Canon's PowerShot SX series of compacts have long been some of the best travel compacts on the market. But how does the latest model shape up in light of competition?
Design and Performance
Canon PowerShot SX220 SX220 HS review – Design
Considering the large focal range the SX220 HS possesses, as well as the full specification, the camera features a relatively compact body. Despite a slight protrusion on the front of the camera’s body, accommodating the 14x optical zoom, the body is impressively slim, and certainly slim enough to fit in a pocket. The top of and sides of the camera feature a slight indent which serves well as a sitting position for your fingers whilst shooting. The same can be said with the wide-angle screen on the rear of the camera – unless you’re predisposed to use the full width of the screen whilst shooting stills, instead preferring to shoot in a 4:3 crop, the non-image displaying areas also house your thumbs well.
All is not rosy on the rear of the camera, however. The rear of the SX220 HS also houses a mode dial and control wheel – the former is very firmly fixed and takes quite some effort to rotate, making switching between modes while shooting quite an effort. The opposite is true with the control wheel – when shooting, the control wheel is far too easily jogged in accident, thus causing a host of functions to appear and accidently be switched between whilst composing images, which is far from desirable.
Outside of the slight issues with the buttons on the rear of the camera, the SX220 HS is a well-designed model which feels sturdy in use and would no doubt be up to the rigours that so often face a travel compact.
Canon PowerShot SX220 SX220 HS review – Performance
The PowerShot SX220 HS is a pleasure to use, baring the aforementioned issues with the poorly-designed control wheel. The camera starts up in no time at all, and is soon ready for shooting. If you’re looking for more creative control over your images, then the full manual control and priority settings are no problem at all to negotiate and control. In fact, the manual capture control shooting modes are an area in which the control wheel redeems itself, allowing quick control over either shutter or aperture. Those looking to let the camera do more of the work can rest comfortable in the knowledge that the
The SX220 HS’s focus system is both prompt and accurate, quickly locating the subject. The model also benefits in the speed department in use from having a dedicated video record button located on its rear, allowing one-touch access to the camera’s 1080p HD video capture.
The image stabilisation is very effective in use, and serves as a useful tool against the large optical zoom. It’s even noticeable in the framing of images, whereby panning and tilting the camera can be achieved in a steady movement. The zoom itself also benefits from having two speed settings – by moving the zoom slider marginally to one side, you can zoom the camera slowly either towards or away from your subject. Move it to either extremity, however, and the camera will soon move to either end of the focal range.