@dehat - I'd wager a bad unit... i had the exact opposite experience with this camera. Love mine, and have had a whole range of canons, from this small point and shoot, to larger superzooms, and finally slr's (i'll trade up, skipping a generation with each type.. so i went fromm an sx20 to an sx40, and i have this sx230, and will skip the 260, etc. My SLR is still an XTI, as i haven't found a compelling reason to upgrade, unless i'm stepping into one of the higher end slr's) This camera has the same CCD as the sx20 which was an excellent superzoom in it's day. Light sensitivity was great, and daylight pictures were amazing (however, i never use it in automatic mode - so i can't comment there.. i use "P" (program) and set up my own color profile with a little more red (it tends to capture colors a little cooler, stock) and boosting the saturation and contrast exactly one notch each gave me results i was very happy with. Even before i tweaked it, the shots were much better than what you experienced, and if you look at the canon boards - the sx230 did have a higher than average failure rate
But for what it's worth, i do enjoy mine, and reach for it the most often, as lugging my SLR gear isn't always an option.. and even the superzoom - too bulky depending on the activity. This? it's a pocketable digic4 canon that can reach out to almost 400mm with reasonable success (i say reasonable, because at the end of the day it IS a small camera, small lens, and tiny CCD sensor) - i wouldn't shoot weddings or other important events with this, but vacation shots? kids sports on the weekend? random "have a camera ready" stuff? absolutely.
**edit - i turn off the gps feature altogether.. but will still agree about battery life - it's especially taxing on this camera if you're changing your zoom a lot (a reasonable request for a camera, lol) and have continuous AF and IS enabled (autofocus, and image stabilization) - there are a lot of electronics packed into this little frame, and for reference, the same systems on the larger superzooms, with which this camera shares a lot - those cameras use a battery 4-6x the capacity.
dahat wrote:For the love of all that is holy... avoid this camera at all costs!
Last summer I bought one for an international trip and was horrified to see the quality of images it took.
I don't know if it is the sensor or the LCD... but without fail it was impossible to take a good picture. Indoor shots would come out looking grainy or blurry... while outdoor shots (regardless of amount of light) would look overexposed... and that despite what settings were used (auto or manual).
Twice my unit had to be sent in for work in less than a year... both times physical issues manifested... issues which they should have been able to predict before allowing people to buy this piece of crap.
What issue? The metal ring that hides the plastic lens covers (the things that retract when the lens shaft is extended) is very thin... so thin that even a small bit of pressure to it can cause it to bend in such a way that prevents the lens covers from fully opening or closing.
This separate from the fact that the visible 'black' plastic is just painted... under it is silver... and the visible 'silver' plastic is actually silver paint on black... in either case, a scratch or ding to any of the plastic reveals the opposite color... and in a rather unattractive way.
Twice this unit has had to be sent back... and the last time, it came back worse than how it went away... where the small tab which allows you to open the flash is no longer swipe-able with your fingernail.
Each time it went in, when feedback was requested I was very clear about my disgust with the quality of the camera and the service I received... and requested that someone contact me (as I also did when trying to what the delay was after sending in the camera for the first time and not hearing anything for a month)... in all three cases, my requests were either ignored... or never read.
I cannot say strongly enough how much I regret the purchase of this camera and hope that I can save even just one person from making the same mistake as I... even if they are able to do so for far less than I screwed up at (new last summer this camera cost ~$329.99).