REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonPowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera
 
4.5

(based on 175 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (106)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (60)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

95%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Great picture quality (149)
  • Easy to use (124)
  • Large clear LCD (119)
  • Simple controls (115)
  • Easy to setup (99)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (20)
  • Short battery life (13)
  • Bad lens cap (11)
  • Long lag time (9)
  • Complicated controls (7)

Best Uses

  • Travel (132)
  • Family photos (126)
  • Fun (120)
  • Art (40)
  • Photojournalism (37)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Photo enthusiast (94), Casual photographer (48), Semi-pro photographer (31)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

SX10 has few rivals outside of D-SLRx

The Canon SX10 IS is a very impressive superzoom camera.The ergonomics of the SX10 are excellent. The camera feel substantial but not overly heavy in the hand, and the fingers wrap around the grip...Read complete review

The Canon SX10 IS is a very impressive superzoom camera.The ergonomics of the SX10 are excellent. The camera feel substantial but not overly heavy in the hand, and the fingers wrap around the grip very naturally and securely, leaving thumb and fingers well position for the controls. The menus seem very intuitive to me – almost all the settings are where I expect to find them. (This may be partly because I have owned several A-series cameras and know the Canon menus system, but I recall thinking with my first A-series camera that the menu distribution made a lot of sense.) The menu settings include a customizable menu list that can be set to include the users most frequently accessed menu items, edited to the order of the owner’s choosing, and, if desired, set to be the default menu on initial access of the menu functions – overall a means of truly customizing the camera to one’s own particular needs and uses. Many users will join me in applauding the presence of focal-length markings on the lens barrel – a nice feature that means a lot to more experienced photographers but is notably lacking on the models of most other manufacturers.The range of capabilities of this camera is remarkable. Begin with the lens: 28 to 560 mm equivalent in 35-mm terms. This means that, from about 12 feet away, I could on Christmas morning make one exposure that encompassed the room, all the decorations, and the day’s several celebrants, and without moving, fill the frame with a single ornament on the tree on the other side of the room. Both are remarkable in their own way. One of the things I have missed in moving to compact digital cameras from high-end 35mm cameras was a seriously wide angle lens. A 28 mm lens gets a lot of wear and tear in the kit of a serious 35mm shooter, begin used both indoors and out to capture wide expanses. Having a 28 mm short end of a zoom is vastly different than calling 35 mm “wide angle.” On the other end of the scale, 560 mm is a lot of lens, and one would seldom attempt to hand-hold that much lens with a conventional 35 mm system. Image stabilization, however, allows sharp shots hand-held with the long lens. Image stabilization is said to allow a gain of 2 stops in exposure latitude. The usual rule of thumb is to reach for a tripod whenever your shutter speed is slower than the inverse of your lens length (i.e., 1/30 sec for a 28 mm lens, 1/60 for a “normal” 50 to 55 mm lens, 1/250 for the long end of an ordinary zoom in the 210 to 270 mm range. With practice, photographers can often beat that rule by one stop, but with IS I have beaten the rule by 3 to 4 stops with tack-sharp results.The reason that Canon digitals attract a lot of gray-haired photographers with extensive 35-mm experience is because most of their cameras have easy access to shutter- and aperture-priority modes and a fully manual mode in addition to the several programmed modes on the dial. There are times when us old geezers look at a prospective shot, identify potential exposure problems, and solve them by selecting a specific shutter speed or aperture value, or sometimes both. Such settings remain easy to access and manipulate with the SX10, and the other specialized program sets are well-conceived, if rather standard, and equally easy to access with the control dial. The control dial also has a setting that can be customized to give quick control-dial access to a set of features and settings that the owner anticipates using frequently – thank you, Canon, for recognizing that your customers have minds of their own.Shutter lag and flash recycling are both reduced very substantially from the A-series cameras, due to a combination of more advanced processing by the Digic-4 chip and, in what I consider to be an upgrade, a capacity for four AA batteries rather than the two of the current line of A-series cameras. (Some earlier A-series used four AAs, and the flash cycled quicker than the current models.) The software has some pretty gee-whiz features. Face detection seems to work very well, and the camera can pick out all the faces in a frame and it allows you to select one to be highest priority in focus and exposure. Even more remarkable is a delayed exposure option that counts the faces in the frame when the shutter button is pressed, then recognizes when a new face (the photographer’s) shows up, and fires two seconds later. I am not sure how often it will be used, but the very capability is a remarkable bit of intelligence to be present in a camera. Focusing can be set to face-detection or a defined-zone system that starts with a central square and can be shifted by the photographer. Exposure options include evaluative, full-frame center-weighted, or spot metering, and the spot meter can be linked to the focus frame. The focus frame can be blown up either prior to shooting or in review to check focus. (I found this feature to be a bit distracting to composition, so I turned it off in the menus but I can imagine situations in which I might reactivate it.) Auto focus can be set to continuous or shutter-button activated; servo focus off or on. The flash is activated to raising or lower it; auto and forced flash is available; a red-eye lamp is pretty ineffective and can be turned off, as can the focus-assist beam; flash can be synced to first or second curtain. Stitch assist includes not only the usual left-to-right and right-to-left options, but also top-to-bottom, bottom-to-top, and a four-shot two-dimensional rectangle. I can go on about the settings, but the reader can access that information by reading the owner’s manual at the Canon website. The key point is versatility – you can set and override darn near everything on this camera.Picture quality is quite good. Ten megapixels is a lot to cram onto a small sensor, and some folks have reported some chromic aberration, or purple fringing. Chromic aberration is worst at sharp edges of high contrast. I have made deliberate attempts to produce chromic aberrations, and have been inconsistently successful, having produced the dreaded purple fringe only on some shots, and visible only after extensive enlargement. I have not yet had a picture that I thought was significantly affected by chromic aberration when viewed at a reasonable magnification.So is the SX10 a perfect camera? No, but it is awfully good; its capabilities rival the best 35 mm cameras in many ways, and its digital capabilities allow it to offer features impossible with 35 mm cameras, like stitch assist, creative color options, and contrast controls. I would love for it to have larger sensor, but we all know that the manufacturers are going to protect their D-SLR lines, and the technical aspects of designing lenses small enough for a compact camera that still serve larger sensors are said to be quite formidable. A wider range of aperture settings would be nice – I am sure that everyone would like a little more speed, and that would allow further narrowing of the depth of field for portraiture, but my appeal would be for another stop or two on the smaller side, so that the 28-mm setting can be used with knowledge of depth of field for foreground-to-infinity sharpness in landscape works. (Few people realize these days that Ansel Adams worked mostly with f-stops of 64!) But, all of you old 35 mm devotees out there please admit it – if you were ever crazy enough to dream of a 28-560 zoom with this good of an optical quality, you would have killed to own one, and you would have expected to mortgage your house to be able to afford it.So overall – extreme versatility in hardware and software, very good image quality, and a highly user-friendly design make the SX10 difficult to exceed in a single-lens camera. Multiple lenses and a larger D-SLR body add some image quality and perhaps some additional capabilities, but the additional abilities will be quite esoteric for most users, and the difference in image quality will seldom be justified by the expense and, more important on most days, the extra bulk and weight of a multi-lens system. The SX10 should receive serious consideration from anyone desiring a high quality digital camera but reluctant invest in a D-SLR system[...]

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Most Liked Negative Review

 

Missing Key Features in its class

In a past life I used to be a pro photographer. We're talking the era Nikon F1's and 100 lbs of lenses and pushing Tri-X to 1200 then over-developing the hell out of...Read complete review

In a past life I used to be a pro photographer. We're talking the era Nikon F1's and 100 lbs of lenses and pushing Tri-X to 1200 then over-developing the hell out of it with D76 until the grain looked like something from an Uncle Ben's rice commercial. Now I'm looking for a pair of good APS cameras I can use to photograph my High School kids during sports and recreational activities, lots of high quality (potentially salable) travel photos, and the occasional paid party gig.

It seems to me that camera manufacturers purposefully cripple their APS cameras to more protect lucrative DSLR models. The SX10 IS is a good example. Here's a great APS with an amazing lens that suffers from too small of an image sensor. This makes the camera just fall short of being able to produce satisfactory photos of indoor sports in High School gyms without flash.

Next, how does a company justify manufacturing a lens of this quality and not put threads on it so you can add a protective UV filter, a polarizer or ND filters? Would it cost an extra fifty cents for some filter threads? Sure, I can JAM a 52mm filter on if I had to, but what about long-term protection of the front lens element?

And why can't we have a control wheel at ready fingertip level, instead of having to adjust our grip on camera (and lose our composition) when we decide to change exposure? After all, this control ability is why we pay extra for APS cameras, right?

As for the lack of a leash for the lens cap, shame on Canon for not including what has become a de facto standard item.

You need to ultimately decide if these issues are important to you. If you predominantly use auto or program mode and seldom adjust exposures, than my comments regarding the controls will not apply to you. Likewise if you don't ever use filters or don't care about indoor, natural light capability.

Eliminate these complaints and the SX10 IS is a fantastic camera at a great price that only needs you to add a stick-on lens cap leash and a couple sets of high-capacity batteries to be on your way!

Reviewed by 175 customers

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(2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

 
5.0

Great camera!

By christi

from Lake Charles, LA

About Me Semi-pro Photographer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Comfortable Controls
  • Easy To Use
  • Great Picture Quality

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Family Photos
    • Fun
    • Travel

    Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

    The best feature about this camera is that no matter what mode your camera is in, it can go instantly to movie mode. There is one button on the back that you press to start and stop recording. None of the flipping the mode dial here and forgetting what mode you are in. It's instant and it's great!

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    4.0

    This is a awesome camera I love it!!!

    By Robbie

    from Minto, ND

    About Me Casual Photographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy To Use
    • Great Picture Quality

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos
      • Fun
      • Travel

      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

      Used it on my trip to San Francisco and Lake Tahoe pictures turned out great!!!

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      4.0

      powershot s10is

      By hodges

      from monticello ga

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Bright LCD
      • Comfortable Controls
      • Easy to Keep Clean
      • Easy To Use
      • Great Picture Quality

      Cons

      • Poor Operation in Low Light

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos
      • Fun
      • Travel

      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

      I use my camera for everything I love Taking pictuers and making memories. I love the zoom on this camera it is great. I have not found anything yet that I don;t like about the camera.

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      4.0

      Good all around point & shoot

      By Gospel Ken

      from Hendersonville NC

      About Me Photo Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Bright LCD
      • Comfortable Controls
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

      • Doesnt accept filters
      • Manual somewhat confusing

      Best Uses

      • good all around

      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

      Use for all around photography when I don't want to carry my DSLR and all it's necessary accessories.

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      4.0

      Great pictures in a bulky pack

      By Aric

      from Israel

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Comfortable Controls
      • Easy To Use
      • Great Picture Quality

      Cons

      • Bulky

      Best Uses

      • Family Photos

      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

      Main use for family photos, indoors & outdoor,
      The upside: Great picture quality, colors come out clearly , excellent battery life, menu use is pretty much strait forward and intuitive.
      The down side: the camera is a bit bulky, causes me to think twice before taking it with me whenever we go somewhere.

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Fantastic camera for the price

      By countrygirl

      from Evansville, IN

      About Me Casual Photographer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Comfortable Controls
      • Easy Setup
      • Easy to Keep Clean
      • Easy To Use
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Strong Construction

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Art
        • Fun
        • Travel

        Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

        I have taken fantastic pictures at concerts.
        The zoom enables you to get up close and personal with stars.

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        4.0

        Just what I was looking for!

        By Wayne

        from Upstate New York

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Comfortable Controls
        • Easy To Use
        • Great Picture Quality
        • Strong Construction

        Cons

        • Operating manual

        Best Uses

        • Family Photos
        • Travel
        • wildlife

        Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

        Great Auto pickup and shoot for my wife. X20 telephoto with manual control of shooting speed, aperture and focus for my needs. Viewfinder. Operating manual leaves something to be desired.

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        4.0

        a bit complicated for novice users

        By Great River Greening

        from St. Paul , MN

        About Me Photo Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Great Picture Quality

        Cons

        • Complicated for beginners

        Best Uses

          Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

          Purchased this for our non-profit organization to use at events. Personally, I love it - as do many others. But people who aren't very technically oriented or without much camera experience are overwhelmed with the buttons and dials.
          Hopefully they will be easy to train :-)

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          4.0

          Reasonable price for a great camera

          By Udi

          from Santa Barbara, CA

          About Me Casual Photographer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Bright LCD
          • Comfortable Controls
          • Easy Setup
          • Easy To Use
          • Great Picture Quality
          • Great zoom
          • Strong Construction

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Family Photos
            • Fun
            • Photojournalism
            • Travel

            Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

            I've just got the camera 3 weeks ago and can say that I'm very pleased with it. As soon as I got it, I went on a trip to Yosemite and was extremely happy with the results I got. I would say that its biggest advantage is the zoom. When you're out on a trip you never know what you're going to be photographing. With this camera you can shoot it all- wide angle shots of scenery and a zoom shot on a bird that just happened to fly by. Like other cameras of this series, it is easy to use and intuitive. However, I would still strongly recommend to read the manual in order to take full advantage of it.
            The only thing the bothers me a little is its relatively big size. I was fully aware of it when I got it and I don't mind it that much. It's just something you have to take into consideration.

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            5.0

            I would buy this camera again.

            By Ruthann

            from Canton, Michigan

            About Me Casual Photographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Bright LCD
            • Comfortable Controls
            • Easy Setup
            • Easy to Keep Clean
            • Easy To Use
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Strong Construction

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Fun

              Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

              I was looking for a camera that is easy to understand. I also was looking for certain features. I take lots of pictures and I wanted to be able to download them with ease as well. If something is too complicated then you are not going to use it. This camera has met all of my specifications. It is easy and it was affordable. I would recommend this camera to anyone. You do not need to be so advanced in picture taking to enjoy it.

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              4.0

              Very satisfied, closest to DSLR

              By Bun in the Oven

              from Peekskill, NY

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Bright LCD
              • Comfortable Controls
              • Easy Setup
              • Easy To Use
              • Great in low light
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Strong Construction

              Cons

              • Bulky
              • Short Battery Life

              Best Uses

              • Family Photos
              • Fun
              • Photojournalism
              • Travel

              Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

              Pregnant with first child and wanted a camera to capture all the upcoming moments.

              20x zoom is teriffic, I was able to get some great shots of nature and animals in motion as well as at sporting events.

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              (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Best camera I ever bought

              By Bump

              from Courtland, Al

              About Me Casual Photographer

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Bright LCD
              • Comfortable Controls
              • Easy Setup
              • Easy To Use
              • Great Picture Quality

              Cons

              • Short Battery Life

              Best Uses

                Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

                I purchased the SX10 IS just before going on vacation. I didn't have much time to learn all the features but found it very easy to use with professional results. One of my friends thought I should go into photography. I told them it wasn't me... it's the camera. Now they own one too.

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                5.0

                Nice camera!

                By felipe

                from New Brinswick - NJ

                About Me Casual Photographer

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Bright LCD
                • Comfortable Controls
                • Easy To Use
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Strong Construction

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Fun
                  • Travel

                  Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

                  I'm not a pro, but this camera take great pictures, at least for my needs!

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                  4.0

                  Pretty impressive megazoom

                  By bdb

                  from Seattle, WA

                  About Me Photo Enthusiast

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Great Picture Quality

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Travel

                    Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

                    The 20x optical zoom with image stabilization was a big step up for me compared to 4x with no stabilization since I like to take photos of mountains and wildlife. The 80x total zoom after combining with digital zoom was much better than I expected, at least in a bright outdoors setting. I've obtained some nice sharp pictures throughout the zoom range, even without a tripod for exposures as long as a second. Terrestrial scintillation often seems to be more limiting than the camera itself for use in the city.

                    I am overall very happy to own this camera, but there are some minor issues that may be important to some. Like others, the untethered lens cap makes me a bit nervous. For outdoor scenes, I often felt the auto settings were a bit overexposed, but luckily, I found the manual controls pretty easy. Manual focus seemed to change on me sometimes (for example, I'd focus to infinity to take a shot of the moon, but then I'd find it one step short of infinity with the moon out of focus). The grip with the right hand feels pretty secure, but sometimes I find myself accidentally hitting some buttons near the top of the back with my right thumb when reaching for the mode dial because of the layout. One of my bigger disappointments was with color accuracy having some nice purple flowers show up as blue. Personally, I find these issues acceptable given the overall image quality I can get and the lower price tag compared to DSLRs.

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                    5.0

                    Very versatile camera

                    By El Paisano

                    from All over Texas and Arkansas

                    About Me Casual Photographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Comfortable Controls
                    • Great Picture Quality

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Family Photos
                      • Investigations
                      • Travel

                      Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

                      I needed a camera that takes all kinds of pictures. I take wildlife photos, sunsets and sunrises, and general snapshot phtots for fun and family. I also use the camera in my work taking anything from wide angle photos of accident scenes to very close-up, detailed photos of fracture surfaces of very small parts. I have to travel so I don't need bulk and tons of space- consuming attachments.
                      I read all of the reviews and finally decided on the SX10IS. I took the time to read the manual and experiment with the camera. With some practice I found that I can take very sharp pictures in many different conditions. From super macro to 20X, from bright sunlight to almost complete darkness. I have been very impressed. I am not a camera snob. I am a camera user and this camera fills the bill for me.

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                      5.0

                      Love it!

                      By M

                      from Cherry Hill, NJ

                      About Me Casual Photographer

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy Setup
                      • Easy To Use
                      • Great Picture Quality

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Travel

                        Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

                        as easy to use as the smaller canon power shot models, but much more zoom power. also not that heavy.

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                        5.0

                        Canon SX 10

                        By WeRTHY

                        from Great Bend Ks

                        About Me Photo Enthusiast

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Bright LCD
                        • Comfortable Controls
                        • Easy Setup
                        • Easy To Use
                        • Great in low light
                        • Great Picture Quality
                        • Strong Construction

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Art
                          • Family Photos
                          • Fun
                          • Photojournalism
                          • Travel

                          Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

                          I am not a expert, thats why I bought this camera. It offers full manual controls to teach me about the use of the features before I spend alot on a SLR. Pictures in macro are fantastic as well as normal shooting. I have been using it for wildlife and am very immpressed compared to my old A410. The lense cap was bound to be lost so I attached a string to keep it in place, somthing Canon should just do themselves.

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                          5.0

                          I would buy this camera again and again

                          By toros abahuni

                          from istanbul

                          About Me Photo Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Bright LCD
                          • Comfortable Controls
                          • Easy Setup
                          • Great Picture Quality

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Art
                            • Travel

                            Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

                            has a very good lens ,
                            macro tele and wide angle offers a smart features

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                            5.0

                            This is One Incredible Camera!

                            By A 3-D KINDA GUY

                            from Seattle, WA

                            About Me Photo Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

                            The SX10 Is one truly amazing camera. The picture quality is outstanding and the video quality at the highest resolution is wonderful. The versatility of this camera blows my mind. I've been shooting photos for over forty years and feel quite confident with photographic terms like aperture, depth of field, white balance, etc. Nevertheless, many of the numerous features on this camera required playing around and studying the manual to fully understand their function and when best to use them.

                            When I first got the camera, I shot lots of photos on the auto setting, and am very impressed with the camera's built-in capability to capture a variety of subjects and scenes with well-exposed images. The camera's 10-megapixel resolution allows me to crop generously and still achieve very crisp 8 x 10 images. The 28 - 560 mm zoom is fast and quiet and the image stabilization works well for me even when the zoom is fully extended!

                            The camera feels solid and is well constructed, with easy access to all the control buttons. I have big hands and particularly like the grip on the right hand side, which makes the camera a pleasure to use and carry. The vari-angle LCD display, which allows formerly awkward photos to be taken comfortably, is my favorite aspect of this camera. And being able to turn the LCD display so that you can take quick self-portraits, or flip it completely around the other way so it is protected is fantastic.

                            Now that I understand the capabilities of my SX10, I am using the many features packed inside this small and incredibly versatile camera to create unique photos. I highly recommend this camera!!

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                            5.0

                            Excellent cameral for the money

                            By Charan

                            from CA

                            About Me Casual Photographer

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                            • Comfortable Controls
                            • Easy Setup
                            • Great Picture Quality

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Family Photos
                              • Travel

                              Comments about Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Digital Camera:

                              It is really a value for money. I am very happy with it. Very easy to use. Video mode switching is very easy. There are many features unexplored but like to tell you that what ever I have tried, it is simply amazing.

                              Only one suggestion on the improvement is that the LCD can be a bit bigger.

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