Canon’s feature-filled premium compacts have been very successful, and the PowerShot S110 was no exception. Though many users can misjudge the 10.1-megapixel S200 as the successor to the S110 with its higher price tag, it is in reality, a strippeddown version of the S110 with a couple of features left out. Here is our take on this small compact.
Design and Build Quality
The Canon S200 is built with a combination of metal and polycarbonate. The camera features a control ring around the lens housing. The built-in pop-up flash can be raised with the help of a switch on the left side panel. The camera has a fixed LCD screen with the control panel on its right. The control panel consists of five buttons, four-way controller, and the vertical command dial. The mode dial is on the top panel towards the right with the shutter release button-zoom lever unit close by. The S200 has a metal tripod receptacle.
The 10.1-megapixel Canon S200 uses a 1/1.7inch Type (7.60 x 5.70mm) sensor for imaging. This sensor is complemented by a DIGIC 5 image processing engine, believed to reduce processing time and noise at higher sensitivities. The camera sports a 24-120mm equivalent lens with Optical Image Stabilisation. The lens focusses from 3 to 50cm at the wide-angle end and 30 to 50cm at the telephoto end. Aperture ranges from f/1.8 to 8 at the wideangle end and from f/5.7 to 8 at the telephoto end. The camera features three focussing modes — Continuous AF, Servo AF, and Manual. AF frame options are Face AiAF, Tracking AF, Centre, and FlexiZone. The S200 features the usual three metering modes — Evaluative, Centre-weighted average, and Spot. Shutter speed ranges from 15 to 1/2000sec and sensitivity ranges from ISO 80 to 6400.
The S200 features several shooting modes such as Shooting M (Manual), Av (Aperture Priority), Tv (Shutter Priority), P (Program), Auto, Live View Control, SCN (Scene), and Creative Filters. Scene modes include Portrait, Smooth Skin, Smart Shutter, High-speed Burst, Snow, Fireworks, and Stitch Assist.
Creative Filters available are Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, Soft Focus, Monochrome, Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Colour Accent, and Colour Swap. Smart Shutter provides options of Smile, Wink Self-timer, and Face Self-timer. The built-in flash has a range of 50 cm to 7.0 m at the wide-angle end and 50 cm to 2.3 m at the telephoto end. Flash modes available are Auto, On, Slow Synchro, and Off.
The PowerShot S200 provides a continuous firing speed of up to 4.5 frames per second in Highspeed Burst mode. Still images are recorded in JPEG format with a maximum size of 3648 x 2736 pixels, while videos are recorded with the best quality of 1280 x 720 at 24 fps. The camera features built-in Wi-Fi. It is powered by a rechargeable Li-ion battery pack NB-6LH. The device weighs approximately 181g including battery and memory card and has dimensions of 99.8 x 59.0 x 26.3mm.
We received a glossy white unit of the S200, which has a slippery grip compared to the matte black S110 we reviewed last year, which offers a firm grip. Canon has provided a plastic thumb rest on the back panel, which provides some grip. The interface and menu are intuitive and so are the buttons. The control ring provides an easy way to change the parameter assigned to it. The LCD is fixed flat on the back panel, but the thumb rest and the protruding four-way control unit provides some protection to the screen. The display quality seemed quite ordinary.