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Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Digital Camera Review$349.99
Speed and Timing
The Canon SX230 HS features a Digic IV processor that allows it to shoot 3-megapixel still photos at up to 8 frames per second, full resolution shots at around 2.6fps, as well as high-speed video of up to 240fps (120fps at VGA resolution). The camera also includes the standard collection of self-timer options with custom settings programmable. The camera's not the fastest shot out of the blocks, but its shot-to-shot time does put it up among the better cameras in this category.
The camera doesn't provide any resolution-restricted burst settings, instead offering a standard continuous mode that varies in speed depending on what the camera has to do for processing images after capture. Burst modes is available in two flavors, with a dedicated reduced resolution scene mode shooting 3-megapixel frames at the faster 8fps rate (it really varies from between 6 and 12 fps in our testing). Users can also choose from single image capture, continuous capture, or continuous capture with autofocus in any of the other shooting modes by going into the function menu.
In the standard program automatic mode Canon claims the continuous shooting tops out at 3.2fps, while we found it to be a slightly more pedestrian 2.6 fps. Even then that's only in three shot bursts, as after three shots the speed drops to around one frame per second. The first two shots are quite fast (close to the 3.2fps number Canon quotes), but we never were able to get full resolution shots at faster than 2.6 in groups of three or more. The initial shots are fairly responsive, though there is still a slight delay between pressing the shutter button and image capture, similar to other point-and-shoots in this class.
The camera's self-timer options include the standard two- and ten-second delays, along with a custom self-timer mode. The custom mode lets you select the delay time (0-10 seconds or 15/20/30 second options available) along with the total number of shots (1-10 shots). The delay between each shot in the custom mode is approximately one second.