First Impressions: Using the Canon PowerShot S100

Sometimes reviews get delayed. It can happen for all manner of reasons, and I'm sorry to report that our review of the Canon PowerShot S100 is taking a lot longer than I had hoped. We're not sitting on our hands though - we've used three S100s, and the delay has been caused by concerns over optical issues displayed by the cameras that we've seen. Testing, retesting and analyzing results from multiple cameras takes time, and the worst thing we could do in my opinion is to rush a review out before we have the full picture (for a more complete explanation of the issues that we've encountered, turn to page 2 of this article).

This article is not meant to replace a full review, but rather to augment our detailed preview of the S100, published when the camera was first announced. Since we published our preview we've been able to do a lot of shooting with the S100 and although we are not yet able to pull this experience into a full review, I would like to share some of it with you as we work towards that goal. As always, all content published prior to the completion of a full review should be regarded as preview content, including image quality samples. Here then, is my take on how the S100 operates, what it is like to use, and some tentative first impressions of the image quality from its 12MP CMOS sensor. 

Successor to the popular PowerShot S95 (itself a relatively minor refresh of the the S90, released in 2009) the Canon PowerShot S100 features the same basic form factor as its predecessors, including the multi-functional control dial around its lens. Despite outward similarities though, the S100 is a significantly different camera to the S95. At 24-120mm (equivalent) its lens is both longer and wider, and resolution has been upped from 10MP to 12MP. More significant than the bump in resolution though is a change in the imaging technology itself, from a CCD sensor to a Canon-made CMOS. The S100 is only Canon's second compact camera to feature a homegrown CMOS sensor, and its first attempt - the Powershot SX1 of 2008 - was far from an unmitigated success.

Other headline features include raw capture, a maximum ISO sensitivity setting of 6400, and a new DIGIC 5 processor. Unlike its CCD-equipped predecessors, the S100 can record movie footage in full HD, and the new sensor also makes it possible to shoot still images at a maximum frame-rate of 2.3fps - a significant boost compared to the S95's 0.9fps. The S100 also boasts a built-in GPS. 

Key features 

  • 24-120mm (equivalent) lens range, F2.0-5.9, built-in neutral density filter
  • 12.1 MP 1/1.7" Canon CMOS sensor
  • DIGIC 5 image processor
  • ISO 80-6400
  • 2.3 fps continuous shooting (9.6 fps for 8 frames in High-Speed burst mode)
  • Full HD (1080p24) movie recording; H.264 compression, MOV format
  • Optical zoom in movie mode
  • Super slow motion movie recording (640 x 480 @ 120fps, 320 x 240 @ 240 fps)
  • Direct movie record button
  • Built-in GPS unit with image tagging and logger functions

Using the S100

As we've come to expect from its predecessors, the S100 is a well-designed little camera that is by and large a pleasure to use. Operationally, I have few significant complaints about either the S100's design or its responsiveness at this point, and I'm pleased to see that the aspects of the S90 and S95 that we praised in our reviews of those cameras are still present in this updated model.

Operationally very similar to its predecessor the S95, the Canon PowerShot S100, which boasts a more versatile 24-120mm (equivalent) lens is the most 'compact' of its raw-shooting enthusiast peers. 

It's good to see though that Canon has addressed one of our few frustrations with the S95's ergonomics too - its lack of a hand grip. The S100 still doesn't offer a 'grip' as such, but a thin vertical strip on the front of the camera, and a shallow 'scoop' in the body shell does make a difference to handling, allowing for a much firmer hold when the camera is used one-handed. 

The S100's 24-120mm (equivalent) lens is impressively fast at the wide end (if not at its maximum telephoto setting) and includes optical image stabilization. It's not much, but it's better than nothing: the S100 sports a hand grip of sorts, in the form of a shallow 'scoop' in the front of the camera which incorporates a thick rubber accent, for grip. 

Chief among my favorite things about the S100 is the multi-function Control Ring around its lens throat. This ring is key to the S100's ergonomics. Well-placed for operation with the left hand, this highly-customizable ring has many potential uses. In its default configuration it controls whatever parameter Canon's engineers think is most useful for the mode that you're in: aperture in aperture priority and manual modes, shutter speed in shutter priority mode, and ISO in program exposure mode. If you prefer, you can assign exposure compensation, ISO control, or even manual focus to the Control Dial, as well as more esoteric options like stepped zoom and aspect ratio.

Thanks to the Control Ring, in my opinion the S100 is among the most user-friendly enthusiast compact cameras around, and one of the easiest to get to grips with. Like its predecessors, whose handling we praised in their respective reviews, the S100 is easy to use without sacrificing manual control, and accommodates both point-and-shoot and fully manual operation (and switching between them) very comfortably. 

The S100's Control Ring is positioned around the lens throat and can be customized to fulfill a wide range of functions including aperture/shutter adjustment, ISO and exposure compensation. The ring's function can be changed via a dedicated menu accessed via the 'RING FUNC' menu on the right hand side of the S100's rear. This button can be reassigned though if you wish. To its right you can see the direct movie recording button which is conveniently located for operation with the thumb. 

The S100's menu system is similarly streamlined, but to be honest, I don't find myself accessing it all that often. The 'FUNC/SET' button brings up a filleted menu of key shooting parameters which is easy to navigate using the 4-way controller and integrated control dial. As far as its operational ergonomics are concerned, the only thing I really wish the S100 had, which it does not, is a dedicated ISO button. If, like me, you tend to like to keep exposure compensation assigned to the Control Ring, it is a little annoying to have to dive into a menu (however efficiently presented) to change ISO sensitivity.

The S100 has actually lost a button compared to the S95 (which had a dedicated 'RING FUNC' button on the top of the camera and an assignable custom 'shortcut' button on the rear). There is a workaround though. If you don't feel the need to change the Control Ring function all that often, it is possible to reassign the RING FUNC button to perform one of 20 possible functions, including ISO. 

As far as shooting speed is concerned, the S100 acquits itself very well. I like shooting simultaneous RAW+JPEGs (old camera-reviewing habits die hard) and unlike many of its peers, the S100 remains pleasantly fast and responsive in this mode. In fact, the delay after capturing a simultaneous JPEG and raw file before the camera is ready to shoot again is only 1.5 seconds (approx.) with an inexpensive class 6 SDHC card. This compares extremely well to the Nikon Coolpix P7100, for example, which with the same card installed, takes roughly three seconds longer. 

One of the few missteps that I think Canon has made with the S100 is its HDR mode, which really doesn't work as well as it should. In this mode, which sits alongside a miniature effect, fisheye filter and posterization filters (among others) in a dedicated position on the main exposure mode dial, the S100 takes three photographs at different exposures, then blends and saves them as a single image.

You'll need a tripod if you want to shoot in the S100's HDR mode and this shot, taken hand-held, shows why. When it captures the three images for an HDR frame, the S100 does not align them, so even slight subject or camera movement creates 'ghosting' in the final image. 
A built-in GPS system appends geolocation data to the metadata of captured images, and an (optional) GPS logger records GPS data continuously, regardless of whether or not you're taking pictures. This data can then be displayed using Google Maps, allowing you to plot your route on a picture-taking expedition, as well as to see where you were when you got the shots.

It is a 'dumb' HDR mode though, in the sense that the camera makes no effort to automatically align the three frames. As indicated on the screen when you select this function, you must use a tripod to avoid ghosting, but if any element of your scene is moving, there's nothing you can do. Unlike Sony's Auto HDR mode, the S100 does not clone out 'ghost' scene elements which appear in more than one frame, and since capture is comparatively slow (at the S100's maximum frame-rate of 2.3fps) even relatively slow-moving scene elements can cause problems.  

The S100's video mode is improved over its predecessor, and now offers full HD (1920 x 1080p) resolution and both AF and optical zoom during recording. I haven't shot a lot of video with the S100 yet, but what I have shot looks good. The S100 wouldn't be anyone's first choice for 'serious' video work (exposure control is limited to exposure compensation only for instance) but it is a better, and more versatile video camera than its predecessor. Footage is nice and detailed, and the inbuilt stereo microphone does a decent, if not outstanding job of capturing audio. Handling sounds are very noticeable though, and although its action is slowed, the sound of the lens zooming in and out can still be heard in footage as a soft buzzing on the soundtrack. 

Click here to turn to page 2 of our article, First Impressions: Using the Canon PowerShot S100

Comments

Total comments: 191
12
Ward R
By Ward R (4 months ago)

Owned mine for over a year now. Certainly a useful and ready companion when I'm not lugging around the DSLR. Manual exposure and manual focus are usable. Stunning results, though I keep the function ring set to the exposure compensation.

0 upvotes
Ophicleide
By Ophicleide (7 months ago)

I purchased a Powershot S90 a few years ago. I'm sure the S100 has changed little. The image quality is quite good but I am disappointed in the metering system and that annoying wheel in the back of the camera. I usually shoot in Manual, preferring to set my own exposures. You have to rotate the wheel to change the shutter speeds or f/stops and it easily goes into another mode. It's very sensitive - don't like it. The screen is not accurate either. It may look overexposed on the screen but be a good exposure.
I used to have a Powershot S45 and the an S50 and they were both exceptional cameras, very accurate metering systems and functions that were easy to use. I loved that camera and shot over 500,000 images with it. Ah, for the good old days.

0 upvotes
bibiki78
By bibiki78 (10 months ago)

Three defective cameras in a row is completely inexcusable.

0 upvotes
JB Leep
By JB Leep (11 months ago)

Thanks for this great post. I have been looking for a HDR camera that was not to big or expensive. I want to get one cheap on a Canon loyalty program when I turn in a broken one. I plan to use it on my <a href="http://alohacreek.com>travel blog</a> at http://alohacreek.com . It seems to me that people are getting rave reviews for nicely composed shots, and the trick is that they are using HDR, may auto. But I really wanted a braketing feature, and this has it. Seems this is a better item than the S95.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 2 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
jake8
By jake8 (Mar 4, 2012)

I just bought one in December 2011 and today I got the dreaded Lens failure warning. The lens will not retract. The only thing that I can do is review the pictures that I already took. Its the weekend and now I have no camera. I have called the local service office and emailed Canon. I hope this can be corrected shortly without any major inconvenience.

0 upvotes
Gorrddd
By Gorrddd (Dec 23, 2011)

Barney,

I just finished reading the review on the S100 and found it to be excellent. It resolves the lens decentering issue. People can understand it before throwing down on an otherwise faithful iteration of a great little camera line.

Based upon the scoring criteria I felt that if the camera was re-reviewed by a fresh set of eyes it would actually get slightly higher marks in the area of "Features", which is the second most important category in DPR's scoring process. The S100 feature set is one of its strongest suits and I really feel that the tabulation process did not account for all that it offers. Along those lines I would have expected a score much closer to 75.

Although the S100 is obviously not a gold award winner, I believe that it is a stronger silver award winner than what it was given credit for. I don't fault DPR for that since you guys put an enormous amount of effort into these reviews... to the point of exhaustion.

Gordon

0 upvotes
Odieinaz
By Odieinaz (Dec 14, 2011)

IF DPR believes that it is necessary to test multiple S100s to determine whether observed IQ issues are related to early production units or non-representative samples, then should not this practice be done with all cameras? It now seems unfair to fault ANY camera for imperfect IQ without evaluating 3-5 samples. I understand that the S100 is a special interest camera among enthusiasts, but many camera models will have some sort of enthusiast following.

0 upvotes
ennemkay
By ennemkay (Dec 15, 2011)

canon cameras get five chances. olympus cameras get one.

1 upvote
Corpy2
By Corpy2 (Dec 19, 2011)

All the people that bought cameras badly out of spec, but who don't access DPR? Out of luck suckers, I guess?

0 upvotes
Sol Invictus
By Sol Invictus (Jan 29, 2012)

If there is a lens issue, they would spot it from day one regardless of the camera tested. So, since other cameras don't have such issues, then its not important to be reported...

0 upvotes
ennemkay
By ennemkay (Dec 14, 2011)

my take is that with the flooding in thailand, canon freaked out about meeting holiday demand and thus lowered their quality control threshold to increase volume. hence, three bad copies in a row.

2 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Dec 13, 2011)

Just got news Canon is delaying delivery of the S100 again, now I've got to wait another 3-4 weeks before I can test it myself.

Is this the 'official' response Canon?

0 upvotes
digitac
By digitac (Dec 13, 2011)

No official response - explanation from Canon after all that time ?
Not good !

0 upvotes
Gorrddd
By Gorrddd (Dec 12, 2011)

Having downloaded and checked the sample DPR images above, they appear excellent in my opinion, for a point and shoot. Both the leaf and the fruit are relatively closeup shots and this camera does well in those situations. The Seattle Needle is an object. At 100% crop, this distance shot is fairly sharp, just starting to soften with only the slightest tinge of grain. It is acceptable for a P&S in my opinion. Post processig can correct all of this.

However, DPR needs to include a sample images of foliage at a distance to really get down to some serious real world resolution. Clustered small leaves at a distance is the most difficult thing for this camera to resolve. For landscape photography, the S100 leaves something to be desired. Professional equipment is required to capture the detail and resolution of landscape at a distance.

0 upvotes
gail
By gail (Dec 11, 2011)

Well, your report has sure made a lot of folks testers, as seen in this recent thread:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1010&message=40050694

Too bad your previous statement about decentering isn't published in a more prominent place at the site:

"But I would urge great caution before making a big deal out of this. Slow down and consider whether you're happy with your camera and the pictures that it produces. If you are, stop right there. Walk away and go and take photographs. No camera is perfect, and no lens either (read this article if you haven't already: http://www.dpreview.com/.../articles/7333489584/variation-facts-and-fallacies)

"If you're not happy, if you find that your pictures aren't uniformly sharp, and it's severe enough to be a problem for you, then return your camera."

2 upvotes
Gorrddd
By Gorrddd (Dec 11, 2011)

I purchased an S100 a month ago. It is not a bad camera. At wide angle, out to 60% crop remains sharp. At 80% crop both leaves and twigs begin to soften but objects appear sharp. At 100% crop, leaves and twigs are soft and objects are just beginning to soften. A full frame 21mp Canon 5D Mk II is sharp out to 100% crop but starts to soften after 120% crop. I haven't done enough with the zoom except with marco and up close shots. I recently did a pine cone on a white pine at 3 feet with about 50% zoom (17mm) and the results were ouitstanding. The needles and pine cone texture were exceptionally crisp and clean. What ever the offcenter lens issue is, it may only effect the position of the lens components at a particular zoom factor. Focus doesn't seem to be an issue on my camera. I may have a good camera but I suspect it also has the issue since there may only be one factory for this market.

1 upvote
Pho3NiX
By Pho3NiX (Dec 10, 2011)

The thing is that a sample of 3 cameras IS a representative sample considering the variation the customer can expect in a high end product !

What consumer say upgrading from a P&S world will go through the process of testing 3 camera to have a good one ?

Now the big question is representative of what ?

If those camera where randomly selected from all s100 produced to date, then they would be representative of the s100 in general (with a certain degree of incertitude)

If those camera where randomly selected from a certain Friday afternoon batch in a certain production plant, they are again representative, but OF THAT PARTICULAR BATCH (with a much greater degree of confidence)

If it's the latter case, that particular batch should be recalled or at least serviced under warranty.

3 upvotes
pcworth
By pcworth (Dec 10, 2011)

This is my concern as well. As a consumer who might purchase a camera like this (or my wife might as a gift), the fact that DPR has gone through three "faulty" models is virtually a deal breaker.

I am also looking at the Olympus xz-1, Fuji x-10, Lumix LX-5, and the lens problems on this camera are an issue that consumers should be fully aware of. Therefore, DPR needs to post a review based on one copy of the camera because one copy is what most consumers will get.

My father-in-law found out the hard way that Canon's customer service can be a nightmare to work with, even on known technical issues. We bought him one of the early Powershot IS models with the sensor issues and all Canon would do is offer him a few dollars off their price, which was still more than I paid from Adorama. So, I would be really concerned about getting a lemon S100 and being stuck with it.

I really like the look of the S100, but the small telephoto aperture concerned me, and now this has put me off.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
pcworth
By pcworth (Dec 10, 2011)

I have to say though, if these are "bad" images, they are still better than I get from my Fuji 3D camera, or my older Lumix. The Fuji is cool if you want 3D for something, but I would never recommend it as a camera.

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Dec 10, 2011)

I am reading all comments here so far -- and yet we did not get to the central issue: How bad is it and how it manifests. Barney is doing his best to say he does not have to say because it is likely an aberration (and he's got the cool glasses to prove it).
So I think the whole thing is very simple and centers on the dpr standard studio scene. My guess is that the s100 shots came out badly on that, possibly worse than s95's. When doing MILC (m-less inter lens cam), you pick the best lens and go with that. But, geez, this cannot be done with P&S. So you have to go to the source and get the best sample because, well, you get the pic.
I think the studio scene is the best thing DPR has compared to other sites and so I say let the chips fall where they may. There is nothing wrong s100 being a $350 camera.
Possibly some P&Ss have reached limits vis-a-vis MILC if the robot-assisted lens assembly cannot do better at present.
Why, Canon might discover MILC a real and a profitable segment.

0 upvotes
keeponkeepingon
By keeponkeepingon (Dec 14, 2011)

where can you get the S100 for $350?????

List is $429 which is what most sites sell it for (or more)

0 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Dec 9, 2011)

that sound like canon is using SIGMA lenses in the S100.... LOL.

btw: you would spare yourself all the stress when you only post FINAL reviews. i mean this is worth nothing to be fair.
people expect a final judgement when they come to dpreview not some "it could be that...".

if i want blahblah, rumors and bad reviews i have plenty of other websites to visit.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 9, 2011)

I'm working on the basis that if and when reviews take a long time, you'd rather read something than nothing in the meantime.

8 upvotes
KerryBE
By KerryBE (Dec 9, 2011)

This is worth something to some of us.

0 upvotes
Daniel Lowe
By Daniel Lowe (Dec 9, 2011)

I would pay no attention to that comment whatsoever Barney, I think you have written a perfectly rational and informative update of your preview and I appreciate the effort and honest discussion. And for the record I don't think anyone else is doing this. I thought the S100 would be no good when I read certain specs, but now will have to adjust that opinion thanks to some good honest evaluation. Keep up the good work and I look forward to more of the same.
Daniel.

3 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 10, 2011)

I am also glad to see updates on what's happening with it.

1 upvote
848848
By 848848 (Dec 10, 2011)

What a foolish statement! DPReview do not have to justify their actions to you and if you read the article they are explaining why they have not published the review. Had you been a paying subscriber your challenge to their posting/delay may have a point but you are not are you? GROW UP!

0 upvotes
gvon79
By gvon79 (Dec 14, 2011)

About being a paid subscriber... I load countless advertisements from dpreview everytime I visit the site. You can only make a decent amount of money through advertisement if you have LOTS of traffic. So if visitors start going elsewhere for reviews, they lose money. So yes dpreview should care about what their subscribers want. Educate yourself before you tell others to grow up.

1 upvote
APenza
By APenza (Dec 9, 2011)

The HDR function sounds nice but I would not be carrying a tripod with a compact camera. Seems to defeat the purpose. If there was an auto bracketing feature then auto aligning in third party software would take care of this issue. Is there auto bracketing? If not then maybe Canon should consider it.

0 upvotes
Polyglot92
By Polyglot92 (Dec 9, 2011)

HDR and autobracketing were present already in the S95. If you don't zoom and your subject doesn't move too much, HDR is usable without tripod.

0 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (Dec 9, 2011)

"...the third (sample) with what appears to be a slightly decentered lens."

You have to get THREE more samples of PERFECT lens optics to say...

50-50

3 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Dec 9, 2011)

with sigma lenses my ratio was 50/50 (i stopped buying them 3 years ago).

most of teh time i had to test 4 lenses to end up with one decent and one thats good.

0 upvotes
newcameraguy2821
By newcameraguy2821 (Dec 8, 2011)

A comparison video between the Canon S100 and S95 cameras:
Canon S100 vs Canon S95
http://shrt.fm/vS6Ng4

0 upvotes
gail
By gail (Dec 9, 2011)

He's wrong about the megapixels being less on the s100. Shut off the video at that point.

0 upvotes
newcameraguy2821
By newcameraguy2821 (Dec 8, 2011)

Two videos about the Canon S100 Camera:

Canon PowerShot S100 Digital Camera Review
http://shrt.fm/tw4zwl

Canon PowerShot S100 Review
http://shrt.fm/s7zq2z

0 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Dec 8, 2011)

PS: I think the US stock is different from the European stock. In the US I hardly find negative comments on the 'softness' of the lens, in Europe a lot more.

And my delivery is delayed significantly, maybe it's because Canon also realizes they have a (big) problem with the S100.

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Dec 11, 2011)

Yep, in Europe its 'measure twice, buy once.' In the States we rely on strong pro-consumer attitude and bitch if the product doesn't live up to its name.

0 upvotes
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Dec 8, 2011)

'That's how it works, yes - manufacturers make loan stock available to journalists, sometimes through a PR agency, sometimes direct. This stock is taken out of the normal retail channel.'

Dear Barney, when I stated Canon 'provided' Dpreview with cameras this was the reply:

By R Butler (Nov 21, 2011 at 18:42:12 GMT)
If that were true, I'd expect us to receive fewer decentred and oddly-behaving cameras than we do.

If it is true Canon pulls out the camera's from their normal stock and gives it to you without checking it themselves all the buyers (including myself) have a major problem. We all have to check and test this little beauty very carefully!

And, once again: all other reviews rate this camera very highly. But stating that your testresults are not representative for the real world is a bit misleading, it's all about the comparison: egual situation, disegual results. Conclusion: the tested S 100's are not OK.

Still I belief this is the only portable P and S worth buying.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

I don't really see your point. We get review samples from manufacturers, just like everyone else, and we always have. It's no secret. But they're not 'prepared' in any special way. Which is what Richard was saying.

1 upvote
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Dec 8, 2011)

I did not read the word 'prepared' anywhere. I think Thomas Wasser made a good point and it's worth considering. It makes three falty cameras in a row even a lot worse because I don't belief for a second Canon simply gives cameras 'of the shelf'. I don't mean that Dpreview is doing anything wrong, not at all but it's a good thing to get the facts straight (if that is possible at all).

By Thomas Wasser (Nov 20, 2011 at 10:58:51 GMT)
I agree.
But I really hope that dpreview doesn't allow Canon, or other manufacturers, to "supply" them with any cameras. If so, the reviews would most likely be based upon a copy of a camera that is pretested to be absolutely “best in the batch”. When QC is what it is, such reviews would of course not have any real value to the consumer.
LIKE3
By R Butler (Nov 21, 2011 at 18:42:12 GMT)
If that were true, I'd expect us to receive fewer decentred and oddly-behaving cameras than we do.

Comment edited 6 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

Right - so you're saying that camera manufacturers give us non-representative, cherry-picked 'best' samples, and I'm telling you that in all my six years of reviewing these things, that I've never seen any evidence of that happening (and indeed plenty of evidence that it doesn't).

1 upvote
Rubenski
By Rubenski (Dec 9, 2011)

Dear Barney,
I belief your experiences. And cherry picking is not such a big issue because all the cameras should be the same within very small margins. The point I wanted to make is really this: Canon provides the cameras, cherries or not but still three failed: customers, be aware!

0 upvotes
hamsterberry
By hamsterberry (Dec 8, 2011)

THEE CAMERAS BAD?... NO consumer would ever put up with that.

It seems like you are apologizing because you have to give a bad review to one of your sponsors products. Are you are afraid they will pull their banner ads?

Put on your big boy pants. Just say the camera is a dog. If they pull their ads we will notice and call them on it. I think they may have a bit more integrity than Olympus - Canon may even credit you for the find....

Just a thought.

Comment edited 23 seconds after posting
5 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

I don't think you've been paying attention...

2 upvotes
Henry M. Hertz
By Henry M. Hertz (Dec 9, 2011)

yeyh probably a nikon fanboy ... LOL

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

I do have a suggestion - if you have the same issue on the 4th camera, could you try doing a test shot at iso80 at a slightly different focal length and aperture? Like right now it's...72mm and f4.5 I think, try 50mm and f4.0.

One poster in the Canon forum said he could reproduce the issue (and even posted pics) by shooting at 72mm and using f4.5. The fuzziness went away when he changed the aperture to f5.0. I tried to reproduce, but I just could not get my s100 shoot at 72mm, so unfortunately I cannot confirm or deny this myself.

One possible explanation is that there is an actual design flaw with the lens where something gets messed up when shooting at the exact aperture and focal length you happen to be shooting at. It would also help explain why so many other people aren't having the same problem, because they're shooting at other focal length / aperture combinations.

Just a thought, I hope if you have the same issues with the 4th camera you'll give it a try.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

You'll be pleased to know that testing at different focal lengths and distances is something that we do as a matter of course ;)

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 9, 2011)

Really? You guys have something like 50mm test shots from all 3 s100's that also have that weird softness on the right side?

(Just to be clear - this is actually a question, and in no way any sort of snarky remark, I did some s95 vs s100 testing myself and totally appreciate how difficult it is. :-))

1 upvote
Valentin Apostol
By Valentin Apostol (Dec 9, 2011)

I have other suggestion for Paul and Barney: why don't you send your camera Paul to DPR? For sure they can take care of it :-) And if they will get the bad results ... then lets start accepting the truth :-(

0 upvotes
ChrisKramer1
By ChrisKramer1 (Dec 8, 2011)

Absolute nonsense for the simple reason that the version DPReview will eventually test will not be representative of the quality of the camera on sale to the public.

I was going to buy an S100 but now I am going to buy a new a bed instead. And I bet it will take better pictures too.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

And you know that for definite, do you? You're assuming that I would be OK with publishing a review that isn't representative of the camera's performance? Why do you think I wrote this article? Believe me, I could do without the stress ;)

2 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

When the majority of people in the forums that simply bought their camera at a store don't have this problem, publishing results from a few cameras that do have a problem would not be "representative of the quality of the camera on sale to the public" either.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

@Paul Rivers - precisely :)

1 upvote
sailorman
By sailorman (Dec 9, 2011)

Sorry Barney - IMHO your 'precisely' response is ... simplistic?

You have stated elsewhere that the studio testing identifies issues likely not apparent to the majority of 'real world' users.
Assming that is true ( I have no reason to believe it is not) how can the majority of people not having this problem indicate your three 'defective' samples are unrepresentative.

I am intrigued by this situation - I believe you have tried to do the right thing in posting the updated review. Unfortunately I see no simple solution re way forward IF dpr continue to get the 4th S100 from Canon.

If the 4th camera shows better results, what confidence can anyone have (in the unique circumstances / publicity around this issue) Canon have given dpreview a standard camera?

If you continue to emphasise the extreme nature of your tests do not reflect real world usage for the majority of users, does this not tend to reduce the importance of your tests to the majority of users?

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 9, 2011)

Then we get a fifth :)

0 upvotes
justmeMN
By justmeMN (Dec 8, 2011)

Three defective cameras in a row is completely inexcusable.

You should fully review the defective cameras that you recieved, because that is what most buyers will end up with.

2 upvotes
Polyglot92
By Polyglot92 (Dec 8, 2011)

What do you mean by "we are expecting another sample from Canon". Are you getting the products you review directly from Canon, with Canon knowing it may be for testing purposes?

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

That's how it works, yes - manufacturers make loan stock available to journalists, sometimes through a PR agency, sometimes direct. This stock is taken out of the normal retail channel.

0 upvotes
Polyglot92
By Polyglot92 (Dec 8, 2011)

How do you take cameras out of the "normal retail channel" for previews and reviews weeks before the cameras enter that channel?

Comment edited 19 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Lobalobo
By Lobalobo (Dec 8, 2011)

This is nonsense on stilts, DPReview. Three straight samples all defective. That means the camera is defective, or a substantial number of them are, and any suggestion to the contrary disserves your audience, which will not trust you as much going forward. If Canon fixes the camera for future runs, by all means report that. But what you need to report now, unambiguously, is that there is a defect in all the S100 cameras you've tested, and because you've tested three, this is highly unlikely to be an isolated problem. Given the (current) influence of your site, this may mean that Canon will take a hit until it fixes the problem, but unless you want to be no more than an advertising arm of the manufacturers, you have no choice.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
4 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

I've said we've seen three samples which display apparent decentering. I've also said that it's barely noticeable in a wide range of shooting environments. I'm not saying anything is defective, I'm just trying to establish whether we've been unlucky with the early samples that we've seen.

1 upvote
peterzimmerman
By peterzimmerman (Dec 13, 2011)

I think it's time you (DPR) do go down to your friendly dealer and buy a camera independently.

You could be seeing three early-production cameras with a "minor" flaw that escapes normal production quality controls, but that can be corrected with modest revisions. Or you could be seeing three cameras that are performing to design specs and intended manufacturing quality. You need to test a camera that comes from somewhere else in the channels, as far from the channel Canon was shipping to you as possible.

I would hate to learn that Canon is deliberately cutting corners, but it certainly is possible.

1 upvote
Imfor Umman
By Imfor Umman (Dec 8, 2011)

If you, DPR, are publishing this for the sake of transparency, which is a noble reason, then I beg you, follow up on that cause. Call Canon and tell them:

1. You've designed a great little camera but are producing it with a production-flawed lens. This is what we will publish. Unless...

2. We go out and buy at least 12 of these cameras, on our own, from different stores, locations, even countries, while you reimburse us for those costs. We will then test those cameras to find out whether it was just a early batch problem or something found in regular examples people will be buying.

3. If you don't cooperate as asked, we will publish the results as we have them now: three cameras with the same fault is just not a statistical anomaly, it's reality. This is your only chance.

If they go for it, great, if not, it is your right -- no, your duty -- to believe what three cameras are showing, one good cameras cannot disprove that picture.

4 upvotes
krugg
By krugg (Dec 8, 2011)

Good idea and then give away the 12 cameras to dpreview readers as a co-promotion with Canon. Even if they do exhibit this minor defect, I'm sure you'd have a lot of very happy readers to get one for free!

1 upvote
Decked Out Digital
By Decked Out Digital (Dec 8, 2011)

Thanks for your initial impressions. I think it's important for potential buyers to ask what they want to do with this pocketable camera. I have had the S100 for over a month and I am extremely pleased. I also have a 1Ds Mark II and if I'm looking to produce 24 x 36 posters for customers or myself, I use the behemoth. I bought the S100 for family pictures, mostly my very young grandchildren and it does exactly what I wanted with more than acceptable results. I have printed 16 x 20 shots that are magnificent, large files can be viewed at http://www.pbase.com/deckedoutdigital/s100

The S100 is a convenient, take anywhere camera capable of very high quality results. It might be important to note that I only shoot in raw. Happy Holidays all!

3 upvotes
Philip Goh
By Philip Goh (Dec 8, 2011)

In the photo of the tie rack, the dark blue tie in the top right corner has cream coloured spots in the camera JPEG but red spots in the ACR converted JPEG. It looks like the noise reduction in the JPEG engine is far too aggressive.

Is there an option to turn it down/off?

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

You can turn noise reduction to low in-camera, or of course you can shoot raw and eliminate it pretty much completely as well.

0 upvotes
Catalin Stavaru
By Catalin Stavaru (Dec 8, 2011)

I would say that this has been a really bad year as far as camera quality control goes. Sony NEX-5n has a clicking sound issue that even a baby would have discovered it in the testing phase; Fuji X10 has sensor blooming problems, also easy to discover in testing; and now Canon S100 has decentered lens. It's just disappointing that some of the most expected cameras of the year have critical flaws. Let's hope there are no critical flaws in the Panasonic GX1...

Comment edited 57 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
D R C
By D R C (Dec 8, 2011)

Lens decentering seems to be common problem with quite a few cameras of late and what with the X10 white blob fault I wonder if the engineering quality is not as good as it was.
Are the manufacturers spending too much time and money on the electronics and forgetting how to actually build things, could Made in China have anything to do with it?

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Renard DellaFave
By Renard DellaFave (Dec 10, 2011)

Not in this case, since the S100 is made in Japan. (at least mine is)

0 upvotes
andy bp
By andy bp (Dec 8, 2011)

So, three of the sample that have been tested potentially have a decentered lens. Even if Canon do resolve this, then a key fact remains- Quality control is an issue for this camera. I trust that this will be detailed in the final analysis, as many customers will have a less than ideal performing camera on their hands.

2 upvotes
bzanchet
By bzanchet (Dec 8, 2011)

Barney, thank you again for a wonderful review. I have upgraded from a Sony TX-100V and I'm extremely please with my S100. People insist on comparing this camera with DSLR, and it is really anoying all the complaints. I also have a Fuji X10, and I belive that this combo is the best I have ever had! There isn't a holy grail of cameras yet (size x lens x sensor x etc). I got to say that the so call decentering of the lenses are impossible to see with the photos I made, as are the white discs os the Fuji X10. I stopped checking studo samples and follwed my instincs, personally I don't keep zooming my family or travels photos for defects, this is not what photography is all about!

5 upvotes
Kevin Myers
By Kevin Myers (Dec 8, 2011)

I also thank you Barney. I have had my s100 on order for a few weeks now. I am not too worried about the de-centering issue. Maybe that explains why the supplies dried up. In fact, if Canon has held up production to work on this, I'll be happy to wait until they have it solved. I thought your review was truthful & frank. Thanks again. @bzanchet, I am glad you like yours. Mine will compliment my 7D which is usually loaded with a 400mm. This will sit in my pocket and save me from lens switching for sunrise or video shots. Thats what I want it for.

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Dec 8, 2011)

When talking about JPEG and processed files from Raw, the reviewer (Barney B) states: "Personally, I would take a noisier but more detailed image, but it really is a matter of taste."
What about putting a voting counter next to the two images. The image processing that Barney came up with introduces artifacts looking like a puke.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

In your opinion.

9 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Dec 8, 2011)

That's right. Let's vote on that

0 upvotes
Bruno Monteiro
By Bruno Monteiro (Dec 8, 2011)

ISO3200 image from RAW file seems very usable for small-medium prints. There's obviously lots of noise in there but you can smear that into the JPEG version and you can't do otherwise. So I'll stick with the RAW version, every time.

0 upvotes
JohnCarolan
By JohnCarolan (Dec 8, 2011)

Barney's RAW conversion far preferable to the standard jpeg.

6 upvotes
jasonasselin
By jasonasselin (Dec 8, 2011)

second is better. and nay-sayers have to notice its a 100% crop and not representitave of print quality until printing a 10x15, where the first image would look mushy and flat. look at each from 5ft away and youll see.

1 upvote
wetsleet
By wetsleet (Dec 8, 2011)

It is a good comparison. In the ties, the second is preferable, possibly because I am looking for and expecting detail in the pattern and texture of the fabrics, much of which is smoothed out in the first image.
But then I look at the horizontal rail, which I assume ought to have a smooth patina, and there the first image is better, since the noise in the second jars with the expected smoothness.
A choice is good!

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Renard DellaFave
By Renard DellaFave (Dec 10, 2011)

I like the JPG, but, RAW in 1.5 sec. and you can roll your own NR.
'course 90% of the time I'll take the faster fps over the post processing.

0 upvotes
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Dec 11, 2011)

Seven replies, that's nice.
From 5 meters away (on a smaller print) one image may look better but from 1 meter I want to see what it really is because I may not want to step into it.
We can also talk about better color transitions resulting in its own kind of contrast (rather than introducing contrast thru black/white lines edging).
The bottom line, though, is that the introduction of artifacts corrupts the whole image. Yeah, you can declare yourself an artist but I've seen enough "artifacts" that introduce (usually sexual) imagery to sell a product. So I think we can own up to that and if I see artifacts that look like crap I call it that.

0 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 8, 2011)

I think it's worth noting that Consumer Reports, arguably the premier "independent testing" facility, while they say they buy off the shelf products for testing, rarely also reveal that they actually get most of their products through manufacturer donation.

0 upvotes
blakeschwalbe
By blakeschwalbe (Dec 8, 2011)

I think this is the main concern after reading the comments in the article, i.e., that Canon will screen the new camera it sends to make sure that it does not have a de-centered lens, while regular consumers are left to fend for themselves. Three out of three were de-centered? The article also explicitly states that this is not a big deal?!?

6 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

No, it does not state that it is not a big deal. If it were not a big deal you'd be reading a review, not an augmentation of a preview.

0 upvotes
gvon79
By gvon79 (Dec 9, 2011)

I beg to differ, by not posting a review until you get a 4th camera is sending a message that the lens issue is not a big deal. Otherwise a review would up by now and would state that this camera has lens issues, period (3 out of 3?!? come on). What will you do if the 4th sample is bad? Or if it's good, are you going to report that consumers have a 25% chance of getting a 'good' S100? Facts are facts, are you going to report facts?

3 upvotes
Renard DellaFave
By Renard DellaFave (Dec 10, 2011)

How is it a fact to assume there's _any_ statistical validity to a non-random sample size of... 3?
What you can conclude from that sample size, as regards quality in the retail channel, is absolutely nothing.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sampling_(statistics)

0 upvotes
gvon79
By gvon79 (Dec 14, 2011)

Good point, I expect DPREVIEW to follow proper sampling methods to report back the likelyhood of getting a bad camera. I'm glad we both agree on that.

0 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 8, 2011)

Interesting how Canon includes GPS on a $400 P&S while they plan to charge $650 for an add-on GPS module for their 1Dx.

I have this on email alert for the release of the Silver one for my wife to replace her S95 which we sold on amazon for $250 and are looking forward to using it.

On a side note, the image above... Do those hands belong to a male or female? Either way, I guess the question is insulting, and I don't apologize for that. LOL

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Dec 8, 2011)

Add-on cccessories for expensive, professional, high-end cameras will always be very expensive. With every manufacturer - Nikon's own DSLR GPS module is also very expensive.

1 upvote
penguirl
By penguirl (Dec 8, 2011)

Was your hare brained question asked by a man or a woman? Either way the question is insulting…

I sure hope that you are not a portrait photographer because if you can't tell that those are a woman's hands I'd hate to see your work. LOL

Comment edited 20 seconds after posting
3 upvotes
graybalanced
By graybalanced (Dec 9, 2011)

I would be interested to know the functionality and speed differences in the consumer and pro GPS units. How long does it take to acquire an accurate signal? How well does it keep that signal? Is the difference proportional to the price? Is a GPS unit just a GPS unit this days?

0 upvotes
Renard DellaFave
By Renard DellaFave (Dec 10, 2011)

Definitely a difference in GPS chipset performance. Even within a single manufacturer's line there are choices between power consumption, size, auxiliary functions, etc.

0 upvotes
Canon20Duser
By Canon20Duser (Dec 8, 2011)

I have the S100. Any way I can tell if the lens is decentered?

1 upvote
CTaylorTX
By CTaylorTX (Dec 8, 2011)

If you cannot tell right now, and you were happy with your images before reading this article, what does it matter? See the reply above from Decked Out Digital.

0 upvotes
Brad Templeton
By Brad Templeton (Dec 8, 2011)

I disagree. Even a photographer who does not see the defect in their shooting today may well find themself later taking shots where it does make a difference, or may advance in their ability to where it makes a difference. They deserve the lens they paid for. If somebody bought a lens with soft corners and didn't notice it because they shot only portraits, would you say they should be happy because they can't tell yet?

0 upvotes
CTaylorTX
By CTaylorTX (Dec 8, 2011)

Simply put, yes. I would be surprised if Canon20DUser bought the S100 as a replacement for the 20D in all things photographic. Decked Out is perfectly happy with his S100 for regular shooting, and uses his 1Ds MkII Pro D-SLR when the results matter. That should be enough recommendation.

0 upvotes
C Gran
By C Gran (Dec 8, 2011)

I love the "pre"views and taking the time to get it right.

I would really love if some time was taken to really review the GPS features other than saying that it has GPS and you can turn it on and off.

I realize it's a camera review but some specs on the GPS would be great. Battery life with continuous use, lock time (first versus subsequent), will it track while it's off?

Curt

1 upvote
steve_hoge
By steve_hoge (Dec 8, 2011)

Bravo to Canon for even including GPS - and the logging capability is a nice "customer delight" feature. I hope more manufacturers start considering GPS a "standard" feature in travel-centric cameras.

0 upvotes
Menneisyys
By Menneisyys (Dec 8, 2011)

"Bravo to Canon for even including GPS - and the logging capability is a nice "customer delight" feature. I hope more manufacturers start considering GPS a "standard" feature in travel-centric cameras."

Me too, albeit using an external GPS tracker and, later, synchronizing the GPS data to my JPG's works just fine (apart from the time needed to do the sync). Nevertheless, I'd still prefer a camera with a GPS receiver in it to avoid having to sync stuff on my desktop.

1 upvote
C Gran
By C Gran (Dec 8, 2011)

I agree. It would be nice to have GPS as a standard feature. I know I'm not the only one out there that wants that. Maybe if it becomes enough of a standard review sites will start to take more time to evaluate that feature.

0 upvotes
Renard DellaFave
By Renard DellaFave (Dec 10, 2011)

As an EE I'd love to see more power consumption measurements of all sorts of features instead of just CIPA tests. From what I've seen on the web, a GPS chipset of this sort would pull 50-100mA. That's 10-20 hours without the rest of the camera, which can probably only run 2-3 hours off a single charge. So, not a huge effect, 10-20% less life maybe?

0 upvotes
Naveed Akhtar
By Naveed Akhtar (Dec 8, 2011)

restriction of using a tripod to use HDR function defys the purpose of buying a compact size camera. I won't be carrying a tripod with me where I am purposely taking S100.

Or I better rule out there is any HDR in camera and enjoy S100 for what it is good at.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Renard DellaFave
By Renard DellaFave (Dec 10, 2011)

HDR in this camera is little more than a gimmick, like most of the other modes. Except handheld night scene...which I guess _can_ align shots? Odd the HDR isn't better, but as long as it has exposure bracketing, I'll do the HDR at home.

0 upvotes
Roman Korcek
By Roman Korcek (Dec 8, 2011)

Dear Dpreview team,
Thank you for the first impressions!
In the final review, if you could please share your thoughts on
- the Handheld NightScene mode (which works astonishingly well on the Canon ELPH 500 HS) comparing to the usual high ISO images?
- the Super Slow Motion modes?
- why Canon decided to restrict ISO to 80 at exposures longer than 1 second? Obviously, it reduces noise, but why restrict the enthusiast, and why now in the S100?
Thank you.

2 upvotes
Darby124
By Darby124 (Dec 8, 2011)

Ok. I appreciate the extra attention you are giving this camera to verify your impressions. I have one on order. Two questions: a. Exactly what is 'decentering of lens'? b. What is an accurate way for an owner to test the camera at home for this condition? Perhaps you could suggest a few different ideas for home testing? Thanks.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

Decentering is basically when an element within a lens isn't quite straight. Severe decentering is visible as one side, or corner of your images being rendered noticeably softer than the others.

But I would urge great caution before making a big deal out of this. Slow down and consider whether you're happy with your camera and the pictures that it produces. If you are, stop right there. Walk away and go and take photographs. No camera is perfect, and no lens either (read this article if you haven't already: http://www.dpreview.com/articles/7333489584/variation-facts-and-fallacies)

If you're not happy, if you find that your pictures aren't uniformly sharp, and it's severe enough to be a problem for you, then return your camera.

6 upvotes
Darby124
By Darby124 (Dec 8, 2011)

I plan to try shooting graph paper and also brick wall, both perpendicular to the camera, and then invert the camera each time. I will mount it on a tripod. This should show if a particular image area has consistent unsharp quality to it which should tell me if my unit has lens de-centering, right?

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

Yeeesss... but remember that subject distance plays a part here as well. Honestly, the best test is to shoot normal subjects at a range of focussing distances and focal lengths and just look at them at your normal magnification, but my earlier advice still applies. Don't get lost down the rabbit-hole ;)

4 upvotes
Darby124
By Darby124 (Dec 8, 2011)

Gotcha. Thanks. I will report my impressions.

0 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 8, 2011)

"If you're not happy, if you find that your pictures aren't uniformly sharp, and it's severe enough to be a problem for you, then return your camera."

Barney, I understand that there's no such thing as consistent perfection, but when would noticeably dull images not be a problem to have concern about? Even if it's so slight that it's only noticeable in 1% of images taken with it, that's about .999% too many IMO.

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

One area where I've found (with two different s95's) that the s100 definitely seems better is at the far end of the zoom - the s95 would lose some noteable resolution when zooming all the way, the s100 doesn't seem to. Also - the s95 didn't do iso6400 except in it's special "low light, low resolution" mode. The s100's iso6400 is one area where it is monumentall better than the s95 was. :D

2 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 8, 2011)

That's interesting since the author's position seems to be that both have nearly equally poor high ISO quality. It's good to know though that you find the S100 to have noticeably better high ISO quality since our S95 was terrible above ISO 800.

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

I...didn't exactly say that. I only said the iso6400 on the s95 was a special mode that was pretty bad, while iso 6400 on the s100 has some definite noise but is much better than the reduced resolution mode with iso6400 on the s95.

I feel like the s100 has improved regular high iso a little bit - iso800 and iso1600, but not a ton.

In my opinion iso3200 has also improved by a more noticeable margin - it was pretty bad on the s95, seems like it's a lot more usable on the s100.

But imo, regular iso's like 800 and 1600 have only improved a little.

1 upvote
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

"Across its entire ISO span, the S100 out-resolves the S95 at equivalent settings - not by much, but it is noticeable. At their respective highest ISO settings the gap is narrower, but the S100 is certainly no worse than its predecessor at ISO 1600 and 3200 and - crucially - its files are captured faster, and the camera is ready to shoot again more quickly."

I'm surprised to hear that actually, as in my own testing it looked like the s100 did not produce more detail at iso80...

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

"One of the few missteps that I think Canon has made with the S100 is its new HDR mode, which really doesn't work as well as it should."

Yeah, I agree there. :-)

Also agree with the comments on the video. :-) wish it had a better microphone - though I'm not saying it's worse than other expensive compacts like the lx5.

0 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 8, 2011)

As a former LX5 owner (sold it on amazon for $320), I was impressed with the video quality but hated the crappy audio.

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

lol, yeah, it's to bad to - one of the great things about these f2.0 lens cameras is their ability to shoot video in low light.

s100 - good video, mediocre microphone.
lx5 - good video, mediocre microphone
xz-1 - bad video, don't know about the microphone
x10 - haven't heard good things about it's video either...

There was Panasonic compact that had a really good reputation for video a while back (not m43rds, a compact), but as I remember it it was a superzoom not great for low light...

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

"In fact, the delay after capturing a simultaneous JPEG and raw file before the camera is ready to shoot again is only 1.5 seconds (approx.) with an inexpensive class 6 SDHC card."

I...just tried it on mine, Class 6 card, and a timer. If you press the shutter button as fast as possible, the timer said it took 3 second before it took the 2nd shot. I tried timing it over 10 seconds (mashing on the shutter button), and it took t pics over 10 second - but *barely* 4 pics, it just started the 4th one as the timer hit 10 seconds. 13 over 30 seconds (iso80, so it's not a low light thing) - that's worse than 1 shot every 2 seconds.

0 upvotes
Renard DellaFave
By Renard DellaFave (Dec 10, 2011)

Class 6 cards can be 6MB/s, or they can be 12MB/s, I have several and it's a crapshoot. If you care about fast RAW+JPEG, buy a Sandisk 30MB/s, Lexar x133 or some other well rated fast card. This is where it will make a difference. Also, continuous mode works even with RAW, at about 1fps with a good card.

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

"As far as shooting speed is concerned, the S100 acquits itself very well. I like shooting simultaneous RAW+JPEGs (old camera-reviewing habits die hard) and unlike many of its peers, the S100 remains pleasantly fast and responsive in this mode."

I suppose compared to other RAW compacts it's fast...I still think of it as pretty slow, shot-to-shot time in regular shootin is 2-3 seconds.

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

"As far as its operational ergonomics are concerned, the only thing I really wish the S100 had, which it does not, is a dedicated ISO button."

I don't quite get this - what would be the difference between assigning the shortcut button (RING FUNC.) to set iso, and a dedicated iso button? If it had set "dedicated iso dial" it would be different (though I don't think there's space for one), but a dedicated button would work the same as the shortcut button set to iso - right?

0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

"the new sensor also makes it possible to shoot still images at a maximum frame-rate of 2.3fps - a significant boost compared to the S95's 0.9fps"

I wish dpreview would mention the raw shooting rate, as it's way slower than this jpg rate and I don't believe a huge improvement over the s95.

0 upvotes
Renard DellaFave
By Renard DellaFave (Dec 10, 2011)

RAW+JPEG is dumping between 14 and 23 MB/s onto the card. 24MB/s is about the limit for SDHC, so it's not really the S100s fault if RAW fps isn't much faster. Until UHS is added, we're maxxed out.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 191
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