Canon Powershot S100 Review

| Published Date
28 - Jan - 2012
| Last Updated
28 - Jan - 2012
 
26999
80
Canon Powershot S100

    Canon Powershot S100 Price in India

  • 26999/-

Canon Powershot S100 Rating 80100100

Our Verdict

On evaluating the scores for each of our tests, we found that Canon Powershot S100, dethroned our last year's best performing camera � the Olympus XZ1. This is the best high end compact in the market today. You will never fall short of any features including the battery sipping GPS. Pricing is definitely on the steeper side as at Rs. 26,999 you can easily get the Canon EOS 1100D. But then this camera is for the discerning photographer, who wants excellent quality in the compact body.

PROS

  • Fast f/2.0 lens
  • Great sharpness and image quality
  • Great high ISO performance
  • RAW support
  • Control Ring customisations

CONS

  • High price
  • Lower rated battery pack

Canon Powershot S100: Detailed Review

Canon Powershot S100 is the latest high end point and shoot camera from Canon's Powershot series. High end point and shoot cameras belong to a class of cameras that are targetted towards enthusiast community, who want a feature-rich, performance oriented camera having manual functionalities but all packed in a pocketable form factor. It can act as a great companion to the higher end DSLRs and also in itself it packs in quite a punch for those who want DSLR like functions in a smaller form factor.

Features & Design

The S100 sports a wider aperture of f/2.0 which ensures sharp images even under low lighting. But this aperture redues to f/5.9 on the telephoto zoom end which is a bit annoying. The S100 houses a 12.1 MP 1/1.7-inch CMOS sensor along with a new DIGIC 5 image processor. Canon claims that this image processor works six times faster than its previous iteration. Optical zoom has been bumped up to 5x covering a range of 24-120mm (equivalent). It houses a GPS chip within it which not only makes geo-tagging a piece of cake, but it also has this mode called GPS logger which when activated maps your entire journey even when the camera is off. The S100 is capable of shooting in RAW mode. Its high sensitivity sensor ensures a better ISO range from ISO 80 to ISO 3200. Its video shooting mode goes upto 1080p. So as we said before, it packs more than a punch in this compact body.

Just like its predecessor, the Canon Powershot S95, the S100 comes in an all black matte-finish metal body. The rubber grips on the thumb rest and a longitudinal one on the front face of the camera provide ample grip for the camera and the matte finish also helps in holding the camera comfortably without the fear of slipping.

On the front face you have the control ring around the lens barrel, which can be programmed for certain functions such as exposure, shutter, aperture, among others. The camera has already given some default functions to the control ring is respective modes such as it controls ISO in the P mode, Aperture in the Aperture Priority mode or Manual mode, etc.

On the top you have the pop-up flash unit on the extreme left hand side. When it pops up, holding the camera edge on the left hand side is tricky and you may not get a very stable grip. As you go to the right there is the on/off switch, followed by the shutter and the mode dial. The zoom lever is present around the shutter button as is the norm with most Powershot cameras. On the rear side you have a 3-inch LCD screen which has a resolution of 461k dots. The display is quite vivid. It lacks any sort of viewfinder. The arrangement of buttons on the rear side is quite intuitive. The Ring Func button can help you assign specific functions to the control ring. Beside that is located the video record button. Below this you have the four way pad which has a movable ring around it which can be used for adjusting aperture/shutter in those modes or can be used for toggling between images in the preview mode or navigating options in the camera Menu. The Preview mode button and Menu button is located at the base of the rear side. Accessing all these buttons is quite easy even with a one hand operation.

The user interface of the camera is typical Canon, with neatly laid out menus under various tabs. For someone familiar with a Canon camera, it is quite intuitive. If you do not want to access the Menu, you need to pull up the Func. Set button in the centre of the four way pad, which brings up a menu on your screen from which you can make the necessary selections.

Visit Page 2 for our look at the Canon Powershot S100's performance, and our verdict... 

 

 

 

Performance 

Click to enlarge
Olympus XZ-1Nikon P7100Canon Powershot S100
Notice the detailing in the images from the three high-end point and shoot cameras.

The high sensitivity sensor in the Canon S100 gave impressive results. Around ISO 1600 most of the high end point and shoot cameras start getting noisy. We noticed at Canon S100's output at ISO 1600 was comparable to the output from Nikon P7100 and Olympus XZ-1 at ISO 800. We got really good images with S100 at ISO 1600 and usable ones at ISO 3200, but with prominent noise at 100 percent crops. As you notice in the images above at 100 per cent crop, the image quality is comparitively better with S100 than the P7100  and XZ1.

Click to enlarge
Canon S100 Powershot

In the sharpness and detail test shot the Canon S100 gave a brilliant performance with every strand of the thread visible perfectly including in the black and dark brown threads, where it is difficult to separate out the threads. At ISO 400 also we could disstinguish between individual threads. Also the colours on the threads appear natural and crisp.

The other object used in the sharpness test was a sound card where we tried focussing on the IC numbers and the fine soldered pins of the IC. As is visible in the image, the sharpness is quite good. IC numbers on the soundcard on the left hand side are clearly legible.

Click to enlarge
Canon S100Nikon P7100

In the studio macro test, we shot a portion of an LCD screen to see how well the pixel clarity was. We noticed that the Nikon P7100 had a better pixel clarity than the S100. Outdoor Macro shooting was quite good though but make sure your focus in on Manual, as you dont want the camera to keep hunting for focus.

Click to enlarge
ISO 400Low Light Mode
In the low light mode, due to the overshooting of the ISO above 1600, we noticed that the detailing in the edges is lost.

In the low light mode, Canon S100 shoots terribly in the Auto mode, but we noted at ISO 400 and on a tripod, it gave decent quality image. In the low light mode, due to the overshooting of the ISO above 1600, we noticed that the detailing in the edges is lost.

In the video shooting mode Canon S100 was quite better than the competing cameras despite the minor shakes while panning horizontally. Focussing wasn't an issue even while zooming onto the subject. Colours and details were quite good. There is a slow motion mode in the camera which shoots video in real time, but can play it back at a crazy 240 fps giving a really great slo-mo effect. But you can only get that at a moderate resolution of 640x480 pixels. Indoor shooting did result a bit noisy as compared to the outdoor mode. 

Click to enlarge
Before HDRAfter HDR
Before HDR, you will notice the blown out sky and darker foreground. With HDR on, you notice that you have a more balanced sky and fairly detailed foreground.

We really liked the HDR mode of the camera which shoots a series of three images and gives you a well exposed image finally. But you need to make sure that your hands are rock steady, else make use of a tripod. The battery output is around 200 shots, but if you use functions such as RAW mode, GPS, Low light mode, HDR mode, full HD video mode then the battery is sipped much faster. You will most likely want to invest in another battery pack, as with this camera, you will really want to go all out and make more than 200 photographs on a single outing.    

Verdict

On evaluating the scores for each of our tests, we found that Canon Powershot S100, dethroned our last year's best performing camera – the Olympus XZ1. This is the best high end compact in the market today. You will never fall short of any features including the battery sipping GPS. Pricing is definitely on the steeper side as at Rs. 26,999 you can easily get the Canon EOS 1100D. But then this camera is for the discerning photographer, who wants excellent quality in the compact body.

Latest Forum discussions on Canon Powershot S100

  • Canon powershot sx260 hs - best price in india

    I have checked on the net and its price is ranging from 13-20k. Where can I find the best deal? I have found an old thread where it was sold at around 11k. Is it still available at that price?

    1. Quagmire25/07/2013
      ^Please provide links for all the things you've mentioned. Buying advice - [url]http://www.thinkdigit.com/forum/cameras-camcorders/167265-questionnaire-buying-digital-camera.html[/url] SX260 is almost a year old. Wait for SX270/280 to release in India.
    2. Sujoyp25/07/2013
      It seems the minimum is 14.5 around ....if u get some coupens u can get it for lesser [url=http://cameras.pricedekho.com/cameras/canon/powershot-sx260-hs-price-p6Atg.html]Canon Powershot SX260 HS Price in India on Jul 25, 2013 | PriceDekho India[/url]
    3. Nac26/07/2013
      Is it? I don't remember it was selling @ 11k. The best I could remember is around 14k.
    Show More
  • Canon powershot a2300 at 5.3k

    [url=http://www.shopclues.com/canon-powershot-a2300-point-and-shoot.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=posts&utm_campaign=facebook-posts-specialdeal]Cameras :: Point & Shoot :: Canon PowerShot A2300 Point & Shoot - ShopClues.com:[/url] Is this a good deal ? Around Rs 5270. Rs 6300 elsewhere in Flipkart. If i want to buy a decent point...

    1. Tkin20/02/2013
      [QUOTE=mitraark;1846136][url=http://www.shopclues.com/canon-powershot-a2300-point-and-shoot.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=posts&utm_campaign=facebook-posts-specialdeal]Cameras :: Point & Shoot :: Canon PowerShot A2300 Point & Shoot - ShopClues.com:[/url] Is this a good deal ? Around Rs 5270. Rs 6300 elsewhere in Flipkart. If i want to...
    2. Mitraark21/02/2013
      6k maybe. I wasn't really looking forward to buying a camera, thought maybe gift one to my mother in May. Saw this deal today and thought of buying now.
    3. Tkin21/02/2013
      [QUOTE=mitraark;1846879]6k maybe. I wasn't really looking forward to buying a camera, thought maybe gift one to my mother in May. Saw this deal today and thought of buying now.[/QUOTE] In that case, go for it.
    Show More
  • Canon powershot sx150 is?

    Hello All Wanna buy a Camera around Rs.10k. There is only model which comes to mind right now because of all the features and the recommendation of everyone and that is Canon SX150 IS. I have operated it also at a store and find it to be nice. The only thing which troubles me is the battery life.Is it that bad when compared to its rivals...

    1. Sam28/10/2012
      just don't use flash all the time and battery life will be decent. turn on flash (or raise the flash) and the battery life immediately drops. only problem will be the charging period of battery if you don't own a quick charger. I have recently bought the SX150 and the best part of it is the manual mode. Once you start tweaking the settings, you...
    2. Rouble28/10/2012
      @Sam Okay..Without flash how much snaps can I expect if I am using a good battery like a sanyo or a sony?? Really!! What is the difference between the time taken to charge the batteries from a quick charger and a normal charger? Yeah that is the reason I want it, the manual mode is quite good. By slow you mean the time taken to ready the camera...
    3. Sam28/10/2012
      [QUOTE=rouble;1774706]@Sam Okay..Without flash how much snaps can I expect if I am using a good battery like a sanyo or a sony??[/QUOTE] expect ~200 shots from the bundled 2100mah battery. It is just that Sanyo Eneloop can hold the charger for a longer period. [QUOTE=rouble;1774706]Really!! What is the difference between the time taken to charge...
    Show More
  • Looking forward to canon powershot a1200

    Hellow guys, am looking forward to buy Canon Power Shot A1200. I think it's a good camera under a budget. How is this camera as per your view as photographers? One more thing, one thing keeping me away from this camera is its AA batteries. Can I put rechargeable AA batteries?

    1. Sujoyp29/02/2012
      Its a basic P&S camera with 720P video recording and 4x optical zoom For day-to-day usage u wont find a problem...just dont go deep into the pics and compare them with DSLR quality :D I think flipkart is giving rechargable cells and charger along with 4gb card and pouch...soo if u dont have budget for quick charger now then wait and get a good...
    2. Jkultimate29/02/2012
      [QUOTE=sujoyp;1593442]Its a basic P&S camera with 720P video recording and 4x optical zoom For day-to-day usage u wont find a problem...just dont go deep into the pics and compare them with DSLR quality :D I think flipkart is giving rechargable cells and charger along with 4gb card and pouch...soo if u dont have budget for quick charger now...
    3. Sujoyp29/02/2012
      whats the price there...and freebies ?? rechargeable cell should be free or u have to invest another 1k in those
    Show More
  • Any user review for canon powershot sx150

    i thought of buying Canon PowerShot SX150.Anyone tried this,Pl post ur cooments on it.

    1. Nac25/11/2011
      I don't see any huge differences between SX130 IS and SX150 IS. I don't think increase of 2MP will give a far more superior IQ than 130 IS.
    2. Susancts26/11/2011
      [QUOTE=sganesh;1533023]i thought of buying Canon PowerShot SX150.Anyone tried this,Pl post ur cooments on it.[/QUOTE] Canon PowerShot SX130 IS could still be a better choice. 2 Mega pixel increase in Canon PowerShot SX150 IS is not going to do much in terms of picture quality. It will only render more noise in your pictures at higher ISOs.