I have some mixed feelings about the Canon Powershot SX10 IS. On one hand, it was the first camera I seriously used. I used it in and out of university classes and learned the basics of photography on this camera. It’s not a bad camera. It produces okay images and is easy to use. One the other hand, it’s just plain boring. It’s uninspired. Why bother?

Starting out.

As I mentioned, this was effectively my first camera. Borrowed from my father in 2017 as he was using a Nikon D3300 at the time, I used the SX10 IS as my go-to camera, as all I had at the time was a smart phone.

For this usage, the SX10 did me quite well. I was able to experiment with the functions of the camera and learn the basics of taking pictures and operating a camera. And I really was none the wiser to the camera I was using. I used it in classes. I took it all over Iowa. I took it to Puerto Rico and the Rocky Mountains. And really, it’s done well for me. But despite my history and well-meaning thoughts toward the camera, I can’t recommend it for anyone.

A camera stuck in the middle.

Released in 2008, the SX10 IS is at an interesting point in its life cycle. It’s 10 megapixels are far below today’s standards, and the images it produces don’t quite hold up to the requirements of a professional digital camera today. However, it isn’t quite old enough to hold the quirkiness and charm on display with the early digital cameras of the nineties, like the FD Mavicas or the Game Boy Camera.

The camera still operates on four AA’s, and it’s design and user interface is clunky. The manual controls not being on the lens are extremely unintuitive by todays standards, and the video functions of the camera are next to useless. It films in 640×480 at its highest resolution.

Despite it’s shortcomings as a working camera in 2019, the SX10 IS still produces some very usable images. But the crux of the matter is that the camera is currently going for around $50 on eBay, and for a camera that is worse than your smartphone and holds no redeeming attributes, that is not worth it.

But of course, tastes change. I find charm in early digital cameras that to many, are no better than a paperweight. Super 8 came back. Polaroids came back. Perhaps, someday, mid-2000’s bridge cameras will have a desirable “look” to them. For this reason, I’ll probably hold on to my SX10 IS.

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