Movie mode

Canon's movie mode is pretty similar on most of their Powershot compact cameras, with only some slight variations here and there. So don't expect any surprises when you switch the SX100 IS to movie mode. As is now the norm on most compact cameras the SX100 IS offers a maximum movie size of 640x480 pixels - enough to fill most television screens at 30 frames per second. It also offers the option to shoot at a smaller size and lower frame rate (useful if you want to send videos by email).

Just as other Canon Powershots we recently reviewed the image quality is good, the movies are very smooth and show very few compression artefacts. You can't use the optical zoom while recording. Digital zoom however works although inevitably the quality drops a little. The AVI files are comparatively large - at the best quality setting (640x480 / 30fps) you need more than 2MB for every second of movie. So if you shoot a lot of movies you should think about getting some some big, fast SD cards too.

Here's the screen you see when you first turn the mode dial to movie mode. The jog-dial lets you switch between the standard and compact movie mode presets. Icons indicate the frame size, metering and the amount of recording time left on the card.
On-screen information when recording movies is fairly basic - elapsed time and low battery warning if necessary.
The FUNC menu gives you options for white balance, MyColors and movie size (640x480, 640x480 Long Play or 320x240 pixels). In compact mode the camera records 160x120 at 15fps.
Pressing the menu button in movie recording allows you to change digital zoom, safety MF, grid lines and IS mode settings.
In playback mode a thumbnail of the first frame of the movie appears when scrolling through saved images. Press the FUNC/SET to play movies. You can view a histogram and full shooting information for the movie by pressing the DISP button.

When viewing movies a set of controls appears along the bottom of the frame allowing you to play, jump to either end and pause, move one frame at a time or play in slow motion.

Sample movie

640x480 pixels @ 30fps
5.0 seconds
File size: 10.5 MB

Shot at wide angle (36mm equiv.)

Click on the thumbnail to view the movie (caution: large file!)