Canon PowerShot SX100 IS Review

The Canon PowerShot SX100 IS the first model in Canon’s new SX series of cheap superzoom compact cameras. It places itself in the PowerShot lineup



The Canon PowerShot SX100 IS the first model in Canon’s new SX series of cheap superzoom compact cameras. It places itself in the PowerShot lineup halfway between the tried and trusted A-Series and the more upscale S5 IS.

To create an entirely new camera that is competitive with Panasonic’s successful TZ series, the engineers at Canon blended the materials and built the quality of the former with the long lens, some features, and the design of the latter. This resulted in the camera’s merged design (and the new Sony H3). The tiny silver or black plastic chassis of the Canon SX100 IS conceals a sensor with 8.0 megapixels, a 10x optical zoom, optical image stabilization, and a broad range of manual photography settings. All of these features come neatly packaged in the camera.

Canon claims that the SX sedan delivers outstanding performance, whether operated by a family member family. Since this claim is backed up by evidence, let’s check out how the SX series fared when used by our skilled hands.

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When designing their first affordable superzoom compact camera, Canon took more of a “form follows function” approach. If the Canon SX100 IS were competing in a beauty pageant, it is doubtful it would make it into the top 12 finalists. Build quality and materials have been adopted from Canon’s popular A series, which has established itself as a reliable, user-friendly range of cameras. This is not necessarily negative; build quality and materials have been adopted from Canon’s popular A series.

On the outside of the Canon SX100 IS, curves predominate as the dominating form, and the body contains no harsh edges in any location. Because of its size and weight, it is a camera that would be better off being carried around in a backpack than tucked away in a shirt pocket. It is surprisingly portable for having a 10x zoom.

The control arrangement is typically very constant over Canon’s product line, and the designers haven’t made any significant changes to their methods for this model. This is not a negative aspect, as the interface that Canon utilizes is one of the most user-friendly that we have experienced; however, in this particular model, the number of controls that are found on the camera’s exterior is surprisingly limited when compared to the camera’s extensive feature set.

The fantastic FUNC menu provides access to all of the typical shooting features. Canon has even incorporated a button devoted to adjusting the ISO (something still missing from the A-series cameras). In addition, you cachangeadjust the purpose of the print button, which is fortunate because it was previously quite useless. The choices available for customization include White Balance, Digital Zoom, and a few more.

The rotating controller and jog dial combo seen on the G9 has been passed down to the SX100 IS in a scaled-down version. Once you become accustomed to its function, you will discover that convenient for viewing menus and photos; it speeds up the process. Even though it has a great deal more plastic than the more premium Powershots, the Canon SX100 IS has the impression of being solidly crafted and sturdy.

Canon PowerShot SX100 IS Build Quality

There are no game-changing improvements to be found here; instead, Canon has remained faithful to the tried-and-true method established by the A-series and has made a few minor adjustments here and there. As a result, when picking up the Canon SX100 IS, those with previous experience with a more modern Canon small camera won’t discover any unexpected features or functions.

The primary button for turning the camera on and off, the mode dial, and the shutter release are all located on the top of the camera (in the middle of the circular zoom rocker). As a result, the shutter release has a significant positive feel and a clear ‘half press’ point in the same way as the A-series models.

According to the description, the design of the 10x zoom is “based on the proven lens arrangement of the Powershot S5 IS’ 12x lens” (according to Canon). It has a focal length range of 36-360 millimeters, similar to 35mm film. We wish it began with a bigger aperture, but you can’t have everything. The wide-angle setting has an aperture of f/2.8, while the telephoto setting has an aperture of f/4.3. When shooting at longer focal lengths, having image stabilization built into the lens might assist in keeping the photo steady. The built-in flash is of the flip-up variety and has a range of either 3.0 meters (W) or 2.0 meters (T).

The memory card and two AA batteries are housed within the camera’s base, behind a door that opens on a hinge. The SX1IS is compatible with the SDHC standard and has a 16MB card as standard equipment. A single set of alkaline batteries can power approximately 140 shots. When utilizing NiMH cells, this figure jumps up to 400. (CIPA standard). On the right-hand side of the camera is a plastic flap that, when opened, reveals the connections for the USB 2.0 port, the optional AC adaptor, and the A/V interface. Anyone who has previously used a Powershot should be familiar with the controls on the back; the four-way controller, which now rotates, is positioned in the center of the device. It provides instant access to the focus, flashes, ISO, drives mode, self-timer, and Func menus through dedicated buttons.

In-play mode, the exposure compensation button also functions as a delete button and is located below the play button. The play button is located above the exposure compensation button. In a departure from the typical design of a Canon Powershot, the camera also features a row of buttons located just below the LCD screen.

From left to right: the print button, the face selector button, the display button (which regulates the quantity of information shown on-screen), and the Menu button. Thankfully, the purpose of the print button can be changed. The screen of the Canon SX100 IS is 2.5 inches in size, very bright, and has a broad viewing angle.

It has a resolution of 172,000 pixels, which is considered rather typical for a screen of this size (this is a definite sign that the camera is priced on the lower end). The display has a lot of brightness and contrast (and a reasonable refresh rate). LCD brightness can be changed in the settings; nonetheless, when shooting in strong sunshine, you may wish the Canon SX100 IS had an optical viewfinder in addition to the LCD.

Canon PowerShot SX100 IS Image Quality

It should not come as a surprise that the image output of the Canon SX100 IS is quite similar to that of Canon’s trusted A-Series cameras because the Canon SX100 IS a very near relative of those cameras. As a result, both the quality and the ‘character’ of the images are very comparable. As long as you don’t anticipate miracles and don’t spend too much time staring at 100 percent crops, the SX100 IS will give images that are excellently polished at lower ISO settings and will match the image quality of cameras that are far more costly.

The colors are true to life, and the auto white balance feature delivers reliable results throughout daytime hours (although sometimes slightly on the warm side). The exposure is perfect in virtually every shooting condition, as is the focus, except are attempting to follow a fast-moving subject. The in-camera sharpening that Canon employs takes a somewhat gentle technique.

Suppose you want your photographs to be somewhat sharper. In that case, that’s your decision, and you can apply an unsharp mask in post-processing, so at least you have the option (which you don’t have if the images are straight out of the camera already over-sharpened).

There is a small amount of highlight clipping in really bright and high-contrast environments, which is almost to be expected from a camera with a 1/2.5-inch sensor. This is somethingnearlyalmost all tiny cameras with small sensors and high pixel counts have in common. When photographing scenes with a wide dynamic range, these cameras have trouble capturing the entire spectrum of tonalities (high contrast, very bright days).

This is typically due to a combination of factors, the most common of which is a steep tone curve and a restricted dynamic range provided by the tiny sensors—applying for some negative exposure compensation and lowering the contrast in the My Colors manuals. Potential solutions to the problem must be addressed.

Canon PowerShot SX1in 00 IS Movie mode.

The movie mode found on most of Canon’s Powershot compact cameras is comparable to one another, with only a few minor differences here and there. Therefore, you shouldn’t be surprised by anything when you flip the SX100 IS over to movie mode.

The largest movie size that the Canon SX100 IS can record is 640 by 480 pixels, sufficient to fit most television screens when played back at 30 frames per second. This feature is now standard on most small cameras. In addition, it allows shooting at a reduced frame rate and scale (applicable if you want to send videos by email).

The image quality is excellent, and the videos are incredibly smooth and have few compression artifacts. This is consistent with the image quality of other Canon Powershots we examined previously. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to utilize the optical zoom feature while recording. On the other hand, the digital zoom feature does operate, albeit at the expense of some quality.

The AVI files there her to watch a one-second clip at the highest quality option (640×480 at 30 frames per second); you need more than 2 megabytes of storage space. Therefore, you should consider purchasing large and fast SD cards if you film many videos.

Canon PowerShot SX100 IS Specifications

Body MaterialPlastic
Sensor• 1/2.5 ” Type CCD
• 8.0 million effective pixels
Image processorDIGIC III
Image sizes• 3264 x 2448
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
• 3264 x 1832
Movie clips• 640 x 480 @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps
Lens• 36-360mm (35mm equiv)
• 10x optical zoom
• F2.8-4.3
Optical StabilizationYes (lens-shift)
FocusTTL autofocus
Metering• Evaluative
• Center-weighted average
• Spot
Shooting modes• Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Aperture Priority AE
• Manual
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Special Scene
• Stitch Assist
• Movie
Scenes modes• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Night Scene
• Indoor
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Aquarium
Shutter speeds15-1/2500 sec
Exposure compensation+/-2EV in 1/3EV stop increments
ISO Sensitivity• Auto
• High ISO Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
White Balance• Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Custom
Image parametersMy Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Custom Color)
Continuous• Approx 0.8fps until the card is full (AF / LiveView)
• Approx 1.3fps until the card is full (LCD monitor off)
Flash• Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye reduction
• +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
• Face Detection FE compensation
• Safety FE
• Flash exposure lock
• Manual Power Adjustment (3 levels)
• Range (Auto ISO): 50cm – 3.0m (wide) / 2.0m (tele)
Storage• SD, SDHC, MMC, MCplus, HC MMCplus compatible
• 16 MB card supplied
LCD monitor• 2.5-inch P-Si TFT
• 172,000 pixels
• 100% coverage
• 15 levels of brightness adjustment
Connectivity• USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out (PAL / NTSC switchable)
Power• 2x AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries
• Optional AC adapter ACK800
In the box*• PowerShot SX100 IS Body
• AA-size Alkaline Battery (x2)
• 16MB SD Memory Card
• Wrist Strap
• AV cable
• USB interface cable
• Software CD-ROM
Other features• Histogram
• 2,10 sec or self-timer timer
• Face Detection
• Optional High Power Flash (HF-DC1)
Weight (no batts)266g (9.4 oz)
Dimensions108.7 x 71.4 x 46.7 mm (4.3 x 2.8 x 1.8 in)

Canon PowerShot SX100 IS Conclusion

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The SX10S is a bit of an underachiever in terms of its appearance and capabilities.
It is not unattractive, but it surely won’t turn any heads either, and although it has a reasonably excellent spec and feature set, there is nothing in there that we haven’t seen elsewhere. The performance of this most recent addition to Canon’s Powershot lineup may best be described as “solid,” perhaps the best word to use. The Canon SX100 IS works well in (nearly) all categories, but very little about it stands out as particularly remarkable.

Even though these are some of the most overused marketing blurbs you could encounter, there is some truth. Canon describes the SX100 IS as a camera that family members family can use. While these are undoubtedly some of the most overused marketing blurbs you could encounter, there is also some truth. The intuitive user interface of the Canon SX100 IS makes it possible to become familiar with all of the camera’s features in a comparatively short time.

Instead of being a specialized piece of equipment specializing in only one area of photography, the SX100 may be a viable option for various photographic applications because of the lens’s wide zoom range. For example, with relatively little distortion at its widest setting, the Canon SX100 IS works well for landscape photography (although the lens could be more comprehensively wider). Additionally, with a 360mm equivalent focal length at the long end of the zoom, you can get quite close to your children while playing soccer (although the autofocus may have trouble keeping up with them if dashing).

There is no requirement to go into excessive detail on the visual quality. To reiterate, it is pretty “solid” but does not stand out in any way. There is evidence of fringing in the typical settings (high contrast, high brightness). In lighting situations other than bright sunshine, noise reduction artifacts are evident in dark sections of the image, even at the base ISO.

This is the case even when the image is not overexposed. Therefore, it is unavoidable that users of the SX100 IS may see some highlight clipping, a characteristic of tiny cameras with small sensors and is common in such cameras. However, none of these problems are insurmountable, and it is unlikely that they would have a detrimental effect on your prints unless you print at sizes larger than A4 paper.

Within the scope of this review, we have not spent much time discussing the Face Detection function. The explanation for that is straightforward. Face Detection may be the season’s must-have accessory, but I’m stileally sure what it’s useful for.

It works effectively on the Canon SX100 IS when detecting faces (in record and review mode), provided that the subject is looking directly into the camera’s lens and is not sporting any caps or other types of headgear. The ‘Face Selector’ button allows you to choose between different faces and make one of them look in front of the character. However, compared to focusinglooka the face while using Center AF, the change in the image’s output is relatively small.

The only two aspects of the SX100 IS that deserve severe criticism have been passed down from Canon’s A-Series, which is closely connected. First, flash recycling times are a bother. Considerably, when the batteries are brand new, it takes excessive time for the flash to recharge, and this problem becomes even more severe when the battery power is low.

It is somewhat rather embarrassing, not to mention annoying, to have to wait ten seconds for the flash to be ready while your subjects are standing about waiting for you to take their picture in a standard “social” photography setting. Overall, we were underwhelmed with the length of time the battery lasted. Always have enough additional batteries; otherwise, you risk becoming ‘powerless’ and missing out on all potential photo possibilities.

The SX10S is Canon’s first attempt to compete in the “cheap” huge zoom market, and it is evident that the company’s engineers have done their research. The camera is small and sturdy. However, it produces images of high quality despite its modest size.

The performance of the SX1IS is agile in all shooting situations, thanks to the latest generation of the Canon DIGIC III imaging processor. Furthermore, comprehensive manual controls, very efficient image stabilization, and a large clear screen make the Canon SX100 a fine photographic tool for beginners and the more advanced photographer on a budget.

The most obvious comparison is with the similarly priced Panasonic TZ3, which is smaller, has a considerably more versatile 28-280mm zoom range, and a larger LCD. However, the TZ3 cannot fully match the image quality of the SX100, particularly at higher ISO settings. Another option is Sony’s brand-new H3, which has a design that may, to put it delicately, be described as having an “interesting” aesthetic; but, because we have not yet completed our assessment of it, we will withhold judgment until then.

Canon PowerShot SX100 IS FAQs

When did the Canon PowerShot SX100 IS come out?

In August of 2007, Canon announced the launch of the PowerShot SX100 IS.

What is the price of the Canon camera SX100 IS?

Because the Canon PowerShot SX100 IS an older camera model that is no longer being manufactured, the price of this camera, if purchased pre-owned, can vary significantly depending on its condition, its availability of it, and various other variables.

What resolution is Canon PowerShot SX100 IS?

The highest resolution that can be achieved with the Canon PowerShot SX100 IS is 8.0 megapixels.


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