A video sample from the Canon SX230 HS

I had promised a small, unmodified, video test-sample from my new camera, the Canon SX230 HS. Right click to download the MOV file and play it on your computer, it’s a 43 MB file. This 36 mbps 1080/24p test-video was shot at -1/3EV exposure-locked, locked focus at center of the frame, and all custom color options are set on minimum values.

Pros: “Flat” colors & sharp detail. Rolling shutter is minimal and not a problem. Manual focus. Slow motion and miniature modes. 720/30p & 1080/24p at respectable bitrates. Exposure compensation & locking. Wind filter for built-in mic. 3″ widescreen.
Cons: No full video manual control. No built-in ND filters (my Zeikos filter add-on doesn’t fit its lens). Lens gets way too dark when zoomed-in. No menu option to turn off lens’ constant re-focus (very annoying), we have to always manually lock focus. We still can’t edit+join clips in-camera.


Ivan wrote on December 10th, 2011 at 1:59 AM PST:

What are those noise-like artifacts the bottom right corner (where the blue is)? Is it the built in sharpening or denoising going crazy?
About the dark lens: when zoomed in, I guess the aperture gets smaller (a higher number), so you need to increase iso value to have proper exposure, if that is possible. I think this will make indoors zoomed in video with this camera less usable.
Small sensor cameras always will have some trade-ins, I guess. Still a pretty powerful tool, of course!

Ivan wrote on December 10th, 2011 at 1:59 AM PST:

I meant bottom left corner…

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Eugenia wrote on December 10th, 2011 at 10:04 AM PST:

I see no noise there…

Class_Action wrote on December 10th, 2011 at 9:46 PM PST:

I can see it. In the blue on the lower left, it looks like compression artifacts. Probably nothing to do with the camera.

Ivan wrote on December 11th, 2011 at 3:49 AM PST:

No compression artifacts, as this is straight from the camera.
It is not such a big deal. I think is has to do with the fact that it is a surface of one single color, fooling the processor.

CRFilms wrote on December 11th, 2011 at 7:13 AM PST:

I can see it as well, but it’s also there across the entire screen, it’s only easiest to see in the blue. It looks just like basic digital noise. Not perfect, but not distracting either. A little grading and a little Neat Video or printing to film would hide that all together. Only video enthusiasts would notice it…we’re trying to pick apart everything, the average viewer wouldn’t notice it.

It’s all about quality per dollar. Better than HV20 quality for around $250? Very decent.

Sample Hampton wrote on December 11th, 2011 at 7:02 PM PST:

Eugenia, in your last post on the SX230 I believe you said that not battery life–but the card–was the limiting restriction on how long a given video could be for the SX230. I.e. one is likely to run out of flash card before the battery runs out. That could be solved by simply buying a larger (e.g. 16gb) SDHC card, right?

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Eugenia wrote on December 11th, 2011 at 8:50 PM PST:

Yes and no. You won’t be able to shoot for more than 20 minutes in 1080/24p, because the limit is the FAT32 filesystem at 4 GB mark, not how large the card is. After the 4 GB filesize is reached, the camera stops recording. You will have to re-start recording manually.

So it depends what your project is. If you’re shooting a static conference or a wedding, then these Canon cams might not be a cameras you want. If you use it for movies, family videos and music videos, where usually each take is only a few seconds long, to a few minutes, you’re good to go.

Sample Hampton wrote on December 13th, 2011 at 3:39 PM PST:

Fantastic. Thank you.

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