The biggest distinction between the new Canon PowerShot SX230 HS and its SX210 predecessor is an on-board GPS tracker. Users now have the option to geo-tag pictures when they push the shutter. It's hard to miss where the GPS chip is located on the SX230 - it's labeled alongside the shutter, a bump that takes up quite a bit of real estate on the top of the camera. As this seems to be an attractive sort of feature that camera manufacturers are migrating toward these days, this is Canon's first camera with this built-in technology.
The SX230 also takes a step back in sensor resolution from 14.5 megapixels on the SX210 IS to 12.8-megapixels banded onto an "HS" High Sensitivity 1/2.3-inch CMOS chip. The CMOS sensor boasts lower power consumption than the SX210's CCD sensor as well as improved light-gathering capability. Less pixels on a chip that's the same size could potentially mean better image quality at higher ISOs via the HS system.
According to Canon, "The system delivers clear, blur-free shots with all the ambiance intact, and frees you from the sometimes unwanted effects of using the flash. Beautiful low light shots are possible at both low and high ISO speeds, and the dynamic range is expanded to retain maximum detail in highlight and shadow areas."
DCR reviewed the Canon SX210 IS last June, giving a tepid nod to its image quality and pointing out problems with noise past ISO 400. With the new HS System and a GPS chip employed, will the SX230 HS step up the plate? Keep reading to find out how it did.
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