Canon PowerShot SX150 IS Review

The Canon SX150 IS is a superzoom camera with a resolution of 14.1 megapixels and an image-stabilized optical zoom that has a wide-ranging 12x magnification and offers an equivalent focal length range of 28-336mm. The SX150, just like other more modern Canon compacts, comes equipped with a comprehensive feature set. This collection of features includes easy-to-use automated settings in addition to manual, semi-manual, and automatic exposure modes. This somewhat bulky small camera offers a variety of additional features, some of which include special creative and color effects such as fisheye, toy camera, selective color, black & white, or sepia.

Principal Attributes

  • 12x zoom (28-336mm equivalent).
  • 14.1MP CCD sensor
  • ISO 80-1600
  • 3″, 230k-dot LCD
  • Modes of shooting known as PASM
  • ‘Intelligent’ Image Stabilization (7 modes selected depending on the scene)
  • 720p video mode
  • The weight, of the battery, is 306 grams, or 10.7 ounces.
  • Dimensions: 113 x 73 x 46 mm (4.45 x 2.87 x 1.81in)

Manipulation and Functionality

Although it is smaller and lighter than Canon’s SX40 with its 35x wide-angle zoom, the SX150 IS is somewhat hefty in comparison to Canon’s ELPH/IXUS family of cameras. However, it is offered in either black or red and is available in both colors. When complete with batteries and an SD/SDHC/SDXC media card, it tips the scales at 306 grams (10.8 ounces). Although we wouldn’t call this a pocket camera, it is small enough to slip into bigger pockets such as those found on jackets and slacks. The camera is simple to use, and if you’re already familiar with the settings and menus of Canon PowerShot cameras, you’ll feel right at home. The Canon PowerShot SX150 IS has a built-in guide that explains the functions of all the menu settings, which helps make the camera a good learning tool even if you are unfamiliar with the PowerShot user interface. This makes the camera useful even for people who are just starting out with digital photography. You might also select the Easy or Auto setting and start taking pictures right away.

The majority of the time, the external controls are placed in an accessible and handy location and are simple to get to. A manually operated pop-up flash is located on the top deck (arguably more convenient than an auto-pop-up design). The mode dial, the shutter button/zoom, and a sizable button to turn the power on and off are all located to the right of the flash. Playback, exposure compensation, video, display, and menu buttons are located on the rear panel of the camera. Additionally, there is a four-way controller (which controls ISO, flash, self-timer, and manual focus/macro) that may also be used as a turning dial to move through the menus.

Performance

The SX150 IS is powered by two AA batteries, both of which are included in the package along with the camera. Because of this, the camera does not have an especially slim profile. However, using AA batteries comes with a number of drawbacks. On the one hand, AA batteries are easily accessible, which means that you are never too distant from a source of power. The battery life of the SX150, on the other hand, is not that impressive. If you use the flash a lot and spend a lot of time examining your photographs on the LCD, the batteries will run out of power much more quickly. The most that you can hope for from batteries like the basic alkaline cells that come with the camera is to obtain roughly one hundred shots from them. In addition to making appropriate use of the flash and avoiding spending an excessive amount of time going through your photos, you may slow down the rate at which your battery dies by adjusting the image stabilization option from continuous to Shoot Only and by setting autofocus to single.

If you are seeking alternative power sources, lithium AA batteries are excellent but pricey; nonetheless, some NiMH rechargeable batteries can give longer run times than their alkaline equivalents. Look for models that have a capacity of at least 1800 mAh. The voltage provided by rechargeable batteries is only 1.2 volts, which is lower than the 1.5 volts provided by regular alkaline cells. This is one of the drawbacks of utilizing rechargeable batteries. It is quite likely that this will have an effect on the battery meter of the camera, causing it to reflect a lower level of charge than is actually present in the batteries. And in the worst possible scenario, it can prompt the camera to turn off unexpectedly.

The SX150’s shutter speed isn’t the quickest out of the gate, and this holds true regardless of whatever batteries you use. Start-up time is a little bit sluggish, and shot-to-shot time can be sluggish, particularly when utilizing the flash, which takes at least a couple of seconds (often more than 4-5 seconds) to recycle after each use. However, the notice that says “flash charging” at least explains the reason why you are unable to shoot another image immediately soon.

Even though it’s quicker than the single-shot mode, the continuous shooting rate is measured at less than half a frame per second at maximum resolution. This is faster than the single-shot mode, but it’s still quite sluggish in comparison to other cameras in its class. In Low Light mode, the capture rate can be as high as roughly 3 frames per second, however, the resolution will only be 2 megapixels. However, face identification was precise, and focusing was rather speedy even when there was a lot of light. Even more crucially, the camera’s ‘Intelligent’ image stabilization typically works quite well, and there is no problem at all with camera wobble while shooting in normal daytime conditions. Maintain in mind that even the most advanced image stabilization system cannot compensate for the movement of the subject, so if you are photographing moving subjects like people or dogs, try to keep your shutter rates as fast as possible.

Quality of the Image

When the conditions are just right, the SX150 is able to take photographs that are of very high quality (this camera likes good light). The exposures are typically well-balanced, with the exception of strong highlights, which can occasionally be clipped. The colors are natural, although one of the camera’s color effects modes can be used to “punch them up.” Even while it is not completely eliminated, colored fringing around high-contrast scene objects is quite minimal. This is especially noticeable at the frame’s outside edges.

The SX150 IS produces images of extremely high image quality when set to the macro mode, and the exposure in flash photographs lives up to the standards I’ve come to expect from Canon’s PowerShot range. Images taken directly from the camera are beautiful and crisp in the center of the frame at all focal lengths; however, there is a tiny loss of quality at the corners of the frame, especially when the zoom is set to its most telephoto position. The level of detail acquired is more than sufficient for usage in tiny prints and on the web.

Noise is the SX150’s most significant shortcoming when it comes to the quality of its images. Its ISO range begins at 80, and following closer study, we discovered that even at ISO 100, there was some noise in the darker regions of the image. Noise and, of course, the need for noise reduction, which dulls the image’s finer details, both grow in proportion to the ISO sensitivity setting. If you want to get the most out of your SX150 IS, you should stick to its lower ISO sensitivity settings. This is something that won’t affect you in tiny prints or online galleries, but if you want to get the most out of your camera, you should.

Video

The resolution of the SX150’s high-definition video output is capped at 720p, while the resolution of its standard-definition video output is 640 by 480. However, you are responsible for providing your own A/V cables, as there is no HDMI connector available for connecting HDTVs. During the recording of the video, the zoom is active, but you will be able to hear the movement of the lens unless there is a significant amount of background noise. If there is a lot of wind, you should use the wind filter, but you shouldn’t anticipate miracles from it.

The video quality is decent but not exceptional, and the SX150 IS performs the best in a strong light when it is set to the video mode. Although we didn’t observe much of a rolling shutter effect, we did occasionally run into issues with moiré when panning across vertical fences and railings. The sound that is captured by the built-in mic isn’t terrible, but the sound of the zoom mechanism may occasionally be heard on the soundtracks of movies. This is because the degree of background noise affects how noticeable the sound is. One of the advantages is that you can zoom in while the movie is being recorded, which is something that hasn’t always been possible with affordable Canon compacts.

Specifications

Body typeCompact
Sensor
Max resolution4320 x 3240
Other resolutions4320 x 3240, 3744 x 2104, 3072 x 2304, 1600 x 1200, 640 x 480, 320 x 240
Image ratio w:h4:3, 3:2
Effective pixels14 megapixels
Sensor size1/2.3″ (6.17 x 4.55 mm)
Sensor typeCCD
ProcessorDigic 4
Image
ISOAuto, 80 ,100, 200, 400, 800, 1600
White balance presets5
Custom white balanceYes
Image stabilizationOptical
Uncompressed formatNo
JPEG quality levelsFine, Normal
Optics & Focus
Focal length (equiv.)28–336 mm
Optical zoom12×
Maximum apertureF3.4–5.6
AutofocusContrast Detect (sensor)Multi-areaCenterTrackingSingleFace DetectionLive View
Digital zoomYes (4x)
Manual focusYes
Macro focus range1 cm (0.39″)
Screen / viewfinder
Articulated LCDFixed
Screen size3″
Screen dots230,000
Touch screenNo
Live viewYes
Viewfinder typeNone
Photography features
Minimum shutter speed15 sec
Maximum shutter speed1/2500 sec
Built-in flashYes (Pop-up)
Flash range3.00 m
External flashNo
Flash modesAuto, On, Off, Red-Eye, Slow Sync
Continuous drive0.9 fps
Self-timerYes (2 or 10 sec, Custom)
Metering modesMultiCenter-weightedSpot
Exposure compensation±2 (at 1/3 EV steps)
Videography features
Resolutions1280 x 720 (30 fps), 640 x 480 (30 fps), 320 x 240 (30 fps), 160 x 120 (15 fps)
FormatH.264
MicrophoneStereo
SpeakerNone
Storage
Storage typesSD/SDHC/SDXC
Connectivity
USBUSB 2.0 (480 Mbit/sec)
HDMINo
WirelessEye-Fi Connected
Remote controlNo
Physical
Environmentally sealedNo
BatteryAA
Battery description2 x AA batteries (NiMH recommended)
Weight (inc. batteries)306 g (0.67 lb / 10.79 oz)
Dimensions113 x 73 x 46 mm (4.45 x 2.87 x 1.81″)
Other features
Orientation sensorYes
Timelapse recordingNo
GPSNone

Conclusion

The SX150 is not the thinnest compact camera available, but it is comfortable and simple to use, and its stabilized 12X optical zoom offers impressive versatility along with good (for this class) image quality at low ISO sensitivity settings. Although it is not the most slender camera in its class, the SX150 is a great choice for anyone looking for a good camera. A feature set that is complete and well-rounded may accommodate the requirements of both casual photographers and those who are more experienced with manual settings (or wish to be).

This generally beautiful camera has a few severe flaws, the most notable of which are its sluggish performance and the image noise that becomes visible at middle and higher ISO levels. The SX150 IS is a slow-feeling camera, with the exception of its face detection and focusing capabilities, which are rather speedy when there is enough light. It takes a few seconds to start up, and there is a significant delay between shots, which is especially noticeable when using the flash.

Even if the battery life is subpar at about 100 shots when using standard alkaline cells, there will undoubtedly be a lot of consumers who choose the ease of utilizing widespread AA batteries than proprietary rechargeables. Even at ISO 80-200, there is still a problem with image noise (if you look close enough at shadows and areas of plain tone). If, on the other hand, you intend to shoot outside during the day, you will most likely not be bothered by it.

Pros & Cons

Good For
  • Excellent picture quality even at quite low ISO sensitivities
  • PASM shooting modes that are favorable to users and easy to operate in terms of the interface and design
  • Versatile 12X zoom lens
  • Stabilization of the optical picture that is effective
Need Improvement
  • The 230,000-dot screen does not provide the level of clarity and granularity that we want.
  • Throughout the whole zoom range, there is a gradual loss of sharpness near the frame edges (and CA is noticeable)
  • Above ISO 400, there is a discernible decline in image quality due to the rising levels of noise.
  • Mode of operation that is quite slow, particularly when using the flash
REVIEW OVERVIEW
Build quality
Ergonomics & handling
Features
Exposure & focus accuracy
Image quality
Flash Performance
Optics
Performance
Movie / video mode
Value
The Canon PowerShot SX150 IS is a nifty little camera that has a few fascinating features up its sleeve for users to explore. It is more comfortable to carry than some of its smaller competitors thanks to its weight and sculpted design, and the image quality is really high when taken in favorable lighting situations with low ISO settings. If you can live with the rather sluggish performance and the bad battery life, this is a terrific camera to take "anywhere," thanks to its adaptable lens and powerful image stabilization technology. However, the battery life is not very good.

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Canon PowerShot SX150 IS ReviewThe Canon PowerShot SX150 IS is a nifty little camera that has a few fascinating features up its sleeve for users to explore. It is more comfortable to carry than some of its smaller competitors thanks to its weight and sculpted design, and the image quality is really high when taken in favorable lighting situations with low ISO settings. If you can live with the rather sluggish performance and the bad battery life, this is a terrific camera to take "anywhere," thanks to its adaptable lens and powerful image stabilization technology. However, the battery life is not very good.