Canon PowerShot S45 Review

A high-resolution 1/1.8′′ 4-megapixel CCD and a small high-performance 3x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 35-105 mm in 35 mm format) distinguish the Canon PowerShot



A high-resolution 1/1.8′′ 4-megapixel CCD and a small high-performance 3x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 35-105 mm in 35 mm format) distinguish the Canon PowerShot S45, from its predecessor, the PowerShot S40, which was introduced in October 2001.

The PowerShot S45 contains new technologies that improve image quality, functionality, and operability, among other things. Included is an increase from 3-point to 9-point Autofocus Interval Autofocus (AiAF), which ensures precise autofocus performance with unfettered framing, regardless of the subject’s position inside the viewfinder.

Furthermore, when the camera is used in the vertical position, Canon’s SI (Super Intelligent) sensor automatically identifies the camera’s orientation, providing optimal Auto-Focus, Auto-Exposure, and Auto-White Balance performance. In addition, the SI sensor automatically aligns the picture for previewing as it is captured.

SEE: Best Memory Cards for Canon PowerShot S45

The PowerShot S45 has a stylish body designed for improved handling, portability, and ease of use. It also incorporates many of the high-end features of the PowerShot G3—including a plethora of manual settings—to meet the needs of even the most advanced users while maintaining its affordability.

Canon PowerShot S45 Design

The S30/S40 heralded a fresh approach to Canon’s design with its long, thin body and sliding lens cover. With the new S45, Canon has decided to stick with the S40’s body, lens, LCD, and control arrangement, suggesting that this design has proven popular. In addition, the camera’s front and top also have a “brushed metal” strip, while the remainder is made of metal (apart from the battery cover, buttons, etc.).

The sliding lens cover doubles as a power switch; completely open it to turn on the camera and extend the lens; fully close it to turn off the camera and retract the lens. Unfortunately, the lens cover cannot be closed since it can’t be moved past a particular position until the lens has retracted.

The single (integrated) battery, tiny flash chamber, and ultra-slim flash window are other distinguishing design elements. It’s important to note the shooting priority play switch on the camera’s rear. Flipping this switch to the right enters play mode, and half-pressing the shutter release constantly switches the camera back to shooting mode.

Canon PowerShot S45 ISO

Raising the sensor’s sensitivity on a digital camera allows for faster shutter speeds and better performance in low light.

This is accomplished with a digital camera by “raising the volume” on the signal amplifiers for the CCD. But nothing comes without a cost, and doing so can also increase noise and impact color saturation.

We use a GretagMacBeth ColorChecker color patch chart as the subject of our noise comparison test. We shoot it at all possible ISO sensitivity levels before evaluating the brightness and RGB noise at a “mid” grey patch.

The noise test we conducted previously only examined luminance noise; take note that this is a modification. The updated test now offers an individual RGB channel and luminance noise graphs for each selectable sensitivity.

Canon PowerShot S45 Image Size

The S45 offers three JPEG quality levels along with four image size options. Additionally, there is a RAW format (losslessly compressed), which includes the RAW data straight from the CCD sensor (unprocessed).

Typical Test Scene

The table below is a cross-reference of some of them to give an idea of what some of the combinations of image size and quality produce:

  • 2272 x 1704 RAW 2272 x 1704 Super-Fine
  • 2272 x 1704 Fine
  • 2272 x 1704 standard 1600 x 1200 Excellent 1024 x 768 640 x 480 Super-Fine Super-Fine

Canon PowerShot S45 Specifications

Body MaterialMetal
CCD effective pixels4.0 megapixels
CCD size1/1.8″ (0.556″)
CCD Colour Filter ArrayG – R – G – B
Max resolution2272 x 1704 (3.8 megapixels)
Lower resolutions• 1600 x 1200
• 1024 x 768
• 640 x 480
Image ratio w h4:3
Image formats• RAW
• JPEG (EXIF 2.2) *
* Any image shot as JPEG can be instead saved as RAW by pressing FUNC during the record review
Quality Levels• Super-Fine
• Fine
• Normal
Sensitivity equiv.• Auto
• ISO 50
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
(In reality, this range is closer to other manufacturers’ ISO 100 – 800)
Lens ThreadNone
Zoom wide (W)35 mm
Zoom Tele (T)105 mm (3 x)
Lens ApertureF2.8 – F4.9
Digital zoomYes, smooth up to 3.6x
Auto Focus• Auto Contrast detection AiAF (9 areas)
• FlexiZone AF/AE area selection (over 300 areas)
AF Illumination lampYes, visible light (white)
Manual Focus10 cm (Wide) / 30 cm (Tele) – Infinity
Normal focus range80 cm – Infinity
Macro focus range10 cm (Wide) / 30 cm (Tele) – 80 cm
Min shutterAuto: 1/8 sec
Program / Aperture Priority: 1 sec
Shutter Priority / Manual: 15 sec
Max shutter• Wide angle F2.8 – F3.5, Telephoto F4.9 – F6.3: 1/1000 sec
• Wide angle F4.0 – F8.0, Telephoto F7.1 – F8.0: 1/1500 sec
Noise reductionYes, for shutter speeds of 1.3 seconds or slower
Metering• Evaluative
• Center-Weighted Average
• Spot (can be tied to selected focus area)
Exposure adjustment-2EV to +2EV in 1/3EV steps
Auto bracketing• three images
• 0.3 – 2.0 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Focus bracketingYes, three positions
Aperture priority• Wide: F2.8, F3.2, F3.5, F4.0, F4.5, F5.0, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0
• Tele: F4.9, F5.6, F6.3, F7.1, F8.0
Shutter priority15, 13, 10, 8, 6, 5, 4, 3.2, 2.5, 2, 1.6, 1.3, 1, 0.8, 0.6, 0.5, 0.4, 0.3, 1/4, 1/5, 1/6, 1/8, 1/10, 1/13, 1/15, 1/20, 1/25, 1/30, 1/40, 1/50, 1/60, 1/80, 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400, 1/500, 1/640, 1/800, 1/1000, 1/1250*, 1/1500*
* Only Wide angle F4.0 – F8.0, Telephoto F7.1 – F8.0
Full manualYes
Exposure Modes• Auto
• Creative Zone:
  • Program AE, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, Manual, Custom
• Image Zone:
  • Portrait, Landscape, Night Scene, Fast shutter, Slow shutter, Stitch      Assist, Movie
White Balance• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent High
• Flash
• Custom preset 1
• Custom preset 2
Continuous• High speed: 2.5 fps, max 15 images
• Normal: 1.5 fps, max 14 images
(Large / Fine, LCD switched off)
Movie clip• 320 x 240, 15 fps, max 3 mins (including audio)
• 160 x 120, 15 fps, max 3 mins (including audio)
Photo Effects• Off
• Vivid
• Neutral
• Low Sharpening
• Sepia
• B&W
• Custom (Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation: all +/-1 level)
Built-in FlashYes, I fixed internal
Flash Range (Auto ISO)• W: 35 cm – 4.8 m (1.1 ft. – 15.7 ft.)
• T: 35 cm – 3 m (1.15 ft. – 9.8 ft.)
Flash Range (ISO 100)• W: 55 cm – 4 m (1.8 ft. – 13.1 ft.)
• T: 55 cm – 2.5 m (1.8 ft. – 8.2 ft.)
Flash modes• Auto
• Red-Eye Reduction Auto
• Red-Eye Reduction
• Flash On
• Flash Off
• Slow Sync flash
* All with either 1st or 2nd curtain sync
Flash compensation+/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps
Flash manual controlYes, Manual Exposure Mode, Aperture Priority, Shutter Priority
External flashNone
Tripod mountYes, metal, in line with the lens
Self-timerYes, two or 10-sec delay
Timelapse• 1 – 60 min interval
• 2 – 100 frames
Orientation sensorYes, it can be disabled. Images are tagged with orientation.
* Note: Works with ACDSEE 5.0 “auto” lossless rotation feature
Remote controlNone
Video outYes, selectable NTSC / PAL
Storage mediaCompact Flash Type I or Type II (Microdrive supported)
Storage included32 MB Compact Flash Type I card
ViewfinderOptical, no dioptre adjustment, 82% frame coverage
LCD1.8″ TFT, approx. 100% frame coverage
Playback zoomYes, 2x – 10x
Operating systemProprietary
ConnectivityUSB 1.1
Print Compliance• DPOF
• Canon Direct Print: Canon CP-10 / CP-100 / Bubble Jet printers
• ExifPrint
Remote CapturePC control via USB
BatteryYes, NB-2L, 7.4 V 570mAh Lithium-Ion rechargeable
Battery chargerYes, supplied charger
Weight (inc. battery)315 g (11.1 oz)
Dimensions (inc. grip)112 x 58 x 42 mm (4.4 x 2.3 x 1.7 in)


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