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Canon announces PowerShot S100 12MP CMOS enthusiast compact

By dpreview staff on Sep 15, 2011 at 12:01 GMT

Canon has announced the PowerShot S100 - the latest in its line of small enthusiast compacts. The S100 features a broader, 5x lens range (24-120mm equiv.), the company's latest image stabilization and built-in GPS. The interesting specification, from our perspective, is the 12MP CMOS sensor. It's the company's second compact camera sensor, following the slightly disappointing example in 2008's PowerShot SX1. As with the S95, the sensor remains of the larger 1/1.7" type used in high-end compacts.

Click here to read our hands-on preview of the Canon PowerShot S100

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Press Release:

Canon unveils the PowerShot S100 – expert control, seriously compact

London, UK, 15th September 2011 – Canon today announces the launch of the new PowerShot S100 – a powerful, versatile and highly compact camera offering photographers extensive control and leading image quality. The most advanced PowerShot S-series model to date, the PowerShot S100 surpasses the high standards set by its acclaimed predecessor, featuring a new f/2.0 Canon lens and an enhanced HS System, which combines an elite high-sensitivity sensor with the very latest in Canon processing technology – DIGIC 5.

Packed with upgrades, the PowerShot S100 marks a true step forward for the PowerShot S-series. Its 24mm ultra-wide angle, 5.0x optical zoom genuine Canon lens provides greater power and flexibility, and combines with Canon's Intelligent Image Stabilizer (IS) system to deliver crisp, clear images in stills and movies. GPS functionality records the time and location of every shot, Full HD movie recording captures stunning video, and the powerful DIGIC 5 processor offers fast shooting speeds and even better image quality in all conditions. All of these new features also come in a super-slim body measuring just 26.7mm front-to-back, available in matte black and titanium silver variants.

The HS System with DIGIC 5 – new levels of power

The PowerShot S100 features the most powerful implementation of the HS System yet. Building on the PowerShot S-series' reputation for providing high-quality, low noise images in low light, the enhanced HS System optimally combines DIGIC 5 processing with a high-sensitivity 12.1 Megapixel 1/1.7-type CMOS developed using Canon EOS sensor know-how – providing an even more powerful basis for low light photography. Supporting a maximum ISO of 6400 at full resolution, the camera fully-utilises the high performance of the CMOS sensor and the power of DIGIC 5 to reduce image noise – offering the reassurance of excellent image quality in all conditions.

Designed to achieve new and advanced levels of image quality, DIGIC 5 analyses four times more image information to create each pixel, recording more detail and colour from a scene than ever before. Processing speed is also six times faster compared to the previous processor, efficiently managing the increase in scene information and simultaneously reducing the appearance of image noise by up to 75%1.

Genuine Canon lens with Intelligent Image Stabilizer

The PowerShot S100 features a new, high performance lens developed and manufactured using the same methods and expertise as Canon's leading EF lenses. A benchmark in Canon optical technology, the lens supports 24mm ultra-wide angle coverage for shooting horizons and landscapes, and an extended 5.0x optical zoom for zooming into distant scenes or subjects – all while offering a bright f/2.0 maximum aperture, and a light and compact design.

Intelligent IS utilises Canon's highly-effective 4-stop optical Image Stabilizer to counter camera shake in stills and Full HD movies. Providing seven modes of stabilisation2, Intelligent IS automatically identifies the scene and adapts the optical Image Stabilizer settings for optimal compensation. Panning IS is ideal for following racetrack action, ensuring the IS system only corrects the axis vertical to the direction of movement, while Macro IS features Hybrid IS technology for shooting clear close-ups. Powered IS uses Canon camcorder technology to film distant subjects when using the zoom, while Tripod mode switches off IS when the camera is on a stable surface or attached to a tripod.

Enhanced control

The PowerShot S100 offers full manual control over shooting settings and modes. Designed to fit seamlessly into a photographer's existing workflow, it supports RAW format shooting and offers compatibility with Canon's Digital Photo Professional (DPP) software as standard, providing a perfect second camera for DSLR users.

The popular Lens Control Ring, synonymous with the modern PowerShot S-series, also provides a tactile way to control picture settings such as focus and exposure. Users can assign the Lens Control Ring to a number of different image parameters, including shutter speed, ISO sensitivity and aperture, allowing them to fine tune their exposure in 1/3-stop increments. The 'Ring Function' button and rear Multi-Control Dial can also be custom-assigned to control other pre-selected functions, providing complete flexibility to serve different user styles.

High-speed and complete ease-of-use

Using the power of the DIGIC 5, the PowerShot S100 is ideal for capturing fast-moving action. High-speed Burst HQ is perfect for everything from sports to parties, capturing a rapid sequence of eight full resolution shots at up to 9.6 shots/sec. For recording the drama of high-speed action, Super Slow Motion Movie mode also records videos at 240 fps (QVGA quality) or 120 fps (VGA quality).

For easy shooting in a range of situations, Canon's Smart Auto mode ensures great results by selecting the optimum settings for a scene from 32 variables. New Multi-area White Balance also makes images look more natural by detecting scenes with two different light sources and applying area-specific white balance correction. For instance, when shooting a portrait with flash under tungsten lighting, the camera will simultaneously apply tungsten white balance to the background and flash white balance to a person's face, ensuring both the subject and background look natural.

A wealth of additional features

Ideal for users who want to record the location of every shot, the PowerShot S100's integrated GPS unit records where and when images are taken, so users can keep an accurate record of the place and time their pictures are taken. Additionally, the GPS Logger facility records a user's journey, allowing them to review their travels by using the supplied Map Utility software which integrates with Google Maps3.

Stunning Full HD (1080p) video is also captured at 24 frames per second with stereo sound. The 5.0x optical zoom can be used during video capture, while Dynamic IS and Powered IS mode within Intelligent IS counteract camera shake when recording whilst moving, or when using the zoom. An HDMI-CEC port makes it easy to share videos, allowing users to play images back on compatible HDTVs using the TV remote.

A large, premium-quality 7.5 cm (3.0") PureColor II G LCD display is perfect for framing and playback, with a fine 461k dot resolution that offers high contrast and excellent colour reproduction. A tempered glass outer layer provides a wide viewing angle and resistance to scratches, and new grips on both the front and back of the camera body offer improved handling, making this the ideal pocket camera for enthusiasts.

Expand your possibilities

The PowerShot S100 is instantly compatible with a range of Canon accessories. The new HF-DC2 is an external flash unit that can be used to supplement the on-board flash, allowing users to capture a broader range of subjects. Users can also explore the world of underwater photography with the new optional Waterproof Case WP-DC43, which provides water resistance to depths of 40 metres and protects the camera from dust, dirt and damage – making it perfect for snorkelling or diving on holiday.

Share stories with CANON iMAGE GATEWAY

Owners of the PowerShot S100 can also join the CANON iMAGE GATEWAY, an online facility for sharing photos and video. The CANON iMAGE GATEWAY Online Photo Album provides up to 2GB of personal storage capacity – enough room for hundreds of high-quality images.

Canon PowerShot S100 – key features:

  • High-sensitivity 12.1 Megapixel Canon CMOS (1/1.7 type)
  • HS System with powerful DIGIC 5
  • Ultra-wide 24mm, f/2.0, 5x zoom lens. Intelligent IS
  • Lens Control Ring, NR Control & RAW
  • GPS
  • Full HD, HDMI
  • Large 7.5 cm (3.0") LCD
  • High-speed Burst HQ
  • Smart Auto, Multi-area WB
  • Optional Waterproof Case

1 Source: Canon internal testing. Comparison between the PowerShot S95 and the PowerShot S100 at ISO 1600 sensitivity.
2 Normal IS, Panning IS, Macro IS, Dynamic IS, Powered IS, Dynamic Macro IS, Tripod mode
3 Google, Google Maps and Google Earth are trademarks of Google Inc.

Additional images

I own it
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Total comments: 31
By newcameraguy2821 (Sep 24, 2011)

Canon PowerShot S100
Canon Europe Promo video

Mark 100
By Mark 100 (Sep 20, 2011)

How many actuations before the sensor is corrupted? Higher sensor sensitivity increases the risk. The first manufacturer that offers a benchmark guarantee, e.g 20 000 actuations within a 36 month perion, wins my loyalty.

By Boissez (Sep 16, 2011)

Slower lens, more useless megapixels and a useless GPS. I'll be keeping my LX3 for another round it seems. (lens starting @ 24mm is nice though)

By Sdaniella (Sep 16, 2011)

Slowly but surely 24mm equivalent arrives for Canon prosumer PowerShot S compacts... glad full HD arrives too along with it. Looking forward to Prosumer PowerShot G... will it be 24mm or not (I have been waiting); I still want it with an optical tunnel as well as VASS (Vari-Angle Swivel Screen). Meanwhile this 24mm-120mm S100 looks like a compact jewel. I am glad I waited... something worth recommending to family and friends (I love the 24mm primarily on a Canon with their Live-Preview) now to see what happens with the G...

1 upvote
By jamesfrmphilly (Sep 16, 2011)

the flash hot shoe is on the G12…….

Steve oliphant
By Steve oliphant (Sep 16, 2011)

Looks like a really nice travel camera,good on ya Canon, i like it!!.....

By sh10453 (Sep 15, 2011)

Screaming loud, Canooooooooon?
Can you hear me?

Where the heck is the external flash hot shoe???

Comeonnnnnnnn. This is not a camera intended for grand-grandmother!

1 upvote
By benjyhe (Sep 29, 2011)

It's on the G12 :) Why would you want an external flash on an S series camera?

By EvanZ (Sep 15, 2011)

24mm is now "ultra-wide"? Anyway, at least, there is finally a bit of competition for the LX5 end of the consumer market. The LX5 has a significantly faster lens at the portrait end, but it looks like the Canon might be a bit more pocketable, for those whom that matters more.

By mjdundee (Sep 16, 2011)

Exactly. I always wanted something like the LX 5 but every time I compared its handling on with the S95 it was like coming home.
I don't know who is complaining about the S100 - possibly the ones who have already a S90/S95 and don't want to trade it in so soon. For the ones who were patient enough to wait for a really pocketable little gem the S100 is now on top of their list.
Lets wait for the first production samples.

By Peanut88 (Sep 15, 2011)

yaWNNN ! ! !

z z z Z Z Z

boring .................

By PHOTOJOE55 (Sep 15, 2011)

It does look sharp in the silver image, but that's quite a difference from the photo at the top of the article. GPS must add quite a bit to the cost, making it too expensive for it's competition. .... Joe Prete

Manfred Lai
By Manfred Lai (Sep 15, 2011)

bla bla bla ... new digic engine ... more zoom ... add stupid GPS.
Rubbish ... all new rubbish features none to improve your photos.
All gimmick. Canon has no intention of selling you a real better camera.

Canon should add:
1) 14 bit raw with DNG for native Lightroom support
2) Gapless microlens CCD, at 10mp, no more.
3) Dunt add more zoom, a good lens with a 4 step zoom is way better.
E.g. 24mm, 28mm, 35, 50mm. Make it brighter at the tele end like f/3.5 at 50mm.

But then Canon wunt do that.
Okay suckers go buy the S100 and think you have a newer better camera.

Max Archer
By Max Archer (Sep 15, 2011)

I can't speak for the S100, but I just checked on my S90 and it's f/3.2 at 50mm equiv., so that's already there, and I'd be surprised if there was much difference on the S100.

I don't think it's a bad camera. I won't trade my S90 for one, but I wouldn't tell somebody to buy an S95 instead of an S100 either.

1 upvote
By Meekohi (Oct 2, 2011)

Are the RAW files 12-bit right now? Why does no-one ever feel the need to specify?

By in_saner (Sep 15, 2011)

The first impression of tis camera: it's rather ugly!
The second: it's ugly
The third: yes, it's really ugly.

Canon looses style. It has GPS inside, but I don't want to put it in my pocket. Couldn't they made it with the same spes, but stylish? S90, S95 looked like small but serious cameras, this looks like a toy for blondies. The designer, who made this should have been restricted to make design for at least of five years. Pitty, they have to remind what glorious pieces of art they've done years ago!

By mjdundee (Sep 15, 2011)

Looks great - 24 mm at F 2.0 in such a small body with full and easy manual control - thats what I have been waiting for.
Without the movie and the GPS function toys and at a price tag of U$ 330.00 this new S100 could have turned a big seller.

By Boardhead (Sep 15, 2011)

They are releasing another model with the same name? The PowerShot S100 was first introduced in May 2000:

1 upvote
By Paullubbock (Sep 15, 2011)

Canon can squeeze GPS into something like this but you have to pay $$$$$ extra and add a big ole extra brick to the bottom of your EOS body camera???

By Ibby (Sep 15, 2011)

Hopefully this will push Olympus and Panasonic to release new high-end compacts.

ozan yigit
By ozan yigit (Sep 15, 2011)

lens does not impress. rest are expected upgrades to try to match the competition. hope it is at least priced right.

ozan yigit
By ozan yigit (Sep 15, 2011)

oh, bhphoto lists at $429. oops.

Art Vandelay II
By Art Vandelay II (Sep 15, 2011)

I agree. f/5.9 on the long end is a deal breaker for me. Even if it is better at high ISO then the Olympus XZ-1 it doesn't matter because with the XZ-1 I rarely have to go over ISO400 since the lens is so fast throughout the entire zoom range. Plus, with f/2.5 on the telephoto end of the zoom range I can actually achieve decent background separation with the XZ-1, there is no way the same can be done with f/5.9 on the S100.

1 upvote
ozan yigit
By ozan yigit (Sep 15, 2011)

agreed. i have xz1 and also used lx5 extensively. both have superior lenses to this.

By theranman (Sep 15, 2011)

Got excited when I saw the viewfinder of the old S100. :D
This one seems a little ho-hum....not worth upgrading from an S95.

By joyclick (Sep 15, 2011)

will be interesting to see comparisons with the LX5,Fuji X10 and the Ricoh and the Pentax Q for IQ and handling.

By LiSkynden (Sep 15, 2011)

Just noticed the picture on the main page is the old IXUS :D PowerShot S100 in USA i think. I first thought that Canon brought back the classic design :D

By Glenn72 (Sep 15, 2011)

A CMOS sensor.. That sucks. My guess is that the rolling shutter in video mode will most probably be just as bad as their cheaper CMOS cameras. I still can't handle videos of speeding trains & sign posts looking skewed, or videos where camera flashes only fill half the frame, so will be sticking with the S95 :)

M Jesper
By M Jesper (Sep 15, 2011)

I think this might not get as many clicks as it should, with the image of the old S100 on the front page ;)

Always wondered what would come after S95 as S100 was already taken. But i guess they figured that's too long ago for anyone to remember anyway ;).

By keeponkeepingon (Sep 15, 2011)

Remember I still have the S100.

Now there will be so much confusion in my house. Do you want the old S100 or the new S100.

I canceled my 500 HS order after reading this. Too much over lap as other than a wonky touch screen I don't see anything the 500 HS offers over the new S100.

Robert Anderson
By Robert Anderson (Sep 15, 2011)

The picture at the top is of the old Canon s100.

Total comments: 31