Expert Review of Canon PowerShot S100 Point & Shoot Digital Camera Black
The Canon PowerShot S100 is a pocket-sized camera that offers a lot of professional features. Aimed at the serious photographer looking for a capable compact, the new Canon S100 features a high-sensitivity 12.1 megapixel 1/1.7-type CMOS sensor, 5x zoom lens with a focal range of 24-140mm and fast maximum aperture of f/2.0. It is featured with DIGIC 5 processor and a 3.0 inch LCD display. 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 targeted towards enthusiast community, who want a feature-rich, performance oriented camera having manual functionalities but all packed in a pocketable form factor.
Design and Build Quality
The Canon PowerShot S100 looks a great deal like its predecessor from the outside. it's a fairly compact camera with a lens housing that protrudes a little from the body, but not so much to cause unsightly bulges in your pocket. Compare the specifications and you'll see the S100 (at 99x60x26.7mm including protrusions) is 2mm taller than the S95, but 1mm narrower lengthways. The main bodies share a similar thickness of 22mm making it a good two or three mm thinner and a little more pocket-friendly; not bad considering the longer lens range within. It is a easy to carry light weight camera weighing just 198 grams.
Focus and Face Detection
The camera is pleased with the full extent of the camera’s 5x optical zoom can be utilized for video as well as stills, its focal range equivalent to 24-120mm in 35mm film terms. However in terms of quickly framing that shot, the transition of the zoom is much slower in video mode than in general operation. This is undoubtedly to minimize the low mechanical buzz of its motors being picked up on the audio track. Pictures are sharp for the most part with colors erring on the side of natural. The bright maximum f/2.0 aperture lens comes into its own in allowing some lovely shallow depth of field effects, keeping the subject sharp in focus but blurring the foreground and background. Like its predecessor, the Canon S100 offers three auto focusing modes, although one has been changed for the better. Like the S95, there's Face AiAF which automatically switches between nine-area AF system and face detection if one or more human faces are recognized in the frame. The camera is featured with many other features like face detection, red eye detection and self timer.
Lens and Image Stabilization
The lens's optical image stabilization system has been updated too, with no fewer than 7 modes available for different purposes including macro, panning, video, and tripod work. The 'Intelligent IS' system will automatically select the mode it considers most appropriate for the current shooting situation. The S100's lens also gains a built-in neutral density filter, as seen on PowerShot G series, to allow the use of larger apertures in bright sunlight. Upgrading from the 10.4-megapixel CCD in its predecessors, the Canon S100 uses a 13.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, which also allows it to shoot 1080p video, whereas the others were limited to 720p.
Screen and Menus
In the expected absence of any optical viewfinder, pictures and Full HD 1920x1080 pixels video are composed and reviewed via the 3-inch, LCD screen, presented in standard 4:3 aspect ratio. This offers a crystal clear resolution of 461k dots, and in practice avoids blaze and ghosting whether utilized indoors or out. Screen display options include the ability to call up a nine zone compositional grid .Plus, if you have program or one of the other more creative shooting modes selected, a live histogram showing the areas of brightness in an image can also be summoned up. This affords a degree of control over exposure
While the rugged feel and roughened non-slip surfaces of the Canon PowerShot S100 impress by subconsciously suggesting a pro digital SLR squeezed into a compact, pocket-sized form, one disappointment here is battery life. The Canon can manage just a paltry 200 shots from a full charge of its NB—5L rechargeable lithium ion battery pack. That’s a day or a weekend’s shooting at best, so you’ll need to pack the charger if heading off on holiday for a week.
The Canon PowerShot S100 provides a good balance of manual and automatic features, with enough of each to appeal to a wide range of photographers. More-experienced photographers will appreciate the full manual and semi manual exposure modes, along with RAW and RAW+JPEG capture. Snap shooters can easily capture great images without a second thought using the Program, Auto, and Scene modes; or, if they're so inclined, they can use the S100 as a learning tool to hone more-advanced photo skills. Scene modes include the standard portrait, landscape; kids and pets, beach, underwater, foliage, snow, fireworks, and stitch assist for panoramas. Video options have expanded. The S100 can now capture full HD video at 1920 by 1080 (1080p) at 24 frames per second. High-speed video capture is available at a whopping 240 fps at a reduced 320 by 240 resolution, which is a cool option for slowing down fast-moving scenes.
The 1080p video, slow motion and fast continuous shooting modes on the S100 are all made possible by its new CMOS sensor. This is a key difference between it and the earlier S95 which employed a CCD sensor. Canon introduces the new sensor technology similar to that used in its EOS SLRs, including an on-chip noise cancellation system, and micro lenses which cover more of the sensor area to improve its light-gathering characteristics. The company claims that this results in reduced noise and increased dynamic range. The new sensor also allows the S100 to offer this year's must-have feature: full HD movie recording at 1920x1080 resolutions, with a 24P output frame rate.
Slimmer than past models; 12-megapixel resolution sensor improves on image quality across ISO range; Video includes 1080p, autofocus, and zoom during recording; HDR mode works well.
The Canon PowerShot S100 is certainly pricier than an average camera; it becomes slight buzz when zooming while recording video. The Grip offered isn’t as useful as it could be and it is featured with slow autofocus.