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The S100 is the first in the S line of Canon's PowerShot compacts that is capable of recording video in full 1080 resolution. The frame rate at this resolution is limited to 24fps however. Although this is fairly standard 'cinematic' frame rate it is not particularly well-suited to capturing fast motion and is lagging somewhat behind the competition's now standard 30/60 fps/i. The S100 gives very good results in video mode that will satisfy casual the demands of occasional, social or 'snapshot' use, but there are better cameras out there if you need more features and more flexibility.

Video specification

Sizes  • 1920 x 1080 @ 24 fps (Full HD)
 • 1280 x 720 @ 30fps
 • 640 x 480 @ 30fps
 • iFrame Movie (HD)

Super Slow Motion Movie:
 • 640 x 480, 120fps (L)
 • 320 x 240, 240fps (M)

Miniature Effect:
 • 6fps, 3fps, 1.5 fps (HD, L)
Audio Recording  • Linear PCM (Stereo
File Format Movie:
 • MOV [H.264 + Linear PCM (Stereo)]
 • iFrame
Max recording time  • Full HD & HD: Up to 4 GB or 29 min. 59 sec.
 • L and M: Up to 4 GB or 1 hour
 • Super Slow Motion Movie: 30 sec.
Image stabilization  • Lens-shift type
 • 4 stops
 • Intelligent IS

Video quality and operation

The quality of video captured with the Canon S100 is quite good. Although some other compact cameras are capable of shooting at faster frame rates like 30p and 60i/p, the S100 does give excellent video image quality in poor light, and this - coupled with a fairly fast lens (at wide angle) - allows the S100 to shoot video in some situations were similar compact cameras would produce movies that are too noisy to be usable.

Unfortunately, the S100 does not offer any manual control when recording movies, save for exposure compensation. Aperture, shutter speed and ISO are all automatically set by the camera. Unlike the S95 though, AF is possible, and the S100's lens can be zoomed during movie recording. Although it is possible to begin video recording from any mode by pressing the movie record button, the dedicated Movie mode allows you to shoot in the S100's special movie modes: Super slow motion and iFrame. Pressing the shutter button in this mode will capture a still image but will also cancel video recording.

Sample videos

Sample video 1

In this video sample shot at the S100's highest quality setting (1920 x 1080 24fps) you can see that the camera is does a good job of capturing the fast-moving complex detail of the waves without being overpowered by compression. The camera's built in 'wind cut' feature was not used and as a consequence the wind noise masks much of the sound from the waves.

1920 x 1080 24fps, 56.76MB, MOV, 13 sec. Click here to download original file

Sample video 2

Just like in still shooting mode it is possible to apply certain built-in effects to your videos in real-time. For example Miniature mode can be used to capture a video that looks like a stop-motion miniature. You can also choose to have the video play back at 5x, 10x or 20x speed before recording (the example below is at 20x). Once you begin recording however, you can not adjust the playback speed. Resolution is limited to 640 x 480 when recording in miniature mode and audio is not captured.

640 x 480 30fps, 11.19MB, MOV, 9 sec. Click here to download original file

Sample video 3

In addition to the more conventional shooting settings, the S100 also has an option for recording slow motion videos (albeit at a reduced resolution). The 120 and 240 fps recording options produce videos that play back at 4 and 8 times slower, respectively. This means that a 30 sec video recorded at 240 fps will result in a video that is 4 minutes in duration. Resolution is limited to 320 x 240 when recording in 240 fps mode and audio is not captured.

320 x 240 30fps, 3.42MB, MOV, 13 sec. Click here to download original file
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Total comments: 4

I have owned PowerShot S100 for a while and in many ways it worked well - for a while. Bought the S100 for the GPS feature which can be quite slow. In areas that are less than open a signal may not be received, but it mostly worked. The largest drawback and reason I am writing this "comment" is because my S100 camera just stopped working on a trip through India, Nepal and the UAE. A message appears "Lens Error - Will shut down automatically - Restart camera". The camera turns itself off and the lens will not retract and CANNOT be restarted. If you are planning an important vacation you may want to consider another camera. Please check other reviews regarding this issue elsewhere. I do not want others to have a vacation of a lifetime ruined my a nonfunctioning camera.

1 upvote

for $98 refurbished directly from Canon's website is a steal


Great review, Kelcey :) Canon PowerShot S100 is a very nice pocket camera. Some extra zoom would be nice though, it is quite expensive for just 5x optical. I think there are some more capable cameras for $350 out there.

1 upvote

Powershot S100: 5.2-26.0mm f/2.0-5.9
Canon 71.6∠2.60 ∅ 2.0 ev (Wide)
Canon 16.4∠4.41 ∅ 5.9 ev (Tele)

Total comments: 4