Before purchasing the camera, I evaluated the other “super zoom” cameras. Thank goodness there are many online reviews written by thoughtful folks who have purchased these cameras as well as reviews written by professionals who really know what they are talking about. After looking at the Canon, Panasonic, Olympus, Fuji and Sony reviews, I decided the Canon was best for me. I’ve had many Canon digital cameras in the past, I like how they work and I know their operating system well.
In addition, after lecturing about cameras and photography on cruise ships for several years, I’ve had a chance to “play” with cameras from just about every major brand. To that end, I found I don’t like the color that is produced by most Fuji or Olympus cameras. I don’t like cameras that use proprietary memory cards, such as Olympus or Sony. (Recently Sony cameras accept both the proprietary memory stick and the more generic SD memory card.) While Panasonic makes a good camera, their super zoom was too bulky...I might have kept the Canon 60D.
The camera has a few other bells and whistles, but the one I like the best is a built-in GPS. The GPS function will tag pictures with a location...so the next time I’m in Slovenia or Bulgaria, it will show on a map the exact spot where the picture was taken -- it won’t give coordinates either, but the actual name of the location! That’s a nice little memory aid! The GPS works too. I took a few pictures around my home, and each one placed a slightly different tag on the map. GPS has a downside...if you are posting pictures on the web and you don’t want folks to know where they were taken, then make sure the GPS is turned off as the data is embedded in the photo. Because the camera has the GPS feature, it has one more opportunity to “eat" battery power--the reviews said that battery life was not as good as for non-GPS models. So far, I’ve found that the battery will last about 300 pictures. Not as good as the G11, which will go for 600+ pictures per battery charge. The trick is to have a spare battery!
With 12.1 megapixels, it has more than the G11 (at 10 mp). What I like about the camera so far is the ease of use, the super zoom, and size. I’m not completely convinced it will be as sturdy as the G11. I’m also not in love with the fact that it does not have an optical view finder. It does have a nice big screen on the back. I’ve not had the camera long enough to see how the screen works when there is a glare on it.
Watch this space...as I learn more about the pros and cons of the Canon SX230HS, I’ll let you know.