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Lunch » Tags » Camera & Photo » Reviews » Canon PowerShot SX100IS 8MP Digital Camera with 10x Optical Image Stabilized Zoom (Black) » User review

One major negative feature, otherwise okay.

  • Jun 22, 2008
  • by
I'm not sure of why Canon introduced the SX100 IS. Its most distinctive feature is a 10x zoom of the usual Canon quality. It appears intended to compete with the Panasonic Lumix TZ series. Compared to the TZ, it is larger and heavier, but it does have a pop-up flash which can offer slightly better modeling and, more important, for many photographers, a manual exposure mode. Canon apparently intended the SX100 to fill what they perceive as the "gap" between the venerable (and excellent) A series and the DSLR lookalike, but not function alike, Powershot S5, which is also excellent.

The SX100 has, in my opinion, one major design flaw. Instead of the more typical 4-way touch mechanism for function selection, the SX100 has a rotating wheel. This is, again in my opinion, a massive error since the wheel is very difficult to rotate accurately: fingers tend to slip off and either set a function prematurely or hit another button bringing up an unwanted function or, worst of all, both. Perhaps people with very small fingers and an acute sense of touch can reliably use this wheel. I cannot and see it as a major negative in the design of the SX100.

Other than that flaw - which I think of as a showstopper for many people - the camera is typical Canon, which means very good value for the money. The 8 Megapixel images are crisp. As always, except for very expensive DSLRs, noise becomes a problem at higher ISO values, in this case starting at about ISO 200. If the choice is between having no picture at all and a noisy picture, the decision is obvious.

The SX100 has face detection and it seems to work. The 2.5" LCD viewfinder is okay. There are a few specialized scene selectors, such as beach scene and portraits.

In video mode, you can capture 640 x 480 video at 30fps. Audio quality is passable. But you cannot zoom while doing video. Up to one hour of video can be recorded.

The zoom range is 36 - 360mm. I wish all the manufacturers would lop off the top end and make the wide angle wider.

Shot to shot recyling times are a bit on the slow side, but not unusual for this class of camera. Flash recyling time is just plain awful and much slower than other similar cameras.

The camera runs on two AA batteries, which I consider a plus since such batteries are available everywhere in the world. But make sure you carry extras because this camera eats batteries. Rechargeables are a must with this camera.

Overall, this is a general purpose camera with no truly outstanding features. While image quality is high - and the primary reason for the 4-star rating - the rest of the camera is kind of ho-hum. You might want to carefully consider this camera in comparison to its competitors.


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Jerry Saperstein ()
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I am an e-discovery strategist, computer forensics specialist and testifying expert witness - and an avid reader.      Aside from technology books, I love thrillers, suspense, mystery, … more
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The PowerShot SX100IS will inspire you with its with phenomenal 10x optical zoom... and so much more. There's the 8.0-megapixel CCD and Optical Image Stabilizer for shake-free shooting. Plus, the DIGIC III Image Processor with advanced Face Detection, Face Selector Button, and red-eye correction assure superb results every time. Auto ISO Shift and ISO 1600 make low-light shooting easy. The large Mode Dial lets you select Scene Modes or full manual control effortlessly.

PowerShot SX100IS Highlights

Packed with Brilliant Features in a Compact Body A new concept, the PowerShot SX100IS is compact and portable with streamlined controls. Take it everywhere, because inside is a level of photographic power that's truly impressive; 8.0 megapixels ensure deeply detailed images, giving you complete freedom to enlarge an image or any section of an image and crop it to your exact specifications.

With DIGIC III, your images boast superior quality, the camera operates at top efficiency, and battery life is enhanced. What's more, DIGIC III enables Canon's Face Detection Technology and red-eye correction to give you better, more true-to-life people shots. Simply press the Shutter Button halfway down, and the camera automatically pinpoints the faces in the scene and chooses the ideal focus point. The camera controls exposure settings and flash to keep every face looking bright and natural. Red eyes can be corrected during playback.

iSAPS Technology is an entirely original ...

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