Canon PowerShot SX100 IS (Black)
Manufacturer: Canon Part number: 2420B001
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- Editors' review
- User reviews
- Product series
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- Bottom Line:
- Though the Canon PowerShot SX100 produces excellent photos, other aspects of the camera--some performance issues and operational annoyances, to name two--dim its luster.
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as of 07/10/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $572.39
- Reviewed by: Lori Grunin
- Reviewed on: 10/15/2007
- Released on: 10/01/2007
The good: First-rate photo quality; full set of manual exposure controls; optical image stabilization; electronic lens cover.
The bad: Too easy to accidentally click instead of scroll when navigating; no optical zoom in movie capture.
The bottom line: Though the Canon PowerShot SX100 produces excellent photos, other aspects of the camera--some performance issues and operational annoyances, to name two--dim its luster.
A good solid camera with great picture quality & a wonderful zoom
by Vampi74 on October 18, 2007
Pros: Photo quality, in both crispness & color, easy to use controls, simple but with extras if one is feeling ambitious
Cons: Flash recycling time can be annoying at times
Summary: I bought this camera to replace the Canon SD870 IS I did not care for & returned. I have taken many pictures with it so far, in a variety of ...
Summary: I bought this camera to replace the Canon SD870 IS I did not care for & returned. I have taken many pictures with it so far, in a variety of settings. The quality is pretty darn good. And when I say that, I mean it appears to beat ANY other Point & Shoot currently on the market that I could find. It performs well with the one exception of the flash recycling being too slow at times. While this does annoy me a little, especially in such an otherwise great camera, it does seem as though for the quality it is something I'll have to deal with.
The zoom rocks. Although I loved my old 7 MP 4X zoom camera (Canon A620), I am suddenly feeling like i'm not sure how I got by with it. With a 7-8 MP camera you can always "zoom" after the fact by cropping, but the 10X optical zoom is just so nice. Especially when it comes along with great image quality like this camera has and you don't have to sacrifice that to get it. The difference was quite apparent when photographing animals a good distance away in Disney's Animal Kingdom. There is no way you can be right up near many of those animals, and this camera makes it seem as though I was. It felt almost like using my old SLR again, without the neck crippling weight.
I find the controls very easy to use. I haven't experienced any problems with them. I have Tourette Syndrome, so clumsy fingers & a tendency to have trouble holding particularly still tend to go with the territory. I mention this because if I am fine with it, I'd think most people should be as well. The camera is also pretty easy to hold onto without being overly large.
I do not consider the AA batteries it takes to be a con. I purchased a very good, fast rechargeable set that came with 6 AAs (& 2 AAAs) at Costco that included a car charger for just about $20, that should do the job nicely. I like having the ability to buy batteries just about anywhere in the world, as a backup, if need be.
Test photos also printed well on my fairly outdated printer. They look good on screen even in large sizes. The colors are beautiful on this camera even in standard auto mode. One thing that did surprise me is how well it handled some cat eyes at close range with the flash firing. Movie mode seemed fine to me with crisp enough picture & sound, but admittedly it isn't a priority for me either, since I have a camcorder. But it does seem I would be fine taking short videos with this camera.
It's a good camera. Probably one of the very best non-SLRs on the market right now, if not #1. Could it be even better? I'd like to think so. I haven't been blown away by most of the cameras out there & I'm hoping future gens are really all around something to rave about. The flash recycling really ought to be faster. I wish it was. As I believe the editors said, if it wasn't for flaws like that, this one really would be the no-brainer choice for a P&S. However, given all the others I've seen in action, I'm thinking it might still be so, even with that one unfortunate flaw. It also came in at a price considerably lower than certain unimpressive other top choices for compacts, which for superior photo quality & a beautiful zoom sits quite well with me.
I've posted a whole bunch of photos in different settings taken with this camera on the site linked below. Please feel free to peek.
I have now gotten a bunch of photos I took with this camera professionally printed, and they came out really beautiful. Both the foregrounds & backgrounds were sharp & vivid. I printed both indoor & outdoor pics, taken with & without the flash. It was a final test & it most definitely met, if not exceeded my expectations.
I also should probably mention that the flash recycling time is most definitely not the same every time. It seems to depend on amount of available light and, it seems, some other things, but it definitely doesn't take the same amount after every picture where the flash fires. It still annoys me plenty at times, but on plenty of photos it wouldn't be an issue at all & the photo quality is just too good to pass up.
22 out of 23 users found this user opinion helpful.
A Fantastic Camera!!
by LanceTJ on November 3, 2007
Pros: High Qualtiy Images, big 10x zoom, compact size, great battery life
Cons: 4.3 second delay between flash photos, only 8 Megapixel
Summary: This reviewer Lori is way, way off in her remarks, and nitpicked a truly fine camera. The bottom line is that this camera takes stunning photos of the highest quality ...
Summary: This reviewer Lori is way, way off in her remarks, and nitpicked a truly fine camera. The bottom line is that this camera takes stunning photos of the highest quality at ISO 100 and 200, and that is what matters most. And as she notes, higher speeds are pretty good too. That, plus its lightweight and compact design is big enough so that controls are easy for people with large hands to use, yet it is small enough so that it still fits easily inside a coat pocket or purse.
The real surprise is the absolutely amazing battery life that it gets on only 2 AA batteries. I was able to take 196 flash photos at a big Halloween Party, and at the end of the night, the camera's battery meter still read full! How the camera is this efficient with power I do not know. Perhaps that is why there is such a delay between flash photos. But I would much rather have this great battery life, than worry about the delay between flash pictures. My old Olympus SP-350, which I unfortunately dropped and broke, also used two AA batteries, but it exhausted the batteries after only 30 flash photos! It's battery life was absolutely horrible, and on the other end of the scale from the Powershot SX100 IS's excellent performance.
The bogus fellow who gave this cam a 5 rating obviously did not even use one, as he could offer no specific complaints of any kind.
Besides improving the movie mode, the only thing that could make this camera better would be to have even higher megapixels. But for most photography, 8 is plenty enough. And if you really want more, then get Canon's new A650 IS or G9 models, which both have 12 Megapixels.
But neither of those cameras have a powerful 10x zoom, and are as compact and lightweight to carry. And it is great being able to use standard AA batteries, instead of some expensive proprietary battery. This is a well built, state of the art camera, and is made in Japan, not China.
12 out of 12 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great features and absolutely amazing photos
by corran_horn on October 14, 2007
Pros: Diverse lens, 10x Optical Zoom!!!, quality photos, easy program navigation
Cons: [Debatable] AA batteries instead of battery pack; No aftermarket lenses or flashes
Summary: Needed to upgrade from my old Stylus 300 and overwhelming opinion was Canon. Lots of research led me to the SD850IS.
Right before going to Best Buy to purchase it ...
Summary: Needed to upgrade from my old Stylus 300 and overwhelming opinion was Canon. Lots of research led me to the SD850IS.
Right before going to Best Buy to purchase it I saw this SX100IS in an ad and checked it on cnet.com but no reviews. Went to Best Buy on 10/07/07 and they had both models - I played around with them, then had an employee look up specs on both to confirm that the SX100IS is the better camera for my needs (quicker shutter speed and MUCH better optical zoom (SD850: 4x; SX100: 10x).
I had a 15% off camera coupon, plus there was 15% off three accessories when you buy a digital camera, so I got the camera, a PNY 2gb card, 4 Energizer AA 2500mAh + charger, and an aftermarket carrying case (SX100IS does NOT come with a case) for just $342 with tax.
So far I'm positively happy with the pics this camera has produced. Well, almost: It seems to be a little too good at times because when you're doing facial photos it WILL find any and all blemishes. lol But that's why there's Photoshop.
Although I haven't owned it for long, some of my favorite things about it are it's design and construction. You'll never pop open the battery/sd card door on accident. All of the buttons are big enough and spaced out enough so that someone with bigger hands (me) can use this camera and not hit any buttons on accident. This camera is big enough to hold without feeling it's going to slip out of your hands (the SD850IS is TINY!), but it's not in any way too heavy or large - it's just too big to fit in your pocket (who puts cameras in there pockets anyways?!?!). All of the dials and buttons feel very sturdy and solid.
I played around with the video a little and am really impressed with that too! The playbacks seem YouTube worthy, with pretty darn clear sound and visuals.
I really look forward to playing around more and more with this camera. I rarely make large purchases without doing the research, but this time I'm very glad I did! Thank you, Canon!
11 out of 11 users found this user opinion helpful.
Powerful zoom and the small form factor make it perfect!
by premieregs on October 24, 2007
Pros: Powerful zoom, small form factor, picture quality, manual mode, decent screen, mini usb, SD ports and great user interface
Cons: Less megapixels than others at this price, no viewfinder
Summary: The 10x zoom and small form factor were the most important factors when choosing this camera. Since it's a Canon, the picture quality, user interface and mini usb, SD ...
Summary: The 10x zoom and small form factor were the most important factors when choosing this camera. Since it's a Canon, the picture quality, user interface and mini usb, SD ports are other big reasons to pick this thing up.
10x zoom is great to have, most point and shoot cameras only come with a 3-4x zoom which hardly helps at all. Canon is know for picture quality and with the limited time I've taken to snap some photos, it definately lives up Canon's previous efforts. The user interface is awesome. I've played around with many different brands, Sony, Fuji, HP, Kodak, etc. and the Canon's is definately the easiest to use as well as one of the most configurable.
The battery indicator only flashes when power begins to get low and doesn't display any bars indicating the power level until you're almost out. I'm surprised since everything else Canon has done seems so well thought out. The alkaline batteries that came with the camera didn't last too long but I'll bet after testing with NiMH it will last a little longer.
Having the pop-up flash is a good and bad point but mostly good since the flash is always off by default and I rarely turn it on. The camera even prompts you when it thinks the flash is needed.
Overall if you're looking for a relatively small point and shoot with great zoom and picture quality the SX100 is what you want.Updated
Totally forgot about the image stabilization which is awesome and keeps pictures from blurring. You don't realize how shaky your hands are until you compare this feature to a camera without image stabilization. Everything stays steady on screen, allowing you to take better pictures, especially at 10x zoom.
6 out of 6 users found this user opinion helpful.
Unbelievable how Great this Camera is!!!
by andyflippen on October 17, 2007
Pros: pitcure quality, shutter speed, functionality, user options, toughness
Cons: size, AA Batteries (if you consider that a downside)
Summary: I put this camera head to head with a Panasonic Lumix TZ3 and the comparable Sony CyberShot DSC H3. The Canon won hands down. This camera is amazing. The Image ...
Summary: I put this camera head to head with a Panasonic Lumix TZ3 and the comparable Sony CyberShot DSC H3. The Canon won hands down. This camera is amazing. The Image Stabilization is better than any of its competitors. The scroll wheel is not as small and sensitive as the review reads, the shutter speed does lag slightly when using flash, but the flash is manual and has to be raised to be used. This is very helpful because a LOT of your shots will be saved and not drowned out by un-needed light intrusion. I couldn't be happier with this camera. The options and user-friendliness is better than any other camera I looked at. Bottom line: all companies that compete with this camera make quality cameras. But Sony and Panasonic are not exclusively camera companies. I like to trust the experts and they didn't let me down here. Canon makes cameras....period. That's their focus. They did a great job and I really love using this camera.
As a side-note, I use my camera for traditional party, family, holiday photos, but I also use it for much more. Tailgating, college football games and hiking are where it gets most of its' use. New camera, but I don't see it letting me down...especially with the 10x optical zoom. I am going to get so many great shots with this feature...both on the trail and in the football stadium. I couldn't recommend a product more.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
DOES A GOOD JOB RIGHT OUT OFTHE BOX
by COWBELL on December 21, 2007
Pros: CANON PICTURE QUALITY, VERY SHARP LOOKING PICTURES
Cons: ABOUT 8sec. FLASH RECYCLE TIME
Summary: IT FEELS GOOD AND SOLID IN YOUR HANDS, PICTURES ARE SUPERB, THE LARGE 10x OPTICALLY STABILIZED ZOOM WORKS VERY WELL TOGETHER TO KEEP CAMERA SHAKE OUT OF YOUR PICTURES. A ...
Summary: IT FEELS GOOD AND SOLID IN YOUR HANDS, PICTURES ARE SUPERB, THE LARGE 10x OPTICALLY STABILIZED ZOOM WORKS VERY WELL TOGETHER TO KEEP CAMERA SHAKE OUT OF YOUR PICTURES. A 2 1/2inch LCD VIEWING SCREEN WITH 172,000dpi THATS 57,000 MORE THEN MY(KODAK C875, CANON A 720is,CANON A 570is). A GREAT CAMERA THAT ALL THE FAMILY CAN USE. FIX THE RED EYE RIGHT IN THE CAMERA. VERY FAST FACE DETECTION.. USE RECHARGEABLE AA 2500mAH - 2900mAH BATTERYS, REGULAR AAs WILL DIE TO FAST...I KEEP TWO AA LITHIUMs FOR A BACK UP.. CAMERAS KEEP GETTING MORE AND MORE STUFF THAT EATs THE POWER (BIGGER LCDs ect... ect...) YOU WILL ALSO NEED A 1 or 2 GIG SD CARD, I USE A SCANDISK (EXSTREAM 111) 2 gig card. THE CAMERA HAS A GREAT EASY VIDEO MODE, THAT TAKES UP A LOT OF THE 1 OR 2 gig CARD.. GOOD LUCK.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
Great camera for the money, and 8.7!
by geekorama on December 11, 2007
Pros: Great picture quality, 8MP, BIG LCD, Scroll wheel, No lens cap necessary, compact
Cons: No live histogram
Summary: This is a fantastic camera for the money. I was looking for a compact (not subcompact) camera for my wife to be able to pull out and shoot on the ...
Summary: This is a fantastic camera for the money. I was looking for a compact (not subcompact) camera for my wife to be able to pull out and shoot on the fly with no fuss.
This was camera was the best choice any way we cut it.
It's girth and weight is just substantial enough to be comfortable to hold and shoot (feather-light cameras bug me). It's slim profile makes it easy to whip out and put back on a whim.
The pictures are just beautiful (I love the Digic III processing engine). Colors are just slightly warm, just like I wanted and crisp from edge to edge.
The camera doesn't have a viewfinder but with the big, bright LCD you won't really miss it.
The manual focus is now as perfect as it can be for a compact camera; the scroll wheel makes focusing fast and easy.
My only gripe with the camera is the lack of live histogram (which the S3IS had).
I wanted to give this an 8.7 but for some reason CNET doesn't offer this capability.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
One thing that kills this camera
by mahamakd on May 29, 2008
Pros: Great overall camera with great image quality, great manual settings and auto settings
Cons: Is very prone to the "lens error", slow flash recharge time, the vivid setting didn't seem very operative
Summary: This is a great camera with great ISO settings and great quality with all settings. I loved this camera for the day I got to use it and I took ...
Summary: This is a great camera with great ISO settings and great quality with all settings. I loved this camera for the day I got to use it and I took some awesome pictures that could be comparable to a dSLR. Then it came. The "lens error!" It comes when something happens to the mechanism in the lens and it just stops and when you turn on the SX 100 IS, it says "Lens error, please restart" and it never fixes itself. I did a lot of research on this camera before buying it but I didn't see a review on the "lens error" on cnet. I did a web search and it is a very common problem with this camera and the E18. If you want this camera, be prepared to have you joy ripped apart. Great camera though, besides the other cons listed. Hope this helps.
3 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
Best Mothers Day Gift Yet!!!!!
by mandierenee on May 23, 2008
Pros: The georgeous images and the 10X Zoom makes it a lot easier to catch shots of my 3 year old.
Cons: Time between shots. I wish there was a quicker response time.
Summary: I love this camera!!! It was given to me for mothers day. It takes awesome pictures. The only thing I have a problem with is the length between shots. Also ...
Summary: I love this camera!!! It was given to me for mothers day. It takes awesome pictures. The only thing I have a problem with is the length between shots. Also I wish the night shots were better quality. Other than that I am so happy that my son and husband got me this camera for mommy day.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Zoom, zoom, zoom!
by steehteerf on January 30, 2008
Pros: 10x optical zoom, can use AA rechargeable batteries
Cons: Not that small
Summary: I have three Canon digital cameras (plus two others). I love the pocketability of the other Powershots (SD850 I think is one of them), and the fact that they all ...
Summary: I have three Canon digital cameras (plus two others). I love the pocketability of the other Powershots (SD850 I think is one of them), and the fact that they all can share the same SD cards. I wish they shared the same batteries, but the PowerShot SX100 IS that I have is great when paired up with something smaller that is easy to keep with you all the time in a fanny pouch or pocket.
SX100 IS: The 10x optical zoom is super for lots of live shots - whale watching, kids' sports or performances, new puppies, etc. With a 2GB SD card, I can record a lot of video and highest quality photos on a card. The camera uses 2 AA batteries, which is fantastic -- you can bring extra batteries with you and never be unable to shoot because of a dead battery. I use rechargeables, and I carry 4 extras with me so I can record lots of video. The software and user interface is well designed, so even an unsophisticated photographer like me was able to use aperture speeds to get the shot I wanted. It's very easy to plug this camera into a standard mini-USB cable (that comes with the camera), so you can easily download the pictures from the camera to your computer to clear up space on your SD card for more shooting. I use an OQO model 02 computer (full Windows computer, pocket sized, used by pro photographers) to download and crop/fix pictures while I'm out and about.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Canon
- Part number: 2420B001
- Description: Get in on the action with a 10x zoom lens. PowerShot SX100 IS keeps your subject in focus with Face Detection and optical Image Stabilizer. Clear, simple controls are easy and flexible for the whole family.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Digital camera - Compact
- Enclosure Color Black
- Resolution 8 megapixels
- Optical Sensor Type CCD
- Total Pixels 8,300,000 pixels
- Effective Sensor Resolution 8,000,000 pixels
- Optical Sensor Size 1/2.5"
- Optical Zoom 10 x
- Digital Zoom 4 x
- Image Stabilizer Optical
- Auto Focus TTL contrast detection
- Digital Video Format AVI
- Image Recording Format JPEG
- AV Interfaces Composite video/audio
Exposure & White Balance
- Light Sensitivity ISO 1600,
- Exposure Metering Evaluative,
- Exposure Modes Program,
- Shooting Programs Snow,
Kids & pets,
- Special Effects Vivid,
Black & White,
- White Balance Automatic,
- White Balance Presets Daylight,
- Max Shutter Speed 1/2500 sec
- Min Shutter Speed 15 sec
- Exposure Compensation ±2 EV range, in 1/3 EV steps
- Type 10 x x Zoom lens - 6 mm - 60 mm - F/2.8-4.3
- Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 36 - 360 mm
- Focus Adjustment Manual,
- Min Focus Range 19.7 in
- Macro Focus Range 0.4 in - 19.7 in
- Zoom Adjustment Motorized drive
- Lens Construction 9 groups / 10 elements
- Features Aspherical lens
- Camera Flash Pop-up flash
- Flash Modes Fill-in mode,
Flash OFF mode,
- Features Flash +/- compensation,
- Effective Flash Range 1.6 ft - 10 ft
- Continuous Shooting Speed 0.8 frames per second,
1.3 frames per second
- Self Timer Delay 2 sec,
- Additional Features Digital image rotation,
Display brightness control,
In-camera red-eye fix,
Resizing an image,
RGB primary color filter,
Digital noise reduction,
Camera orientation detection,
USB 2.0 compatibility,
- Type 2.5 in LCD display
- Display Features Built-in
- Microphone Operation Mode Mono
- Connector Type 1 x USB,
1 x Composite video/audio output
- Software Canon ZoomBrowser EX,
Drivers & Utilities,
System Requirements for PC Connection
- Operating System Support Apple Mac OS X 10.3 or later,
MS Windows XP SP2,
MS Windows Vista,
MS Windows 2000 SP4 or later
- Peripheral Devices USB port,
- Microsoft Certifications Certified for Windows Vista
- Included Accessories USB cable,
Audio / video cable
- Supported Battery AA
- Supported Battery 2 x AA Alkaline battery ( Included ),
2 x AA NiMH rechargeable battery ( Optional )
Memory / Storage
- Memory Card Slot SD card
- Supported Memory Cards SDHC Memory Card,
SD Memory Card,
- Included Memory Card 16 MB SD Memory Card
- Image Storage JPEG 3264 x 2448,
JPEG 2592 x 1944,
JPEG 2048 x 1536,
JPEG 1600 x 1200,
JPEG 640 x 480,
JPEG 3264 x 1832,
JPEG 320 x 240
- Video Capture AVI - 640 x 480,
AVI - 320 x 240,
AVI - 160 x 120
Dimensions & Weight
- Width 4.3 in
- Depth 1.9 in
- Height 2.8 in
- Weight 9.4 oz
- Min Operating Temperature 32 °F
- Max Operating Temperature 104 °F
- Image stabilizer feature Optical stabilization helps prevent blurry pictures, especially for handheld cameras at slow shutter speeds or when using high optical zoom.
CNET Labs' Benchmarks
- Labs information All values are expressed in seconds. Please visit our <ref type="link" url="http://reviews.cnet.com/Labs/4520-6603 7-1014358-1.html">labs information page</ref> for information on how digital cameras are tested.
- CNET Labs Flash shot to shot time 4.3
- CNET Labs Shot to shot time typical 1.7
- CNET Labs Shutter lag bright 0.5
- CNET Labs Shutter lag dim 1.0
- CNET Labs Typical burst speed 0.8
- CNET Labs Wake up time 2.0