Canon Powershot SX100 IS Summary
Canon Powershot SX100 IS Assessment
The Canon Powershot SX100 is a budget ultra-zoom with compact body. A 10X stabilized optical zoom lens, full manual controls and the use of AA batteries make this digital camera highly desirable and capable.
Canon seems to have listened to buyers well when designing this new camera because they manage to keep a compact size and major features, while removing less used components such as the viewfinder and a hot-shoe. Since the majority of consumers do not use those features, it is very reasonable for Canon to remove them their budget models and keep them in more advanced models such as the Canon Powershot S5 IS.
The budget ultra-zoom category is sparsely populated by the Panasonic TZ3, Panasonic TZ2, the Fuji S700 and now the Canon SX100. Unfortunately for Fuji, the S700 is neither compact nor more capable than the SX100, thus making it less desirable for its target market.
The TZ3, being another compact ultra-zoom, competes directly with the SX100. Image quality is perhaps slightly better on the Canon, with the Canon sporting a higher-quality lens but producing noisier images (surprisingly this is the opposite that generally happens with other competing models from Canon and Panasonic). In terms of features the SX100 is much more capable with its full manual controls, wider shutter-speed and ISO ranges. However, the Panasonic TZ3 has a wide-angle lens equivalent to 28-280mm compared to the Canon Powershot SX100's 36-360mm. Whichever is better depends largely on the type of photography you do. Indoor and architecture photographers prefer a wide-angle lens, while sports and wildlife shooters prefer more telephoto reach.
The bottom line is that no other digital camera features this feature-set in such a compact size. Those looking for a compact ultra-zoom will be quite satisfied with the Canon SX100 unless you deem having a wide-angle essential. In that case, the Panasonic TZ3 is the only way to go, but you will lose important features such as manual controls and the ability to use AA batteries.
|10X Optical zoom in compact body||Above average image noise at all ISO|
|Reliable exposure||Nearly useless ISO 1600|
|Relatively good edge-to-edge lens sharpness||Poor white-balance under artificial lighting|
|Realistic image colors||Above average chromatic aberrations|
|Excellent macro focusing||Lacks a viewfinder|
|Fast and responsive||Flash recycles slowly|
|Excellent battery life||Weak flash|
|Well-designed body and easy handling||Pathetic 0.8 FPS continuous drive|
|Direct access to ISO and exposure-compensation|
Canon SX100 IS Highlights
Sensor-Size: 6 x 4mm
Actual size when viewed at 100 DPI
|8 Megapixels Travel Zoom||ISO 80-1600|
|10X Optical Zoom||Shutter 1/2500-15s|
|Built-in Stabilization||Full manual controls|
|1.3 FPS Drive, Unlimited Images||Custom white-balance|
|640x480 @ 30 FPS Video Recording||Spot-Metering|
|2.5" LCD 172K Pixels||Standard AA Battery|
|Secure Digital High Capacity|
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