Canon PowerShot SX240 HS

April 11, 2012

Canon SX240 HSCanon compact cameras have carved a niche in the market for their reliability, ease of use, and good image quality. The SX-series, successor to the S-series, is the ‘performance range’ of Canon PowerShot cameras with high zoom ratios and advanced features. The Canon SX240 HS joins the bandwagon with a 20x optical zoom and priority modes.

Design and Build Quality

The Canon SX240 HS features an cuter body built with tough engineering plastic except for the back panel that has a metal exterior. The lens has a three segment construction. The LCD panel is housed in a metal frame, but is still prone to scratch since the frame does not enclose the sides of the screen. The tripod mount is metal and the buttons and dials provide a positive feel.

Key Features

The 12.1-megapixel Canon PowerShot SX240 HS uses a 1/2.3-inch Type (6.16 x 4.62 mm) CCD for imaging. It is powered by the latest Digic 5 imaging processor. The camera features a 25-500mm equivalent f/3.5 – 6.8 lens featuring Optical Image Stabilization. The lens focuses from 5cm to infinity at the wide-angle end, and from 1 m to infinity at the telephoto end. Focus modes are Continuous AF, Servo AF, and Manual Focus. The AF frame options are Face AiAF, Tracking, and Centre. The metering modes featured are Evaluative, Centre-weighted average, and Spot. Exposure can be compensated by +1-2 EV in 1/3-stop increments. Shutter speed ranges from 15 to 1/3200 sec, whereas the f/number varies from f/3.5 to 8 at the wide-angle end and from f/6.8 to 8 at the telephoto end. ISO sensitivity ranges from ISO 100 to 3200. White Balance options are Auto, Daylight, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, and Custom.

The built-in flash has a range of 50cm to 3.5m at the wide-angle end, and from 90cm to 2.0m at the telephoto end, but this time also, Canon has not mentioned the ISO setting at which the flash achieves this range. The flash modes are Auto, On, Slow Synchro, and Off. Shooting modes of the camera are M, Av, Tv, P, Live View Control, Auto, Easy, Movie Digest, SCN, Creative Filters, Discreet, and Movie. Available scene modes are Portrait, Smooth Skin, Smart Shutter, High-speed burst HQ. Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Underwater, Snow, Fireworks, and Stitch Assist. The creative filter options are Fish-eye, Miniature, Toy Camera, Monochrome, Soft Focus, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, and Color Swap. The Discreet mode provide options of Standard, iFrame Movie, and Super Slow Motion Movie. Smart Shutter includes Smile, Wink Self-timer, and Face Self-timer.

The SX240 HS uses a 3.0-inch, approximately 461,000-dot TFT color wide viewing angle LCD for display. The camera uses an SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card for external storage. Still images are recorded in J PEG format at a maximum recording pixels of 4000 x 3000, while movies are recorded in MOV format at the best quality of 1280 x 720 pixels at 30 fps. The camera features a Hi-Speed USB and HDMI output. The device is powered by an NB-6L Li-ion battery pack. The camera has dimensions of 106.3 x 61.0 x 32.7mm and weighs approximately 224g including the battery and memory card.

Ergonomics

The SX240 HS is comfortable to operate with the mode dial acting as a thumb rest. The interface is standard Canon compact type with familiar color scheme and controls. The mode dial being on the back panel (the camera has a vertical mode dial) facilitates quick adjustments. The command dial/multi-controller has been provided enough damping for comfortable operation. The images on the LCD are crisp and the screen has a multi-angle view.

Performance

The Canon SX240 HS autofocused fast and precisely. Darkening of corners was controlled very well, confined only to extreme corner s. Images were tack sharp out of the box. Distortion was well controlled except for mild barrel distortion up to 70mm equivalent, which would be very difficult to observe by untrained eyes. We observed prominent flare and ghosting in strong against-the-light shots at the wide-angle end at the widest aperture along with slight purple fringing. Metering was accurate with all modes working well.

The camera reproduced colors well. Auto White Balance performed well in most situations, providing good results. An exception was incandescent light source, under which, pre-set Incandescent White Balance provided better results. Native print size was 10×13.33 inches at 300 ppi. At 25 percent screen size, images were free of noise right up to ISO 1600. Images at ISO 3200 appeared soft, probably due to the noise reduction algorithm. Viewed at 50 percent, images were noise-free up to ISO 800. At 100 percent screen size, very slight noise appeared from ISO 200 onwards, but it can be easily missed. This is very good control over noise, considering that the camera uses a very small sensor for imaging.

SPECIFICATIONS
Effective Pixels Approx. 12.1 million pixels
Lens 25 – 500 mm equivalent
Focusing Range Normal: 5cm – infinity (W), 1m – infinity (T)Macro: 5 – 50cm (2.0in. – 1.6ft.) (W)
Image Stabilizer Lens-shift type
Imaging Processor DIGIC 5
LCD Monitor 3.0 inch, Approx. 461,000 dots TFT color (wide viewing angle)
Focus Control System Autofocus: Continuous, Servo AF (follows Servo AE), Manual focus
AF Frame Face AiAF, Tracking AF, Centre
Metering System Evaluative, Centre-weighted average, Spot
Exposure Comp ┬▒2 stops in 1/3-stop increments
ISO Speed Auto, ISO 100/200/400/800/1600/3200
White Balance Auto, Day Light, Cloudy, Tungsten, Fluorescent, Fluorescent H, Custom
Shutter Speed 15 – 1/3200sec.
f/number f/3.5 – f/8.0 (W), f/6.8 – f/8.0 (T)
Flash Modes Auto, on, Slow Synchro, off
Flash Range 50cm – 3.5m (W), 90cm – 2.0m (T)
Shooting Modes M, Av, Tv, P, Live View Control, Auto, Easy, Movie Digest, SCN, Creative Filters, Discreet and Movie
Scene Modes Portrait, Smooth Skin, Smart Shutter, High-speed Burst HQ, Handheld Night Scene, Low Light, Underwater, Snow, Fireworks, Stitch Assist
Creative Filters Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Monochrome, Soft Focus, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Color Accent, Color Swap
Discreet Standard, iFrame Movie, Super Slow Motion Movie
Smart Shutter Smile, Wink Self-timer, Face Self-timer
Continuous Shooting Mode Normal AF
Recording Media SD memory card, SDHC memory card, SDXC memory card
File Format Still Images: Exif 2.3 (JPEG)Movie: MOV
Max. Recording Still: 4000×3000
Pixels Movies: 1280 x 720 (30fps)
Interface Hi-Speed USB
HDMI Output Analog audio output (Stereo)
Power Source Battery Pack NB-6L
Dimensions 106.3×61.0×32.7mm
Weight Approx. 224g (Including the battery and memory card)Approx. 201g (Camera body only)
Value for Money

The Canon SX240 HS retails at an MRP of 329$. At this price, it is good value for money.

PROS:

  • 20x zoom range
  • Excellent noise control
  • Good value for money
  • Priority modes

CONS:

  • White Balance, for incandescent light could have been better
  • Not enough aperture options at tele end.
Verdict

The Canon SX240 HS is a budget option for people looking for a compact camera that can provide good results over a wide range of situations. This is ideal for casual photographers planning to buy a camera to capture family vacations and trips including landscapes, portraits, and wildlife.

SCORE: 85%

Canon-SX240-HS-1Canon-SX240-HS-2Canon SX240 HSCanon-SX240-HS-4

Tags: , ,

Category: Gear