One of two cameras replacing the S5 IS, the SX10 IS offers 10.0 megapixels and 20x stabilised zoom
Design And Performance
The body of the SX10 is quite similar in overall appearance to that of the S5 IS which it replaces. It is shaped exactly like a small DSLR, right down to the flash hot-=shoe on top of the viewfinder, and is not far off the same size as an entry-level APS-C camera.
It has a large comfortable handgrip and feels solid and secure in the hand. The substantial 560g dry weight, comprised largely of the big zoom lens, is even heavier when four AA batteries are included. Build quality is well up to Canon’s usual high standard, and the comprehensive control layout is sensibly arranged, although possibly a bit daunting for inexperienced users. The large D-pad with its rotating bezel is rather prone to accidental activation while shooting, but other than that the camera handles extremely well.
The LCD monitor is fully articulated and can rotate to almost any angle, including pointing forwards for self-portrait shots. At 2.5 inches with a 230,000-dot resolution it’s no sharper than most recent compact cameras, but it does have a good anti-glare coating and a nice wide viewing angle.
The electronic viewfinder is also no better than average. With 0.44in diagonal size and 235,000-dot resolution it is larger and slightly sharper than some rival models (such as the Panasonic FZ28), but it still isn’t sharp enough for manual focusing, and the dots are plainly visible. After seeing the Field Sequential EVF displays on some recent high-end cameras such as the Fuji S100FS and Panasonic G1, the finder on the SX10 (and the SX1) looks a bit crude by comparison.
For such a big camera the SX10 is certainly light on its feet. It starts up in a little under two seconds, and shuts down again even more quickly. The improved autofocus system and high-speed DIGIC 4 image processing give it a good fast shooting speed, and in single-shot mode at the highest picture quality setting it can consistently shoot a frame every 1.8 seconds. As mentioned previously, in continuous shooting mode it can rattle off approximately 1.5 shots a second, which is pretty quick by any standard.
The camera’s physical performance is just as impressive. The zoom operation is especially nice; it has a two-stage action, so that a gentle push on the control makes the zoom glide slowly and silently on its ultrasonic motor, ideal for video shooting, but pushing the control hard makes the lens zip to the other end of the zoom range in about two seconds, although it does make a loud whirring noise while doing so.