Canon PowerShot SX10 IS

Last updated (10 December’11):
– Review & Sample Photos @ ImagingResource

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS is an 10.0 megapixel ultrazoom camera features a 20x Optical Zoom (35mm film equivalent: 28-560mm) with Image Stabilization, DIGIC 4, Face Detection, MovieSnap mode lets you capture high-resolution still images while shooting a movie, i-Contrast, EX Speedlite flash compatible, ISO 80-1600, SD/SDHC supports, and a 2.5-inch Vari-angle LCD screen. The camera measures 4.88 x 3.48 x 3.42 in./124.0 x 88.3 x 86.9mm and weighs Approx. 19.8 oz./560g.

Overall Rating: ★★★★½ | Latest Price Info

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Reviews

ImagingResource reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“Though we’re a little disturbed by the luminance noise at ISO 80, it doesn’t show up in prints until about 13×19 inches, and then only if you look closely… if prints are your main unit of measure, you’ll find the Canon SX10 IS a superb image-maker. It’s an easy Dave’s Pick”
Rating: N/A

CNET reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“The bottom line: A nice evolution of the megazoom, the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS delivers some improvements over its predecessor and provides an attractive option for megazoom shooters.”
Rating: ★★★½☆

WDC reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“keen photographers will appreciate its creative options, fast performance and superior image quality, and its excellent video capabilities are also very useful. However the lack of Raw mode, less-than-brilliant EVF and hefty price tag will put some people off.”
Rating: ★★★★½

Steve’sDigicams reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“SX10 IS is a worthy competitor in the super-zoom/prosumer category, and is sure to please those who are in the market for an affordable alternative to a dSLR system.”
Rating: N/A

TrustedReviews reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“The PowerShot SX10 IS is an expensive and quite complex camera, and not really suited for the beginner, however in capable hands it is capable of producing excellent results, and has enough creative versatility to do so in a wide range of situations. Build quality, handling, performance and image quality are all up to Canon’s usual high standard. “
Rating: ★★★★☆ reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“Buy this camera if: You’re looking for a well-built, long-zoom digicam with good wide-angle coverage, plenty of user-adjustable controls and image stabilisation….”
Rating: ★★★★☆

LetsGoDigital reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“The camera does prove itself and delivers sharp pictures with natural colors, all of which with extensive users ease. The dynamic range is of an excellent level and delivers pictures that also show a lot of detail even in full contrast situations.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

ComputerActive reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“Low-light images up to ISO1600 were noise free, enough for us to wonder why Canon didn’t aim higher in terms of sensitivity… Ultimately the SX10’s a good value all-rounder for those who don’t feel they need a camera with interchangeable lenses.”
Rating: ★★★★★

DCRP reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“All things considered, the PowerShot SX10 is a very good super zoom camera, and a worthy successor to the PowerShot S5. Sure, it could do a few things better, but even so, the PowerShot SX10 is one of the best big zoom cameras you can find.”
Rating: N/A

InfoSync reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
Pros: Rugged construction, 20x optical zoom, DSLR-like handling and design. Great interface and manual controls. Cons: Limited dynamic range, leading to contrast issues. AA battery system with mediocre battery life. Bulky for beginners on the go. “
Rating: ★★★½☆

DCR reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“Pros: Good image and color quality, Good shutter and AF performance, Easy to use movie mode, Good build quality, Manual controls. Cons: Noise at ISO 400 and above can impact image quality on some enlarged shots, Telephoto end of lens is slower than competition, Auto WB can’t handle incandescent light.”
Rating: N/A

CameraLabs reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“Should you ultimately decide on the Canon SX10 IS though, you won’t be disappointed. It delivers a compelling array of features for the money and easily comes Highly Recommended. Just compare it closely against the FZ28 and have a good think about the SX1 IS.”

Rating: ★★★★½

PhotographyBlog reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“the SX10 IS opted for ISO 200 and delivered a sharp noise free image. Results continue commendably up to ISO 800, which is the first instance of noise visibly intruding, though not at ruinous levels.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

GoodGearGuide reviews the Canon SX10 IS and writes;
“Another impressive entry into the mega-zoom market, Canon’s PowerShot SX10 IS captures good if not incredible snaps and offers a huge wide-angle zoom lens along with manual features. It’s a compelling option for more experienced users.”
Rating: ★★★★☆

Preview video by Megawhat.TV;

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Samples

Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos @ Steve’sDigicams
Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos @ TrustedReviews
Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos @ LetsGoDigital
Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos @ DCRP
Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos @ InfoSync
Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos @ DCR
Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos @ CameraLabs
Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos @ PhotographyBlog
Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos @ Flickr
Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos @ ImagingResource
– Canon SX10 IS Sample Photos: 1,2,3 @ Canon

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS User Manual (PDF)

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– Download Canon SX10 IS User Manual (PDF – 6.71 MB)

Canon PowerShot SX10 IS Press Release

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., September 17, 2008 – Canon U.S.A., Inc., a leader in digital imaging, today introduced the expansion of the ever-popular ultra-zoom SX-Series, the PowerShot SX10 IS digital camera. The new digital camera features a wide-angle (28 mm – 560 mm) 20x optical zoom lens, an Optical Image Stabilizer (OIS), Canon’s new DIGIC 4 image processor and a smooth, curved grip that fits in the hand comfortably. This compact camera is capable of capturing long-range shots of soccer field action from the bleachers or sunsets from your hotel balcony easier. Photographers can now quickly zoom in close enough to capture facial expressions and details from far away.

In addition to its ultra-zoom capabilities and new DIGIC 4 image processor, the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS digital camera is loaded with a full range of performance and convenient features that camera enthusiasts have come to expect from Canon – 10.0 megapixel resolution, Genuine Canon Face Detection Technology, large 2.5-inch vari-angle LCD screen and MovieSnap mode for capturing high-resolution still images while shooting video.

“The PowerShot SX10 IS digital camera feature set has been enhanced to provide even greater zooming power and creative control, offering the photo enthusiast a compact camera at a price they will appreciate,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A. “With the ability to shoot in wide-angle, consumers no longer need to choose between getting their loved one or the background in the shot.”

For users whom movie capability is an important consideration, look no further. The Canon PowerShot SX10 IS digital camera offers consumers many creative possibilities, including the ability to shoot VGA movies. The PowerShot SX10 IS digital camera can capture individual movies up to one hour or 4GB per clip, all while utilizing the new Voice Coil Motor (VCM), which enables faster focusing speed while reducing focusing noise.

Additionally, the Canon PowerShot SX10 IS digital camera comes equipped with 24 shooting modes, ranging from fully automatic to manual, and is easily accessible through an SLR-style mode dial located on top of the camera. While in manual shooting mode, a variety of settings can be selected through the screen, including Program AE, Shutter-speed priority AE, Aperture priority AE, Manual exposure and Custom mode.

Canon DIGIC 4 Imaging Processor

The newly upgraded DIGIC 4 image processor, a proprietary technology, accounts for the camera’s higher performance levels, including significantly improved signal processing speed and higher image quality.

One of the most important new features made possible by the DIGIC 4 image processor is Servo AF, which is a form of continuous focus tracking for moving subjects. By pressing the shutter button half-way, the camera can track subject movement up to the instant of exposure, resulting in sharper photographs. Additionally, the processor’s high ISO speed noise reduction processing has improved substantially to enable consumers to shoot high-quality images, even in extremely dark situations without the use of a flash. The new Intelligent Contrast Correction function automatically improves image quality in high-contrast shooting situations.

The Genuine Canon Face Detection technology has evolved even further, thanks to DIGIC 4. Improved features include the ability to recognize human faces at most angles. Another innovation is the Face Detection Self-Timer, which automatically takes a photo two seconds after a new face enters the scene.

Availability and Pricing

The Canon Powershot SX10 is currently shipping. The “official” price is $399.99, though it’s currently selling for around $380. The kit contents include four AA Alkaline batteries, a USB interface cable, an AV cable, a neck strap, lens cap, lens hood, Canon’s software suite and a 1-year Canon U.S.A., Inc. limited warranty

50 Responses to “Canon PowerShot SX10 IS”

  1. HARISH says:

    Can anyone answer my query?
    In auto Mode Flash is not looking so effecive. photo is not coming so good as I expected. Even my old camera A540 pics were little better than this.

  2. Norm says:

    My newly purchased Canon Sx10-IS has developed the same battery problem as my S2-IS. I can take a few photos, and the “Change Batteries” notice comes on. This is without using flash, and even avoiding the LCD screen.
    Or, I can take a few photos, turn off the camera for a week, and when I try to use it, the same “Change the Batteries” sign appears in the blackened viewfinder.
    I had the S2-IS repaired (for $195) in Nov 08, and it is doing the same thing.
    Because of the ease in reaching Canon tech support, I have long been a Canon fan, but I am now having second thoughts.
    Any advice or similar problems ?

  3. Andrew says:

    Just bought the Canon Sx10-IS 2 weeks ago because of the “Change Batteries” problem with my S2-IS. Now the SX10 is doing the same thing!! AARGHH!

  4. Alice says:

    I have re-chargable batteries, they’re the key! If you charge them overnight they can last up to 3 days (in my experience) give them a go…

  5. Richard Chung says:

    I have the same problem! I’ve used brand new batteries and this problem still occurs.

    I have to send it in to Canon for repairs 🙁

  6. Angel says:

    I use the Ultimate Lithium Energizer batteries and they are awesome.. I take tons of pictures and the same 4 batteries have been there going on the fourth week now.

    They are kind of expensive, like 9 dollars for 4, but there is always a coupon in the Sunday paper to save a buck or two. And CVS has them on sale frequently…

    Good Luck

  7. Mara says:

    I join in having the same battery problem. However, I am trying to eliminate batteries and charger as cause of the problem. Once I do that I will have no choice but to send it to Canon. As for batteries I use brand new Duracell NiMh 2650 mAh and must say that I come across contradictory information about them, especially its later version (referred to as having a “golden (rather brown) top”). GP Rapid charger for NiMh batteries worked, so far, fine with other batteries. I also measured the current at it and it shows regular operation. My next step will be borrowing of NiMh rechargeable batteries, charging them with my charger and try it in SX 10 IS. Maybe not all NiMh can be rapidly charged ?
    I am just afraid that the problem we are facing is some electronic or software thing having its mysterious ways (i.e. I took 4 other batteries already into SX 10 IS and its 1st response was “low batteries”. When I switched it off and on there was no indication of “low batteries” and it continued to work properly).
    I am wondering did anyone, meanwhile, find out the solution to the problem that does not involve sending it to Canon ? If yes pls follow up my comment. Thank you all in advance.

  8. Rich says:

    I have the same problem with my A 620….about 3 years old.

    I like this small camera, but hate to spend the money to repair.

  9. Mara says:

    Forgot to add that when navigating through SX 10 IS menu – I did once “reset all” and after that it worked better in relation to batteries although I see no much sense in it. Well, after few days the same problem came back and persisted. Meanwhile I returned all Duracell 2650 mAh batteries. These days I am testing my friend’s batteries and so far it seems that it was actually up to the batteries but I am not 100 % sure…Camera is still in warranty but I would like to eliminate other potential malfunctioning factors…

  10. aisai says:

    my video is nice, my digic 4 new technology is good for canon camera

  11. Chris says:

    I have only had the Canon SX10 for 3 days & have taken 408 pictures on one lot of batteries that came in the box. My problem is I don’t know how to change to the different Modes in Scene. I fluked it once & am now stuck on Foliage!!!
    Can any one give me some much needed advise?

  12. Rich says:

    Read the instruction book…. it explains the operation in detail.

  13. Sarah says:

    have to wait till it adjusts….should see my pics of the moon..craters even! No tripod…manual focus takes a few secs I find to kick in.

  14. Sarah says:

    stop leaving your camera on if your not using it…

  15. Chris says:

    I must have forgot to say I can’t read!! I have worked out what I was doing wrong, pressing the wheel not spinning it. I can see this camera is going to occupy me for some time to come.

  16. Karri says:

    Does anyone know how to change the ISO speed in Colour Accent mode,in SCN.

  17. Lalit Talwar says:

    I want to buy Canon SX10 IS camera.
    Can I attached a Circular Polorizing filter if so what size.

  18. Rich Barger says:

    The Canon SX10is will accpet 58mm filters…. after you purchase a filter adapter from:

    Works great….just remember to be gentle installing & removing filters on this plastic lens….. which was not designed to accept filters.

    I’ve used my filter adapter for two months with no problems.


  19. Mara says:

    Just to finish my story – at the end the camera was sent back to Canon (warranty valid) and came back working properly. However I had a lot of troubles to find out what was actually wrong – namely as I was told it was not Canon’s policy to inform the customers about what was wrong if the failure took place during warranty time…”DC connection” has been replaced…strange policy I must add…but the most important is that the camera works fine.

  20. Frank Layton III says:

    What settings are needed to stop the wings of a humming bird?
    I have the Short Course in SX10iS Photography book, by Dennis Curtin, but it seems to be a book on general photography, and not about how to take specific shots.
    Is there a website of just SX10iS photos, with the settings used to take the shot? When I purchased a Minolta A1, many years ago, we had access to a repository of just A1 photos.

    One more: Has anyone upgraded the CHDK firmware with a MAC? Will that upgrade ever be available on an SD card? The procedure I read to upgrade was complicated, and above my level of expertise.

    I love this camera, and will soon get the 430ex flash. I would like to find a more in-depth instruction guide/course specific to the SX10iS, and also a forum for just this camera.

    Many thanks

  21. Norm says:

    When my S2-IS started draining batteries whether it was turned on or off, I sent it to Canon for repairs (about $200). 4 months later, the same thing, “Change the batteries”. Of course, the repairs were out of warranty. When I twice asked for the reason for the failure, Canon did not reply. It is definitely a camera problem (also in the SX10-IS), because it doesn’t matter whether one uses alkaline or rechargeable batteries. When I sent in my SX10-IS for the same type of repair, I specifically asked for an explanation. I never got a reply.
    It seems that Canon’s once-vaunted customer service has evaporated. Canon has still not answered my inquiries.

  22. Rich Barger says:

    Regarding Norm’s problem…. My A620 had the identical problem ….. the batteries were grounded out when the display button was depressed which generated the “Change Batteries” error msg.

    After Canon Irvine failed to repair my camera after two attempts & a $ 79.00 repair charge, I elevated this to Canon customer service in Virginia who promptly notified the manager of the repair dept. in Irvine, CA.

    After 2 or 3 direct conversations with this manager, they finally repaired the camera & admitted that the issue was not a battery problem, but a direct short when the display button was depressed…. The repair required 30 days total. (Welcome to customer service in America !)

  23. Fabio says:

    Canon help-desk sayd me taking about 60 photos with Duracell 2650 mAh batteries is normal!
    How is it possible?

  24. HArsha says:

    hey this is the same with me….
    i too started thinking second thoughts reg canon…

    i bought several canons till now
    nd two such models had the same prob

    after around 5 shots… i get the same message…

    its worst…

  25. Laura E says:

    My SX10 that is only 4 months old now has the same “Change Battery” problem EVEN when I install new batteries. Sounds to me like Canon is making less than subpar items if they have this happen to other customers and makes no changes in the way they are creating their product, seems to me that they are just taking our money and not giving us the best value.

  26. Laura E says:

    I am having the same issue with my 4 month old camera, the “change battery” display is constant even with brand new batteries.

  27. PP says:

    Hello everybody,

    My Canon Sx10 is is a yr old and I am still learning a lot about what this camera can do. I want to take picture with bokeh effect (with blurred back ground). Can any body tell me whether it is possible to take such pictures with this camera and if possible, then what are the settings i need to use. Can i use any extra lens with this camera to get this effect.

    Please respond..

  28. Uri says:

    Hey PP.. Look it up on wikipedia.. F-number. “Depth of field increases with f-number, as illustrated in the photos below. This means that photos taken with a low f-number will tend to have one subject in focus, with the rest of the image out of focus. This is frequently useful for nature photography, portraiture, and certain special effects.” Am I right?

  29. Norm says:

    Canon has Still not replied to my question about why my S2IS is still showing “Change Batteries” after spending $180 for repairs.
    Do your friends a favor and warn them about Canon’s battery problem, and lack of support.
    If such manufacturing problems were to occur in a car, there would be a government mandated recall.
    Canon does not acknowledge the problem, and is unlikely to recall or offer free repairs.

  30. Gerald Germain says:

    I just purchased a Canon SX10 camera and have taken some video. When I transfer the images from my camera onto my computer – the videos when they are played back have no sound. The videos have sound when played back on the camera. Do you know why this is and how do I get sound on my videos that are downloaded onto my computer? Thanks.

  31. amber says:

    I don’t have the battery problem. I use duracell rechageales. I can take around 200 pictures before I get the “change battery” sign. I use the camera almost everyday.

  32. The problem with “Change batteries” is that you need to use very good re-chargeable batteries.

    Don’t be cheap here. Go for the best in the market, let them recharge as long as it takes (let the indicator work) and then you can shoot lots and lots of good pictures. I have already taken more than 10 days without recharging again.


  33. Rene Mateo says:

    try to download/use the VLC player it has a snapshot features also.

  34. Norm says:

    I used Duracell rechargeables in my SX10 and my older S2-IS, and both cameras suffered the “Change Battery Syndrome”. Our local camera shop calls it “common”. The worst part about it is that Canon, in spite of hundreds of complaints, does nothing to repair the probable design fault unless you pay to have it done time after time. I had to send the S10 in when it was under warranty; it worked for 2 months and then the “Change battery” started all over again. I had to send the S2 in after warranty in Nov, 2008. They charged me $195. It worked for 3 months and the same problem erupted again. I asked, in writing , for an explanation and never got a response.

  35. melanie says:

    I have the battery problem all the time. even when i dont use it. i can put in new batteries, not use it and leave it for two days and it will be empty!
    i use duracell 2700 mah rechargeable batteries.

    any suggestions as to what i could do to fix it?

  36. Sheila says:

    I am unable to download movies to my computer. What am i doing wrong? Help please. They play back perfectly on tha camera and i have lost instruction guide.

  37. Mara says:

    You can find instruction manual on the Canon site – under the respective item / camera model – manual is about 16.5 MB

  38. JB says:

    Canon SX10is
    whenever I turn on my camera I have to set the time and date. Every time i turn the camera on. I have changed the memory battery numerous times.
    After camera has been turned off for a few minutes the same thing happens. The camera was sent out for repair 2 times. Still doing same thing! any Ideas

  39. Taz says:


    Please help me understand how to adjust DOF in SX10 is.
    I have been cracking my brains with this but with no results.
    Keeping Aperture value at highest (F/2.8) its not giving any results.
    Would appreciate if someone can explain in step by step procedure.

  40. Taz says:


    Can anyone help me understand how to sdjust DOF with Cannon SX10is.
    Have been cracking my brains but could get the right result.
    Even using the highest aperture value (f/2.8)has not been able to give any results.
    would appreciate if someone can explain in step by step process

  41. Norm says:

    Our camera club includes many members with Canona; Sx21i, SX10is, and even an SX20is. ALL of them have experienced an electronic problem with batteries. Even with new batteries, a message appears on the screen, “change the batteries” after only a few shots, or even when the cameras have not been used. Members have sent cameras in to be repaired while in warranty only to have the same problem after warranty expiration, and then Canon wants over $100 to repair it. When checked, the batteries are still “good”. This is obviously a Canon design problem that they refuse to acknowledge. If these cameras were cars, they would be recalled.
    It is a pity, because the cameras are otherwise great.

  42. cris says:

    I have had my sx10is for about 2 years now and it just started having the change battery issue. This is so horrible to be out camping and buy new batteries just to have them take one picture and then fail. The strange thing is that while I can’t take a picture without it going black on me, I can review pictures in the viewfinder till the cows come home on the same “bad batteries” that won’t let me take a single picture!

  43. Richard Broadbelt says:

    I found your review to be direct and to the point as far as it went. I would like to add as a working pro 25+ years some of its best features were over looked. 1st Lens quality; I did a pano from a bridge entering Reading PA. We have a land mark Pagoda atop a Mt easily 2 miles away. on a 11×17 print you can count its windows, WOW! At weddings I use flash 100% the S10 not only controls its own flash it also could bounce an external flash off a 10ft cieling and render faces at the far side of the hall approx 50ft within correctable range of Photo Shop. Now that’s quality. Also it has a built in focus assist lamp.Focus is spot on!

  44. Mark says:

    Here is a question. Looking at the photos of the camera, I cannot tell for sure if it has a traditional camera viewfinder. As someone who spent 15 years with a 35-mm film camera before going digital,I cannot imaging trying to take photos looking at an LCD screen. Does it have a regular “visual” viewfinder to see through?

  45. patricia basson says:

    Why do I get a fishbowl effect on my photos,espesially on straight lines?

  46. Rich Barger says:

    Some curved lines at wide angle are normal….try shooting with camera exactly level to minimize this.

    My Canon 5D with “L” series lenses will do the same thing when not level.

    The SX10IS is a amazing camera…. I own (2)

    Check out my Flickr site…. about 1/3 of all these photos were shot hand-held with the SX10:

    I’ve hand-held this camera at 1/13 second, 560mm with excellent sharpness…incredible…

  47. Richard Chung says:

    I’m having problems with the video that I am shooting… Every 15 seconds or so, it will fade out of focus and then back to focus all by itself… Anyone else seen this problem? Thanks!

  48. Behrang says:

    Maybe you should change the Data battery, you can find how at page 265 of the manual

  49. J. Atkinson says:

    My Canon SX10 was instantly displaying a message to “replace the batteries” the first time I tried to take a picture, even after replacing the AA’s with new and verified strong AAs. I was almost ready to give up when I read somewhere (sorry can’t find that link now) that it might have to do with the coin back-up battery and not because of the AA’s.

    I replaced with new CR1220 back-up battery and now my camera works fine, and I no longer get the notification to change the batteries which is great because I was ready to throw it away even though I loved the camera.

    Hope that helps.

  50. Vibha Bhagwat says:

    I used the SX10 without fault for 2 solid years. My father has been using a Canon A540 for years & keeps getting that message, but his camera keeps working nevertheless. Mine wouldn’t even turn on except briefly. The first time it ever gave the “change batteries” message was I was traveling in India, & purchased batteries made with a ridge at the bottom instead of a flat base. The contact was not being made completely. So we changed the batteries to Sony which have a flat base. In the US, I used the Kirkland brand, & they had worked fine.

    After visiting several websites posting similar problems, it did seem like it was the batteries, nay the way the battery compartment lid fits on.

    For the A540, someone suggested that the points be slightly raised (the clips get pressed down & PUSHED while the lid is closed). One little adjustment of raising the contact clips located on the lid made the message disappear.

    In mine (SX10) the battery compartment lid has to be pressed down & SLID forward, causing misalignment with the points. I have tried lifting the points, but am afraid of snapping them. I will try what one of the “CANON EXPERTS” answered on, to raise the contacts on the floor of the compartment.

    Good luck to all, and while I LOVE my camera, have already missed a couple of concerts because its battery contacts are becoming unreliable with even brand new batteries. 🙁

    Please try the simple measure of cleaning the contacts & slightly raising them with a sharp knife point, & let us know.

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