Canon PowerShot SD100 (Digital IXUS II) Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Good resolution, about as much as we could expect from an ultra-compact three megapixel
- Good reliable metering
- Low image noise at ISO 50 and 100 (ISO sensitivity higher than indicated)
- Good color response, better overall balance than most, especially blues and greens
- Histogram in record review and play mode (no live histogram)
- Good flash exposure, no color cast
- Easy to understand controls, good layout
- Ultra compact, although not as light as aluminium cased digital cameras
- Good build quality, solid feel (case tends to show fingerprints)
- Bright, detailed LCD monitor with anti-reflective coating
- Very fast startup time, good shot-to-shot times (good buffering)
- Fast magnification in play mode (up to 10x)
- Easy access to most often change settings via FUNC menu
- Continuous shooting ability (unusual for an ultra-compact)
- Impressive night exposure ability (up to 15 sec exposures)
- Long movie clip mode (up to 3 minutes including audio)
- VGA movie clips (640 x 480) up to 30 seconds
- Orientation sensor, although JPEG's are only tagged not rotated
Conclusion - Cons
- Limited zoom (only two times optical zoom)
- Lens softness at maximum aperture, can lead to 'blooming' of light sources
- Some chromatic aberrations visible
- Color shift of overexposed reds
- No image parameter adjustment
- No manual focus
- Very 'average' macro performance
- AF assist misalignment
Here's my rating of the Canon PowerShot SD100: (3 megapixel ultra-compact)
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Lens / CCD combination||8|
|Ease of use||8|
|Value for money||7|
There's no doubt that the SD100 is built to the highest standards, the moment you pick it up you know you are holding a solid and reliable camera. Canon have paid special attention to the controls which have a soft but definite feel to them, many of which are either metal or coated. Operationally the camera is quick, both on startup and in use, the only niggle would be the slow browsing speed in play mode (sometimes over a second between shots). The SD100 does have a good buffer which proves useful for continuous shooting and 'quick next shot' situations.
Much like most ultra-compacts however the SD100 is a compromise, the lens suffers from softness at maximum aperture ('wide open' - which it is likely to be in most medium and low light situations) and also exhibited chromatic aberrations. We also experienced color shift in overexposed reds and the camera's macro performance wasn't fantastic.
However, the biggest challenge for the SD100 is the competition. Taking a look over at the other two ultra-compact three megapixel cameras I reviewed at the same time as the SD100 (the Pentax Optio S and Casio EX-Z3) we find that they are smaller and lighter, have three times optical zoom lenses (versus the Canon's two times) and also have a wider feature set and in the case of the Pentax provide more user control over the image results.
That's not to say that the SD100 can't produce very nice images, it can, and thanks to Canon's progressive improvements and introduction of the DiGiC processor you're unlikely to be that unhappy with shots taken by the SD100. If this camera had a three times optical zoom lens, was a little lighter and offered some of the features of the others or was notably cheaper I would have no problem giving it a 'Recommended' rating, as things stand the SD100 gets 'Above Average'.
So which one should I buy? A question I get asked several times a day, the answer is that everyone has different requirements. In a new addition to my reviews (after the amount of feedback I normally get) I've added a link to a specific forum in which you can discuss the review or ask other questions which I've not answered in these pages.
May 2, 2003
May 2, 2003
Apr 27, 2006
Apr 27, 2006
I own it
I want it
I had it
Discuss in the forums
|scrum break away by al booth|
from Sport competition
|Parking Deck by Olaf R|
from Your City - Parking Garage
|Communication Tech by alberto_b|
|With & without by OBellini|
from Empty - Full
A recent vacation gave Richard a chance to think about the needs of travel photography – and how our reviews might recognize the perfect travel camera.
Need more evidence that 2017 is the year analog begins its comeback? Well, welcome another new film stock to the world.
The winners of the 10th annual iPhone Photography Awards have been announced, and they're striking.
If you were disappointed by reports that the Sony a9 struggles with adapted Canon glass, you might be able to take some comfort from Metabones' latest update.
Blackmagic Design has dropped the prices of its Video Assist external monitor/recorders for a limited time. Prices of the SD card-based recorders will be reduced in all markets, while supplies last.
Instagram has started testing a new feature called 'favorites' that enables users to share photos with only certain people. Only a small number of users have access to the feature at this time, though it may roll out to everyone in the future.
Lensbaby has announced the Velvet 85 F1.8 for interchangeable lens cameras. The lens is available in Canon, Nikon, Sony E, Sony A, Pentax K, Samsung NX, Fuji X and Micro 4/3 mounts.
It's the end of an era. Parent company Micron has announced that they are discontinuing the Lexar retail brand. This includes 'memory cards, USB flash drives, readers, and storage drives.'
Youthful trainspotter turned adult photographer, John Sanderson has traveled across the United States, documenting the country's railroads. But you won't find any trains in his pictures.
Sony's new CMOS sensor is backside-illuminated and offers an all-pixel global reset function which should drastically reduce rolling shutter effect when panning.
Shoulderpod has converted its offerings into a lego-like modular system by offering all individual parts of existing products separately, allowing users to build exactly the rig they need for a specific project or simply replace a damaged part.
Photographer Felix AAA has spent the past ten years touring the world with a variety of musicians, capturing behind the scenes shots and portraits. He talks about some of his favorite images on the FujiFilm Blog.
A roll of film discovered in an Argus C2 from an Oregon Goodwill turned out to contain some incredible images – and has been re-united with the original owner's family.
Nikon's 28mm F1.4E ED appears to roundly complete the company's updated lineup of fast, professional prime lenses. We've already seen some initial images from a Nikon ambassador, but we've worked through a gallery of our own, with a lens of our own over the past week. Take a look.
Google is holding a competition that could see your Pixel photos gracing millions of screens.
Nikon's 100th birthday party continues worldwide as a distributor in Italy organized a one-of-a-kind feat: assembling the world's largest 'human camera' from over a thousand volunteers.
Ricoh has dropped the price of its Theta SC 360 spherical camera by to $199, a reduction of roughly $50. The camera features two 12MP sensors and can record Full HD video in addition to stills.
Photojournalist Pete Souza served as the presidential photographer for both Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama. In an interview with fellow photographer Marcia Nighswander, he discusses several of his most noteworthy images.
Photographer Michael Wolf has been documenting the crowded conditions of Tokyo's subway trains since the 1990s. The photos have gone viral regularly in the years since he started the project, and he just published the final edition in the series.
The just-launched OnePlus 5 is getting a minor update that should improve camera function.
A Belgian camera shop is showing off an extremely rare, limited 'Rex Edition' Nikon D500. The cosmetic alterations were provided by a customer's German Shepherd Rex, who got ahold of the camera within a day of its purchase.
Adobe says that many of its users have been relying on SkyBox for VR editing and it therefore made sense to make the plug-ins available to all subscribers through Creative Cloud.
The Pictar grip provides a number of customizable physical controls for your iPhone camera, but at its price point we would like to see better materials and build quality.
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not famed as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you look in the right places. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.