Frame snapshot out of the SX200 IS

This is a frame snapshot out of an already twice re-encoded 720p video, shot with the Canon SX200 IS. A friend of mine shot this recently, all “auto”. When light is adequate, the result is fabulous with these small Canon cams. Click for a larger PNG version.

21 Comments »

Vic wrote on January 14th, 2010 at 5:38 AM PST:

I purchased this cam on the back of your glowing review. I love it! Thanks for taking the time to sing the praises of this camera. If it wasn’t for you,I’d have ended up with a Sony Cybershot (beeyak!)


Nate wrote on January 15th, 2010 at 3:25 PM PST:

I also purchase this camera but I can’t stand the low light for this camera at all and I don’t like the quality of the pictures either.

So I do plan on returning it, and will continue to with that Canon pairs up their SD990 or their S90 w/ HD video.

If this camera had as good quality pictures as those cameras, I would suffer through the bad low light HD video of this camera and keep it.


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Eugenia wrote on January 15th, 2010 at 3:51 PM PST:

The S90 and G11 are the best P&S cameras out there, but without HD video support, they’re useless to me. Canon didn’t put HD video on them on purpose.


Nate wrote on January 15th, 2010 at 9:21 PM PST:

“Canon didn’t put HD video on them on purpose.”

I absolutely agree. And while I want to hate them, no one else offers better picture/video capability in one device.

Hopefully Nikon will release the D700 w/ excellent video or Sanyo can release a more professional model of their camcorder that does both 720p60 and 1080p60.


Michael wrote on January 19th, 2010 at 4:20 PM PST:

“And while I want to hate them, no one else offers better picture/video capability in one device.”

Give me a break 😉 I recently bought Panasonic LX3 for this very reason – the best picture/video capability in one device, compact and under $400. And while I am not a real expert to compare video capabilities between LX3 and SX200, I personally think the 720p videos of LX3 are phenomenal. In low light it beats HV20 hands down.


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Eugenia wrote on January 19th, 2010 at 6:50 PM PST:

Michael, you are wrong. The Canon h.264 cams are WAY better in video quality than the LX3, which is MJPEG. Yes, the LX3 has a bigger sensor, and therefore better low-light capabilities. But low light is not the beginning and the end of video-making. Exposure locking and actual codec quality/bitrate are as important, if not more. So when you want to couple both great stills and video, the new Canons do offer the best package.

And when the new Canon S90 comes out later this year (which is the Canon answer to LX3), and has HD video, then Panasonic would have to step their game seriously to compete with that!


Michael wrote on January 20th, 2010 at 10:38 AM PST:

“Exposure locking and actual codec quality/bitrate are as important, if not more.”

Bigger sensor gives LX3 big advantage for BOTH – videos and pictures. SX200 has an advantage (the exposure locking and h.264 codec) for the video ONLY, and that advantage only matters in good light. So much of the advantage, huh? 😉

You keep convincing everybody that the picture quality of SX200 isn’t “THAT” bad. Sorry, but we are not taking about quality of driver license picture, or 4×6 prints – we compare it to the other cameras in the same class. As a picture/video combo SX200 sucks big time, its only advantage of exposure locking and h.264 codec simply pales in comparison to the advantages of LX3.

There is one more thing I curious about. If you find the pictures of SX200 not “THAT” bad, how really bad is MJPEG of LX3? Do you know any review of the video quality of LX3?

I mentioned I am not an expert, but as a consumer I do see that in low light it beats HV20 – a dedicated HD camcorder. For its size, price, etc. – maybe it’s not “THAT” bad after all, huh? 😉


Michael wrote on January 20th, 2010 at 10:51 AM PST:

“And when the new Canon S90 comes out later this year (which is the Canon answer to LX3), and has HD video, then Panasonic would have to step their game seriously to compete with that!”

Meanwhile it’s the other way around.


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Eugenia wrote on January 20th, 2010 at 2:20 PM PST:

No, the SX200 picture quality is not that bad. I don’t print pictures, so for me, the kind of pics it snaps, especially after resized for the web, it’s perfect.

But the SX200 has a definite advantage on video. The LX3 video is just bad in quality, as far as I’m concerned. For me, since I put more weight on video, the SX200 IS wins. Plus, it’s cheaper.


Michael wrote on January 20th, 2010 at 2:51 PM PST:

Ok, the SX200 picture quality is NOT THAT bad, LX3 video quality IS bad. Point taken, no more questions 😉


Scott` wrote on January 21st, 2010 at 7:27 PM PST:

\And when the new Canon S90 comes out later this year (which is the Canon answer to LX3), and has HD video, then Panasonic would have to step their game seriously to compete with that!\

Eugenia…are you referring to a different camera? The S90 came out a little while ago, sadly without HD video of any kind… Disappointing.


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Eugenia wrote on January 21st, 2010 at 7:41 PM PST:

That’s why I said “the new…”. I’m referring to an updated model. I know that the current S90 doesn’t have HD video. It would have been my No1 choice if it had HD video, instead of the SX200 IS.


Michael wrote on January 22nd, 2010 at 10:38 AM PST:

“And when the new Canon S90 comes out later this year (which is the Canon answer to LX3), and has HD video, then Panasonic would have to step their game seriously to compete with that!”

Even if it happens, Panasonic would still have little to worry about – MSRP of S90 is $429, LX3 is under $400.

Eugenia, how do you know Canon even will come out this yeah with a new S90 (with HD video)? Are you guessing? Their S90 camera costs more than the competitor’s with the HD video. Had they put HD video the price would’ve been too high – maybe that’s why they didn’t do it.

So I wouldn’t have such high hopes for what they might come out with later this year.


Michael wrote on January 22nd, 2010 at 11:08 AM PST:

“Even if it happens, Panasonic would still have little to worry about – MSRP of S90 is $429, LX3 is under $400.”

Let me take that back. I checked Panasonic web-site, MSRP of LX3 is $499.95.

Amazon sells it for $399, and I just got mine for $360. On Amazon S90 goes for $406 – still more expensive than LX3.

Panasonic clearly dominates the market for big-sensor/f2.0-lense/720p combo in compact cameras. What Canon comes up with remained to be seen. LX3 is very hard to compete with.


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Eugenia wrote on January 22nd, 2010 at 1:00 PM PST:

>Are you guessing?

Of course I’m guessing. But they have no alternative, have they? The no-HD thing was the Number 1 complaint for both the S90 and the G11.


Michael wrote on January 22nd, 2010 at 3:09 PM PST:

Panasonic came out with LX3 in July 2008. I wonder what was then the Number 1 complaint for Canon’s compact cameras… Do you remember? 😉

One more thing – as we both own HV20 camcorders. For me LX3 complements it perfectly – it’s compact, it’s low-light capabilities are much better, and besides it’s a photo camera (the very top end of the compact market based on the Q4 2008 test).

I wonder how does SX200 complement HV20 for you? Yes, it’s compact. Does it have anything else as far as complementing HV20? Just curious…


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Eugenia wrote on January 22nd, 2010 at 3:53 PM PST:

Of course it complements my HV20! In fact, for my most recent shoots I only used the SX200 IS, not the HV20. Check my Vimeo videos for the proof to this! The SX200 IS has exposure locking and vast color settings, and it gives me a video quality EQUAL to that of the HV20. The LX3 doesn’t do any of that. The video quality of the LX3 is very, VERY, similar to that of the FX150 in the link above. A FAR CRY from anything that I consider “good”. The LX3 with its terrible MJPEG codec is a no-go for me.

Yes, the LX3 is better in low light, and has better PICTURE support. But since I always shoot in controlled situations (I _never_ shoot family random stuff), and I don’t give a rat’s ass about still pics 99% of the time, the SX200 IS is perfect for what I do.


Michael wrote on January 22nd, 2010 at 5:00 PM PST:

“The SX200 IS has exposure locking and vast color settings, and it gives me a video quality EQUAL to that of the HV20. The LX3 doesn’t do any of that. ”

Eugenia, the question was not about comparing SX200 to LX3 (I already got that part). It was about comparing SX200 to HV20. I believe HV20 has an exposure locking, too – with a trick. Don’t know about color variety on HV20 – this must be where SX200 really shines then (besides its size, of course).

In the link you provided to compare video quality FX150-vs-SX200 – what exactly am I supposed to look at? I am not an expert, can’t figure out why FX150 is worse than SX200. In fact, by looking at the blinds of the neighbor’s window (top left corner) they look more clear to me in FX150 than in SX200. They came out overexposed in SX200, but again – I am really not an expert, so can’t really agree or disagree 😉

About FX150 – it is 14.7MP, 1/1.72″, 36MP/cm^2 – so I highly doubt it matches the quality of LX3 with 10MP, 1/1.63″, 24MP/cm^2. So if FX150 is a FAR CRY from anything that you consider “good”, I think you still shouldn’t put the same label on LX3 without actual test or review.


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Eugenia wrote on January 22nd, 2010 at 5:59 PM PST:

>It was about comparing SX200 to HV20.

The HV20 is vastly superior to LX3’s video mode. And the SX200 is almost equal to the HV20. I already answered that part.

>what exactly am I supposed to look at?

The video noise. The LX3 is not that different to the FX150 than you think it is. I’ve seen direct footage from it, it looks just like the FX150. The difference between the two cams is not that huge, especially when the same codec and video chip is used.


Michael wrote on January 22nd, 2010 at 11:31 PM PST:

“The HV20 is vastly superior to LX3’s video mode” – again you missed the key point here: low light. HV20 is NOT superior to LX3 video in LOW LIGHT. This is precisely where LX3 COMPLEMENTS it.

“SX200 is almost equal to the HV20” – it means that SX200 does NOT complement it in any way.

The only place where SX200 complements HV20, as I understood from you, is the color settings, and, obviously, the size. Not much, really…

(By the way, LX3 has several video modes to play with colors, and each has full control for color/sharpness/contrast/saturation/SkinTone)


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Eugenia wrote on January 23rd, 2010 at 12:32 AM PST:

The part you don’t get is that I always shoot in controlled situations. So low light performance for me does not mean much.


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