Movie mode

Like most non-DSLRs, the S100FS offers 640 x 480 pixels (VGA) / 30 frames per second video with the duration limited only by the space left on the card. The results are perfectly acceptable and they run smoothly though the sound is very prone to recording the sound of the wind, but then, the lens does mean you're often recording action a long way away from the microphone. The movies are recorded in motion JPEG (.avi) format, with fairly heavy compression; they work out at around 1.0 MB/sec, meaning you can fit just under 15 minutes of 640x480 / 30fps footage onto a 1GB card.

Like the S6000 and its S9X00 forebears, the S100FS allows you to zoom while you are shooting movies. Unfortunately, it takes a while for the focus to re-adjust to the new focal length - regularly spoiling several seconds of video as it hunts around for something to lock on. In fact we managed to shoot entire 5 second videos during which the camera failed to achieve focus. Still, there are very few cameras that allow any sort of zooming while recording movies, so this is nit-picking, really.

There is only one screen for movie record mode. You have no control over exposure, sensitivity or focus so there's not really a lot it could tell you anyway. There's a menu that lets you select 640x480 or 320x240 pixel resolution, but that's the only input you can have. Other than pressing the shutter button to start recording.
And this is what it looks like when you do. There's not really any scope for control, so there's no disadvantage to the lack of information being given.
Playback mode shows a thumbnail of the first frame in the movie. Pressing the down arrow on the four-way controller starts playing the video. Once playing, you can pause and advance one frame at a time. There are no editing options though.

Sample movies

640x480 pixels @ 30 fps
Duration: 6.0 secs
File size: 6.7MB

Shot at telephoto

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