Canon PowerShot SX100 IS Full Review
Conclusion - Pros
- Good resolution
- Clean and detailed image output at all zoom settings
- Very efficient image stabilization
- Fast, reliable focus (except in low light at longer focal lengths)
- Reliable exposure
- Good white balance and accurate color (in daylight)
- Clear and understandable menu
- Well designed and intuitive control layout
- Comprehensive feature set
- Good range of in-camera tonal and color adjustments
- Big, fairly bright screen
- Good balance of noise reduction and detail retention at higher ISO settings
- Good movie quality
- Useful zoom range (although no real wide angle)
- Good value for money
- Good flash exposure and color accuracy
Conclusion - Cons
- Noise and noise reduction artefacts showing in fine texture even at low ISO
- Very slow flash recycling (especially when batteries are weak)
- Images a bit soft viewed at 100% - benefit from a little sharpening
- ISO 800 and above only suitable for emergency use
- Battery life not brilliant (it's useful to always carry a spare set of batteries)
- Occasional highlight clipping
- Some purple fringing
- No real wide-angle
The SX100 IS is a bit of a wallflower, both in terms of design and specification. It is not ugly, but it certainly won't turn any heads either, it has a fairly good spec and feature set but nothing that we haven't seen somewhere else before. 'Solid' is probably the best way to describe the performance of this latest addition to the Canon Powershot range. The SX100 IS performs well in (almost) all areas but there is hardly anyhing exceptional about it.
Canon describes the SX100 IS as a camera for all members of the family in its press material and although this is some of the most overused marketing blurb you could possibly come across, there is some truth in it. The SX100 IS' well designed user interface makes it easy to find your way around the camera in a relatively short space of time. The long zoom range of the lens makes the SX100 IS a viable camera for a number of photographic applications, rather than a specialist tool that excels in one particular field. Relatively little distortion at its widest setting means the SX100 IS works well for landscape shots (although the lens could be a little wider) and at 360mm equivalent focal length at the long end of the zoom you can get up close to your kids on the soccer pitch (although the AF might struggle to keep up with them if they're fast runners).
There is no need to discuss image quality in too much detail. Again, it is very 'solid' without being exceptional. Under the usual circumstances (high contrast, brightness) there is some evidence of fringing and in lighting conditions other than bright sunlight noise reduction artefacts are visible in dark parts of the image even at base ISO. Users of the SX100 IS will also inevitably experience some of the highlight clipping that is typical for compact cameras with small sensors. None of these issues are deal-breakers though and it is very unlikely they will have any negative impact on your prints unless you print at sizes larger than A4.
Face Detection is a feature that we have not mentioned a great deal in this review. The reason for that is quite simple. Although Face Detection is the must-have accessory of the season, I am still not certain what it is good for. It works well on the SX100 IS in so far as it detects faces (in record and review mode) as long as they are looking straight at the camera and do not wear any hats or other headgear. The 'Face Selector' button even lets you chose between faces and assign 'main face' status to one of them. However, the difference in image output, compared to focusing on a face using Center AF, is fairly marginal.
The only two points that merit some real criticism have been inherited from Canon's A-Series to which the SX100 IS is closely related. Flash recycling times are frankly a nuisance. It takes too long for the flash to recharge when batteries are new to start with but it gets even worse when battery power is low. In your typical 'social' shooting situation it can be fairly embarassing (and frustrating) having to wait the best part of 10 seconds for the flash to get ready while your subjects are waiting. We found the battery life in general quite disappointing. Always make sure to carry plenty of spare batteries, otherwise you might find yourself stranded 'powerless' and missing out on all those photo opportunities.
The SX100 IS is Canon's first stab at the 'budget' big zoom segment and the engineers have clearly done their homework. The camera delivers good image quality in a compact and solid packaging. The SX100 IS' performance is agile in all shooting situations, thanks to the latest generation of the Canon DIGIC III imaging processor, and the inclusion of comprehensive manual controls and the very efficient image stabilization plus the large clear screen make the SX100 IS a fine photographic tool not only for beginners but also the more advanced photographer with budget constraints.
The most obvious comparison is with the similarly priced Panasonic TZ3, which is smaller, has a much more versatile 28-280mm zoom range and a bigger screen, but which can't quite match the SX100's image quality, particularly at higher ISO settings. Sony's new H3 (which has what can most politely be described as having 'interesting' styling) is another alternative, though as we've not finished reviewing it yet we'll reserve judgement.
In conclusion, the SX100 IS offers reliable image quality, a big zoom range and a good variety of photographic controls in a relatively compact body at a very competitive price. If you don't mind the slow flash recycling times (which somewhat limit the camera's use as a social snapshot tool) the SX100 IS is a perfect piece of equipment for anyone wanting to cover a large variety of photographic situations without breaking the bank or carrying a backpack full of lenses. It offers a well balanced package, value for money and is simply fun to use which earns it our Recommended badge.
|Detail||Rating (out of 10)|
|Ergonomics & handling||8.0|
"With only a few hundred of these lenses still in existence, and the inability to get them serviced and repaired if damaged, one can only assume that finding one of these will only become more and more difficult as time goes on..."
Google's Pixel 2 might have the 'world's highest rated smartphone camera', but the phone's display is causing serious headaches for the company. From 'dull' colors to reports of burn-in and blue tint, some troubling reports are haunting the tech giant this week.
The WiBotic PowerPad is a three-foot by three-foot landing pad that, according to its makers, is capable of charging almost any drone wirelessly.
Hear what Adobe director of product management Tom Hogarty and Lightroom product manager Sharad Mangalick have to say about the new Lightroom CC, and the future of Lightroom Classic CC.
Phase One has released a new, 15-preset Film Styles Pack for Capture One users that gives you a total of 45 different analog 'Styles' to choose from—33 in color and 12 in black & white.
"Everyone was wearing essentially the same outfits, doing the same poses, and felt like they needed 37 versions of each pose. As irritated as I was by this, it wasn’t what annoyed me the most."
With features like full-sensor-width 4K recording, Nikon has made its most video-friendly DSLR to date in the D850. That said, there's a difference between offering a feature and implementing it well.
If you're set on investing in a seriously capable compact, no doubt these two cameras will be on your list. Here's how they square up.
Adobe's experimental Project 'Deep Fill' is an incredibly powerful and impressive, AI-powered version of Content Aware Fill. Watch the demo to see this amazing tool in action.
LEE has released a new series of Reverse ND filters that are most opaque in the middle and become progressively clearer towards the top. This makes them ideal for capturing scenes where the sun is close to the horizon.
A former New York Times photographer is suing both the newspaper and its photography director Michele McNally for over $500,000 for age discrimination and unfair classification as a freelancer for nearly a decade.
"CPS Platinum members will now enjoy next-day service, with equipment serviced and shipped the business day after an estimate is approved. For repairs that will take longer, Canon will offer next-day loaner equipment."
Irix is introducing a new filter system called the Irix Edge 100. The ultra-light, ultra-thin system is build specifically for wide angle lenses like Irix's own 15mm F2.4.
After conducting a series of safety tests, the FAA is recommending that all airlines ban cameras and other electronics with Lithium Ion batteries from checked baggage. The agency believe the risk of a catastrophic fire and explosion is too great.
The Pixentu jackets keep you and your gear warm and dry, offering useful features like lens and tripod pockets, in addition to some quirky ones like an extended hood to protect your camera from the rain.
Adobe gave the audience at MAX a sneak peek at some exciting new technology its developing. It's called Adobe Cloak: a highly capable Content Aware Fill-like feature for video editors.
Earlier today, Flickr moved its photo book printing service over to a third party services, and stopped offering any wall art options entirely.
The patent details a flipping rear LCD screen so large, Canon has had to hide the rear dial and several buttons underneath.
We've added a selection of extra images to our Nikon D850 gallery. As part of the process of rounding off the review we made sure a number of us had shot the camera in a variety of situations, we've added those shots to the gallery to give a broad cross section of how the camera performs.
Wiral LITE is an affordable, easy-to-use cable cam system that can do things a portable slider simply can't do, and go places no slider would dare go.
Not happy with the recent demise of Lightroom as a stand-alone, subscription free service? Macphun's got your back... or they will in 2018.
Once connected to a PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone, Pholio automatically searches through the device storage and backs up all images and videos—complete with auto-tagging and intelligent search capabilities.
The 360 Round uses eight horizontally positioned camera pairs and one upward-pointing single lens to capture and livestream panoramic 4K 3D content.
Introduced just three years ago, the Samsung NX1 was both a technological tour-de-force and a great camera to use, earning one of the highest scores we've ever awarded and winning our 2015 Innovation Award. But its short-lived run in the photo world leaves us wondering what could have been.
The Fujifilm X-E3 is styled like a classic rangefinder, but features a built-in touchscreen, AF joystick, and electronic viewfinder – truly an old school meets new type of camera. Lay some eyes on our sample gallery to see how it performs in the real world.
Like it or not, Adobe is embracing a cloud-centric, AI-rich future with the introduction of Lightroom CC. And that's a great thing, though you may not see it now, argues Rishi Sanyal.
The announcement of a more cloud-integrated Lightroom product sees the death of the company's standalone version. This need to make payments in perpetuity (whether you choose Lightroom Classic or CC), chips away at the idea that your Lightroom library is a long-term solution, argues Richard Butler.
The XPro-C 2.4GHz wireless flash trigger that Godox released for Canon users last month now has a Nikon equivalent—the aptly named XPro-N. Sony, Fujifilm and MFT versions are in the works.
In the aftermath of hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, camera and lens maker Sigma is extending its standard product warranty to cover damage caused by these three natural disasters.
The F4 Plus can can capture 360° stills, videos and broadcast livestream footage at 8K resolution... that's 7680 x 3840 pixels!