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
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

"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."

Imo, I feel like this really missed what improved the s100's ergonomics - the rear rubber thumb grip and the grippier coating. Let me put it this way - if you pick up the s95, then pick up the s100 but avoid using the front indent, the s100 is still substantially easier to hold onto than the s95. Use the front indent and it's nice but not a big difference.

Let me say that the s100, imo, is *far* more ergonomic than the s95 was. Way easier to hold. Part of this, though, is because the s95 lagged behind everyone else's ergonomics to begin with.

Comment edited 16 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

"...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"

I'm not 100% sure, but wasn't the 0.9fps rate on the s95 raw shooting, and the 2.3fps rate on the s100 jpg?

0 upvotes
rickspencer4
By rickspencer4 (Dec 8, 2011)

I've been shooting for 3 weeks. Leaving the 50D at home. So far I'm impressed, I have been carrying it everywhere, which is nice. With the weather changing, not as many shooting opportunities. Christmas will provide some opportunity....

0 upvotes
Greg VdB
By Greg VdB (Dec 8, 2011)

"Quality control issues can affect cameras from early production batches"

Ok, please explain that statement. Why exactly would early produced 'bad copies' be more likely to slip past quality control than later produced ones?

3 upvotes
blakeschwalbe
By blakeschwalbe (Dec 8, 2011)

It seems dpreview is an apologist for the manufacturer. The statement would make sense if it said the early cameras were found to be defective, and changes will have to be made to fix the problems ...

1 upvote
Simon Walker
By Simon Walker (Dec 8, 2011)

Thanks for the update. I've been following the progress of the s100 closely.

Please could you tell me if the de-centering has produced similar results for each camera? I.e. have the same parts of the images been soft in each sample?

0 upvotes
Kelcey Smith
By Kelcey Smith (Dec 8, 2011)

No, the level of de-centering and area that is out of focus has been different in each sample.

1 upvote
Simon Walker
By Simon Walker (Dec 8, 2011)

Thanks, that's interesting. As you've mentioned, this does indicate that it's a QC issue that will hopefully be ironed out rather than some fault in the design or construction.

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

@Simon Walker - now you see why we're still testing :)

3 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 8, 2011)

Wow, I'm very disappointed in what I would hope to be much better QC from Canon on their premium compact.

1 upvote
gail
By gail (Dec 7, 2011)

Can you be a little more specific about "early production run." Among Canon Talk Forum participants, I believe I was one of the first persons, if not the first, to buy the S100 (last week in October). Is it considered from an "early production run?" My camera has no discernible problems. Then again, I am not a pixel peeper.

0 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 8, 2011)

The term seems self explanatory to me, and it's been stated that not all units may have this issue.

0 upvotes
gail
By gail (Dec 8, 2011)

"The term seems self explanatory to me, "

I was asking about a timeline, not a definition: like when did they get their copies. I believe it was stated dpreview receives their cameras directly from Canon. Many CTF participants who have good copies bought them at Best Buy in the U.S.

0 upvotes
NIK11
By NIK11 (Dec 7, 2011)

Thanks for this. De-centred lenses are plaguing new compacts.

A DR test on another site suggests the S100 might have less DR than its predecessor. Is there any chance of DPRE doing a DR test, please?

Nick

Comment edited 11 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 8, 2011)

Of course

3 upvotes
dscottsatx
By dscottsatx (Dec 7, 2011)

Considering that virtually all of the cameras you review are new cameras, how many chances do you give the other camera manufacturers to supply you with a body that gives you the performance you clearly want to see from it?

From a certain perspective, giving one particular manufacturer four chances to "get it right" reeks of favoritism.

When you finally do get a camera from Canon that performs as you clearly expect, are you going to qualify your review by stating, "You have a one in four chance of getting a camera that performs this well"?

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

It's not a case of waiting for a camera that performs as we'd expect - it's about being cautious about unexpected results. That might sound like the same thing said in two different ways, but it isn't. We don't know what to expect - that's why we're doing more testing.

This isn't favoritism, we always try to check unusual results against multiple test samples if possible.

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
dscottsatx
By dscottsatx (Dec 8, 2011)

I work in manufacturing. Apparently, we don't test like you do. If three fourths of our samples test out to be the same and one fourth is different, we don't consider that one fourth to be the typical example of that product. We'd consider it to be atypical or "unusual".

You do have expectations of what this camera should produce, you say that yourself in your article. And you keep asking for more samples to test because you aren't getting the results you expect. (why else are you asking for more samples?)

If your next sample gives you the results you originally expected to see, are you going to base your score for this camera on the atypical sample or the typical samples?

9 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 8, 2011)

For a person who works in manufacturing, it strikes me odd that you seem to forget that there's an expected outcome for every product, and samples should be tested against that. According to your statements, you deem the least common version as the "unusual" one, even though it more closely matches the product goal.
I agree that it's obvious that Canon's QC in this case is very lacking, but if they went by your practice, they'd toss out all of the good samples because they were the "unusual" ones.
I feel that DPR's testing was correct in noting an obvious defect and agree that testing a sample that clearly better matches the intended design is prudent.

2 upvotes
dscottsatx
By dscottsatx (Dec 8, 2011)

Yes, that is in fact how we test (we are ISO certified. We test our own products as part of our QA -- we take contracts to run tests for other local manufacturers as well)

If three out of four samples fail, that's what we write in the report. Why? Because that is what the tests results showed.

1 upvote
Individual1
By Individual1 (Dec 7, 2011)

Some reviews have observed poor battery performance/power consumption. Did you experience this? Also, you note the camera is slightly faster than S90/S95, any observation regarding shutter lag?

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

Not so far, in fact our experience is that the S100 gives good battery life considering the size of its battery. Depending on what you use and how you use it though of course. But this is something that we'll explore in more detail in the review.

0 upvotes
Canon20Duser
By Canon20Duser (Dec 8, 2011)

I left all the GPS stuff on (photo location and tracking log) and it seemed like I got about an hour out of it.

0 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 8, 2011)

Does the GPS only log images taken or is there an intervelometer tracking? A one hour total seems oddly short, unless it was continuously being fired.

1 upvote
Leen Kleijwegt
By Leen Kleijwegt (Dec 7, 2011)

What I want to know:
Is the delay of selling the S100 caused by these decentered lenses?

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

I suspect that natural disasters and a high demand for the product might be more likely to be the cause of the delays.

0 upvotes
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 8, 2011)

I'm wondering if the natural disasters caused issues with their manufacturing equipment and pressure to deliver the product sparked decision to forego decent QC.

2 upvotes
slncezgsi
By slncezgsi (Dec 7, 2011)

Thank you for the update. I do hope that Canon will get the issues solved - the S100 really seems a nice camera in a very compact package (and would make a nice present for my wife ;) )

I do hope that you will get some kind os statement from Canon on the lens related issues (3 bad cameras in a row would be hell of a bad luck)

1 upvote
RLPhotoAndImaging
By RLPhotoAndImaging (Dec 8, 2011)

I'm getting one for my wife too. I hope it arrives in time to drop in her stocking... and that it's a decent copy.

0 upvotes
riveredger
By riveredger (Dec 7, 2011)

You already used three different samples that displayed the same problem. Yet, you refuse to believe that the lens problem is not an inherent flaw in the camera's design? As a consumer, I would hope that the final review does not omit the fact that the first three you used were flawed.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 7, 2011)

It won't (see my words on page 2 of this article).

3 upvotes
Neal Hood
By Neal Hood (Dec 7, 2011)

Are these samples being supplied by Canon or are they being procured through normal distribution outlets? Certainly strange, being a high end Canon model.

My compliments for going ahead and publishing this preview as an update on the review - which we've all been waiting for. Being up front and transparent is something we don't always see these days. Very commendable.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 7, 2011)

Both, actually.

1 upvote
Jay_B
By Jay_B (Dec 7, 2011)

As an owner of one of these cameras (but not the s90 or 95) I can only say that I am enjoying using this camera and that the IQ appears to be equal to or better than my G11, which I sold. I am greatly concerned about the QC issues, which my lens does not seem to exhibit even when the images are viewed at 100%. The specific concern being whether ALL the lenses are decentered (and I just can't see it on my images) or your three cameras are just an unhappy (but statistically unlikely) coincidence.

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 7, 2011)

Our samples were from an early production run - hence my caution here in not assuming that the issues are endemic. And also, as I note in this article, the issues that we had with our cameras were barely noticeable in normal use in most situations, so let's keep things in perspective :)

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 7 minutes after posting
1 upvote
Jay_B
By Jay_B (Dec 8, 2011)

Actually, that's why I left a comment. I did purchase this in early Nov. and intend to keep this camera, at least for a good while. The perspective is: 1) Thank you for communicating openly about the issue and its impact on your review, and 2) there's definitely good cameras in the first batches - I think...

0 upvotes
ispress
By ispress (Dec 7, 2011)

The S95 also has an HDR mode, so it isn't "new" with the S100.

1 upvote
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 7, 2011)

Good point, I'll re-edit.

0 upvotes
Pangloss
By Pangloss (Dec 7, 2011)

The fruits shot is very impressive in terms of resolution/exposure/white balance (yes, I pixel-peeped).
Looks like a very good compact camera, if Canon can solve the QC issues with the lens.

0 upvotes
Randy Benter
By Randy Benter (Dec 7, 2011)

I bought an S100 and returned it because the lens was VERY soft. Maybe I should buy 10, keep the best one and return the rest. Even if I did buy 10, I probably would not get one as good as the one that will eventually be provided to DPR.

Where did DPR get the 3 samples tested so far? Where are you going to get the one that finally makes it in the review? I recommend that DPR go to the local camera store, buy another S100, and if the lens stinks, then report the truth. If DPR allows Canon to provide a special S100 that is better than we consumers can buy, then the review is worthless.

Comment edited 3 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 7, 2011)

We're aware of the issues here (and I wrote this article partly in the interests of transparency) but thanks for the clarification ;)

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
sailorman
By sailorman (Dec 8, 2011)

Thanks for the 'impressions' review.

I think Randy has raised a very important point - there is something wrong with the process if Canon provide you with a 'special' unit that customers are unlikely to get.

IMHO your response may not properly address the issue - the real issue is whether the camera used in the final review is one the public can buy.

If you do not buy the camera independently (if necessary using a filtering mechanism to rule out early production - which criteria you publish) then what does the review demonstrate? IMHO your test would merely indicates the potential, not the real world. If your studio test is more rigorous than 99% of the 'real world' needs, this should be pointed out in the review of a 'normal' camera, not masked by using a 'one-off' camera.

6 upvotes
AbrasiveReducer
By AbrasiveReducer (Dec 8, 2011)

Years ago, part of my job was providing sample equipment to photo magazines to test. Lenses were never hand picked (almost never). However, if a lens tested poorly they would test another, and another and even recommend that customers go through this as well. In the rare case that all copies of the lens were dogs, they would simply not publish a review.

1 upvote
Island Golfer
By Island Golfer (Dec 8, 2011)

Exactly! 2 strikes and you're out, as far as I'm concerned. After 3 strikes, why keep looking for a "good" one? If the dog bites you the first time, it's the dog's fault. If it bites you the second time, it's your fault. When you find the good one, let me know how much you want for it. Your brief review is enough to stop me from randomly buying one, and hoping it works as designed.

2 upvotes
photoguy622
By photoguy622 (Dec 8, 2011)

Why not just have Amazon provide with a sample S100 from their stock, since they are your parent company?

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
Markus30
By Markus30 (Dec 7, 2011)

Thanks for this first impressions! I already pre-ordered a Cannon S100 and was looking much forward to it. Hearing about this de-centered lens issues somehow makes me worry about my order.

Given they have issues with this, I see two options:
- If it is due to faulty units in the beginning of the production: there should be a clear way on how to find out if one got a faulty camera. Is there one?
- If it is within the Canon tolerances and all units will exhibit that: the de-centered lens issue should be the "baseline" for any quality assessments and reviews. Much to Canons disadvantage, but picking a good model, does not help the end-user, who just gets some unit

3 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 7, 2011)

The key thing to bear in mind here is that our studio is a super-critical environment, and issues that can be very obvious in our studio samples can be all but unnoticeable in normal use.

The basic rule as a consumer and photographer (and a good general principle to avoid going insane) is that if your camera gives you image quality that you're happy with, then it's 'good'.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
Qafziel
By Qafziel (Dec 8, 2011)

Barney, frankly, this is a somewhat disappointing response coming from you. I can understand this coming from the Canon fanboys or from those who already bought the camera and need the self-assurance that they did the right thing, but for the rest of us: with this kind of reasoning we don't need DPR at all - we could just march into any Best Buy, see if a camera looks "good" to us, and take it.

We need your detailed evaluations of cameras in order to have some sort of assurance that the cameras that we pay good money for actually do deliver on the promised specs and expected quality. It is true that for most of our family shots we could have used our cell-phone cams and it will actually look "good" to us with no second thoughts, but some of us do want to have the assurance that for those shots where we do care - there's a good chance that the camera will provide the expected performance.

And do remember that some of us don't live in the US and can't return countless cameras until...

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 5 minutes after posting
10 upvotes
evogt500
By evogt500 (Dec 7, 2011)

decentered lens? from a Canon? What happened? Are they imitating Fujifilm?

1 upvote
OneGuy
By OneGuy (Dec 8, 2011)

Not intentionally, I'd say. With Internet forums and decent testing the manufacturing (Canon) or marketing (Fuji) just cannot smile over the mistakes of the past.
And who brought us the Internet? "Tear down this wall!" kind of guy.

0 upvotes
cruser2469
By cruser2469 (Dec 7, 2011)

do you usually test several of the same cameras to do a review? I wonder if cameras that didn't test well would do better if several units were used? Scary! This could be great for Canon or really bad. Also, will you be showing results from all the units used, or just the best performing unit?

Comment edited 7 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 7, 2011)

If we get results that we consider unusual, they're always tested, yes. With multiple cameras if necessary.

With lower-end products we have correspondingly lower expectations but with a flagship camera like the S100, we aim to make sure that we're looking at a representative sample as far as practically possible.

And the samples we post will be representative of the camera - we can't say fairer than that. There's no point posting duplicates taken with a sample that we've established is 'bad', it wouldn't tell you anything.

Comment edited 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
brianj
By brianj (Dec 7, 2011)

Pity the samsung EX1/TL500 didn't get this special treatment like canon is given.

8 upvotes
cruser2469
By cruser2469 (Dec 7, 2011)

Thank you!!!

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 7, 2011)

@brianj - you mean the EX1/TL500 which got a nice high score in our testing and a silver award?

Comment edited 14 seconds after posting
4 upvotes
brianj
By brianj (Dec 7, 2011)

Yes, but we suspect that performance of the units in the hands of forum members with the latest firmware is significantly better than the review unit results, and unlike the LX5 which was retested when the FW was upgraded, and the S100 which is being selected for optimum performance, the EX1 has been neglected and subsequently never included in the comparison tool for later camera reviews because the results are poorer than they should be.

4 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 7, 2011)

@brianj - I appreciate your distress, but we can only do so much with the resources that we have. In the specific case of the TL500, a firmware update would not have solved the (mild) optical issues that we had with our test sample. It was and remains an excellent camera (and we said as much in our review). I take your comments on board though.

2 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 7, 2011)

Also, - on a side-note to the FW discussion, note that we did in fact test multiple copies of the EX1/TL500 - we're basically working through the same methodology with the S100 right now.

4 upvotes
brianj
By brianj (Dec 7, 2011)

Thanks, I know you guys put a lot of effort into this business.

2 upvotes
PaulRivers
By PaulRivers (Dec 8, 2011)

To be fair, the last time I looked at them (a month ago I think), the tl500 shots did have something noteably wrong with them, much like the current s100 shots. I mean it was quite a while ago, but it is kinda true. EDIT: When I started writing my comment there were a lot fewer followup comments, didn't mean to beat a dead horse. :-)

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
ET2
By ET2 (Dec 7, 2011)

"Sometimes reviews get delayed."

No kidding. The preview (forget the review) of Nex-7 was promised back 3 months ago?

0 upvotes
Barney Britton
By Barney Britton (Dec 7, 2011)

http://www.dpreview.com/news/2011/8/24/sonynex7overview

We also published a hands-on video preview.

The NEX-7 is something of a special case - we didn't have a camera at the point when it was released, and as soon as we got hold of one we decided to crack on with the review (which is very very nearly finished). It will certainly be published before the camera starts appearing in store windows in the US :)

0 upvotes
brunomancia
By brunomancia (Dec 7, 2011)

it does have exposure control in movie mode....

0 upvotes
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (Dec 8, 2011)

Well, well..I am glad DRP is making some noise about this as Canon really do deserve some bad publicity over their QC.
The exact thing happened to me with my SX230, the first 3 unit had to be returned, as different parts of the frame in each of the three units had consistently lower resolution (decentered lens). It was fourth time lucky for me. Yes, it's the kind of thing that most people won't notice, but it's unacceptably bad quality control nonetheless.

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

http://www.dxomark.com/index.php/News/DxOMark-news/Sony-NEX-7-comparisons-and-review

If Camera sensor rating is the only thing you interested DXOMark has tested NEX-7.

Although, there is lot more to a camera than sensor. Without the T mirror NEX-7 scored 3 points over SLT A-77

0 upvotes
dbm305
By dbm305 (Dec 8, 2011)

The first S90 I got was just frighteningly decentred; the whole right side was smeared and the right hand corners were just a blur. I sent it back to Adorama (I think) and got another that was still noticeably decentred - soft in lower right at all apertures, but not so much that it was too much of a pain in normal shooting.

1 upvote
pami24
By pami24 (Dec 8, 2011)

Thanks for all this time consuming in detail tests and reports.
I just remember my S90, it was sent for repair twice and at the end the third lens was fine.

0 upvotes
Total comments: 191
12