Canon SX200 IS Review

 
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Canon PowerShot SX200 IS Performance


Timing and Performance

Somewhat slow performance overall, though with some average timings.

Startup/Shutdown

Power on
to first shot

2.0 seconds

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

Shutdown

2.4 seconds

How long it takes to retract lens.

Buffer clearing time

0.5 second
after 20 L/F 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.

Slow startup and shutdown times, though a consideration here is the PowerShot SX200 IS' long 12x lens. Buffer clearing time is faster than average.

 

Shutter Response (Lag Time)

Full Autofocus Wide

0.46 second

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

Full Autofocus Tele

0.40 second

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

Prefocused

0.076 second

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

Shutter response is good at both wide angle and telephoto, at 0.46s and 0.40s respectively. "Prefocusing" the camera by half-pressing and holding down the shutter button before the final exposure results in a lag time of 0.076 second, which is fair.

 

Cycle Time (shot to shot)
Single Shot mode
Large Fine JPEG
2.57 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 Fine JPEG

1.04 seconds (0.97 frames per second)
>20 frames
0.5 second to clear

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

Flash recycling

3.5 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 sluggish, at about 2.57 seconds for large/fine JPEGs, though the camera appears to capture frames continuously at this rate. Cycle times are also slower than average in Continuous mode, at about 0.97 frames per second. The flash takes about 3.5 seconds to recycle, which is better than average.


Overall, the Canon PowerShot SX200 IS is a bit slow. Clearly not designed for action photography, the PowerShot SX200 IS should still handle most average photography situations well, with about average shutter lag times. However, you'll be waiting a little between shots at full resolution, so consumers needing a faster cycle time should bear that in mind.

Battery and Storage Capacity

Battery
Slightly above average battery life for a lithium-ion design.

Operating Mode Capacity
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
Still Image Capture
(Based on CIPA standard)
280 shots
Lithium-ion Rechargeable Battery,
Playback Time
300 minutes

The Canon PowerShot SX200 IS uses a custom rechargeable lithium-ion battery for power, and ships with a charger. Although battery life is pretty good, we recommend you pick up a spare battery and keep it freshly charged and on-hand for extended outings, especially if you plan to shoot a lot of video.

The table above shows the number of shots the camera is capable of (on a fully-charged rechargeable battery), based on CIPA 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 SX200 IS accepts SDHC/SD/MMC/MMCplus/HC MMCplus memory cards, but does not ship with a card.

Image Capacity with
2GB Memory Card
Fine Normal
4,000 x 3,000
Images
626
1,280
File Size
3.1MB
1.5MB
3,264 x 2,448
Images
930
1,920
File Size
2.1MB
980KB
2,592 x 1,944
Images
1,365
2,672
File Size
1.4MB
695KB
1,600 x 1,200
Images
3,235
6,146
File Size
558KB
278KB
640 x 480
Images
10,245
15,368
File Size
150KB
84KB

Movie Capacity with 2GB Memory Card
Resolution Frame Rate Format Capacity / Size
1,280 x 720
30 fps H.264
(.MOV)
H:M:S
00:10:53
KB/s
2,955
640 x 480
30 fps H.264
(.MOV)
H:M:S
00:23:49
KB/s
1,316
320 x 240
30 fps H.264
(.MOV)
H:M:S
01:13:10
KB/s
394

We strongly recommend buying a large capacity SDHC memory card. (These days, 4GB is a good tradeoff between cost and capacity.) You'll want a fairly fast one (at least a Class 4) for HD movie capture.

 

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