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Canon Powershot SX100 IS
Canon Powershot SX100 IS

Hey! You should know that Canon has released a newer version of this product: the Canon PowerShot SX120 IS.

Canon Powershot SX100 IS

We've given the SX100 IS a grade of C+.

Editor's Review

The SX100 has since been replaced by the SX120 IS. Here's what we had to say when the SX100 first came out in October 2007:

Meet the Canon Powershot SX100 IS, the first new offering in what should prove to be an exciting compact zoom line. The SX100 IS is looking to compete with Panasonic's TZ3, giving consumers a large, 10x optical zoom lens in a tiny, compact body. Lenses get longer and packages get smaller; there's no stopping this trend. So check out the SX100 IS, and get more from less.


  • 8 megapixels
  • 10x optical zoom / 4x digital zoom
  • Lens-shift image stabilization
  • Auto and manual focus
  • Auto and manual exposure
  • ISO 80-1600
  • JPEG file format
  • Movie mode with sound
  • 2.5-inch LCD display
  • Secure Digital memory storage (32MB card included)
  • 2 AA batteries
  • Part Number: SX100ISB
  • UPC: 013803087758
  • Release Date: Oct 15, 2007

Shop for SX100 IS Accessories

Canon Powershot SX100 IS Reviews

Canon Powershot SX100 IS Reviews by Digital Camera-HQ Users

  • 5.0 out of 5
I love the 10X zoom lenses, I shot beuatiful photos using that device (Miguel Liquidano — 02/14/2010)
  • 2.0 out of 5
Shutter won't open after 1 year use (Bob — 01/06/2010)

I was canon fan but not any more after this item. The camera worked fine for about one year. After that it shutter wouldn't open fully. I saw several reviews discussing same problems with other Canon model. So. it seems that they have some design flaw in their models.

  • 1.0 out of 5
Nice Features, BAD Lens Mechanism (Joe B. — 06/13/2009)

I enjoyed the camera and its features until I was bitten by the infamous "Lens Error" (former E18) bug after 1 1/2 years of ownership. (Never dropped or abused!) Being 6 mos out of warranty, Canon assumes NO responsibility to cover this error. After reading many posts about this error, decided to invest the repair fee into a Panasonic DMC-FZ28, instead.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Good, but not great..... (Thomas S. — 11/11/2008)

This is a very good camera. It takes excellent photos in both outdoor and indoor situations. The 10x zoom range is very handy.
However, it isn't without problems. The auto-focus at the telephoto end is very slow, and sometimes inaccurate, especially in low light. It may require a few tries to get it to focus correctly.
However, the positives definitely outweigh the negatives, so I do recommend this camera.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Shaky hands equals excellent pictures (Jackie Landin — 10/10/2008)

The Canon Powershot SX100 IS is the second digital camera I have owned. My fiance purchased it for me as a gift and I have to say, I love it! Previously, I had been using my Sony Powershot (can't remember the specific model, but it is 4 years old) With the medications I'm on, I have twitches and shaky hands, so snapping a somewhat clear photo is nearly impossible for me. So when I was looking for a camera, I was looking specifically for a camera with an image stabalizer.

After picking up this camera and shooting a few 'test' photos with my shaky hands, I was amazed at how the photos came out. Even with the camera zoomed in all the way (which is a major plus considering I love to birdwatch and have always wanted to shoot pictures of the birds I see) it snapped clear wonderful photos! I have had this camera for about a month now and even though I don't know everything about it, I still give it a 5 star rating for picture quality, zoom capability, image stabalizer, and the many other features that are packed into it.

It's larger than my Sony Powershot was but it's not too bulky that I can't carry it with me. I take it with me everywhere. And I'm going to be having so much fun with it on my honeymoon to Japan coming up soon! The price wasn't bad, considering this is my second digital camera and I'm not a pro-photographer. Mine cost around $300, which I think was worth it.

  • 5.0 out of 5
quality (VAHID — 09/26/2008)

Its quality is so good but for farway have problem

  • 5.0 out of 5
Fantastic Camera!!! (Lisa — 09/24/2008)

when we go places friends with 1000$ cameras leave them at home and ask me to email them my pictures...clear, easy to use, great zoom! It has all the manual settings and way more than I'll ever use, but it has automatic point and click too, very user friendly! Also love the flip up flash, this was one of the things I didn't think I'd like, but control over use of flash or not as easy as this on automatic settings has allowed for some amazing dusk pictures that I'd not have gotten had I chosen another camera! I absolutely LOVE my camera and haven't regretted my decision since I bought it!

  • 5.0 out of 5
Wedding pictures (Ms Jean — 09/15/2008)

I purchased this camera on my wedding day because my Nikon was nowhere to be found. To my surprise it took excellent pictures in the shade and in the sun. (The wedding was ourdoors, in a garden).

It was used right from the box without reading a manual. It tells you if you need the flash so you get picture perfect shots each time.

Everyone that has seen the pictures have commented on how life-like they are. It really saved the day.

  • 4.0 out of 5
wonderfull Canon sx100 (Michael — 09/03/2008)

I must say, I love the handsome black sx100. It's an awesome camera, wonderfully working IS and zoom. Pictures are of a first rate in daylight. Some noise in the evening shots, but what P&S doesn't have it? I took thousands of pics and my friends and I, we all said WOW!. Sure it's not DSLR, but it does the job that suppostu do. A few people posted that the video is terrible, well, it's not true at all, I think if you could complain about the noise in the pictures above ISO 200, i would say ok, there is some noise, but the video is excelent. I took plenty of videos and i know what i'm talking about. Keep the video all possible settings to all auto only. When taking pics I set it to P mode and to custom for +1 saturation and sharpnes, that's it, you'll get always good pics. I would give it the score of 4 and a half stars.
Hope this help to make your choice. P.S. I'm waiting for the new sx110 wich you'll be able to buy in a few days.

  • 4.0 out of 5
The Best (Timothy Toutant — 08/25/2008)

As a new user to a higher end Cannon camera all I can say is "WOW". I fly radio controlled giant scale model aircraft and this camera has all the features I need. It takes great video with sound and really good for fireworks displays too. I still have yet to master all the aspects of this camera. The instuctions could be more clear in dpi use as there is no mention of it anywhere. I need at least 300dpi to send high quality photo's of the model planes I am writing about to the National Magazine via e-mail. Great pic's and color.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great Pictures (Randy Rocco — 08/21/2008)

The camera is easy to use...and takes great pictures.

  • 5.0 out of 5
LOVE IT! (ddk — 08/20/2008)

Great little camera! From full auto to full manual - as you like it! Great macro! Great zoom! Very decent image quality. A bit of noise - but nothing unmanageable. Love it love it love it!

  • 5.0 out of 5
SX100is (Dr.Rajesh Gandhi — 07/03/2008)

I've used 2 digital cameras previously,the Lumix F-1 (3.2 megapixels) and Nikon coolpix P4(8.1 megapixels).Buying theSX100is was one of the best decisions I''ve made.This camera has all the manual controls and 10x zoom really unlocks the great potential of this camera.Macro is superb and so is its image stabilization.Low light image noise is a bit of concern though.Overall, an all-rounder camera.Battery life is also very good.I'll surely recommend this camera to anyone who wants to hone their skills before they bou an SLR.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Excellent piece for the price we pay!! (sameer inamdar — 06/05/2008)

Areading all the reviews i have only one thing to say this camera offers excellent picture quality,zoom and shooting modes for a point and shoot camera....10 x zoom is excellent for a camera at this price. Cannot to be compared to any other cameras except those offering the same specifications. ALL in all i am very happy to use it at a semi-pro level. Highly recommended for travellers and semi-pro me...and thanks Canon.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent camera (George Fisher — 05/23/2008)

I wanted a cheap point and shoot that took great photos and had a load of manual features. This camera is just great, it outperforms my friends cameras. I bought it to replace my aging Canon A70.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Excellent Camera (Chandrasekhar — 05/22/2008)

Its a fantastic Camera.. working exceptionally well.. what can u demand more.. when all the features for the perfect price were given.. ..though I would like to add that some times.. it takes a bit long to charge the flash.. and we may miss rapidshots.. but we cannot expect more from its 2 batteries.. otherwise.. its an exceptional camera.. its 10x zoom in daylight works tooo good.. at nights.. the flash is not enough for the 10x range.. otherwise.. no complaints..

thanks canon for this good camera..

  • 5.0 out of 5
Great camera for the price! (Diane — 04/09/2008)

This is a great little 10x zoom point and shoot for the price! Very good macro mode. Did very well with low light shooting a show. Try to keep the ISO to under 400 to avoid excess noise. I have no use of the video mode so I don't know how it is. The flash recharging can be slow - but I hardly use it. I've taken up to 500 pics on one set of AA NIMH rechargeable batteries!! I take it with me everywhere!!

  • 3.0 out of 5
Not loving it (Hazel Hunter — 04/05/2008)

Maybe it is me, maybe it is the camera. I am getting grainy prints. I took it back to the store and we all agreed the prints were not good. We ran some test prints using their equipment, still not good. Again, it may be operator error, but I thought it was basic enough that even I could use it. I bought it because I wanted a powerful zoom for wild life. I may trade it in for a simpler camera or maybe I need to take a class. I am disappointed, I had an older, simple point and shoot olympus stylus that took great pics but not much zoom. Uncertain what I'll do.

  • 4.0 out of 5
Great camera for the beginner. (Joseph — 03/28/2008)

I recently purchased a Canon Powershot SX100 IS with my income tax return and love it. My wife and I were in desperate need for a new digital camera because our Kodak 5 megapixel piece of junk decided to start taking blurry pictures. Okay okay, maybe we let our 2 year-old son hold on to it one too many times, but thats only because we knew we were going to buy something else.
My wife and I, just as any other proud parents, required better quality pictures of our child. I wanted a Canon and she just wanted a large LCD screen. Bieng the nephew of a photographer, I knew it would have to be a Canon or Nikon. I also knew I wanted something with a bunch of manual options(shutter speeds, aperture settings, etc.) without spending an arm and a leg on SLR technology. We love our son but we're amateurs. She still wanted a large viewer.
We arrived at our local Best Buy with the firm intention of purchasing a camera that day. We shopped for a good 30 minutes and she was convinced we didn't need a 3 inch display and i was sure we were purchasing a Canon. We thought the G9 was a bit out of our pricerange still and that if we were going that route, we would buy a Rebel series. Then we saw the SX100 IS. I knew it was the one and so did she. I trusted its picture quality and was attracted to its zoom potential.
Needless to say, we purchased the camera. We also made away with a case and a 2GB memory card for under $325.
Three months later we only realized 2 things. The first thing was that we would have to purchase a rechargeable AA battery station and the second thing bieng that we saw it cheaper 3 months later. I have to tell you, if you purchase this camera prepare to go through batteries rather quickly. The average AA battery lasts 1 hour. Lithium AA batteries last 1 week. Lithium batteries are expensive! I wish Canon manufatured this camera with its own rechargeable.
Oh yes and one more thing. The flash on the camera isn't great but you do have the option to increase the flash. Of course thats probably why my batteries died so fast.
The bottom line is that we love our camera and the pictures it takes. Iv'e learned a lot with this camera and find it a good investment for rookies like ourselves.

  • 5.0 out of 5
Upgraded (Marco — 10/30/2007)

I upgraded from an A460, and found the SX100IS ease of use wonderful. I am by no means an expert photographer, but found for everyday use the 100IS produced great photos and all the added options the camera contains should provide me with years of learning’s. The camera is comfortable to use, has a decent build quality and it’s functions are fairly self explanatory...since I came from another Canon product most things were the same in regards to transferring photo's to PC's and such. I never used a view finder with my old A460 so I don’t miss it and the large LCD display works well in sunlight and dim lit situations.

I have read that pictures shot using an ISO value of 200 and above are grainy, but again I have not experienced this. Also I have heard and read about less than stellar video performance, but again this to me is a photo camera, not a video camera so I don’t place the emphasis that others do on its performance in this category. Again in the Auto mode the camera worries about most things so what I have used it for it far surpasses the clarity that I was getting from the A460 and the image stabilization feature has helped me save photos that I otherwise would have lost with the A460.

The only thing I could recommend at this point is a good set of 2500MaH rechargeable or higher batteries as the camera seems to go through standard batteries fairly quickly and will slow down the recycle times as they wear.

  • 3.0 out of 5
Canon PowerShot SX100 IS (Nathan Shumaker — 10/08/2007)

The Canon PowerShot SX100 IS is a new, 8 megapixel, compact superzoom debuting this month (October 2007). The SX100 delivers good image quality at 200 ISO or lower, average shot-to-shot performance, poor burst speed and is ultimately let down by embarrassingly bad video quality.

Despite its very significant flaws, the SX100 is the best of the current crop of compact superzooms, the newest genre of digital cameras started less than two years ago by the Panasonic TZ1.

The 10x zoom lens is fast at f/2.8(W)-f4.3(T), stopping down in both cases to f/8.0. However, the Canon lens exhibits noticeable purple fringing at telephoto ranges. The lens is also not very wide at only 36mm.

At ISO 80-100, pictures exhibit Canon's trademark buttery smoothness, but noise can be quite noticeable even at ISO 200 under low light conditions. At ISO800, pictures are barely usable and image noise is significantly worse than that produced by the similarly priced Kodak Z812.

The Canon SX800 has full manual photographic controls, which is a big advantage over the Panasonic LZ1 and LZ3. However, unlike the LZ1, the SX800 cannot zoom while recording video and does not autofocus once recording has started. The image quality of the VGA movies is also poor compared with the LZ1's output.

In fact, it is not an overstatement to call the Canon PowerShot SX100 IS video capabilities atrocious. Canon should be embarrassed by hamstringing an otherwise decent camera with such awful, rudimentary video.

Canon has long lagged behind other digital camera manufacturers in offering real-time histograms while snapping pictures. The SX100 is no exception and lacks this very useful feature.

It is often handy to extract photographs directly from the SD memory card, rather than connecting the camera to a computer. Unfortunately, Canon has created a real headache by placing the SD card under the same door as the two AA batteries. This makes it annoyingly easy to dump the unsecured batteries on the floor almost every time the SD card is removed.

The camera is constructed entirely of plastic. Build quality is average. Out of the box, our camera's self retracting lens cover was covered in gunk, but fortunately the lens was not affected and the foreign material cleaned off with alcohol.

The camera features a pop-up flash which helps reduce red eye.

The 2.5" LCD monitor is bright and clear with an acceptable resolution of 172,000 pixels. Unfortunately, it does not swivel and stowaway like those on many other Canon cameras.

Start up is fast at under two seconds, but shutting down the camera is sometimes very slow, ranging up to five seconds.

The SX100 IS has average responsiveness with shot to shot times usually between one and two seconds. Autofocus is generally quick and accurate. Face recognition is fast and surprisingly handy. Burst mode is poor at barely over one frame per second. Auto white balance is not very accurate under most household lights, casting most pictures in a deep orange-yellow hue.

The SX100 IS features effective optical image stabilization. Unfortunately, the camera defaults to the less effective continuous mode, but it is easy enough to switch to the better "shoot only" mode through Canon's intuitive menu system.

Like most Canon cameras, the SX100 has a control layout that most enthusiast photographers can appreciate. Additionally, the SX100 menu system is simple and easy to navigate while offering many broad ranging functions.

The Canon PowerShot SX100 IS excels in terms of manual photographic feature flexibility and easily leads the current, nascent genre of compact superzooms in this regard.

There is no escaping the fact that the Canon PowerShot SX100 is a flawed camera. If the SX100 were simply a superzoom with optical image stabilization, it would be overpriced and outclassed by cameras like the Kodak Z812 or the cheaper Panasonic FZ8 which is equipped with a much nicer Leica lens. The SX100 is put to shame by newer, only slightly more expensive cameras like the Panasonic FZ18 and even Canon's own S5 IS which is rapidly tumbling downwards in price due to stiff competition from Panasonic, Kodak, Fuji, Olympus and Sony.

However, if portability is an issue, the only competitors for the SX100 are the two Panasonic cameras, already mentioned, and the new Sony DSC-H3.

If video recording is even remotely important to you, forget the Canon SX100 IS because its video capabilities are simply lousy. The much cheaper Panasonic TZ1 is light years ahead of the Canon SX100 in terms of video quality and video recording features.

However, despite its many and significant shortcomings, the Canon SX100 gets the nod over both the Panasonic TZ1 and TZ3 due to superior image quality, despite being saddled with a lens that is inferior to either of the Pansonic's and suffering from significantly lower build quality.

Just as importantly, the SX100 offers a full host of manual controls making it far more flexible than either Panasonic camera for picture taking.

The Sony DSC-H3 has similar image quality as the SX100 at low ISO settings, while suffering similarly at ISOs above 200. However, the Canon SX100 offers both shutter speed and aperture priority exposure modes, which the Sony lacks.

The Canon lens is faster than the Sony's and the SX100's maximum shutter speed is slightly faster. The Canon SX100 IS also has a better LCD monitor and is equipped with an automatic lens cover, which the H3 lacks.

The Canon uses cheap, AA batteries and has very good battery life with a decent pair of NiMH AAs. Its Sony and Panasonic competitors all use expensive, proprietary lithium ion batteries. Sony also insists on foisting its proprietary flash card formats on its customers rather than using the ubiquitous and cheap SD/SD-HC or CompactFlash standards.

In Sony's favor, the DSC-HS has better build quality and has much more attractive styling compared with the homely Canon PowerShot SX100 IS.

All things considered, the Canon PowerShot SX100 barely edges out its Panasonic and Sony compact ultrazoom rivals, but only if video recording quality and video features are of no value to you. And if the compact form factor of the SX100 is not vitally important to you, then your money would be more wisely spent on one the many fine and inexpensive ultrazooms that are currently on the market.