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Canon PowerShot SX100 IS Full Review

December 2007 | By Lars Rehm, Simon Joinson
Buy on From $224.99

Review based on a production Canon SX100 IS

The PowerShot SX100 IS is the first model in Canon's new SX series of budget super zoom compact cameras, and in the Powershot line-up slots in somewhere between the tried and tested A-Series and the more upmarket S5 IS. Canon's engineers combined the materials and build quality of the former with the long lens, some features and design of the latter to merge them into a brand new camera that goes head to head with Panasonic's popular TZ series (and the new Sony H3). The SX100 IS comes with a 8.0MP sensor, a 10x zoom, optical image stabilization and a comprehensive range of manual photographic controls, all nicely wrapped up in a compact silver or black plastic body. Canon says the SX series offers exceptional performance in the hands of any member of the family, so let's find out how it performed in our capable hands, starting, as ever, with the headline features.

  • 8.0 Megapixels
  • 10x optical zoom with optical Image Stabilizer (36-360mm equiv.)
  • Comprehensive range of photographic controls with P, Av, Tv and M modes
  • DIGIC III imaging processor
  • Face Detection
  • Digital Tele-Converter and Safety Zoom
  • 2.5” LCD with 100% coverage
  • 19 shooting modes

PowerShot SX100 IS specifications

Street price • US: $300
• UK: £200
Body Material


Sensor • 1/2.5 " Type CCD
• 8.0 million effective pixels
Image processor DIGIC III
Image sizes

• 3264 x 2448
• 2592 x 1944
• 2048 x 1536
• 1600 x 1200
• 640 x 480
• 3264 x 1832

Movie clips

• 640 x 480 @ 30fps
• 320 x 240 @ 30fps
• 160 x 120 @ 15fps


• 36-360mm (35mm equiv)
• 10x optical zoom
• F2.8-4.3

Optical Stabilization Yes (lens-shift)
Focus TTL autofocus
Metering • Evaluative
• Center-weighted average
• Spot
Shooting modes

• Auto
• Program AE
• Shutter Priority AE
• Aperture Priority AE
• Manual
• Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Special Scene
• Stitch Assist
• Movie

Scenes modes • Portrait
• Landscape
• Night Snapshot
• Kids & Pets
• Night Scene
• Indoor
• Foliage
• Snow
• Beach
• Fireworks
• Aquarium
Shutter speeds 15-1/2500 sec
Apertures F2.8-4.3
Exposure compensation +/-2EV in 1/3EV stop increments
ISO Sensitivity • Auto
• High ISO Auto
• ISO 80
• ISO 100
• ISO 200
• ISO 400
• ISO 800
• ISO 1600
White Balance • Auto
• Daylight
• Cloudy
• Tungsten
• Fluorescent
• Fluorescent H
• Custom
Image parameters My Colors (My Colors Off, Vivid, Neutral, Sepia, Black & White, Custom Color)
Continuous • Approx 0.8fps until card is full (AF / LiveView)
• Approx 1.3fps until card is full (LCD monitor off)
Flash • Auto, Flash On, Flash Off, Slow Sync, Red-eye reduction
• +/- 2EV in 1/3 stop increments
• Face Detection FE compensation
• Safety FE
• Flash exposure lock
• Manual Power Adjustment (3 levels)
• Range (Auto ISO): 50cm - 3.0m (wide) / 2.0m (tele)
Storage • SD, SDHC, MMC, MMCplus , HC MMCplus compatible
• 16 MB card supplied
Viewfinder No
LCD monitor • 2.5-inch P-Si TFT
• 172,000 pixels
• 100% coverage
• 15 levels of brightness adjustment
Connectivity • USB 2.0 Hi-Speed
• AV out (PAL / NTSC switchable)
Power • 2x AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries
• Optional AC adapter ACK800
In the box*

PowerShot SX100 IS Body
AA-size Alkaline Battery (x2)
16MB SD Memory Card
Wrist Strap
AV cable
USB interface cable
Software CD-ROM

Other features

• Histogram
• 2,10 sec or custom self timer
• Face Detection

• Optional
High Power Flash (HF-DC1)

Weight (no batts) 266g (9.4 oz)
Dimensions 108.7 x 71.4 x 46.7 mm (4.3 x 2.8 x 1.8 in)

If you're new to digital photography you may wish to read the Digital Photography Glossary before diving into this article (it may help you understand some of the terms used).

Conclusion / Recommendation / Ratings are based on the opinion of the reviewer, you should read the ENTIRE review before coming to your own conclusions.

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DPReview calibrate their monitors using Color Vision OptiCal at the (fairly well accepted) PC normal gamma 2.2, this means that on our monitors we can make out the difference between all of the (computer generated) grayscale blocks below. We recommend to make the most of this review you should be able to see the difference (at least) between X,Y and Z and ideally A,B and C.

This article is Copyright 2007 and the review in part or in whole may NOT be reproduced in any electronic or printed medium without prior permission from the author. For information on reproducing any part of this review (or any images) please contact: Phil Askey

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