cards, and does not come with a memory card.

Image Capacity with
1 GB Memory Card
SuperFine Fine Normal
3,648 x 2,736
Images
227
379
778
File Size
4.5 MB
2.7 MB
1.3 MB
2,816 x 2,112
Images
361
598
1,197
File Size
2.8 MB
1.7 MB
855 KB
2,272 x 1,704
Images
486
864
1,740
File Size
2.1 MB
1.2 MB
589 KB
1,600 x 1,200
Images
943
1,740
3,300
File Size
1.1 MB
589 KB
310 KB
640 x 480
Images
3,688
5,702
8,960
File Size
278 KB
180 KB
114 KB

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SD/SDHC memory card. (These days, 2GB is a good tradeoff between cost and capacity.)

 

Canon SX10 IS

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