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Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Digital Camera Review$349.99
Lens & Sensor
The Canon SX230 HS benefits from a 14x optical zoom lens with a 35mm equivalent of 28-392mm (actual zoom range 5-70mm). The lens telescopes out from the body, though it does create a small protrusion from the body even while powered off. The lens has a maximum aperture range of f/3.1-5.9 with a minimum aperture of f/8.0 across the zoom range. The lens has optical image stabilization, as well, allowing for slightly sharper shots taken in low light conditions.
The Canon SX230 HS uses a standard 1/2.3-inch CMOS image sensor, with a gross megapixel count of 12.8. That is cropped down to an effective size of 12.1 megapixels in the final image, however, which puts the SX230 around the middle of the pack for its contemporary (2011) competition.
The Canon SX230 HS does not come with a viewfinder of any kind, instead relying on its rear 3-inch (diagonally measured) LCD, with a resolution of approximately 460k dots. As with some other newer Canon models, the LCD has an aspect ratio closer to 16:9 than the camera's native 4:3, resulting in black bars along the sides of your live view image by default. This keeps the various shooting setting readouts off the image, which helps in composing, but does end up with less screen real estate devoted to your image than with cameras that have a 4:3 3-inch LCD.
Canon puts both a standard USB/AV port and a mini-HDMI port on the SX230 HS, with the USB port having a small hump to accommodate Canon's AVC-DC400ST A/V cable. Standard mini-USB cables do work with the Canon SX230 HS, however, for transferring data to and from the camera. One hiccup we did have was in connecting the SX230 HS directly to a Macbook, the computer did not register the Canon's presence at all, so a card reader was necessary. On a Windows machine the camera worked flawlessly, though.