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Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

12.1-megapixel digital camera with 14X optical zoom (Black)

23 Reviews

Item # 280SX230K

This item is no longer available.

Shop all High-zoom Cameras


Our take on the Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

Take along a helpful traveling companion
You need a camera that can go everywhere, get you past barriers to capture stunning close-ups of every monument you visit, and tags your photos to help you keep track of where you took all your shots. Then, with their special map software, you can display your pictures on a map or recreate your journey with your photographs. The Canon SX230 has 14X zoom, GPS, a big 3" LCD screen, and it's small and light enough to take along on all your adventures.


Take along a helpful traveling companion
You need a camera that can go everywhere, get you past barriers to capture stunning close-ups of every monument you visit, and tags your photos to help you keep track of where you took all your shots. Then, with their special map software, you can display your pictures on a map or recreate your journey with your photographs. The Canon SX230 has 14X zoom, GPS, a big 3" LCD screen, and it's small and light enough to take along on all your adventures.

Smart Auto mode analyzes your scene and automatically adjusts the camera's settings for perfectly exposed photos. Face detection lets you take true-to-life portraits of your favorite people. The camera focuses on the people in your frame and brings out realistic skin tones, compensating for background colors that might otherwise create a "washed-out" effect. And the advanced self-timer lets you enter the picture at your own pace — the camera snaps a photo two seconds after the photographer's face has entered the frame.

Stunning photos — plus HD video
Optical image stabilization will help keep all your shots rock-steady, and the wide-angle lens will help you get expansive landscapes. The advanced CMOS sensor takes sharp, detailed photos even when the lights are low. And if you want to capture someone on the move, you can switch over to stunning full resolution HD video. Connect an HDMI cable, and you can watch your videos easily on your HDTV when you come home from your trip.


  • 12.1-megapixel effective recording
  • 3" LCD screen
  • 14X optical zoom (4X digital zoom)
  • records photos and video onto optional SD, SDHC, and SDXC memory cards
  • 35mm equivalent lens focal length: 28-392mm
Special Features:
  • GPS tracker records where and when you took your photos
  • optical image stabilization
  • advanced CMOS sensor for sharp photos even in low-light
  • DIGIC 4 image processor for advanced face detection, red-eye correction, and better contrast in your photos
  • face detection automatically sets focus, exposure, flash, and white balance for better portraits
  • high-speed burst mode (up to 8.1 frames/second)
  • high-definition movie mode (up to 1080p resolution)
  • pop-up flash
  • macro focus for subjects as close as 2 inches
Connections and Dimensions:

Easy to use camera but I was used to a few other buttons on my lastcanon.

Cindy, Yardley pa

What's in the Box:

  • Digital camera (black)
  • Wrist strap
  • NB-5L Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery (3.7 Volts/1120 mAh) with plastic terminal cover
  • CB-2LX Battery charger (4.2V/0.7A)
  • 51" IFC-400PCU USB cable with in-line noise filter (USB type-A connector on one end and mini-USB Version 2.0 connector on the other)
  • 51" AVC-DC400ST A/V cable (Mini-USB Version 2.0 connector on one end and mono audio RCA and composite video plugs on the other)
  • Canon Digital Camera Solution Disk Ver.88.0 JE CD-ROM software
  • Getting Started booklet (Eng)
  • Canon Customer Support / Online registration sheet
  • Warranty card
  • Note on installing driver software (included with USB cable)
  • Precautions When Using the GPS Function

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Reviews

Average Customer Review(s):

(23 Reviews)

Nice camera

Cindy from Yardley pa on 8/12/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to use camera but I was used to a few other buttons on my lastcanon.

Pros: Price is right. Good functionality



DARREL from MESA AZ on 7/28/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

The camera works like a charm great zoom great low light pictures. It has everything you would need in a camera very thin feels very durable metal casing the zoom is great.

Pros: I have taken quality pictures with this camera the features that are built into it and the size are amazing it really fits into your pocket. The build quality is fantastic I don't think you could damage this unless you blew it up. All Pro review nothing found i do not like about the camera.

Cons: NONE.

Great features and photos

MH from Boston, MA on 5/28/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Got this for a two week trip to the UK. Didn't have a lot of time to learn all the features, but found it really easy to use in auto mode. Got great photos of landscapes from a distance - using the powerful zoom. Also got great close-ups of flowers and animals. Easy to carry. Perfect choice for me.

Pros: Easy to use. Powerful zoom in a small camera. Beautiful photos. Fun to have a colorful camera (I chose blue).

Cons: A little heavier and larger than some small cameras - but worth it for the zoom

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS

Anonymous from Rochester, Ny on 5/24/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great pocket-sized camera. 14x zoom, sharp images, HD quality video. The colors come thru true-to-life, low-light photos are clear and sharp, even without a flash. Recommend having a spare battery, as it needs recharging often. If you are looking for a small camera with a higher zoom, this is it!

Pros: Small enough to fit in your pocket, takes great low-light photos, HD quality video, true to life colors


Great camera

Anonymous from Rochester, Mi. on 5/24/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great camera, still getting used to it. It takes wonderful pictures. Very strong zoom and clear images. Crutchfield was easy to deal with and the delivery was very fast. I would definitely order from them again.



Canon sx230

chans from Vancouver, BC on 5/11/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Very good video and picture quality. Ideal if video can be paused instead of ended to switch scenes, keeping in mind that I do not know of any point & shoot camera that can do that.

Pros: Compact size for the video & picture quality & zoom.

Cons: minor issue: a bit slippery in the hands.

It's a Canon

PeterB from Huffman, TX on 5/10/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've only used the camera a couple of times, but I am very impressed. This is why I only buy Canon point and shoots now. It's a point and shoot camera that is very capable. It's not a digital SLR, so I'm not going to discuss manual settings and such. I bought this camera specifically for it's low light capablity, zoom, picture quality and movie filming. I was not disappointed. This camera has a fantastic zoom and my indoor pictures that so many other cameras would make grainy are clear and crisp. Many people complain about the location of the flash. While I will agree that it's in a poor location, it took me and my wife about 30 seconds to adapt our grip. I would not let this minor issue effect your decision to buy this camera. Why did I give it 4 stars and not 5? Well, the camera's response time when clicking on the button to snap a shot can be slow in certain situations. Additionally, while in the green "auto" mode, it's more like portrait mode for other cameras. So in indoor, but not terribly bad light situations, you get too much blur from movement, IMHO.But to be fair, the majority of indoor photos don't have much fast movment, so it usually won't be a factor. I was extremely impressed with the movie mode in low light. Wow, it blew me away. No camera of this size and price is going to be perfect; therefore, even with some minor issues, this camera if fantastic. I'm thrilled with it.

Pros: Low light, zoom, movie mode

Cons: Flash location, no traditional eyepiece, auto mode a little too much like portrait mode

Great buy!

Emily from Rochester, NY on 4/30/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great camera, easy to use, lots of settings, vivid colors, clear images

Pros: love the zoom, pop up flash, back screen, image quality

Cons: none yet!

Best camera EVER!!

Amy R from TX on 4/27/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I read all the reviews on this camera before purchasing and held my breath when ur came. I can't tell you how many times I have been burned on camera purchases. Let me tell ya....not this time!! The zoom on this little camera is amazing!! I love that it comes with a battery and battery charger!! And just likes its review says you can also take action pictures! I have a quick toddler and athletic sons, so this is an amazing feature!! It came with its own case too! Talk about perfect!! I have nothing negative to say about this camera!! I LOVE IT!!!!



Fine for what it is

EdRL from Eastern Mass. on 3/27/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

We got this camera as part of an upgrade plan. We had a 5 year old "superzoom bridge" model (Canon S5is) whose image quality had became dated, but had been good enough to wet our taste for better. However, simply moving to a DSLR would leave us without an easily-carried, non-intrusive camera for impulse photography. The SX230is works quite well for such purposes; carried in a pocket, a bag, or a car, but not too lowball a device. Unexpectedly, we found that the image quality is actually superior to the older, fancier camera. Still a bit complicated for the technology-averse, however; even after years of ownership, we still find Canon's controls overwhelming. For example, when shooting in Auto mode, the focus defaults to its aggravating "Tracking" mode, where it latches on to something in its view, and tries to follow it as you move the camera around for a better framing; you have to figure out which control will turn that moving focal point back to one fixed in the middle. That said, this camera is particularly good at sharp, well-balanced close-up shots, while doing fairly well with scenery shots. We don't do action shots, so cannot speak to that.

Pros: Portable, good image quality, flexible feature set

Cons: Confusing controls and menus, heavy for its size

Canon SX0230HS

David from Phoenix, AZ on 2/10/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've only had this camera for a couple of weeks and it's great! I read many reviews and considered many other cameras. I took a chance and (so far) I'm not at all disappointed! Crutchfields price was the best, and the Canon clarity, ease of use, and versatility all bring me exactly what I was looking for! In my opinion, it's a five out of five!

Pros: Price, features, quality

Cons: Why did I wait so long?

Nice travel zoom camera

pcake from Los Angeles, CA on 2/10/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I've always liked Canon, and while I had no use for a camera with GPS, the SX230 had a lot of features I did want for a carry-around camera. I like the long zoom, it has full PASM, and some of the modes (particularly the hand held night mode) seemed like they'd come in handy. It's easy to adjust things like ISO and exposure compensation, but for those who want something nice and simple, there are 2 auto modes. The flash opens anytime the camera is turned on, but if you don't want to deal with it, just hold your thumb over it so it can't open. BTW, macro model works well, and is easy to get to. Ah, and the most important thing - pic quality. In well to moderately lit conditions, picture quality is good, pretty clean and colors are good, and the same can be said of the videos. In low light expect some noise, but that's true of most point and shoots. This camera does as well or better than other cameras of a similar size and type, focuses pretty fast, and mostly locks focus even in fairly low light. Overall this camera gets the job done, and the price is reasonable considering its features. It's comfortably compact (but not too small) body and long zoom, not to mention the manual modes for those of us who like them, make this a versatile point and shoot if you need a camera to always have nearby.

Pros: Versatile zoom length for this size of camera Full manual, program, aperture and shutter priority modes Easy to adjust ISO, exposure compensation Good macro mode that's also easy to get to Focus is pretty fast, and fairly fast even in lower light Good auto for auto shooters Handheld night shot mode helps get pics in low light Photo and video quality good in well lit conditions

Cons: Auto white balance makes pics yellow in some lighting Cannot adjust white balance in some modes Noisy low light pics

Camera Review

Cheryl D from Ware Neck, VA on 2/8/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

This is a great little camera with lots of options. I like the way the descriptions of menu items appears on the screen as you click on them. The photos are very good, and the camera is easy enough to use. I am accustomed to a larger camera and have some difficulty making sure to not drop this camera. Also, the pop up flash is located right under my index finger when I hold the camera, so it often can not pop up when I turn the camera on. I then have to open it manually.



Very Nice Camera-Easy to use- great zoom-

JonnyAudio73 from Jamestown,ND on 2/4/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Nice size, easy to bring along. Great Pictures Easy to navigate the camera menu controls. Battery lasts a long time too. Great little camera.

Pros: Picture quality, price, zoom is very good for the camera size.

Cons: None

Canon Powershot SX230HS

Edward L. from South Bend, IN on 2/1/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Easy to use, very powerful zoom, small and easy to handle. Love this camera. AND very well priced.

Pros: Same as my review, easy to use, very powerful zoom and easy to handle.

Cons: None so far

canon 230

wayne from jacksonville fla on 1/31/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

works as advertised nice color many settings

Pros: small auto manual


Canon PowerShot SX230 HS Camera

JohnM from Hazelwood MO on 1/30/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Great camera. It has a very large screen for viewing. Many indoor pictures can be taken without a flash. Pictures are very sharp and clear. I has a built in 14X optical zoom with image stabilizer. If you look at a preview on the screen and rotate the camera the image rotates to keep the image upright. It also has a great price for a pocket camera with all these features.

Pros: All those listed above

Cons: No eyepiece viewer to look through in bright light conditions.

Canon PowerShot SX230 HS (Black) 12.1 Megapixel

Timothy MF from Shelton, WA on 1/27/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I'm no expert, but I've been extremely pleased with the performance of the camera thusfar. I really haven't had a chance to explore all of it's capabilities, but I've been extremely impressed with it's ease of use and quality of pictures.

Pros: I like everything about the camera.

Cons: Have found no cons yet.

A waste of time & money

Brendan from Redmond, WA on 1/18/2012

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

Not being a photo buff, I have (not unreasonably) come to expect that a point and shoot camera will take much of the need to think about which settings will be required to turn out an ok or even good photo... this camera fails to deliver. I purchased this camera late in the summer (at the full price) prior to an international trip and used it extensively... only I discovered quickly that without fail outdoor photos would come out very washed out (regardless of amount of light), while indoor shots would, without fail come our blurry & grainy. After later developing a physical fault, the unit was sent in for service and was clear as to the image quality issues as well. and after a rather poor experience with their 'service' department the physical fault was fixed, however the poor image quality issues remained. You'd think having a nifty, not cheap camera with a name like Canon would compel one to use it often... let's just say over the months I have come to trust my cell phone and its simple 5 MP camera as being able to do a better job of capturing accurate colors than my SX230 HS is... as unlike with my camera, my phone photos do not come out washed out when taken outdoors.

Pros: A nice zoom

Cons: Build quality, image quality, customer/tech support.

excellent quality

Vinnie from NY on 7/27/2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

excellent camera. great zoom and images, good size. flash pops up upon start up. wish it had easy manual flash fire. overall very pleased. highly recommend



A WOW Camera

Frannylady from Boynton Beach on 7/13/2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

A great camera. Superior stills. Great video. A small camera that can go in your pocketbook with a huge zoom. Very light. Amazing for the size that it is. Rated the best in its field and it sure is. If you want a compact, point and shoot with a good wide angle and a large zoom Canon makes the best. The stills and the video you just cannot miss with this camera.



First time user

Jamie from Rochester NY on 6/13/2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

I bought this for my wife and she found it to be very easy to operate. The battery seems to last a long time. I bought the extended warrenty and hope to never use it.



Good compact camera

MichaelM from Burnsville, MN on 5/12/2011

Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)

A very good choice for a compact digital camera. Takes good pictures, no problems with overbright flash. Lots of manual options, if you're into that. Terrific zoom lens. Good HD movies, no zoom motor noise, no problems focusing. Recommended.




Hands-on research

Features and Specs

LCD Screen Size 3"
Adjustable-angle LCD No
Wi-Fi No
Touchscreen No
Waterproof No
GPS-enabled Yes
Lens 35mm Equivalent 28-392mm
Optical Zoom 14x
Digital Zoom 4x
Filter Diameter N/A
Manual Focusing Yes
Manual Exposure Yes
Built-in Flash Yes
HDMI Output Mini
Internal Memory None
Memory Media SD/SDHC/SDXC
Sensor Size 1/2.3" CMOS
Megapixels 12.1
Image Stabilization Optical
Highest Resolution 4000 x 3000
4K Video No
Video Resolution 1920 x 1080, 1280 x 720
Width (inches) 4-3/16
Height (inches) 2-1/2
Depth (inches) 1-5/16
Weight With Battery (ounces) 7.87
Parts Warranty 1 Year
Labor Warranty 1 Year

Product Research

Recording Features
Playback, Editing and Print Functions
Battery Information
Inputs and Outputs Notes
Supplied Software

Recording Features

LCD Monitor: The Canon PowerShot SX230 HS has a 3" TFT PureColor LCD monitor featuring approximately 461,000 dots with approximately 100% picture coverage. The LCD display's brightness can be manually adjusted. The LCD display also features an Night Display feature that when shooting in dark conditions, the camera automatically brightens the LCD monitor to suit the brightness of the subject, making it easier to frame the subject.

Image Sensor: For optimal image quality, the camera uses a 1/2.3" CMOS image sensor with approximately 12.8-million total pixels and 12.1-million effective pixels giving your shots added depth and detail.

DIGIC 4 Image Processor: The PowerShot SX230 HS features the DIGIC 4 Image Processor. The DIGIC 4 chip has evolved Face Detection Technology that tracks the faces of moving subjects, and keeps every face in every photo looking its very best.

Face Detection Technology: The DIGIC 4 chip's Face Detection Technology finds and tracks the faces of moving subjects until you're ready to shoot, then delivers perfect focus. In addition, exposure, flash, and white balance are compensated, so that faces exhibit natural skin tones and backgrounds are properly exposed.

Face Self-Timer: The Face Self-Timer automatically detects an increase in the number of faces, and makes the appropriate adjustments. When the Face Self-Timer is set, the camera waits for the photographer's face to get on-camera before it takes the shot.

Optics: The camera features a 14x optical zoom lens and a 56x total zoom when coupled with the 4x digital zoom. You can select from the following digital zoom settings:

  • Standard: enables shooting at zoom factors of up to 56x with digital and optical zooms combined at a focal length of up to 1568mm (35mm equivalent)
  • Off: enables shooting without digital zoom with a focal length of 28mm to 392mm
  • Digital Teleconverter: The focal length of the lens can be increased by an equivalent of 1.5x or 2.0x, enabling faster shutter speed and less chance of camera shake
    • 1.5x: digital zoom is fixed at the select zoom factor of 1.5x for a focal length of 42mm to 588mm.
    • 2.0x: digital zoom is fixed at the select zoom factor of 2.0x for a focal length of 56mm to 784mm.

Note: The digital zoom cannot be used together with the digital teleconverter.

Image Stabilization: The Image Stabilization function allows you to minimize the camera shake effect (blurred images) when you shoot distant subjects that have been magnified or when you shoot in dark conditions without a flash. The digital camera offers the following Image Stabilization settings:

  • Continuous: You can check the effect of the IS mode on image blur on the camera's LCD monitor since the IS mode runs continually. This makes it easier to compose images and focus on subjects. When shooting movies, the camera also reduces strong camera shake, for example, when walking (Dynamic Mode).
  • Shoot Only: IS mode is only activated when the shutter button is pressed, so subjects will be captured with reduced blur even if their movements on the LCD monitor are not smooth.
  • Panning: This option only stabilizes the effect of up and down camera motions on the image. This option is recommended for shooting objects moving horizontally.

Recording Media: The camera records still images or movies with stereo audio on SD Memory Cards (2 GB and less), SDHC Memory Cards (2 GB to 32 GB), SDXC Memory Cards (32 GB and up), MultiMediaCards, MMCplus Cards, HC MMCplus Cards, and Eye-Fi cards. No memory card is included with the camera.

File Formats: Still images are recorded in JPEG, and the movies are recorded in MOV format (Image data: H.264, Audio data: Linear PCM (stereo)).

Still Image Resolution/Compression: You can choose from four still image sizes (Large, Medium 1, Medium 2, and Small) in each of four aspect ratios (4:3, 3:2, 16:9, or 1:1). For each image size, you can set the compression to Fine or Normal. The image resolution for each size is as follows:

  4:3 3:2 16:9 1:1
Large 4000 x 3000 4000 x 2664 4000 x 2248 2992 x 2992
Medium 1 2816 x 2112 2816 x 1880 2816 x 1584 2112 x 2112
Medium 2 1600 x 1200 1600 x 1064 1920 x 1080 1200 x 1200
Small 640 x 480 620 x 424 640 x 360 480 x 480

Memory Card Capacity: The estimated number of 4:3 still images that can be recorded on memory cards is as follows:

Still Image
Resolution and Aspect Ratio
Compression Memory Card Size
4 GB 16 GB
Large (12M)
4000 x 3000
Fine 1231 5042
Normal 2514 10295
Medium 1 (6M)
2816 x 2112
Fine 2320 9503
Normal 4641 19007
Medium 2 (2M)
1600 x 1200
Fine 6352 26010
Normal 12069 49420
Small (0.3M)
640 x 480
Fine 20116 82367
Normal 30174 123550

Movies: High definition widescreen movies can be shot at 1920 x 1080 pixels with a frame rate of 24 frames per second or at 1280 x 720 at 30 fps. Standard definition movies can be shot at 640 x 480 or 320 x 240 with a frame rate of 30 frames per second. HD movie clip length is approximately 29 minutes and 59 seconds or 4 GB. Standard movie clip lengths are 1 hour maximum, or you can record up to the capacity of the inserted memory card. SD Speed Class 6 memory cards or higher are recommended for recording movies. The estimated length of movies that can be recorded on memory cards is as follows:

Image Quality/Size Memory Card Capacity
4 GB 16 GB
1920 x 1080 @ 24 fps 14 min 34 sec 59 min 40 sec
1280 x 720 @ 30 fps 20 min 43 sec 1 hr 24 min 54 sec
640 x 480 @ 30 fps 43 min 43 sec 2 hrs 59 min 3 sec
320 x 240 @ 30 fps 1 hr 58 min 19 sec 8 hrs 4 min 30 sec

Non-standard Movie Modes: In addition to the standard movie modes above, you can shoot in the following non-standard modes:

  • iFrame: iFrame movies can be played on and edited with Macintosh computers. iFrame movies are fixed at 1280 x 720, and you can store approximately 13 minutes 35 seconds of iFrame video on a 4 GB memory card or 55 minutes 38 seconds on a 16 GB card.
  • Super Slow Motion: Super Slow Motion movies are recorded at a very high frame rate that play back in super slow motion. The maximum clip length is 30 seconds. Movies shot at 240 fps play back for 4 minutes, while movies shot at 120 fps play back for 2 minutes.
  • Miniature Effect: You can shoot movies that look like moving miniature models. The miniature effect is created by blurring the upper and lower portions of the scene, and recording at a slow frame rate (6, 3, or 1.5 fps). When played back at 30 fps, the subjects in the movies move very quickly. There is no audio recorded in this mode.

Continuous Shooting Mode: You can use the continuous shooting mode to shoot successive frames while the shutter button is fully pressed. There are three modes:

  • Continuous (approx. 3.2 images per second): For continuous shooting, the focus and exposure are locked when the shutter button is pressed halfway.
  • Continuous Shooting AF (0.8 images/sec): The camera shoots continuously and focuses. The AF frame is fixed to "Center".
  • Continuous Shooting LV (1 image/sec): The camera shoots continuously with the focus fixed to the position set in manual focus.

High Speed Burst: You can shoot continuously at a maximum speed of approximately 8.1 images per second in the High-speed Burst mode. Image size is fixed at 1984 x 1488. Each set of continuous images will become a single group, and the first image in the group is displayed.

Stitch Assist: Large images or panoramic views can be split into several shots that can later be merged together using the included PhotoStitch software. Up to 26 shots can be stitched together on a computer.

AutoFocus Frame Modes: The camera utilizes TTL (through-the-lens) automatic focusing with three focusing methods:

  • Face Detect: The camera automatically detects the position of a face and uses the data to set the focus, exposure (evaluative metering only) and white balance (auto). When the camera is pointed at subjects, a white frame appears on the face the camera judges to be the main subject, and up to 2 gray frames will appear on other faces. When the shutter button is pressed halfway, up to 9 green frames will appear on faces on which the camera focuses.
  • Center: The camera fixes the AF frame at the center; this is recommended when the target subject is at the center of the composition.
  • Tracking AF: You can choose the subject you want to focus on and shoot. The camera will continue to track the subject as it moves around the frame.

AF-Point Zoom: You can magnify the AF frame and check the focus. In Face Detect mode, the face selected as the main subject will appear magnified in the monitor. In Center mode, the contents of the center AF frame will appear magnified.

Note: The display will not appear magnified when using the Digital Zoom, Digital Tele-converter, Servo AF, or when the camera is connected to a TV.

Auto Focus Lock: If it becomes difficult to focus on the subject due to low contrast to the surroundings, close up and far away subjects in the same shot, or quickly moving subjects, you can choose to lock the focus or auto focus on an object at a similar distance, then shoot the picture after recomposing the shot.

Focusing Range: The camera features the following focus ranges:

  • Normal: 2.0" to infinity (W), 3.3' to infinity (T)
  • Macro: 2.0" to 1.6' (wide)

Smart Shutter: The Smart Shutter mode lets you shoot images without pressing the shutter:

  • Smile: The camera will shoot when it detects a smile, even without pressing the shutter button.
  • Wink Self-Timer: The camera will shoot approximately two seconds after it detects a wink.
  • Face Self-Timer: This mode allows the photographer to enter the photo, and the camera will take the shot approximately two seconds after it detects the new face in the photo.

Shooting Modes: The Canon LCD digital camera features the following shooting modes:

  • Program AE: The camera selects the aperture and shutter speed settings according to surroundings and conditions.
  • Aperture Value: You can set the aperture value at which you want to shoot and the camera will set the appropriate shutter speed for the aperture value you set.
  • Time Value (Shutter Priority): You can set the shutter speed at which you want to shoot and the camera will set the appropriate aperture value for the shutter speed you set.
  • Manual: You can manually set both the aperture value and shutter speed. Shutter speeds from 15 seconds to 1/3200 and aperture values between f/3.1 and f/8.0 are available.
  • Auto: The camera determines the subject and shooting conditions and selects the best settings for the scene.
  • Easy: Operational instructions are displayed on the screen, and the camera is set so that only the buttons, the zoom lever, and the movie button are functional.
  • Portrait: blurs the background and makes the subject stand out
  • Landscape: for shooting majestic landscapes
  • Kids & Pets: lets you capture subjects that move quickly without missing photo opportunities
  • Movie Digest: You can make a short movie of a day just by taking still pictures. Each time you take a picture, the scene just before taking your shot will be recorded as a 2-4 second movie. All the movies that day will be saved as a single file.
  • Special Scene Modes:
    • Handheld Night Scene: You can take shots of city night scenes by combining several continuous shots to reduce camera shake and noise. (Tripod recommended)   
    • Low Light: Depending on the scene, the ISO speed will be set higher and the shutter speed faster so you can shoot in dark places with reduced camera shake and subject blur.
    • Beach: shoots without making subjects appear dark near water or sand where reflected sunlight is strong
    • Underwater: for taking underwater scenery and aquatic life with natural colors when used with the optional WP-DC42 waterproof case.
    • Foliage: shoots trees and leaves in vivid colors
    • Snow: shoots without a blue tinge and without making subjects appear dark against a bright white background
    • Fireworks: captures fireworks in the sky sharply and at optimal exposure
  • Movies: You can shoot movies in 16:9 or 4:3 aspect ratios
  • Creative Filters:  You can add various effects to images when shooting, such as Super Vivid, Poster Effect, Fish-eye Effect, Miniature Effect, Toy Camera Effect, and Monochrome.

Metering Modes: You can select from the following metering modes:

  • Evaluative Light Metering: used for standard conditions. The area within the frame is divided into several zones and light is measured based on subject position, brightness, direct light and backlighting.
  • Center-Weighted Averaging: averages the exposure from the entire image, but places more weight on the subject at the center
  • Spot: meters the area within the spot AE point at the center of the LCD monitor

Exposure Compensation: If you are shooting against a bright background or strong backlight, you may need to correct the exposure so that the subject doesn't come out too dark. You can set the adjustments from -2 to +2 in 1/3-step increments.

i-Contrast: When i-Contrast is set to "Auto", the camera can automatically detect and compensate for faces and subjects that appear dark in certain shooting conditions.

AE Lock: You can set the exposure and focus separately. This is effective when the contrast is too strong between the subject and background, or when a subject is backlit.

White Balance: You can choose from the following white balance settings:

  • Auto: the camera sets the white balance automatically according to shooting conditions
  • Daylight: for recording outdoors on a bright day
  • Cloudy: for recording under overcast, shady or twilight skies
  • Tungsten: for recording under tungsten and bulb-type 3-wavelength fluorescent lighting
  • Fluorescent: for recording under warm-white, cool-white or warm-white (3-wavelength) fluorescent lighting
  • Fluorescent H: for recording under daylight fluorescent, or daylight fluorescent-type (3-wavelength) fluorescent lighting
  • Underwater: sets the optimum white balance and tones down blues for taking pictures with natural colors underwater
  • Manual: allows you to manually set the white balance and store the settings

Flash Modes: The PowerShot SX230 HS has a built-in flash that pops up when the camera is powered on, and retracts when powered off. You can select Auto (flash fires in low light), Manual (flash always fires), or Off (flash doesn't fire). The built-in flash has a range of 2.5' to 11.5' in Wide Angle and 3.3' to 6.6' in Telephoto. In the menu, you can add the following flash functions when the flash is set to On or Auto:

  • Red-Eye Reduction: When activated, the red-eye reduction lamp fires when the flash is used in dark areas. This reduces the light reflecting back from the eyes, making them appear red.
  • Slow-Synchro: The flash timing is adjusted to slow shutter speeds. This reduces the chance that only the background will appear dark when a person is photographed against a twilight background or night scene, or when an interior shot is taken.
  • Flash Exposure Compensation: As with Exposure Compensation, you can adjust the exposure +/- 2 stops in 1/3-stop increments when using the flash.
  • Safety Flash Exposure: The camera automatically changes the shutter speed or aperture value when the flash fires to avoid overexposing and blowing out the highlights of the scene.
  • Flash Output Level: There are three levels of flash output: minimum, medium, maximum. This can be used when you manually set the aperture value or shutter speed (Time Value).

ISO Speed: The ISO speed can be set to 100, 200, 400, 800, 1600, 3200, or Auto to reduce the effects of camera shake or avoid blurry subjects or to turn the flash off when shooting in a dark area.

My Colors: You can choose the look and feel of the photos you take by using My Colors to add the following effects to the image you are currently recording or have already recorded:

  • Vivid: emphasizes the contrast and color saturation to record in bold colors
  • Neutral: tones down the contrast and color saturation to record neutral hues
  • Sepia: records images in sepia tones
  • B/W: records images in black and white
  • Positive Film: produces intense natural appearing colors like those obtained with positive film
  • Lighter Skin Tone: makes skin tones lighter
  • Darker Skin Tone: makes skin tones darker
  • Vivid Blue: emphasizes blue tints--makes the sky, ocean, and other blue subjects more vivid
  • Vivid Green: emphasizes green tints--makes mountains, foliage and other green subjects more vivid
  • Vivid Red: emphasizes red tints--makes red subjects more vivid
  • Custom Color: lets you adjust the contrast, sharpness, or saturation settings or the color balance between red, green, blue, and skin tones
  • My Colors Off: records with no effect

GPS Information Display: The SX 230 HS is equipped with a GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver to receive and record location information (Latitude, Longitude, and Elevation) in still images and movies. The GPS can also be used to automatically update the camera's clock.

Grid Lines: The camera can display gridlines, dividing the monitor into 9 areas, allowing you to check the subject's horizontal and vertical alignment.

Histogram Display: The Histogram is a graph that allows you to check the brightness of the image. The greater the bias toward the left in the graph, the darker the image. The greater the bias toward the right, the brighter the image.

Self-Timer: The self-timer starts when the shutter button is pressed. The delay time can be set to 10 seconds, 2 seconds, or Custom Timer. The Custom Timer allows you to choose the timer delay setting: 1-10, 15, 20, or 30 seconds for up to 10 shots.

Playback, Editing and Print Functions

Auto Rotate Function: The PowerShot SX230 HS Auto Rotate function uses an orientation sensor to detect whether your images were shot horizontally or vertically. During playback, the camera automatically rotates the image to the correct viewing orientation in the display. Auto Rotate can be turned on or off in the menu.

Filtered Playback: When there are many images on the memory card, you can filter and display them by a specified condition. You can also delete or protect all images at once in the filtered condition. You can select images tagged as favorites, images shot on a specified date, within a specified category, or by file type (still or movie).

Slide Show: Images stored on a memory card can automatically be displayed one-by-one using the Slide Show function. Each image displays for approximately 3 seconds. You can choose between three transition effects or without transition.

Index Display: This feature allows you to view multiple images at once on the LCD monitor so that you can search for an image quickly. As you press the zoom lever toward the left (zoom out), the number of images shown on the screen increases. You can view 6, 12, 48, or 130. Movies cannot be played in the index playback mode.

Image Magnification: When viewing a still picture in Single Image Replay mode, you can magnify the image up to 10x. You can also pan around the zoomed image to view a particular portion of the picture.

Rotating Images: You can rotate an image by 90° clockwise or counterclockwise in the LCD monitor.

Focus Check Display: Focus Check display allows you to check the focus of image taken and allows you to easily check facial expressions and whether a subject's eyes are closed. This feature can be set to allow you to check the focus of an image taken right after shooting the subject.

Red-Eye Correction: You can correct red eyes in already recorded images. However, red eyes may not be automatically detected in some images such as faces near the screen edge, faces that appear extremely small, larger dark or bright in relation to the overall image and faces turned to the side or at a diagonal and faces with a portion hidden which prevents the Red-Eye Correction from working.

Trimming: You can trim (crop) a portion of a recorded image and save it as a new image file.

Resizing Images: You can save images a lower recording pixel than the original image. You can change high resolution images to 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480 or 320 x 240.

Protecting Images: The protect feature allows you to protect important images from accidental erasure. You can protect images by the image itself, by a specific date, a category or folder, or select All Images.

PictBridge/Direct Print: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge-compatible printer of any brand, or a Canon printer that supports the Direct Print function. You can also connect the camera directly to certain Canon Bubble Jet printers. In this way, you can make prints directly from the camera without having to hook it up to a computer.

Exif Print (Exif 2.3): The Canon PowerShot SX230 HS conforms to "Exif Print", a worldwide standard. Vital camera settings (such as: exposure mode, white balance, exposure time) and scene data are recorded to the image file when it is captured. Printers compatible with "Exif Print" are able to use this information to produce high quality photographs, exactly the way they were intended at the time of capture. This intelligent communication process also allows the printer to correct for poor lighting or mistakes, resulting in photos that can be even better than the originals.

DPOF Print Settings: On your Memory card, you can select which image or images you want to print and how many copies you want. This is convenient for printing images all at once on optional photo printers or at participating photo labs.

DPOF Transfer Order: You can use the camera to specify settings for images that you wish to download to a computer. The settings used on the camera comply with the Digital Print Order Format (DPOF) standards. A maximum of 998 images can be selected per memory card, and are transferred in order from oldest to newest by shooting date.

Battery Information

Power Requirements: The Canon PowerShot SX230 HS powered by the NB-5L Lithium-Ion rechargeable battery. The camera includes the CB-2LX battery charger. For long periods of continuous use, or when connected to a computer, it is recommended that the camera be connected to the optional ACK-DC30 AC adapter kit. The typical performance of the battery is as follows:

Battery Approximate Number of Recorded Images Approximate
Playback Time
210 images 4 hours

Power Saving Functions: The camera is equipped with the following power saving functions:

  • Auto Power Down for Shooting Mode: Camera powers down after 2 or more minutes after the last control is accessed on the camera. The LCD monitor automatically turns off 1 minute after the last control is accessed even in Auto Power Down is set to off.
  • Auto Power Down for Playback Mode and Connection to a Printer: The camera power down approximately 5 minutes after the last control is accessed on the camera.

Note: The Power Saving Function will not activate during a slideshow or while the camera is connected to a computer.

Inputs and Outputs Notes

A/V Output/Digital Terminal: The PowerShot SX230 HS has a Mini-B Version 2.0 USB terminal to allow you to connect the camera to a compatible computer or compatible Canon printer via the supplied USB cable. This USB 2.0 Hi-Speed-compatible terminal allows you to rapidly download images to your computer or printer. Through the same USB jack, you can connect the camera to a TV or video monitor with stereo RCA audio and composite video input jacks using the supplied audio/video cable. You can set the video output to NTSC or PAL.

HDMI: The camera has a mini-HDMI (Type C) output. If you wish to view your photos or movies on a High Definition TV (HDTV), you can connect the camera to the TV using the supplied HTC-100 HDMI cable.

Supplied Software

Included Software: The PowerShot SX230 HS comes supplied with the Canon Digital Camera Solution Disk Ver. 88.0 JE CD-ROM. It contains the following programs:

  • Canon Utilities:
    • ZoomBrowser EX 6.7.1 (Windows) / ImageBrowser 6.7.1 (Macintosh): manages images transferred to the computer; use for viewing, editing, and printing
    • CameraWindow DC 8.5: transfer images to and from the camera, organize images on the camera, upload movies on the camera to web services
    • Map Utility 1.0: uses the GPS information from images shot on the camera to view the shooting location on a map, or the route travelled while carrying the camera.
    • PhotoStitch 3.1: use to merge still images to make panoramas
  • User Guides: Software Starter Guide, Personal Printing Guide

Minimum System Requirements:

  Windows Macintosh
Operating System
  • Windows 7
  • Windows Vista (SP1/SP2)
  • Windows XP (SP3)
  • Mac OS X (v10.5-v10.6)
Computer Model

OS should be pre-installed on computers with built-in USB ports

OS should be pre-installed on computers with built-in USB ports

  • Pentium 1.3 GHz or higher (still images)
  • Core2 Duo 2.6 GHz or higher (movies)
  • Intel Processor (still images)
  • Core 2 Duo 2.6 GHz or higher (movies)
  • Windows 7 (64-bit): 2 GB or more
  • Windows 7 (32-bit), Windows Vista (64-bit, 32-bit): 1 GB or more (still images); 2 GB or more (movies)
  • Windows XP: 512 MB or more (still images); 2 GB or more (movies)
  • Mac OS X v10.6: 1 GB or more (still images); 2 GB or more (movies)
  • Mac OS X 10.5: 512 MB or more (still images); 2 GB or more (movies)
Free Hard Disk Space
  • ZoomBrowser EX: 200 MB or more
  • CameraWindow: 150 MB or more
  • Map Utility: 50 MB or more
  • Movie Uploader for YouTube: 30 MB or more
  • PhotoStitch: 40 MB or more
  • ImageBrowser: 250 MB or more
  • CameraWindow: 150 MB or more
  • Map Utility: 50 MB or more
  • Movie Uploader for YouTube: 30 MB or more
  • PhotoStitch: 50 MB or more

1,024 x 768 pixels or higher

1,024 x 768 pixels or higher

Our Product Research Team

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Staff Reviews

Product reviews from the Crutchfield Labs

On-the-go shooting for both beginner and advanced photographers

Written by Ralph Graves, Staff Writer - Creative, on 1/6/2012 11:19:00 AM

The SX230 HS has a nice feel to it. The lens gives it a bit of weight, and the body is solidly built -- this is a camera made for on-the-go shooting. And the settings let everyone from the beginner to the pro get the best pictures they can with this camera.

It has a number of shooting modes that allow the amateur photographer (or proud parent/grandparent) to get great photos under almost any condition. I especially liked the "Kids and Pets" mode, which compensates for jittery subjects that just won't hold still. It has an entry-level setting that turns all control over to the camera for point-and-shoot novices, as well as a manual mode for more experienced photographers to tweak the settings as they choose.

But the best feature for me was the intuitive and clearly labeled navigation menu. I literally pulled the camera out of the box, popped in the battery, and started setting up shots. Right away I was doing what I wanted to -- taking pictures -- and not poring over some instruction sheet.

What are the Labs?