Top of camera controls

Top of camera controls are limited to the power button, shutter release and zoom lever. The power button requires a 0.6 second hold before it will power off, this guards against accidental power ups, power off is instant. The size differential between the power button and shutter release means that there shouldn't be too many accidental power-off's.

Zoom controller (shooting mode)

Zoom Wide

Zooms towards full wide angle (35 mm). There are five zoom steps including full wide angle and telephoto.

Zoom Tele

Zooms towards full telephoto (70 mm), if you pass the 70 mm mark the camera will begin to digitally zoom (indicated by a blue text display). There is a menu option to disable digital zoom.

Zoom controller (play mode)

Toggle Thumbnail view / Jump mode (wide button)

Toggles between display of a single full screen image, 3 x 3 thumbnails on the LCD screen or 3 x 3 thumbnails which can be browsed a page at a time. Push again to enter a 9 image page by page 'jump mode'.
Playback Magnify (tele button)

Press to magnify the image, hold to magnify up to 10x. Use the 4-way direction controller to scroll around the image. Magnifying is very fast, if you hold the zoom controller in the tele position you can be at 10x zoom in around one second.

Rear of camera controls

The basic layout of the rear of the camera is similar to the S230, however there have been some important changes. Firstly the play / record switch has been replaced by a four position dial (considerably easier to use than that on the S400) which allows you to select between play mode, auto record, manual record and movie clips. The 4-way controller has been changed for a 'tilting wheel' and the four control buttons below the LCD monitor have been changed for a chromed design. Also the SD100 gets an on-screen 'FUNC' menu (just like the S45 / G3 / S400) and so this button has a new label.

Mode dial

Play mode

Switches immediately to play mode, displays the last image taken / last image on the Compact Flash card. The lens does not immediately retract if it's already extended, it will do so after 60 seconds in play mode.

Auto record mode

This is really the "point and shoot" mode, while you still have the option to choose resolution, JPEG quality and flash mode you can only select between self-timer and single shot drive modes, macro or normal focus mode, you can't change white balance (which is set at Auto) or set an exposure compensation.
Manual record mode

Manual record mode operates virtually identically to auto record mode except that you now have control over settings such as white balance, exposure compensation, spot metering, AF points, picture effects etc.

Movie Mode

Shoot short movie clips (AVI format) at a variety of resolutions (all with mono audio @ 11.24 KHz):

• 640 x 480, 15 fps, max 30 seconds (including audio)
• 320 x 240, 15 fps, max 3 minutes (including audio)
• 160 x 120, 15 fps, max 3 minutes (including audio)

Button controls

Metering mode

• Evaluative
• Center weighted average
• Spot
AE-Lock / FE-Lock

With the shutter release half-pressed press this button to lock Exposure; AEL (if flash is enabled this will lock flash exposure; FEL). AE/FE lock is active until you press this button again (even for multiple shots).
Focus modes

• Normal focus range
• Macro focus range
• Landscape (Infinity focus)

With the shutter release half-pressed press this button to lock Auto Focus, AFL is displayed on the monitor. AF lock is active until you press this button again (even for multiple shots).
Flash mode

• Auto Flash
• Anti-Redeye
• Fill-in Flash (forced on)
• Inhibit Flash (forced off)
• Slow-sync Flash

Drive mode

• Single shot
• Burst shots (continuous)
• Self-timer (2 or 10 secs)

SET No Action (Used to confirm menu settings)

Enter / Leave Record Menu

The record menu is detailed later.

DISP LCD monitor / preview display mode

• Simple mode (just AF points)
• Detailed mode (AF points, all camera settings)
• LCD monitor off
FUNC Function menu

The FUNC button displays an overlaid menu which provides access to several photographic settings. In Auto exposure mode you can only modify the Image Size / Quality, the remaining settings are available in Manual mode. Settings appear in a column down the left side of the display, use the arrow keys to move up and down each option and the roll the command dial or press left / right arrow keys to change. The icons used below to represent each setting are the default for that setting and that the icon will change once a setting change is made.

Exp. compen. +/-2 EV in 0.3 EV steps
White balance Auto, Sunny, Cloudy, Incandescent, Fluorescent, Fluorescent High, Manual
Sensitivity Auto, ISO 50, ISO 100, ISO 200, ISO 400
Photo Effect Off, Vivid, Neutral, Low Sharpening, Sepia, B&W
Image quality Super Fine, Fine, Normal
Image size 2048 x 1536, 1600 x 1200, 1024 x 768, 640 x 480

As the SD100 is based on the same DiGiC platform as the S400 (and others) it gets a fairly comprehensive range of controls including AE-Lock and AF-Lock.

Control functions in play mode


Setting / Menu confirm

Used to confirm changed camera settings or options in the camera menus.


Enter / Leave the Play Menu

Pressing this button in record or play mode enters that mode's settings menu (described in detail on the next pages of this review).

DISP Display Mode

Toggles between three LCD display modes: Image only display, Image and brief frame information, Image and detailed exposure information.
Erase image

Erases the image, requires confirmation: Erase / Cancel.

Orientation sensor

The SD100's orientation sensor indicates the current orientation of the camera with a small icon in the top right of the LCD display (), the arrow above the camera always pointing the upward direction. The camera recognizes left down portrait (counter clockwise), normal landscape (0°) and right down portrait (clockwise). The sensor changes orientation anywhere past the 45° point in either direction.

This orientation is then stored in the header of the image file (EXIF if JPEG), the camera will display images in the correct orientation during playback and in the supplied Canon software. Some third party applications are now starting to recognize the EXIF orientation tag, notably ACDSee 5.0 which has an 'Auto' option in its lossless rotation dialog, simply select all JPEG images in a folder, choose 'Auto' rotate and the software will losslessly rotate those images which need rotation.